This just in from Harley Davidson…
UK couple become first ever to complete HAT Sanremo-Sestriere aboard Harley-Davidson® Pan America™ motorcycles
Vanessa and Alex Ruck complete challenging Extreme Adventour in 40 hours
Harley-Davidson® is pleased to announce that Vanessa Ruck, better known as social media star @thegirlonabike, has completed the gruelling Extreme category at the HAT (Hard Alpi Tour) Sanremo-Sestriere aboard the versatile Harley-Davidson® Pan America™ 1250 Special. Alongside her husband, Alex, and friend, Anika, the achievement makes the British couple the first riders ever to complete this leg of Europe’s largest Adventour event in just 40 hours.
Now in its 15th year, HAT Sanremo-Sestriere is a non-competitive off-road challenge, where teams of three complete pre-set off-road distances designed to test human and motorcycle endurance to the limit.
The starting point for the annual three-day (8-10 Sept) event is the northwestern coastal city of Sanremo, Italy, and finishes at Sestriere, 2,035mt above sea level, in the Italian Alps. Four categories, each with differing levels of distance and difficulty, are available to the 530 entrants according to their ability and experience. The Extreme (780 km) category is for experienced riders capable of absorbing challenging off-road conditions through day and night.
As an experienced off-road competitor, and Pan America® fan, Vanessa knew the Harley-Davidson adventure touring machine would perform admirably off-road, but an unknown 780km off-road course that requires night and daytime riding in hot and then cold, dusty, tree-lined and rocky conditions is a different challenge altogether.
When feeling tired, the team simply stopped on the trails, unrolled their sleeping bags and slept alongside their machines, managing just five hours of rest in their epic 40-hour adventure.
Since its 2021 launch, the Pan America has won numerous awards for being rugged, powerful and technologically advanced, and delivering on its original design to inspire rider confidence on and off road. Powered by a 150hp Revolution® Max, liquid-cooled, 1,252 cc V-Twin engine, Pan America models are equipped with electronically controlled ride modes and rider safety aids, with semi active suspension as standard on the Pan America™ 1250 Special.
The Pan America 1250 Special models ridden by Vanessa Ruck and husband Alex for this year’s HAT Sanremo-Sestriere were standard machines featuring only factory option accessories of H-D® wire-laced wheel rims, Daymaker® Led auxiliary lights, Michelin Anakee Wild off-road tyres, and the award-winning Adaptive Ride Height (ARH) system.
Speaking of the experience, Vanessa said: “We literally turned up at the event, signed on, set the Pan America semi-active suspension into off-road mode, strapped on sleeping bags and other necessities, and set off at 11:30pm on Friday night.
“I knew it would be a tough ride, made worse with riding at night on tracks and climbs that even trail bikes were struggling to deal with, but after 35 hours riding and just 5 hours broken sleep, we did it! I can’t describe how good it felt to arrive at Sestriere, but it was a feeling made better knowing we were on adventure bikes among a swarm of lightweight, off-road competition bikes. Pretty sure Anika, our third team member and good friend, was envious of our Daymaker lighting and fuel range.”
UK and Ireland riders who are interested in riding the award-winning Pan America can do so at their local, authorised Harley-Davidson® dealership. Any rider booking and completing a Pan America test ride before 1st December 2023 will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a Pan America 1250 Special with laced wheels and industry-first Adaptive Ride Height, and a day for two at the Harley-Davidson® Adventure Centre with Mick Extance. T&Cs apply.
Book a test ride online: https://bit.ly/WINaPanAmerica