Ewan McGregor admits he ran out of “juice” a couple of times on his Long Way Up trip on Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles and even hitched rides with cars by hanging on to the B pillar.
The admissions came in an interview on the American Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
McGregor and his “Long Way” partner, Charley Boorman, completed their trip from Tiera Del Fuego in September to LA in December on specially modified Harley LiveWires.
The LiveWire is now available in the US for $US29,799 (about $A44,500) and will be on sale in Australia late this year.
The third instalment in their Long Way TV series is expected to be released some time in 2020.
So McGregor is spruiking about it on TV and we expect to see more of the same in coming months.
In the interview, he explains that they chose electric motorcycles because they “wanted to be part of that new wave of transportation”.
“It proved to be amazing and quite tricky at the same time,” McGregor tells Fallon.
“Charging is the issue. There’s no real infrastructure for charging in Patagonia, for instance.
“We’d just knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in.
“They usually do let us. We’d camp in their garden and we’d plug in.”
However, he said charging two bikes at the same time would sometimes blew the houses’s fuses, so they would charge one at a time.
“People were so generous and lovely about it,” he says.
“We’d ride all morning and then if we stopped to look around the town we’d find somewhere to plug in at a restaurant or a cafe or something.”
Out of juice
Charley and Ewan on electric Harleys
According to Harley, LiveWire range is about 150km on the highway and about 235km in the city.
So, what did they do when they ran out of “juice”, Fallon asked?
“Hope for a hill,” McGregor replies.
“I got towed a couple of times. I was the only one that ran out.
“Charley never ran out of juice and he’ll tell you it’s ’cause he’s a better rider than me and it may well be the case.
“But I ran out a couple of times, so I’d just hold on to a car.”
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire electric bikes
He explains how this stunt was performed and we assume it was at slow speed and could have been using one of the back-up vehicles.
“If you open the back windows and the front of the car you could get your arm around a pillar and you just muscle along like that for a while,” he explains.
Ewan says the first time he saw this done was in New York when he was about 21 or 22 riding in a yellow cab.
“A Harley-Davidson guy — a Hells Angels guy — who’d run out of gas or his bike was broken down clattered into the side of the cab, grabbed hold of the pillar and he shouted the address of the Hells Angels clubhouse to the driver who just took him there and didn’t ask any questions; just drove there like that.
“I think the Hells Angels owe me $5.26.”
Not sure if we believe that, but it’s a great story.
And it sounds like Long Way Up will also be another great series.