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Harley-Davidson Pan America Launched | All You Need To Know About Harley’s First Adventure Bike

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

It’s one of Harley-Davidson’s most hyped models in recent years, and finally, the boys from Milwaukee have revealed all of their first crack at an adventure bike, the Pan America.

Making its debut as two models, the base Pan America and the Pan America Special, the new Pan America has been developed from the ground up to take Harley-Davidson to the Adventure Touring segment, and at first look, they haven't half-assed it.

Set to go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights of the adventure class such as BMW’s R 1250 GS with its new 1250cc Revolution Max V-Twin and long-travel suspension, the Pan America will be a premium offering like the European competition, with NZ pricing set to start from $33,995 and a mid-year arrival expected by Harley-Davidson Australia.

“From its inception more than a century ago, when many roads were little more than dirt trails, Harley-Davidson has stood for adventure, says said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO Harley-Davidson.

"So I’m very proud to present Pan America as the first adventure touring bike designed and built in America. 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.”

While styling is clearly inspired by Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide, Harley hasn’t rushed the Pan America into production with shortcuts. Here‘s your full rundown of the Pan America fresh from Harley-Davidson’s press conference.


Powering the Pan America is Harley-Davidson's brand-new Revolution Max 1250 V-twin. Harley states that the new 1250cc V-twin produces 150hp at 9,000rpm and 127Nm of torque at 6,750rpm. It's a new era for Harley-Davidson, and the firm's first water-cooled engine since the original Revolution engine co-developed with Porsche for the V-Rod in the early 2000s.

Backing the engine is a 6-speed gearbox with chain final drive which will make for a far more durable final drive on rough roads compared to Harley's traditional belt-drive.


As you'd expect, the chassis of the Pan America is also a new design and incorporates the engine as a stressed member.

Harley claims to have focussed the design all with the goal of achieving a desirable power-to-weight ratio. The frame is made up of three distinct elements – the front frame, the mid-frame and the tail section – all of which bolt directly to the powertrain. This design reduces motorcycle weight and results in a stiff chassis that contributes to precise handling. The cast-aluminium swingarm minimizes unsprung weight.

The chassis is designed with a 1579.8mm wheelbase, which Harley claims is ideal for touring capability (especially with passenger and loaded luggage) and agile handling required for off-road manoeuvrability.

Weight is claimed at 245kg (US-spec is 242kg) for the base Pan America, with the Pan America Special tipping the scales at 258kg (US-spec is 253kg).

The suspension system is supplied by Showa and is fully adjustable for pre-load and compression/rebound damping. Suspension travel at both ends is the same 190mm, and ground clearance is 210mm. Front suspension is provided by a Showa 1 by 1 47mm inverted cartridge fork. The rear suspension is a Showa Piggyback reservoir shock with an adjustable hydraulic preload.

Seat height is 869mm in the base Pan America, but the higher-spec Pan America Special gains the option to have Harley-Davidson's new Adaptive Ride Height system installed. The ARH system can lower the seat height by 1 to 2 inches (depending on automatically selected rear pre-load, which determines ride height when the bike is moving). Unladen seat height is 830mm inches in the low position and 856mm in the high position.

The fuel tank is constructed of aluminium and has 21-litres of capacity, which at a claimed economy of 4.9L/100km should give over 400km of range.


At the time of launch, the base Pan America is only available with a set of cast alloy wheels in a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel sizing. This points to where Harley-Davidson is pointing the Pan America. It's not a hard-core adventurer and is intended for use on paved roads and unpaved surfaces, such as gravel roads and fire roads according to Harley-Davidson's press release

The up-specced Pan America Special will feature the same cast alloy wheels as standard, but will have the option of shifting to a set of spoked wheels. Both models utilise a tubeless tyre design in an effort to keep weight down.

Tyre wiser Harley-Davidson and Michelin collaboratively designed a Scorcher Adventure tyre for the Pan America models to meet the demands associated with adventure touring, while the option of Michelin Anakee Wild tires with a more aggressive knobby tread pattern will be offered through Harley-Davidson's dealers.


Harley-Davidson has given the Pan America not only the expected rider modes, traction control and the like, but also some very useful technology as well.

