Harley Scores a Home Run with the Pan America

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Jul 10, 2012
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South Carolina
Wow, I was shocked when the latest issue of AMA's motorcycle magazine (American Motorcyclist) arrived in my mailbox this week.
The AMA lobby's on behalf of motorcycle riders in the USA BUT a lot of this lobbying has to do with retaining the rights of motorcyclists to use federal lands for dirt bikes and most bikes in their magazine are normally always dirt, sport, touring bikes, never Harley.
Of course they do other things, like address the issue of ethanol in gasoline, auto sensor traffic lights that dont work with motorcycles ect.

Well, well, well, I dont know about others in here but I always cheer for American companies and I always will, I love my country.

They took a Harley Pan American for the AMA Alps Challenge Tour which went from Munich through Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Wow what a comment from the writer/rider! More to come in future issue this was a one page story.

I quote"... I was able to ride this thing seriously hard, the Pan Am's monster motor, great brakes and amazingly high level of chassis feedback made that more enjoyable than I would ever have imagined. Big adventure bikes might look cumbersome and unwieldy, but they are way more fun and capable in this environment that most folks know, and the Pan Am has gotta be ranked right at the top of the list here."

BTW, when you join the AMA with auto renew every year, you get free roadside assistance and magazine and your supporting all kinds of
motorcycle riding rights and motorcycle issues in the USA.
IMG_5525.jpeg
 
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I saw one at a dealer when they first came out. The look nice, but they are spendy. About $20K+. The suspension lowers as you slow down to make it easier to touch the ground.
 
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Dec 8, 2006
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Illinois
When I was at Deal's Gap in July, there was a guy absolutely flogging a PanAnerica through there.. pass after pass. He was a local, the bike had a TN plate and the license plate frame of a Marysville Harley dealer on it. There weren't any chicken strips on the tires, and he had the tires so hot that the tread that he was grinding off, was balling up where the tread met the sidewall.

He was doing things with this bike that it wasn't designed to do, and it was still doing it very, very well.

I was honestly impressed, and told him that Harley was needing a grand slam in the worst way. I think they might have done it.
 
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Somewhere in time
It is not enough to have a great bike. You must also be able to market it and price it correctly. It should be interesting to see the sales numbers on these over the next few years.

With so many great bikes out there, why spend so much on a bike from a company that's not known for quality???
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
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Georgia/Retired
Why does it have spoke wheels??
Apparently there are two models to be offered - one with the electronic lowering suspension and cast wheels and one with regular suspension and spoke wheels. I'm not too up-to-date on Harley's offerings but two models were listed in the magazine articles.
 
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Oct 20, 2005
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Scruffy City
There are two models the regular and the special. The adaptive height control and the laced wheels are options on the Special

Those that think it is expensive take 5 minutes and look at the competition it isn't expensive for a heavyweight ADV bike.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
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PA
I put about 50 miles on one last month, riding in WV. I was impressed with it. Good power, brakes and suspension. The exact opposite of any other Harley I ever rode. My normal ride is a KTM 1290 SA so in the same flavor as the hog. The Pan Am did have an annoying habit of not always powering up the first try, needed a 30 second reset now and again. Probably just needs a software update. I think the motor company did a good job with this bike. Worth a look if you're in the market for something in that genre. In person the spoke wheels are quite nice looking IMHO.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
73
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Las Vegas, NV
Wow, I was shocked when the latest issue of AMA's motorcycle magazine (American Motorcyclist) arrived in my mailbox this week.
The AMA lobby's on behalf of motorcycle riders in the USA BUT a lot of this lobbying has to do with retaining the rights of motorcyclists to use federal lands for dirt bikes and most bikes in their magazine are normally always dirt, sport, touring bikes, never Harley.
Of course they do other things, like address the issue of ethanol in gasoline, auto sensor traffic lights that dont work with motorcycles ect.

Well, well, well, I dont know about others in here but I always cheer for American companies and I always will, I love my country.

They took a Harley Pan American for the AMA Alps Challenge Tour which went from Munich through Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Wow what a comment from the writer/rider! More to come in future issue this was a one page story.

