InsideBikes were fortunate enough to sit down with famed English global adventurer and TV presenter Charley Boorman recently ahead of the launch of his exciting new Apple TV+ Show, Long Way Up, but also spent time talking about his long and fascinating career.
Boorman originally started his career as an actor when first appeared in films directed by his father and it was not until 2004 when his TV presenting career started with a show, Long Way Round, which saw him and Ewan McGregor embark on an epic international motorbike trip from London to New York City through Europe and Asia.
Boorman and McGregor had met while filming The Serpent’s Kiss in 1997 and struck up a friendship on set. The show became a huge success and led to a sequel in 2007 called Long Way Down – this time Boorman and McGregor travelled from John o’ Groats in Scotland all the way down to Cape Town in South Africa and was another major hit.
Sadly, Boorman was involved in a serious motorbike accident in Portugal in 2016, which saw him break both of his legs after colliding with a wall. He then broke his hip while still in recovery which resulted in him being wheelchair-bound for a prolonged period. He has since recovered but now walks with a limp due to his left leg being 1cm shorter than the other.
McGregor had moved to Los Angeles to continue his acting career after Long Way Down which saw the two drift apart. Boorman explained in the interview with InsideBikes, motorcycle insurance specialist Carole Nash’s online magazine, how they “reconnected” after his crash and he stayed with Boorman for a month while completing a film in the UK.
This led to discussions of a third adventure but they wanted it to be “something different”. Which culminated in the idea of doing a trip on electric bikes which no one had yet done.
The Long Way Up
They teamed up with Harley Davidson for the show which allowed them to travel on the impressive Livewire all-electric bike from Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego in Argentina to Los Angeles covering 13,000 miles and charging their bikes as they went. This led to a “totally different experience” and goes to show that even avid motorcyclists are being converted by electric bikes.
Boorman explains that it is a “slight mind change” getting used to all-electric bikes but with fast charging points everywhere in Britain you can go from London to Scotland “quite easily”. Many people have had concerns about making the switch to electric bikes but with the improving infrastructure and accessibility of charging points, it makes range anxiety less of an issue.
Seeing avid riders like Boorman take to all-electric could help to convince even die-hard riders that electric is the future and allow them to see that there are many benefits to making the switch, including cost-saving along with the obvious environmental benefits.
The new show is a must-watch for any bike enthusiast as it is brilliant to see Boorman and McGregor back together again, especially after the former’s accident. It is also a great advert for all-electric bikes and is sure to help convince a few people that now is the right time to make the switch.