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Author Topic: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison  (Read 3566 times)

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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2021, 09:41:28 AM »

Just remember Revzilla sells way more stuff to BMW owners than HD owners. Follow the money...
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iski

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2021, 10:08:35 AM »

True.  Took several bike mags back in the 1970s & 80s & each had their "favorite" brands.  Reviews were subjective.  Very subjective.  Not that much has changed as far as bike mag reviews go.  BMW is the 500 pound gorilla in this category, no doubt about that.   BMW has another contender.
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GregKhougaz

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2021, 11:06:00 AM »

Rode the Pan Am 2 days ago for about half an hour. Impressive machine! We'll have to try the BMW for my own comparison.
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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2021, 09:31:13 AM »

Just remember Revzilla sells way more stuff to BMW owners than HD owners. Follow the money...
How do you know Revzilla sells more to BMW riders?  Nevertheless, I’ve never seen a bike publication review of adventure bikes where the BMW GS didn’t finish first, with KTM, Ducati, Honda, Triumph, etc. all coming in second, third, etc.  The GS is the King of the Hill in the Adventure class.  It’ll take quite an effort to dethrone the GS.
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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2021, 05:20:18 PM »

Well, I will let you know when mine arrives as I decided to forgo GSA #5 in favor of a PAS. Dealer network and piss poor BMW dealer customer service were major deciding factors.  Now if HD could get the bike delivered to me before the snow flies, all would be good with my world.
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blueglide88

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2021, 04:56:02 PM »

That comparison is a joke. What does most every test ride include?

1/4 mile times
0-100 time
stopping distance from various speeds

The fact that they don't include this tells me the PA stomps all over that BMW. For as long as I recall every test of a Harley panned it's lack of HP. Now all of a sudden they are interested in torque? LMAO

What I really don't get is the need for valve adjustments every 12k?
What year is this? 2021 or 1963? How time consuming and expensive is THAT at a BMW dealership considering the fact you have one within maybe 500 miles of you? Does the BMW come standard with drum brakes too?

Pure bias on Revzilla's part. I think the review from Baldy out of ADV Rider was much more honest
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 05:47:40 PM by blueglide88 »
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mark

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2021, 06:01:55 PM »

That comparison is a joke. What does most every test ride include?

1/4 mile times
0-100 time
stopping distance from various speeds

The fact that they don't include this tells me the PA stomps all over that BMW. For as long as I recall every test of a Harley panned it's lack of HP. Now all of a sudden they are interested in torque? LMAO

What I really don't get is the need for valve adjustments every 12k?
What year is this? 2021 or 1963? How time consuming and expensive is THAT at a BMW dealership considering the fact you have one within maybe 500 miles of you? Does the BMW come standard with drum brakes too?

Pure bias on Revzilla's part. I think the review from Baldy out of ADV Rider was much more honest
Like many bike comparisons, you find ratings vary due to the evaluators.  But, you have to concede, BMW is the king of the adventure class and there is a reason for that.     
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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2021, 11:25:03 PM »

I have 190 miles on my PAS. Shifter lever way to close to the motor, have to access with heel rather than toe. Bike is quick...faster than any of my 4 GSA's were. Screaming Eagle exhaust has good bark to it. Bike is a bit buzzy in the bars, but no worse than the BMW. Bike is more compact than a GSA. I have full set of bags and they hold a ton of stuff. Like most bikes it needs to be modified to fit your needs. Accessories are tough to get currently.  Aftermarket is slow to respond to this bike. Decent bike. But if I can't find a solution to accessing the shift lever....it will be gone.
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FLSTFI Dave

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2021, 06:57:09 AM »

Like many bike comparisons, you find ratings vary due to the evaluators.  But, you have to concede, BMW is the king of the adventure class and there is a reason for that.   
BMW has been king of the Class.  Pan America Special is giving it a heck of a run, especially for a first attempt at an Adventure bike.  Most tests are saying this.  Local dealer has had two BMW riders trade for a PAS.

Hopefully, mine will be here soon.
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Ironhorse

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2021, 07:19:11 PM »

Rode the Pan Am 2 days ago for about half an hour. Impressive machine! We'll have to try the BMW for my own comparison.

