What’s Special About Harley’s ‘CVO’ Pan America?

Photo By: Harley-Davidson

American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson debuted three new models in January, each courtesy of the company’s in-house “Custom Vehicle Operations” or “CVO” division. Harley’s CVO shop typically creates low-volume bespoke cruisers and tourers, but along with two bagger touring bikes costing north of $40,000, the third 2024 CVO model was a bit unexpected: a CVO version of the Pan America adventure motorcycle.

Photo by Harley-Davidson

The Pan America was first introduced in 2021 and has been successful beyond expectations for Harley-Davidson. However, it’s still curious to see a motorcycle that is typically pointed into dirt, mud (below) and challenging off-road riding situations where it could end up on its side receive the luxe CVO treatment.

CVO Trim Adds Color, ADV Gear To The Harley-Davidson Pan America

While CVO-series Harley models are typically big-bore cruisers or luxury touring bikes treated to special paint, pumped-up engines and premium audio systems, the CVO Pan America is instead optioned to be a well-appointed adventure and touring platform. That said, it did receive a distinctive orange and black paint scheme and some stylistic flourishes, including a color-matching subframe, painted crash bars, and some trim piping in Harley’s “Legendary Orange” race team colors, which treads a bit closer to red than orange. Harley’s iconic “No. 1” logo graces the tank as well. CVO badges and logos are also present in many spots on the bike. But it’s the many factory-added hard parts that bump up the value and profile of the CVO Pan America.

A CVO Pan America in its natural element. Photo by Harley-Davidson

The long list of OEM options includes a triplet of CVO-badged aluminum panniers (sourced from SW Motech), a clutchless quickshifter, a full set of crash bars, and the novel auto-leveling Adaptive Ride Height system that lowers the bike at low speed for better control and also automatically load-balances the chassis once everything is packed up. Also included are the typically optional 19/17-inch spoked wheels that accept tubeless tires, a tougher bash plate under the motor, centerstand, gas tank grip pads, and a pair of LED spot/flood auxiliary lights to assist the rows of LEDs in the unusual fairing.

Photo by Harley-Davidson

Handlebar hand guards help protect rider’s digits from rain and elements, and a dozen riding assist bits are on board, including ABS, linked braking, traction control, cornering ABS, wheelie control, hill-holder system and cornering traction control. Most of the safety features can be toggled off or adjusted to suit conditions and rider preferences. D-pads on the handlebars make it easy to adjust most settings while riding since the color touchscreen’s capabilities are reduced while the Pan America is in motion.

READ MORE: Review: 2024 Updates For Yamaha’s Ténéré 700

Power To Spare

And while many CVO machines receive power-boosting engine tweaks and other performance enhancements, Harley’s CVO team left well enough alone with Pan America’s 150-horsepower liquid-cooled 1,252cc Revolution Max V-Twin heart — the most powerful motor the company makes in terms of horsepower (some of the cruisers/tourers make more than the PanAm’s 94 pound-feet of torque). Surprisingly, the CVO team did not include the optional “Street Cannon” exhaust system for a bit more audio and less weight, and it is a $999.99 option.

Photo by Harley-Davidson

Photo by Harley-Davidson

Photo by Harley-Davidson

Photo by Harley-Davidson

Along with all of the included optional add-ons, CVO PanAm buyers will get the Pan America’s 7-inch TFT color touchscreen, configurable anti-lock Brembo brakes for serious stopping power, Harley’s corner-peering adaptive LED Daymaker headlight system, and multiple ride modes to quickly configure engine behavior and suspension for riding anywhere from interstate highways to technical singletrack far off the pavement.

Photo by Harley-Davidson

CVO models are typically low-volume special issues, and while Harley-Davidson hasn’t said how many CVO Pan America units will be produced, they are expected to be in dealer showrooms now or very soon. The CVO Pan America is priced at $28,399 MSRP. A base Pan America Special goes for $19,999 MSRP.

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