Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023)


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Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 Special

Adventure awaits with the highly anticipated Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special, set to ignite the thrill-seekers in all of us. As one of the newest additions to the iconic Harley-Davidson lineup, this model offers a perfect blend of power, performance, and style. In this article, we will delve into the design, performance, comfort, features, ride experience, maintenance, and pros and cons of the Pan America 1250 Special. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or simply seeking a motorcycle that pushes boundaries, join us as we uncover the secrets of this game-changing beast. Buckle up, because this is a ride you won’t want to miss.

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023) – A one-of-a-kind adventure tourer

The Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023) is a one-of-a-kind from the American giant and this tech-heavy adventure motorcycle blasts through the open roads with the power and class that is synonymous with Harley-Davidson. As an experienced rider, I rode this masterpiece and I was blown away. It really impressed me with all that it offered.

This is a seriously busy segment, with the market overflowing with options that have been doing well over the years with various iterations. However, the newest Pan American model has fared quite well as this is a slightly different take on the adventure tourers that you normally see on the road.

The introduction of the Pan America series was a big risk for the company as it was a risky gamble to dip its does in a highly competitive segment. The company debuted the Pan America lineup a few years back and the first models were released virtually.

Theo Keetell, the VP Marketing of Harley-Davidson had this to say upon the bike’s launch –

“We’re thrilled to bring the world together virtually to showcase the inspiration and passion behind our 2021 motorcycles, including a glimpse of our first adventure touring motorcycle, Pan America. We look forward to sharing this moment with our customers and dealers from around the world.”

2023 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special Review

Harley-Davidson is the pinnacle of motorcycle riding and it offers a wide array of exciting motorcycles in different segments. One of the newest models released by the iconic motorcycle giant is the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023). With the demand for Harley-Davidson bikes always being quite high, you will want to know more about the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023) if you’re in the market for a new adventure tourer. In this review, you will get to know this bike in a more in-depth manner.

Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023)


Let’s start by diving into the stunning Revolution 1250 V-twin engine that it entails. With its 150 BHP at 9000 RPM and 127 NM (94 lb-ft) torque at 6750 RPM, the bike feels quite sporty in acceleration, especially with the classic V-Twin power that is delivered through the ride-by-wire system. You will be able to select the riding mode, which varies in character drastically, the rain mode smoothens out the power delivery, the road mode is great in-between for sinking miles, and the Sports mode is instant raucousness.

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I noticed that it stalled a bit on a cold morning, with a low throttle input and pulling away, undoubtedly down to the two huge cylinders. However, you should make sure that you warm it up properly before you try to look cool. This motor is also seen on the Harley-Davidson Sportster S, although it is a bit less BHP for the newest rendition of the Sportster namesake.

You can stick knobblies on and it’ll be great off-road as well. Standing u feels comfortable, with great handling and control of the motorcycle in tricky terrains. The Off-Road models work quite well, with the electronics and assistance coming in to help you with the correct electronic intervention. Meanwhile, the adaptive height comes in handy to help you get your feet to reach the ground when you’re moving slowly through difficult terrains. It will make off-road driving feel like second nature.

It is very quick to get up to speed and once you’re there, it is happy to plug away with considerable stability and comfort. You can adjust the screen up to the maximum height, tuck in, and you’ll feel like you are floating along the road with no blusters, with low revs maintaining momentum.

The Revolution Max engine does sound a bit fruity when revved up, though it has a rev limited in neutral. It loves to sit high up in the rev range when you’re pushing on and pulls from low down smoothly. It is capable of unlocking adventure capabilities without harming its identity. It is an amazing thing to play with packed with character, as there’s a powerful 60-degree V-twin with a 30-degree crank offset. It definitely feels like a Harley-Davidson.

An omission on the first generation was the accessory-fitted quickshifter designed to replace the needed to use the clutch, with low and high-speed riding said to be perfect for the auto-blipper. It works pretty well, sometimes auto-blipped if not forceful or positive enough with the change but it points to the gearbox often referred to as rather rudimental on Harley-Davidson bikes.

Moreover, the Rider modes change with a button on the right handlebar switchgear, which can be found by your index finger. Changeable while still moving on a closed throttle, you’ll haven nine options to pick from – Sport, Rain, Road, Off-Road, Off-Road Plus, Custom A&B, and Custom Off-Road and Off-Road Plus. Each mode delivers a different result to the electronic and set-up. For instance, the throttle and suspension will noticeably sharpen up. A novice will be able to jump on it in-road and get what they’re looking to get out of it. Meanwhile, a pro can easily flick into off-road plus and have a hoot.

