Ride South! ⬇️– In Colombia! San Francisco to Patagonia on an R NineT & HP2 Enduro

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by caliform, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Tabasco

    Tabasco I have very large hands.

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    Looks exciting already ;-) Did Stuart do anything to beef up the rear sub-frame on his HP2? Looking forward to your trip.....ride safe.
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  2. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    The way we got it (it's actually an inmate's bike!) it has an Hepco Becker rear rack, so the load goes on that rather than the subframe which appears to be made out of the same hard-wearing material as sandcastles and granola bars. The Hepco rack mounts to the pannier frame, the passenger pegs and the actual frame rather than that wee rear subframe that is so prone to breaking. Who knows how well it'll work, but so far so good!
  3. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Our last stretch in the US was a short one. We rode up from Seattle to Vancouver.

    When we set off to ship these bikes south, we figured out that shipping via the US was insanely difficult if not impossible. Thankfully, via Horizons Unlimited's shipping mini-site I found a few good reports of shipping out of Vancouver, and I'd been in touch with Marwan from Baseline Forwarding who was super helpful. I sent him a message that we'd be arriving soon — and with that, we packed up our bikes.

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    I think for me this was our coldest day. I wasn't in the best of spirits as we rode up I-5 to try and make it. We stopped in Blaine just for gas and Stuart ran into a gas station to take a leak. Taking the upcoming crating in mind he asked how much gas I reckoned he should throw in and I just snapped at him— "fuel up the f—ing bike, let's GO".

    With some of the last light in the air, I was concerned that once the sun would go down the sub-freezing temps would really get to me. Also, the Peace Arch crossing has always been a nightmare for me, so I wanted to get it over with.

    Surprisingly, after the gas-up (where I put my gloves on the big jugs of the R Nine T to heat 'em up, pro tip) I was pretty alright. Right as the border crossing stations came into sight, beautiful light played on the water to our left. The last bit of the USA. It was stunning.

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    The border had nary a vehicle waiting. Me and Stu both joined a line with 1 car ahead of us and were quickly helped. The border agent I had rode motorcycles himself and we chatted a bit about my action cam setup, the Nine T and more.

    Then it was just a short zip into Vancouver. We were awash in a last violet-to-orange gradient as we crossed into Vancouver, an Air Canada plane screeching overhead. It felt incredible. It was the end of a small journey, and the beginning of a big one.

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  4. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    SHIPPING A BIKE TO COLOMBIA: Part 1: Shipping and Crating

    There's been a lot of questions about this process, so I'd love to detail it in this post so folks have a simple guide to access in case they want to do the same.

    We shipped out of Vancouver, Canada. Why Canada? Airlines in the US by and large have zero interest in transporting motorcycles. Not only is it HazMat (hazardous materials) due to gas, batteries, oil, etc. — requiring more paperwork and handling — but the bikes are a pain to 'export'. US Customs and Border Protection are not avid ADVRider readers, so they want to properly check out your vehicle and basically have the paperwork for exporting a vehicle permanently. That leads to all sorts of fun documentation requirements. If you did manage to fulfill those, you still have to find an airline willing to fly a motorcycle to South America. Doable in Miami, but we found none in California.

    OK, so you decide like us to ride up to Canada in the wintertime to ship your bike South. Apart from perhaps bringing heated gear (which I didn't and Stu wisely did) my tips are as follows:

    • Contact a cargo forwarding company. Paperwork ABOUND with stuff like this so go with someone who has done this before. I really, really enjoyed working with Marwan Bawarchi of Baseline Forwarding (I will add his info at the end of this post)
    • Measure your bike's dimensions so you can see if it fits into the max size crate — and bring a measure and tools if you send up having to crate your bike. Dimensions are no joke; too big and it ain't flying.
    • Know your bike somewhat (I.e. know how to take off your mirrors, disconnect your battery, drain some fuel)
    • Keep a list of the stuff you'd pack with your bike. If you can keep your panniers on, you might need a list of what's in them.
    • Have spare keys for your bike and panniers / luggage setup.

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    Ticked the boxes? Cool, let's ship. I contacted, as per Marwan's tip (thanks Marwan!), local dealerships to ask if they had any crates bikes got delivered in. These sometimes get thrown away, so if you can nab one up for free it saves you the crating fee. We had no luck and rode out in the morning to Can-Crate in Burnaby to get our bikes crated:

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    Coordinate this with your cargo forwarder so they can handle the pickup and compliance — dimensions and particular regulations are strict. Plus, you probably want to just do it all in one meeting. Marwan took copies of our vehicle title, registration, and our passports.

