2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 adventure-tourer – will the road less traveled be enough?

Entering a very crowded adventure-touring motorcycle segment is the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America and higher-spec Pan America Special. This pair of motorcycles represent Harley-Davidson’s (H-D) first foray into a market niche dominated by the likes of the Ducati 1260 Multistrada, KTM Super Adventure 1290, Triumph Tiger 1200 and the gold standard for the market, the BMW Motorrad R 1250 GS.

Including the recently updated Suzuki V-Strom and Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin, there is no shortage of options for the rider who wants to tackle mixed surface riding, or at least look the part. On paper, the specifications for the Pan America tick the right boxes.

Powered by the H-D Revolution Max 1250 V-twin, the Pan America gets 150 hp and 127 Nm of torque from the 1,250 cc mill which revs to a peak of 9,500 rpm. This is achieved with liquid-cooling, four-valves per cylinder, twin-plug heads and variable valve timing with power going through a six-speed gearbox, which, in a departure for H-D, is now combined with the engine in a unit construction instead of being in a separate housing.

There are two variants of the Pan America offered, the base model Pan America 1250, and the Pan America 1250 Special, which comes with semi-active electronic suspension. Weight for the Pan America is brought into the norm for this market, tipping the scales at 242 kg wet – the Special weighs 254 kg wet – and 21.2-litres of fuel carried in the tank.

Braking is done by Brembo, with radial-mounted four-piston monoblock calliper on the front wheel on twin floating brake discs while the rear end. For wheel sizing, the Pan America 1250 rolls on a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear, shod on 120/70 and 170/60 Michelin Scorcher rubber.

For suspension, no brand names are mentioned but the front end of the Pan America is suspended with a 47 mm upside-down fork, fully-adjustable for the Pan America, electronic for the Special. The rear uses a monoshock, again, fully-adjustable for the base model, electronic for the Special, with adjustable ride height being an option.

Inside the cockpit, things take a turn for high tech with a 6.8-inch TFT-LCD full-colour display that includes Bluetooth connectivity to the rider’s smartphone. Led lighting is used throughout including an LED headlight that comes with six-element cornering lighting.

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 is scheduled for market release in March 2021. As for pricing, in the UK, the Pan America 1250 is tagged at 14,000 pounds sterling (RM79,438) while the Pan America 1250 Special goes for 15,500 pounds sterling (RM87,950), with final pricing depending on model options and accessories selected.