H-D Singapore debuts its GS rival, prices start at S$47k. Plus: First impressions on the road and in the dirt
SINGAPORE – On August 4, 2021, Harley-Davidson of Singapore debuted the American motorcycle maker’s first adventure touring motorcycle, the Pan America, here.
The motorcycle is sold here in two versions, both with the same engine: The S$46,900 Pan America 1250, and the S$56,900 Pan American 1250 Special. Both prices include road tax, but exclude COE and insurance.
A large adventure tourer, the Pan America is named after the 30,000km Pan-American Highway that stretches from the upper reaches of Canada right to the tip of Cape Horn in Chile.
The motorcycle, is a full 180 for H-D. The American brand has been peddling primarily cruiser-style motorcycles for most of its near 120-year history, but as of late has been rapidly reinventing itself in a bid to survive with the Livewire electric motorcycle, and an all-new Sportster just announced.
As mentioned, this is Harley’s very first adventure tourer and is a clean-sheet design. But even on paper, it looks impressive, with no half measures taken here.
The design takes cues from classic cruiser Harleys (Peanut tank; Road Glide fairing; Fat Bob headlights; circular turn-signals), but there has been a clear focus on adventure touring function, and that includes a flat, wide headlight for more throw; minimalistic body work (note the ‘beakless’ design).
This philosophy extends to the architecture, for example a dry oil sump for better packaging. Rider ergonomics has been given a prime focus – concessions to this include an offset rear cylinder (more to the left), taller handlebars, a commanding seating position to manhandle the bike over the loose stuff.
Harleys have plenty of torque, but they have never been renowned for outright power. But the Pan Am’s new ‘Revolution Max’ 1,250cc 60-degree V-twin is an eye-opener: It has 150hp – yes you read right – and 127Nm. There’s dual-sparkplugs and four valves per cylinder. It even has variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust valves. It’s pretty amazing if you remember that nearly none of these features could be found on your ‘normal’ H-Ds of the recent past.
The Pan Am also looks to have everything a rider could want from a modern adv-tourer: Hill Hold Control featuring a soft-release for easier move-offs from inclines, enhanced (cornering) ABS, enhanced traction control, seven riding modes (with two customisable modes that also adjust suspension settings), cornering lights and tyre-pressure monitoring. There’s a tilt adjustable 6.8-inch TFT glove-friendly touchscreen that displays everything (instruments and infotainment) but navigation.
In an age of towering adventure bikes, the Harley has a great trick up its sleeve: What it claims is an industry first, the Adaptive Ride Height system. It’s a conventional adaptive suspension system – like Ducati’s Skyhook or BMW’s ESA – but the twist is that it automatically lowers the seat height at standstill. The standard bike’s seat height is 789mm, but with the system it pops down to 772mm when not moving. That would be very useful for riders with a limited inseam.
The entry level version, the Pan America 1250, that for S$10,000 less, comes equipped with non-electronic suspension, and excludes items like the aluminum skid plate, center stand, and Daymaker Signature adaptive headlamp, hand guards/wind deflectors and tyre pressure monitoring system. A must-have for the avid adventurer would be the factory fitted tubeless laced wheels that add S$1,000 to the price.
The Pan-Am looks impressive on paper, but what about from the saddle?