    You'll need the originals when you pick up the bike, so definitely have your ACTUAL TITLE WITH YOU (that's a note to me, the dumbass).

    We disconnected our batteries and checked our fuel levels (at or under 1/4 of your tank is the rule) and then started measuring and seeing what we could fit on the bike. I absolutely hate flying with my helmet, so I tied that to the bike and it fit neatly into the volume of the crate.

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    We arrived at 11 and were done by noon with the paperwork, measuring, compacting (mirrors off) and compliance (batteries disconnected and gas checked etc.). We were left to pay the bill once paperwork was complete and await confirmation as to which flight it would get on.

    It's a very unreal feeling to leave your bike in a lot with the keys and presumably will see it again 4200 miles South.

    Check back for picking up the bike in Bogotá soon. It's a bit more involved...

    INFO:

    Marwan Bawarchi

    Baseline Forwarding Ltd.
    Suite 305 - South Tower
    5811 Cooney Road
    Richmond, B.C. V6X 3M1
    Canada

    Tel: 778-434-5111
    Toll Free: 1-844-388-5111
    Fax: 778-434-5113

    Emails (replace the box emoji with "@" — don't want poor Marwan getting his email crawled and spammed into oblivion)

    Personal email: mbawarchibaselineforwarding.com
    General email: infobaselineforwarding.com
    Website: www.baselineforwarding.com
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  5. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    SHIPPING A BIKE TO COLOMBIA: Part 2: Receiving

    We got our bikes on a plane perhaps a day or so after payment cleared for the shipment. It moves fast. Once loaded Air Canada flew it from Vancouver to Toronto (on a proper AC flight) and then an AC Rouge flight flew them from Toronto to Bogotá.

    Once received I believe you're supposed to get a phone call but we never did. I just made sure I was around. We arrived the day after the bikes got in (they got in around 9 PM).

    So, go to the airport and bring your vehicle registration, title, passport, and pictures of your vehicle's license plate. If you don't have the latter you're going to have to take them at the warehouse. No license plate pics, no bike.

    Start here: (any cab can take you there) DIAN Aeropuerto: 4°41'34.0"N 74°08'10.2"W

    Around the back of the building is a main entrance. Explain what you're here to do — good luck if you don't speak any Spanish, use Google Translate or something — and the lady will give you a security badge after giving her passports and other info. I brought my waybill but it wasn't needed. Once you have the badge, turn around and walk through the gates to the cargo terminal.

    Find your shipper. No idea where your shipper is? Ask someone in the warehouses and they can probably point you in the right direction. For us, Air Canada was way to the left side of the lot, at the end. The cargo terminal is there, but you have to go into the building here:

    Then go up the stairs to the receiving office. They will take your waybill and give you the bill for local handling fees. We paid a bit over $150,000 Colombian pesos. They'll give you an invoice with a full drill-down and everything. After you paid for all that, you have a waybill and some paperwork from the kind folks at the cargo warehouse and you can go get your vehicle checked into the country.

    Take your papers and go back to the building you got your badge. Take the elevator to the third floor and check in with one of the staff. You're looking for a 'temporary vehicle import permit' (TVIP) — "Importaction Temporal De Medios De Transporte De Turista" or form FT-OA-2394.

    Once you land in Colombia, you get 90 days to visit the country. You can extend this, if you'd like, at a DIAN (Customs and Immigration) office. The same goes for your bike.

    They'll give you a number, kind of like the DMV. Much like the DMV, you'll be here a while. Bring something to read perhaps. We got called back a few times to confirm some info, get some copies downstairs (at the coffee / pastry shop) and after about three hours we got our TVIP.

    We walked back to the window where we paid the handling fees for a few more documents to release the shipment, and walked those down to the (now almost closed) cargo terminal. They wheeled out our bikes!

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    Yay!

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    Now what?

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    The place was almost closing and they had one powered screwdriver. We got to work. The folks were super nice and helped us disassemble the bikes, which took a while. The money we spent on crating was well-spent; a bit too well perhaps, these crates could survive just about anything. That being said, once we disassembled the chocks the HP2 fell over at some point — doh.

    We left all the wood there and then there was just the matter of getting them down a stairway (just ride it? good luck, Goldwing owners), in the dark, during a thunderstorm. Fortunately it got dry when we were getting the bikes set up.

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    Ride home and buy a beer, you deserve it.

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    (and get your insurance soon; you'll need it. But it at a SURA office. Bring all your docs)
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  6. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    :drinkWelcome to Canada and Bon Voyage!
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  7. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Bogotá is a very cool town.
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    [​IMG]Nobody really praised it much, but we had a spectacular time here. We split our few days between Chapinero and La Candelaria.

