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Harley-Davidson Unveils Long-Awaited Adventure Touring Models: Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special

Announced quite some time ago, Harley-Davidson finally took the wraps off the production Pan America 1250 adventure models earlier today. Both the 1250 and the 1250 Special are powered by a new 150 horsepower 1,250cc 60 degree v-twin making a very healthy 94 foot/pounds of torque.

While both models are loaded with high-tech features, and selectable ride modes, the Pan America 1250 Special gets semi-active suspension that is electronically adjustable by the rider as well as other features that distinguish it from the base model.

Here is the press release from Harley-Davidson:

MILWAUKEE (February 22, 2021) – The Pan America™ motorcycle is Harley-Davidson’s explore-it-all machine for riders who see touring as detouring – on road and off. This rugged, powerful, technologically advanced multi-purpose vehicle is designed from the ground up to inspire rider confidence and fuel the spirit of adventure, wherever the road may take you. 

Harley-Davidson has leveraged its cutting-edge design and engineering capabilities to create the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special, all-new, adventure-touring motorcycles, each designed with premium features, outstanding performance and innovative technology.

“From its inception more than a century ago, when many roads were little more than dirt trails, Harley-Davidson has stood for adventure. So, I’m very proud to present Pan America as the first adventure touring bike designed and built in America,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO Harley-Davidson. “The Pan America models exude that go-anywhere spirit, shared today by riders in the US and around the globe who want to experience the world on a motorcycle.” That same adventurous spirt is deeply shared by actor and brand ambassador, Jason Momoa, who is joining creative forces with the Company to bring Pan America’s passion for adventure to the world.

Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special models are powered by the new 150hp Revolution® Max 1250 engine, a liquid-cooled 1,250cc-displacement V-Twin designed to offer a broad powerband that builds to a rush of high-RPM power. To minimize overall motorcycle weight (Pan America 1250 534lb. wet/Pan America 1250 Special 559lb. wet), the Revolution Max engine is integrated into the vehicle as the central member of the chassis.

Pan America models are equipped with technologies designed to enhance the riding experience, including multiple electronically controlled ride modes plus Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements. This broad collection of technologies is designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking. The Pan America 1250 Special model is equipped with electronically adjustable semi-active front and rear suspension. As an industry-first innovation, Pan America is equipped with Adaptive Ride Height (ARH), a revolutionary new suspension system which automatically transitions between a low stopped position and optimal ride height when the motorcycle is in motion.

Harley-Davidson design and engineering teams collaborated throughout the process of creating and refining the Pan America™ 1250 and Pan America™ 1250 Special models with a vision guided by utility. Like a good multi-tool, function leads the form of these Harley-Davidson® models. From grab handles to integrated luggage mounts, to a horizontal headlamp configured to better illuminate an off-road trail, function defines style. Inspired by the spirit of rugged North American off-road versatility, the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special models stand out visually in the adventure touring landscape, with design that reflects the capability of the motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson® dealers will offer a complete line of accessories for the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special models, including three durable luggage systems, and new technical riding gear for men and women developed in collaboration with respected European motorcycle apparel specialist, REV’IT!.

The Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special models will arrive at Harley-Davidson dealerships in Spring 2021.


The Harley-Davidson® Pan America 1250 model is a rugged, powerful, technologically advanced multi-purpose motorcycle designed for riders ready to embrace real-life adventure. The riding experience is capable and intuitive, on a motorcycle that stays composed and confident wherever your adventure takes you.

Optimized Chassis

A focus on performance and minimizing weight drove both vehicle and engine architecture, material choices, and aggressive component design optimization, all with the goal of achieving a desirable power-to-weight ratio. The powertrain is a stressed member of the chassis, eliminating the traditional frame. Three distinct elements – the front frame, the mid frame and the tail section – bolt directly to the powertrain. This design reduces motorcycle weight and results in a stiff chassis that contributes to precise handling. The cast-aluminum swingarm minimizes unsprung weight. The chassis is designed with a 62.2-inch wheelbase, ideal for touring capability (especially with a passenger and loaded luggage) and agile handling required for off-road maneuverability.

Cast aluminum wheels (19-inch front and a 17-inch rear) are designed to be strong, yet light weight, intended for use on paved roads and un-paved surfaces, such as gravel roads and fire roads. Harley-Davidson and Michelin collaboratively designed a Scorcher Adventure tire for the Pan America models to meet the demands associated with adventure touring. Michelin Anakee Wild tires with an aggressive “knobby” tread pattern will be offered through Harley-Davidson® Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories for riders seeking maximum off-road traction and a bold style profile.

Brembo® Braking

Harley-Davidson and Brembo collaborated on an all-new braking system for the Pan America™ models that is designed to provide the rider with outstanding braking feel and performance. A new radial monoblock four-piston (30 mm) caliper takes full advantage of the material characteristics to increase stiffness while reducing overall weight. Dual front brake rotors are 320mm in diameter; single rear-brake rotor is 280mm diameter. A new lightweight front brake master cylinder offers adjustable lever response. 

Adjustable Suspension

The Pan America 1250 model features premium passive front and rear suspension that is fully adjustable for pre-load and compression/rebound damping. Suspension travel front and rear is 7.48 inches (190mm). Front suspension is provided by a SHOWA® 1 by 1 47mm inverted cartridge fork. Rear suspension is a SHOWA® Piggyback reservoir shock with adjustable hydraulic preload. The rear suspension incorporates a linkage system which provides a progressive feel through the stroke and maintains a comfortable, compliant ride on-road, while providing superior support for off-road conditions.

Touchscreen Display

All instrumentation and infotainment functions are displayed on a tilting 6.8-inch TFT touchscreen (thin-film-transistor, a type of liquid-crystal display noted for high image quality and contrast). Its non-reflective glass cover makes it easier to view in most lighting conditions. The touchscreen function is disabled when the motorcycle is in motion, but the rider can use hand controls to manage many functions of the screen display when the motorcycle is moving. The display supports infotainment generated by the rider’s Bluetooth-equipped mobile device, including music and calls. Navigation is supplied by the free Harley-Davidson® App for iOS or Android. 

Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements

The Pan America 1250 model is equipped with Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements, a collection of technologies designed enhance rider confidence during unexpected situations or poor road conditions. The systems are electronic and utilize the latest chassis control, electronic brake control and powertrain technology. Cornering enhanced technology utilizes an inertial measurement unit, IMU, for optimal intervention when the motorcycle is leaned compared to when the motorcycle is upright. Elements of Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements for the Pan America 1250 model include: Cornering Enhanced Electronically Linked Braking, Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System, Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System, Cornering Enhanced Drag-Torque Slip Control System, and Hill Hold Control.

Ride Modes

Selectable Ride Modes electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle, and the level of technology intervention. Five modes are available on the base model (4 are pre-programmed and one can be customized). The Pan America™ 1250 Special model has two additional modes that can be customized by the owner. Pre-programed ride modes for the Pan America 1250 models include Road, Sport, Rain, Off-Road and Off-Road Plus. Each Ride Mode consists of a specific combination of power delivery, engine braking, Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS) and Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) settings. The rider may use the MODE button on the right-hand controller to change the active ride mode while riding the motorcycle or when stopped, with some exceptions.

