What is it like to ride a Harley on an adventure?

What is it like to ride a Harley on an adventure?

As an important product for Harley-Davidson (hereinafter referred to as: Harley) to start a new era, Pan America is undoubtedly the best product to take the lead. As an ADV model, it completely separates Harley from the road, and most people have never thought that one day they can ride Harley to complete the adventure. All this comes from the all-new Revolution Max water-cooled 60° V-twin engine, which has become an important fulcrum for the new generation of Harley-Davidson products.

This isn't the Harley you're familiar with

As a standard flagship ADV model, Pan America has all the features required by an adventure motorcycle while retaining some of Harley's classic design elements, such as the square headlight group, the shape of the fuel tank and the dark pattern of the Harley-Davidson LOGO on the side. At the same time, the application of accessories such as large windshield, inverted front shock absorption, hand guards, lower guard plates, off-road wheel sets, high-performance brakes, high-level exhaust pipes, etc. show the tough style that an adventure motorcycle should have.

Although Pan America seems to have abandoned many redundant decorations on the appearance, and the frame and engine are exposed as much as possible, and the stacking of the configuration makes it irrelevant to lightweight in terms of data, the curb weight of 258kg is not an exaggeration, basically on the same level as the BMW R1250GS ADV.

The combination of the steel tube braided subframe and the lightweight high-level exhaust, if you just pay attention to the details, it is easy to feel that this is a hardcore ADV model. It is this control of details that makes Pan America look like it has the basics to match those hardcore off-road ADVs.

The most eye-catching part of the Pan America is the square headlights. Its design style easily reminds us of road gliding, but Pan America has a more technological sense, and the penetrating LED light source achieves no dead angle coverage. While this direct style and the setting without regard for wind resistance makes it seem like it lacks some of the ADV's hallmarks, it's this difference that makes the Pan America a one-of-a-kind product.

At the same time, thanks to the addition of the 6-axis IMU, the fill light above the headlight can illuminate the dark corner area of the curve according to the change of the inclination of the body, and the lighting beam is X-shaped staggered.

Also more hardcore is the original windshield. In addition to one-handed adjustment and a relatively large adjustment stroke, the considerable area and height almost save you the trouble of later modification.

The 21L fuel tank volume of the Pan America is entry level for this class of ADV. Why is it only entry-level, because the R1250GS ADV and MTS 1260 ENDURO at the same price, even the KTM 1290 ADV R, have more capacity than it. But presumably, it wasn't that Harley's engineers didn't want to make the gas tank bigger, but rather the trade-offs made to maintain the classic pod shape and essential Harley elements.

The Pan America's seat cushion must be of a high-score design. It is very comfortable and supportive, and the seat cushion in the rider's position has been narrowed to allow less pressure on the feet. In the original state, the seat cushion can be switched between 850-875mm through two high and low buckles.

The seat cushion height adjustment is very convenient, just aligning the corresponding bayonet position to install the seat cushion.

Pan America uses the usual combination (common to ADVs) of 19-inch front and 17-inch rear rims. The rim form of the vacuum wire spokes makes it more resistant to deformation and can more easily deal with complex non-paved roads, and the vacuum setting allows riders to not worry about the air leaking directly after the tire is punctured.

The all-black hexagonal high-mounted exhaust shows the arrogance of Harley-Davidson.

Flagship Electronic Controls and Hardware-Pan America

In order to create a more comfortable riding position, the Pan America's handlebars extend a lot to the rider's side. Of course, this may also be related to the excessively long fuel tank.

The 6.8-inch full-color TFT touch screen is another highlight of Pan America. At present, only Honda's CRF1100L has this configuration, but the only regret is that Pan America is not equipped with the Carplay system, which makes such a large high-definition screen somewhat useless.

