Is it a cruiser? Is it a tourer? No! It's an adventure bike, and yes it's a Harley. We put the all-new Pan America 1250 Special to the test... Video Review: Jeff Ware Images & Footage: H-D Australia & NZ
The Pan America is a game changer for The Motor Company. Here is a motorcycle that exceeds the marketing hype that surrounded it, was delivered to an established market, yet rides like it was there all along. Check out our video review from the launch…
We recently attended the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special Adventure Bike Australian launch, held in the Southern Highlands of NSW, South of Sydney. We rode over a mixture of conditions including cruising, town, open highway, back country roads, smooth twisties and dirt roads.
We then enjoyed a few hours having a play on a fun 2km long undulating grass track on a private property. It was a blast! Check out the video review and keep an eye out for the full written review shortly. Tech info can be found below in the tech breakout.
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Tech Talk
The Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special models are powered by the new 150hp Revolution Max 1250 engine, a liquid-cooled 1250cc 60º V-Twin designed to offer a broad powerband. To minimise overall motorcycle weight, the Revolution Max engine is integrated into the bike as the central member of the chassis. The bike is also packed with technology…
REVOLUTION MAX ENGINE
The amazing V-twin engine that powers the Pan America is completely new from the ground up, designed and built entirely by Harley-Davidson in the USA. It is a 60º Vee angle externally, to keep the engine short and thus assist in optimum chassis geometry and weight balance. Internally a 30º crank pin offset of the main journals create a 90º firing order. The two cylinders are offset slightly to accomodate the crank offset, and the result is a firing order that has flat tractable pulses, experienced gained by H-D in many decades of flat track racing.
The engine is lightweight thanks to the use of high end light materials and the use of FEA design optimisation in creating castings, minimising mass. The camshafts and gearbox shafts are hollow, while the single-piece aluminium cylinders are Nickel silicon carbide-surface galvanic coated. Rocker covers, camshaft covers and primary cover material is magnesium. Liquid-cooling is employed while a liquid-cooled oil cooler keeps oil temperature stable. The complex and effective cooling system meant that Harley were able to build the engine to tight tolerances, for better efficiency and performance, due to having great control of material expansion and contraction.
The pistons are 105mm forged alloy items with machined crowns and chamfered skirts for ring fitment ease. Compression ratio is a whopping 13.1:1 but the engine can tolerate 91 octane pump fuel due to the advanced electronics and knock sensor technology. The pistons have a low friction coating and low tension rings, reducing friction, while the top ring groove is anodised. Oil jets are aimed at the bottom for the pistons to aid cooling.
Above the pistons are the advanced cylinder-heads. The EX valves are sodium filled for heat dissipation, while the heads are cast from 354 aluminium and are super strong, as they form part of the chassis mounting point. The DOHC are chain driven and feature variable timing and can rotate independently advancing or retarding cam timing through a potential range of 40º.
This is achieved via computer controlled solenoid plungers that controls ported hydraulics within the cam sprockets. It is a seamless system and broadens the powerband offering low-end grunt while allowing top-end hit and improves fuel efficiency. Valves are operated by hydraulic lifters and small rocker arms, making the top-end maintenance free in terms of valve clearance adjustment. Dual spark plugs per cylinder are fitted for emissions reasons more than anything, while the dual down-draft throttle-bodies are positioned between the cylinders under an 11L airbox with internal velocity stacks. The airfilter is a washable conical item.
The engine is a dry sump unit but the oil tank is integrated internally in the sump area. This system minimises fluid friction losses and there is a triple oil-scavenge system that evacuates oil from the crankcase, stator cavity and clutch cavity. The oil feed pump is fitted with a large debris screen and the system creates crankcase negative pressure for increased power and minimal blow-by.
Oil is delivered to the main bearings and conrods via the centre of the crankshaft with a low delivery pressure of 60-70psi. There is a primary and a secondary balancer fitted, the primary balancer is a spiral shaped, chain-driven item in the crankcases and manages vibration from the crank pins, pistons, conrods and the offset imbalance. The secondary balancer is in the front head between the camshafts and complements the primary balancer.
The cable-actuated wet multiplate slipper clutch features eight friction plates and is driven by a noise vibration harshness reducing scissor primary drive gear. The six-speed gearbox cluster shift system rides in roller bearings while the selector shaft bushes are teflon coated. The gearbox is a compact semi-dry cluster built to be as durable and light as possible. The engine produces 150hp and 94ft-lbs and revs to 9500rpm. Final drive is my O-ring chain. The exhaust system is 304-series stainless-steel and the two-into-one system is designed for optimum performance and ground clearance.
The Pan America models are equipped with technology designed to enhance the riding experience, including multiple electronically controlled ride modes plus Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements. This broad collection of technologies is designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking.
