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ADV NewsIt’s A Wrap: Long Way Up Journey Hits End of Road in Los Angeles

It’s A Wrap: Long Way Up Journey Hits End of Road in Los Angeles

 Ewan and Charley complete final leg of e-powered journey through Americas.

Published on 12.15.2019
The e-bikes have landed! Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman arrived to a wrap party in Los Angeles yesterday riding the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric bikes that have carried them all the way from Ushuaia, Argentina, as they filmed Long Way Up, the next installment of their adventure riding series.  

And they were far from alone. The duo was flanked by the two Rivian R1T electric chase trucks that seemed to have held up well on the journey, as well as at least four camera bikes that were shooting the scene as Ewan and Charley were joined by an invite-only entourage of at least 40 local riders.  

Rob Day, a coach at Rawhyde Adventures, was among the lucky attendees who were riding an array of motorcycles: everything from Ducatis to Guzzis to Harleys, including a dozen additional LiveWires. “We basically took over Interstate 5,” he says, “moving at 40 mph 3 lanes wide with everyone jockeying around to get into camera shots and ham it up. It was beautiful chaos.” 

Harley Davidson Livewire charging in Los Angeles
Harley Davidson Livewire charging after arriving in Los Angeles. Photo by Rikki Rockett

Once the swarm finished the final leg from Harley-Davidson in Fullerton to a street-side wrap party brewing in Los Angeles, Rob had a chance to ask how it was keeping the e-bikes powered from Land’s End to L.A. “Charley said charging wasn’t too bad and they often charged from locals, even off-grid locals who had only generators.” 


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After crossing into the U.S. in New Mexico, Charley said charging stations were faster and plentiful and they were able to pick up the pace and made about 300 miles per day, while south of the border they had been averaging 120-180 miles. As we’d previously reported, gas-powered, crew-carrying chase vehicles, which included a Mercedes Sprinter and Ford F350, ferried battery banks so they could top off the e-vehicles between stops. 

Having left Ushuaia on September 19th, it remains a mystery whether Ewan and Charley faced any of the off-road challenges their previous Long Way Round and Long Way Down shows were famous for, but Day does report the LiveWires looked scuffed up and hard ridden. 

And in the dozens of social media posts we’ve seen of the pair posing with excited locals in Honduras, Ecuador and Panama and Mexico, the bikes, kitted with wire-spoked wheels, small windscreens, engine guards, highway pegs, skid plates, auxiliary lights and Wolfman soft luggage, certainly look filthy. The guys too, though their beaming smiles in these roadside snaps hint and some truly fun times. When asked about the favorite countries they rode through, Ewan was overheard mentioning Colombia and Ecuador as places he’d like to return when he has more time. 

Another post by a crew member reveals that when they reached the U.S. border, they noticed dozens of migrant families stuck waiting, and at Ewan’s behest, they generously handed out all their camping supplies, which were sure to be extensive. 

No word yet on when the Long Way Up series will hit screens, but it shouldn’t take long. Their first exploit in 2004, Long Way Round, the 19,000 mile, 115-day journey where Ewan and Charley famously learned on the fly how to manage their BMW R1150GS off road, aired less than three months after the trip’s end. And 2007’s Long Way Down, which saw the friends reunited to ride R1200GS’s from Europe to South Africa aired within two months of their final day on the road. 

For some adventure riders, the news that two of our most famous forefathers were nixing “true” adventure motorcycles for electric bikes — from Harley-Davidson no less — came hard. But as motorcyclists and fans of these two super watchable characters, we can all enjoy the show. 

For more details about what it was like for Ewan and Charley to pilot the Harley Live Wires between Ushuaia and L.A. stay tuned. We’ll have more juicy details coming soon about the cast and crew’s journey.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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14 thoughts on “It’s A Wrap: Long Way Up Journey Hits End of Road in Los Angeles

  1. I think it will be interesting, certainly the electric motorcycle isn’t ready for primetime but as technology improves maybe some day it will be a world traveler not requiring any charging. I would be interested to see how much electricity it required to charge these bikes on the journey. One thing you could count on is that electricity is essentially impurity free, something which can not be said of many petrols in places you would like to ride.

  2. Well done indeed and I am looking forward to learn the details very soon. Traveling electric is the way forward, I had the pleasure to participate in a 10 day journey on eight Energica Eva’s over 3500 km. in the summer of 2018. They are great in the Alps and Dolomite’s!

  3. Pingback: Charlie, Ewan And The LiveWires Complete Long Way Up - Adventure Rider

  4. Pingback: Long Way Up Lands in LA – From ADV Pulse | Touratech-USA

  5. Pingback: Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman Finish Long Way Up on LiveWires – Robert's Adventure

  6. I can’t be the only person not impressed by this, I know a guy that rode to Alaska then Newfoundland, alone on a bike with 480K + kilometres on it this past summer.(1982 BMW R100)

    • LOL Ya I’m not that impressed… We have rode every state, province and territory in North America, across the Top of the world, the Demster and Dalton With just my wife and no “team” helping. Met many great people who all seemed amazed seeing a over 60 year old couple riding a Honda Goldwing down a trail … To Tom, Chase and Doug and the many other people we met, along the road, we made it! 2020 we are headed to Panama just the two of us.

    • You’re not supposed to be impressed. They’ve already ridden around the world together from England to New York(minus the Bering Strait). impressing anyone isn’t the goal. If you only things are done like this to impress people you’ve got a lot to learn in life.

  7. Pingback: Bikers Report – motorcycle news, biker news, online magazine, sport bike racing, motorcycle event coverage, biker stories, ride maps

  8. Pingback: Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman Finish Long Way Up on LiveWires | Motorcycle News

  9. I”m so disappointed that their Long Way Up journey finally happened completely under my radar where I wasn’t able to follow live updates of where they were.(my stepfather passed away last September, the beginning of their trip) They made have even ridden right by my condo on the I-5. I remember tracking their long way down journey on their website and twitter almost religiously as I was a huge fan of long way round.

  10. Pingback: Harley LiveWire Is an Incredible Bike You Must Experience - Harley Davidson Forums ~ Cholo Custom Cycles

  11. You are not supposed to be impressed by the duration nor difficulty of the ride. The joy of the series is their larrikin relationship and on and off camera capers. A series even non-motorcyclists can enjoy. Having had my own 1994 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, I can’t wait to see an electric Harley perform.

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