Tag Archives: Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | First Ride Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Whether picking your way along a technical off-road trail or wearing down your chicken strips on a twisty paved road, the Pan America 1250 is well-balanced and highly capable. (Photos by Kevin Wing & Brian J. Nelson)

When you step up to the plate, when you’re facing fierce competitors and all eyes are on you, sometimes you have to swing for the fences. That’s what Harley-Davidson — a 118-year-old American motorcycle manufacturer known primarily for cruisers and baggers — has done with its new Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special adventure tourers.

Harley is a new player in the adventure touring segment, which has grown in breadth and depth over the past several decades. BMW recently introduced a 40th anniversary edition of its highly popular — and very capable — R 1250 GS. And there are big-league adventure bikes made by Ducati, Honda, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki, Triumph, and Yamaha, many of which are best-selling models with years of development and evolution under their belts.

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Styling has tie-ins to the Fat Bob and Road Glide; side-laced wheels are optional.

During more than a decade of largely stagnant motorcycle sales since the Great Recession, large-displacement adventure and dual-sport models have been a rare source of growth. Harley wants a cut of that action. As it demonstrated with the release of the LiveWire electric motorcycle, Harley wants to expand its customer base. Two ways it can do that are to sell new models to its existing customers, and sell new models to new customers. Some existing customers own a variety of motorcycles, like Rider contributor Bruce Gillies, who owns a Road Glide Ultra, a Triumph Tiger 800XC and a KTM 690 Enduro R. Bruce is retired from the U.S. Navy and buys American-made products whenever he can. He’s also a highly skilled rider who demands a lot from his motorcycles. He’d consider buying a Pan America, but only if it meets his high expectations.

Rest assured, Bruce. The Motor Company knocked this one out of the park.

[Editor’s Note: After this story was published, Bruce traded in his Triumph for a Pan America 1250 Special with ARH, and he loves it.]

Harley designed and built an exciting, capable and innovative adventure bike in its first attempt. Given the high profile of the Pan America and the eagerness of naysayers to pounce on any weakness, Harley knew it couldn’t release an odd-duck motorcycle. It learned that lesson with the Buell Ulysses. Belt drive is out, chain drive is in, not only because a chain is light, durable in off-road situations and can be repaired in the field, but also because that’s what many adventure riders demand. A V-twin engine stays true to the brand, but it has to be liquid-cooled and offer the power and sophistication necessary to compete in this segment. The new Revolution Max 1250 V-twin makes a claimed 150 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque, and ride modes change output and throttle response at the touch of a button.

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Commanding cockpit has an adjustable windscreen and hand guards. Touchscreen display is bright and easy to use.

Harley also knew it needed a hook — a killer app, if you will. And that’s Adaptive Ride Height (ARH), a $1,000 factory-installed option on the Pan America 1250 Special that automatically lowers ride height, and therefore the pilot’s seat, by 1 to 2 inches as the bike comes to a stop. The Special’s semi-active suspension automatically adjusts preload to 30% sag regardless of load, which is what accounts for the range of height adjustment. The system works seamlessly and virtually undetectably, and makes a huge difference in effective seat height. ARH is a real game-changer because seat height is one of the biggest obstacles for some riders to overcome when considering an adventure bike. Furthermore, it brings seat height within reach of more riders without compromising suspension travel or cornering clearance. (Click here to read our technical deep dive into the Pan America 1250’s Revolution Max engine and ARH.)

After years of development and benchmarking, not to mention teasing at shows and speculation by the media, the first public test of the Pan America was at its press launch. I have to hand it to the folks who planned the event — this was no bunny slope test ride. Hosted at RawHyde Adventures’ Zakar training facility a couple hours north of Los Angeles, we spent two full days flogging Pan America 1250 Specials on- and off-road in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Mojave Desert. We rode nearly 400 miles on highways, twisting mountain roads and off-road trails that included gravel, sand, rocks, tricky climbs and descents — even a few jumps.

2021 Harley-Davidson 
Pan America 1250 Special review
Top-shelf semi-active Showa suspension made for a plush landing. Damping rates can be set to Sport, Balanced, Comfort, Off-Road Soft and Off-Road Firm.

Greg’s Gear
Helmet: Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular
Jacket: Fly Racing Terra Trek
Gloves: Fly Racing Coolpro Force
Pants: Fly Racing Terra Trek
Boots: Fly Racing FR5

As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. After tip-toeing down the sand-and-gravel access road from Zakar to the pavement and falling into formation on Route 58 with the dozen riders in our group, I began taking mental notes. As with many full-sized adventure bikes, the Pan America was comfortable and accommodating, with plenty of legroom, an upright seating position and a relaxed reach to a wide handlebar. Before the ride began, Harley’s tech staff helped us adjust the dual-height stock seat (33.4/34.4 inches), install either the accessory low or high seat (which reduce or increase the dual heights by 1 inch, respectively) or install accessory 2-inch handlebar risers.

The whole business of seat heights becomes a little fuzzy because we were on Pan America 1250 Specials with ARH installed. At a stop, the unladen height of the stock seat in the low position is 32.7 inches rather than 33.4 inches without ARH. In its specs Harley also provides laden seat height with a 180-pound rider, which is 31.1 inches on the Special without ARH and 30.4 inches with ARH. Install the $249.95 Reach Solo Seat on an ARH-equipped Special and laden seat height can be as low as 29.4 inches. In other words, Harley went to great lengths to make sure seat height is not a barrier to owning a Pan America, though getting exactly what you want may require an investment.

2021 Harley-Davidson 
Pan America 1250 Special review
Thanks to its powerful Revolution Max 1250 V-twin and excellent chassis, the Pan America is one of the sportiest motorcycles ever to come out of Milwaukee.

After humming along the freeway for a half hour with the cruise control on and the on-the-fly adjustable windscreen parting the air smoothly, we turned onto Caliente-Bodfish Road, one of the gnarliest paved roads in the Sierra foothills, and began to wick it up. The Pan America offers eight ride modes — Sport, Road, Rain, Off-Road, Off-Road Plus and three custom modes — which adjust power output, throttle response, engine braking, traction control, ABS and suspension damping. The Revolution Max 1250 is ripper, with a sportbike-like sound, feel and responsiveness, and, thanks to variable valve timing, it delivers generous low-end torque as well as a screaming top end.

As has become increasingly common, rather than bolting the engine to the frame, the engine serves as the main structural element of the chassis. Attached directly to the engine are a front frame that incorporates the steering head, a forged aluminum mid frame that’s the attachment point for the cast aluminum swingarm and a tubular-steel trellis subframe. Overall the chassis is stiff and robust, contributing to the Pan America 1250 Special’s neutral, stable handling. And Harley used tried-and-trusted component suppliers, with a steering damper made by Öhlins, radial-mount monoblock 4-piston front calipers made by Brembo and suspension made by Showa — a 47mm USD Balance Free Fork and a Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite shock, both with 7.5 inches of travel. Everything performed to a high level in a wide range of conditions.

2021 Harley-Davidson 
Pan America 1250 Special review
The 
Pan America 1250 Special is available in four color options: Deadwood Green (shown here), Baja Orange/Stone Washed White Pearl, Gauntlet Gray Metallic, and Vivid Black.

Standard on the Pan America are cast aluminum wheels (19-inch front, 17-inch rear) shod with specially designed Michelin Scorcher Adventure 90/10 tires, which offered good grip and handling on pavement and during light off-roading. Bikes we tested were equipped with the optional side-laced tubeless wheels (which cost $500 and weigh 14 pounds more than the cast wheels). On the second day, our bikes were fitted with accessory Michelin Anakee Wild 50/50 tires ($449.90), which give up some confidence and grip on pavement but are excellent off-road tires, even at the higher street temperatures we were running. Harley’s RDRS Safety Enhancements package includes IMU-enabled “cornering enhanced” linked ABS and traction control, with settings determined by ride mode (the cornering function and rear ABS are disabled in certain off-road modes). Drag-Torque Slip Control, which is like traction control for the engine to manage rear-wheel traction during aggressive riding, as well as cruise control and hill hold control are also part of the package.

