2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America Preview

Yes, the Bar and Shield will be making an adventure motorcycle.

Prepare yourself for a fully-off-road-capable Harley-Davidson adventure-tourer: the 2021 Pan America.
Prepare yourself for a fully-off-road-capable Harley-Davidson adventure-tourer: the 2021 Pan America.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company

In July of 2018 Harley-Davidson shocked the motorcycle world by teasing an all-new Pan America adventure-tourer based on a liquid-cooled V-twin motor. Half of those who saw it congratulated The Motor Company for attempting to build something in direct competition with the top European and Japanese brands while the other half, well, you know the drill by now. Either way, few thought it would actually get past the rendering phase.

If you’ve always wanted to rip across the desert like Steve McQueen, but only ride Harleys, this bike is for you.
If you’ve always wanted to rip across the desert like Steve McQueen, but only ride Harleys, this bike is for you.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company

In a bold move at Europe's biggest motorcycle industry exposition, EICMA, Harley-Davidson put an end to the rumors by announcing that its all-new Pan America adventure-tourer would be launched in late 2020 as a 2021 model. The Pan America shares a platform with the also-announced Bronx streetfighter-style motorcycle, both of which use the all-new Revolution Max liquid-cooled V-twin. The Pan America uses the larger of the two engines at 1,250cc, which will produce more than 145 hp and 90 pound-feet of torque in its production version. The Bronx, at 975cc, pulls 115 hp and 70 pound-feet of torque.

The all-new 1,250cc Revolution Max engine produces more than 145 hp and 90 pound-feet of torque.
The all-new 1,250cc Revolution Max engine produces more than 145 hp and 90 pound-feet of torque.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company

The Revolution Max is a 60-degree, liquid-cooled motor that uses dual downdraft throttle bodies, a concept previously used by The Motor Company in its V-Rod family and the Sportster XR1200. Dual-sporters and city-navigators alike will appreciate the narrow engine design that sits light and low as a stressed member of the frame. An internal counterbalance will keep vibrations to a minimum. Harley claims a broad powerband on the Revolution Max motor, but notes a “surge of high-rpm power.”

It doesn’t appear as though The Motor Company left anything out in its quest to build an American adventure-tourer.
It doesn’t appear as though The Motor Company left anything out in its quest to build an American adventure-tourer.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Helping to harness the specific needs of a Harley adventure-tourer, The MoCo turned to longtime partners Brembo and Michelin to develop an all-new brake and tire package. The Pan America will be using a radial Monoblock four-piston caliper with a modern design and Michelin on-/off-road tires.

When was the last time you saw a chain-driven Harley?
When was the last time you saw a chain-driven Harley?Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company

No other specs, or a price, have been offered as of now, but detailed prototype photos give lots of clues as to what to expect when the Pan America launches in the US toward the end of 2020. Just don’t make the mistake of calling it Harley’s “first” adventure bike, as that title goes to the MT-500 sold to the public in 1999 and 2000.

The Pan America looks like it will use an LCD instrument panel similar to the LiveWire. Check out the metric-style switches with built-in grip warmers.
The Pan America looks like it will use an LCD instrument panel similar to the LiveWire. Check out the metric-style switches with built-in grip warmers.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company
All new Brembo Monoblock calipers and Michelin dual sport tires were created just for the Pan America.
All new Brembo Monoblock calipers and Michelin dual sport tires were created just for the Pan America.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company
The new Michelin tires look like they’ll actually be able to handle themselves off-road.
The new Michelin tires look like they’ll actually be able to handle themselves off-road.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company
It’s safe to say that V-twin journalists are excited for the press launch on this one.
It’s safe to say that V-twin journalists are excited for the press launch on this one.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company
No accessories have been officially announced, but this Bar and Shield-branded luggage system will likely be offered.
No accessories have been officially announced, but this Bar and Shield-branded luggage system will likely be offered.Harley-Davidson Motor Company
The Pan America looks like it will use a traditional adventure-touring sidestand to help support the load on all kinds of surfaces.
The Pan America looks like it will use a traditional adventure-touring sidestand to help support the load on all kinds of surfaces.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company
No word yet on whether or not Harley will offer a branded textile riding suit at its dealerships.
No word yet on whether or not Harley will offer a branded textile riding suit at its dealerships.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company
The front fairing takes some design cues from the Road Glide, though it looks like the Pan America will have an adjustable-height windshield.
The front fairing takes some design cues from the Road Glide, though it looks like the Pan America will have an adjustable-height windshield.Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company