2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America First Ride Off Road Review

Can a  @Harley-Davidson  Pan America go off road? The killer question and I was on a mission to answer it on my first ride doing a Pan America review. We rode for a day in north Wales on some gorgeous twisty roads with an off road leg tackling gravel, lose stones, hills, whoops and lots of puddles. Here’s my review:

With a all new V-twin 1252cc engine kicking out 150hp the Pan America has some epic thrills to be had but as an off road capable bike it also needs to be able to handle slower riding, aiding the rider to balance with a solid position, support arm fatigue with a slip assist clutch and hold its weight nicely. Bingo, we started the experience with my first ever ride, first pull away during a slow riding challenge… and I could immediately feel how comfortable and controllable the beast was. The weight of the V-twin is low and central and with a system of internal counter balance systems, the engine is smooth and vibration free. Initial reaction – it felt amazing. Watch to see who won – Charley Boorman was riding too.

Check out the full video for my thoughts but here are some highlights, particularly thinking H-D stereotypes…

  1. Power is on form. Smooth low-end torque & low-speed throttle response for technical off road…see previous slow riding challenge…but with 150hp it’s got fist fulls of top end power for the open road
  2. It’s smooth, absolutely smashing the vibration reputation out the window. It’s no “tractor” but it does still have a lovely growl
  3. Riding modes bring a hugely contrasting ride. I personally wasn’t a fan of road mode, it felt a little washy but sport mode with stiffened up suspension – oh hello!
  4. The ‘magic’ suspension was mint, aka Automatic Ride Height, it’s far more seamless than I expected too. You don’t feel it. It calculates the rider’s weight & adjusts the preload while you ride, then as you stop it lowers to reduce the seat height. Ace for the short riders
  5. Oh & this Harley can stop! With Brembo linked braking power you have the confidence putting the power down! Sharp 💪🏼
  6. The riding position is balanced, comfortable & I felt connected to be bike. Good knee grip for the mud & relaxed seat for roads
  7. Final surprise…it’s not that heavy! It’s a manageable HOG. With the V-twin low & weight conscious design the Pan America weights 245kg with a low centre of balance, massively helping confidence
the girl on a bike harley davidson pan america first ride off road 3
Harley-Davidson Pan America first ride off road

Being honest, it took me a little to be used to the Pan America. It’s a unique ride but after turning to the mud I found its spark! It CAN handle off road. Puddles, whoopy banks, mud & stones. Sucked up with confidence

It’s defo a bold leap of faith into the adventure world but I feel H-D have earned their ADV badge

Thumbs up from me! 🔥 Bring on a big Pan America adventure! Who’s going to try and who thinks the Pan will do well?

For reference I’m a female rider 169cm tall with 69cm inside leg.

More on Harley-Davidson Pan America:

The described as an all terrain long hauler the Pan America 1250 motorcycle is a two-wheel multi-tool built to endure, designed to explore, and engineered for adventure. More here:

the girl on a bike harley davidson pan america first ride off road 2
Pan America review on and off road

H-D Pan America Review Specs:

Engine size 1252cc
Engine type Revolution Max 60° V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 21.2 litres
Seat height 868-894mm
Bike weight 245kg
Front suspension 47mm USD fork electronically adjustable semi-active damping control
Rear suspension Showa shock with automatic electronic preload & semi-active damping
Adaptive Ride Height System (added for £600) lowers the seat height to just under 800 millimetres when the bike comes to a stop. The system is only available for the 1250 Special, because the lowering kit relies on its more advanced electronics package
Front brake 320mm twin discs, radial 4-piston calipers with Cornering ABS
Rear brake 280mm disc, single piston cali-per and C-ABS
Front tyre size 120/70R19
Rear tyre size 170/60R17
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost –
New price £15,500
Warranty term Two years
Top speed & performance
Max power 150 bhp
Max torque 94 ft-lb

Please do hit subscribe and check out my other videos: YouTube

Other ADV adventures include Africa Twin, Tenere 700, Himalayan and GS 1250.

the girl on a bike harley davidson pan america first ride off road
Vanessa Ruck on the Pan America

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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