Last week, was first to break the news of trademark filings for “Harley-Davidson Bronx.” Today, we can report on two more trademarks we believe were also filed for Harley-Davidson: “48X” and “Pan America.” UPDATE: further filings with the UK’s trademark office confirm these names were filed by Harley-Davidson.

Unlike the filings for the “Bronx” and “Harley-Davidson Bronx,” the two new trademarks were not filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office but rather with its European Union equivalent, the EU Intellectual Property Office. The 48X and Pan America trademarks were both filed today with the EUIPO for use with “motorcycles and structural parts therefor.”

Officially, the new EUIPO is withholding the name of the company that made the applications, so unlike the Bronx filings, we can’t definitively confirm they are for Harley-Davidson. There is, however, enough evidence for us to connect them to the Motor Company.

The most obvious clue is the name 48X and it’s similarity to an existing Sportster model, the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight. That alone, however, isn’t enough connect the two names with Harley-Davidson.

A bigger indicator is the law firm that filed the new trademarks: Mathys & Squire LLP. The U.K.-based firm specializes in intellectual property law and has been handling Harley’s European trademarks going back to April of 1996. Since then, Harley-Davidson (and its subsidiary H-D Michigan) have 193 trademarks in Europe, with Mathys & Squire LLP representing all but one of them. That lone exception was for the phrase “Step into a Legend” which was originally filed by a different company and only acquired in 2016. All of the European trademark filings Harley initiated on its own were handled by the folks at Mathys & Squire.

Mathys & Squire also recently filed a trademark application for this logo. As with the 48X and Pan America filings, the name of the filing party was withheld, but it is clearly Harley-Davidson.

Mathys & Squire represent other clients besides Harley-Davidson, but the only other company the firm has represented in this decade that has made filings involving anything motorcycle-related is tire manufacturer Hankook, and only Harley’s filings specify usage for “motorcycles and structural parts therefor.” So, while we can’t completely rule out the possibility of another company’s involvement, we are reasonably confident the names 48X and Pan America were filed by Harley-Davidson.

And with that, let’s begin the fun part: speculation.

What could the Harley-Davidson 48X be?

As we noted, the name 48X is very similar to an existing model, the Forty-Eight. With Harley-Davidson’s recent updates to its touring, trike, and Softail lineups (RIP Dyna…) plus the addition of the small-displacement Street models, the Sportster line is the only family that’s due for a change. A Harley-Davidson 48X might be the spearhead for a full Sportster line refresh.

On the other hand, the 48X may simply be a variant of the Forty-Eight, say, with higher-spec suspension or dual front disc brakes. There is precedent for such a change; in 1999, Harley-Davidson gave the FXD Super Glide  a second front brake disc and upgraded suspension, calling it the FXDX Super Glide Sport.

The spokes on the Forty-Eight’s wheels look great, but we wouldn’t say no to a second front disc brake.

We can’t rule out more substantial changes, however, like what Harley-Davidson has accomplished in recent years with the new Softail platform, Milwaukee-Eight engine and Project Rushmore updates. Given how much Harley-Davidson is pushing its plan of introducing dozens of new models in the next few years, we have to consider the possibility of a more significant difference between the Forty-Eight and the 48X.

One intriguing possibility comes to mind from the use of the letter X. As Kevin Duke notes, the Street 750 and Street 500 models make use of what Harley-Davidson calls the Revolution X engine. What if the 48X represents a melding of the Street and Sportster families, like a Forty-Eight with the Revolution X liquid-cooled engine perhaps?

That the 48X name was first filed in Europe may suggest Harley-Davidson is keeping the continent market in mind, and that means its emissions regulations, and not just with the stringent Euro 4 standards. With 2017 coming to an end, we’re getting to the point where manufacturers are looking ahead to the even tougher Euro 5 standards that kick in for 2020. While trademark filings don’t provide an accurate timeline, we’re likely looking at the 2019 model year at the earliest for both the 48X and the Pan America. The Sportster with its air-cooled 1200cc V-Twin might be hard-pressed to comply with the new standards, but a liquid-cooled 48X may stand a better chance.

