Some excerpts from a bit I submitted earlier:
They used to call us 'The Three-percenters', those of that bought a new Buell motorcycle. Because that was the market share of bikes sold in dealerships: 97% Harley, 3% Erik. Sad as it was - the brand had to go.
Even so, I bought ‘Harley’s’ original ADV bike, the XB12X in 2006. It was easily the best fun bike I’ve ever owned. A brilliant machine. When Buell closed it left H-D without a horse in the Adventure Touring race (or ADV as devotees call it).
Which was unfortunate, because have you noticed the amount of large Dual-purpose motorcycles on the road since? Big machines from BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Guzzi and the Japanese brands are very common around here.
Sales of Adventure-Touring machines has been one constant bright spots in the motorcycle market for a while now.
So it’s not surprising that Harley are having a pop at the market again. Overdue even. On the spec sheet and its video the new Pan America 1250 is a well-credentialled attempt too.
For hard core Shovel-heads, there’s nothing to see here, for enthusiasts, or potential enthusiasts looking to find new roads and a different ride, this is a very … very interesting release.
We can’t wait to get our hands on one. Harley is calling it “A new generation of Iconic Bikes”.
It’s powered by the all-new 1250cc, 60-degree V-twin, Revolution Max engine is unlike anything seen on a Harley before. It features Double Overhead Camshafts, Variable Valve Timing and is running 145
Horsepower in a machine that weighs in at 242kg dry. Without luggage or other typical ADV accoutrements.
The first thing you do notice looking at the Pan-America is the front façade, its unique adaptive headlights and the ‘distinctive’ styling.
Have a look at the big-selling BMW R1200 GSA and tell me this market sector is about aesthetic appeal? Compared to the rest of the field, the Harley is a beauty queen, but it’s been spec’d up with performance to back it up.
Like the Touring ‘Specials’ it has: 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), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Hill Hold Control (HHC).
It comes standard with skid plate, brush guards, steering damper and other kit ADVers crave and the big 6.8” TFT display promises to present all the data an adventure-geek will desire - and it has a choice of seven customisable riding modes from the fly-by-wire setup.
The stance of the bike is businesslike and the inclusions look the same. The centre stand, heated grips, hand protection and safety enhancements package all contribute to the Pan America’s base price. The optional Tubeless spoked wheels and the Adaptive ride package are extras.
Obviously, we won’t know for sure until we ride one, which hopefully will be in May, but for some of us old 3%-ers this is a new Harley that is ticking a lot of boxes.