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Charley and Ewan’s Long Way Up on electric bikes

Charley and Ewan mount up for electric adventure

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are expected to do their third travel documentary, Long Way Up, from South America to Los Angeles on Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles.

They are also expected to be supported by two electric Rivian R1T pick-up trucks which are likely to carry DC fast chargers. 

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Mobile DC fast chargers at work

South American press have already spotted the trucks and four LiveWire bikes being unloaded in Tierra del Fuego.

While attending a recent electric grand prix race in Rome, Ewan said:

In twenty years we will not use fuel, everything will be plugged in.

If they are planning to ride from the bottom of South America, possibly as far as Alaska, it should take some time on electric bikes.

The Rivian truck has 650km of range, but the LiveWire only has 150km of highway range and 235km of city range.

Charley and Ewan mount up for electric adventure
Rivian electric pick-up truck

Charging times will certainly make it a long trip.

However, the trip may just do for electric motorcycles, particularly the LiveWire, what Long Way Round and Long Way Down did for adventure riding and the BMW GS range.

Mind you, they will  also be supported by a fuel-guzzling Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford F350.

Long time coming

The long-awaited third Ewan and Charley travel documentary has been a long time coming.

Charley has been telling us they have been planning their Long Way Up America trip for about 10 years.

The problem has been that Ewan has been so busy with Hollywood movies he could not afford a few months off.

There was also the fact that Ewan is ambassador for Moto Guzzi and Charley is ambassador for Triumph.

The pair rode BMWs in their 2004 Long Way Round and 2007 Long Way Down.

In 2015, Ewan said he may ride from California to the tip of South America on a Moto Guzzi Stelvio. That never happened and the Stelvio was retired a year later.

Charley told us last year that Ewan’s relationship with Moto Guzzi would not necessarily foil their plans:

We’ve been talking about it a long time and if the stars align we will do something like a Long Way up from Tierra Del Fuego to Alaska in the next couple of years. It really is close now. Ewan’s always had a loose relationship with Moto Guzzi so there’s no conflict there.

But rather than Moto Guzzi and Triumph, it appears the pair have opted for the new Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

While it was thought they would go all the way to Alaska, Charley recently said the ride would go from Argentina to LA.

Maybe they don’t want to cover the same territory through Canada and Alaska that they did in the Long Way Round.

Long Way Back

It’s been a long time between trips for Ewan and Charley.

From 14 April 2004 to 29 July 2004, they rode across Europe and the USA in Long Way Round and from 12 May to 4 August 2007 they rode from the top of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa for Long Way Down.

With Ewan becoming increasingly busy with Hollywood movies, Charley squeezed in the 2006 Dakar rally for his series, Race to Dakar, and has produced several other travel shows.

  1. Sounds like every long ride I have been on – four support vehicles and a spare bike in case of disasters – WTF. This is not a real adventure, just a couple of actors hoping to film a profitable road trip. I look forward to seeing how they go on the sparky harleys but hope they don’t start moaning about the road conditions and how remote South America is, like they did in Russia in the LWR.

  2. Back in 2010 Claudio Von Planta filmed a series called Racing Green Endurance; it documented six university students from Imperial College in London who designed an electric car using the chassis of the Radical SR-8 race car and aptly renaming it the SR-0. The SR-0 was shipped from London to Anchorage Alaska where the trip started; overall it was a huge success ending a little over three months later in Ushuaia.

    The SR-0 was entirely electric capable of up to 500 km on a single charge, so long as the speed was kept to 80 km/hr. I traveled, from Whitehorse to Vancouver, as a support rider for Claudio with my bike serving as a platform from which he could film the SR-0 while on the road.

    The electric concept is nothing new to Claudio; however it will be new to Ewan and Charley. If promoting green energy is part of the motivation for the trip, why not pick an electric bike that has some history. I am thinking about Zero bikes from California, they have been in the market place with electric bikes since 2006, are exclusively an electric bike company, and have a dual sport/adventure bike; whereas, Harley Davidson has no history in the electric bike marketplace whatsoever.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see if the trip is finished on the same bikes that they started the trip with. My hunch is that Harley will have a HUGE presence in the form of a fleet of bikes ready to swap out along the way. Harley Davidson has very deep pockets and this is nothing more than a publicity stunt ahead of an official launch. Sure one could argue that it was the same for BMW back in 2004 with Longway Round; it is worth noting tho, at the time of Longway Round BMW was already we;; established in the Adventure bike market place.

    I do hope that the trip is a success, but I am disappointed by this announcement.

  3. I an sick of hearing about these dudes whom make out they do it the rough way.
    How can that be with film crew in your face and a support train longer than Hannabals

  4. Little more than a marketing exercise by HD and more self promotion for Charlie and Ewan.
    I would rather (and will) follow a true modern day solo rider/adventurer in Noraly on her little black Royal Enfield through her upcoming Patagonia to Alaska ride. (Itchy Boots)
    She is the real deal.

  5. Electric bikes, how politically correct. Perhaps they could get Greta Thunberg to wave them off.

    1. As someone who is rising through South America, I’m constantly inhaling disgusting exhaust. I honestly wonder how much damage it’s causing. I’m so excited for electric vehicles to proliferate the market. Good on these guys for showing that it can be done, They’re ahead of the curve.

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