Of all the Sportsters, it was the Forty-Eight that Harley-Davidson decided to give the special 115th anniversary treatment. If sweeping changes are due for the Sportster lineup, a new Forty-Eight might be the bike to lead the way.

Less dramatic, but a possibility, is giving the Sportsters four-valve heads like the Milwaukee-Eight engines on the larger models. A Sportster engine with four-valve heads might be enough to make an air-cooled 1200cc V-Twin Euro 5-compliant.

What could the Harley-Davidson Pan America be?

The name “Pan America” suggests a new touring model, one capable of traveling across a continent in comfort. Harley-Davidson already has several models that would be up to the task, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to assemble yet another touring cruiser. For 2018, Harley-Davidson already gave us the new Softail-based Sport Glide, and a similar model for 2019 with a taller windscreen or larger bags would certainly be welcome.

While a variant based on the Sport Glide is possible, such a model would likely have a similar-sounding name.

2018 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide First Ride Review

A Sport Glide variant, however, would likely have a similar-sounding name and not get a brand new moniker like “Pan America.” Despite having “America” in it, the new name actually sounds like something you’d expect from a European manufacturer. Triumph, for example, has its America cruiser, and a Moto Guzzi Pan America would sound like a natural fit next to the California 1400.

Even the “Pan” part of the name brings to mind the Honda ST1300 which was marketed as the ST1300 Pan European in – you guessed it – Europe. The “old continent” might be the key here, as Harley-Davidson has previously made clear its intentions to increase its market share outside the U.S. and the Sport Glide was the first Harley in quite some time to have its world debut timed with EICMA. The Pan America may be the kind of name that would connect with European consumers.

Given the company’s recent track history, the Harley-Davidson Pan America will likely be another light-tourer using the new Softail platform. But if you really want to unfetter your imagination, you could hope for a sport-tourer in the veins of a KTM 1290 Super Duke GT or Motus MST. Even wilder, how about a full-fledged American-made ADV?

All we can do is speculate until Harley-Davidson gives us some concrete information. Keep checking with us here on MO for more information as we get it on the Harley-Davidson 48X, Pan America or Bronx.

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  • Mike Simmons

    You can pretty much bet that the Pan America will not be near the bike the Pan European is.

  • Mark D

    So let’s see, the 48X is either (1) a 48 with a second disc brake or (2) a completely revamped model with liquid cool or four valve heads. The Pan America is either (1) a sports-tourer or adventure bike based on the Softtail platform or (2) a Sport Glide that comes “standard” with the optional tall screen and larger bags.

    Yeah, I’m going for #1 across the board.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Dennis and MOrons: excellent analysis based on very little information. This is as far as we can go right now until more clues are discovered. The 48X with a 4-valve engine is a distinct possibility. Liquid cooling is not required for Euro5 since the Softails are not liquid cooled. They wouldn’t go to the trouble of registering a new name in Europe just to add better brakes and suspension. It is time to revamp the Sportster line. The Pan American in Europe must be a lightweight tourer to compete with BMW. Don’t expect a ADV or anything close to the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT from Harley Davidson.

    • Mark D

      “The Pan American in Europe must be a lightweight tourer to compete with BMW.”
      Wishful thinking, but if they put the new Revolution engine in a comfortable Street chassis with some nice hardbags . . . not a bad scoot. Basically, a more refined version of their Sportster tourer, which I loved the look of.

      • Marion

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    • mikstr

      “Liquid cooling is not required for Euro5 since the Softails are not liquid cooled.”

      Care to share where you read that they meet Euro5? They meet Euro4 (as do a few other air-cooled bikes) as they are sold in the EU at the present time. I found a quote from Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Product Portfolio director Peter Michael Keppler (dated April 2017) that states “Euro5 is coming in maybe 2020, but maybe later. It’s still a long way off and we think we can make it.”