Reactions to the Pan America’s styling have been mixed. Lacking the prominent beak or high front fender that is popular on many ADV bikes, it stands apart from the crowd, with a headlight design influenced by the Fat Bob and front bodywork inspired by the Road Glide’s sharknose fairing. Above the Daymaker Signature LED headlight, which uses 30 LED elements behind a diffuser lens, the Special has a Daymaker Adaptive LED headlight that illuminates a series of three lights as lean angle reaches 8, 15 and 23 degrees.

2021 Harley-Davidson 
Pan America 1250 Special review
Trona Pinnacles, which served as a backdrop in “Star Trek V” and “Planet of the Apes” among other films, was an ideal off-road test site. Michelin Anakee Wild tires added grip.

Harley offers a standard version of the Pan America 1250 that starts at $17,319, but many buyers will probably opt for the Pan America 1250 Special we tested. Starting at $19,999, the Special adds semi-active suspension with automatic preload adjustment (and the availability of ARH as a factory option), the adaptive headlight, the steering damper, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a centerstand, an aluminum skid plate, engine protection bars, hand guards, heated grips and a dual-height rear brake pedal.

In one shot, Harley-Davidson not only built its first adventure bike, it also built its first sportbike and sport-touring bike. We hammered the Pan Americas for two days, and they never gave up or reacted in an unexpected way or felt out of their depth. Whatever the metric — power, performance, handling, durability, technology, weight, price — the Pan America 1250 Special can compete head-to-head with well-established players in the ADV segment. Is it the best overall, or in any particular category? Well, that remains to be seen — two days and 400 miles, none of which were ridden back-to-back with competitors in the class, is not enough to draw firm conclusions. But this is one rookie that shows great promise.

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Adventure touring, sport touring, on-road, off-road, tall or short rider, solo or with a passenger, with options, luggage and accessories or bone stock — whatever you’re into, the Pan America can be spec’d to satisfy your needs.

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special Specs

Base Price: $19,999
Price as Tested: $22,299 (ARH, side-laced wheels, Anakee Wild tires, skid plate)
Website: harley-davidson.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,252cc
Bore x Stroke: 105 x 72mm
Horsepower: 150 @ 9,000 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Torque: 94 lb-ft @ 6,750 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated assist-and-slipper wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Wheelbase: 62.2 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 32.7/33.7 in. (unladen w/ ARH)
Wet Weight: 559 lbs. (claimed, stock)
Fuel Capacity: 5.6 gals.

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Tech Talk: Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 in Deadwood Green (photo by Kevin Wing)

In July 2018, Harley-Davidson announced a five-year growth strategy called “More Roads to Harley-Davidson,” a plan to add new products, provide broader access, strengthen its dealer network and amplify the brand. Expansion beyond Harley’s typical cruiser, bagger and touring models would include the LiveWire electric motorcycle, which debuted for 2020, and “middleweight adventure touring, streetfighter and high-performance custom models.”

The “More Roads” strategy offered the first look at the Pan America adventure tourer, with few details beyond its displacement and what could be gleaned from a photo of the prototype. At the 2019 EICMA show in Milan, Harley unveiled the Pan America and the Bronx streetfighter, both to be powered by a liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin engine platform called the Revolution Max — 1,250cc in the Pan America and 975cc in the Bronx — and launched in 2020.

In February 2020, amid financial troubles, Harley-Davidson announced a revised five-year strategy called “Hardwire” that would, among other changes, “selectively focus on opportunities in profitable segments.” Plans to expand the company’s product portfolio were scaled back. The Pan America made the cut, the Bronx did not. Then the pandemic hit, which pushed the Pan America’s launch from late 2020 to early 2021. Details about the Pan America 1250 and up-spec Pan America 1250 Special were finally announced last February, and we got an opportunity to test ride the Special over two days in April.

Revolution Max 1250

Harley-Davidson Revolution Max 1250
Cutaway of the Revolution Max 1250 that powers the Pan America (photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

According to Harley, its all-new, modular Revolution Max engine will be offered in four displacements ranging from 500cc to 1,250cc. In addition to powering the Pan America, it will likely replace the aging, air-cooled mill in the Sportster and may replace the liquid-cooled Revolution X in whatever entry-level models fill the gap for the discontinued Street 500 and Street 750.

In the Pan America 1250, the Revolution Max displaces 1,252cc, has a 13.0:1 compression ratio and makes a claimed 150 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm. Like the Revolution V-twin that powered the V-Rod and the Revolution X that powered the Street models, the Max’s cylinders have a 60-degree included angle. The two crankshaft connecting rod journals are offset by 30 degrees, resulting in a 90-degree firing order for smooth power delivery. Dual overhead cams use roller-finger followers to actuate four valves per cylinder and hydraulic lash adjusters eliminate periodic maintenance. Computer-controlled variable valve timing (VVT) independently advances or retards intake and exhaust timing through a potential range of 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation, with the goal of broadening the powerband to deliver ample low-end torque as well as high-rpm horsepower. Dual spark plugs optimize ignition and a robust, dry-sump oiling system is designed to withstand the demands of adventure riding.

Harley-Davidson Revolution Max 1250

Because the Revolution Max is a stressed member of the Pan America’s chassis, it needed to be strong and light. Harley used finite element analysis and optimization techniques to reduce material mass in cast and molded components. Complex casting techniques allowed oil and coolant passages to be integrated into the engine in such a way that minimized wall thicknesses. Single-piece aluminum cylinders have nickel silicon carbide-surface galvanic coating, pistons are made of forged aluminum and the rocker, camshaft and primary covers are made of magnesium. An engine that vibrates less endures less stress over its life cycle, allowing components to be made lighter. A spiral-shaped, chain-driven balancer in the crankcase minimizes primary vibration, while a small balancer located in front of the cylinder head between the camshafts minimizes secondary vibration.

Revolution Max engines are built in Harley’s Pilgrim Road facility near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and complete Pan Americas are assembled in York, Pennsylvania.

Adaptive Ride Height

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Adaptive Ride Height ARH
Adaptive Ride Height is a factory option on the Pan America 1250 Special, and it offers several modes. (Photo by Brian J. Nelson)

To be competitive in the adventure touring segment, the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special are equipped with state-of-the-art electronics like riding modes and Harley’s RDRS Safety Enhancements. The Special is equipped with added features, including Showa semi-active suspension that adjusts damping rates on the selected ride mode and automatically adjusts spring preload to provide 30% sag regardless of the load.

But the real innovation is the Adaptive Ride Height (ARH), a factory option available only on the Special. Using an array of sensors and algorithms, ARH automatically lowers the motorcycle’s ride height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop (the amount of ride height adjustment depends on preload). Lowering the ride height lowers the rider’s seat, which accommodates a wider range of riders and adapts to a wider range of conditions than other full-sized adventure bikes, even those with semi-active suspension.

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Adaptive Ride Height ARH
The Pan America 1250 Special’s semi-active suspension is made by Showa. (Photo by Brian J. Nelson)

In standard ride modes, the default setting for ARH is Auto, but in custom ride modes ARH can be turned off or set to Auto with Short Delay or Auto with Long Delay, and those settings will be retained in that mode after the ignition is turned off. In Auto mode, ARH will not lower the motorcycle in an condition where speed is greater than 15.5 mph, but lowering could begin to occur at 15.5 mph if the rider is braking very hard. Speed, brake lever pressure and deceleration rate are all used to determine when to lower the motorcycle. ARH targets the bike to be lowered when the rider would typically be moving their feet off the pegs to put them on the ground, which typically happens at speeds much slower than 15.5 mph under casual braking.

In technical off-road conditions at low speeds, especially if there is a lot of stopping and starting involved, it may not be optimal to have the motorcycle repeatedly lower and raise itself. In Short Delay mode ARH will not lower the ride height at all until 0.5 second after the motorcycle comes to a stop. Long Delay mode waits until 2 seconds after coming to a stop before lowering the bike.

Since ARH is a factory-installed option, it cannot be added to a Pan America 1250 Special after purchase. The beauty of ARH is that it offers a lower seat height without reducing suspension travel or otherwise compromising the motorcycle’s performance or capabilities.