Additional Pan America™ 1250 Model Features

  • The lightweight exhaust system is crafted from corrosion-resistant 304-series stainless steel and designed to meet global emissions (including Euro V) and sound regulations without compromising durability or the performance experienced by the rider. The catalyst is located as close to the engine as possible to minimize its size and weight and also keep heat away from the rider. A pair of mufflers – one below the engine and the second on the right side of the motorcycle – adds volume to the exhaust system, which allows effective sound muffling with minimal back pressure, which improves performance. The exhaust system is designed to create clearance under the motorcycle to limit potential impact damage during off-road riding, and to not compromise lean angle.
  • The rider portion of the seat has a high and low position which allows the rider to achieve a better fit on the motorcycle. Seat height adjustment does not require tools. Unladen seat height is 34.2 inches in the low position and 35.2 inches in the high position.
  • A four-position windscreen can be adjusted with one hand, using a lever adjacent to the display screen, through a range of 1.8 inches to best match rider stature, preference or changing environmental conditions. 
  • Cruise control is standard equipment. 
  • A lightweight aluminum fuel tank holds 5.6 gallons for extended riding range. The fuel filler is located forward on the top of the tank so it will not be covered by most tank bags, making it easier to fuel up with a bag in place. The fuel tank is shaped to optimize the capacity of the engine intake airbox, which is located below the tank.
  • The Pan America™ 1250 model features all-LED lighting designed to deliver signature style and outstanding performance with and additional focus on rugged durability in the off-road environment. The Daymaker® Signature LED headlamp has been designed using new photometric analysis technology to produce outstanding “punch” down the road with a very homogenous spread of light; eliminating distracting “hot spots.” 
  • The front turn signals are positioned to be protected by the brush guard during off-road riding.
  • Paint Color: Vivid Black, River Rock Gray with Medallion
Pan America Cut-Away-Engine


The Pan America 1250 Special model is a premium adventure touring motorcycle loaded with the following additional exclusive features:

Semi-Active Front and Rear Suspension with Vehicle Load Control

The Pan America™ 1250 Special model is equipped with electronically adjustable semi-active front and rear suspension. Utilizing data provided by sensors on the motorcycle, this suspension system automatically controls damping to suit the prevailing conditions and riding activity. These suspension components are provided by SHOWA, while the control software was developed by Harley-Davidson. The Vehicle Loading Control system senses the weight of the rider, a passenger and luggage to select optimal suspension sag by automatically adjusting rear preload. Unladen seat height is 33.4 inches in the low position and 34.4 inches in the high position. 

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The TPMS displays current front and rear tire pressure on the on the color display screen and displays an indicator to alert the rider when tire pressure is low, and the pressure should be checked. Maintaining proper tire air pressure is important both for vehicle performance and tire life.

Center Stand

The center stand supports the parked motorcycle in an upright position. With the center stand deployed the parked motorcycle takes up less space than it would leaning on its side stand, a benefit when garage space is tight. The stand also raises the rear wheel off the ground to facilitate maintenance and tire changes, at home or in the backcountry.

Multi-Position Rear Brake Pedal

Without using tools, the rear-brake foot pedal height can be changed between two positions to improve control and comfort when the rider is standing. Standing while riding through off-road terrain can improve control of the motorcycle and improve rider’s vision of the trail ahead.

Brush Guard

Tubular steel brush guards are designed to protect the radiator and help support the motorcycle in a tip-over event.

Aluminum Skid Plate

This rugged skid plate is designed to protect the engine crankcase from impacts.

Daymaker® Signature Adaptive Headlamp

Advanced Daymaker® Adaptive Headlamp technology utilizes the ABS IMU to determine the lean angle of the motorcycle and automatically project additional light into corners to illuminate areas of the road that may be unlit by an LED headlamp without this technology. This may give the rider more confidence on dark roads.

  • The system includes three LED elements per side, located just above the main Daymaker headlamp.
  • The adaptive lamps illuminate in sequence based on motorcycle lean angle, at 8 degrees, 15 degrees and 23 degrees.
  • Rather than just switching on and off, the current to the adaptive elements ramps up gradually so the additional lighting is progressive and appears almost seamless to the rider.
  • The system functions when the headlight is in either high-beam or low-beam mode.

Heated Hand Grips and Hand Wind Deflectors

Both provide added comfort when riding in cool weather. Heated grips have three temperature settings, selected with a button on the hand control.

Steering Damper

A steering damper enhances dynamic performance during aggressive off-road riding.

Factory Installed Option: Adaptive Ride Height

Harley-Davidson is the first to offer this technology in the motorcycle industry, and Adaptive Ride Height (ARH) is an option for the Pan America™ 1250 Special model only. Adaptive Ride Height unlocks confidence you can feel in different scenarios by enabling a lower seat height when the motorcycle is at rest, without compromising ground clearance in motion.

This revolutionary suspension system automatically transitions the motorcycle between a low stopped position and optimal ride height when the motorcycle is in motion. The system allows the rider to mount the Pan America 1250 Special model with ease, and facilitates placing feet down to the ground at a stop, by lowering the seat height 1 to 2 inches (depending on automatically selected rear pre-load, which determines ride height when the bike is moving). Unladen seat height is 32.7 inches in the low position and 33.7 inches in the high position.  ARH retains all of the features of the semi-active front and rear suspension.

  • ARH does not compromise suspension travel – full travel is always maintained – and does not compromise lean angle, ground clearance or ride quality.
  • There are four selectable Adaptive Ride Height sub-modes: 
  • Auto Mode: The system determines how quickly to lower the suspension based on how aggressive the braking action is, with the target of having the suspension fully lowered when the bike comes to a stop.
  • Short Delay and Long Delay Modes: In these modes the lowering function is delayed until the motorcycle comes to a stop, so that full ride height is maintained while the motorcycle is moving at low speeds, such as when negotiating a parking lot.
  • Locked Mode: The Adaptive Ride Height system will always maintain the normal ride height and does not lower at a stop. This mode might be selected by a tall rider who does not need Adaptive Ride Height to be flat footed at a stop, or for off-road riding when full ride height is desirable at low speeds.

Factory Installed Option: Tubeless Laced Wheels

The stainless-steel spokes are inserted through the aluminum wheel rim outside of the tire bead. These wheels offer the rider several advantages over the cast wheels in off-road conditions. 

  • This design allows the use of a tubeless tire, which eliminates the weight of an inner tube.
  • The spokes are repairable in the field without removing the wheel from the motorcycle or removing the tire from the wheel. 
  • The laced wheels look both rugged and high-tech.

Paint Colors: Vivid Black; Gauntlet Gray Metallic; Deadwood Green (available in select international markets only); two-tone Baja Orange and Stone Washed White Pearl; all with Split Graphic

Learn more about the Harley-Davidson® Pan America™ 1250 and Pan America™ 1250 Special models at


  1. Raya says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the over priced Harley’s. I decided I should rent one and see what all the hype was about so I rented a 2020 Bagger and put 450 miles on it. It had better power than I thought it would have. The biggest issue I had with the bike was the transmission. Every time I shifted I would look behind me to see if any parts were falling hitting the ground. I could feel the clunk through the handlebars on every shift. I asked the guy at the shop that rented it to me if there was a problem with the bike and he said that’s normal. I hope Harley came up with a better transmission for this bike. I rode a BMW GS1250 and the transmission wasn’t much better than the Harley. I’ll stick with my Honda’s.

  2. paquo says:

    this is the first harley i like since my friend had an xr75 in the 70s

  3. JoeG says:

    They need to hire Italian designers. Maybe it will grow on me like KTM’s.

