It's seems a few designers and engineers at the Motor Company are getting the green light to look beyond cruisers, and it's about time. Yes, there are electrics in the pipeline, but look at what they're doing with V-twins. Coming in 2020 are two models that just might get the attention of a whole lot of new customers, the Pan America and the Bronx. I like them both, a lot.
For those of you who have been around The Kneeslider for some time, you know how often I've written about off road Sportsters and the number of builders who got tired of waiting for Milwaukee to take the hint, so they just built one for themselves. Harley kept churning out cruisers while builders started putting on long suspension and knobby tires and taking the action into the dirt. Those home built creations looked like fun and lo and behold, look at what happened, Harley came up with the Pan America. It's not a Sportster, it's a whole new bike powered by the new Revolution® Max 60 degree liquid cooled V-twin. The engine comes in two displacements 1250cc and 975cc, the Pan America gets the larger of the two with 145 horsepower and 90 foot pounds of torque. It's fed by dual downdraft throttle bodies and from the photos, it's looks like a Harley V-twin should, right down to the vestigial cooling fins. Trunk and panniers complete the picture for those weekends when you're heading way off road.
Next up is the Bronx. It gets the smaller variant of the Revolution® Max at 975cc sporting 115 horsepower and 70 foot pounds of torque. It benefits from Harley's collaboration with Brembo and mounts a new radial monoblock four-piston caliper delivering braking feel and capability a cut above the average Harley. Michelin® and Harley-Davidson® developed co-branded tires for the Bronx and the Pan America, too, that optimize performance in all conditions.
Both of these models are set to debut in late 2020 and I would expect this new engine will find its way into more of the line up as time goes on.
Harley appears to be waking up from its slumber, electric motorcycles, a new liquid cooled V-twin engine and off road motorcycles, it makes you wonder what's coming next. I just hope the market responds and the appearance of all of this change isn't too late, but whatever the case, I like these two entrants and I hope a lot of other potential customers like them, too.