The post Tech Talk: Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Video Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special
Testing the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special in the Mojave Desert. (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Check out our video review of the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special, an all-new adventure bike powered by the 150-horsepower Revolution Max V-twin. We hammered the Pan America 1250 Special for two days in the mountains and desert, on- and off-road, and it never gave up or reacted in an unexpected way or felt out of its depth. And its Adaptive Ride Height option is a game-changer, lowering ride/seat height by 1 to 2 inches when the bike comes to a stop. Whatever the metric — power, performance, handling, durability, technology, weight, price — the Pan America 1250 Special can compete head-to-head with well-established players in the ADV segment.

To find a Harley-Davidson dealer near you, visit harley-davidson.com.

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Video Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival | First Look Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

As the growing popularity of the resto-mod customization movement has shown, combining classic styling with modern engineering is a winning formula.

Harley-Davidson has announced its new Icons Collection, and the first model in the collection is the stunning 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival.

The Icons Collection is an annual program that offers very limited-edition motorcycles designed to elevate traditional forms and celebrate Americana, either by revisiting classic Harley-Davidson design themes or by exploring ideas that represent the future of motorcycle style.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

Only one or two models will be included in the Icons Collection each year, with a single production run that highlights their exclusivity. Production of that model will never be resumed or repeated. Each Icons Collection motorcycle will be serialized, and the purchaser will receive a certificate of authenticity.

“With The Hardwire, we made a commitment to introduce a series of motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley-Davidson,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO Harley-Davidson. “With that in mind, I am proud to introduce our new limited production Icons Collection, a series of extraordinary adaptations of production motorcycles which look to our storied past and bright future.”

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

The first model in the Icons Collection is the Electra Glide Revival model, a drop-dead gorgeous retro-classic motorcycle decked out with chrome and an old-school two-tone paint scheme. Global production of the Electra Glide Revival model will be limited to a one-time build of 1,500 serialized examples, with bikes available at Harley-Davidson dealers in late April, with an MSRP of $29,199.

The look of the Electra Glide Revival model is inspired by the 1969 Electra Glide, the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle available with an accessory “batwing” fairing. The fairing became an iconic Harley-Davidson styling cue, its shape an instant on-the-road identifier of many H-D models and the foundational design of the fairing featured on current models.

In 1969, the accessory fairing and saddlebags were only offered in white molded fiberglass, and the Electra Glide Revival replicates that look with a Birch White painted finish. The period-inspired tank medallion and Electra Glide script on the front fender complete the look. The Electra Glide Revival will be offered in a single color scheme inspired by the original 1969 colorway: The two-tone fuel tank in Hi-Fi Blue and Black Denim bisected with a Birch White stripe, with Hi-Fi Blue paint on the fenders and side panels.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

“We live in a very dynamic time, each of us experiencing constant change,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design. “The Electra Glide Revival model is an oasis in this daily turbulence, a way to reconnect with the fundamental Harley-Davidson DNA that created Grand American Touring.”

Design highlights of the Electra Glide Revival model include a solo saddle with a black-and-white cover and a chrome rail, mounted over an adjustable coil spring and shock absorber, also a nod to Harley-Davidson FL models from the 1960s and a functional feature that adds rider comfort. Chrome steel-laced wheels and wide whitewall tires add to the nostalgic look, as do brilliant chrome on front fender rails and saddlebag rails, front fender skirt, Ventilator air cleaner cover, fork covers, and auxiliary lights.

The Electra Glide Revival model is powered by a Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine which delivers inspiring performance and classic Harley-Davidson look-sound-feel.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection
  • Displacement: 114 cu in (1,868 cc)
  • Torque: 118 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm (claimed)
  • Four valve cylinder heads (two exhaust and two intake valves per head, eight total); increased airflow through the engine contributes to power output.
  • Dual spark plugs for more complete combustion of the air/fuel charge and maximized power and efficiency.
  • 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission reduces engine RPM at highway speeds to enhance fuel economy and rider comfort.

The Electra Glide Revival offers classic style, but its design and technology is absolutely modern. The foundation of the Electra Glide Revival model is the single-spar Harley-Davidson Touring frame with a rigid backbone design to sustain the weight of luggage and to support current engine power. The entire chassis is designed for the long haul. A single knob hydraulically adjusts the pre-load of emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers for optimal ride and control. The 49mm fork with dual bending valve suspension technology deliver linear damping characteristics for a smooth ride.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

The classic Bat Wing fairing features a tall clear windshield and a splitstream vent to help reduce rider head buffeting. Electronic cruise control holds a steady speed for comfort on long rides, while a halogen headlamp and incandescent auxiliary lamps provide outstanding illumination and maintain the nostalgic styling of the Revival model.

A Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with color touch screen powers two fairing-mount speakers and features advanced navigation and hand and voice commands (when paired with a compatible headset) plus Android Auto application and Apple CarPlay software compatibility.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

Also standard is the suite of Harley-Davidson RDRS Safety Enhancements, a collection of technology designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking, including:

  • Cornering Enhanced Anti-Lock Brake System (C-ABS)
  • Cornering Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking (C-ELB)
  • Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS)
  • Drag-torque Slip Control System (DSCS)
  • Hill Hold Control (HHC)

For more information, visit h-d.com/icons.

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Top 10 Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Riding the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan American 1250 Special in California’s Mojave Desert. (Photos by Brian J. Nelson & Kevin Wing)

We just spent two days in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Mojave Desert of California testing the all-new 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special. Over the course of two days, we rode about 350 miles on highways, twisting mountain roads and off-road trails that included gravel, sand, rocks and tricky climbs and descents. In one shot, Harley-Davidson not only built its first adventure bike, it also built its first sportbike and sport-touring bike. We’ll have a full review soon, but for now we’re sharing our top 10 highlights.

1. Revolution Max 1250 V-twin

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review Revolution Max engine V-twin
Cut-away view of the Revolution Max 1250 V-twin (Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

Harley-Davidson’s base-model Pan America 1250 and up-spec Pan America 1250 Special (we only rode the latter) are powered by a brand-new engine called the Revolution Max 1250. It’s a liquid-cooled 1,252cc 60-degree V-twin with DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, a 13.0:1 compression ratio and hydraulic valve lash adjusters. Harley-Davidson claims that it makes 150 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm and redlines at 9,500 rpm. It packs serious performance and sounds fantastic, delivering generous, tractable power throughout the rev range. And multiple riding modes adjust power output and throttle delivery.

2. Semi-active Suspension with Adaptive Ride Height

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review adaptive ride height
The Adaptive Ride Height option on the Pan America 1250 Special can lower ride (and seat) height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop.

The Pan America 1250 Special is equipped with top-shelf Showa suspension — a 47mm USD Balance Free Fork (BFF) and a Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite (BFRC) shock, with 7.5 inches of travel front and rear. The suspension offers semi-active electronic adjustment that adjusts damping based on the selected ride mode, and it automatically adjusts preload to provide 30% sag regardless of the load. But the real game-changer is Adaptive Ride Height (a $1,000 factory option), which automatically lowers ride height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop (the amount of ride height adjustment depends on preload). The system works seamlessly and is virtually undetectably, and it makes a huge difference in effective seat height, which is one of the biggest obstacles for some riders to overcome when considering an adventure bike.

4. Ride Modes

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review ride modes
A full-color touchscreen TFT display shows all of the ride modes and other menu options.

Like nearly every high-spec adventure bike, the Pan America 1250 Special is outfitted with a full suite of electronic rider aids. It offers multiple ride modes — Sport, Road, Rain, Off-Road, Off-Road Plus, Custom Off-Road Plus, Custom A and Custom B — which automatically adjust the engine map (power output), throttle response, engine braking, traction control, ABS, suspension damping and, optionally, Adaptive Ride Height. IMU-enabled “cornering enhanced” linked ABS and traction control are available in most modes, but the cornering function and rear ABS are disabled in certain Off-Road modes. Drag-Torque Slip Control, which is like traction control for the engine to manage rear-wheel traction during aggressive riding, as well as cruise control and hill hold control are also part of the package. Everything works well and the different modes have a big impact on the riding character of the bike.