Model NamePan America™ 1250 Special
Engine Size1252 cc (76.4 ci)
Engine TypeRevolution® Max V Twin
Horsepower150 bhp @ 9000 RPM
Torque127 Nm @ 6750 RPM
Dry Weight534 lbs (242 kg)
Wet Weight569 lbs (258 kg)
Length89.4 in (2270 mm)
Wheelbase62.4 in (1585 mm)
Ground Clearance6.9 in (175.3 mm)
Fuel Capacity5.6 gallons (21.2 liters)
Fuel Efficiency46 US MPG (5.1 L/100km)
Seat HeightNot provided
PriceMSRP: $20,399
Valve ConfigurationDOHC
Compression Ratio13:1
Fuel TypeGas
Fuel RequirementsRegular
Fuel InjectorYes
Transmission TypeManual
Number Of Speeds6
Primary Drive (Rear Wheel)Chain
Front Suspension TypeInverted Fork
Rear Suspension TypeTwin Sided Swing Arm
Front Brake TypeDual Hydraulic Disc
Rear Brake TypeHydraulic Disc
Anti-Lock BrakesStandard
Seat TypeTwo-Piece
Number Of Seats2

Chassis, suspension, and brakes

The semi-active suspension from Showa is a real star as it provides an impressive deal of control and varies through the rider modes while also granting ride height adjustments. The ride height can lower the seat height enough for even shorter riders to easily reach the floor comfortably from the 850mm saddle, with further options letting the ride height function operate immediately or delayed through the options menu.

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The 47mm inverted fork having adjustable semi-active damping works quite well with the linkage-mounted mono-shock with semi-active compression, auto preload control, and rebound damping. Although it varies depending on the mode, the final ride quality will be brilliant. You will be able to get a great deal out of the bike as it provides good feedback mid-ride. Further, it is quite stable at speed. As its engine is a stressed member having an alloy steel trellis frame around it, the weight at 569lbs wet feels hefty but still at manageable levels, especially at low speed.

Mounted to the 17-inch rear and 19-inch front wheels will be Brembo brakes that intrigue. The front works nicely to halt the 569lbs lump, with dual four-piston monobloc front calipers and twin 320mm discs while the rear brake has a 280mm disc with one pot caliper. The intrigue here comes from the electronically linked braking, which is conforming as you’ll be able to use the front brake with the rear coming in to help but the rear alone will be a bit mild in isolation. The front, mind, is an amazing performer, and it’ll happily step in with good bite and feel through the lever.

Overall, the Handling feels great for a tour, comfortable for a taller rider and you will be able to get on well with the motorcycle when riding some twistier paths. Moreover, you can get a great deal of response and feel from the bars. You can sit happily in the 850mm saddle for long periods of time with the cruise control option switched on.

Equipment and other features

Specifications like this are to be expected when you are paying such a high price as a full-dress touring model but what about the equipment?

The top box (36 liters) and panniers (65 liters) can store enough for a week away for one/two but they are operated from a different key to one another. They are quick to mount/dismount, although one of my pannier locks did break when fitting the pannier back on. The locking cylinder fires off and renders the opening mechanism useless, which means you can point the finger at the questionable reliability of the launch editions.

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The tank is a solid 21.2 liters. While Harley-Davidson quotes 51 MPG, I was able to achieve closer to 40 MPG, giving you at least 200 miles in a tank if you’re able to have a steady throttle hand that isn’t tempted astray by the V-twin rips. The stock 850mm seat height is quite tall but the mid-section is narrow to help you get a leg down. Moreover, you also have the adaptive ride height feature to help you. Ride by wire will work nicely at higher revs but pulls smoothly from the low revs.

Although the bike weighs around 569lbs, the center of gravity is low, and you’ll be able to push it about surprisingly with ease. Personally, I found it to be a tad smaller in person than what I was expecting. Maybe some of the weight savings could have been from using plastics in many places.

The side stand on the Pan America 1250 Special (2023) is spring loaded and you’ll need to load the bike over to the right for it to deploy left. Meanwhile, you should consider the preload and side effects of having the rear end sitting down lower at a standstill unless you decide to switch it off.

The TFT screen is a 6.8-inch tablet screen, which is very clear and readable and has loads of screen space to flick through. It has a lot of interactive options but it isn’t quite all the details, range but no consumption. The bike is highly customizable as you will be able to connect your smartphone with the Harley-Davidson app. Switchgear is in a way over-complicated and the indicators work in a unique way. You will need to click once left/right on and then again the same way to switch it off. This is the case if it does not go off automatically.

There are other competitors out there that have been doing it for much longer, though this will be a nice alternative option. Plastic grab handles can be precarious when you’re yanking the weight onto the center stand, the adjustable screen will have visual distortion at the top and wobble slightly. When fully extended, it’ll collide with the knuckle guards on full lock.

I had an encounter or two with the electronics, from the TFT restarting when riding along to throttle reacting wildly at times to being stuck in gear and revving out before clunking awkwardly into the next. An adjustable screen with one hand would have been nice, although when fully extended and the handlebars at full lock, one side may collide with the screen and the other wouldn’t. Moreover, the LED lighting is top-notch, especially when riding at night, with the daymaker headlight activated when cornering to good effect.

Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023)

Price and availability

The Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (2023) comes at a starting price of $20,399 for Vivid Black (with the added option of spoked wheels at an additional price). There are also alternative colors of Gray Haze and Industrial yellow, again at additional prices. The previous editions of the Pan America included the grey and orange design as well as a nice green style, which has been discontinued.

Naturally, the style of this beautiful 2023 Pan America 1250 Special has garnered a lot of attention, for both the right and wrong reasons, something that Harley-Davidson riders have naturally come to expect. Although the front end has raised some eyebrows across the Harley community, subjective, but it looks great to me as it is quite different.

There are various financing options available online. Moreover, it has been known that Harley-Davidson officials do throw in a couple of financial incentives to get Pan America off the ground, especially with the Harley financing schemes.

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