Harley-Davidson blew the socks off the automotive media fraternity by unveiling its future product strategy called ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’. The plans include the introduction of an all-new motorcycle with an engine capacity between 250cc to 500cc to be built in collaboration with a yet-to-be-announced Asian manufacturer for the Indian as well other Asian markets.
It also unveiled three new motorcycles that shows the company’s intention to go left. Arguably, the craziest of the three is the full-size adventure tourer concept called the Pan America 1250. The Pan America is unmistakably Harley, what with its snout nose (which reminds us of the Road Glide Special) that features all-LED lighting and the large 45-degree V-twin that nestles between the frame. Everything on the motorcycle seems supersized, including the large adjustable fairing to the abnormally huge exhaust end can. It’s also got plenty of ADV design elements such as an in-built radiator guard, handguards with integrated turn indicators and a substantial bash plate under the engine. Expect the bike to feature plenty of plastic panels along with a plastic fuel tank, a stark departure from the full-metal Harley-Davidson cruisers that we’ve gotten used to. Although hardcore fans of the Milwaukee-based cruiser manufacturer might not approve of the adventure tourer (or its latest product strategy, for that matter), the switch to plastic parts should help keep the weight in check.
Overall, the design can be termed either functional or revolting. But in the event of an apocalypse, we’d love to have one of these on hand.
According to the company, the bike will be based on a new modular frame that, with a few modifications, can be used for three different genres of motorcycles. This means that the Pan America 1250 will share its frame with the upcoming 1250 Custom and the smaller 975cc Streetfighter. Of course, it will feature a different subframe and swingarm to suit its adventure touring needs. The split cradle frame uses Harley’s 45-degree V-twin as a stressed member.
Harley-Davidson is yet to reveal the specifications of the adventure tourers suspension setup However, considering that its closest rivals come with technologically advanced setups, we can expect the Pan America to feature upside down front forks and rear monoshock to come with some form of adjustability. It remains to be seen if it gets Showa’s suspension kit as all-new big bikes from the manufacturer now feature them.
As for the tyres, the Pan America utilises off-road-oriented Michelin Anakee Wild units. We suspect the front to carry a 19-inch wheel and the rear to be 17-inch tubeless units. They are mounted on spoked rims. The braking setup seems to have been sourced from Brembo. It gets twin front discs with radially mounted calipers.
Another highlight of the upcoming adventure tourer is the all-new 1250cc V-twin motor. For starters, it is a liquid-cooled unit. So expect it to offer HD Street 750 levels of refinement. While the company is yet to reveal more information about the motor, it seems to have been developed in-house, just like the Revolution X engine that powers the Street 750. So it is safe to expect similar engine traits and flexibility.
Interestingly, Harley mentions an engine range of 975cc to 1250cc for the Pan America. This could mean that the Pan America could come with two engine options – a 975cc motor derived from the HD Streetfighter 975 and a larger 1250cc which will also power the 1250 Custom. This move will help it take on the Ducati Multistrada 950 and Multistrada 1260, the Honda Africa Twin as well as the Triumph Tiger 800 and Tiger 1200.
Harley-Davidson plans to launch the Pan America series in various international markets by 2020 or 2021. We expect the Pan America to come to India in the second half of 2021. Expect the Pan America to be priced close to the Ducati Multistrada 950 and 1260, which retails between Rs 14 lakh to Rs 16 lakh (approx. ex-showroom).
With the Pan America, Harley-Davidson seems set to take a bold step by venturing into a segment that already consists of highly established players. Harley-Davidson is expected to play on its core strength of touring comfort. This can be deduced from the large and flat rider and pillion seat, which should provide armchair-like comfort similar to Harley’s full-size touring models. And given its vast experience in dirt racing, we expect the Pan America to be a hoot to ride off the beaten track.