The new Harley Pan America adventure touring bike is the shot in the arm the company really needed right now. I spent a couple days with the bike last month riding in the desert, and it’s a kickass bike with some super cool tech and competitive features for a competitive price. It might be the first time Harley managed to get all four of those things to be true about the same motorcycle. And, as it turns out, that’s exactly what customers wanted from the brand, because dealerships can’t keep the damn things on the showroom floor.
A Harley representative told me that there’s no production limit for the Pan America beyond the speed at which the assembly line can produce them. For the most part, if you order one, you’ll get it. It might take a while as production ramps up, but you’re securing a place in line. Every one of Harley’s 681 North American dealerships will be receiving at least two bikes each in a pre-written launch plan, and dealers have been taking pre-orders for any bikes beyond that.
On a whim I called my local dealer to see when they might be getting some bikes in stock. Reno Harley-Davidson said they had ordered four bikes, two Specials and two of the standard models, but didn’t have an exact date when they’d be arriving. They also said they haven’t done any pre-selling, but that there was a long list of people they planned to call when the bikes arrived. My name is now on that list, for what it’s worth.
In a move that makes a lot of sense, Harley dealers closer to the factory are getting their allocations first. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, the first bikes were delivered to dealerships on the 20th of May. House of Harley-Davidson in Greenfield, Wisc. took delivery on that Thursday, and by Friday morning it had been received by their customer. “We are scrambling,” says House president Jeff Binkert.
I know that anecdotal stories do not constitute data, but it seems that at least some Harley dealers are delivering Pan Americas as quickly as they can get them in. The Business Journal called around to their local dealers, and each of them had similar anecdotes to deliver. Milwaukee Harley-Davidson’s vice president said “They’re shipping them in right now, and they’re heading right back out.” Wisconsin Harley-Davidson in Oconomowoc has a number of bikes that “have deposits and are sold,” according to the dealer’s general manager.
It’s a really good bike, and I can see why this one is getting a lot of hype. The adventure bike market is exploding right now, and the Pan America is priced well for the performance and comfort it delivers. Do I really need one? Hell no, but bike purchases are never made from a point of practicality.