Greg,  what were your likes and dislikes about the Pan American?
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blueglide88

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2021, 04:23:02 PM »

"Like many bike comparisons, you find ratings vary due to the evaluators.  But, you have to concede, BMW is the king of the adventure class and there is a reason for that."


I don't concede that at all. It depends on what you think an ADV bike should be. It seems pretty obvious the PA is faster, handles better at speed, and brakes better than the BMW.
And since most if not all ADV bikes spend more time on the road than the dirt, the PA is going to be the better bike.

Do you think KTM owners concede the BMW is king? Triumph owners too? Ducati?


If you own a BMW and think it's best good for you. But again it's painfully obvious
which bike has better road performance. Not even having ridden both bikes off road I'll throw you a bone and say the BMW is better. However if I wanted to do serious dirt and not just be a poser, I'd buy a real dirt bike, not the PA or BMW
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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2021, 09:43:26 AM »

Ok, time for my biased opinion on the BMW vs Pan Am thing. I have owned 4 GSA's and now a Pan Am. I am 6'4" 225. The GSA has a more roomy cock pit, definitely better leg room, has better positioned bags, and to me is a better integrated bike as it should be given its 40 year history. The PA has a better exhaust note, a bit more buzz in the bars at speed, is rock solid stable, it is faster but softer out of the hole. The PA is a really decent bike, but the GSA fits me better. But thats just me. No contest in dealer network, attitude, and service, PA hands down. Bottom line for me, unless I can get the PA sorted out ergonomically, its shifter, pegs, ect. I will sell it and get another GSA.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 09:51:16 AM by spook120 »
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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2021, 08:57:11 PM »

My Pan America goes to a new home at weeks end. Decent bike that has ergonomic issues I didn't want to deal with over time. My 22 GSA is supposed to land in April. Guess that says something re the BMW vs Pan America debate...for me.
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2smoke

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2021, 01:36:44 PM »

I test rode the Pan America last weekend at the Tomahawk motorcycle rally. It was at the official H-D demo tent so all kinds of new H-D bikes were there. Now I am 185 lbs and my 128 lb wife was on the back so add 2 leather jackets, boots, and helmets and we got 320 lbs on the bike. The riding position was great for my 6' 0" frame and the seat was pretty comfy. The suspension was very harsh and damn near rattled the fillings out of my teeth on a section of washed-out gravel. I'll say that's because the suspension was not set-up for 2 people on the back.? The throttle was very lazy- had to turn the throttle quite a bit to get a response out of it. Maybe not adjusted right? Then I told my wife to hold on and I did a 2nd gear full throttle roll-on. WOW! What a disappointment!!! That's 150 Hp? NFW!!! Yes, it was in "Sport" mode. My wife suggested that maybe the demo units are detuned so lunatics (like me) would NOT attempt 3rd gear wheelies or top-speed runs. (I would NEVER do that on a demo...) So I return the bike and the guy asked "what did you think?" I said it was underpowered and his reply was "well, at least you can say you tried it". The closest bike I currently own that is kind-of adventure-ish is my Honda XR650L. I would NOT trade it for a Pan America. Since I was bored with their "version" of 150 hp I decided NOT to test ride the new Sportster with the same engine but detuned. This is my opinion and my opinion only. You're results may vary.
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FLSTFI Dave

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2021, 02:54:41 PM »

I really am enjoying my Pan America Special.  I have had it 6 days now, have just over 700 miles on it.  I find the suspension is very good, much better than my CVO or my Fatboy.  Throttle response is Great in sport mode.  Rain mode, response is very slow.  I do need the taller risers and have them on order. 
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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2021, 04:05:53 PM »

HD did the same dumb ass thing with the PA as they did with the Vrod...they tuned it to be 5-9k engine. Great motor that has crappy low end torque.  Spin the motor up and hang on, as it really pulls well up high. But then I don't ride like that and it's a shame the engineers didn't figure it out the first time. Great engine/bike that needs to be sorted out in future variations.  Don't even ask about the stupidly short and tiny gear shift lever that I had to shift with my heel rather than toe because of the location. Like I said,great first attempt but it sure as hell is not as good of a bike as the BMW GSA!!  YMMV!!


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FLSTFI Dave

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2021, 07:30:54 AM »

Isn't the BMG GSA a high reving engine, Peak HP and 7750.  Peak torque at 7550.  I'm not seeing low end torque with this bike either.

