There is no doubt that Harley-Davidson did a great job in releasing the Pan America in 2021 with the real star of the show which was the Revolution Max engine which also later featured in the Sportster S albeit with a slightly reduced tune.
Commentators, observers and content creators all all unified and bullish with how the Pan America performed…not only on the ride but also in terms of sales, as it became the top selling ADV in the USA. However there is a big problem with this vantage point.
The Pan America was always going to do well in the company heartland marketplace. It has a ready made fan base who would be willing to try out an American branded bike rather than something foreign. It certainly made an impact and received a warm welcome from reviewers albeit it with many reservations.
However, the total sales of the Pan America was in the region of 8.5K and whilst it beat the BMW GS in that market, it paled into insignificance when compare to the global numbers where BMW ruled the roost again with some 60K sales of the GS variants.
The first year for the Pan America was likely to be promising and it is a real feather in their cap to have produced a great running bike with lots of capability whilst also taking a nice bite of the market too. However the question remains whether year two will be as good. Will it launch a global marketing offensive to really impact upon the BMW GS or the likes of Triumph, KTM etc?
Will the company continue to evolve the bike with new technology? As it is for 2022, there are only colour changes and improved TFT screen resolution. Will the company produce more variants of the bike to cater for varying performance needs, riding styles and destination choices? Perhaps not for this year but it will have to step up radically to gain further ground on BMW and retain whatever position it currently holds.
The US market will always be a strong place for any American made product, just as Triumph is strong in the UK, BMW in Germany etc. However to impact total sales figures it will need to explore and exploit markets further afield…and that may be a tall order given the renowned competition already in situ.