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Harley Said the Pan America Is a ‘Two-Wheeled Jeep’

Harley Pan America

Harley’s Flavor on Adventure

The Harley-Davidson Pan America is almost here. Jim saw it (behind glass) at EICMA in prototype form. It’s a different kind of motorcycle for The Motor Company, and it’s exactly what the bike company needs. Harley has struggled to find new riders lately and the Pan America could be one of the bikes that helps them turn it around. Motorcycle News had an opportunity to talk with Brad Richards, Vice President of Styling and Design, about the bike. 

“One thing we noticed was that almost every competitor outside of KTM emulates BMW and their almost insectoid form factor. We realized no-one had used the North American design DNA to make an adventure touring bike. No-one has designed a two-wheeled Jeep. That was our ethos: let’s make a two-wheeled Jeep,” said Richards.

The V-twin engine was seen as the crown jewel of the motorcycle. He discussed the importance of actually seeing the engine in the bike. Richards also said that there were some development pains with this motorcycle, and said there were tons of sketches drawn up and some tough reviews at different points.

The bike is an interesting one, and Harley’s approach to the adventure bike market sounds genuinely interesting. Richards says some interesting things in the interview, but not a whole lot new about the bike. If you want to read the full article, head over to Motorcycle News from the link above.

    1. I agree with test ride to prove it up.
      Here is a test ride idea:
      Ouray, Colorado to Imogene Pass. Over the top of Imogene Pass to Telluride, Colorado. Just like I did in 1975 with my box stock 1972 R75/5 Beemer.
      Any other test ride ideas?

  1. Don’t worry about test rides the sales people will keep them hidden where they used to hide the Buells.

    1. It is not just you. I hit every link available multiple times. There is no ‘rest of the story’. Kind of the opposite of click bait. Maybe they need a webmaster on staff.

      1. Hey guys,

        This is the whole article I wrote.

        The link to the source (Motorcycle News) with the full interview is in the first paragraph of this article.

        That’s why it says “the link above”. If you want to read more, you should click on the words “Motorcycle News” in the first paragraph.

  2. Harley has a good test ride program. Why don’t you all wait to the bike hits the market before hat’n on it?

  3. First thought viewing title: pos.

    First thought viewing photo of proto-type bike: ok.

    Next thought: does it have a drive belt like the stupid Buell?

    Next I look for rear brake on right side: all ok there.

    Next, will the bike stand up for any real work for dedicated riders over time?

    Next: how much will Harley rip off buyers?

    Final thought was warranty length and how much extended warranty.

    So much thinking: I’ll have to simply stick to Nippon guys as they know what they’re doing.

    For certain, this bike will be purchased by riders not dorks that ride; so Harley better have their act together.

  4. I rode a Buell whatever it was wanna be adventure bike at a test ride. Before I was outside the gate at Road America I was thinking about parking it by the fence. My impression didn’t improve by the end of the ride. Poor brakes, clunky shifting, coarse vibrating motor. Maybe test rides are not a good idea.

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