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