Who says electric motorcycles can’t be used for long-distance touring rides? Actor Ewan McGregor won’t that is for sure. The way he tells it, it’s almost easy – or at least comes with only some minor difficulties. The Actor Finally Talked About his latest adventure, Long Way Up With H-D’s Livewire. AMERiders gives you the skinny.
From September to December of 2019, twelve years after The Long Way Down, our favorite TV duo of motorcyclists was back in action. This time, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman headed northward from the southernmost tip of Argentina up to Los Angeles for their latest adventure, The Long Way Up.
The documentary has yet to air but after a few weeks of silence, we finally get a glimpse of how things went down in a brief interview with McGregor himself. We expected to only receive more information once a trailer for the series was ready.
As part of the adventure, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles on what was probably the bikes’ longest trip yet. While the ride was completed at the end of last year, we haven’t heard much about it yet.
Sitting across The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, McGregor briefly discussed his adventure with pal Charley through South and Central America. Since the trip wrapped up at the end of this past December, there’s been a deafening silence about how things went. After confirming everyone made it safely to L.A., everyone on the crew went MIA, as though nothing happened. We’ve been particularly curious about this trip since the team opted for a pair of electric motorcycles—Harley-Davidson LiveWires to be specific—instead of the usual BMW GS, something McGregor describes as “amazing and quite tricky at the same time.”
While we’ll probably have to wait until the documentary airs to get the full picture, McGregor spoke up about some of the challenges they faced, including running out of “juice”.
He also describes how they had to ask locals to charge their bikes and how charging two bikes sometimes meant (literally) blowing a fuse. He, however, commented on the people’s generosity which, from the sound of it, greatly contributed to making the adventure a success.
As McGregor detailed:
There’s no real infrastructure for charging in the middle of Patagonia, for instance. So we’d just knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in. They usually do let us. Sometimes we’d camp in their garden at night, and we’d plug in.
While most people would assume that running out of charge would be the biggest peril on a long-distance electric motorcycle trip, it was surprisingly rare. McGregor explained that it never happened to his riding partner Charley Boorman, though it did happen to him once or twice.
In that situation, McGregor explained that he was able to get an impromptu tow from a car by hanging onto the B pillar through the open window… a technique he apparently learned in New York City. That move likely isn’t found in Harley-Davidson’s official LiveWire owner’s manual, but it seemed to do the trick to get the bike to the nearest plug. Though considering the duo was supposedly traveling with Rivian electric pickup trucks as support vehicles, I wonder if there’s more to this story.
Of course, these types of issues aren’t as likely to occur in more developed nations where electrical grids are more robust and charging stations are more plentiful. However, the adventure seems to have demonstrated that electric motorcycles are capable of touring even in sub-optimal conditions, albeit with a bit of planning and creativity required at times.
The interview was shared on the show’s YouTube channel on February 1, 2020, but the meeting between Fallon and McGregor seemingly happened in December, possibly a few days following the end of the trip. Though he doesn’t reveal much else about the trip, it’s nice to finally hear someone from the team break the silence and open up a little about the adventure.
The Long Way Up series is bound to be fascinating, and now, we have to keep an eye out for an air date of The Long Way Up. When we hear of one we will let you know.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders tells about Ewan McGregor and his Long Way Up ride With H-D’s Livewire.
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