Overnight Harley-Davidson unveiled a distinctly different new direction with the full reveal of the Pan America after a gestation period so long that we thought it might never come out of Milwaukee’s womb.
The good news is that the spec’ sheet says that Pan America might indeed be a realistic option for many adventure riders, and it arrives at a competitive price point.
150 horsepower, 127 Nm of torque, 190 mm of suspension travel, 210 mm of ground clearance, a 19-inch front and a competitive 254 kg wet weight complete with electronic suspension and bash-plates suggests this might be a whole new level of real world riding performance from Milwaukee. Has there ever been a Harley that promises this much performance..?
Now while 254 kg wet is not exactly light, it is competitive at the more sumptiuous end of the big-bore adventure-touring market.
It bests BMW’s R 1250 GS for horsepower, but can’t quite match the Bavarians when it comes to torque as Harley’s new 1252 cc DOHC V-Twin must like to rev!With peak power arriving at 9000 rpm, that is much higher than BMW’s Boxer and matches KTM’s 1290 Super Adventure S for revs, and is only ten horsepower shy of the almighty Austrian.Now who would have picked that!
The Harley’s peak torque is 11 Nm down on the KTM and arrives 250 rpm later, so it’s not going to be quite the animal that the KTM is but it won’t be far off. The Pan America just pips Ducati’s new Multistrada V4 for torque but is 20 horsepower down on the Italian. The American machine also requires more frequent servicing with intervals pegged at 8000 km, half of the 16,000 km now quoted by competitors.
Variable valve timing is featured on the all-new 60-degree 13.0:1 ’Revolution Max’ V-Twin via solenoid activated hydraulics. It has 30-degree staggered crankpins and Harley have employed both primary and secondary balance shafts, the second of which is effectively deactivated at idle to accentuate engine character.
The tech fest continues with IMU driven ABS, traction control, riding modes, phone connectivity and hold hold control. A tilting 6.8-inch TFT touch-screen continues the modern theme. Navigation cues can be displayed on screen when connected to the Harley-Davidson app on your smartphone. The windscreen is adjustable through four-positions.
Australia will only receive the higher spec ‘Special’ model complete with Showa electronic semi-active suspension, a centre-stand, bash-plate and a few other trinkets such as a very useful Tyre Pressure Monitoring system. The Daymaker adaptive lighting will also be standard on Australian bikes along with heated grips and a steering damper. A USB-C charging port is also fitted.
Mounts for a composite plastic ‘Sport Luggage’ set are integrated into the bike and can be fitted without the need for any additional ugly hardware, hallelujah! The aluminium panniers below were developed in conjunction with SW-Motech and do require extra racks in order for them to be fitted. There is also a third luggage system on offer more suited to genuine adventure with waterproof soft saddle-bags and duffle.
A 19-inch front and 210 mm of ground clearance should ensure the Harley has some genuine off-road chops and big Brembo Monobloc stopper should rein in the big American.
Harley are quoting 42-degrees of available lean angle so it doesn’t look likely that the Pan America will be able to stay with the competition on a testing stretch of tarmac without plenty of peg being sacrificed at the altar of speed.
The six-speed gearbox is stacked behind the engine which allows Harley to retain a reasonable 850 mm seat height despite its generous 190 mm of suspension travel. Both of those figures are competitive with the European opposition.
An optional ‘Adaptive Ride Height’ feature can lower the seat height to 830 mm when called upon but retains the full 190 mm of suspension travel when on the move. As with the spoked rims, the adaptive suspension is not a dealer fit option but must be specified when ordering your machine.
The quoted gross vehicle weight is 455 kg, which means that a rider, pillion and luggage must be under 201 kg combined before the motorcycles is outside design limits. That payload capacity is a little bit less than the leading competitors but is still quite generous and more than what would be afforded by something like a Fat Boy, but less than that afforded by a Steet Glide.
The Pan America is expected to arrive in Australia during the third-quarter of 2021 at a competitive $31,995 Ride Away. Tubeless spoked rims and adaptive suspension will be optional extras that come together as a package priced at $1485.
And, of course, Harley will also have 462 new different types of riding gear, including helmets, boots and gloves, ready to sell you when the bikes arrive along with Screamin Eagle mufflers and air cleaners. Looking at the engine architecture, I can even see big-bore kits arriving at some point down the line, wouldn’t be a Harley otherwise now would it!
Fashion aside, are you as surprised by the Pan America as much as we are..?
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America Specifications
(Australia only receives the ‘Special’ model as detailed below)
Engine – 1252 cc DOHC, V-Twin
Bore x Stroke – 105 x 72 mm
Power – 150 hp at 9000 rpm
Torque – 127 Nm at 6750 rpm
Frame – Stressed-member, high strength low alloy steel trellis frame; stamped, cast,
and forged junctions; MIG welded; aluminum forged mid-structure
Swingarm – One-piece cast aluminum
Front Suspension – 47mm inverted fork; compression, rebound, and preload adjustable, 190 mm of travel
Front Suspension – Showa 47mm inverted fork, electronically adjustable semi-active damping control, optional Adjustable Ride Height; 190 mm of travel
Rear Suspension – Showa Piggyback monshock; electronically adjustable semi-active compression and rebound damping control, automatic electronic preload control, optional Adjustable Ride Height; 190 mm of travel
Front Brakes – Brembo Four-piston monobloc calipers, 320 mm disc w/ ABS
Rear Brake – Single piston caliper, 280 mm disc w/ ABS
Rims – 19 x 3 in. (F) 17 x 4.5 in. (R) – Cast alloy, spoked rims optional
Tyres – 120/70R-19 / 170/60R-17
Rake / Trail – 25-degrees / 157 mm
Lx W x H – 2265 x 965 x 1510 mm
Wheelbase – 1580 mm
Ground Clearance – 210 mm
Seat Height – 870 mm
Fuel Capacity – 21 litres
Economy – 4.9 litres per 100 km
Claimed Wet Weight – 254 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – 455 kg
Lean Angle – 42-degrees (Testing method J1168)
Battery – Sealed, maintenance-free, absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery, 12V, 12Ah,
225 CCA at 0°F
Charging – Three-phase, 45 Amp system (300 Watts @13 Volts, 1200 rpm, 585 Watts
max power @ 13 Volts, 2250 rpm)
Instrumentation – 6.8 inch viewable area TFT display with speedometer, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, ambient temp, low temp alert, side stand down alert, TIP over alert, cruise, range and tachometer indication, BT capable – phone pairing to access phone calls, music, navigation (H-D App ONLY)
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