Harley-Davidson announces new Pan America 1250 adventure bike

Harley-Davidson is going to build an adventure bike.

This morning, Harley-Davidson announced the new Pan America 1250 adventure bike, scheduled to hit the market in 2020. It’s a new direction for the company, and it’s an all-new platform. The Pan America will be built around a new liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin. We don’t know much about that engine, only what we see in photos. Harley-Davidson is also making some noise about a new “modular” design, with engines of different capacity, so we may see this new V-twin available in different displacements, similar to the old Sportster design.

It would not be surprising to see this new V-twin replace the Sportster, as we’ve been saying for a while that the old air-cooled Sportster motor is going to be harder and harder to sell overseas due to emissions standards. The new liquid-cooled engine will be easier to tune for emissions reduction.

Harley-Davidson has released no specs for the new Pan America, only a minimal text blurb and photos that show a bike that looks like the love child of a Road Glide and a dual sport bike. Many of the components do look like something you’d see on a familiar adventure bike: trellis subframe, big wire wheels, skid plate, hand guards, etc. But, overall, it’s still definitely derived from Harley-Davidson’s Big Twin lineup.

Harley-Davidson does intend to make this machine offroad-worthy, though, as the marketing blurb reads “The commanding riding position allows the rider to see the world from another point of view. Travel coast-to-coast. On road or off.” Interesting times are ahead, for sure.

27 thoughts on “Harley-Davidson announces new Pan America 1250 adventure bike”

  1. Willie G – I hate to reach out to you so late in the game, but, the reality is IMHO that this approach to consider a product change is about 15 years too late. The market is winding down, younger riders don’t see the desire to ride. Older die-hard riders ( myself being one ) have been there done that with HD. Your dealership network begged for a water-cooled 750, 900,1000, 1200 – 10 years ago. Nothing was delivered. What you did deliver was ridiculous dealership requirements for stand alone locations, gigantic showrooms brimming with stock, and sadly you expanded far and wide seeking any additional volume that could be had. In the end though I suspect that even with the introduction of all of these models, that sadly the writing is on the wall. I cannot see you alone creating a market where one no longer exists. My 2 Cents

    1. I believe the term is “fugly”. The street fighter is far more a far more fulfilled concept than this if they intend to battle it out with established players in this sector.

  2. I think this is a really cool thing that’s happening here. I love the idea of getting a Harley ADV bike or Street Fighter. The fact is, Harley has the largest and best dealer network in North America and their products are quality products. I love BMW, Ducati etc., but if I can’t find a dealer that is closer than 500 km and sometimes rips you off, just because they can (monopoly), I would choose the Harley brand where I can travel freely across the land and have my choice of dealerships.

  3. it’ll be interesting to see how the faithful react to this bike in particular as well as the new engine. Also how the dealerships treat these bikes and their customers regarding service as in the past, I had heard that Buells and V-rods were treated as a bit second class.

    Personally I think it’s a bit on the ugly side and reminds me of the Royal Enfield Himalaya, at least in terms of the shape of the tank. The other 2 bikes look good though.

  4. LIke others, I was in disbelief when I seen the first pictures of this bike this morning but I think it’s pretty cool it exists. I can’t help thinking the upper fairing looks a lot like the cowling of a 1970s snowmobile though.

    1. I was thinking the fairing looked like the hood off an old Noma riding mower, but the 70s snowmobile works too. Lots of room for painted skulls, in any case.

  5. I… Actually kind of dig the look of this. Gives off a kind of “industrial” vibe to me. Pricing and performance will probably make it irrelevant to me, but time will tell.

    Hats off to Harley for actually shaking up their lineup. I always thought they’d stubbornly stick to their old formula right up until bankruptcy.

  6. Interesting to consider that probably the two most “accessorized” segments of motorcycles are cruisers and ADV bikes. No doubt Harley wants a piece of that market.

  7. This is obviously a logical progression for Harley as well as the new streetfighter and electric models. Seems to me that most young riders don’t want their parents bikes (read cruisers), but want the “authentic” brand that is Harley. Also, this new adventure bike gives the current, aging crop of boomers a Harley model in which to migrate when the cruiser ergos aren’t cutting it anymore. Right now, I expect these riders are jumping ship to BMW and KTM ADV bikes. Lastly, is this Harley really that much uglier than the KTM ADV bikes?

  8. Please never again mention that this is the love child of a Road Glide and a Dual Sport Bike…its an insult to Road Glide owners everywhere…the MOCO has their ideas but fails to again miss the mark on what they should have been building and paying homage to…the FXR Series of bikes and in particular, the RT…its not only the Anniversary of this model but also the theme on most social media pages that have just about any HARLEY out there running an aftermarket fairing that the MOCO created and fails to capitalize on their own original design…wake me up when this happens but in the meantime, i’ll be riding my 1988 FXRS-SP and loving it’s styling and EVO motor thumping out its sweet, sweet sound…lol

    1. I didn’t know it was possible to insult Road Glide riders. I mean they are already riding Road Glides, how could anyting else be more insulting?

  9. Wow, that’s really ………………………… uh ……different looking? Maybe it looks a lot better in person.

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