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Ewan and Charley’s next adventure has begun on electric bikes

Published: 18 September 2019

Updated: 18 September 2019

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman have been spotted filming their next TV show on a pair of electric Harley-Davidson Livewires.

The pair were first spotted in Ushuaia, the southernmost town in South America along with their cameraman from the first two shows, Claudio von Planta.

A few days later the gang was spotted in El Calafate, around 500 miles up the road, so it’s clear they’re not hanging around.

A bit of insider info suggests that the plan is to head north, zigzagging a little through South America, with Los Angeles as their final destination, roughly 8000 miles later. What is arguably most interesting is their choice of bike.

The trio are riding on a set of specially prepared Harley-Davidson Livewires – the motor company’s brand new fully electric bike. The machines they’re riding have been specially prepared with increased travel suspension, wire spoked wheels (with a 19" on the front instead of a 17"), dual sport tyres, bigger mudguards, engine guards plus a strengthened subframe with luggage racks.

Based on their choices of bike, we’re assuming the terrain will not be as tough as the routes they took across Europe and Russia, or down through Africa. However planning and running the route on electric bikes will offer its own challenges.

The Livewire has a range around 100 miles, which even with fast charging will limit their progress. It’s also incredibly cold where they are right now, which will no doubt reduce the range, plus the potential off-road pickles.

That also doesn’t even consider the charging time – we doubt there are many DC fast chargers in the middle of the Salar de Uyuni, or any of the Bolivian Altiplano for that matter.

Travelling with the group is a support crew, including a pair of Rivian R1T electric pick-up trucks, all of which will no doubt help them charge while on the road. Even so, we’d still expect a trip of this length to take a couple of months.

Long Way Up is go! Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman will film in coming months

First reported June 18, 2019

Charley Boorman at the Bike Shed

In a now removed video published by the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club, TV adventurer Charley Boorman provide the latest details on the forthcoming Long Way Up documentary.

Details remain scant at this point, but the project is set to begin in the coming months. The plan's changed since we last spoke to Charley, however.

"I’m doing Long Way Up for sure, with Ewan," Boorman said in the video. "We’re doing South America to Los Angeles, so South America, Central America, Mexico and then LA. We’re going to start that in a few months’ time, and hopefully do it, yeah.

"We’ve got a few little surprises. We’re not going to do it traditionally, so there’s going to be a little twist.

"We’ll have done the world, then. Then we’ll just have to go into space or something!"

Ewan and Charley ride again

First reported August 21, 2018

They have been around the world and down it, but now Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are planning a new adventure; riding up from the southern tip of South America to the northernmost point of Alaska and filming it for a new TV series set to be called The Long Way Up.

"We are very much in the early planning stages at the moment," Boorman told MCN. "I’m scared to say too much in case I jinx it, but hopefully it is going to happen.

"We are still trying to figure out how we are going to do it, but I’m so excited about the thought of getting the old team together again."

McGregor and Boorman made the first Long Way episode 15 years ago

Although still being discussed, the likelihood is that the route will start at Ushuaia, Argentina, which is the southernmost tip of South America, and the pair will then ride north to Barrow, Alaska, which is North America’s northernmost city.

This route will see the pair cover in the region of 15,000 road miles, so it is far from a small undertaking.

"It will definitely take a few months, South America is a beautiful continent to ride through so we won’t want to rush it," said Boorman.

We are all dead keen to make it happen so fingers crossed we will be able to do it in 2019

"It will be work, but it will also be great fun and to do it with the old team of Ewan, Russ Malkin (the producer of the first two adventures), and the rest of the Long Way crew will be fantastic.

"We are all dead keen to make it happen so fingers crossed we will be able to do it in 2019. I honestly can’t wait."

Another interesting aspect still to be decided is which bikes McGregor and Boorman will use this time, having earlier used BMW GS Adventure models.

Boorman is currently an ambassador for Triumph, but with a new BMW GS on the cards for 2019 they’re certainly not going to be left short of offers.

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