5. Brembo, Showa and Öhlins

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Up front, dual Brembo radial 4-piston calipers squeeze 320mm rotors.

Adventure riders who buy top-level motorcycles expect the best components and latest-and-greatest technology. On many Harley-Davidson motorcycles, component suppliers are not identified, and brake calipers may be branded with a bar-and-shield logo. But the manufacturer of certain components matters to discerning customers, so Harley-Davidson made a smart decision and spec’d the Pan America 1250 Special with Brembo brakes, Showa suspension and an Öhlins steering damper. And all of the components performed to a high level in a wide range of riding conditions.

3. Wheels and Tires

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review spoked wheels brembo brake
Shown are the accessory side-laced tubeless wheels and accessory Michelin Anakee Wild tires.

Standard equipment on both the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special includes cast aluminum wheels with a 19-inch front and a 17-inch rear, and they’re shod with specially designed Michelin Scorcher Adventure 90/10 tires. The larger front wheel is good for rolling over obstacles off-road but it does slow down steering somewhat relative to a 17-inch front wheel. The Scorcher Adventure tires offer good grip and handling on the street and they performed well for light off-road riding. We also tested the accessory side-laced tubeless wheels and accessory Michelin Anakee Wild tires, which give up some confidence and grip on pavement, but are excellent off-road tires, even at the higher “street” temperatures we were running. Harley-Davidson did its full range of development testing on both types of wheels and tires to ensure they met performance goals in a wide range of conditions.

6. Chain Final Drive

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
For an adventure bike, chain final drive is the best choice for light weight, durability, minimal power loss and ability to be repaired in the field.

Harley-Davidson owners are accustomed to maintenance-free belt final drive, and in street-only riding conditions such a system works extremely well. But when off-road riding is involved, rocks and other debris can get wedged between the rear sprocket and the belt, causing damage that can lead to a belt failure. Although chain final drive requires some maintenance in terms of lubrication, adjustment and occasional replacement, it is the best solution in terms of weight, durability, minimal power loss and field repair. That’s why everything from dirt bikes to race bikes use chain final drive.

7. Chassis

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Though mostly hidden behind bodywork, the Pan America 1250’s frame components attach to the Revolution Max engine.

To save weight, the Revolution Max 1250 engine is a stressed member of the chassis. Attached to the engine is a front frame element to connect the steering head, an aluminum midframe element behind the engine that is the attachment point for the cast aluminum swingarm and rear shock, and a steel tail section (subframe) that supports the weight of the rider, passenger and luggage/cargo. Overall the chassis is very stiff and robust, which contributes to the Pan America 1250 Special’s neutral, confident handling. Wheelbase is 62.2 inches, rake is 25 degrees and trail is 4.3 inches.

8. Adjustable Windscreen, Adjustable Seat Height and Adaptive Headlight

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
An adjustable windscreen and hand guards provide good wind protection, and the Daymaker Signature LED headlight and Daymaker Adaptive LED headlight illuminate the road.

Adventure touring motorcycles are built to go long distances. They have upright seating positions with wide handlebars, and they have fuel capacities to go 200-plus miles between fill-ups (the Pan America has a 5.6-gallon fuel tank and an EPA-tested 46 mpg, which translates into 258 miles of range). The Pan America 1250 Special has a windscreen that is adjustable on the fly over a 1.8-inch range. Its rider seat has two positions — low (33.5 inches) and high (34.5) inches — and there are accessory low (32.5/33.5 inches) and high (34.5/35.5 inches) seats. As described above, Adaptive Ride Height can lower the rider’s seat height by an additional 1 to 2 inches. And above the Daymaker Signature LED headlight, which uses 30 LED elements behind a diffuser lense, the Pan America 1250 Special has a Daymaker Adaptive LED headlight that illuminates a series of three lights as lean angle reaches 8, 15 and 23 degrees.

9. It Rips!

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
With a 150-horsepower engine, a solid chassis and 42 degrees of available lean angle, the Pan America 1250 is at home in the canyons at a sporting pace.

Harley-Davidson has done its homework. It knows it is entering a very competitive segment with highly evolved adventure bikes from BMW, Ducati, KTM, Triumph, Yamaha and others. The Pan America 1250 is a high-profile motorcycle, not just within the adventure segment, but within the motorcycle industry at large. Can Harley-Davidson, a company known for its cruisers and touring bikes, build a competitive adventure bike? The answer is yes. On the road and off the pavement, the Pan America 1250 delivered an exhilarating, confident riding experience.

10. It Can Fly!

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
We found the perfect launch pad for the Pan America 1250 Special at Trona Pinnacles, a weird collection of rock formations that has been the backdrop for many movies.

Claimed wet weight for the Pan America 1250 Special is 559 pounds. The accessory side-laced wheels and beefier skid plate add more weight. But when we found a gully that had a tabletop hill on one side, we couldn’t resist jumping the Pan America. We aired it out time and again, and the semi-active suspension provided a plush landing with no bottoming and no harsh rebound or kickback. Nothing broke. This is a solidly engineered motorcycle that has gone through extensive durability testing, about half of which was done off-road, and it took a licking and kept on ticking. No, most customers will not jump their Pan America 1250s, but if they wanted to, they certainly could!

Greg’s Gear:
Helmet: Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular
Jacket/Pants: Fly Racing Terra Trek
Gloves: Fly Racing Coolpro
Boots: Fly Racing FR5
Knee/Shin Guards: Fly Racing 5 Pivot

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Specs

Base Price: $19,999
Website: harley-davidson.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,252cc
Bore x Stroke: 105 x 72mm
Horsepower: 150 @ 9,000 rpm (claimed)
Torque: 94 lb-ft @ 6,750 rpm (claimed)
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 62.2 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 33.5/34.5 in.
Wet Weight: 559 lbs. (claimed, no accessories/options)
Fuel Capacity: 5.6 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 46 mpg (EPA)

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Top 10 Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Top 10 Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Riding the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan American 1250 Special in California’s Mojave Desert. (Photos by Brian J. Nelson & Kevin Wing)

We just spent two days in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Mojave Desert of California testing the all-new 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special. Over the course of two days, we rode about 350 miles on highways, twisting mountain roads and off-road trails that included gravel, sand, rocks and tricky climbs and descents. In one shot, Harley-Davidson not only built its first adventure bike, it also built its first sportbike and sport-touring bike. We’ll have a full review soon, but for now we’re sharing our top 10 highlights.

1. Revolution Max 1250 V-twin

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review Revolution Max engine V-twin
Cut-away view of the Revolution Max 1250 V-twin (Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

Harley-Davidson’s base-model Pan America 1250 and up-spec Pan America 1250 Special (we only rode the latter) are powered by a brand-new engine called the Revolution Max 1250. It’s a liquid-cooled 1,252cc 60-degree V-twin with DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, a 13.0:1 compression ratio and hydraulic valve lash adjusters. Harley-Davidson claims that it makes 150 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm and redlines at 9,500 rpm. It packs serious performance and sounds fantastic, delivering generous, tractable power throughout the rev range. And multiple riding modes adjust power output and throttle delivery.

2. Semi-active Suspension with Adaptive Ride Height

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review adaptive ride height
The Adaptive Ride Height option on the Pan America 1250 Special can lower ride (and seat) height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop.

The Pan America 1250 Special is equipped with top-shelf Showa suspension — a 47mm USD Balance Free Fork (BFF) and a Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite (BFRC) shock, with 7.5 inches of travel front and rear. The suspension offers semi-active electronic adjustment that adjusts damping based on the selected ride mode, and it automatically adjusts preload to provide 30% sag regardless of the load. But the real game-changer is Adaptive Ride Height (a $1,000 factory option), which automatically lowers ride height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop (the amount of ride height adjustment depends on preload). The system works seamlessly and is virtually undetectably, and it makes a huge difference in effective seat height, which is one of the biggest obstacles for some riders to overcome when considering an adventure bike.

4. Ride Modes

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review ride modes
A full-color touchscreen TFT display shows all of the ride modes and other menu options.