It may be the first time to do this kind of complex motorcycle. All the functional buttons that can be used on Pan America are concentrated on the left handlebar. From lights to handle heating, to cruise control, the dense layout is prone to misoperation, especially the position of the lighting system, which is indeed tricky. The Triumph model, which also has many functions, can close the eyes to do the operation through a five-axis joystick, which is worth learning from Harley.

Multimedia control buttons, mode and riding mode switching are set on the right handlebar. While the keys are not as dense, the important TC function keys are hidden from view. From this point of view, the buttons on the two handlebars do take time to get used to.

Electronic controls and multiple riding modes are Pan America's killer features. The 5 riding modes cover sports, road, off-road, rain, and custom off-road. In addition, two custom modes are included, and riders can complete "programming" according to their own preferences.

Taking the off-road mode as an example, you can even complete two adjustment actions for shock absorption in this mode, using height locking and off-road damping. Needless to say, the power output adjustment is basically the basic operation of each big manufacturers.

On the right part of the dashboard, a Type-C waterproof charging port is hidden. This position is very cleverly set, both out of the way and practical.

The addition of a new powertrain allows Harley's designers to no longer stick to the traditional double-cradle frame. In order to meet the rigidity and lightweight requirements, the steel tube bridge main frame and the steel tube subframe are essential.

Although the aluminum alloy swingarm does not look like a traditional Harley, it is also a new design to meet the functionality of an ADV.

As an ADV product that retains the classic characteristics of Harley and is functionally oriented, Pan America adopts the SHOWA BFF 47mm inverted front fork provided by SHOWA, and the 190mm long stroke design also makes it have very powerful off-road performance.

In addition, the suspension adopts a semi-active mode. In addition to the preset damping and preload status, the vehicle load control can also sense the passenger and load status, and then actively adjust the rear shock absorber preload.

Braking systems provided by Brembo build Pan America's safety net. The front large-diameter floating disc and radially opposed four-piston calipers provide sufficient braking force, while the cornering ABS system further enhances the safety of the vehicle.

Heavy-duty ADVs are generally equipped with anti-shake damping, which can not only effectively suppress the death sway that is prone to occur at high speeds and heavy loads, but also help off-road riding.

The serrated pedals and quick-adjust brake levers show that Pan America isn't just a vase.

An ADV that can take you to travel extensively, how can there be no engine guards or crash bars? Pan America is fully equipped all at one time, saving the trouble of modification.

All-rounder for road and off-road

Without the sense of sticking to the ground of American cruise motorcycles, the height created by Pan America is more obvious visually, but this also leads to the problem of its seat height. In the past, we did not need to consider the seat height of Harley models, but this time Pan America debuted as an ADV, and it will definitely surprise everyone with black technology, which is ARH.

Although Pan America looks "tougher" than the tough guy 883, it's not a hardcore ADV in the traditional sense. The design orientation of the whole vehicle is still on the road, which is also in line with the positioning of Harley's consumer groups. Harley can still give high scores in the road experience, even if there is no horseshoe whistling, but thinking about it is much stronger than the mechanical sense of LiveWire.

The new 1252cc Revolution Max engine adopts a 60° angle, DOHC structure and VVT variable valve to make this engine more reliable in fuel economy and dynamic performance. Its maximum power can reach 112kW (152 horsepower) / 8750rpm, and the maximum torque is 128N /6750rpm. The powerful Revolution Max engine does not have a redundant horsepower on Pan America. Although only 9500rpm can reach the red line, when the speed is pulled up to 4000rpm, the unique low-torque characteristics of the V-cylinder can already make you feel full of pulling. At this point, you are more convinced that you're riding a Harley, not a Honda Africa twin.

Power mode is definitely a good thing for Pan America. It changes the tune of a traditional Harley, allowing riding style to be tailored to the rider's needs. When riding on the road, use the sport mode to get a more responsive dynamic response and a more direct sense of acceleration. Moreover, in the pan-road mode, the entire speed range can have a good dynamic experience, including re-acceleration and overtaking.

