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RandyShields
11 hours ago, AZgman said:

Great review from Baldy.

Yes, he really liked the bike -- particularly the engine and suspension.  (But I've seen a lot of his reviews where he likes the bike and says he would buy one.)  With all the positive reviews, it seems like HD has a winner on their hands; and they already have the after-market machine humming.  My only concern is whether it will hold up and be a good long-term value.  They have cracked the code with the V-Twin, so I'm hoping this is a reliable motorcycle.  Time will tell.  Some of their innovations may also push the other manufacturers to up their game. Can't wait for online reviews from our board members!

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I just watched Baldy's review and seems like he (and Harley) nailed it!!   I am really happy for HD and hope this helps them right the ship. 

 

If the dealers embrace it then it will be a huge success.  Let's hope ! 

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I rode the Pan America today at the Harley demo event. He is my take in stream of consciousness mode:

 

First let me state that I ride a 2017 R1200GS set up for the street; lowered suspension, cast wheels, Road Smart III tires. Second, the demo was in Phoenix where is was 98 degrees today. I am 5' 10" with a 32" inseam and I weigh 170 lbs.

 

The demo was really low key. Easy registration process, a quick overview of the bike and off we went, totally by ourselves with the route marked out by Orange arrows placed a each right turn. Total time was about 30 minutes, but I was offered additional time once we got back and was offered to readjust the bike to address any concerns I had.

 

The good:

The bike is priced right, handles well, and has plenty of grunt. It is smooth and revs freely, much like the water cooled boxer does. Engine noise was about as loud as the GS. Gearing was about the same as my GS. The wind screen is low, even in it's high position (which unlike my GS can be adjusted on the fly). It did a pretty good job in the high position, and I was surprised how good it was. However, it was not as good  at speed as the Vstream on my GS. The auto height gizmo is seamless. Other than the indicator on the dash, I wouldn't know it was there. The bike feels narrow and not at all top heavy. I does not look as ugly as the pictures in real life. The mirrors work OK, not the best, but about the same as the GS mirrors. The dash is OK, but not as good as the TFT display on a BMW. The bike has 2 seat height adjustments and 3 different height seats. I had the standard height seat and in the low position it was cramped. In the high position it was OK, but it had less seat to peg distance than the GS does. The seat itself was quite comfortable, but I was only on it for 30 minutes.

 

The bad:

The switchgear does not feel the highest of quality and with gloves on I had a really hard time with the turn signal control. I just could not tell if I had pushed it in to cancel it or to the side to activate it. My riding buddy, who was on the intercom with me was laughing at my efforts. The back brake SUCKED. If you think BMWs have weak back brakes, you ain't experienced a bad rear brake yet. The engine puts out a fair amount of heat. Way more than my GS. The bike uses a coil pack located on the left side of the engine and I kept rubbing up against it, and it got hot. The exhaust makes the GS sound throaty. 

 

Would I buy one? Maybe if price was an issue, but I rode home on a superior bike. That said, this is an amazing first effort by HD and with a couple of years of revisions, it should be a very serious contender.

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Thanks for your thoughts!   I hope to ride one as well but last I checked no demo events even close to Charlotte.  However,  I may attend Americade in Lake George in September and there will be demos there.   Sounds like how Harley used to set up demo rides for years at Americade.  They were the ONLY manufacturer that let you just to ride on your own following the route marked by big orange arrows.  Next to BMW Harley was always the best organized demo rides. 

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On 4/30/2021 at 2:47 PM, AZgman said:

I rode the Pan America today at the Harley demo event. He is my take in stream of consciousness mode:

 

First let me state that I ride a 2017 R1200GS set up for the street; lowered suspension, cast wheels, Road Smart III tires. Second, the demo was in Phoenix where is was 98 degrees today. I am 5' 10" with a 32" inseam and I weigh 170 lbs.

 

The demo was really low key. Easy registration process, a quick overview of the bike and off we went, totally by ourselves with the route marked out by Orange arrows placed a each right turn. Total time was about 30 minutes, but I was offered additional time once we got back and was offered to readjust the bike to address any concerns I had.

 

The good:

The bike is priced right, handles well, and has plenty of grunt. It is smooth and revs freely, much like the water cooled boxer does. Engine noise was about as loud as the GS. Gearing was about the same as my GS. The wind screen is low, even in it's high position (which unlike my GS can be adjusted on the fly). It did a pretty good job in the high position, and I was surprised how good it was. However, it was not as good  at speed as the Vstream on my GS. The auto height gizmo is seamless. Other than the indicator on the dash, I wouldn't know it was there. The bike feels narrow and not at all top heavy. I does not look as ugly as the pictures in real life. The mirrors work OK, not the best, but about the same as the GS mirrors. The dash is OK, but not as good as the TFT display on a BMW. The bike has 2 seat height adjustments and 3 different height seats. I had the standard height seat and in the low position it was cramped. In the high position it was OK, but it had less seat to peg distance than the GS does. The seat itself was quite comfortable, but I was only on it for 30 minutes.

