Harley Pan America is a modern highway with a classic Land Rover look – 04/30/2022

Harley Pan America is a modern highway with a classic Land Rover look – 04/30/2022


The street segment got a solid name with the arrival of the Pan America 1250 Special, Harley-Davidson’s first North American foray into the cross-continental motorcycle landscape. The model, with a suggested price of R$143,800.00 (there will be a promotional discount for the launch, at a price of R$139,955.00), will reach HD dealers throughout Brazil from next July.

The purpose of the model – confirmed even by “1250” in the name – is to steal a piece of customers from the best-selling motorcycle of this type in Brazil and worldwide, the BMW R 1250 GS. However, the similarity between one and the other stops at the figure that refers to the engine capacity. In the HD, despite also being a twin-cylinder like the German motorcycle, the engine follows the Harley tradition, with a 60-degree V design.

Called the Revolution Max 1250, the V2 doesn’t look new, but it is. It has liquid cooling, two separate overhead camshafts and two spark plugs per cylinder. It has 150 hp of power and 13 kgf.m of maximum torque.

Designed to play a structural role, the engine is part of the Pan America chassis, and the steering column structure is mounted on the front cylinder and the same is done at the rear, with the suspension and seat support mounted on the rear cylinder.

The Pan America 1250 Special weighs 258 kg in running order; 10 kg less than the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure

Photo: @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure

Therefore, the weight was set at 258 kg in order, and as indicated by the marketing manager of Harley-Davidson for Latin America, Flávio Villaça, during the presentation of the model, “… our motorcycle has 14 more horses and more. Kilo 10 less than the main competitor in the segment”, which is the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure.

State-of-the-art technological details, such as the Showa semi-active suspension, driving modes that change engine behavior, lightning-fast Brembo brakes and an adaptive lighting system are accompanied by simple solutions, such as a height-adjustable windscreen and system. one-handed operation or a pilot’s seat with two levels of adjustment.

For the first contact of special media and information, the situation chosen by HD do Brasil was Fazenda Capuava, in the interior of São Paulo, where Pan America operated a circuit of asphalt and on the dirt roads of the farm.

In addition to being considered a beautiful motorcycle, it is important to say that it is better in life than in the picture. In fact, the headlamps, which purposely return to the Road Glide touring, look like a temporary appendage. The rough shape of the piece, which in the black and gray version is more hidden, in the blue version (or in the orange one, which will not be sold in Brazil), differs from the tank in an exaggerated way because it is painted. in white.

Pan America 1250 - @canelafinafilmes/Exposure - @canelafinafilmes/Exposure

Harley’s Bigtrail combines advanced technology such as an adaptive LED headlight with simple solutions such as a manually adjustable windshield.

Photo: @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure

Regarding this controversial look of Pan America, Brad Richards, the man responsible for the design, declared that “function determines form” or “use wins style…”, allowing us to admire its future owners, Pan America will use from. sharp and solid appearance and strong HD identity coming from the V2 engine, which especially from its right side is “Milwaukee in veins”.

A suspension that lowers itself

The test trip with Pan America began with “slow”: after carefully examining the model, and discovering the construction details that show a higher whim compared to the HD known so far, when starting the fire to start the suspension down, passing from 850. up to 830 mm of ground clearance. A device, called Rider Height Controlit helps to support the legs on the ground and should be the envy of other large roads, since the height of the seat in relation to the ground is something that keeps a good number of customers away from this type of motorcycle.

The start button activates the engine whose sound isn’t what you’d expect from an HD. It has little mechanical noise, a direct effect of liquid cooling and, above all, a 2 x 1 exhaust system that passes the pulses of the cylinders at one end.

Pan America Panel - @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure - @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure

The Pan America panel has a 6.8” TFT screen and is finished, but tough

Photo: @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure

The panel is large, rectangular, and shows the complex design that has become common in the field. The amount of information is that the operation of various screens needs to be learned and practiced at the point of command located on the left and right hands. The numbers and letters are smaller than needed and reading the data with the bike at a standstill is no longer very easy, it is certainly worse when in motion. The clutch lever is a little “heavy”, but the real surprise comes from the engagement of the 1st gear, which instead of the usual “clonc” of HD, is more similar to the more current Japanese or European “clac”.

“Road” mode, one of the five available (Sport, Road, Rain, Off-Road and Off-Road+, plus customizable modes) was the option to start riding on the track. When it came time to select it, a pleasant surprise: instead of looking for the right screen and fighting the command full of arrows on the left hand, to do so it was enough to press a simple button on the right hand. Harley has simplified the operation of changing the riding mode. Congratulations!

V2 engine revs up quickly

From the first few meters and the feeling is good, the engine pushes with confidence from low revs, which was expected, but rising to 9,000 rpm, when the red line begins, was unexpected for an HD engine.

Pan America curves - @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure - @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure

Motorzão V2 has torque at low levels and develops quickly

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The image of the oversized motorcycle was quickly reduced. The tank is as thin as the engine, and on the tight track of Capuava, only a few turns were enough to notice that the Pan America has a front end planted on the ground, a good characteristic, and the fact that it does not. ‘t scrape pedals on asphalt, which is not common in handling HD.

The correct gearbox and good ergonomics are amazing, and about the many electronic aids (ABS on the side, EBD section, Angle Tension Control, DCS corner, Mount Hold Control), they compare Pan America to the current level of the best highways and, of course, they return to safety in bad conditions and comfort in driving well.

A few laps on the track and Pan America already brings a lot of speed. The feeling is one of great security, but features, such as the long wheelbase and high weight, require body contact, and you must use your body decisively when changing direction. At high speed, more than 150 km / h that the short straight of the track is allowed, the stability is better, but the protection provided by the windshield is not much.

Driving on dirt, with off-road driving mode on, suspension response, power transmission to the wheel and other parameters translated into a smooth ride. However, the total weight of the bike with the rider over 340 kg causes caution, as well as remembering that no matter how the Michelin tires, specially designed for the model, are more oriented to the asphalt.

In this important context, the electronic equipment did its part well: at the most difficult speeds it had the slippage of the rear tire, which did not prevent fun, but avoided problems, as well as the braking action became smooth and adapted to loose and thin dirt. of roads in the rainy season in the interior of São Paulo.

HD Pan America 1250 - @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure - @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure

The Pan America 1250 Special has a chassis and engine suitable for combat in the tough part of the trail.

Photo: @canelafinafilmes/Disclosure

The summary of this brief first contact with the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special is positive, especially in the power aspect. Both the bike and the engine were perfectly suited for the challenge in rough terrain, with an emphasis on powerful sound response when using the Sport driving mode. Regarding the level of build quality and finish, which indicates such a quality attitude, there are a few details to improve, but that does not affect the new things.

However, an important question remains, due to the choice of a difficult and bad style, close to the dirt of Pan America: will this “old Land Rover” motorcycle seem to help or hinder the work of this first big road Harley-Davidson? Time, or rather sales, will tell.

* Test rides, riding demonstrations and articles by Roberto Agresti, an experienced journalist specializing in motorcycles and my co-author here at UOL Carros. I was unable to attend the Pan America 1250 special launch event as I was tested positive Covid19. I take this opportunity to invite my readers to follow the Motoesporte column, with analysis about MotoGP and other types of motorcycles.