Inspired by a series of motorcycle adventures as a young man in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, Sydney man Ed Darmanin is set to re-capture his youth on an epic 3,500 km trip from his home in Sydney to Cape Tribulation in far North Queensland.
Where his earlier adventures were about survival in the wilderness and reaching the next remote fuel stop, this time around the challenge will be reaching chargers for his all-electric Harley Davidson Livewire.
Ed grew up around motorcycles and got the adventure spirit early, taking every opportunity he could to do crazy long-distance trips to remote areas of the country.
From the Red Centre to the Oodnadatta track he has stories aplenty about “adventures to push the limits of man and machine driven by youthful exuberance” and uniquely captured much of it on his trusty Super8 camera as he went.
Documenting the challenges became a passion for him and he taught himself how to edit movie film and add soundtracks over the years, creating a fantastic archive of the days when travelling to remote areas of Australia was often accompanied by serious risks.
Fuel stops were often 400km apart and unreliable, trips required meticulous planning, the acquisition of detailed paper strip maps and a willingness to solve problems as you travelled.
Having recently retired and with some inspiration from Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s “Long Way Up” series the penny dropped for Ed. He visited a Harley Davidson store, cut a deal and came home with a Livewire, determined to show what electric motorcycles can do.
In five- or ten-years’ time travelling across Australia’s vast wilderness on an electric motorcycle will be straightforward. It will be considered quite normal.
But today, the long gaps between infrequent charge points, the risk of equipment failure and pushing the technology to its limit looked like a perfect way to relive the sense of pioneering he got all those years ago, albeit with Bluetooth, GPS maps and a cruise control for comfort.
Ed noted that to do this trip he is kind of forced to go solo too, because many of the charge points currently available can only handle one vehicle at a time.
On July 19, he will head off and follow some of the best scenic and motorcycle roads in the world. He’ll visit friends, test the charging infrastructure and the bike’s capability whilst showing the world what you can do with some time, patience and careful planning.
Ed highlighted that he is super motivated to get the message out and show the real-world opportunities for electric motorcycles to potential owners and, to highlight that while travelling on electric vehicles can currently be a little like a 1970’s pioneering adventure into the unknown, it won’t be for long.
You can keep track of his journey via live feeds to Instagram and Facebook along the way, he’ll shoot a longer format video and will be interviewed for The Driven podcast along the way. You can also view his planned trip via this Google Maps link.
Bon Voyage Ed and keep the rubber side down.