Colombia’s Two-Wheeled passion. Why Embrace it?

Colombia’s Two-Wheeled passion. Why should Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders Embrace it? There are many reasons, and they start with Colombia being the mecca for nine million motorbikes.

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Did you know that Colombia is the home to over 9,000,000 Motos? Yes, you read it right and the number keeps growing!

But, when they spot you bad-ass Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders and your big beasts, they always stop, stare, and get excited.

1. Rich or poor, male or female…
2. Colombia has something extra special to offer…
3. Don´t want to go it alone?

Yes, you read the number right the first time. Colombia is a mecca for over nine million bike riders and their two-wheeled machines.

My first port of call in Colombia was Medellin. I was immediately struck by the sheer number of motorcycles plying the city’s busy streets. It was evident from the off that I was witnessing Colombia’s Combustion Engine and Two-Wheeled passion.

Before Colombia, the last place I’d embarked on a long-distance motorcycle journey was another Latin American country, Mexico. But unlike Mexico, where cars are king, road-goers harbor a unique passion for traveling on two wheels in Colombia.

We all know Colombians are renowned as some of the world’s keenest cyclists, but motorcycles, too, are an integral part of life on Colombia’s highways.

Exploring Medellin on foot, I constantly found myself dodging scooters and 200c Chinese-made bikes while trying to navigate the city’s chaotic traffic. I also strolled past gleaming dealerships showcasing the latest Ducatis, Aprilias, and even a Royal Enfield specialist.

Dials on a Royal Enfield motorcycle. Image under FreePik subscription.

Medellin is a city with a thriving motorcycle culture, and that’s true of Colombia in general. In many urban areas, motorbikes outnumber cars by a significant margin.

Later in Cali, we rode past an impressive cavalcade of hundreds of sports bikes, tourers, and cruisers on one of their regular Sunday rides to the nearby countryside.

In Cali, several locals explained to me how ingrained the motorcycle is in Colombian culture. The author of this article titled  Colombia’s Two-Wheeled passion. Why should Motorcycle Adventure Tourists Embrace it? explains what the locals thought. Image courtesy of Cali Adventurer.

Several locals explained to me how ingrained the motorcycle is in Colombian culture.

Rich or poor, male or female, so many Colombians ride motorcycles. And why not?

But is this the main answer to Colombia’s Two-Wheeled passion, why should Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders Embrace it?

The popularity of motorcycles in Colombia goes beyond being an affordable mode of transport in cities and rural areas. Ninety-five percent of Colombians live in mountainous regions, where steep, narrow, rough, and winding roads are a fact of life.

Indeed, riding a motorcycle here isn’t just practical; it’s fun.

Crazy, crazy fun.

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise then to know:

Over 7 million motorcycles (out of 13 million vehicles in total) were registered in Colombia in 2017.

For Colombians, the motorcycle represents not just freedom and discovery but kinship with your fellow riders.

“La moto” is a ticket to unlocking Colombia beyond the major highways and well-trodden tourist trails for visitors. Traveling by bike, you’re a participant, not just a passive observer.

Motorcycle travel fosters an intimate connection with the landscape with no barriers between you and the outside world. Furthermore, you will find yourself up close to the environment and the people.

This is true of motorcycle travel everywhere, of course, but for experienced riders, Colombia has something extra special to offer.

It has that Two-Wheeled passion.

This image shows a deserted road and a blue clear sky. A mega attraction for Colombian Moto-Tourists when visiting Bolivaia a sister that borders Souther Colombia. Image under FreePik subscription.

The majestic Andean ranges dominate the western half of Colombia. Marvel at every ridge and peak, carving up the land into a series of mountains and valleys. All appear as if in sequence wonderful consequence. Indeed, this makes the country a rider’s paradise.

Fabulous roads aside, two-wheeled touring in Colombia has other advantages thanks to the country’s strong motorcycle culture.

  • Exploring the country by motorcycle, you’re sure to meet other bikers riding for leisure or adventure – not just foreigners but locals too.
  • Meeting fellow riders always makes for exciting conversations and the opportunity to share advice, travel tips, and recommendations.
  • Since so many Colombians have no interest in motos. The presence of a bike often captures people’s attention and encourages them to strike up a conversation. Witness often Colombia´s Two-Wheeled passion in abundance.
  • Traveling by motorbike makes it easy to meet friendly locals from all around the country.
  • Tyre and basic motorcycle repair shops are literally everywhere. Even on some of the more remote stretches of highway, you’re rarely too far from a side-of-the-road shack ready to patch up that pesky puncture.
  • Dealerships for many major brands and quality bike mechanics carrying spare parts are present in almost all large Colombian cities.
  • Foreigners have several options available for either renting or buying a motorcycle for a self-guided expedition.

Don’t want to go it alone? The same rental companies also offer organized, fully guided group tours.

  • Thanks in part to Colombia’s moto-friendly attitude and two-wheeled passion, motorcycle tour operators in Colombia tend to be professionally run organizations. Hence, each operator comes with a wide selection of new, well-maintained machines on offer.
  • Some main roads in major cities have dedicated motorcycle lanes so that riders can breeze through traffic much faster.
  • Toll roads are free for motorcycles. Another sign of Colombia´s Two-Wheeled passion clearly on display.
  • Hooray! When you approach a toll gate. Smile and just slip into the designated bike lane on the far right. And off you go, leaving a trail of grumbling car drivers in your wake.

In conclusion to this article titled: Colombia’s Two-Wheeled passion. Why should Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders Embrace it? Whether you have four days or four months to go riding, there’s a special part of Colombia that only a passion for two wheels and a spirit of adventure can reveal.

Great news for all those asking: Colombia’s Two-Wheeled passion. Why should Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders Embrace it? And finally, each having the answer all for themselves.

Written by: Fiona Davies (extreme pillion rider and adventure travel writer)

Edited for SEO optimization by Mike Bowley at

Now, all we are missing here in MotoDreamer is you in your weather-beaten leathers, your great big motorbike and your hunger for being on the open road in all terrains again.

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