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Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250: Hog Heaven Adv Motorcycle

Can Harley Make an Adventure Motorcycle Worth Considering?

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Adventure Motorcycle

The Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 is here to ruffle feathers and take on the mighty BMW GS in the adventure-touring motorcycle world. It has been discussed, cussed, and laughed at since first revealed by Harley-Davidson in 2019. Finally, it is ready for a real-world spin around the block, up some muddy hills, maybe a trip down the Pan American Hwy, and surely more than one trip to Starbucks. Can Harley make an adventure bike?

A Harley ADV Motorcycle?

2021 Harely-Davidson Pan America in the mud

An adventure-touring bike (ADV), like the Pan America, is a dual-purpose motorcycle. It can tour the highways all day and then allow the rider to go off-road in the dirt and mud. Thus it needs to have high ground clearance, good fuel capacity, and be relatively lightweight. Knobby tires and skid plates are a must, along with some gear-hauling capacity for life on the road.

Harley-Davidson has made a name in heavy, low-slung touring bikes or baggers. It was founded in 1903 and produces bikes in America and across the world, and is desperately trying to revive its sales by playing in a wide range of motorcycle categorize.

2021 Harely-Davidson Pan America on rocky road

Harley-Davidson has previous experience in the sportbike category when they bought out the Buell Motorcycle Company in 2003, after previously owning increasing shares of the company. But the Harley-Davidson Company later dropped the Buell line in 2009. They released their first electric bike, the Live Wire, in 2019, which offers a range of nearly 100 miles on a charge. Now Harley-Davidson is prepared to crash into the ADV segment, where it hopes to have more success and appeal to a new buyer.

Pan America 1250 Engine

Harely-Davidson Pan America 1250 engine

The Pan America will be powered by Harley-Davidson’s all-new Revolution Max engine with 1250 cc of displacement.  The V-twin is liquid-cooled, efficiently chain driven, and the 60-degree vee allows room for two beefy downdraft throttle bodies. To help smooth the ride and reduce weight, the engine is a load-bearing component of the frame. A counter-balancing shaft will also keep the engine vibrations at bay.

It will produce 150 hp and 94 lb.-ft. of torque with a top speed of 135 mph.

Big Bike Big Brakes

Pan America Motorcycle fornt brakes

A big bike requires big brakes. The Pan America weighs in at 534 pounds. Add in your weight, accessories, and loaded luggage and you’ll be pushing 750-plus-pounds. To stop that weight on and off-road, Brembo has engineered a new Monoblock 4-piston caliper with 320 mm discs up front and a single-piston with a 280 mm disc for the rear.

Ready For Off-Road & On-road Adventures

Harely-Davidson Pan America 1250 jumping

If enthusiasts are really expected to take this off-road, they might need the skid plate, adjustable windscreen, hand guards, racks for aluminum luggage, and crash bars.

Touring will be easier with a large TFT dash, cruise control, and heated grips with a five-mode selectable, electronic-controlled suspension.

Harley Pan America hard luggage

Harley-Davidson Pan America Pricing & Availablity

The Harley Pan America will start at $17,319 but will easily climb well over $20,000 with the accessories you’ll no doubt want to trick out it with.

Consider that the BMW 1250 GS starts at $17,995 and it’s obvious who Harley-Davidson is trying to compete against. Harley-Davidson is scheduled to have these American-made bikes in dealerships by late Spring 2021.

Big Adv Competition

This is Harley-Davidson’s first foray into the adventure touring motorcycle market. It has some super steep competition, with the big BMW R1250GS being the far and away outright leader of the pack (at least in terms of sales). The big BMW ADV bike offers a good mix of on and off-road manners and has all the latest tech. The big KTM 1290 is the more off-road capable of the big adventure bikes, while the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro leans towards more on-road performance.

Where will the new big HD Pan America fit in the adventure market? We can’t wait to throw a leg over one and find out what this new machine is all about.

A comparison:

ADV Motorcycle Displacement cc HP Torque Weight MSRP
Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 1250 150 94 534 $17,319
BMW R1250 GS 1254 136 105 549 $17,995
Triumph Tiger 1200 XR 1215 141 90 534 $16,500
Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro 1262 158 94 496 $22,095

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

1301 160 103 478 $18,599
Honda Africa Twin CRF1100 Adventure Sports ES 1084 100 77 530 $17,199


2021 Harely-Davidson Pan America

Either the HD Pan America will take away market share from its well-established competitors, or it might just convince some current Hogs to add a new motorcycle to their garage.

Would you buy a Harley-Davidson for your next off-road adventure?

To find your nearest dealer and check out the Harley Pan America for yourself click HERE.

Pan America Motorcycle
The Harley-Davidson Pan America is jumping into the adventure-touring segment.

Mark Bach
About Mark Bach

Mark C. Bach is a well preserved automotive junkie with 30W oil in his veins and remembers feeler gauges and brake springs. He has a love for all things that move, especially old-school muscle cars. Bach covers the car auctions and the automotive scene and writes for a variety of outlets, including Chevy Classics, Round-Up Publications and eBay Motors, and maintains Route66pubco.com.