Like nearly every high-spec adventure bike, the Pan America 1250 Special is outfitted with a full suite of electronic rider aids. It offers multiple ride modes — Sport, Road, Rain, Off-Road, Off-Road Plus, Custom Off-Road Plus, Custom A and Custom B — which automatically adjust the engine map (power output), throttle response, engine braking, traction control, ABS, suspension damping and, optionally, Adaptive Ride Height. IMU-enabled “cornering enhanced” linked ABS and traction control are available in most modes, but the cornering function and rear ABS are disabled in certain Off-Road modes. Drag-Torque Slip Control, which is like traction control for the engine to manage rear-wheel traction during aggressive riding, as well as cruise control and hill hold control are also part of the package. Everything works well and the different modes have a big impact on the riding character of the bike.

5. Brembo, Showa and Öhlins

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Up front, dual Brembo radial 4-piston calipers squeeze 320mm rotors.

Adventure riders who buy top-level motorcycles expect the best components and latest-and-greatest technology. On many Harley-Davidson motorcycles, component suppliers are not identified, and brake calipers may be branded with a bar-and-shield logo. But the manufacturer of certain components matters to discerning customers, so Harley-Davidson made a smart decision and spec’d the Pan America 1250 Special with Brembo brakes, Showa suspension and an Öhlins steering damper. And all of the components performed to a high level in a wide range of riding conditions.

3. Wheels and Tires

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review spoked wheels brembo brake
Shown are the accessory side-laced tubeless wheels and accessory Michelin Anakee Wild tires.

Standard equipment on both the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special includes cast aluminum wheels with a 19-inch front and a 17-inch rear, and they’re shod with specially designed Michelin Scorcher Adventure 90/10 tires. The larger front wheel is good for rolling over obstacles off-road but it does slow down steering somewhat relative to a 17-inch front wheel. The Scorcher Adventure tires offer good grip and handling on the street and they performed well for light off-road riding. We also tested the accessory side-laced tubeless wheels and accessory Michelin Anakee Wild tires, which give up some confidence and grip on pavement, but are excellent off-road tires, even at the higher “street” temperatures we were running. Harley-Davidson did its full range of development testing on both types of wheels and tires to ensure they met performance goals in a wide range of conditions.

6. Chain Final Drive

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
For an adventure bike, chain final drive is the best choice for light weight, durability, minimal power loss and ability to be repaired in the field.

Harley-Davidson owners are accustomed to maintenance-free belt final drive, and in street-only riding conditions such a system works extremely well. But when off-road riding is involved, rocks and other debris can get wedged between the rear sprocket and the belt, causing damage that can lead to a belt failure. Although chain final drive requires some maintenance in terms of lubrication, adjustment and occasional replacement, it is the best solution in terms of weight, durability, minimal power loss and field repair. That’s why everything from dirt bikes to race bikes use chain final drive.

7. Chassis

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Though mostly hidden behind bodywork, the Pan America 1250’s frame components attach to the Revolution Max engine.

To save weight, the Revolution Max 1250 engine is a stressed member of the chassis. Attached to the engine is a front frame element to connect the steering head, an aluminum midframe element behind the engine that is the attachment point for the cast aluminum swingarm and rear shock, and a steel tail section (subframe) that supports the weight of the rider, passenger and luggage/cargo. Overall the chassis is very stiff and robust, which contributes to the Pan America 1250 Special’s neutral, confident handling. Wheelbase is 62.2 inches, rake is 25 degrees and trail is 4.3 inches.

8. Adjustable Windscreen, Adjustable Seat Height and Adaptive Headlight

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
An adjustable windscreen and hand guards provide good wind protection, and the Daymaker Signature LED headlight and Daymaker Adaptive LED headlight illuminate the road.

Adventure touring motorcycles are built to go long distances. They have upright seating positions with wide handlebars, and they have fuel capacities to go 200-plus miles between fill-ups (the Pan America has a 5.6-gallon fuel tank and an EPA-tested 46 mpg, which translates into 258 miles of range). The Pan America 1250 Special has a windscreen that is adjustable on the fly over a 1.8-inch range. Its rider seat has two positions — low (33.5 inches) and high (34.5) inches — and there are accessory low (32.5/33.5 inches) and high (34.5/35.5 inches) seats. As described above, Adaptive Ride Height can lower the rider’s seat height by an additional 1 to 2 inches. And above the Daymaker Signature LED headlight, which uses 30 LED elements behind a diffuser lense, the Pan America 1250 Special has a Daymaker Adaptive LED headlight that illuminates a series of three lights as lean angle reaches 8, 15 and 23 degrees.

9. It Rips!

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
With a 150-horsepower engine, a solid chassis and 42 degrees of available lean angle, the Pan America 1250 is at home in the canyons at a sporting pace.

Harley-Davidson has done its homework. It knows it is entering a very competitive segment with highly evolved adventure bikes from BMW, Ducati, KTM, Triumph, Yamaha and others. The Pan America 1250 is a high-profile motorcycle, not just within the adventure segment, but within the motorcycle industry at large. Can Harley-Davidson, a company known for its cruisers and touring bikes, build a competitive adventure bike? The answer is yes. On the road and off the pavement, the Pan America 1250 delivered an exhilarating, confident riding experience.

10. It Can Fly!

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
We found the perfect launch pad for the Pan America 1250 Special at Trona Pinnacles, a weird collection of rock formations that has been the backdrop for many movies.

Claimed wet weight for the Pan America 1250 Special is 559 pounds. The accessory side-laced wheels and beefier skid plate add more weight. But when we found a gully that had a tabletop hill on one side, we couldn’t resist jumping the Pan America. We aired it out time and again, and the semi-active suspension provided a plush landing with no bottoming and no harsh rebound or kickback. Nothing broke. This is a solidly engineered motorcycle that has gone through extensive durability testing, about half of which was done off-road, and it took a licking and kept on ticking. No, most customers will not jump their Pan America 1250s, but if they wanted to, they certainly could!

Greg’s Gear:
Helmet: Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular
Jacket/Pants: Fly Racing Terra Trek
Gloves: Fly Racing Coolpro
Boots: Fly Racing FR5
Knee/Shin Guards: Fly Racing 5 Pivot

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Specs

Base Price: $19,999
Website: harley-davidson.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,252cc
Bore x Stroke: 105 x 72mm
Horsepower: 150 @ 9,000 rpm (claimed)
Torque: 94 lb-ft @ 6,750 rpm (claimed)
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 62.2 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 33.5/34.5 in.
Wet Weight: 559 lbs. (claimed, no accessories/options)
Fuel Capacity: 5.6 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 46 mpg (EPA)

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Top 10 Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Top 10 Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Riding the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan American 1250 Special in California’s Mojave Desert. (Photos by Brian J. Nelson & Kevin Wing)

We just spent two days in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Mojave Desert of California testing the all-new 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special. Over the course of two days, we rode about 350 miles on highways, twisting mountain roads and off-road trails that included gravel, sand, rocks and tricky climbs and descents. In one shot, Harley-Davidson not only built its first adventure bike, it also built its first sportbike and sport-touring bike. We’ll have a full review soon, but for now we’re sharing our top 10 highlights.

1. Revolution Max 1250 V-twin

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review Revolution Max engine V-twin
Cut-away view of the Revolution Max 1250 V-twin (Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

Harley-Davidson’s base-model Pan America 1250 and up-spec Pan America 1250 Special (we only rode the latter) are powered by a brand-new engine called the Revolution Max 1250. It’s a liquid-cooled 1,252cc 60-degree V-twin with DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, a 13.0:1 compression ratio and hydraulic valve lash adjusters. Harley-Davidson claims that it makes 150 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm and redlines at 9,500 rpm. It packs serious performance and sounds fantastic, delivering generous, tractable power throughout the rev range. And multiple riding modes adjust power output and throttle delivery.

2. Semi-active Suspension with Adaptive Ride Height

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review adaptive ride height
The Adaptive Ride Height option on the Pan America 1250 Special can lower ride (and seat) height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop.

