For a while now, we’ve known for sure that a Long Way Up television series is happening, and there’s been speculation as to what bikes would be used. Now, there’s considerable buzz that Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman will be riding all-electric Harley-Davidson LiveWires for this televised adventure travel series.
In case you just got here, here’s why some people are pretty excited about the new show: While other adventure travel stories had made it to broadcast television before (most notably Austin Vince’s Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa), the original Long Way Round show was an eye-opener for many riders. With Ewan McGregor’s star power drawing in views, the story of this buddy trip around the world aboard BMW GS motorcycles captivated attention in a way that few television series have before, or since. A sort of sequel, titled Long Way Down, followed the two riders from Scotland to South Africa, again aboard Beemers.
Although many factors combined to kickstart the current boom in adventure motorcycling, McGregor and Boorman’s adventures had a lot to do with the scene gaining its popularity in recent years.
Ever since they filmed Long Way Down in 2007, fans have been asking for another follow-up, riding through South America and North America; this year, Boorman confirmed it was happening. But what bike would they take? Would KTM finally provide machines? Would BMW step up to the plate again? Or Honda? Or Triumph? There’s no shortage of capable ADV machines on the market.
The answer might be “None of the above.” Autoblog.ar is running photos of modified Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles being uncrated in Buenos Aires, around the same time Boorman and McGregor were spotted knocking about town, with McGregor wearing a Harley-Davidson hat. Coincidence? Maybe, but McGregor is a big fan of EVs, and the duo could certainly bring Harley-Davidson a lot of exposure by riding north on the LiveWire. It would come at the right time, as the MoCo is attempting to enter the adventure bike market in the next couple of years.
The big problem, of course, is limited range of the LiveWire battery (146 miles of urban riding, 70 miles of highway). It’s highly possible that would mean running out of juice mid-trip … unless Boorman and McGregor had a chase vehicle with a generator following them. Don’t be surprised if that happens. The LiveWire can recharge to about 80 per cent battery capacity in 40 minutes of DC Level 3 fast charging, and we’ve also seen keeners modifying other electric motorcycles for super-fast charging and long range. It would be no surprise if Boorman and McGregor did the same. There were are a few other interesting vehicles, including Rivian R1T pickups, uncrated around the same time as the LiveWires, so it looks like there could be a convoy forming here.