An off-road adventure bike from Harley-Davidson? It sounds like uncharted territory for bar and shield, right? Actually, no.
The Milwaukee-based motorcycle company does have some off-road heritage. In 1903 when the company was founded, there were no paved roads. Bikes were designed to perform as well or better than their four-legged competition. They claimed the benefit of owning a Harley was you didn’t have to feed it. Their slogan at the time, “Don’t buy a horse, buy a Harley!”
In 1971 Harley-Davidson entered the Baja 1000, a grueling thousand-mile, off-road race that tests the limits of both rider and machine. Harley stepped up with a 14-rider race team, all on Harley’s Baja 100 motorcycles, and won their class, claiming eight of the top ten finishes. The Baji 100, was available to the general public, but only for a short period between 1970 and 1973.
Harley also got their boots “dirty,” jumping into the motocross game with the MX20, and competed successfully in dirt track racing, with their legendary XR-750. Harley continues to podium on the American Flat Track circuit with the XG-750R, a flat-tracker built around their Revolution-X, liquid-cooled V-twin.
Yes, Harley has off-road heritage, although they’re not necessarily known for it. Their reputation and popularity were built upon big machines designed for paved roads. But, as my buddy Ferris once said, “life moves pretty fast.” The motorcycle industry has evolved, that dirt road from Harley’s past has presented itself once again.
Harley’s virtual launch of the Pan America was something we’ve been looking forward to. Harley’s CEO Jochen Zeitz stated during the 2021 model launch in January, that the Pan America was going to “reinvent adventure touring,” this left us very curious, to say the least.
So what do we think of the bike? To put it simply, the Pan America’s a very interesting bike. Harley has thought about the “new” customer and designed a bike for them. This is definitely not, your typical Harley. No chrome, no flames, no-nonsense. The Pan America seems purpose-built for adventure touring, off-road, and on paved canyon twisties. Not sure if they’ve reinvented the game, but this is one heck of an effort!
The 2021 Pan America
Whether it’s camping on a mountainside or traversing a dry lakebed, the Pan America™ 1250 motorcycle is equipped with advanced technologies designed to embrace the adventurous spirit. Adapting to varied terrain and riding styles easy with multiple electronically controlled ride modes that tailor the performance characteristics of the motorcycle to deliver confidence in a wide variety of riding conditions.
The Pan America motorcycle introduces a revolution in accessibility and performance with Adaptive Ride Height technology. This industry-first motorcycle suspension system automatically transitions between a riding position when stopped to an optimal ride height when the motorcycle is in motion. The lowered suspension at rest makes the motorcycle easier to mount and dismount, without sacrificing lean angles or ground clearance.
The Pan America motorcycle is also powered by the all-new Revolution Max 1250 engine. The latest in the legendary powertrain lineage of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, is a liquid-cooled 1,250cc-displacement V-Twin finely styled as the visual centerpiece of the motorcycle. The Revolution Max 1250 is designed to offer smooth, low-end torque delivery and low-speed throttle control that is ideal for off-road riding.
From the Arctic Circle to the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Harley-Davidson Pan America motorcycle is designed to explore, built to endure, and engineered for endless adventure.
The 2021 Pan America 1250 starts at $17,319. For more details CLICK HERE.