The Pan America 1250 Special is equipped with top-shelf Showa suspension — a 47mm USD Balance Free Fork (BFF) and a Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite (BFRC) shock, with 7.5 inches of travel front and rear. The suspension offers semi-active electronic adjustment that adjusts damping based on the selected ride mode, and it automatically adjusts preload to provide 30% sag regardless of the load. But the real game-changer is Adaptive Ride Height (a $1,000 factory option), which automatically lowers ride height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop (the amount of ride height adjustment depends on preload). The system works seamlessly and is virtually undetectably, and it makes a huge difference in effective seat height, which is one of the biggest obstacles for some riders to overcome when considering an adventure bike.

4. Ride Modes

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review ride modes
A full-color touchscreen TFT display shows all of the ride modes and other menu options.

Like nearly every high-spec adventure bike, the Pan America 1250 Special is outfitted with a full suite of electronic rider aids. It offers multiple ride modes — Sport, Road, Rain, Off-Road, Off-Road Plus, Custom Off-Road Plus, Custom A and Custom B — which automatically adjust the engine map (power output), throttle response, engine braking, traction control, ABS, suspension damping and, optionally, Adaptive Ride Height. IMU-enabled “cornering enhanced” linked ABS and traction control are available in most modes, but the cornering function and rear ABS are disabled in certain Off-Road modes. Drag-Torque Slip Control, which is like traction control for the engine to manage rear-wheel traction during aggressive riding, as well as cruise control and hill hold control are also part of the package. Everything works well and the different modes have a big impact on the riding character of the bike.

5. Brembo, Showa and Öhlins

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Up front, dual Brembo radial 4-piston calipers squeeze 320mm rotors.

Adventure riders who buy top-level motorcycles expect the best components and latest-and-greatest technology. On many Harley-Davidson motorcycles, component suppliers are not identified, and brake calipers may be branded with a bar-and-shield logo. But the manufacturer of certain components matters to discerning customers, so Harley-Davidson made a smart decision and spec’d the Pan America 1250 Special with Brembo brakes, Showa suspension and an Öhlins steering damper. And all of the components performed to a high level in a wide range of riding conditions.

3. Wheels and Tires

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review spoked wheels brembo brake
Shown are the accessory side-laced tubeless wheels and accessory Michelin Anakee Wild tires.

Standard equipment on both the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special includes cast aluminum wheels with a 19-inch front and a 17-inch rear, and they’re shod with specially designed Michelin Scorcher Adventure 90/10 tires. The larger front wheel is good for rolling over obstacles off-road but it does slow down steering somewhat relative to a 17-inch front wheel. The Scorcher Adventure tires offer good grip and handling on the street and they performed well for light off-road riding. We also tested the accessory side-laced tubeless wheels and accessory Michelin Anakee Wild tires, which give up some confidence and grip on pavement, but are excellent off-road tires, even at the higher “street” temperatures we were running. Harley-Davidson did its full range of development testing on both types of wheels and tires to ensure they met performance goals in a wide range of conditions.

6. Chain Final Drive

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
For an adventure bike, chain final drive is the best choice for light weight, durability, minimal power loss and ability to be repaired in the field.

Harley-Davidson owners are accustomed to maintenance-free belt final drive, and in street-only riding conditions such a system works extremely well. But when off-road riding is involved, rocks and other debris can get wedged between the rear sprocket and the belt, causing damage that can lead to a belt failure. Although chain final drive requires some maintenance in terms of lubrication, adjustment and occasional replacement, it is the best solution in terms of weight, durability, minimal power loss and field repair. That’s why everything from dirt bikes to race bikes use chain final drive.

7. Chassis

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
Though mostly hidden behind bodywork, the Pan America 1250’s frame components attach to the Revolution Max engine.

To save weight, the Revolution Max 1250 engine is a stressed member of the chassis. Attached to the engine is a front frame element to connect the steering head, an aluminum midframe element behind the engine that is the attachment point for the cast aluminum swingarm and rear shock, and a steel tail section (subframe) that supports the weight of the rider, passenger and luggage/cargo. Overall the chassis is very stiff and robust, which contributes to the Pan America 1250 Special’s neutral, confident handling. Wheelbase is 62.2 inches, rake is 25 degrees and trail is 4.3 inches.

8. Adjustable Windscreen, Adjustable Seat Height and Adaptive Headlight

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
An adjustable windscreen and hand guards provide good wind protection, and the Daymaker Signature LED headlight and Daymaker Adaptive LED headlight illuminate the road.

Adventure touring motorcycles are built to go long distances. They have upright seating positions with wide handlebars, and they have fuel capacities to go 200-plus miles between fill-ups (the Pan America has a 5.6-gallon fuel tank and an EPA-tested 46 mpg, which translates into 258 miles of range). The Pan America 1250 Special has a windscreen that is adjustable on the fly over a 1.8-inch range. Its rider seat has two positions — low (33.5 inches) and high (34.5) inches — and there are accessory low (32.5/33.5 inches) and high (34.5/35.5 inches) seats. As described above, Adaptive Ride Height can lower the rider’s seat height by an additional 1 to 2 inches. And above the Daymaker Signature LED headlight, which uses 30 LED elements behind a diffuser lense, the Pan America 1250 Special has a Daymaker Adaptive LED headlight that illuminates a series of three lights as lean angle reaches 8, 15 and 23 degrees.

9. It Rips!

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
With a 150-horsepower engine, a solid chassis and 42 degrees of available lean angle, the Pan America 1250 is at home in the canyons at a sporting pace.

Harley-Davidson has done its homework. It knows it is entering a very competitive segment with highly evolved adventure bikes from BMW, Ducati, KTM, Triumph, Yamaha and others. The Pan America 1250 is a high-profile motorcycle, not just within the adventure segment, but within the motorcycle industry at large. Can Harley-Davidson, a company known for its cruisers and touring bikes, build a competitive adventure bike? The answer is yes. On the road and off the pavement, the Pan America 1250 delivered an exhilarating, confident riding experience.

10. It Can Fly!

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
We found the perfect launch pad for the Pan America 1250 Special at Trona Pinnacles, a weird collection of rock formations that has been the backdrop for many movies.

Claimed wet weight for the Pan America 1250 Special is 559 pounds. The accessory side-laced wheels and beefier skid plate add more weight. But when we found a gully that had a tabletop hill on one side, we couldn’t resist jumping the Pan America. We aired it out time and again, and the semi-active suspension provided a plush landing with no bottoming and no harsh rebound or kickback. Nothing broke. This is a solidly engineered motorcycle that has gone through extensive durability testing, about half of which was done off-road, and it took a licking and kept on ticking. No, most customers will not jump their Pan America 1250s, but if they wanted to, they certainly could!

Greg’s Gear:
Helmet: Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular
Jacket/Pants: Fly Racing Terra Trek
Gloves: Fly Racing Coolpro
Boots: Fly Racing FR5
Knee/Shin Guards: Fly Racing 5 Pivot

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Specs

Base Price: $19,999
Website: harley-davidson.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,252cc
Bore x Stroke: 105 x 72mm
Horsepower: 150 @ 9,000 rpm (claimed)
Torque: 94 lb-ft @ 6,750 rpm (claimed)
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 62.2 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 33.5/34.5 in.
Wet Weight: 559 lbs. (claimed, no accessories/options)
Fuel Capacity: 5.6 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 46 mpg (EPA)

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | Top 10 Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited | Tour Test Review

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
The Road Glide Limited replaces the Ultra and adds premium finishes, optional technology and 18-inch Slicer II wheels. Paint quality and fit and finish are stellar.

American V-twin motorcycles are big, boisterous, and have an unmistakable rowdy personality. Love ’em or hate ’em, they immediately assert their presence in the parking lot of any roadside haunt. The thrum of a massive, torque-rich engine and a booming exhaust note have almost become synonymous with Harley-Davidson — best exemplified in its touring machines.

Receiving a spit-shine from the Bar and Shield marque, the 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited replaces the Ultra in H-D’s touring bike lineup and adds premium finishes, along with high-tech options, to an already bright feather in the brand’s cap.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
The Tour-Pak trunk and saddlebags offer 133 liters of storage capacity. Two full-sized helmets will fit in the trunk, with plenty of space for wine country souvenirs. The one-touch latches are locked manually.

