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Current Harley owner and former BMW R1200GS Rallye owner ((2018). My opinion is the Pan Am is an upgrade only in terms of pavement riding. Your F850GS is more capable off road than the Pan Am. It’s smaller, lighter, and thus better suited for off road use. If you’re going to do more pavement riding than dirt, the Pan Am would be better for you.
 

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Yeah, one of my worries. But aside from some issues with cold starts, seems to be fairly issue free after nearly 2 years. Longevity is still a concern, though.
There are issues with the PanAm and there are issues with BMW's. If someone can point me to a new bike that doesn't have issues for some customers I would appreciate it. As far as I can tell, every manufactured item can, and will, have problems at some point. There will always be someone who is having problems with their bike regardless of the manufacturer. I've read some real horror stories about the BMW 1250 GS on other forums. Here's a sample of some of the problems that the media has addressed with the BMW 1250's.


My PanAm hasn't caused me any grief after 5k miles. I had one instance where it threw codes. I cleared them restarted the bike and they've not shown up again since. It's always started. It's always ran. Even when the codes popped and the check engine light came on, the bike ran fine. What made me stop was the cruise control wasn't working. After clearing the codes and restarting, everything works. I was worried that this was the beginning of issues for my bike, but so far that's not been the case.

While some folks have had plenty of problems most don't. The problems get the most attention. People rarely jump online and find a forum to post their car, bike, truck runs perfectly. If they have a problem though, you can bet they'll jump online and tell everyone that will listen.

I think the '23 PanAm would be a solid investment. My '22 is my second favorite bike to ride but also gets the most road time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are issues with the PanAm and there are issues with BMW's. If someone can point me to a new bike that doesn't have issues for some customers I would appreciate it. As far as I can tell, every manufactured item can, and will, have problems at some point. There will always be someone who is having problems with their bike regardless of the manufacturer. I've read some real horror stories about the BMW 1250 GS on other forums. Here's a sample of some of the problems that the media has addressed with the BMW 1250's.


My PanAm hasn't caused me any grief after 5k miles. I had one instance where it threw codes. I cleared them restarted the bike and they've not shown up again since. It's always started. It's always ran. Even when the codes popped and the check engine light came on, the bike ran fine. What made me stop was the cruise control wasn't working. After clearing the codes and restarting, everything works. I was worried that this was the beginning of issues for my bike, but so far that's not been the case.

While some folks have had plenty of problems most don't. The problems get the most attention. People rarely jump online and find a forum to post their car, bike, truck runs perfectly. If they have a problem though, you can bet they'll jump online and tell everyone that will listen.

I think the '23 PanAm would be a solid investment. My '22 is my second favorite bike to ride but also gets the most road time.
Thanks man.

If you don't mind, what's your favorite bike to ride?
 

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Thanks man.

If you don't mind, what's your favorite bike to ride?
In the summer I'm on the PanAm the most. If I'm cruising around town on a Friday night I'm on the Breakout. If I am taking the wife to a different county for dinner, I'm on the Ultra. The Road King is my commuter in the summer and fights with the PanAm for that work. It's like asking me which of my three sons is my favorite. :) I love them all for different reasons because they do things radically different than other. In the winter I'm on the PanAm and Ultra. The Ultra goes out in really cold weather because of the better wind protection. On weekends when I have a couple hours to kill I jump on the PanAm and blast around country roads to get lost then find my way home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In the summer I'm on the PanAm the most. If I'm cruising around town on a Friday night I'm on the Breakout. If I am taking the wife to differ a couple counties over, I'm on the Ultra. The Road King is my commuter in the summer and fights with the PanAm for that work. It's like asking me which of my three sons is my favorite. :) I love them all for different reasons because they do things radically different than other. In the winter I'm on the PanAm and Ultra. The Ultra goes out in really cold weather because of the better wind protection. On weekends when I have a couple hours to kill I jump on the PanAm and blast around country roads to get lost then find my way home.
Thanks brother, I love hearing why people like the bikes they do.

I actually ended up trading my GS for a side hack rig because I wanted something I could use with both my boys; I'm a single dad of two.

And for my two-wheeler, I decided a bit of a different direction and I'm picking up an S1000XR in a couple weeks.
 

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Thanks brother, I love hearing why people like the bikes they do.

I actually ended up trading my GS for a side hack rig because I wanted something I could use with both my boys; I'm a single dad of two.

And for my two-wheeler, I decided a bit of a different direction and I'm picking up an S1000XR in a couple weeks.
I came really-really close to the R1250GS before getting the PanAm. Since I was already a Harley guy I couldn't resist giving their new Adventure bike a try. If it didn't work out, plan B was the BMW. What's funny is that some folks are worried about the PAS's teething issues. Just read up on the R1250GS - it too has had plenty of its own issues.

My dealer is great, I've known them for 24 years. They treat me like family. So that made it quite easy to go with the PAS. The BMW would be a first for me so I would have to 1) travel 2+ hours to a dealer and 2) build a new relationship. Since I've bought a lot of bikes from my Harley dealer over the last couple of decades I have a rapport with them only time and repeat business can earn. I would just be another customer at a BMW dealership. That, and service would be far more troublesome given the distance.

I also have a thing for Ducati and I've owned them before, but in another state and over 20 years ago. So I would be in the same boat with a Tiger as I would be with a BMW.

So I suspect I'll be a Harley guy for the remaining years I have at this point.

I love diversity and luckily each of my bikes has its own unique personality and I'm within the same brand family. You could do the same with BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Honda, etc. but I have two close Harley dealerships and the Honda dealership that's about the same distance isn't nearly as well stocked or as nice as my two local HD stores.

Ride safe my friend!
 
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