 

The bad:

The switchgear does not feel the highest of quality and with gloves on I had a really hard time with the turn signal control. I just could not tell if I had pushed it in to cancel it or to the side to activate it. My riding buddy, who was on the intercom with me was laughing at my efforts. The back brake SUCKED. If you think BMWs have weak back brakes, you ain't experienced a bad rear brake yet. The engine puts out a fair amount of heat. Way more than my GS. The bike uses a coil pack located on the left side of the engine and I kept rubbing up against it, and it got hot. The exhaust makes the GS sound throaty. 

 

Would I buy one? Maybe if price was an issue, but I rode home on a superior bike. That said, this is an amazing first effort by HD and with a couple of years of revisions, it should be a very serious contender.

 

 

I was there earlier in the day. I did a video too. The difference is that I am 6'5, 34" inseam and 275. I rode the base PA. The engine has the beans for sure. In rain mode, it felt like a torquier version of my old RT, in sport mode, it was unleashed. I didn't have heat issues, but I rode earlier in the day. The seat was in the high position as was the windscreen and I was cramped and getting a lot of wind. Too much above 50-55. I think it's a good value proposition, but I had some things that would need to be fixed for it to work for me. One is a peg lowering kit, a much bigger windscreen and bar risers. I'd also tune the throttle response in sport as it's too sensitive. Then there's luggage. I wasn't impressed with what I saw. I think it's a good platform and probably would work for most out of the box, just not me. Lastly, I wasn't taken with it, meaning on an emotional level. It's like meeting a beautiful woman and then having nothing in common, no attraction on an emotional level. If HD made a sport tourer based on this engine/platform that was RT like, I'd definitely check that out, but I don't ride dirt, never will and it needs to much to make it right for me. The other thing is, I don't really care for the LCD tech stuff. I don't need a nav or a stereo or anything like that a lot of bikes are coming with. It's one of the reasons I still have my 2009. That said, I think it will do well, I hope it does well and I think it's a good value. Oh yeah, the clutch engagement was high and narrow. I imagine the bike I had was beaten on. 

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RandyShields
2 hours ago, Ponch said:

If HD made a sport tourer based on this engine/platform that was RT like, I'd definitely check that out

I bet the brass there has big plans for this engine.  It sounds like a revolutionary engine.:4322:

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Oh, how I want the American manufacturers (HD and Polaris) to succeed, but air borne or not that thing is fugly!   Prolly should buy one as 20 years from now it will be as collectable and valuable as the HD boat tail!

 

Restored Boat Tail – 1971 Harley-Davidson FX Super Glide | Bike-urious

 

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10 hours ago, RandyShields said:

I bet the brass there has big plans for this engine.  It sounds like a revolutionary engine.:4322:

 

It has the beans, just needs more wind protection, real panniers and topcase. I like the fact that it doesn't require valve adjustments. 

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1 hour ago, Whip said:

I like the man’s bike not the new girly one.

 

 

 

Didn't you already own the girly SMT? :lurk: 
 

 

I miss that little Austrian sweetheart

Edited by Whip
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I only have one thing to say Whip: Ducati MultiStrada V4...

 

 

 

 

I am scare of HOT Italian women. 

Edited by Whip
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15 hours ago, AZgman said:

I think not. No Desmo on the MS V4.


Maybe the real question should have been about reliability? Will the hot Italian work you into a frenzy making you believe you’re something you’re not? Possibly putting you into a situation where fantasy and reality tragically collide into a ditch leaving you a stranded broken man? :dontknow:
 

The Austrian sweetheart on the other hand also carries its own perils. She’s built strong but requires a man good with his hands and mind. She’ll plow the field all day long but, expects that man to take care of her late into the evening. He’d better have the proper tools and very specific fluids she requires if the man expects work to continue the next morning. ;)

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"Test rode one last night, I was rather impressed... Felt like a Ktm 990 more than a GS...and boy does it have POWER.. ill be buying one soon... and I've always been in the KTM crowd"  ......

 

Quote from AdvRider.com

 

OKAY.......If that is true the PA could be perfect.

 

I am gonna wait.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

There’s a creamsicle Pan America over at High Octane HD in Billerica. I started over there but the skies suddenly opened up so I turned around. I know I know, lost a shit-ton of adv points for that one. :classic_biggrin: I’ll go take a peek on Tuesday.

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Outpost HD called. My bike is in route. They are charging MSRP and no more. 
 

We will see what that means and how long it takes.

 


 

 

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I didn’t ride it, just looked. It’s as everyone says, way better looking in person. Even the creamsicle color package was ok. Yup, I officially crowned it that! :yes:


I was originally told it was a demo then told it was sold, but I was only talking to the service guy. Didn’t want to get bogged down with the come in and meet my manager dealings. It was parked in the service bay because they drained the battery playing with the display. 
 

