The Pan America is as decked up with features as a new-age ADV can be. Especially, the Special variant we had comes with a lot of add-ons like tyre pressure monitoring system, signature adaptive headlamp, heater grips, a steering damper by Ohlins, and factory-installed tubeless laced wheels.
Electronic aids that are common in all variants include a six-axis inertial measurement unit with lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS, electronically linked braking system, hill hold control, cruise control, engine braking control, five pre-programmed riding modes, and three customisable modes. For every riding mode, there’s a different setting for ABS, traction control, throttle response and suspension damping, and these alterations are pretty evident in every riding mode.
You can monitor and make changes to these features on a 6.8-inch large touchscreen instrument cluster. Now, this is a very advanced display with a host of features shown with good legibility and crispness. However, one issue here is that a lot of info is available in very small font size and reading them requires you to bend down while riding.
Moreover, you get a separate button for almost everything – mode, cruise control, heated grips, ignition, and music controls. In the quest of placing these many buttons, the crucial switches of horn and indicators have gone at the bottom which might be difficult to reach initially. This overall setup might take some time to get used to.
One of the main challenges that come with big adventure motorcycles is their tall seat height. But Harley has addressed this issue by developing the Adaptive Ride Height technology. It lowers the bike once the rider comes to halt and moves it back up once the bike gets going. Unfortunately, this feature wasn’t available on our test bike. Although we had the Special variant, the ARH tech comes as an option for Rs 32,000 extra.
Even if you don’t choose the top-spec variant that gets the Adaptive Ride Height tech, you still have the option to manually alter the seat height by opening it up with the key. That’s smart and thoughtful.
Powering the Pan America is a Revolution Max, 1,252cc engine that churns out 150.19bhp of power at 8,750rpm and 128Nm of peak torque at 6,750rpm. It comes mated to a six-speed gearbox. Harley has built this powerplant from scratch and is a modern unit with liquid-cooling, double overhead camshafts, and variable valve timing. The result is a motor that really likes to be revved and performs like a charm for the most part.
Another party-piece of the Pan America is the electronically adjustable semi-active suspension from Showa. This is available only in the Special variant and gives multiple benefits. Firstly, you can adjust the rear preload according to the load y
our bike is going to carry. It also adjusts the suspension damping according to the selected riding mode for optimum ride and handling. What’s more, even the pre-load is continuously adjusted depending on the riding condition.