How Did Ewan McGregor Get Into Motorcycles?

While Jay Leno may be one of the most prominent celebrities with a motorcycle collection, he’s not the only bike fan. Dax Shepard and Ryan Reynolds are both avid riders. Ludacris has an appreciation for Harley-Davidsons. Keanu Reeves loves motorcycles so much, he co-founded his own bike company. And if you’ve ever wanted to overland or off-road a bike, you’ve probably heard Ewan McGregor’s name being mentioned.

Ewan McGregor has an extensive motorcycle riding and collecting history

Ewan McGregor’s motorcycle history started fairly early, Bloomberg reports. As a teenager, he walked into a Ducati dealership in London and spotted a modified Moto Guzzi. And his collection has only grown over the years, split between the UK and his LA home, GQ reports.  

Ewan McGregor sitting on a white-and-yellow Moto Guzzi V85TT Adventure
Ewan McGregor on a Moto Guzzi V85TT Adventure | Moto Guzzi

Ewan McGregor owns several Moto Guzzis, RideApart reports. He has a 1974 Eldorado police bike, a vintage V7, and a modified VII Sport. He’s also appeared in several Moto Guzzi ads, and is an ambassador for the brand because he likes it so much, RideApart reports. However, he also owns a chopper built by famed builder Indian Larry, several classic British bikes, and a few BMW adventure bikes.

Over the years, Ewan McGregor has stayed involved in motorcycling outside of simply collecting them. He’s narrated a MotoGP documentary, Motorcyclist reports, and jumped a Honda Monkey on The Tonight Show.

It’s those BMW ADVs that have arguably cemented Ewan McGregor as a motorcyclist in the public eye the most. And that’s thanks to his friendship with fellow actor and Brit Charley Boorman.

The Long Way series

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman have been friends since the late 90s. That’s when they met on the set of the film Serpent’s Kiss, The Daily Mail, and Men’s Health reports. The duo bonded over a shared love of motorcycles.

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Then, in 2004, they decided to set out on a pair of BMW adventure bikes on a 19,000-mile journey. It took them east from London to New York via Russia, RideApart explains. And it became a film called Long Way Round.

And in 2007, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman reunited to film Long Way Down. That took them from John O’Groats in Scotland to the tip of South Africa, a trip covering 15,000 miles, Motorcyclist reports. Along the way, they visited several UNICEF sites, as well as (predictably) the Moto Guzzi museum.

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Now, they’re back once more in Long Way Up. This time, they’re traveling north from the southernmost part of South America up to LA. Only instead of BMWs, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are riding electric Harley-Davidson LiveWires.

However, Long Way Up, which is showing on Apple TV, almost didn’t happen. Boorman was in a serious riding accident in 2016 that “destroyed” his legs, he told MCN in an interview. He and McGregor had drifted apart somewhat over the years, but this brought them back together, The Drive reports. And because they were conscious of how ICE vehicles affected the world, they decided to do it with EVs, CNN reports.

Can you own any of his favorite motorcycles?

Ewan McGregor on his blue Harley-Davidson LiveWire modified for Long Way Up
Ewan McGregor on his modified Harley-Davidson LiveWire | Harley-Davidson

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Ewan McGregor actually auctioned several of his motorcycles off several years ago, Bike-urious reports. But while celebrity ownership tends to inflate prices, you can at least own the same kinds of bikes he likes.

A silver-tanked 2020 Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone S
2020 Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone S | Moto Guzzi

You can find vintage Moto Guzzis for under $10k, Bring a Trailer reports. That’s also roughly the same price as a new V7. A V85TT Adventure, meanwhile, starts at $12,990.

A turquoise 1951 Sunbeam S7 Deluxe in front of a brick wall
1951 Sunbeam S7 Deluxe | Mecum

One British bike that Ewan McGregor is particularly fond of is his Sunbeam S7 Deluxe. It’s based on a pre-war BMW motorcycle design, Bike-urious reports, down to the shaft-drive. S7 Deluxes are relatively rare, but not particularly expensive. A well-preserved example costs around $10k, Hagerty reports.

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A Harley-Davidson LiveWire, on the other hand, starts at $29,799. But if that’s a bit too much for a motorcycle, you can still own a Ewan McGregor-approved EV. His 1954 Volkswagen Beetle is currently being turned into one by California shop EV West, Car and Driver reports. The conversion kit itself costs $7598, and good-condition Beetles can be found for $10,000-$15,000 on BaT.

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