Subtle updates to the luxury long-hauler come in the form of a gloss-finished inner fairing, painted pinstriping, new badges on the 6.0-gallon fuel tank and fenders, as well as heated grips. A dizzying array of paint options are available this year, along with a Black Finish package ($1,900) that bestows an ebony touch to nearly every piece of hardware. New premium 18-inch Slicer II wheels are the soul mechanical changes, up from 17- and 16-inch wheels on the Ultra.

At its core, it’s still the same shark-nosed Road Glide with the bright LED Daymaker headlights, Boom! GTS infotainment, a massive top-case, premium Showa Dual Bending Valve suspension, linked braking by Brembo, a potent Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 powerplant, palatial seating and fit-and-finish fit for kings. This is a machine for the American V-twin touring faithful, dressed in full regalia.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
New for this year is a gloss painted finish on the fairing’s interior, raising the bar for fit-and-finish. Sound clarity is pitch perfect from the Boom! Box GTS infotainment system.

The big news this year is optional tech. For $995, any H-D touring bike (save for the Electra Glide Standard) can be equipped with H-D’s Reflex Defensive Rider System, which includes linked-braking cornering ABS, lean-sensitive traction control, hill-start control, tire pressure monitoring and an engine braking management system to reduce rear-wheel lock when decelerating. We’ll dive into its functionality later.

What the Road Glide Limited yearns for is exploring the highways and hidden gems of your state. So, I did just that on this Tour Test, taking the RGL on a two-wheeled pilgrimage through Central California amidst a record-breaking heat wave and wildfires. Both made planning a route with reasonable temperatures and smoke-free scenery for photos a challenge, but it was a mere inconvenience compared to the challenge portions of the Western U.S.  face, battling unprecedented drought and wildfires. The loss of life and property has been staggering, and our hearts go out to those who have had their lives upended.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review

With the Tour-Pak and saddlebags filled to the brim, I set off in search of more temperate weather. The fog-blanketed beach cities of California’s coast were more than tempting.

Santa Paula, California, is an unassuming agriculture town nestled in the nook of the Santa Clara River Valley. It’s quaint, quiet, and has loads of quality places to nab a breakfast burrito. It’s also where you can pick up California State Route 150 and venture into the Transverse Ranges, home to numerous legendary motorcycling roads.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Horsepower
The Twin-cooled M8 powerplant has loads of torque and manages heat much better than its predecessor.

Action is relatively light on SR 150; it mostly saunters up the hills and allows me to take in the RGL’s lavish accommodations for the first time. At 5-feet, 10-inches, the Limited’s cockpit has everything I can ask for on a long ride. Its plush, supportive leather-bound seat is 27.2-inches high (laden), and the mini-ape handlebar provides all the leverage I could want while keeping me in a neutral position. Floorboards allow plenty of movement during droning freeway rides, although the brake pedal angle is a tad acute. Meanwhile, the triple Splitstream frame-mounted fairing with a tall touring windscreen offers excellent wind protection and airflow.

The Boom! Box GTS infotainment unit’s full-color TFT touchscreen has useful features like navigation, phone connectivity and vehicle data. Audio is clear, even when riding at freeway speeds, and the radio signal is downright impressive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported. However, you’ll need to have your device connected to the USB port in the fairing cubby, and also be wired in directly with a helmet headset to use them.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
New to the Limited platform are 6-level heated grips for those colder rides.

Branching off SR 150 is the legendary State Route 33, a road that any motorcyclist in California worth their salt has traversed. With more views and winding corners than you can shake a stick at, some might even be interested in calling it a day after taking it in. I’d recommend a quick break at one of the many overlooks on Pine Mountain.

Dropping into the flatlands, temperatures spike into the triple digits during the summer in the San Joaquin Valley, making the ride through oil towns such as Maricopa, Derby Acres (population 322!), and Taft a drag if it weren’t for the standard cruise control. Once in Taft, it’s time to top off the RGL because my next stop won’t be until Morro Bay, about 116-miles away and well within the bike’s 217.5-mile fuel range.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review

State Route 58 is a gem of a road with variety that’s rarely matched. Epic curves lead into long slogs through majestic wheat fields, and if the time of year and conditions are right, you might catch a California poppy super-bloom.

Roads like the 58 are where the Road Glide Limited shines. Our last 114 M8 engine produced a healthy 78 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and a stomping 104 lb-ft of torque at 2,900 rpm at the rear wheel on the Jett Tuning dyno. If you had doubts about the fully loaded RGL’s ability to get-up-and-go, put them to rest now, because she’ll compress you into the seat lickety-split. The 114ci M8 hums a nice, bassy tune with just enough visceral vibration coming through to let you know that it’s alive.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited MSRP

The 114’s chunky gearbox makes sturdy, positive shifts befitting of the RGL’s size. However, clutch pull is quite heavy, making clutch modulation during low-speed maneuvers tricky and taxing when in traffic. Luckily, all that luscious torque and well-spaced gear ratios will almost allow you to leave it in 6th gear, settling into a rhythm on a road like 58.

The 922-pound Road Glide takes some effort to lift off the sidestand and is cumbersome at low speeds, like many touring bikes of this size — plan your route carefully in tight spaces. Once you’re rolling, its low center of gravity and gentle handling perform well, and thanks to the Road Glide Limited’s frame-mounted fairing, steering is noticeably lighter than its Electra Glide brethren with fork mounted fairings. A bit of input on the mini-ape hanger bar and the RGL will tip in as quickly and as controlled as you’d like, holding a steady line.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Seat Height
Spacious and comfortable accommodations are long-haul ready.

The non-adjustable 49mm Showa Dual Bending Valve fork with 4.6-inches of travel does a commendable job of hiding road impurities. The spring preload adjustable rear shock with 3-inches of travel can struggle to deal with hard-edged potholes but does soak up rough roads well, in general.

I did notice that when the pace picks up, the RGL’s plush setup, abbreviated suspension travel and older dual-shock chassis design show their limitations. Over long, fast sweepers, wallowing can be felt that serves as a warning to cool your jets. It never truly gets out of shape, but it’s as if the Road Glide is tapping you on the shoulder, saying, “More Grand Tour, less Gran Tourismo, kid.”

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review

Branching off 58 is the short, but very sweet SR 229 — colloquially known as “Rossi’s Driveway.” This single-lane, undulating road sweeps through loads of twisting, blind corners in a roughly 8-mile stretch of tarmac and seems like something only a motorcyclist could dream up — hence the reference to Italian MotoGP star, Valentino Rossi. It’s still fun to hustle the big RDL on a road seemingly built for Supermotos.

With the sun setting behind the hills, I connected to State Route 41, making my way to Morro Bay. Even at dusk, inland temperatures this time of year are high. As you drop down toward the coast, the reprieve comes with each mile, eventually leading to a cool, socked-in beach city.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
Morro Bay’s natural harbor attracts all sorts of sea life, from sea lions and seals, to cuddly-looking sea otters, and countless birds.

Morro Bay is a kitschy spot with beautiful views and seafood along the boardwalk, which isn’t a bad place to stretch your legs after a good ride. It’s a surf town with a vibe to match; things happen at their own pace here, unless you’re working the bustling docks or fishing boats. There’s plenty of affordable lodging, as well as more ritzy accommodations and even camping options nearby.

In the morning, we headed south on U.S. 101 in search of winding roads, jumping on SR 166 to Tepusquet Road in the Santa Maria Valley. Much like Rossi’s Driveway, Tepusquet sachets through the mountain range, diving in and out of the valley, with plenty of action to perk you up in the morning. There is something fun about wrangling a bike of this size through narrow, single-lane roads.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
A frame-mounted fairing helps reduce the amount of effort needed to steer, while also improving the Road Glide’s behavior in cross winds.

Brembo provides the braking hardware, with 300mm rotors all around. Feel at the lever is progressive and does require a generous pull if you need to stop in a hurry — like when wild turkeys run out in your path.

In those moments, H-D’s RDRS rider aid package goes from optional to mandatory. On compact, often dirty mountain roads, I’ll ride with more confidence when faced with corners filled with debris or obstacles.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
Larger 18-inch Slicer II wheels are the soul mechanical changes from the Ultra to the Limited model.