    Speaking of Italians it’s only a few pounds heavier than a similar Ducati. The Engine is in the same ballpark to. Maybe they are trying to win over people with Dakar dreams. The Ducati looks better.

    I don’t know what to make of the special suspension that lowers the bike 2 inches at a stop light but there must be someone who does.

  4. mickey says:

    I do believe that this basic platform would make a real nice sport-tourer. Never understood Harley’s insistence on avoiding that group of motorcycles. In 1994 I rode a Dyna Softail Convertible and was amazed how good of a bike it was, really smooth at highway speeds, and hard to believe it was actually a Harley. I thought if only it were set up more traditionally with flat seat, bigger gas tank, traditional bars and foot pegs, Harley would have a winner on their hands. This bike has got to be a lot better than that ’94 Dyna.

    Used in the traditional sense of a modern day ADV bike ( mostly highways and hard packed dirt roads), this should be a pretty good motorcycle

  5. Michael White says:

    Todd: LED headlights don’t use reflectors. They can be arranged within a round headlight body to mimic a traditional halogen bulb, but there’s no functional reason to make them round anymore. Round headlights will vanish like fins from the back of your car. Cheers.

    • Evan says:

      Incorrect. LED’s in fact use reflectors quite extensively. Early models used projector beams, but reflectors are a much more economical and efficient way to design multi-emitter LED array headlights. You can see these LED/Reflector arrays in many new LED tail lights and headlights. Look at the recent Honda headlights, many lexus tail lights, etc. etc. etc.

  6. DaveA says:

    I would seriously consider taking the plunge on one of these, but for having to buy one at a Harley dealer. I know from Buell owning experience that if it isn’t a Harley in the traditional sense, there isn’t an employee in the place in 90% of dealers who could possibly care less about it.

    I brought a Buell wheel into a local shop to get a tire changed during the time of HD ownership of Buell, and they refused to change the tire. I had to argue with two people at the service desk and finally the general manager to convince them that the wheel was a Buell wheel, from a model they literally had sitting on the floor. They relented, I told them to suck it, sold the Buell and never looked back.

    This, by the way, is what killed Buell. If they’d allowed it as a stand-alone brand sold in multi-line dealerships, I am 100% certain the brand would have survived.

    ANYway, $20,000 is a lot to spend just to be sneered at by every employee in the place every time I need to go to the dealer for something. Been there, done that.

    • cw says:

      Supposedly, this is something that was addressed at some point by corporate, no?

      I can say that, when I purchased a used Japanese bike on short notice, it was a Harley service department which helped me get it into my truck when I was without a ramp – this did this quite willingly and amicably.

      I *think*, since Buell, the Motor Co had been trying to reform some of the image of and attitude at dealers – even before “Re-Wire”/”Hardwire.

      • Jeremy says:

        Indeed, Harley Davidson doesn’t have a monopoly on bad dealerships, uneducated sales people, or snobbery. In my experience, there are a few really good dealerships, a few really bad ones, and a whole bunch of mediocrity in between. That applies to all brands including Harley Davidson.

      • DaveA says:

        In my 35+ years of riding, I’ve dealt first-hand with I think 5 Harley shops, and countless non-Harley shops. If I made a list of the 10 worst I’ve ever dealt with, 4 of the Harley dealers would be in the top 7 or so.

        Representative sample? Not really. Troublesome anecdotal evidence, enough to make me not want to spend $20k again? Sadly yes.

        Note: to be clear, I have no doubt that if you’re a ‘Harley person’ I’m sure most of them are pretty ok. The problem is the ‘it’s either a Harley or it’s crap’ ethos that permeates absolutely everything H-D.

        And trust me, the -vast- majority of H-D dealership employees will not see this bike as a real Harley. Hell, they couldn’t get their heads around the V-Rod ever, despite its long tenure. An ADV bike?

        Heavy lift in more ways than one I’m afraid.

    • Jon says:

      Interesting. I had the opposite take- I’m more inclined to buy one because of the dealer network. I’ve had a few Harley’s in the past and always found the parts and service people to be much more professional than the Japanese brand dealers. Wayyy more dealerships, most of them are very nice and are a great place to stop while on the road. I’ve never bought a new Harley, so don’t have experience with the sales people, but for me the dealer network is a major plus of this bike. Hopefully they will support the Pan like all their other bikes!

    • huls says:

      Ever been to a BMW dealership or a Ducati for that matter? Only and only if you kneel, bow your head and pray to the Almighty dealership, then maybe and only maybe you will have a sliver of their attention.
      Those Teutonic and Fascist arseholes will never ever get a penny out of my pocket.

      • Jeremy says:

        I’ve never had to use a Ducati dealership other than the sales floor, but those guys were enthusiastic, knew a lot about the bikes they sold, and a lot about the bikes they didn’t. The BMW dealership experience was also great. Even gave me a loaner bike while they were sorting out a warranty issue over a few days. No complaints.

  7. Chuck says:

    Another swing and a miss from the tone deaf (musta been the life saving loud pipes) bean counters
    Said it before, I’ll say it again. They should have bought Motus for pennies on the dollar. R&D was done, prolly short money to tweak it enough that the bar and shield crowd would have bought a Street fighter version, nothing sounds like that motor.

  8. Grover says:

    ADV bikes weighing more than 500# will be used mostly on the highway and the occasional fire/gravel road. Videos showing these big ADV’s riding over big rocks, deep desert sand or rutted single track are being ridden by skilled, professional riders to show that it’s possible for the elite few. This Harley and most other 500-600# ADV’s will never see anything resembling those conditions and that’s a good thing. Buy it, sport tour on it, ride the occasional dirt road, but keep in mind that you’re 55 years old with a wide girth and past the days of having to prove how great you are on a 500# dirt bike.

  9. newtonmetres says:

    I like the description of the centrestand usage in the spiel-first time seen that in any bikes features in 40 years motorcycling. But guess its a big deal-Harleys first time?

  10. DJ says:

    Wait until you have to pick it up. For the life of me, if your definition of adventure is the interstate, it might be pretty good.

  11. johnny says:

    Hopefully this sells, and they bring back the Bronx – it was a better looking design by far!

    • Sean says:

      Agreed. The Bronx is the only HD I’ve been remotely interested in my 50 years on Earth…and they promptly kill it.

  12. devnull says:

    They really have taken up the ugly stick and gone to town on the headlight. And we thought the original Kawasaki versys headlight was bad.

  13. Tank says:

    Too bad most Harley purchases have nothing to do with how their bikes perform.

  14. todder says:

    From Harley’s own website each wirespoked wheel costs $750. And you cannot use the stock rotors so you need to replace them all. Plus you need a separate wheel installation kit for front and back.

    750 + 750 + 80 + 80 + Rotors? = $1600

    Estimate at the cheapest $120 per rotor which is highly unlikely and its $360.

    So your wire wheel setup will be at least $2,000…not the $500 dollar rumor I heard. And that doesn’t include mounting/balancing new rubber for those hoops.

    Maybe you get a discount if you get the PanAmerican Special, but I don’t want that model.

  15. cw says:

    I like how, with the lights on, the fairing becomes reminiscent of the Road Glide with the Cobra fairing (I think it’s the RG? I’m not great with HD models).

    I thought it was an interesting concept in look. Now think it might be an interesting concept in use – a long/lower adventure bike. Made to go across things but not so much up-and-over.

    Has any chat about HD making a 625 thumper out of that motor surfaced?

  16. newtonmetres says:

    Needs apehangers and extended forks !

