The Pan America is a bold move for a company steeped in tradition like H-D. It’s not just a new motorcycle, it’s a completely new platform with an entirely new engine. With its thoroughly modern architecture, the Max cranks out a very impressive 150 horsepower.
Adventure bikes are the hottest class in street motorcycles, renowned for their roomy ergonomics and for being terrific sport-touring machines, not to mention for their ability to traverse interesting unpaved roads that your Street Glide would shake its head at. Amazingly, Harley has entered this competitive class with a bike that can run with the class leaders.
Despite its relatively paltry 76 cubic inches, the Max pulls strongly from even low revs thanks to its variable valve timing that optimizes when the valves open and close based on engine speed, throttle openings, and gear position. At the first sight of open road, I pinned the throttle and was nearly swept off the seat by the intense acceleration brought on by 150 galloping ponies roaring to a 9,500-rpm redline.
The Pan America provides a pleasant cockpit for munching miles, with a comfortably upright riding position and four choices for windshield placement over 1.8 inches to suit different rider sizes. The PA is a delight to carve up a twisty road, confidently bending into corners and displaying excellent stability when leaned over.
The Pan Am can do it all, rolling down the open road in comfort, untangling twisty roads with sporty faithfulness, and tackling off-road terrain with confidence previously unknown from a Harley. The MoCo should feel proud to have built a distinctive and convincing player in the hot segment of adventure-tourers.
It’s a brand revolution, and we can’t wait to see what’s next with the Revolution Max and its upcoming variants.
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