Image of 6 motorbikes

Long Way Up Bikes

Since the Long Way Up announcement, many people are speculating about the best Long Way Up bikes. At this stage, there is no indication on what bikes will be used for the Long Way up, we will update you when they announce it.

But, with an educated guess we can narrow it down to a few bikes.

Vote for the long way up bikes

For the Long Way Round, McGregor and mostly Boorman wanted to take KTM’s. But after meeting a KTM representative in London, KTM decided they couldn’t achieve the trip. One decision KTM is still probably kicking itself over.

McGregor and Boorman then turned to BMW gaining sponsorship and taking three R1150GS’s on the adventure. One GS for McGregor and Boorman and the third for Claudio the Swiss cameraman.

In the follow-up, the Long Way Down, BMW stepped up again and provided the latest BMW R1200GS Adventure models for the African odyssey. Combined, the two series have been a major factor in making the GS range the best selling adventure motorcycle year after year.

Charley is a brand ambassador for Triumph, the UK bike builder. Ewin has worked with the Italian bike manufacturer Moto Guzzi.

With these connections to Triumph and Moto Guzzi, BMW may still have the best chance and possibly budget to get their bikes featured on the Long Way Up. Its called ” Product Placement” in marketing jargon.

KTM is also an option, but because they turned down the request to sponsor the Long Way Round the relationship could still be sour. We are sure the KTM marketing department is looking for any possibility to get KTM’s in the Long Way Up series.


Lone Rider Headlight Guard


Possible Long Way Up bikes from Triumph

There are two adventure-ready models that Triumph could offer.

Tiger 800

Models: TIGER 800 XCX / TIGER 800 XCA

Image of Triumph Tiger 800 Jet Black motorbike

TypeLiquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Capacity800 cc
Max Power EC 95 Hp (70 kW) @ 9,500 rpm
Dry Weight452 Lbs. - 205kg
Tank Capacity5 Gal. - 19L
More Specs

Tiger 1200 XC/XR

Image of Triumph Tiger 1200 motorbike

TypeLiquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Capacity1,215 cc
Max Power EC 141 Hp (104 kW) @ 9,350 rpm
Dry Weight534 lbs - 242kg
Tank Capacity5.2 gal - 19,68L
More Specs

Photo Triumph Motorcycles


Possible Long Way Up bikes from Moto Guzzi

Moto Guzzi has the MOTO GUZZI V85 TT but it’s still in the works, maybe they can get it out in time for the estimated 2019 start date. This bike is listed because Ewan Mcgregor’s Moto Guzzi connections.


Photo of the new MOTO GUZZI V85 TT motorbike concept

Typetwo-cylinder 90° transverse air-cooled
Max Power EC 80 HP
GearboxNo Data
Dry WeightNo Data
Tank CapacityNo Data
More Specs

Photo Moto Guzzi

Possible Long Way Up bikes from BMW

BMW has a range of adventure ready bikes in their GS range. The most well-known bike is the R1200 GS, but they also have the new f850/750 series that they would want to push.

BMW F 850 GS

Image of the new BMW F850 GS Motorbike

TypeWater-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, dry sump
Capacity853 cc
Max Power EC 70 kW (95 hp) at 8,250 rpm
OE output reduction 35 kW (48 hp) at 6,500 rpm
OE RON91 unleaded regular fuel: 66 kW (90 hp) at 8,000 rpm
Wet Weight229 kg
Tank Capacity4 Gal. - 15L
More Specs

R 1200 GS ADVENTURE/Rallye

The bike that needs no introduction, the R1200 GS range from BMW. There are a few options here: R 1200 GS standard, R1200 Adventure model or the R1200 Rallye model. There is also a new bike that will launch in 2019, the R1250 GS.

R1200 Rallye

R1200 Adventure

Image of BMW R1200 GS Adventure motorcycle

1200 GS

TypeAir/liquid-cooled four stroke flat twin engine, double overhead camshaft, one balance shaft
Capacity1,170 cc
Max Power EC 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm
Wet Weight579 lb - 263 kg
Tank Capacity8 Gal. - 30 L
More Specs

Photos BMW Motorrad

Lone Rider Headlight Guard

Possible Long Way Up bikes from KTM

KTM has a range of bikes perfect for the Long Way Up. From 1290’s to 690 enduros, there is no shortage of aggressive power to ride the plains of Patagonia up to the highways of America. The most likely choice could be the bigger bore bikes, but let’s have a look at the options

1290 SUPER ADVENTURE RThe 1290 motorcycle from KTM in Austria

1090 ADVENTURE RImage of the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R from 2018

690 ENDURO RThe KTM 690 ENDURO R motorbike from 2018


Type2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°
Capacity1301 cm³
Max Power EC 118 kW
Dry Weight478 lb - 217 kg
Tank Capacity6 Gal. - 23 L
More Specs

Photo KTM


Possible Long Way Up bikes from Honda

Honda has been in the adventure market since the RD03 which was introduced in 1988. Since then they have grown a massive following of passionate adventure fans. The latest models have strengthed the Japanese manufacturer’s position in the adventure bike market. Here is what they have to offer.


CRF1000L Africa Twin

honda Africa Twin crf1000l white motorcycle

TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with 270° crank and uni-cam
Capacity998 cm³
Max Power EC 70kW/7,500rpm (95/1/EC)
Kerb Weight533 lb - 242 kg
Tank Capacity4.7 Gal. - 18.8 L
More Specs


CRF1000L Africa Twin Adventure Sports 

Photo of an adventure motorbike


TypeLiquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and uni-cam
Max Power EC 70kW/7,500rpm (95/1/EC)
Kerb Weight534 lb - 243 kg
Tank Capacity6.3 Gal. - 24.2 L
More Specs

Photos Honda

Possible Long Way Up bikes from Harley Davidson

There is no reason why they couldn’t change bikes midway.  Possibly the South America leg on Traditional “adventure bikes” and then switch to an another for the North American section.  PAN AMERICA™ from Harley could just be the ticket. If they can get one out before the 2020 scheduled release date.

Photo of a concept from Harley -Davidson
Photo: Harley Davidson




Whatever they choose, sponsorship money will be a big factor as they have a proven record of accomplishments and media coverage.  Its also well known this series sold thousands of GS’s for BMW and “setting a benchmark” for what an Adventure bike is. Many think that you have to have a big touring bike to be able to globetrot, that’s far from the truth and makes for heated discussions across the web.

What bike would you like them to take for the Long Way Up adventure?

And leave a comment and let us know!



4 Replies to “Long Way Up Bikes”

  1. Mr Gerald Surry

    The bm is likely to win, Ktm shot them selfs in the foot. Any of the bikes would be great and l cant wait to see which model they pick for their adventure.

    • Sam

      They did! Charley ripped that KTM poster down with fury on the Long Way Round. With the amount of bikes BM sold, the other manufactures offering cash sponsorship will also be a big factor for these two boys…

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