Adventure motorcycles are built around the concept of freedom. Whether that’s the freedom to set off on an around-the-world adventure, or simply freedom from the tyranny of traffic lanes en route to Starbucks, they want to give you the sense that you have no restrictions, nothing holding you back. Unfortunately, the Harley-Davidson Pan America has introduced a new kind of freedom: Your passenger’s freedom from the rest of the bike.
The American motorcycle brand issued a recall near the end of last month for its Pan America and Pan America Special bikes, concerning the base of the seat. The recall states that, “The seat base may not be fastened properly, which could cause the hand-hold portion of the base to fracture.” Yikes.
The recall affects 2,689 vehicles, manufactured between March 8 and October 13 of this year. Even for a bike that claims to be the top selling ADV in the United States, a recall of that size can’t feel great for Harley. The bar and shield has been banking on Pan America sales to help bolster a faltering brand image, and to earn them some of those sweet sweet ADV profits. Recalls like this eat away at those numbers, leaving Harley less to play with. Maybe the company hopes Pan America owners will grab a couple tee shirts and jackets while they’re in for service.
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Owners of affected Pan America and Pan America Special bikes should be receiving notice in the mail within the next couple of days. Readers concerned about their own bikes can check NHTSA’s website to see if their specific VIN is affected. For anyone unsure, maybe don’t bring a pillion for your next couple rides — or, at least, tell them not to grab those convenient handles.