News from Oakland Harley-Davidson

H-D Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special

Posted by Oakland H-D Contributor on Feb 22, 2021 3:00:00 PM

The Harley-Davidson® Pan America redefines ADV with a new powertrain and category-firsts: all to help you find freedom on your own terms across new terrains. Let us go over some of the key features of the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special.

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Revolution Max 1250 Engine

Both models are powered by the all-new Revolution Max 1250 engine, a liquid-cooled V-Twin designed to offer flexible, engaging performance with a broad powerband that builds to a rush of high-RPM power surging through the redline. 

The engine has been tuned specifically to deliver desirable power characteristics for the motorcycle, with an emphasis on smooth low-end torque delivery and low-speed throttle control applicable to off-road riding.

Load Carrying Powertrain

Neither model uses a traditional Harley-Davidson motorcycle frame. The powertrain is the central structural component of the motorcycle chassis. A front-frame element, mid-frame element, and the tail section bolt directly to the powertrain.

Because the engine is designed to carry most of the chassis load, the other components of the frame can be lighter and more compact, making it easier to handle on and off road. 

Additionally, you realize optimized performance due to significant weight savings, a rigid chassis and mass centralization.

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Adaptive Ride Height Technology

Harley-Davidson is the first in the motorcycle industry to offer Adaptive Ride Height (ARH) technology.

A factory-installed option for the Pan America™ Special model only, this electronic suspension system automatically lowers the entire motorcycle as it comes to a stop, by lowering the seat height 1 to 2 inches (depending on automatically selected rear pre-load, which determines ride height when the bike is moving).

The system allows you to mount with ease, and to confidently put feet down to the ground at a stop. When the motorcycle begins moving forward the system raises the motorcycle to its normal ride height.

ARH retains all of the features of the semi-active front and rear suspension and does not compromise suspension travel or ground clearance.

Semi-Active Suspension - Benefits

Pan America 1250 Special model is equipped with an electronically adjustable semi-active front and rear suspension. The suspension components are provided by SHOWA while Harley-Davidson created the control software.

Utilizing data provided by sensors on the motorcycle, the semi-active suspension system senses:

  • A load of rider, passenger, and luggage; motorcycle speed and throttle position
  • Suspension inputs (for example, minimal travel over smooth pavement or significant travel off road)
  • Other factors to instantly adjust the damping to maintain rider comfort

The system also selects optimum rear suspension sag by automatically adjusting rear preload.

Semi-Active Suspension - Profile Settings

The system features five suspension profiles, which are pre-selected for each of the pre-programmed Ride Modes:

  • Comfort (softer ride)
  • Balanced (firmer ride than comfort)
  • Sport (firmest ride for enhanced control)
  • Off-Road Soft (less initial damping)
  • Off-Road Firm (more initial damping)

You cannot change the suspension profile within these pre-programmed Ride Modes, but when setting up a Custom Ride Mode, you may select the desired Semi-Active Suspension mode that meets your preference for comfort and control.

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Aluminum Fuel Tank

The tank is formed from aluminum using a new manufacturing process. Forming the tank from aluminum, rather than steel, reduces overall motorcycle weight and lowers the bike's center of gravity. The 5.3-gallon fuel tank: 

  • Offers generous range
  • Is shaped to optimize the capacity of the engine intake airbox
  • Provides knee pockets that improve rider ergonomics
  • Gives you a connection point directly to the motorcycle

Premium Laced Wheels

The Pan America 1250 Special model offers optional premium laced wheels. The stainless-steel spokes are inserted through the aluminum wheel rim outside of the tire beard.

This design allows the use of a tubeless tire. If spokes break, they can be replaced in the field without removing the wheel from the motorcycle or removing the tire from the wheel. These wheels are more durable than cast wheels in off-road conditions.

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Off-Road Ready

The Pan America 1250 Special includes standard features for added motorcycle protection and control when riding off-road:

  • An aluminum skid plate to protect the engine crankcase from impacts
  • Brush guards to protect the radiator and help support the motorcycle in a tip-over event
  • A center stand for maintenance in the field
  • A steering damper enhances dynamic performance
  • A rear-brake foot pedal can be removed and flipped over to improve control and comfort when you are standing
  • Semi-active front and rear suspension with a specific Off-Road riding mode to help maintain traction and control over rougher roads and terrain

Moving Map Navigation

Navigation displayed on the screen is supplied by the Harley-Davidson App for iOS or Android, which must be downloaded to your mobile device.

