Meet Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor. The pair met on the set of 'Serpant's Kiss' and have since forged a firm and lasting friendship. Now meet their dream: to ride their motorbikes around the world.
Ewan and Charley start mapping out their route, talking through the countries that will make up their 'Long Way Round' the world. They have meetings with fixers and officials to get more information about the places where 'people never come back from'.
On a visit to a motorbike show and after testing out bikes, the field is narrowed to KTM (Charley's preference) and BMW (Ewan's first choice). Ewan realises Charley's love of the KTM and it's decided to go for a deal with them.
Next comes the physical and mental preparation for the trip: fitness training, kidnap avoidance and first aid instruction, gathering and testing of equipment and clothing and of course, getting the required vaccinations.
Ewan and Charley are still awaiting delivery of the bikes. Lots of 'discussions' with the KTM representative who voices his concerns about obtaining visas and Ewan and Charley's actual ability to get across Russia and complete the trip. Friday 13th brings bad news: KTM have pulled out of the deal. Ewan stays calm whereas Charley is vocally displeased. Luckily, BMW step up and offer the use of their bikes. Ewan and Charley head to Wales for some off-road training. Ewan gradually overcomes his nerves and fears of failing and gains confidence on the test track.
Back at the office the boys get their toys: huge tool chests from Snap-On and the BMW bikes they will be riding round the globe. Charley dents his within seconds and Ewan treats us to a burst of I'm in Heaven.
Prior to riding up to Scotland and a visit to Ewan's parents, we hear Ewan's thoughts on leaving his family. In turn his mother and grandmother air their feelings about the trip. In a later visit with Charley's family his wife, Ollie, daughters and grandmother all give their views on his adventure.
In the countdown to the off, last minute preparations are in full flow at the office. Claudio is hired as the cameraman with the small problems that his bike licence isn't valid (he will have to retake his test) and his passport is still in Switzerland (his mother will fly over and deliver it).
Ewan and Charley start packing and joke about how much underwear they really need to take. The day before departure Claudio takes and fails his bike test, David cannot believe it and is concerned with Claudio's lack of experience on a heavy bike.
The day of departure and all final bits of gear are packed into the bikes and cars. Ewan and Charley with heavily-laden bikes are sent off from HQ with a planet-shaped cake, banners, cheering and applause from the crew, family and friends. Charley almost drops his bike. Final thoughts from Ewan and Charley accompany shots of them driving through the streets of London.