MIKE’S PAN AMERICA PEAKS TOUR
Last week, Mike from Newmarket Harley-Davidson made the time for an “extended test ride” of the Pan America with an
adventure, to, around, and from the Peak District. On an 800-mile trip to really see just what Harley’s adventure bike is
all about, read Mike’s experience below and all his thoughts from his first-ever trip on the bike.
Day 1 of the Peaks Tour.
Arrival. After a 3 and a bit hour ride we arrive at our hotel for the 4 days. My first ride of the Pan America and my initial thoughts? Impressive. Plenty of useable power, it’s extremely comfortable and ergonomically excellent. The Panniers are like the Tardis (for those who know what that is) easily holding enough baggage for the trip, and despite being approx. 10 inches wider than an Ultra, traffic filtering was a breeze.
At steady motorway speeds, the bike also delivered impressive fuel usage, 151 miles on just over half a tank with 111 miles still available. This is despite being fully Laden with baggage and my 17 stone *cough* frame.…(my diet starts next week).
Looking forward to chucking this thing about over the next few days. Signing off for now;
Day 2 of the Peaks Tour.
A total of 7 hours in the saddle discovering some of Britain’s finest roads.
With a mixture of sweeping fast and tight 180-degree bends, steep inclines, and narrow path-like tracks, the Pan took it all in her stride.
Handling is superb and even with panniers, directional change at all speeds is pinpoint. An extremely light clutch made gear changes a breeze and the optional quick shifter is a must, changing up is silky smooth. Extremely enjoyable riding thus far. Despite literally all day out on the bike, no body fatigue nor an aching posterior, this bike is comfortable!
Tomorrow…the infamous cat and fiddle and snakes pass roads. Catch up then. Over and out.
Day 3 of the Peaks Tour.
It starts off wet, very wet, but that doesn’t stop our journey to ride the infamous Cat & Fiddle road and then onto Snakes Pass! Heading off from Matlock across country to Buxton, I use rain mode on the bike which noticeably softens the throttle response and reduces power delivery, useful on soaked muddy roads.
A short coffee break at the Cat and Fiddle pub and it begins to brighten up. My first time riding this 10.2-mile stretch of road and one word springs to mind; EPIC! A series of twisty banked cambered bends, uphill and down dale.
More surprising however was just how ‘flickable’ the Pan America is; normal ride mode engaged, the bike springs to life above 3500 revs and the Michelin Scorcher tyres allow you to chuck this thing about with absolute confidence. Pinpoint steering and great feedback from the front end under braking too.
Snakes pass was also brilliant, a smoother sweeping set of bends, nonetheless a superb experience on the Pan America. If you haven’t ridden these roads, you must put it on your ride ‘bucket list’!
Tomorrow is the last day of the tour before heading home and so far the trip and the motorcycle have been exceptional. Catch up then, signing off.
Day 4 of the Peaks Tour.
Time to get lost. After doing most of the Peak District’s signposted roads, it’s time to ditch the nav and ride as the crow flies. 154 miles of hidden gems are discovered, roads, lanes, and dirt tracks with the added bonus of breathtaking scenery. This is what adventure touring is all about.
The Pan America handled all with absolute ease on both machine and rider and the 25-degree Fahrenheit difference with terrain altitude meant the heated grips were a godsend. Another 8 hours of pure motorcycling enjoyment.
So, that’s a wrap, time to ride home tomorrow but what a tour it has been. The bike has not missed a beat and dealt with everything that has been thrown at it, terrain, weather, and me at the helm! It’s been many years since I’ve had the opportunity to do this kind of ride and I have to say with absolute honesty, no better motorcycle could I have chosen to do it on.
I hope you enjoyed this brief journey with me. Look out for some film footage in the next few days and I’ll also be doing a ‘final thoughts’ piece when I land back at base. Until next time, bye for now.
Peaks Tour Trip End and Final Thoughts.
So a total of 5 days, 40 hours, and 800 miles in the saddle on the Harley-Davidson Pan America motorcycle and I have to say what a bike this thing is! Through all weather conditions, road surfaces, and laden with kit the bike never missed a beat and performed flawlessly.
And on that note, let’s not avoid the elephant in the room and talk about the early software gremlins that some of these bikes suffered, and to be honest this is why I chose this bike for a trip away; a trip away I had paid for with my own money, to share my experience and any problems first hand with my team and you guys on an ‘extended’ test. Happily, I can report that the only problem I had was coming back to work! Not one issue, glitch, technical, mechanical, or electrical problem to report. H-D has nailed it with this bike, dare I say the perfect ‘all-rounder’ and certainly my go-to bike for my next trip away.
Don’t believe me? Come and ride this actual bike yourself, available for demo rides now, simply call Cam or Dan on 01638 664455 to book a slot. I’d also be more than happy to have a chat too over a coffee or 5!
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, until next time, hope to see you at the Dealership soon.