  17. My2cents says:

    The easiest thing to be in the world is a arm chair sceptic . You are safely at a distance and everyone else has to do the heavy lifting to prove the point. You want comment then test the motorcycle, this is the only way you earn credibility in the comment section. If you haven’t got the guts, strength, inseam, riding talent, licence, or ability to purchase then your opinions mean zero. I’m going to test one because it’s a motorcycle worthy of consideration, period.

    • mickey says:

      So how many comments would follow this article since they are not in dealer showrooms yet and NOBODY has had the opportunity to test ride one?

      I’m not sure you understand the premise behind a comments section.

    • KenLee says:

      You missed the point of criticism of around 99% commenting “armchair critics” here, which is the look (only). You don’t have to have license, money, proper inseam length, or talent and you don’t need to ride it to find out about how much this thing is visually appealing to you. It’s just enough to have at least one operative eye. Additionally, dicussing visual part of bikes is mainly about sharing opinions and not about earning credibility.

    • guu says:

      You test ride every single motorcycle that comes out? Do you also test every single sub-model, like the Special here?

    • Marcus says:

      Dirck is a quite capable tester and I’m sure as soon as he can get his hands on one he’ll let us know about it.
      Over the years I’ve bought new bikes that I research using professional reviews. Three of them Dirck had reviewed. And I would be lying if I said otherwise… Dirck’s reviews weighed heavily on my decision to buy.
      The guy was spot on with all three.

    • Mick says:

      I have everything required to test the above motorcycle. But I won’t. Why? I know for certain that it is too heavy and it has far more engine than it needs, which helps to make it too heavy. I’ve also found from reviews that electronics packages in general are trouble. I’ll give any bike that has one a hard pass.

      That and where did the engine come from and what is Harley’s track record on outsourced items? Ten foot poles are too short.

      Whatever, brow beat me all you want. I won’t test it because I find it unworthy of consideration. Why waste my time? Worst of all. Harley dealerships give me the creeps. I used to buy race gas at one. Ewwww. I drove ten extra miles just to avoid the place.

      • Dave says:

        It’s 534 pounds wet…..

        That’s lighter than just about all other open class ADV bikes.

        • Mick says:

          Manufacturer weight claims are never to be believed.

          But that’s beside the point. The entire class is an example of everything wrong with the street bike market in my opinion. Every day you get up and see that the market is once again providing more, never less. The venue never changes. We are still riding on public roads and exploring off road opportunities. Both experiences are better enjoyed on something light and agile. Heavy barges with more power than a Miata need not apply. Even a KLR now weighs more than a Yamaha 700. More is not the answer.

    • Dirty Bob says:

      I’ve got the money,guts,time (test ride) and etc. But no interest or need. Seems like a lot of tech to fix if something goes wrong. Count me out!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bikes like this and the new MT09 don’t have traditional looking headlights because they don’t have traditional headlights, so they actually shouldn’t have traditional looking headlights. Form should follow function. I believe this bike will sell just fine; tastes will evolve. Yes, there might be some people who don’t care at all about performance and/or value, but those are not the future of motorcycling anyway, so whatever.

    • Dave says:

      Ironically, HD is so proud of their traditional looking, high-tech LED lights that they featured them in their motorcycle ads and they’re doing it again here.

      That said, I agree with you, enough of making new stuff look old, already plenty of that happened. HD knows they must reach new customers, playing to their old base is over. I think this bike’s headlight tech sounds really interesting. Adjusts aim for lean angle? Pretty neat and useful.

    • todd says:

      Technology doesn’t change physics. Proper headlights are round because the properly designed reflector inside it is round to capture as much light as possible and project it forward. Round headlights are the perfect example of form following function. Every other shape is a styling exercise.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        The goal of a headlight for rod use, is not solely to project as much light as possible forward. But also to shape the beam density to light a typical (and to a lesser extent even atypical) road as evenly as possible. That requires some rather fancy light shaping. Not just a simple round reflector, around a single, nor even a few, “point” lightsource(s).

        It’s not even just about “physics.” But also physiology (specifically how the eye adapts): You want to avoid shrinking the rider’s pupils, as well as attracting his attention, by putting too much light close by.

        On average, something round’ish is probably still plenty better than a horizontal line, for lighting a typical road, though….. Although, with enough discrete and tightly projected individual light sources (dlp projectors, focused led arrays, BMW “laser”-lights……), I suppose almost any shape could be accommodated.

  19. bubba blue says:

    So it’s come to this …

  20. andypandy says:

    Longtime reader, first time commenter here. Have been following news of this bike since first pictures surfaced.
    My initial reaction was “I like the idea, but why does it have to be so ugly?” It was the white fairing against the orange tank. I found that blocking out the white fairing portion of the photo and imagining that it was painted black made the whole bike more attractive.
    Now that other colors have appeared, it’s not so ugly to me.
    Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    • guu says:

      Yeah, the color scheme can make or break a bike. Look at he horrible grey framed Ducati 999 and then marvel at the stunner of a bike that is the 999 with a red frame.

  21. Marcus says:

    I wonder if the dealers will shove these to the back of the showroom behind the tee-shirt racks like they did the Buells?

  22. Dave #2 says:

    Looks like something the Harley guys will not buy and something the Harley-Haters will not buy.

    • Brinskee says:

      100% this. No chance for Harley devotees, or people who aren’t a fan of the company.

      I’m guessing the pool of the folks outside of these two groups is probably relatively small, which is what happens when you have products that are so polarizing. Especially when you focus on lifestyle above all else, for so long, and with one audience.

      If you have a niche, it’s really hard to move away from it so radically and so quickly.

      Maybe they should have created a sub-brand, which is what Ducati did with Scrambler to (so far) success?

    • Jeremy says:

      Harley-culture guys probably won’t buy it, but I think they may attract some buyers from outside the fold. This bike is the antithesis of everything that haters hate about Harley. It’s unique, powerful, and technologically advanced. Besides, you’d be surprised how many people I’ve known who have an R1200GS or big KTM parked next to their Road Glide.

      It also has a relatively low seat height and solves a problem that chases away many would be buyers of adventure bikes – The seat height gets even lower to the ground when stopped. (Genius… KTM, BMW, and Honda are probably kicking themselves for not thinking of that.)

    • Marcus says:

      You are correct. The hardcore HD guys wouldn’t so much as look at a V-Rod because it was liquid cooled.
      I’m no Harley lover but I rode a friend’s V Rod, it had good power, plenty for the street, was fast but it was heavy with weird ergos. Overall though, it was a good bike. I can’t say the same for the rest of their lineup.

  23. Johnny ro says:

    A quantum leap for Harley. It is up to the dealers now.

  24. motomike says:

    As HD and I were both born in Milwaukee (not at the same time) I say good job. That should freak out the chopper crowd sufficiently. I also hope the dealer network embraces these changes as it was necessary to survive. I agree that engine should be used for other platforms. Sportbike? Sorry, I got carried away there. Bravo, Motor Company!

  25. Grumpy farmer says:

    Not the prettiest girl at the dance,but if it performs,what the hell!!

    • Uffe says:

      Those who want performance will go for the KTM. I think it’s game over for HD.

      • mickey says:

        I’d probably buy the Harley over the KTM simply for the dealer network and my mistrust of Euro bikes in general, but truth is I’d probably buy a smaller Honda or Yamaha instead of either the HD or KTM if I were in the market for an ADV bike.

