Remember the GIVI Wilderness Adventure in 2015 in South Africa? It was the single most life-changing ride we've ever experienced.
For 2016, the annual GIVI Explorer Adventure headed to the beautiful South American country of Colombia for seven days of solid riding, aventure and camaraderie among the participants from the world over. It was also GIVI's way of using the adventures as a test bed to evaluate their existing and upcoming line of products. Although we weren't there for this year's ride, we couldn't keep the pictures to ourselves and share them with the world.
Adapted from MR. JOSEPH PERUCCA - OVERSEAS OPERATIONAL DIRECTOR OF GIVI's Press Release
Pictures by PIETRO AMBROSIONI
The 4th edition of the annual GIVI Explorer Adventure was hosted this year by beautiful Colombia. The South American Country was the stage of the 2016 GIVI Explorer Andes Tour, a 1450-km itinerary in the Cauca Valley, a unique area where the Andes mountains split three ways to create a true motorcycle riding heaven.
The group that gathered in Cali year composed of 24 motorcycles plus two assistance trucks, with riders from every corner of the globe, typical of any GIVI Explorer Adventure: Italy, Spain, Slovakia, USA, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and, of course, Colombia!
Every rider was aboard an adventure motorcycle fully equipped with GIVI gear and accessories. The bikes ranged from 650 to 1200 cc, according to every rider’s preference and skills. Most manufacturers were represented: BMW with their R1200 GS, F800 GS and F700 GS, Kawasaki with the KLR650, Yamaha with the snappy XT660R and of course the new Queen of the segment, the mighty Honda CFR1000L Africa Twin.
The itinerary was split into 7 different stages, with an average daily ride of 250 km, plus a rest day.
The overnight stops were in Cali, Salento, Honda, Neiva, San Agustin, Popayan and back to Cali.
The group experienced all the beauties of Colombia, from the heights of the Nevado del Ruiz glacier and volcano (over 4000 metres of altitude) to the hot and humid valleys of the Cauca and Magdalena rivers; and all the way down to the incredible Tatacoa desert in the south of the country, towards Ecuador.
The GIVI Explorers rode on perfectly smooth paved roads and challenging dirt roads, crossed rivers on shaky boats and even faced some heavy rain and darkness here and there, but that is the spirit of a true adventure, after all. A few spills and crashes were also part of the experience, but nothing big enough to jeopardize the safety of the group or the overall good spirit. Dust, dirt, mud, potholes, slippery wet pavement and rocks were no match for the big bikes and their equipment, and were soon forgotten at night, in front of a local meal and a refreshing drink.
In exchange for these little challenges, Colombia delivered a slew of treats: the deep green coffee region near Salento (Colombia is the third largest exporter of coffee in the world behind Brazil and Vietnam), the twisty roads up and down the Andes mountains, the wilderness of the Cauca Valley, the pre-Columbian sculptures of San Agustin, the beautiful colonial “white city” of Popayan. And, last but not least, the warm welcoming embrace of Cali, the city designated as start and finish of this memorable trip.