Harley-Davidson’s new adventure
Motorcycle Live wouldn’t be the show it is without the latest and greatest motorcycles going side-by-side with breaking news from the motorcycling world. One of the stories stirring a lot of interest is that of Harley-Davidson stepping into the world of adventure riding in 2021 with its all-new adventure-based motorcycle: Pan America.
It was only a few years ago when the Harley-Davidson rumour mill went into overdrive as the company announced a raft of new models would be introduced, and some of the proposed models would see Harley diversify. One of the new models would be an all-electric motorcycle! True to its American word, in 2019 Harley-Davidson let loose the LiveWire motorcycle, which has since proven to be one heck of a tool, going as far to win a prestigious MotorCycle News award for Best Electric Bike 2020.
Harley-Davidson has unusually been quite open about the fact Pan America will be powered by an all-new signature V-twin engine – the Revolution® Max. And this appeared to be the case when Harley-Davidson UK & Ireland showcased a prototype Pan America – albeit high off the ground and out of reach of inquisitive fingers – at Motorcycle Live 2019. Even so, it was plain to see there were no hallmark air-cooling fins but there was a large radiator present.
It turns out that, according to Harley-Davidson, this new 60-degree V-Twin has been designed to power a new range of bikes and in some cases will produce 145 bhp and more than 90 ftlb peak torque.
There’s no reason to think Harley’s performance claims will not be applied to Pan America. Adding impetus to this thought is the fact the new Harley-Davidson engine will be fully water-cooled to give optimal engine performance amongst the frozen tundra of the Russian Steppes and heat of Death Valley.
Harley’s PR machine hasn’t been short on teasing us. Images and video of the Pan America currently doing the rounds show it cutting a fine dash on roads, trails and deserts, and in various guises. Heavy-duty panniers feature, as do trail-biased knobbly tyres, complete with Brembo braking systems to some tasty wire-spoked wheels in suspension units sporting what appears to be electronic semi-active components. All of this adds weight to an MCN interview with the Harley design team that they had in mind to build an adventure bike that would be the “Jeep” of motorcycling.
Recently, static Pan America bikes have been seen in various European mainland Harley-Davidson dealerships. Why there and not here? Because the global pandemic put the brakes on the preproduction bike seen at Motorcycle Live 2019 going to European bike shows. This appears to have been a good move by the U.S. company, with reports of huge interest – to the point that orders have allegedly been placed ahead of its official arrival. Which, hopefully, won’t be far off and could make for a proper happy New Year to adventure riders and Harley-Davidson fans everywhere.
There’s still no official word from Harley on when we will see the new model in UK and Irish dealerships but riders are being given the chance to sign-up to be the first to receive news and updates on Pan America via the website.