  26. mechanicus says:

    Why, after developing such a startlingly advanced chassis and engine, did they put that “Jetson’s Rosie” fairing on the thing? You can see from the “Reveal” vid that multiple front end designs were evaluated, yet they chose THAT! Don’t knee-jerk back at me and say all adv bike have ugly front ends. Y’all, the emperor has no clothes – that front end is hideous.

    I like the bike, will test ride it if allowed, and may even consider purchasing it. But, heck, why couldn’t they have considered a less clunky solution? Geemonetti.

  27. gpokluda says:

    The comments about how ugly the bike is really make me laugh. ALL adventure bikes are ugly especially when you only look at them parked in front of a coffee shop! I must say the front looks a whole lot better than anything KTM has turned out of late. Glad to see H-D give it a go. Hope they sell bunches of them.

    • guu says:

      Honda Africa Twin (old and new), KTM 950/990, Yamaha Tenere 700. Just some adventure bikes that look purposeful, not ugly. Original AT and the 950 especially, as they were actual Paris-Dakar race bikes.

    • jim says:

      what about the guzzi V85TT Adventure?

  28. VLJ says:

    Okay, so you’ve come to a stop. The ride-height adjuster does its thing, zhooooop, the bike drops a couple of inches. The light turns green. You accelerate away.

    How abruptly does that thing shoot you back up to the normal ride height?

    How about when you’re straddling the bike while walking it backwards out of a parking space? Does it remain in the low position, or does it shoot you back up as soon as it senses the wheels turning, even in reverse?

    • Johnny ro says:

      looks like the seat drops, not the bike. With that, a button adjustable seat height is only a button away for Harley. Cars have it, why not bikes.

    • mickey says:

      Gonna be a hot thing in south LA if they can get it to work fast enough at lights

    • Tom R says:

      And can the cornering ABS competently determine, in a turn at a 17 degree rate of lean angle, the different and proper rates of mitigation while running over a banana peel vs a big wad of tobacco juice? Or a squashed armadillo?

  29. Grover says:

    I would avoid being an “early adopter” on this one. Not because I think it’s going to be a POS, but that it’s a 100% new design which will have a few teething problems. Wait a couple years (if you’re smart) until they work out any issues. This is true of any completely new bike, but perhaps more so with this one as Harley is exploring uncharted territory. Having said that, I believe they’ll sell a lot of them and I hope they do as I want want it to be a success. I’ll just let others step up to be the test dummies for the Pan America.

  30. Scruby says:

    I like the look.I don’t love it,but I think overall, it’s a good looking bike,well except for the microwave headlight.I like the engine,modern and compact with good power,and you can’t go wrong with Honda (Showa) suspension.I’m a lifelong Harley thrasher,but I hope it sells.If HD came out later on,with a 800cc lighter version,hmmm,maybe.

  31. Gary says:

    All adventure bikes look like they were cobbled together from parts. But I wonder what the thinking was behind painting the tank orange and the fairing off-white. Makes it look like ill-repaired crash damage. The gray one looks much better, IMHO. I wish Harley luck. They should have been working to diversify years ago, when they had good cash flow. At this hour it looks like they are desperate.

    • Tom R says:

      I believe that pretty much all machines are “cobbled together” from parts.

      And they did choose to diversify years ago, ergo this motorcycle now appearing. It wasn’t programed into 3-D printer just last week.

      • Gary says:

        Hi Tom … I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I mean. But if your goal is to toss stones, then by all means, go right ahead. I can take it.

  32. Gary says:

    I guess I’m a novice when it comes to recent motorcycle trends and styles so I ask the questions: Why is the rear or passenger portion of the seat (as with this Harley) placed so high above the driver’s portion and why is there so much empty space between the rear wheel and the fender? Even with extended wheel travel upwards toward the fender there is still a lot of empty space. Assume there is a inherent advantage and not just a style trend?

    • Tom R says:

      That “empty space” is not empty when the rear suspension is compressed and the rear wheel and tire occupy it.

      • Gary says:

        I guess the new generation of motorcycles such as this one must have a whole lot more rear wheel travel than those classics & current retros where the rear wheel was/is generally appears to be rather close to the back fender and one does not see all that empty space loaded or unloaded. Some old folks like me have got used to the old styles and it takes some getting used to new looks. Same goes with exposed motors, engine cooling fins, smaller mufflers and flat dual seats. Times do change.

      • RyYYZ says:

        Does it 10+ inches of rear suspension travel? Because it’s got as much room between the tire and inner fender as my KLX250, which does have 10″ of travel.

    • Neal says:

      Look at the nearly straight line of frame tube from the tail light to the transmission housing. Think of the forces created by having weight on the passenger seat. Compared to dual shock designs with shocks near the passenger’s butt, its hard to get the passenger’s far enough behind the rider to be comfortable and keep it low without throwing a ton of metal at structural support. Particularly if you’re engineering the bike for going over big bumps at speed.

  33. Bart says:

    Looking forward to Dirck’s ride report on this bike!

  34. Gary in NJ says:

    I think this is one of those motorcycles that really needs a review. I say this because if the bike delivers on the performance, comfort and utility promises – then we can overlook the ugly. KTM has built their business model on this, and Harley deserves the same opportunity. Who knows, maybe looking like the box the bike was shipped in will become the new look.

    • Provologna says:

      Your last sentence is priceless.

      Is it just me or does this bike not look closer to 600# than 500#?

      I imagine multiple highly paid executives all signing off on the look of this thing, and am reminded of that euphemism, “The King has no clothes,” but nobody wants to give him the bad news.

  35. Kermit(the 1st one) says:

    First off, I am glad Harley finally did it. This could be the start of a turn around for them. Hope it is. If this is successful, maybe they will bring the Bronx out. I was really interested in that one. Looking forward to seeing one as soon as it hits the dealership and can take a closer look. Speaking of looks, not sure really what to think. Had to chuckle with VHS tape comment. Funny! Some bikes, ugly or not, you know the first time seeing it which way you feel about it. KTM is a good example. It was an instant WTF! Hondas AT was just the opposite. If Harley wants to turn their fortunes around, this was the perfect class to choose. Hope people will give them a fair shake if they’re in the market for an adventure bike. Fingers crossed.

  36. mickey says:

    there is a really good video about it on youtube called “Everything is a road”.

    Wish more motorcycle release videos were similar to this instead of the at night ghost images in the city with no actual motorcycle sounds videos we normally get.

  37. TP says:

    I’m impressed with 150 hp from a Harley but it’s an ugly, ill-proportioned motorcycle. Who’s the market here? It can’t be Harley’s usual customers. I realize it needs new customers but I don’t think this will do it. That’s too bad because Harley’s engineers tried. Its designers whiffed though.

    • jr says:

      The BMW GS is an ugly bike. All KTM’s are ugly bikes. Even Ducati can’t make a large ADV bike look good. OK, you don’t like the looks of this one. Got it. It’s not my jam either. But whooptyscheiss. No one cares. ADV bikes are supposed to be ugly so that their owners can feel superior about how utilitarian they are.

      • TP says:

        Yes, beauty’s in eye of the beholder but, to me, the Harley is the least attractive of all the adventure bikes, and I kind of like the Stelvio:) And I wouldn’t agree that just because a bike has a utilitarian purpose it has to look ugly. I had a utilitarian 2008 Versys and thought it looked pretty cool.

    • Marcus says:

      Sheesh, I think this HD is cool in a certain respect. I saw it in person at the NY bike show and it’s not that bad. The Bronx was real nice.
      If you want UGLY, have you ever seen the Stelvio? It will make you vomit in your mouth.