I quote"... I was able to ride this thing seriously hard, the Pan Am's monster motor, great brakes and amazingly high level of chassis feedback made that more enjoyable than I would ever have imagined. Big adventure bikes might look cumbersome and unwieldy, but they are way more fun and capable in this environment that most folks know, and the Pan Am has gotta be ranked right at the top of the list here."

BTW, when you join the AMA with auto renew every year, you get free roadside assistance and magazine and your supporting all kinds of
motorcycle riding rights and motorcycle issues in the USA.
So far, the reviews of Harley's Pan America have been mostly favorable. The motor is very strong, chassis and suspension are good, handling on and off-road is good. It seems the motor company did their homework and engineered a competitive ADV bike. I'm not sure if H-D has released sales figures yet, but my local dealer told me it's been their best-selling model since launch. I'm a Harley loyalist and would buy a Pan America in a heartbeat if I had any interest in ADV riding. At my age, asphalt and hotel rooms are preferred to dirt roads and camping.
 
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Dec 9, 2012
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In
Its good it lowers for you but it still looks too tall for many people to ride safely. If makers made seats low enough so short riders can safely sit on one they'd actually sell about 3 times as many bikes at the least.
I know after makers began producing all their dirt bikes too tall for the average person (about 5'7) to sit on them yrs ago you rarely even seen a dirt bike just a decade later.
Im 5'9 and could barely touch the ground single footed on most 250cc models they made so I never bought another brand new off rd bike since. Sure Im not alone here. Eventually Id have to drop way down in CC to touch the ground sitting on one and well' screw that. So like most people I bought older dirt bikes and just kept repairing them until those bikes/parts dried up then I stopped riding them.
Makers should have kept making the basic old school Enduro bikes too but they didn't so most people just quit riding them all together and bought street bikes instead. Makers just ruined the Enduro riding for most people.
I had brand new dirt/enduro bikes from age 8 to 25yrs old starting in the very early 70's when veryone and their brother owned off road bikes. Back then both MX/Enduro bikes were everywhere before they forced the tall bikes on everyone.
When a rider cant touch the ground with both feet (best flat footed) at stop lights they are unsafe imho, especially toting a passenger.
My step boy is just 5'4 so he probably can't sit on this Pan, he has a low rider.
 
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Jan 30, 2018
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Central Texas
I'm 5'8" and I'm interested enough in a bike with more ground clearance than my tiger 800xc. I one-foot that easily enough, on the highest seat position. (read: I'm in the minority)
I agree--being unable to flat-foot both feet makes it harder to sell to most.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
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2,830
Location
MN
You can usually get a lowering kit that changes the suspension linkage on most bikes.
 

alarmguy

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,925
Location
South Carolina
When I was at Deal's Gap in July, there was a guy absolutely flogging a PanAnerica through there.. pass after pass. He was a local, the bike had a TN plate and the license plate frame of a Marysville Harley dealer on it. There weren't any chicken strips on the tires, and he had the tires so hot that the tread that he was grinding off, was balling up where the tread met the sidewall.

He was doing things with this bike that it wasn't designed to do, and it was still doing it very, very well.

I was honestly impressed, and told him that Harley was needing a grand slam in the worst way. I think they might have done it.
Cool.
I know the HD dealer in Maryville well. HUGE dealership. Its where and when on a trip there in 2014 (we go to the Smokys every year) that I picked up the Road King and left my Yahama as a trade in at the dealer. Decided at the Maryville dealer but actually bought the bike at their Pigeon Forge location on the last day of our vacation, in the pouring rain no less, rode right out of the dealer and back to SC on it.

Great experience up there every year, everyone just there to have a good time, chill.
We don't go to the tail every year by any means, been there done it so many times and just so much other stuff to do when we are up there. Actually starting to kind of run out of things to do, been doing it over a decade now, easy.

I like the idea of a sport tourer which also includes a Concours 14 and maybe a Yamaha. Not sure I can honestly say I would want to spend as much on the PanAmerica or any bike without a certain purpose. Sometimes I feel like I am running to of things to do, meaning been there/done that... but ... one never knows ... :eek:)
 
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