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Harley-Davidson’s 2021 Pan America Aims to be the Best

Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

Harley-Davidson’s Pan America has been the topic of conversation since its 2020 release. 2021 is no different as they have just released the details on the 2021 Pan America and Pan America Special. It will not be discounted as it holds its own when stacked up to the BMW GS – the ruler of the adventure world. 

Harley-Davidson has developed a brand new engine for Pan America – the 1250cc Revolution Max. It produces 150 horsepower @ 9000rpm and 94lb-ft @ 6750rpm. Harley-Davidson scrapped the long-stroke design and went with a short-stroke (oversquare) design for the Revolution Max engine. Its rev limit is twice that of a traditional Milwaukee-Eight and allows it to chase power high into the rev range. 

1250 Revolution Max Engine

Harley has truly developed the Pan America to go off-road without skipping a beat. It comprises a steel tubular front, mid, and subframe. These can be changed in the case of a frame-bending spill. Harley has also recessed all drain bolts to shield them from jagged rocks you find on advanced trails. Its “letterbox” headlight is reminiscent of a lightbar found on off-road trucks which assures excellent visibility on or off of the trail. The brake pedal can also be adjusted without tools for standing or seated riding positions. 

Harley-Davidson Pan America Ride

The advanced engine, frame, and fancy headlight are just the tip of the iceberg for Harley-Davidson’s revolutionary adventurer. The Pan America comes loaded with tech fit for only the most advanced adventure bikes. It comes fitted with a 6.8-inch full-color touch TFT screen, riding modes, semi-active suspension, tire pressure monitoring, and optional adaptive ride height which automatically lowers the suspension when you stop the bike. Not to mention the basics like cruise control, lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS, and hill-hold control. 

2021 Pan America Dash

Starting price on the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 will be $17,319 and $19,999 for the Pan America Special which can include anodized aluminum laced tubeless wheels along with the Adjustable Ride Height feature.

Release dates for prospective markets:

North America: May 2021
Europe & Thailand: June 2021
Asia & Latin America: July 2021
China: Sept 2021


2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special
MSRP: $17,319 $19,999
Engine: 1,252 DOHC V-twin; 4 valves/cyl. 1,252 DOHC V-twin; 4 valves/cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 105.0 x 72.0mm 105.0 x 72.0mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed / chain 6-speed / chain
Claimed Horsepower: 150 hp @ 9,000 rpm 150 hp @ 9,000 rpm
Claimed Torque: 94 lb.-ft. @ 6,750 rpm 94 lb.-ft. @ 6,750 rpm
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection
Clutch: Wet, multi-assist, and slip; mechanically actuated Wet, multi-plate assist and slip
Frame: Stressed-member alloy steel trellis; forged aluminum mid-structure Stressed-member alloy steel trellis; forged aluminum mid-structure
Front Suspension: 47mm inverted fork; compression, rebound, and preload-adjustable, 7.5 in. travel 47mm inverted fork, electronically adjustable semi-active damping control, optional Adjustable Ride Height; 7.5 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Piggyback monshock; compression, rebound, and hydraulic preload-adjustable; 7.5 in. travel Piggyback monshock; electronically adjustable semi-active compression and rebound damping control, automatic electronic preload control, optional Adjustable Ride Height; 7.5 in. travel
Front Brake: 4-piston monoblock calipers, 320mm disc w/ ABS 4-piston monoblock calipers, 320mm disc w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 1-single piston caliper, 280mm disc w/ ABS 1-single piston caliper, 280mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum 19×3 in. / 17×4.5 in. Cast aluminum standard, anodized aluminum laced tubeless optional; 19 x 3 in. / 17 x 4.5 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Michelin Scorcher Adventure Radial; 120/70R-19 / 170/60R-17 Michelin Scorcher Adventure Radial; 120/70R-19 / 170/60R-17
Rake/Trail: 25.0°/6.2 in. 25.0°/6.2 in.
Wheelbase: 62.2 in. 62.2 in.
Ground Clearance: 8.3 in. 8.3 in.
Seat Height: 34.2 in. 34.2 in.
Fuel Capacity: 5.6 gal. 5.6 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight: 534 lb. 559 lb.
Availability: May 2021 May 2021


  1. The more I read about the Pan America the more impressed I am. I cannot wait to see the ride reviews because if it lives up to its paper specs it should be one awesome bike. However, I am most excited about Harley’s plans for the Revolution Max motor. The introduction of this motor is so contrary to the never Harley folks who constantly criticize them for an inability to engineer a modern motor. What they fail to understand is Harley design and engineering try to keep true to their heritage which stifles innovation. Whether you agree with this or not, that has been their philosophy. Hopefully, they can implement the Revolution Max, or a version of it, into their traditional model lineup.

    In a few years we may look back at this moment as the turning point for HD.

