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Charley, Ewan Planning New ‘Long Way’ Adventure

Adventure-riding duo said to be planning trip through South and North America

Imagine the corporate fellatio Charley Boorman is receiving at the moment, having announced recently that he and Ewan McGregor are planning another “Long Way” adventure. With adventure riding very much on trend, manufacturers are probably desperate to see their bikes featured.

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Boorman and McGregor gave adventure riding a huge boost in 2004 with their “Long Way Round” TV series, the two actors traveling 19,000 miles from London to New York on BMW R 1150 GS bikes. A follow-up series, 2007’s “Long Way Down,” saw them riding R 1200 GS Adventure bikes from John o Groats, Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa. Many people credit the series as being partially responsible for the success of BMW’s flagship adventure machine – it is consistently one of the best-selling motorcycles in Europe.

Ewan McGregor Motorbike Adventure
Man, this picture sure makes 2004 seem like a REALLY long time ago.

The two are now reportedly planning a third adventure, this time traveling from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Barrow, Alaska (with the working title “Long Way Up”). Speaking to MCN recently, Boorman said filming could happen as early as next year.

“We are very much in the early planning stages at the moment… We are all dead keen to make it happen, so, fingers crossed, we will be able to do it in 2019,” he said. “I honestly can’t wait.”

You’ve got to imagine manufacturers will be on their hands and knees, pleading for the opportunity to provide vehicles. BMW seems an obvious frontrunner, of course, having supplied big GS machines for the previous two series. The manufacturer also has extensive experience covering the terrain – RawHyde Adventures, an official BMW training center based in California and Colorado, runs regular adventure riding tours in South and North America. Plus, BMW will be eager to show off the R 1250 GS it’s expected to reveal at either Intermot or EICMA this year.

The R 1200 GS is a best seller in Europe. Having it (or the new 1250 version) featured on ‘Long Way Up’ would help keep things that way.

Boorman, however, pitches for Triumph. When riders first attend the Triumph Adventure Experience training school in Ystradgynlais they are welcomed via a video hosted by Boorman. Triumph is very, very eager to elevate its status in the adventure-riding world, but it faces a big problem in the fact that its flagship ADV, the Tiger 1200 is not the best choice for off-road riding. The fix for that, though, is easy: give them Tiger 800 XCA bikes instead.

You’d think KTM might be eager to redeem itself, as well. The Austrian manufacturer famously shot itself in the foot by refusing to provide bikes for fear the duo would fail in their attempt. Most people have interpreted that colossal PR blunder as a fear the bikes would fail, rather than the riders, and there’s reason to believe the move still negatively affects the brand’s image among British riders.

KTM ADVENTURE RALLY_Chris Birch_Sardinia
KTM may want a chance to redeem itself

Another possibility is Honda. The company’s Africa Twin Adventure Sports model is pitched as being designed for exactly this sort of long-haul, multi-terrain exploit. And it was a brand the duo considered in “The Long Way Round.”

Whatever the case, it’s easy to believe Boorman and McGregor are being wooed constantly and that any bikes (and gear) they may desire will be handed to them without question. Wouldn’t you love to be in the same situation?