Harley-Davidson’s foray into the adventure riding market is creating a lot of buzz. Our articles covering the bike’s release and new engine garnered many tens of thousands of views. But more interestingly, lots of you left comments about Harley’s new Pan America.
In fact, three days after we published its story, over 450 comments were posted. Because the comments were so plentiful and varied, we’ve taken the time to summarize your thoughts and quote some of the most discussed comments.
Overall, by a significant margin, your comments were more positive towards Harley’s efforts than negative. And that is a big departure from what we’ve seen in the past. Generally, comments about Harley-Davidson bikes had been far more derogatory, perhaps by a three to one margin. But now, it seems that Harley’s efforts may have converted some of you. And for those of you that aren’t converted, many said they would keep an open mind about Harley’s newest machine.
Pan America Pros
Many people commented that the initial specs looked quite good and that Harley had done a commendable job for its first entry to the “modern” ADV bike market:
Some even think that the MoCo’s bike knocked it out of the park:
Several also noted that although the specs were impressive, its pricing was competitive as well:
Some inmates now seem to be interested in keeping an open mind about the new machine:
While many inmates were impressed, they didn’t think that it would be a hardcore off-road machine:
Harley seems to have even changed some inmates’ mind enough that they would consider purchasing a Pan America:
Some even thought that the Pan America is capable of stealing some of BMW’s GS sales:
Other’s thought that it would just become a second bike to existing Harley owners:
A big part of the Pan America’s makeup comes from Harley’s new Revolution® Max 1250 engine. And while the HP and torque numbers are in line with bikes already in this category, many like the bike’s engine and maintenance:
There were several comments about the Pan America’s technology. Some looked at it with disdain, while others commented that tech is already a part of the ADV market. But perhaps the most buzz about the bike’s tech is its Adaptive Ride Height. Several inmates saw the system as a significant plus:
Several inmates commented about the number of dealer locations and how it would make maintenance/repairs easier:
Pan America Cons
Of course, not all the comments were positive. Some thought that Harley is too late to the ADV party. There were several comments that the ADV market is moving towards smaller and lighter ADV bikes:
Some feared that although the Pan America could be a good machine, dealers might kill it. Many pointed to what happened to Buell as a case in point:
Some think it will be different this time around. They think that today’s dealers are different. They will treat the Pan America well, even if it’s just to pay the bills.
Perhaps the most polarizing facet of the Pan America is its looks. Some commented that the bike’s looks are growing on them while others heaped their disdain on the design:
Interestingly, some thought the bike would be an outright failure. But others are wondering whether to sell some of their existing machines to purchase a Pan America:
Inmates were overall more optimistic in the Pan America forum thread. And, some people liked the looks:
So people have many different opinions on Harley’s Pan America. But what is most interesting to me is that with its release, Harley seems to have changed people’s perception about the Pan America and Harley as a company.
In August 2019, we ran an article about the Pan America, and the comments were almost universally negative. But here we are about a year and a half later, and the vast majority of people think that Harley has a done a commendable if not an excellent job with its first modern entry into the ADV category.
So congrats to you, Harley-Davidson! You took on a huge challenge and seem to have converted many of the doubters. You’ve taken a big first step. Here’s to hoping that the Pan America will live up to its newfound initial credibility. I can’t wait to give one a ride.