Harley-Davidson Pan America getting closer: Milwaukee’s adventure bike on tour in Europe ahead of 2021 release

Harley-Davidson Pan America coming 2021
Harley-Davidson Pan America coming 2021

When Harley-Davidson brought a near-production-ready Pan America to Eicma last year, we expected it to be landing in dealers right about now. But then in May, with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing and a change in Harley’s senior management, it was announced that we would have to wait until 2021 to get our hands on one.

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Then it all went quiet and we watched as H-D’s other new model, the Bronx, was cancelled and the Sportster range fell victim to Euro5 legislation in Europe. We started to wonder if the model was still coming.

But now, fresh images have emerged from across Europe where the Pan America has been doing the rounds on a tour of dealerships for people to come and see it ahead of next year. And since it looks like they’re taking orders we wouldn’t expect the model to arrive later than March.

The Pan America was first announced back in 2018 and sent a shockwave through the bike world with its brand-new water-cooled engine, polarising looks and off road intent. Harley’s VP of styling and design told MCN that the intention was to create a "two-wheeled Jeep" that moved away from the "insectoid" styling employed by Japanese and European manufacturers.

It doesn’t look like H-D have made any visible changes from the version we saw in Italy in 2019 so it still has a big TFT dash, multi button switchgear, adjustable screen, cruise control, heated grips, Brembo brakes and some level of electronic suspension adjustability. Harley say the new engine will make about 145bhp and 90lbft of torque, which is BMW R1250GS territory.

The bike has been to dealer locations in France, Holland, Spain and Portugal with those who went to see the bike posting images and video on social media. Some say they have placed orders of the bike in S trim, which includes panniers.

MCN will bring you more official details of availability and price and when we get them. We expect the model to arrive officially in March 2021. Although there’s no official word on price, expect the top spec version to cost upwards of £20,000, similar money to a Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak.

Harley-Davidson Bronx and Pan-America models delayed until 2021

First published on 21 May, 2020 by Jordan Gibbons

Harley-Davidson have delayed the arrival of their Pan-America adventure bike and Bronx naked until 2021. The two models, which boast the brand new water-cooled revolution engine, were originally scheduled for release in 2020, however the website has quietly been changed to say they’re now coming in 2021.

Part of the delay is likely due to a recent change in senior management, who dropped the 'More Roads to Harley-Davidson' programme that spawned the new models in favour of the 'Rewire' plan. The rest of the delay will be related to the current Coronavirus pandemic, which has affected manufacturers across the world.

BMW, KTM and Husqvarna have already announced they will not be attending either the Eicma or Intermot trade shows this autumn, which are typically when manufacturers announce new models, and it’s unlikely they will be the only ones to drop out.

With dealerships currently closed, manufacturers will want more time to allow them to sell existing bikes, while factory shutdowns will no doubt have hampered new model development.

If the manufacturers lobby the EU to agree to an extension on the Euro5 time limit, it’s unlikely we’ll see many new arrivals at all this year.

A "two-wheeled Jeep" from Harley-Davidson! MCN talks Pan America 1250 with design chief

First published on 21 December, 2019 by Jordan Gibbons

Harley-Davidson Pan America jump

The Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 is on the way and if what you guys are saying goes, it’s one of the most controversial machines we can expect next year. Harley have made some big promises about what it can deliver, so we spoke to the designer about the most talked-about thing of all: its looks.

"We took a very in-depth look at the competition," Brad Richards, Vice President of Styling and Design, told MCN.

"One thing we noticed was that almost every competitor outside of KTM emulates BMW and their almost insectoid form factor. We realised no-one had used the North American design DNA to make an adventure touring bike. No-one has designed a two-wheeled Jeep. That was our ethos: let’s make a two-wheeled Jeep."

One of the key things was that even though this was an adventure bike that steps outside of their core market, people had to know at first sight that it was a Harley-Davidson.
"We did research early on and showed some sketches, and what we found was that with the exposed powertrain people saw it as a primary part of the bike, compared to some of our competitors where it’s secondary," Richards added.

