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The Pan America set foot on European soil

Yes, the Pan America set foot on European soil this week! The Pan America is Harley’s first adventure touring bike and ever since it was announced 2 years ago people have been curious about this new direction that Harley is taking. Because of my job to execute The Great Relay ’21 for Harley-Davidson, that involves the Pan America, I was invited as one of the lucky few to try the bike first! Feeling lucky!

I was invited for a two-day trip to the beautiful Ardennes Forest in Belgium. Harley- Davidson wanted to make sure that we used the Pan America in different circumstances and terrains. The Ardennes have everything you need in that case. It is a dirty job… but someone’s gotta do it. We are there with a small group of 10 and the first 8 Pan America motorcycles. They also brought two BMW GS, the mothership of all adventure bikes. We were asked to give that one a go as well. On the first day I started our adventure with the GS to see what it was like. I had never tried one before, but I have to admit that I have always been impressed by this bike. Any serious adventurer seems to have one and this bike just pops up everywhere. And yes, it is definitely a good ride. Comfortable, reliable and easy. Nothing wrong with that bike and I said to myself: what happens if you mix all of this with the Nr 1 love brand of all times: Harley-Davidson? Exactly, the Pan America.

So out with the boring. It is time for something new & fresh: it is time to experience the brand-new Pan America myself! I was excited to take it for a ride, because there has been so much discussion about this new direction of Harley-Davidson. Enthusiasts and criticus, I’ve heard them all. I am quite open minded and always open to try something new, so you can probably count me under the enthusiasts. From the first minute I fell in love with the bike, and it literally spiced up my day! The bike is not only comfortable and accessible, but also extremely powerful and fast. With this bike it is easy to take corners…… And yes, we took a lot of them. The handling is incredible. 

The next day we started with off-road training. The Pan America feels light, accessible and friendly on- and off the road as well. The reason for this might be because it is much slimmer than the BMW GS for example. Good fun guaranteed. Later that day, I took the Pan America out on the highway, with strong winds, for 2.5 hours. I can tell you, the windscreen is in the right place. The sitting position of the bike is comfortable and it didn’t make me tired at all. The Pan America is something else in all aspects and for me the bike is way beyond expectations. I am honestly surprised by the comfort and the power of this bike. The dashboard is very user- friendly and clear and I am sure you can take this bike on a long trip. 

To me the Pan America shows us that Harley-Davidson is the Nr 1 motorcycle company. They have the ability to reinvent themselves over and over again. They know how to enter this new market (to them) and they enter it with a BIG BANG. A great job! 

Hopefully you have the chance to try it yourself soon. It is definitely worth the wait! 

Gideon Schipaanboord

Find me on Instagram: gideonschipaanboord

Ps. I do not consider myself an expert on bike reviews at all. Therefore, I asked other participants of the trip what they think. This is what they said: 

‘The bike is doing surprisingly well; it is viable & more powerful than expected’  

Jan, The Old Trading post

‘Good fun riding this bike. It is very accessible and fast at the same time. Finally, there is an answer to the BMW’ 

Ben, Baton Rouge

‘We came with mixed feelings, but are really surprised by the Pan America. No negative points, at all!’ 

Robbe (Silver Lake H-D) and Wesley (H-D West-Flanders)

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