  38. Grumpy Farmer says:

    I’m impressed so far, all the right bits and pieces are there. We’ll see how it measures up. I hope they engineered in Japanese reliability. I see a versatile platform here that could easily be transitioned into other segments. I hope they do it. Could this be the new beginning that Harley needs? Hope so.

  39. Mick says:

    I wonder where they are sourcing the engine from and where is was designed.

    I just don’t see a really ugly Harley with an outsourced engine setting any sales floors on fire.

    That and, as always, I wonder just how wet their wet weight is. Time will tell. It looks closer to 600 pounds to me.

    • Red says:

      Surely this is the former vrod motor? 1250 water cooled 60 deg twin. All lines up

    • jr says:

      It’s in the article text.
      Pan America 1250 534lb. wet/Pan America 1250 Special 559lb. wet
      Less than a GS.

      • Mick says:

        Way back when they built the very first motorcycle, they lied about how much it weighed. They haven’t stopped lying since.

        One thing you can be absolutely sure of is that neither of these two models weigh those two figures at any time. Even during assembly.

        They are totally mum about where the engine comes from. It’s not a V-Rod engine and it’s not made in the US.

  40. SVGeezer says:

    Came here mostly to eat popcorn and read the comments but do have some thoughts on this:

    In these images it no longer looks Fugly just ugly, which seems to be standard for this segment.

    Harley has the financial and engineering resources to make a quality bike of any style they choose. This one could be very successful if it was offered by a brand established in the adventure bike market.

    And there’s the rub. Harley has been a Life-Style brand for a long time with the bikes more of an anchor for the really profitable bits. If Adventure Bikes were part of that Life-Style the The Ulysses would have become a Harley when Buell was quietly killed. Harley will have to build something from scratch which will require a Marketing Genius, which they may not have. If they do have such a Genius on line one small part would be creating a buzz around a group riding Pan Am’s into Sturgis over some brutal trails through the Black Hills, if such trails exist.

    Good Luck H-D! (And start your own Beer brand already, sheesh!)

    • carl says:

      LOL can hardly wait to see the 60 year plus beer bellied harley riders on these adventure bikes. Maybe it will do as well as the livewire.

  41. todd says:

    Now that the segment is transitioning to more capable and lighter 700-800cc bikes… I would much rather have a Tenere 700 or a 701 Rally/Baja. This is a new option though for people that don’t mind riding around with an extra one or two hundred pounds.

  42. fred B says:

    Way to go HD, you can no longer say they are not trying. I have been on BMW’s for 40 yrs. I would like a test ride

  43. Steve M says:

    I am still waiting to see a Multistrada Enduro being used in the wild and I suspect hell will freeze over before is see one of these on a smooth dirt road as well.

    • Steve Bradshaw says:

      Saw a Multistrada on Mengel Pass (Death Valley) recently. Definitely not a smooth dirt road. Stock (unlifted) Jeeps were turning back at one of the obstacles.

  44. OldBiker says:

    Yeah it’s kinda ugly but perhaps it looks better in person. Surprised at the price and the performance specifications, I was expecting closer to 30k. They might actually sell some of these! I’d get a black one, change to a silver muffler, and have flames painted on the tank! 😜 The dealer network should be a big plus for the people that are going to tour with it. BMW makes some awesome adventure bikes but unfortunately dealers are far and few between… Can’t wait to see it in person!

  45. Tommy D says:

    Great reading responses to this bikes release. I think we are all surprised by the features and the weight target reached. I see the same aging demographic that may have owned a Harley in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that now rides a KTM or BMW looking at this bike as an option. I don’t see this bike going after a demographic that saves the brand into the next 10 years. Let’s hope they keep surprising us with modern bikes people want but in a price range that every dealer sold out of this past year. The sub $9k price point.

    • jimmihaffa says:

      Less than $9k? I think we’re realistically looking at almost double that (or at least north of $15k). It (sub $10k price) certainly would incentivize some tire kicking from slightly less affluent motorcyclist enthusiasts than HD’s usual uppity clientele, but I don’t think that there are enough of us out there and, therefore, your price point ain’t happenin’.

  46. Advrider says:

    Pricing starts at $17,319, +390;prep which looks promising, love v-twins but not a cruiser guy, can’t wait to take a test ride..

  47. DR007 says:

    Congratulations to HD! Show us the weight of course. But more importantly I wish HD much success as America needs Harley-Davidson to be successful. New products that aren’t cruisers are key to the future success. Time to start bringing in a 70cc mini bike to get today’s video minded kids on bikes. The future is is her right now and products for the young will transfer into bigger bikes in the future. Great job HD! Don’t slow down!!

  48. Michael A Simmons Sr says:

    Good job so far MoCo! I’m impressed! I hope your dealers embrace it.

  49. TF says:

    Wow, pretty impressive. If someone would have asked me to guess the bike’s weight from the pictures they would have won a big stuffed animal. The bike looks like a great long range tourer and should be a comfortable two-up option. Add the fact that Harley has dealer support all over the country, probably better than any other brand.

    I love the firewood picture……I have loaded my panniers with firewood on several occasions.

  50. dp says:

    Be it success or failure, it comes down to number of sold units. Competition is here and is real. Good luck!

  51. joe b says:

    Its the engine. A new engine from Harley. I guess they had to hide it in the off road guise, and not release it first as the new fat boy, to not rile the diehards. I wonder how long it will take before it does come out in the new fat boy?

  52. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Surprisingly modern, welcome to the 21st century.

  53. mikedard says:

    Still… Lose some more weight, so you can add the Christini AWD!! Every good adventure bike should be AWD. Heck every street bike. Just don’t add another ADV copy do something great.

  54. Marcus says:

    Kudos to Harley, they have stepped up to the plate.
    I’m no fan of HD nor do I understand the need for heavy off-road bikes but this thing is spec’d with the best of them. And it’s no more ugly/pretty than others in the category.
    I’m sure it will be priced with the top BMW offerings (i.e. uber expensive, or more) but if it’s reliable, they could have a winner on their hands. And they need that about now.
    Possibly a new direction for the Motor Company?

  55. Dave says:

    They really went and did it. A Harley that isn’t a “Harley”. Congratulations to them, this has been a long time coming.

    I really wish they would’ve followed through with the naked sport bike (Bronx?). I though that was a really strong prospect, a real nice counterpart to the Indian FTR 1200, and I might’ve even considered buying it.

    • Lawrence says:

      The V-Rod and Buells were Harleys that weren’t Harleys. Third time a charm? We’ll see…

      • Dave says:

        Key will have to be fixing the dealer network. Stocking this and their upcoming “non-cruiser” products needs to be a separate, new agreement. They have an extensive dealer network but if Buell showed anything, it was that they were inflexible and unwilling to change. If traditional HD dealers won’t meet standard, HD needs to be willing to take this outside of their traditional dealer network.

        The current network shouldn’t need this much incentive to change, though. The writing has been on the wall for sometime, written in Japanese and German.

      • todd says:

        You forgot about the “Street” line of 500s and 750s of “weren’t Harleys”. Then there were all those H-D branded Aermaccis. Heck, even the Livewire was designed and manufactured originally by Mission Motors. Maybe 6th is the charm? I lost count.