Pre-programmed ride modes for the Pan America 1250 models include Road, Sport, Rain, Off-Road and Off-Road Plus. Each Ride Mode consists of a specific combination of power delivery, engine braking, Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS) and Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) settings. The rider may use the MODE button on the right-hand controller to change the active ride mode while riding the motorcycle or when stopped, with some exceptions. There are also two Custom Modes one for road and one for off road.
All instrumentation and infotainment functions are displayed on a tilting 6.8-inch TFT touchscreen. The non-reflective glass cover makes it easier to view in most lighting conditions. The touchscreen function is disabled when the motorcycle is in motion, but the rider can use hand controls to manage many functions of the screen display when the motorcycle is moving.
The display supports infotainment generated by the rider’s Bluetooth-equipped mobile device, including music and calls. Navigation is supplied by the free Harley-Davidson App for iOS or Android.
SHOWA SEMI ACTIVE SUSPENSION
The Pan America 1250 model features premium passive front and rear suspension that is fully adjustable for pre-load and compression/rebound damping. The front suspension is provided by a SHOWA 47mm inverted cartridge fork. Rear suspension is a SHOWA Piggyback reservoir shock with adjustable hydraulic preload. The rear suspension incorporates a linkage system which provides a progressive feel through the stroke and maintains a comfortable, compliant ride on-road, while providing superior support for off-road conditions.
The Pan America 1250 Special model available here is equipped with the upgraded electronically adjustable semi-active front and rear suspension. Utilising data provided by sensors on the motorcycle, this suspension system automatically controls damping to suit the prevailing conditions and riding activity. These suspension components are provided by SHOWA, while the control software was developed by Harley-Davidson.
The Vehicle Loading Control system senses the weight of the rider, a passenger and luggage to select optimal suspension sag by automatically adjusting rear preload. Unladen seat height is 850mm in the low position and 875mm in the high position.
Harley-Davidson and Brembo also collaborated on an all-new braking system for the Pan America models that is designed to provide the rider with great braking feel and performance. A new radial monoblock four-piston (30mm) caliper takes full advantage of the material characteristics to increase stiffness while reducing overall weight. Dual front brake rotors are 320mm in diameter; single rear-brake rotor is 280mm diameter. A new front brake master-cylinder offers adjustable lever response.
ADAPTIVE RIDE HEIGHT
The final factory installed option is the Adaptive Ride Height. Harley-Davidson is the first to offer this technology in the motorcycle industry, and Adaptive Ride Height (ARH) is an option for the Pan America 1250 Special model only. Adaptive Ride Height unlocks confidence you can feel in different scenarios by enabling a lower seat when the bike is at rest, without compromising ground clearance.
In Australia, only the Pan America 1250 Special will be offered. The Pan America Special is priced at $31,995 AUD ride away in Australia. Laced wheels and Adaptive Ride Height is an optional extra and $33,480 Ride Away. Head here for more info and accessories.
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan American 1250 Special Specifications
Price: $31,995 AUD ride away std, $33,480 AUD as tested.
Colours: Vivid Black; Gauntlet Gray Metallic; Deadwood Green; two-tone Baja Orange & Stone Washed White Pearl.
Warranty: Two-years unlimited km
Claimed Fuel Consumption: 5.5L/100km
Claimed Power: 112kW@8750rpm
Claimed Torque: 127Nm@6750rpm
Wet Weight: 253kg
Fuel capacity: 21.1L
Maintenance: 1600km, then every 8000km
Engine: Revolution Max 1252cc, Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), 105 x 72mm bore x stroke, 13.0:1 compression ratio, two-into-one exhaust, offset crank with 90º firing order, 60º V angle, variable cam timing, chain drive camshafts, liquid-cooling, dual plug heads.
Gearbox: Six-speed Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper type, cable actuation.
Chassis: Alloy and steel trellis with engine as stressed member, forged alloy main section.
Rake: 25° Trail: 108mm
Suspension: Semi-Active front and rear suspension with Adaptive Ride Height as an optional extra, 47mm SHOWA front, SHOWA Piggyback reservoir shock with adjustable hydraulic preload rear. 191mm travel both ends.
Brakes: Front: Radially mounted four-piston Brembo calipers, 320mm rotors; Rear: floating, single piston Brembo caliper, 280mm rotor. Cornering ABS with linked brakes.
Wheels & Tyres: Cast Alloy or Tubeless laced wheels, 19 x 3.0in with 120/70 – 19 (f), 17 x 4.5in with 170/60 – 17 (r) Michelin Scorcher Adventure 50/50 tyres.
Seat Height: 830mm – 875mm
Overall Length: 2265mm
Overall Width: 965mm
Overall Height: 1510mm
Lean Angle: Over 42º
Ground Clearance: 210mm
Instruments & Electronics: All instrumentation and infotainment functions are displayed on a tilting 6.8-inch TFT touchscreen dash. Rider aids include linked cornering ABS, traction control, hill hold, rear lift mitigation/engine braking, rider modes.
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Gallery
The Verdict | Video Review: Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special