Motorcycle Review: Pan America 1250 and 1250 Special

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.

Harley-Davidson Pan America

“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 of 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 spirit 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. (See separate Revolution Max 1250 release for full technical details)

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.

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

PAN AMERICA 1250 Model
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.

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

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.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Display

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. (See Pan America 1250/Special Tech release for complete details)

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. (See Pan America 1250/Special Tech release for complete details)

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. (See Pan America 1250/Special Tech release for complete details)

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

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special

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. (See Pan America 1250/Special Tech release for complete details)

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.

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

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.

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

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.

CLICK HERE for more about the Harley-Davidson Pan America.

To visit the Harley-Davidson website CLICK HERE

Motorcycle Review: Harley-Davidson Pan America Reveal

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-Davidson Pan America

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.