When navigation is enabled, you may select a moving map display or turn-by-turn map, assisted by audio instructions through the headset. This is the first moving map navigation display on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or competitive models.

Adjustable Windscreen

Using a lever located to the left of the display screen, you can adjust windscreen height to one of four positions through a range of 1.8 inches to best match your stature, preference, or changing environmental conditions. For example:

  • Lower in hot weather for added airflow
  • Higher for more protection from buffeting, rain, or cold air

Two-Position Seat

The rider portion of the seat has a high and low position, which you may select:

  • Unladen seat height is 33.5 inches in the low position
  • Unladen height is 34.5 inches in the high position

This allows you to achieve a better fit on the motorcycle. The seat height may be changed without tools after using the motorcycle key to release the passenger pillion.

Selectable Ride Modes - Number of Modes

Ride Modes

Both models offer selectable Ride Modes that electronically modify the performance characteristics of the motorcycle and the level of technology intervention. Five of the modes are pre-programmed.

The Pan America model has one additional mode that can be customized by you, while the Pan America Special model has three customizable modes.

Selectable Ride Modes - Features

Ride Modes - Features

Each Ride Mode consists of a specific combination of power delivery, engine braking, Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS), and Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) settings.

The Ride Mode may also adjust suspension settings on the Pan America 1250 Special model. Both motorcycle models are equipped with Rain, Road, Sport, Off-Road, and Off-Road Plus modes.

Rider Safety Enhancements / Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements

Rider Safety

Both models are equipped with a collection of technologies designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration, and braking. The systems are designed to enhance your confidence while accelerating and braking in a straight line or while in a turn. You may find the systems most helpful when riding in adverse road conditions and in urgent situations. The systems are electronic and utilize the latest technology to adjust brake pressure or powertrain torque in an attempt to keep the forces at the tire from exceeding available grip.

The system has features and functions specific to these motorcycles and is slightly different from the rider safety enhancements available for Harley-Davidson Touring and LiveWire models.

Brembo Braking System


Harley-Davidson and Brembo have collaborated on an all-new braking system that features new radial monoblock four-piston (30 mm) calipers with features to:

  • Enhance stiffness
  • Improve cooling
  • Reduce weight

Dual front-brake rotors are 320mm in diameter; single rear-brake rotor is 280mm in diameter. The braking system is designed to provide you with "best in class" braking feel and performance. 

Custom Tire Design

Michelin Scorcher

A Harley-Davidson/Michelin Scorcher Adventure tire has been collaboratively developed by Harley-Davidson and Michelin to meet the demands associated with on-road and off-road Adventure Touring.

Michelin Anakee Wild tires with a more-aggressive "knobby" tread pattern will be offered through our Parts & Accessories department if you are seeking maximum off-road traction and/or a bold style profile.



The display on both models supports infotainment (navigation, music and calls) generated by the your Bluetooth-equipped mobile device.

Please note: The motorcycle does not have an on-board infotainment system, and it does not have speakers. Most infotainment functions require a Bluetooth headset with speakers worn inside the helmet.

TFT Touch Screen Display

Touch Screen

Both models feature a 6.8-inch TFT touchscreen (thin-film-transistor, a type of liquid-crystal display noted for high image quality and contrast) that displays all instrumentation and infotainment functions. You may customize the display.

Daymaker Adaptive Headlamp and LED Lighting


Both models feature all-LED lighting, including a Daymaker LED headlamp designed to product outstanding "punch" down the road with a very homogenous spread of light, with an additional focus on rugged durability in the off-road environment.

Daymaker Adaptive Headlamp technology (only on the Pan America 1250 Special model) utilizes sensors and electronics integrated into the headlamp to determine the lean angle of the motorcycle and automatically project additional light into corners to illuminate areas of the road that may be unlit by an LED headlamp without this technology. This may give you more confidence on dark roads.

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Topics: Oakland H-D News, Motorcycles, Riding in the Bay Area, Current Rider

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