Recently GIVI Explorer Invited some of their customers to ride the trails of Columbia.

What is GIVI Explorer?
GIVI wanted to create a portal open to all the adventurers and travelers asking customers “Are you an explorer?” where adventurers submit their travel pictures and videos and be featured on the GIVI Explorer website and Facebook page, or share their travel plans and see if GIVI is willing to sponsor them (with gear and accessories).

GIVI Explorer also has a signature yearly event that is usually open to GIVI importers and journalists. This year was Colombia, past trips include Patagonia, Chile during the Dakar and South Africa. Japan will be the next global destination August 2017.

The events are a social gathering where adventurers ride together for a full week on any kind of terrain and usually test new GIVI products that have yet to be fully released on the market.

GIVI feels like this is a great way to get to their customer base with a non-corporate approach.

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 was composed by 24 motorcycles plus two assistance trucks, with riders coming from every corner of the globe, typical for any GIVI Explorer Adventure: Italy, Spain, Slovakia, USA, England, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and, of course, Colombia!

Every rider was aboard a fully GIVI equipped adventure motorcycle, with displacements ranging 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, Suzuki with the solid DL650 V-Strom 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 mt of altitude) to the hot and humid valleys of the Cauca and Magdalena rivers… 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 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.

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Chris Glaspell

The success of any online publication depends on the quality of execution, and
in this respect UpShift Online’s success is virtually assured.  It was founded by veteran motorcycle industry professionals: English-born photographer Simon Cudby, the premier photographer in the world of motocross, and Chris Glaspell, creative director with firms serving clients that include Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Cycle World and Yoshimura. This, plus Upshift’s veteran editorial staff and unrivaled journalism, will gives readers unparalleled views of adventure motorcycling.