  56. If they are offering test rides (would be fools if they didnt), sign me up for a demo

  57. ABQ says:

    They had this engine the whole time but they stuck us with the old knuckle dragging FL type?
    They could have saved the motor company with that engine in everything that they had.
    I fully expect a riot and insurgency in the ranks of share holders and bike owners for the way the board of directors have held out on using this engine in everything. There isn’t a string of cuss words strong enough to describe what I feel about the H-D board of directors right now. So I will clench my teeth and say:
    “Put that engine in everything you got”

  58. JC says:

    I like it and want to test ride one.

    Adventure bikes are all ugly. If that’s all people have to complain about, then it’s just bias against a brand. As much as I like the KTM bikes, they all look like an Antman and the Wasp prop. The new Multistrada is very cool, but it’s technically sexy more than pretty. The BMW looks like a Mad Max contraption. So what if the HD has a funny headlight.

    The ride height thing is pretty cool on this bike. I’m tall enough to not need it, but the people who do will appreciate it.
    The touch screen is a step above some of the other brands.

    • mickey says:

      New here? We think a lot of bikes are ugly, it has nothing to do with bias against a particular brand. I love Hondas but think a DN01 or an NM4 are hideous and would say so.

      Really on this bike it’s just the gas tank and fairing that are not attractive (imo) and the ghosted bar and shield doesnt look near as good as the straight HD on the tank.

      Harley has made an amazing bike here, more amazing than many of us assumed the Motor Company was capable of. Honestly. I think we all envisioned a 1200 Sportster motor with long travel suspension, with an appliance looking fairing that was too heavy, too slow, too … Harley. Instead they surprised us with this.

      I applaud them for their efforts. I would gladly test one if I was 6 inches taller. But I still find it ugly.

    • KenLee says:

      “Adventure bikes are all ugly.” Disagree- both modern times generations of Africa Twin are good looking ones (for me at least).

      • JC says:

        True enough. The AF is less hideous than other adventure bikes. I appreciate that it is more off road focused than most large adventure bikes.

  59. TimC says:

    This thing is uglier than an abortion

  60. StromRider says:

    What an eyesore! Never mind the specs!

    • Lawrence says:

      Well a VStrom rider would know about eyesores…

      • StromRider says:

        Any and all Stroms have a certain visual appeal in functionality and attachment. So far after 15 years my “eyesore” Strom has, IMO, stood the test of time and reliability on road and off. Hopefully, this offering from HD will meet those same milestones and evolve stylistically.

    • SVGeezer says:

      Wait! THE StromRider?*

      *There may be many….

  61. Tom R says:

    So far I like what I see and hear. H-D got waaaay out of their comfort zone with this product, and it looks like their efforts will pay off. The looks are even growing on me, and I suspect it will look better “in the flesh” so to speak.

    I have been a major naysayer on Harley for decades, but I am now vigorously applauding their decision to expand into what is arguably motorcycling’s most competitive segment. Matt Levatich surely deserves at least some credit for his part in getting this project underway.

  62. VFRMarc says:

    Somehow, I don’t see anyone slogging one of these through the Darien Gap.

    • JC says:

      Which 1200cc adventure bike will people use there? Multi Strada? 600lb GSA? Maybe the KTM, if it doesn’t break down. A KLR is more the appropriate bike for that trip.

  63. motorhead says:

    This is good. Plenty of power, the weight only 534-559 lb, depending on configuration. To me the appearance is unapologetically Russian, and I’m perfectly fine with that. Utilitarian and easy to work on – excellent.

  64. Jabe says:

    I would be curious to know ( if it’s even possible) who HD hired to design this bike. The alleged weight/power/performance seems so unlike the usual fat/slow/over weight land barges they usually build. Now the looks, yeah, that has HD screw up all over it. I see that front light and want to shove a VHS tape in it. The numbers though are impressive. Really like that kind of hp with a hydraulic valve train.

    • Jim says:

      My guess is it will mysteriously lose HP and gain weight by the time anyone trustworthy gets hold of one for review.
      Did I miss the price? My guess is $30k

      • mickey says:

        Unlike the Livewire, this is actually pleasingly priced under $20K

        • VLJ says:

          Sure, until you spring for the Special and tack on the adaptive ride height, hard bags, and wire wheels, at which point you’re well north of $20K.

          Pretty certain that most everyone who is interested in this thing will want the Special’s center stand, heated grips, electronic suspension, etc., and everyone will want the hard bags.

          • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

            The Special comes with centerstand, heated grips and ESA. The aluminum luggage set is $1920 + installation. GS style tubeless spoked wheels are $500 extra if it’s a factory installed option…$1600 for both if bought separate. They’re also 120/70R19 and 170/60R17.

  65. Jeremy says:

    The effort they put into this thing is impressive. HD clearly understands that this bike can’t compete in this segment simply by being a Harley. They swung for the fences, and I can appreciate that. Seems like a competitive package, and I personally think it looks pretty cool.

  66. xLaYN says:

    I like the bike.
    Shouldn’t people be more excited about the possibilities of that engine in other HD bikes?
    I liked the vrod bike and engine even if purist (eagle) scream sacrilege.

  67. warren says:

    While looking at other top end adventure bikes like Ducati and KTM (in the market). I’ve noticed just changing spark plugs are a very intrusive, tedious and time consuming job. You actually have to disassemble 1/2 the bike to get to the spark plugs. Yeah, the Pan America isn’t an Italian beauty or as nice looking as the KTM SAS, but there are advantages to functionality! Anybody else notice spark plug placement on the HD? yeah right out in the open for easy access on the left side! Can you change a spark plug on the trail with the other two?? A BIG NO, at least not for me and I’m a mechanic.
    I’m very interested to see what the maintenance and valve adjustment intervals are, that may be a major contributing factor for its success or failure…..along with reliability and dependability.
    Give me a low maintenance, good looking, dependable country girl any day!

    • warren bolin says:

      Well maybe not, I cant find a good picture of the left side.
      But I did see the the coils on the top left side edge of the valve cover. Might have to remove the tank to get to the plugs, but still much easier though.

    • mickey says:

      It’s got hydaulic valves, never need adjustment. That’s really cool and sort of negates the comments that high horsepower bikes can’t have hydraulic valves.

      • VLJ says:

        I poured over the specs three times and couldn’t locate any mention of hydraulic valves. Couldn’t find anything about hydraulic valves for this model on the H-D website, either.

        Where are you getting this info?

        • mickey says:

          VLJ I read it on 2 other sites, one was in an interview with the design team by Cycle World’s Kevin Cameron. Just google Cycle World first report of Harley Davidson Pan American

          “Because this is a Harley-Davidson, it cannot have valve noise or require valve adjustments (service interval is 5,000 miles). Therefore its roller finger cam followers have hydraulic clearance adjusters. Cams are chain-driven.”

          • Dave says:

            This article differs from the other. Here we’re talking about hydraulic clearance adjustment, elsewhere he talk is hydraulically controlled continuously variable valve timing, a whole ‘nuther ball of wax.

          • dp says:

            Reading from info you provided:

            “The 1250′s crankshaft has two crankpins, staggered at 30 degrees to each other. This reduces primary shaking force and spaces top dead center of the two cylinders (the rear is offset to the left) 90 degrees apart. A primary balance shaft deals with both shaking and rocking. A secondary balance shaft is located between the cams of the front cylinder, geared to one of the cam phasers. This shaft therefore gives a different vibration at idle, making the engine feel “alive,” but runs smoother at freeway speeds. Balance shafts save weight, for without them bikes would need heftier structure just to survive their own vibration.”