The comfort of long-distance riding is also the focus of testing the strength of an ADV. First of all, Pan America's large windshield can be praised, and even the original product can provide sufficient wind resistance protection for the rider. However, the consideration of the parts below the windshield is not so comprehensive. In order to maintain the classic elements of Harley, the fuel tank part does not provide effective wind resistance protection for the legs, which is obviously worse for the R1250GS ADV. But compared to Harleys other than road gliding, it's not realistic to have a Pan America that's all-encompassing.

In any case, Pan America is a very good Harley to ride. The good ride here is not limited to the satisfaction brought by power, but the control. The curb weight of 250kg is difficult to be linked with the word good riding at first glance, but it did it. Better distribution of the center of gravity and riding triangle, easier to get started, only when you step on it and start, you can feel it 's agility.

The cancellation of the traditional frame form, the more compact engine, and even the clever installation of the battery position have undoubtedly contributed to the improvement of the handling, and greatly avoided the negative effects caused by the weight of the vehicle. Of course, the shock absorption system also contributes. Electronic shock absorption has shown excellent adaptability on the road. Whether it is a corner scene or high-speed cruising, the SHOWA reduction under the blessing of BFF technology will provide the most suitable shock absorption damping.

Highway summary: Ignore the psychological pressure on the data, it is more agile and easier to control than you think, and the ancestral long wheelbase setting can also give you more stability during long-distance high-speed cruising, as well as the power coverage is more sufficient in the speed range, while taking into account the low torque of the V-cylinder. The rich electronic control and semi-active suspension are the icing on the cake, but the lack of a quick row at this price is indeed a small regret.

After talking about the most important part, the road, let's switch the experience environment to the non-paved road. Pan America can be understood as a setting of 60% road and 40% non-paved, which is a good level as a flagship ADV.

On general non-paved roads, with few deep pits and little undulations, it is okay to switch to off-road mode, and the original ANAKEE ADVENTURE tires can also help you. In off-road mode, the power will be limited slightly, but the ABS system on the front and rear wheels will still work at this time. The C-TCS traction control system also intervenes minimally, with limited rear-wheel slip helping you slide the steering safely while pulling you back from the brink of loss of control.

But if you are not satisfied, you can choose a more hardcore professional off-road mode. In this mode, the traction control system will be completely closed, which is more conducive to your escape on soft roads, while only retaining the front wheel ABS system, leaving a line of safety.

This all-around suspension has a 190mm stroke, so you don’t have to worry about shock absorption and bottoming out when dealing with sudden deep pits. In off-road condition, setting the shock absorption in the mode to off-road hard, both progressive damping and autonomous adjustment reduce the likelihood of the vehicle losing control on non-paved surfaces.

The centralization of the center of gravity of the body allows you to save more effort on off-road. Even in soft sand, the driving state of the vehicle remains controllable. By adjusting the driver's center of gravity, a car that is showing signs of losing control can be brought back on track. Of course, in front of the hard-core ADV with the front 21-inch large rim, off-road is not Pan America's strong point.

The performance of this power system can also score high on off-road. The escape from trouble at high revs makes you feel no power slump, and the abundant low torque can make you more fun on non-paved roads.

Off-road summary: Although 60% of Pan America's strengths are concentrated on the road, as long as you play this electronic suspension thoroughly and cooperate with some off-road experience, it can definitely give back more than 40% of your off-road level. After all, this is a Harley. Conquering the common non-paved roads that can be encountered in motorcycle tours, and to allow you to ride from the road into the grassland, that's enough.

Summary: Most people do not expect Harley to deliver a perfect score in the ADV field, even though it has been focusing on the motorcycle field for a century. The Harleys we all know roar down the road with the sound of horseshoes, but the arrival of the Pan America seems to have changed everything. At the same time, Pan America also showed us another way that Harley flaunts freedom. Just like its name, Pan Am will not have to be limited to Route 66, the desert jungle is where it can set foot.


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