One of the most recognizable motorcycle brands in the world has seen a revival in recent years. Harley-Davidson, hitherto renowned for thoroughbred, unadulterated cruisers that exemplify the American spirit, entered the electric motorbike market with the LiveWire. In order to outsource the development and manufacture of different low-displacement bikes, the corporation has also forged several collaborations with businesses like Hero MotoCorp from India and QianJiang Motors from China.
It goes without saying that Harley, just like all other manufacturers out there, is trying to fulfill the ever-changing needs of the motorbike-riding populace. As such, it was just a matter of time until it released its own iteration of what is arguably the most popular motorcycle segment today: an adventure bike. Early in 2021, Harley-Davidson did just that, and more than a year later, the American ADV seems to be doing pretty well. Let’s take a look at why the Pan America is without a doubt the best all-around Harley machine.
One Harley to rule them all
Harley-Davidson experimented with the notion of releasing an adventure bike in 2018—a motorcycle that embodies the genuine Harley-Davidson spirit and is built to go throughout America. Three years later, the Pan America is finally revealed. The name Pan, which has Greek provenance, means "all" or "everything," which is exactly what the new Pan America is intended to be able to do. This big, burly explorer does appear to be a capable vehicle both on and off-road at first appearance. Beneath the surface, it has the goods to back it up, and is equipped with a punchy motor and cutting-edge features.
A large 1,252cc V-twin engine with two overhead cams, liquid cooling, and variable valve timing powers the new Harley-Davidson Pan America. All of these modern features combine to produce an impressive 150 horsepower at 9,000 rpm, a rev limit that most Harleys would never even consider reaching. The bike's VVT system is set up to maximize performance for fuel efficiency in the lower to mid range while enhancing power and torque at higher rpms.
A steel frame that uses the engine as a stressed element holds the engine in place. This configuration minimizes total weight while maximizing stiffness. A set of Showa inverted forks with a whopping 7.48 inches of travel are used to suspend the bike. Out back, a Showa mono-shock with a piggyback reservoir offers an identical 7.48 inches of travel. Last but not least, a lightweight aluminum swingarm has been added, keeping unsprung weight to a minimum.
The Pan America has a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel, as is typical for adventure motorcycles. A set of Michelin Scorcher Adventure tires are affixed to the wire-spoked wheels, assuring their optimum off- and on-road performance. The bike has a striking 6.8-inch full-color TFT instrument display that allows the user to customize a variety of settings, including riding modes, traction control, ABS, and many more. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included as standard.