All instrumentation and infotainment functions are displayed on a tilting 6.8-inch TFT touchscreen which Harley-Davidson says thanks to 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.

The Pan America features five rider modes on the base model (4 are pre-programmed and one can be customised) while the Pan America 1250 Special model has two additional modes that can be customised 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

A nice touch is that cruise control is standard on both models. It is a tourer at the premium end of the market after all and Harley knows very well long-distance riders appreciate cruise control.

Lighting is an all-LED affair and is 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.”

Pan America Special

When it comes to deciding which of the two is best equipped for adventure out of the gate, it's hands down the Pan America Special which ships with added features and equipment to make life easier on the rider.

Not only does it feature the previously mentioned adaptive ride height system, but it also benefits from an electronically adjustable semi-active front and rear suspension. The system utilises 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.

The Special also gets a tyre pressure monitoring system, centre stand, brush guard and skid plate, steering damper, heated grips and hand wind deflectors (they're not calling them handguards for a reason we'd wager) plus an adaptive headlight.

The adaptive headlight is a cool addition (one we wish we saw more often) and uses 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 would be unlit by an LED headlamp without this technology.

We'll keep you updated on pricing and when we can expect to see the Pan America show up on dealer floors here.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Specifications

Length - 2265mm

Overall Width - 965mm

Overall Height - 1510mm

Seat Height, laden - 807mm

Seat Height, unladen - 869mm

Static Ground Clearance - 210mm

Rake - 25º

Fork Angle - 25º

Trail - 157mm

Wheelbase - 1580mm

Tyres - Michelin Scorcher Adventure

Tyre Front - 120/70 R19

Tyre Rear - 170/60 R17

Fuel Capacity - 21.2-litres

Reserve - 3.8-litres

Oil Capacity - 4.5-litres

Weight - 242kg

Engine - Revolution Max 1250

Valves - Chain-driven, DOHC, hydraulic self-adjusting lifters, intake and exhaust VVT, four valves per cylinder

Bore - 105mm

Stroke - 72mm

Displacement - 1252cc

Compression Ratio - 13.0:1

Fuel System - Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection

Air Cleaner - Downdraft intake, tuned velocity stacks, washable air filter

Exhaust - 2-into-1 , catalytic converter in header

Lubrication System - Pressurised wet sump

Primary Drive - Gear, 49/89 ratio

Final Drive - Chain, 19/48 ratio

Clutch - Mechanical, 8 plate wet, assist and slip clutch

Transmission - 6-speed

Frame - Stressed-member, high strength low alloy steel trellis frame; stamped, cast and forged junctions, MIG welded; aluminium forged mid-structure

Swingarm - One-piece cast aluminium

Front Fork - 47mm inverted fork with compression, rebound and spring preload adjustment. Aluminium fork triple clamps

Rear Shock - Linkage-mounted, piggyback monoshock with compression, rebound and hydraulic spring preload adjustment

Wheel Front - Aluminium cast, satin black 76mm x 483mm

Wheel Rear - Aluminium cast, satin black 114mm x 432mm

Brakes Front - Dual 320mm rotors with radially mounted, monoblock 4-piston caliper

Brake Rear - 280mm rotor with floating, single piston caliper

Suspension Travel Front - 190mm

Suspension Travel Rear - 190mm

Engine Torque - 127Nm @ 6750rpm

Engine Power - 150hp/112kW @9000rpm

Lean Angle - 42º L/R

Fuel Economy - 4.9/100km (claimed)

Batter - Sealed, maintenance-free, absorbed glass mat battery, 12v, 12Ah, 225CCA

Charging - Three-phase, 45 Amp system (300 watts @13 volts)

Starting - 0.9kW electric with direct drive starter motor

Lights - Daymaker Signature LED headlamp, low and high beam with signature position lighting, All LED talk/stop lamp and LED Bullett Turn signals

Guages - 6.8 inch TFT display with speedmeter, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, low temp alert, side stand down alert, TIP over alert, cruise, range and tachometer indication, BT capable

Electric Power Outlet - USB-C type, Output 5V at 2.4Amp

Warranty - 2 years unlimited mileage

Service Interval - First 1600km then every 8000km thereafter.

1 Comment

Looking forward to seeing what else they put this motor in.

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