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    • 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.

      <---snip --->

      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.

    • Expedition Portal has some nice pictures of the PanAmerica and a great quote from Bill Rodencal, Harley Davidson Museum Collections Lead, who said : “What’s a road? To a motorcycle, what isn’t?”

      The article reminds readers that Harley's early competition on roads were horses and buggys on totally unpaved roadways......

      I don't know if modern buyers will totally buy this argument, but there is some truth to the meme that waay back in the beginning, Harley began in the dirt........ Some interesting points about adjustable ride heights in the article too, for short legged riders.

      At 2/3rds the price of the Live Wire, I suspect it might be a much bigger seller in the Harley line than the Live Wire. I'll bet Ewan McGregor wished he had this bike in South America too, when he was looking for a plug to charge his Live Wire in Long Way Up.

    • Not even Harley expected to sell many Live Wires. It has performed other purposes.

      Re-branding / brand perception, infrastructure set up and like. And it got them global press on an unprecedented scale.

    • I'm curious to see what happens with this one. While I'm not a fan of the cyclops styling I could see how this might be a good mount. It checks a lot of boxes for sure but I wonder about two things that only time will tell;

      First, what will the harley dealership support be? As mentioned Buell only got a little bit of support because it wasn't a big seller. Here we have a bike that isn't anything like what the dealer has seen before. Will they accept it or sideline it?

      Second is the target audience. It seem harley is looking to convert some of the existing ADV crowd, and that is going to bring a bunch of dusty, textile wearing, full-face helmet people into their buildings. Also something they have never really seen before. Will they be accepted? Do they know that the ADV community can be frugal? (Joke: What's the cheapest thing on a BMW? The rider.)

      I think we are going to see some interesting social interactions in the future. I, for one, embrace a larger selection of bikes if only to make the competition stronger. I also hope for Harleys sake, that this is a successful venture.