First review – Can the Harley Davidson Pan America break the dominance of the BMW R 1250 GS?


What stands out about the Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 S?

That it is an adventure motorcycle, the first from Harley Davidson. It is an all-rounder that can handle both off-road and on-road use. In the automotive world, we would call the Harley Davidson Pan America an SUV. It is no coincidence that Harley chooses to release this atypical motorcycle: the segment is immensely popular and there is a lot to earn in it. BMW has been the market leader on the Dutch market for many years with the 1250 GS. Harley Davidson now wants to benefit from this success.


What’s good about the Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 S?

We need to highlight the powertrain of the Pan America 1250 S here. Harley Davidson of course puts a big V-twin in the Pan America, but the engine is completely new. The 60-degree block angle provides a surprisingly subtle run. Where traditional Harley models stand out for their mighty thumping two-cylinder, the Revolution Max 1250 power unit runs in peace.



The engine produces 152 hp at 8750 rpm and 128 Nm of torque at 6750 rpm. It is striking how smooth and powerful the block is! In third gear you pull smoothly from 30 km/h to more than 130 km/h in one go. And accelerating from a standstill in second gear is not even difficult. The moral of the story is that the Pan America doesn’t really care if and how you shift, the drivetrain is so impressive that you can get away with just about anything.

It makes this new Harley Davidson Pan America a great touring bike, but also a really fast boy. In fact, he does everything right. The Harley steers wonderfully, sits comfortably and is well equipped. Also interesting is the Adaptive Ride Height (ARH), which adjusts the suspension to the optimum ride height on the road and lowers to the ground when coming to a stop, so that even shorter riders can stand with their feet flat on the asphalt.


What could be better about the Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 S?

We think the engine could sound a little nicer. Those who expect the roar of a Harley Davidson are surprised with relative silence. Only when you pull well does the V-twin really start to make some noise. However, this detail is easily resolved with the purchase of an optional Screaming Eagle exhaust.

Furthermore, the button for the direction indicators is difficult to find by touch in the beginning and the feedback when you want to turn it off manually is not good (you don’t feel a clear click). But really, we’re so deep into the details now that we’re actually embarrassed to mention it.


When will the Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 S come and what is the price?

It is already there, for a starting price of 18,995 euros. By the way, you can easily get the purchase price above 20 grand, if you choose a color, order the Screaming Eagle and go for the sturdier (and great-looking) wire wheels. A luggage set and spotlights make Harley’s first enduro even more adventurous. If you are planning to purchase the Pan America, you will have to be patient until it is delivered, because they are now flying over the counter like cheeseburgers.


What do I think of the Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 S?

What excites me most is the styling of Harley’s first enduro. With his square nose, he wouldn’t look out of place in a Star Wars movie. The Pan America looks tough and rugged. He is an odd duck in the Harley Davidson bite, but still has the look of a real Harley. Whatever you think about the design, the Pan America is a wonderful refreshment on the motorcycle market, which is dominated by the BMW R 1250 GS. If only for this exclusivity I would choose the Harley without thinking.

But with this I’m doing the Pan America short. For a large engine (245 kilos for the standard version), it drives surprisingly dynamically. Due to the upright sitting position and the large steering angle, it is much more flexible than you would expect from its size. The V-twin is quiet, smooth and turns great. The equipment of the Pan America is of a high standard, with different driving modes (on-road and off-road), telephone integration and a beautiful color display. Finally, compared to its direct competitors, it is not too expensive. For a BMW R 1250 GS you have lost at least 20,200 euros and a comparable Ducati is also considerably more expensive (Multistrada V4: 22,390 euros).

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