Harley-Davidson, that most traditional maker of classic American cruisers, has announced that it is to build an adventure bike as part of a bold new product strategy that will see the Milwaukee company create numerous new platforms, including 250cc models for the Asian market and the previously announced Project Livewire electric bike.
The American icons have released a photograph of the new adventure model, called the Pan America, which will be released in 2020 and which aims straight for the ubiquitous GS and Ducati’s increasingly popular Multistrada.
The Pan America will be powered by an all-new watercooled 1250cc V-twin. The Motor Company has yet to reveal any specifics of the new motor but judging by the pictures it will be a modern design with the cylinders splayed slightly wider than the company’s traditional 45 degrees angle. Judging by the company’s aggressive plans, it would be a surprise if the bike is not packed with all the latest electronics. The company has announced that the new engine will be modular in its design, giving a total of four capacities from 500cc to 1250cc. With a 975cc variant already confirmed, it would be no surprise to see another smaller engined adventure bike carrying the Bar and Shield in the not too distant future as well.
The prototype shown doesn’t give too much away, but we can see that the Pan America features Brembo brakes, upside down forks and Michelin Anakee off-road tyres. Final drive would appear to be chain or belt, rather than the hefty shaft of the GS and Triumph Tiger 1200. Indeed, other than the funky fairing and headlight (which has more than a dash of Fat Bob about it) the styling Pan America could well come from any of the mainstream manufacturers.
The Pan America is Harley’s first direct entry into the highly competitive adventure bike market, although it does have some history through former subsidiary company Buell, which offered the unloved Ulysses as part of its range from 2005.
We await further details from Harley regarding further information about the Pan America, but with the company clearly out to reinvent itself as part of its ‘2027 objectives’ it looks like there are exciting times ahead for the Motor Company.