            This appears to be relatively sophisticated engine, far ahead of H-D tradition. It includes hydraulically controlled VVT – variable valve timing.

    • RyYYZ says:

      With modern bikes using the expensive platinum/iridium/unobtanium electrodes, you probably don’t need to worry about replacing plugs between valve service intervals anyway. Which are getting quite long on most modern bikes. My last Yamaha had 42,000 km (26,000 mile) intervals.

      V-twins are a PITA to service generally, though, in my experience. Especially 90* v-twins that have their rear cylinders buried.

      Of course if this does have hydraulic valve adjustments, I guess it will be a 40-50k km sprak plug service interval, instead.

  68. Dave Soderholm says:

    I was bullish on this thing, until today.

    Wow – 150 hp – 534 wet – cool innovations – great tech – hydraulic lifts – able to be worked on at a bazzillion HD dealers….

    Sign me up!

  69. Bigboresrule says:

    CEO appears to not remember Buell Uly was U.S. designed and built right in wisconsin. 53,000 trouble free mile on mine. Adventure touring was its purpose, I think Chris Carr rode one tip of Alaska to Florida Keys if I remember the story.

  70. fred says:

    From the specs, Harley has a winner here. If the reality matches the specs, and if the early adopters report good things, this bike could make real inroads into the adventure bike market. H-D really needs to get this one right from the get-go, or the skeptics will rag on it endlessly.
    There will always be fanbois and haters, but a large portion of the riding public is open to considering any great motorcycle.

    I see this as a less-than-beautiful sport-touring bike with the ability to go far enough offroad to get to the good campsites, and to do some exploration. I would have loved it 10-15 years ago, but don’t do much camping anymore. For pure exploration, I’d prefer something a bit smaller and lighter.

  71. Fred says:

    Actually the H-D dealership is the closest dealership to me. I was in it back in 2000 to order, and then to pick up a Buell Fly Screen that I installed on my 99 SV650, and haven’t had a reason to go back until now. I’ll test ride one if they’ll let me.

  72. Trevd says:

    This is the first HD in a while that I could see myself owning. The price and weight are right on the money, IMHO. I actually am getting used the the Fugly look, and the tech seems great. Hopefully it’s reliable.

  73. dt-175 says:

    looks good, but why? the faithful will not accept you, it won’t be as fast as a ktm, reliable as a dl suzuki, as poseworthy as a beemer, nor as capable as a crf 11. it’ll be like a lincoln mark lt, nice, but why?

    • Jeremy says:

      Because it is different and pretty cool. Rarely does one need a better reason than that to choose one thing over another.

    • Dave says:

      It’ll be as poseworthy as any bike in the class (American made?), it’s more powerful than can be used outside of a race track, capable as this kind of bike needs to be (gravel roads? Check…) and more importantly, it’ll be available in one of the most extensive dealer networks in the country.

    • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

      The faithful will have a few years to get used to it as the Pan gets seen on the road over time. This is a platform engine and will first be phased into the Softtail/Dyna line up and then as a larger bore version on the baggers and Squawking Ckicken editions. Pushroads and cooling fins are going away, like it or not. There may be be stylized highlighted fins on the cruisers, if I have to make a prediction.

      • mickey says:

        the video “Everything is a road” on youtube hints at an upcoming power cruiser with this engine. There are even some ghostly mockups or drawings

  74. todder says:

    I’ve heard that it will be a $500 option for spokes. If that is for the pair of front/rear, that is a bargin. Makes me stop thinking about the Tiger 900 Rally or even upcoming 2022 KTM 1290 adventure.

  75. mechanicus says:

    I’m not a fan of Nikasil, but that aside I am shocked (in a good way) at the startling level of tech in that motor compared to previous HD engines.

    • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

      20 years ago, the Nikasil you may be thinking of on aftermarket cylinders for Sporty/Buells was a plating process. The past 15 years, at least, have all been vapor deposition. Nothing to flake off anymore.

  76. endoman38 says:

    They should have called it PanButtUgly.

  77. Zuki says:

    I love the look and the specs are good. Neat bike!

  78. Selecter says:

    This is the first H-D I could see myself riding. Price is competitive with the high-end products in the segment. Looks great in black, too.

    The chain is a win in my book, too, since I’m sure it contributes to the light claimed weight. Which, if it isn’t utter BS, is extremely competitive. A bike with this power, in this category, with a sub-540 lb. wet weight (assuming it includes the 5.6 gallons of gas) stands a good chance of being a winner.

    Handling will tell all, though. One pleasant surprise I’ve found on most ADV bikes I’ve ridden (inclusive of my own Super Tenere) is the excellent handling and ability to chuck corners at them with profound ease. If Harley hit the mark here, too, I think they stand to sell an awful lot of these. Which wasn’t what I expected I’d think before… since I figured they’d start at $24k, weigh 60 lbs. more, and just generally be off the mark, at least on paper.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I love the look and the specs are good. Neat bike!

  80. mickey says:

    Certainly has all the features and gizmos and 150 hp is nothing to sneeze at. My only objection is it just looks so Leggo-ish ugly.

    Hope they sell enough of them to justify the development.

  81. todder says:

    Why were all the previews showing wirewheels, but now both models show mag wheels? Not offroad friendly when you bend a rim…could have just had two different purpose models like KTM does with the 1290 Adventure. And the VVT technology is my other hangup, but maybe it will be reliable?

    Otherwise, it ticks most of my boxes and would love to take one for a test ride.

    • mickey says:

      2 of the orange ones above have spokes. Maybe it’s an option?

      • zuki says:

        Did you read all the way to the very end?

      • todder says:

        I’ve heard that it will be a $500 option for spokes. If it is for the pair of front/rear, that is a bargin. Makes me stop thinking about the Tiger 900 Rally or even upcoming 2022 KTM 1290 adventure. Never thought I would be still excited about this bike so I hope to see it soon in showrooms. Haven’t wanted to go into a Harely showroom since those Buell days…now I look forward to a trip.

    • zuki says:

      Did you read all the way to the end?

      • mickey says:

        Zuki you and toddler seems to be stuttering today.

        I missed that part (and the weight first time I read it through) but I’ll be honest reading Dircks stuff is easy, reading the factory blather for me is hard, whether its Harley. Or BMW or Ducati or whoever. Like trying to get thru a Kevin Cameron article without going bleary eyed

    • VAFish says:

      The spoke wheels and knobby tires are a factory installed option according to the web site.

  82. patdep says:

    should have been shaft driven, but otherwise good work

    • Nathan says:

      I couldn’t disagree more… Shaft drive adds unnecessary complexity & weight. Nobody but BMW does it, and for good reason.

      • SamY says:

        “Nobody but BMW does it”? Triumph, Yamaha, and Motoguzzi all have shafts on their big ADV bikes.

      • Provologna says:

        I suggest you take a peek at BMW’s sales chart spike over the past decade. Have you ever visited a BMW dealer? Generally the quality of my personal experiences in BMW dealerships is two clear steps above the Japanese. I owned about 75 different bikes.

        • Nathan says:

          Their sales charts are immaterial, as is the feeling of quality in their dealership. I happen to own a 17′ R9TR, that I purchased new ( my second BMW ). I have been in plenty of their dealerships, so I’m quite familiar with them. BMW’s shaft drives are hardly a poster-child for reliability, and they are insanely expensive to repair when you have a problem.

          My “nobody uses shaft drive” comment was hyperbole. I understand that there are bikes that use shaft drive, other than Beemers, but they are few and far between.

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