"Our ethos at H-D is that the v-twin engine is the crowning jewel and we wanted to make sure that was the first thing you noticed, so we created this line through the centre of the bike. Everything above that would be classic Harley-Davidson: beautiful paint and finish, great surface etc. while everything below that line is all business."

Even so, Richards admits the bike didn’t have the easiest birth. "With every bike that we design, we go through a very well thought out design exploration. We call it a sketch blitz, where there’s a few months of sketching on a weekly basis. There’s some very frank and tough reviews.

"But once we had this idea you see now, we knew straight away we had something unique. We knew it would be polarizing and there were some people in the company who wanted us to lean into the BMW aesthetic a little more, to be honest, and we knew it would be a tough sell for some folks but we had to stick with it."

Harley are planning to launch the Pan Am by the middle of next year and you can be sure we’ll be at the front of the queue to ride it. Keep an eye out for the 2020 Harley-Davidson Pan America review coming soon.

Fancy an American adventure? Then take a look at Harley's new Pan America 1250

First published 05 November 2019 by Jordan Gibbons

The Pan America 1250 is Harley-Davidson's first leap into the adventure bike sector, and a bravely individual one it is. Given the ubiquity of BMW's GS bikes, the outlandish styling is probably a brave move...

Revealed as a concept in the middle of last year, it goes on sale towards the end of 2020. It'll feature the new liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine, designed to be used in various capacities as the company gears up for its Euro5-compliant future. 

HD's new 1250cc V-twin

The DOHC V-twin has a 60˚ V-angle, with a balance shaft to quash unwanted vibrations. It’s 1250cc in this application, with what Harley claim is more than 145bhp and over 90lbft of twist. For reference, BMW claim 134 horses and 105 torques for the R1250GS

Other than noting the fitment of bespoke Brembo radial calipers, Harley aren’t saying much more. In the image we've spotted wires, presumably to the semi-active suspension, plus a TFT dash and multi-button switchgear, a height-adjustable screen and cruise control.

Harley-Davidson Pan America adventure bike unveiled

First published on 30 July 2018 by Jordan Gibbons

This is the Harley-Davidson Pan America jumping. We can imagine it made a bit of a bump when it came down again

In a seismic announcement, the aftershock of which will be felt for years to come, Harley-Davidson have announced an enormous fleet of new bikes, powered by a brand new engine and spearheaded by the visually arresting Pan America adventure bike. No, we didn’t see this one coming either.

A proper Harley

The heart of Harley’s new middleweight range (read more here: New Harley-Davidson Middleweights), is a brand new water-cooled engine. It’s modular in design, so can be configured in a range of capacities but it will debut in the Pan America as a 1250cc (with a 975cc version to come later on). It’s still a traditional powerplant, so it’s a big v-twin with that potato-potato sound, but it will have a top end like we’ve never experienced before.

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Harley won’t be drawn on specifics yet, however we’re expecting to see three figures. To go with this new engine will be a full electronics suite with all the modcons that we’ve grown used to, including ride-by-wire and traction control. To go with this step up in power, the rest of the kit has had an upgrade too.

No compromise

Cradling the engine is a brand new frame that is paired with a new swingarm, Brembo monobloc calipers and new long-travel Showa suspension. It also has all the usual adventure bike additions including crash bars, serrated footpegs, bash plate, handguards and tubeless spoked wheels plus the standard touring bike fare of good lights, large adjustable screen, big comfortable seats and removable luggage. There will also be a new full-colour TFT screen that we expect to debut on some new models released later this year.

H-D haven’t released any specs about the bike but given the size of the tank, we’d expect it to have a decent range in excess of 200 miles. It should handle well off-road, if the video of a test rider launching it into the air is anything to go by. Though if you haven’t guessed already, we don’t think it will be cheap

Take my money

Given the engine size and the quality of the parts fitted (plus Harley’s no expense spared reputation), we expect the Pan America to be priced anywhere between £10-16,000 depending on the engine size and the final specification.

The obvious competition would be the big adventure bikes from BMW, KTM, Ducati, who all make large capacity twin-cylinder adventure bikes. Harley-Davidson have said the Pan Ameri ca will be released in 2020, as one of the first from their new middleweight range.

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Ben Clarke

By Ben Clarke

Staff Writer, hick for life, two cylinders max