Tepusquet Road spits you out into wine country, with grapevines as far as the eye can see, and onto Foxen Canyon Road. One can saunter along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail or make the foliage blur along the respectably winding road. Asphalt here is something of a mixed bag due to all the agriculture vehicles, and again, highlights the need for a decent electronics package.

When I hit SR 154, I know that my ride is coming to a close. In a short time, I’ll be winding down the mountain in Santa Barbara, California, and reconnecting with U.S. 101 for the slog back into SoCal. The Road Glide Limited has been a fixture in American V-twin touring due to opulent rider and passenger comfort and massive storage capacity. In 2020, its chassis is beginning to show its age, but when it comes to luxury touring, the feature-loaded Road Glide Limited offers everything else one could want.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review
Morro Bay Rock is a 576-foot tall volcanic plug that sits at the harbor’s entrance and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the region, easily visible from the 101 freeway.

Nic’s Gear:
Helmet: Bell SRT-Modular
Jacket: Scorpion Phalanx
Pants: Scorpion Covert Ultra
Gloves: Racer Soul
Boots: Stylmartin jack

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited

Base Price: $28,299
Price as Tested: $33,394 (RDRS, color)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: harley-davidson.com

Engine
Type: Precision liquid-cooled, transverse 45-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,868cc (114ci)
Bore x Stroke: 102.0 x 114.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Adj. Interval: NA (self-adjusting)
Fuel Delivery: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection
Lubrication System: Dry sump, 5-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: Belt

Electrical
Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 625 watts max.
Battery: 12V 28AH

Chassis
Frame: Tubular-steel double cradle w/ two-piece backbone & steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 64.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/6.7 in.
Seat Height: 27.2 in. (laden)
Suspension, Front: 49mm stanchions, no adj., 4.6-in. travel
Rear: Dual shocks, adj. preload w/ remote knob, 3-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 300mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston calipers, fully linked & ABS
Rear: Single 300mm fixed disc w/ opposed 4-piston caliper, fully linked & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 in. x 18 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.0 x 18 in.
Tires, Front: 130/70-BH18
Rear: 180/55-BH18
Wet Weight: 922 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 438 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 1,360 lbs.

Performance
Fuel Capacity: 6 gals., last 1.0 warning light on
MPG: 91 PON Min (low/avg/high) 33.0/36.3/43.1
Estimated Range: 217.5 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,200

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Tour Test Review Photo Gallery:

The post 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited | Tour Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Harley-Davidson Announces Podcast Series on LiveWire Electric Motorcycles Featured in “Long Way up”

From Press Release:

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire® model is an exhilarating electric motorcycle that pushes the boundaries of performance, technology and design in the two-wheel world. When an opportunity presented itself to Harley-Davidson to showcase the LiveWire motorcycle’s capabilities and performance in the most extreme conditions, H-D seized the challenge for the unheralded 13,000 mile off-road trek. The process to accomplish this journey is documented through Harley-Davidson’s podcast series.

Listen to the H-D Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and subscribe to get new episodes of the show automatically each week.

This six-part series documents how near-production LiveWire models were modified to shred dirt roads, single track, and desert trails over 13,000 miles of extreme off-road conditions.

“Harley-Davidson stands for the timeless pursuit of adventure,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson. This podcast series is a premier showcase for how Harley-Davidson’s talented staff of engineers and designers go above and beyond in their mission to create motorcycles that unlock adventures wherever they may lead. These efforts can be experienced in the 2020 LiveWire – a shining example of how Harley-Davidson innovates to lead in the electrification of motorcycling. It’s an experience that can only be truly understood after riding it.”

Harley-Davidson Announces Podcast Series on LiveWire Electric Motorcycles Featured in "Long Way Up"

Utilizing the same talented Harley-Davidson engineers and designers that developed the LiveWire motorcycle, a select group was assembled from the broader development team to modify near-production LiveWire models to complete the journey. 

Together, this team designed, modified, and assembled a motorcycle in under 30 days. After initial testing, the team incorporated feedback to finalize ergonomic and storage systems on the bikes. In 60 days, the motorcycles were headed to the southern tip of Argentina.

The modified LiveWire motorcycles used production specification RESS (Rechargeable Energy Storage System) hardware, chassis, and Harley-Davidson Revelation™ powertrain components.  In addition, the motorcycles were modified with prototype rotors, wheels, and tires from the upcoming Harley-Davidson Pan America™ adventure touring motorcycle, and custom windshield, rear shock, and triple clamps made specifically for this project. 

Before delivery, both modified LiveWire motorcycles were evaluated at Harley-Davidson’s Willie G. Davidson Product Development Center for initial testing and ridden under similar development validation conditions at Harley-Davidson’s Proving Grounds facility.

Harley-Davidson invites you to experience the thrill and seamless acceleration of the motorcycle at the center of the adventure, the 2020 LiveWire motorcycle. In celebration of the global premiere of “Long Way Up,” available to stream now exclusively on Apple TV+, with every test ride a rider will receive a complimentary LiveWire t-shirt and limited-edition LiveWire poster. The poster is only available to those who test ride LiveWire models while supplies last.

Find an Authorized LiveWire Harley-Davidson® dealership near you and schedule your complimentary test ride.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Sets World Records at EV Racing Exhibition

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Sets World Records at EV Racing Exhibition

From Press Release:

A Harley-Davidson® LiveWire® motorcycle set all-new records for elapsed time and top speed by an electric-powered production motorcycle on a drag racing course on September 4. Harley-Davidson™ Screamin’ Eagle™/Vance & Hines rider and three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, Angelle Sampey stepped off her Harley-Davidson FXDR™ Pro Stock competition motorcycle to pilot the LiveWire bike to capture world record-breaking runs on the quarter and eighth-mile, covering the eighth-mile distance in 7.017-seconds and the full quarter-mile course in just 11.156 seconds at 110.35 mph. The 2020 LiveWire motorcycle’s top speed is limited to 110 mph.

The records were set during exhibition runs at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. This is another great pass at a bold future In Harley-Davidson’s quest to lead the electrification of motorcycles.

“Let me tell you what’s amazing,” said Sampey. “That was the first time I rode the LiveWire.” said Sampey, “I could not wait to get it on the track. The LiveWire is so easy to ride. Just twist the throttle and go, and you really go!”

Sampey and her Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines teammates, Andrew Hines and Ed Krawiec, made a number of head-to-head drag race runs on stock LiveWire models, with Sampey posting the quickest times. Sampey is the winningest female in motorsports history with three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle championships (2000-2002) and 43 Pro Stock motorcycle wins.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Sets World Records at EV Racing Exhibition

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle is an all-new, all-electric model designed to offer riders a thrilling and high-performance motorcycling experience infused with a new level of technology, and the premium look and feel of a Harley-Davidson product. The LiveWire motorcycle is capable of rapid acceleration with just a twist of the throttle – no clutching or gear shifting required.

As Sampey proved at Indy, the instant torque provided by the H-D Revelation™ powertrain delivers exhilarating acceleration from a stop; the LiveWire motorcycle can rush from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 kph) in 3.0 seconds and 60 to 80 mph (100 to 129 kph) in 1.9 seconds. Because maximum torque is always on tap, roll-on acceleration for passing from any speed is outstanding. An optimized center of gravity, rigid aluminum frame and premium adjustable suspension components give the LiveWire motorcycle dynamic handling. With up to 146 miles of range*, performance is optimized for the urban street-rider.

The H-D Revelation™ electric powertrain produces minimal vibration, very little heat, and minimal sound, all of which enhance rider comfort and creates a unique riding experience, even on the drag strip.

Licensed riders can take a complimentary test ride on the LiveWire motorcycle at select Authorized LiveWire Harley-Davidson® dealerships in the United States, Australia, Canada and most European countries.

*Riding range estimates provided following SAE J2982 Riding Range Test Procedure and are based on expected performance of a fully-charged battery when operated under specified conditions.  Actual range will vary depending on riding habits, ambient weather and equipment conditions.

Source: RiderMagazine.com