Ewan McGregor defends use of electric bikes on 'Long Way Up' (exclusive)

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Contributor
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Watch: Ewan McGregor defends use of electric bikes in new series

Ewan McGregor is not expecting backlash from fans of his motorbike adventure shows over the use of electric bikes in new series Long Way Up.

The 49-year-old star told Yahoo Movies UK his documentaries with close friend Charley Boorman are not “so bike-centric” and appeal even to people who “don't know anything about bikes and don't care”.

He has reunited with Boorman for another marathon ride in Apple TV+ series Long Way Up, 13 years after their last collaboration in 2007’s Long Way Down.

The big change this time around is that the duo embarked on their 13,000-mile trip on prototype electric Harley-Davidson bikes — a move that will likely be divisive among bike purists.

Read more: McGregor teases plot for Obi-Wan Kenobi series

“It's just change. People are resistant to it,” said McGregor. “People get stuck in their ways. I just would tell people to go and try one.”

He added: “You hear people on television, like racing commentators and people who should know better, pooh-poohing electric bikes.

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman get on their bikes in 'Long Way Up'. (Credit: Apple TV+)
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman get on their bikes in 'Long Way Up'. (Credit: Apple TV+)

“But the truth is they're unbelievable in terms of their power [and] their acceleration.

“There's no drawback other than their range at present, which will change and will get better.”

Read more: McGregor voicing Jiminy Cricket in Netflix’s Pinocchio

McGregor said that, for the average person covering less than 100 miles a day, there is no reason not to use an electric bike.

“There's no noise so you've not got that constant drone of the engine,” he said.

“You don't have mechanical vibration in the bike, so you really feel the road in a different way. It's quite pure in a way.”

Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor in travel documentary series 'Long Way Up'. (Credit: Apple TV+)
Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor in travel documentary series 'Long Way Up'. (Credit: Apple TV+)

McGregor said he and Boorman have been pleasantly surprised by how well their work together has appealed outside of the bike community.

He said: “What's been nice and surprised us about Long Way Round and Long Way Down is that people have really enjoyed that show who don't know anything about bikes and don't care.

“It's not so bike-centric. The bikes are there and we love it, but it's not the be all and end all for the show.”

Read more: Jason Sudeikis stars in trailer for new Apple series

The first three episodes of Long Way Up will premiere on Apple TV+ on 18 September, with the remaining episodes released weekly.

Watch: Ewan McGregor performs an epic Star Wars motorcycle stunt for Jimmy Fallon

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting