Yep, I see your raised eyebrow, what do I mean “return” to off road adventure riding? Well, it’s true. The Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 just released might appear to be jumping into an established market as a brand new player, but think about it, when Harley got started, roads everywhere were nothing like the roads of today. There were no interstate highways, no paved routes from here to anywhere, roads often became dirt and gravel and frequently, something less. If you bought a Harley, you were probably going to ride off road and riders usually did. Harley WLA models took soldiers far off road during the war and remember these photos? That’s off road adventure riding and Harley even advertised their bikes that way, so yes, it’s familiar territory. You might even say the last several decades were a detour from their roots, … OK maybe I’m stretching things, but why not go there again, now?
Revolution® Max 1250 engine
The Pan America 1250 is all new, high tech and capable of holding it’s own against anything currently in the class. The 60 degree, liquid cooled, 150 HP Revolution® Max 1250 engine is all new and designed as the central stressed member of the chassis with the front frame, mid frame and tail section bolting directly to it. The crankshaft journals are offset 30 degrees to create a 90 degree firing order. Four valve heads, double overhead cams, hydraulic rollers, variable valve timing, twin plugs, yes, this is a V-Twin engineered with current technology.
The six speed transmission has an eight friction plate slipper clutch that’s mechanically actuated, not hydraulic plus the engine and transmission are unit construction. The rear wheel is chain driven.
Fuel capacity is 5.6 gallons with a 1 gallon reserve, which should be enough to get you there and back, wherever “there” may be.
As you would expect of an all new motorcycle, the technology is up to date with Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking and includes Cornering Enhanced Electronically Linked Braking (C-ELB), Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS), Cornering Enhanced Drag-Torque Slip Control System (C-DSCS) plus Hill Hold Control (HHC) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
The Pan America™ 1250 and Pan America™ 1250 Special models feature a 6.8-inch TFT touchscreen that displays all instrumentation and infotainment functions which are quite extensive.
Selectable ride modes electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle, and the level of technology intervention, with Sport, Road, Rain, Off Road and Off Road Plus and a customizable mode. The Pan America 1250 Special also has an Off Road Plus customizable mode.
Pan America 1250 Special
The Pan America 1250 Special comes with a number of extra options.
Some of those options include electronically adjustable semi-active front and rear suspension and an industry-first innovation, Adaptive Ride Height (ARH), a suspension system which automatically transitions between a low stopped position and optimal ride height when the motorcycle is in motion.
That seems like a nice addition for the rider with shorter legs who might find an adventure bike a bit on the tall side.
Accessories and Riding Gear
This is a Harley Davidson, of course, and you know the accessories and riding gear will be extensive and they are. Accessories include multiple types of luggage, soft shell, hard shell and for this bike, as you would also expect the hard square panniers and trunk designed to take the hard knocks.
The riding gear is designed in partnership with REV’IT and to my eye, it looks like pretty nice. Textile jackets and pants and a selection of helmets, boots and gloves, so you should be ready for any conditions.
Pricing starts at $17,319 for the base model and $19,999 for the special.
It’s about time
We’ve written about off road Sportsters forever and we highlighted Harleys running back roads and trails and it’s nice to see the Motor Company finally decided to make it a factory effort again. Welcome back to the off road adventure, guys.