      Do you know something he doesn’t?

      • Sayyed Bashir

        They just updated the entire Softail line and would have added liquid cooling if it was needed since 2019 is not that far away. Even if it is needed for Euro5, they don’t have to add it to the Sportster line if they didn’t have to add it to the Softail line.

        • mikstr

          thanks; air-cooled engines are living on borrowed time (as are all ICE engines in fact)

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Actually emissions can be controlled by oil cooling, engine design (four valves), precision cooling and other changes to intake and exhaust. There is no viable replacement for gas engines in the near future.

          • mikstr

            I agree with you, but more and more resources are going into developing electric motors and batteries, and some countries have recently announced that ICE-powered vehicles will no longer be sold (UK and France after 2040, India after 2030,….) Like it or not, it seems we’re headed that way (and even Trump can’t stop it)

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I know all that. I have been in the EV business for 15 years and know the shortcomings and challenges. I don’t ride or drive anything electric. Electric is only part of the solution. The U.S. has not made any such proclamation. “Borrowed time” can be as much as 50 years.

          • mikstr

            Never said you didn`t “know all that”…

      • Campi the Bat

        Harley’s engines are massive and come from the factory in a relatively low state of tune. Both of those things give them leeway in squeaking their bikes through emissions testing, and as their Twin-Cooled targeted water cooling systems show they’re able to supplement those cooling fins without losing the mandatory Harley-Davidson look. You’ll know they’re struggling with emissions when they start pitching even the mild Screamin’ Eagle kits as Off Highway Only.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Well said. They will figure out a way to hide the cooling on all their engines. Maybe they will all become “precision cooled”. Styling, look, feel and sound is what sells Harleys.

  • denchung

    Update: further filings made with the UK’s trademark office confirm these names were indeed registered for Harley-Davidson.

  • Bmwclay

    Bring back the XR1200X and name it whatever you want.




      maybe the 48X is just that, with 48 styling…the only gripe i have about the 48 is the tank(i know,one of it’s most identifying features) if that tank could just be persuaded to hold a bit more gas…

  • TheMarvelous1310

    I’d like to think the Street 750 motor could stretch out to 1000+cc and make some decent power, but I don’t think it’ll fit into the current Sportster frame.

    Luckily, I also happen to know the Street 750 makes a better Sportster than the current model, if one puts in the effort to make it look the part. In fact, I’ve always thought the Street 750 was a thinly veiled disguise for a new Sportster chassis that just grew legs when they realized the motor could reliably run at about half the size. Looks like I could be right… Hope the purists don’t trip about the radiator.

    • mikstr

      So, let me get this right: you post a video about a bike whose only redeeming value and purpose is to serve as a posing platform (feel free to explain any possible practical and functional side to such an aberration if you disagree) and then get upset at being called a poser? Wow… hard act to follow…

      • Sayyed Bashir

        It is a nice looking transformation. The regular Street bikes are so “practical and functional”, they are “boring”. That’s one reason they are not selling. The Harley character and mystique is not there. And why do some motorcyclists think others are posers but they are not? Live and let live, I say.

        • mikstr

          Please share your ideals with your fellow Hog-o-philes… they are the worst offenders (think “rice rocket” and a multitude of other derogatory terms and expressions)… barking up the wrong tree mate….

      • TheMarvelous1310

        Take the first exit off my nuts, boy. I’m done with you.

    • Barbara

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    actually i was speculating on just that the other night shortly before the Sandman took me off to dreamland-what if Harley made an ADV bike,indeed? would it have the water cooled engines of the 500 and 750? or even more radical,the V Rod? hmmm

  • rick

    It’s too bad Harley doesn’t bring back the V-Rod with a sixth gear and a more sporting chassis.

  • mugwump

    New sticker package?