2020 H-D Pan America

6th November 2019


Revolution Max | Adventure bike | 1,250cc 


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Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 V-twin


Is this the ugliest Harley-Davidson ever? We can't decide. One moment we think it looks like something you might cobble together with Lego and propel with a rubber band. And the next moment we take a step back and squint and nod and think; You know, they just might have something there...


And while we're mulling over this poser, we'll tell you that this bike is the new prototype 1,250cc Pan America sledgehammer that H-D is hoping to help crack open the adventure bike market.


Powered by a 1,250cc variant of the new Revolution Max engine (as used on the equally new 975cc Harley-Davidson Bronx), this 60-degree, liquid-cooled V-twin dirt devil is looking to develop 145 horsepower with 90lb-ft of torque. These numbers, take note, are aspirational rather than confirmed because the engineers are evidently still twiddling dyno knobs and stuff whilst playing catch up with the marketeers.


Harley-Davidson Pan America instruments


The bike is currently being ogled at the EICMA show, and Milwaukee isn't giving too much away. But it's odds on that this will be a divisive motorcycle that risks much derision from the established adventure bike community—and at the moment it's certainly hard to see how H-D can possibly make any significant dents in this sector. Milwaukee is years behind, after all, and to a greater or lesser extent it's fighting against its core identity as a builder of cool and heavyweight heritage cruisers.


Except that a new generation of potential buyers are out there somewhere (notably in the Far East); guys and girls who are more progressive than the old guard and who are coming of age in a world of 500cc and 750cc Street models and electric Livewires. So from that starting point, the Pan America isn't such a great leap.


But for anyone currently in their forties or fifties, the Pan America is probably something of a lost cause. Then again, Harley-Davidson motorcycles (like most bikes) look a lot better up close, and in the Orient, the brand is very highly regarded.


Harley-Davidson Pan America front brake


We hope that Milwaukee manages to plant its flag firmly on a chunk of this territory. But we'll reserve judgement until we see one up close and take one for a blast.


Check Sump Classic Bike News July 2019 for more on this bike


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