Written by Alex Stivaletti. Posted in Equipment
the Harley Davidson Pan America does a lot of things right out of the box, but like many new models, it’s not a perfect platform. As soon as I swung one leg over my Pan AmI immediately wanted to take it off-road to see what it had to offer, but with the factory “skid plate” I knew I would be in trouble.
The stock Pan Am skid plate is an incredibly thin piece of stamped sheet metal. And not only that, but it leaves the bike’s voltage regulator exposed to the elements and flying rocks. This is quite a problem—is there a solution? Camel ADV is a proven manufacturer for other ADV models, but how is the execution of their High Definition skid plate – what they call the gut guard?
camel constructed their guard out of 4.75mm aluminum, which is about 4 times thicker than the factory plate. There is a Youtube video of them hitting the guard with a hammer to prove his durability and he withstands a few hard hits. It looks good too, with nice welds. TIG welding is a delicate task, especially with aluminum, so well done, camel!
The biggest advantage of this product is that it protects the bike’s voltage regulator and other vital parts, with plenty of holes/slots to allow cooling airflow. The solution to what I consider is the main shortcoming of the factory unit.
Although my experience with this product is 99% positive, I had one small problem: it is very expensive. The factory skid plate is listed for $353.95, but sells for as low as $300, less than camel Price of $329. But that’s not really a comparison because camel The skid plate is more durable and better engineered than the factory by far.
Speaking of installation, it’s a quick procedure, around 15 minutes.
Step 1: Gather your tools― a ratchet, T40 Torx socket, 5mm socket/hex key and some blue Loctity.
2nd step: Remove the six factory T40s Torx bolts. There are two at the front on each side and four under the bike. This can be done with the bike on its center stand or kickstand. Keep factory bolts handy; you will need it for the gut guard.
Step 3: With the factory plate removed, you will need to install the camel– supplied mounting plate using four of the T40s Torx factory plate bolts. The plate mounts with the “hump” up and to the rear of the bike, with the four spacers provided between the plate and the motor. With blue Loctity on the bolts, tighten them well, then step back so that the plate moves back and forth a bit. You will tighten them later. Another advantage of this plate is that there is a cutout for the oil drain plug, so when it comes time for maintenance, only the gut guard will have to be removed.
Step 4: Now is the time to put guard on the bike. Start with the last two factory T40s Torx bolts on each side at the front and let the plate hang down.
Step 5: Apply blue Loctity to the six supplied countersunk bolts and fasten gut guard to the mounting plate. The mounting plate has been left loose to ensure the gut guard aligns correctly. With everything lined up, adjust everything and tighten at the end. There were no torque specs provided for these bolts, but snug with a good tug will suffice.
This should take around 15 minutes. Overall, the Camel ADV Gut Protector is a necessary update for anyone who wants to use their Pan America to its full potential. Take the risk away and enjoy the rewards!
- Quick and easy installation
- More durable than the factory “skid plate”
- High quality construction
- Heavier than the factory “skid plate”
- Moderately expensive