  2. This is the first time I have read that the headlight is like the lightbar on off-road trucks. Good description. Some reviewers are just calling it ugly and are saying it will not sell because of it. Most ADVs are not that attractive, big beak, bug eyes, etc. I hope it sells and that they bring the street version out.

    1. the bike needs a lot to give BMW worries First the looks aren’t really great just my opinion

    2. You said it. I can see them coming. Most, sorry, all Harley haters are either jealous because they can’t afford one, or they believe what they hear, which is outdated nonsense.

      1. Harley is a niche manufacturer. I only concern myself with companies that offer a full range of motorcycles including types that I’m interested in, not just the one style that was popular in 1927. Almost all the other manus offer multiple styles of motorcycles so I can’t see where I’m missing much by bypassing this boutique brand. But it’s nice to see Harley offering a different style, good job, good effort. May this be the start of a trend.

    3. I don’t think BMW has any worries. The HD needs help in the exterior dept. It sure isn’t the best looking bike out there It appears a M1A1 tank was there model ?

    4. Great Bike and this Harley pan am is going to be fun and fast. I reckon it’s cool theres screaming eagle accessories for the pan am

  3. It looks ugly, but all the previews are very interesting, and I would like to throw a leg over it. My biggest concern is a 5000km maintenance/valve adjustment interval and if true, that is enough to keep me away. Something closer to 20000 km would be more appropriate, especially on an ADV bike. My 2003 FZ1 valve adjustments are over 30000 km. So it is possible.

    1. I’ve read elsewhere that these have hydraulic valve lash adjustment, so no valve adjusting needed. That’s really attractive to me. It’s hilarious to hear BMW guys call this bike ugly; the GS is probably the ugliest bike in recorded history!

    2. Hi Chad!

      The service intervals are for the engine and trans oil. They are fairly short, but since the valvetrain is controlled by cam phasers hydraulically actuated using engine oil, so it needs to stay really clean to run well.
      As Eric already mentioned there are no valve adjustments necessary which is standard Harley Davidson MO.

      I know I’d rather change the engine oil and filter 20 times instead of having to do a valve inspection/adjustment on an engine. It’s got potential to be the least expensive motorcycle in the class when it comes to maintenance costs.

  4. I am excited to see this bike, glad to see Harley expanding beyond its its usual target customer.
    This bike has created a lot of buzz on most bike forums, I hope it does well and hope they can expand with a variety of future models.

  5. I believe this may sell for the MoCo but thge real adventure bike market is going DOWN in displacement and weight to meet adventure riding needs. This will be the Caddy Escalade up there with the BMW GS line in a world that’s asking for a ’53 Jeep CJ.

  6. Biff, the fact that Harley have taken the time to develop an engine that is competitive for power and rev range has got me, one of your Harley haters, interested. Previous models just haven’t been relevant to me as a Brit, except to wonder why this brand is relying on its history so completely. I hope they have a success with this. Then they can possibly afford to keep and build on their heritage, as well as newer cutting edge models such as the Livewire rather than shrinking and eventually dying out.

    1. Guy, I’m very happy to hear a self-described Harley hater open their mind to what I’m calling the “new Harley.”

      I agree they’ve earned the criticism and dislike many have for the brand, but I see strong indicators of change for the better in the MoCo. I hope they keep pushing forward too.

  7. I wish them the very best and sincerely hope they do well in the marketplace.
    Although I’m a dedicated BMW guy, I like ALL bikes.
    The better HD does, the better to keep the other players on their toes.
    Best wishes!

  8. That Roadglide-esque slope on the headlight fairing
    is as hideous as the Road Glide fairing.

    Who hired the designer that penned that horror concept?

    My daily ride is an ugly bike, a gen ll Versys 650, but like
    the GS BMW and KTMs big adventure bikes,
    its ugly because (more or less) function has taken precedenc over form… and imho, that’s endearing.

    HD though has bad form trumping (or Trumping?) form and function… again… imho.

    Having said that, the power plant sounds good to me;
    and I hope the machine sells.

    I want HD to succeed, they make some great looking bikes. The minimalist Glides knock my socks off with their killer good looks; it would be a shame to lose an iconic manufacturer like HD.

    A HD Supermotard with that engine, two side by side
    round headlights like the first Hinkley Triumph Speed Trip-
    les, comfy seat and 300 or so km between fill ups would attract me to the brand… something that could compete with Indians FTR

  9. To H-D,

    Great first attempt. EXCEPT for two things. First, replace the chain drive with a shift drive (easier to maintain). Second, work on your dealer network. I have been riding for some 20 years and I got turned off H-D by the dealers that I encountered in Michigan (especially Mid Michigan). Because of my experiences with the dealers, I went with BMW. Remember, it is not simply the bike that you are selling – it is the entire experience and that includes the dealers.

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