Seems the Adventure bike are high Reving motors.  Seems to make sense PA would be similar and high reving
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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2021, 10:18:06 AM »

Not really.  The variable valve timing on the GSA gives it decent low end torque. It's an easy bike to ride without hitting high RPM. Could be the gearing differences. It would be interesting to see what a sprocket change would bring to the PA.
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FLSTFI Dave

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2021, 06:41:33 AM »

Not really.  The variable valve timing on the GSA gives it decent low end torque. It's an easy bike to ride without hitting high RPM. Could be the gearing differences. It would be interesting to see what a sprocket change would bring to the PA.
Just like the GSA, the PAS has variable valve timing.  It also has dual over head cam shafts.  I have not found the PAS to be lacking in torque unless below 2000 RPM, but does much better 3000 and up.  I have just over 2000 miles on mine in 3 weeks, of which I was in FL 5 days on my road glide.

More I ride this bike the more I like it.
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spook120

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2021, 11:21:14 AM »

Glad your enjoying your PA. It is a good bike.That said it just didn't work for me for a number of reasons. I await delivery of my 2022 triple black GSA!⁷
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BigLew55

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Re: Pan America & BMW GS Comparison
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2021, 12:52:52 PM »

I recently did a comparison of a few of these bikes.  Here is how it went down.

First, I was very excited to see and read about the details of he new HD.  I was optimistic when I read the early peeks, and fairly excited when I read the details and pricing when it was fully released.  I had some plans that led to me riding the Iron Butt Rally in June/July, so I planned to NOT make any moves until I retuned from UT.  There was an added bonus to that; there was a PAS in the IBR, so I thought that would give good feedback on how it might survive the riding I would throw at it.  The bike did well, finished intact and, even though it was a DNF, was well reviewed by its rider.

In July, I took a day and went shopping.  I test rode a R1250GS, and Africa Twin and a PAS, all 2021 models with less than 10 miles on the clock.  I will tell you now, there wasn't a slouch in the lot.  They all rode well, and had plenty of power on tap.

Let me start with the AT.  It was the model with the smaller tank, and normal clutch.  I really only considered it because of the DCT option.  After riding it, I knew it was not going to be the bike for me.  I'm a big guy (6'1"/320) and I plan to ride big miles, day after day.  The only reason I'm looking at ADV bikes instead of Sport Touring is because some of my adventures end up on questionable roads and detours. 

I rode the GS first.  It was a brand new model, and they didn't have a GSA prepped for riding.  That bike rode great.  I was impressed and had them put together some pricing options for me.  The only downside for me was that it was not a HD and I like the VTwin engine configuration.  I rode the BMW first, assuming that I would like the PA and not follow through with the GS if I didn't leave it for last.

My last ride of the day was the PA special.  This was a great bike.  Tons of power and breaks.  Suspension felt great too.  My only concern with riding it was wind protection.  I didn't like how little fairing/windshield there was up there especially compared to the GS. 

In the end, I liked all of the bikes.  If I wanted something to do a lot of trail riding on, I'd pick the Africa Twin.  If I was buying a bike to trailer to a nice riding area, the PA would have been a nice option.

I ended up finding a 2018 R1200GSA on the used market for about $9K less than the PA or GSA were quoted new (with panniers, etc.)  The GSA has these advantages that I considered valuable to me:
  • Bigger fuel tank (more fuel and better weather protection)
  • Shaft Drive (not a big difference for me, but a chain can be a pain (yes, the FD are known to fail on occasion too))
  • More weather protection and aftermarket options to improve it
  • Used market availability.  This is something that will just take some time for the HD.  This was an additional bike, so budget was a little more of a concern for me.

I find that I enjoy the speed shifter on the GSA more than I thought I would, and I don't use the adjustable windshield or ride modes much once they are set.

My next ADV might be a Pan America, especially if they introduce one that addresses some of those factors.  I also may find that I should have bought a Sport Touring bike like a R1200RT  or FJR.  If they (HD) introduce something in that segment, it would be included in my research, but that is largely speculation on so many levels it ain't funny.  For now, I've been riding the wheels off the GSA, and the FLHTK just sits there waiting for some attention.
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