    The pulse of such a big city is inescapable; we were sucked into a vortex of nightlife, with the warm afternoons in between being spent wandering and taking in the character of the city, which seems to change by the block.

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    We even got one of those legendary Bogotá rainstorms.
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    The one thing we could live without is the traffic, though.

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    Stuart even armed himself with a mask against the particulate. We coin this look the ‘dad max’ aesthetic:

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    After those few wild days — I won a Jameson hat at a club and got thrown out of it all in one night — it was time to go North. Our first short stop would be Autogermana, which is a BMW dealership that had a lil piece Stuart wanted to get his HP2 mirror fixed.

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    [​IMG]While it took a while to get the piece (we’re not entirely sure why it takes 30 minutes to buy a single part), the dealership was wonderful, filled with nice folks and had free coffee. The rough life of the adventure rider.

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    Our first stop out of Bogotá was Villa de Leyva, which was a wonderful ride. Colombian highways are dull, but anything beyond that is almost always a twisty road with gorgeous views of valleys that seem squeezed between adjoining majestic mountains and rolling hills as far as the eye can see.

    The entire country almost resembles an ocean, with its constant geographic undulations, and it couldn’t be more of a treat to traverse.

    We made Villa de Leyva right as the sun set, and would enjoy wandering its streets before a big thunderstorm locked us inside of our hostel with a group of funky hippies.

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  8. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yay -- my favorite vicarious adventure slash photographic feast is back online! Have a blast dudes!
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  9. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    Thanks td63! For posterity, we're about to get to Medellin. Always happy to meet up with other riders and adventurers! Update inbound.
  10. Hans Kwiotek

    Hans Kwiotek Adventurer

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    How do you like the HP2 for such along ride? Any issues?
  11. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Yo you guys gonna stop rubbing the fact that you are having too much fun to post in our face??? We need an update!!!!
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  12. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Need an update on this one. Where you still down South when the C-19 hit:ear

    Love the choice of bikes, cool to see a r9t making the trip, didn't remember seeing the range your getting to a tank. Are you able to get a lot further than the hp2 without the hpn tank?
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  13. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yep, was wondering the other day what happened to these dudes.
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  14. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    They have been online, but ignore these comments which considering they were last in Colombia is a bit disrespectful due to safety concerns people my have, I for one was a bit concerned until I saw their activity. I suspect it is related to some money making venture, I hope I am wrong though, it was a good report.
    td63 likes this.
  15. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    I hope to write more into it, as it didn't end here. It did end, however, with some hardship: we parted ways in Ecuador when I had to go back. Me and my girlfriend of 5 years broke up. Stuart rode almost all of Peru and then had Peruvian authorities seize his HP2 Enduro. My bike is still in Ecuador and I am awaiting the borders opening / things improving down here so I can ride it out and start exploring more, but there's some family situations I have to sort out too.

    In all, a year off. Various kinds of hardship, but more writing to continue at some point and a journey to pick up too. Sorry we vanished...
  16. Tabasco

    Tabasco I have very large hands.

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    That bites. Isn't this the second HP2 that you guys lost down south? I'm planning to head that way when I can on one of my HP2s also and this concerns me greatly. Why did the bike get confiscated?
  17. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Hey man sorry to hear that, life happens no need to apologize to us. I am glad nothing bad went down in Colombia. My post in 2019 about you rubbing in our faces that you were having to much fun to post was a polite poke to ensure you guys were safe. I even thought when you had logged in after that "hey, they could be captured in a jungle and the boss is logging into social media to make it all look good" lol. When I was living on the coast there was a couple 45 min from where I was that did get kidnapped, so you never know. Glad to hear you're both safe, it was an epic tale, Ecuador was the furthest south I have made it so I hope you get to continue on soon.
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  18. caliform

    caliform Been here awhile

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    In short, Stuart entered the country with a group. They all got the regular 90 day TVIP, but the aduana guy gave Stuart 30 days without a clear reason. He tried to exit, and then they seized the bike. Any tips to retrieve it appreciated; I believe he has a thread here and on HU.

    If anyone has info on the state of borders down south I'd love to know! I can't go back to Colombia (long story) but I want to get into Peru and Chile!
    td63 likes this.
  19. Montyburns

    Montyburns n00b

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    [​IMG]

    Please keep your giant cock jokes to yourself, folks.

    Can't... resist.. juvenile joke...

    Who's the guy with the huge cock?

    Sorry.
  20. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Uh, we are tuning in for just such stories.
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