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Pan America Spezial
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Just kidding.....;)
But I think they are even. HD has a great start in the adventure Bike section.
Last Time i was at my Dealer, some GS, Honda and so on stopped by to get a testride on the PAS.
Here in the alps are a lot of GS on the Road.
I'm talking in thousands....
So some GS Rider want to change to a not comon Bike. So they found PAS....
PAS is compare to that what you get cheaper as the GS.
 

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2022 PA Special
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I was in the market for a new bike, and just so happen to take a PA for a ride.
I was like, what the hell, this isn't really a Harley, is it?? - Its not heavy, and its not slow, so I must be dreaming..
Thankfully, I didn't stop by the Honda or BMW dealership before the Harley one.
 

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People are thinking that HD will be in the rear view with the Pan America...it will be alongside giving the BMW a run for it's money.
There are videos on YouTube of BMW G
People are thinking that HD will be in the rear view with the Pan America...it will be alongside giving the BMW a run for it's money
People are thinking that HD will be in the rear view with the Pan America...it will be alongside giving the BMW a run for it's money.
I've seen YouTube videos of BMW GS riders sitting next to their bikes with a valve cover in their hands working out how to seal it up from a drop and get it put back on so they can get the hell out of there.
I have rode them. Not a bad bike but I liked the ride much better the the PAS gave me
 

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There are videos on YouTube of BMW G


I've seen YouTube videos of BMW GS riders sitting next to their bikes with a valve cover in their hands working out how to seal it up from a drop and get it put back on so they can get the hell out of there.
I have rode them. Not a bad bike but I liked the ride much better the the PAS gave me
Not meant to bash GS’s, but I’ve owned 3 of them over the years and so far the PA has been a much better bike for how I ride. In my experience (>100,000 miles on them) the GS’s were less dependable mechanically but they did have less electronic glitches. I attribute that to the PA being a new platform.
 

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I’ve also had three GS bikes (‘08 GS, ‘14 GSA, ‘19 GS). Also had a ‘02 Suzuki VStrom, ‘14 Ducati 1200 Multistrada S, and have a ‘21 KTM 890 Adv R along with a lot others. The 2019 GS was taken out by a kid on a cell phone or otherwise I’d probably still have it not a PanAm. I’ll focus my thought on that one for comparison below. My thoughts are, specifically comparing 2022 1250 PAS to 2019 1250 GS models:

Why did I buy the PAS instead of replacing the GS with another GS? Hydra valves ( reduced maintenance costs), ARH (both knees replaced), large dealer network (+local dealer is an ace) and buying American made were the call in a split decision battle.

One old guy’s experience and long winded thoughts after 5,000 miles:

handling: handling is different but both are excellent. I’m a big fan of the Telelever front suspension. The handing of the PAS seems to like counter steering more and feels both stable and raked out while still being somehow nimble. Geometry is very comparable. The Shoei e-suspension has a broader range from softener to as firm as sport Sachs on GS. On handling I’d say at least a tie with my 2019 GS. That says a lot because I think the GS are some of the best handling bikes out there for adventure bikes. Some are good on road but fail off-road. Some are good off-road (think KTM) but aren’t near as functional on road. Both the PAS and GS have this figured out as a sweet spot compromise. ARH technology and a softer suspension option for a win here!

Performance: the GS 1250 was smooth but the 1250 PAS is smoother. Seems like more grunt lower on the GS with a steady steam with a nice snap around 6k for the Pan. I think the PAS’s transmission is smoother. I like shaft drives but modern chains are really good. The top gear rpm cruising at a little above legal USA limits- the rpm’s are I think about the same but the Pan feels less taxed. All motors have a sweet spot and the GS just feel like it wants a RT ratio at the top. Gearing for highway use, Pan wins in my books. Plus I just like the way the RevMax feels when spinning it up. About as far you can get away from the typical big twin Mac power delivery. V engines make critical parts less in need of heavy armor. Disadvantage is the heat from the RevMax. The smokehouse blues! They’re pretty even here too but I prefer the Pan overall. The hydro, no costly valve adjustments are a game changer for this bike category. At least on a BMW they’re easy to get at to work on. Still, hydraulic valves with VVT spinning up high RPMs and high compression takes another win. Not to get off base but I’ve run a lot of comparable engines and have to say I just like the feel of this one. It has sole.

Wind protection-comfort: very similar again. I added a higher screen on my Pan and ran a foil at the top of the GS. The positioning is very similar and both equally comfortable for long distances. In my books the Pan wins slightly with an overall smoother design with less turbulence. It’s a nice, pleasant place to spend a day.

luggage: I run(ran) plastic hard bags on both. The Vario BMW bags have the advantage of expanding when needed and the locks are less finicky. Sport bag are a good comparison being better looking IMO and probably have similar capacity. For adv travel they’ll both do the job. An edge maybe for the GS but not everyone uses the same luggage for the same purpose.

Quality: American steel vs German alloys. The fasteners, Frame construction, components, plastic parts on both are high quality for the most part. Components are on similar quality too. Still, the PAS isn’t going to win here IMO but at least makes a good respectable showing. I’m good and proud of what they’ve made.

Electronic: oh no!! Yeah, even scoring the ARH into here this category seems to be the weak link. Bluetooth connectivity was a PITA on the GS sometimes but the PAS needs a good hard reflash here in the electronics category. Too many people experiencing issues. I’ve had mine die randomly within a 1/4?mi from my house but never triggered any error codes. It’s only happened like 3 times but still, not a good thing. Now after the 5k service I’m getting a lot of error codes, still a few stalls, ARH locking up… Harley take note. This area will kill the deal jumping into this segment if you don’t fix it. So few complaints in other areas by PAS owners. Go talk to Apple and get them to write the software for you. HD has got to be collecting a huge database of faults/solutions they could proactively use to recall and solve. I thought I was out of the clear hitting 5k with only a couple of stalls. I have a good dealer that I’m counting on here. HD needs to help solve this proactively not let them all scramble for solutions independently. I never had any electronic issues on the GS. Everything booted up correctly the first time, every time. Win for the GS. Sorry.

off-road vs on road: Both bike do a great job straddling that barbed wire fence of versatility and compromise. I took the GS much further into the abyss than I have the Pan. That’s due to health reasons and the fact I have a KTM that leans to the off road side of the fence. I probably don’t have enough experience in this areato voice an opinion or advise on. On-road the Pan may be the best road bike I’ve owned. Comfy, confident, bold and calm at the same time.

overall: Okay, it’s a personal opinion based on a single individual experience here but I still don’t regret the decision. How can I go for an imported bike when they’re building them this good so close to home. This could be a high score game changer if HD can get the right software guys on the job and soon. The verdict is still out for me pending some time solving electronics but HD scored high marks up to the 5k service. A few bumps in the road but hoping and confident for a simple and quick fix to carry this through for a long term win.

The GS is like going up against Mohammed Ali in his prime. How many rounds can the Pan go? A knockout is unlikely but can win in a technical decision.
 
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