If you were considering getting the new Harley-Davidson Pan America adventure bike, it looks like there’s going to be a bit of a wait. According to a press posting on Harley-Davidson’s media site, CEO Jochen Zeitz said “having sold out of our 2021 allocation, we are excited about what the future has in store for Pan America and for the Adventure Touring category at Harley-Davidson.”
Nice to see there’s going to be a whole category of ADV machines from H-D, and Zeitz went on to say that “the Pan America Special [is] now the #1 selling ADV motorcycle model in North America.” It’s important to note that Zeitz said the Pan America Special is the best seller, which means the lower-tier base model (known simply as the Pan America 1250) may be available if you look hard enough.
Differences between the two? The Special features a semi-active system that automatically tailors the ride according to suspension position, speed, roll angle and rate, throttle movement and more, and it all gets changed up depending on which of the five ride modes you put it in – plus the Special adds two fully customizable ride modes as well (like one for sport touring, and one just for riding in mud, for example). There’s also TPMS as standard on the Special, and standard heated grips as well. Other Special standard farkles include a height adjustable rear brake pedal, centerstand, radiator brush guard, aluminum skid plate, and bar end hand guards/wind deflectors.
One key feature Harley introduced on the PA is Automatic Ride Height (ARH), and it’s a $1,000 opinion that’s only available on the $19,995 Special. If you’re inseam challenged, ARH is a key feature to consider as it will lower the bike two inches as you come to a stop, then raise it back up as you motor away. The semi-active suspension on the Special also keeps sag constant no matter the load. With the Special coming in at a $2,600 premium over the base bike, you do get a lot in the upgrade, especially when it comes to suspension performance. Both bikes use the same 150hp Revolution Max engine, so you don’t get a horsepower boost in the deal.
Harley offers a full line of bits for the bikes, including three sets of panniers. There is of course the standard triplet of aluminum boxes we all know and love (and they’re from SW-MOTECH) for about $1,900 all in with mounts and such, as well as a soft bags if that’s your thing, and a pair of hard-shell quick-mount “aero” pannies that when fitted to the base model, would make for an interesting sport touring setup that could also confidently trot down a forest road with the right tires.
While the news release did not specify how many Pan Americas have been sold or ordered, the sales boost does come at a key time for Harley-Davidson as they work to bring in new riders that may not have been interested in the brand’s more typical cruiser and touring fare. It certainly has seemed to capture more rider interest than the LiveWire electric motorcycle. It’s clear that diversification of the kinds and style of bikes the company produces is central to new CEO Jochen Zeitz’s long-term “hardwire” plan.
I reviewed the Pan America Special for ADVrider.com earlier this year and came away very impressed with how the bike performed both in the dirt and on the road, and in general, press and owner reviews of the PA have been positive, with many riders expressing surprise at how well H-D executed in this first effort at a modern ADV machine, especially given the competition.
Do you have a Pan America? Are you considering getting one? We know the Pan America (and Harley-Davidson in general) is a hot topic among ADVrider.com readers, and we look forward to your comments.