Don’t know if I like it enough to part with my trusted GS. The right color and a test ride may make that thought clearer someday. :dontknow:
 

73454BFA-5728-4E39-A6C0-F9F2A3B2938C.jpeg
 

7072CEA8-B51D-42AC-A20C-73C37721D0F8.jpeg

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You really need to ride it and a GSW, (got to be a wet head), back-to-back, as I did. There is a reason why the GS is more expensive, it is "better". Just sayin'

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About as extreme as I’d want to take a big adventure bike. No narration but the Pan seemed to handle it well. 


edit..He does seem a little on/off or jerky with the throttle. Bike or rider? Full power sport mode perhaps? :dontknow: I did see one negative review the other day. ( there’s always one) :classic_biggrin: He said the bike felt cheap...

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Man, that friend of yours is going to have a degree in adventure touring with all the info he’s acquiring! :clap: :classic_biggrin: 

 

William, good question and my guess is no cable with all the ride modes, traction control & cruise control options.  I’ve been wrong before so I’m gonna leave it with the guess till I can find some more reading on it.

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Yeah, throttle-by-wire took me a minute to get used to, as well.   I figured it would be the same type of issue as the lack of physical feel of throttle cable with spring tension caused the herky-jerky (official technical term) throttle inputs.  :bike:

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Now how do you explain to your sportbike buddies that an adventure bike just kicked your arse at Laguna Seca? You don’t. :spittake: The motor sounds solid and strong at full tilt! :yes:

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roadscholar

Reminds me of the time I caught a group of sportbikes on a K1100LT on Blood Mtn in N Ga, gradually worked thru the pack to #3 who slid off in front of me then 1 and 2 eventually pulled over to see what the commotion was. I could see he was fine when I passed by, just a low side in a gravel pull-off.

 

    

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Ride you GS to the local HD dealer. ATGATT. Walk in and see how the sales staff greets you.

 

Would love to hear your reports. I have from time to time done so. The majority of the time I was ignored like I was invisible in my HI-Viz gear and helmet.

 

If HD is going to be successful in the ADV marketplace, they will have to change their attitude toward ADV customers.

 

Purportedly there is a letter from HD to their dealers addressing this issue.

 

BTW HD spun off Livewire. https://electrek.co/2021/05/10/harley-davidson-spins-off-electric-motorcycles-into-new-all-electric-brand-livewire/#:~:text=Harley-Davidson announced today that,division within the main company.

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16 hours ago, Bud said:

Ride you GS to the local HD dealer. ATGATT. Walk in and see how the sales staff greets you


I actually did that. Mentioned before I didn’t get into any negotiations with sales staff but did talk to the service manager who couldn’t have been more helpful as far as telling me what he knew about the bike. Now he was (only one) of many I know but initial contact was good.

 

Now the funny, after talking to him I was still poking around the bike and another Harley customer that was in for an oil change walked over and started looking. Struck up a short conversation telling him all I knew about the bike. He looks at the motor and says “where do you plug it in” I kid you not! :rofl: He thought it was a live wire. 

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Going back to that video...

 

Not knowing each of these rider’s skill level involved could be the missing link to the truth here. But, think about this for a second. In 2021, a “Harley Davidson Adventure Bike” passes and walks away from seemingly good sport-bike riders on a race track. 
 

If somebody told you this was going to be reality (just a year ago) you would of said give me some of what he’s smoking! :rofl:

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roadscholar

That was kind of my point earlier, most sportbike riders don’t get anywhere near the bike’s limits, they have them because they think it’s cool. Not unlike another large group of riders.

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I would argue that most motorcycle riders don't get anywhere near the bikes limits, including my R, others RT's and GS'. A few here prove the exception to the rule. :)

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roadscholar

The point being the evolution of the modern sportbike has turned it into a tightly focused and thinly disguised track weapon with lights and a tag. Most casual owners and there are many don’t or can’t get close to the cornering limits. I’d argue many of the “ART” regulars here are getting pretty close to their bikes’ limits because they’re getting a lot of good practice on roads that you have no choice but to get right. I’ve witnessed fairly recent evidence from the mirrors of a Porsche Boxster : )

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On 5/30/2021 at 1:19 PM, wbw6cos said:

Yeah, throttle-by-wire took me a minute to get used to, as well.   I figured it would be the same type of issue as the lack of physical feel of throttle cable with spring tension caused the herky-jerky (official technical term) throttle inputs.  :bike:

I found in sport mode that it had some snatchiness. It can be tuned though through the display with custom ride modes. 

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I will be picking it up tomorrow and ride it home through the canyon. Should be a good first test.

 

Just gotta get that radar detector on it. 

 

:90:

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