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ADV NewsTriumph, Harley To Race Spanish Rally On Tiger 900 And Pan America

Triumph, Harley To Race Spanish Rally On Tiger 900 And Pan America

The two brands will battle it out with their ADV Bikes at the Baja Aragon.

Published on 07.08.2022

It’s impossible to ignore how adventure bikes are stealing the spotlight on the world’s Enduro and Rally Raid stages, including in Hard Enduro, where trials champ Pol Tarres recently made history riding his Tenere 700 all the way to checkpoint 17 of the infamous Erzbergrodeo. 

Next up, we’ll get to see what happens when a Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro ridden by 5-time Enduro Champion Ivan Cervantes, and — get this — a totally stock Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 piloted by Dakar veteran Joan Pedrero, take on the 38th running of Spain’s Baja Aragón.

Ivan Cervantes Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro
Triumph will contest the Baja Aragon Rally with 5-time Enduro Champion, Ivan Cervantes, on the Tiger 900 Rally Pro. Photo: Triumph.

The 4-day Baja-style event, a benchmark round in the Spanish Off-Road Rally Championship and only Spanish event scoring for the FIM World Cup, will kick off in Teruel, Spain, on July 21st with stages that exploit the difficult, varied terrain of the region’s semi-arid high desert. Temperatures are sure to be hot, and the area’s rocky and shale-laden trails — already a huge test for your typical 450cc race bikes — are sure to push the large adventure bikes and their pilots to their limits.  


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This isn’t the first time an international rally or enduro event has created an adventure bike (“Trail” or “Maxi Trail”) class to answer growing interest from riders wanting to  compete with these larger highway-friendly machines. In fact we saw Ivan Cervantes win the class at the Bassella Enduro Race in Spain on his Tiger 900 Rally Pro in March, dominating the course to finish 25 seconds ahead of another world-class enduro racer, 3-time FIM Bajas World Cup champ, Alessandro Ruoso, who was piloting a Yamaha Tenere 700.

So Baja Aragón won’t be the first time Cervantes or the 900 Rally Pro will have competed in a Maxi Trail inclusive off-road event, though the Aragón’s multi-day rally-style format isn’t the Enduro vet’s usual groove. On the other hand, Joan Pedrero on the Harley is a stage-race veteran (usually piloting the likes of his KTM 450 Rally), who holds a bouquet of Dakar finishes as well as impressive results at the Morocco, Sardinia and TransAnatolia Rally Raid events.

Joan Pedrero Harley-Davidson Pan America
Harley-Davidson will race on a stock Pan America piloted by Dakar veteran, Joan Pedrero. Photo: Harley-Davidson

But can we talk about a Harley-Davidson crashing the international off-road racing scene? Who’d have thunk it? Sure, H-D has a storied history with Flat Track and Hill Climb, but European Rally Raid? Night and day. Yet here we are, watching one of America’s most iconic brands, famous for its chrome-ladened heavy cruisers, attempt the impossible with the 534 lb Pan America, and its huge 1250cc V-twin that churns out a trail-reaming 150 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque.

And to run the big Harley bone stock north of the accessory spoked wheels? The audacity alone is delicious, but the attempt is far from absurd. The sell-out Pan America has proven itself a reasonably capable off-road mount, and in the hands of a pro like Pedrero, surprises are to be expected. 

Joan Pedrero to race Baja Aragon on the Harley-Davidson Pan America
Joan is looking forward to the challenge and is eager to put the Pan America through its paces. Photo: Victor Gaudo

Cervantes’s suspension was dialed in by the famous tuning house of Andreani MHS in Barcelona ahead of his victorious run at the Bassella Enduro Race and the bike also wore custom bash plates. The Harley is said to be running “completely stock,” which would preclude any tinkering with the bike’s 7.5 inches of travel front and rear, and the only crash protection we see in recent photos of Pedrero on the Pan America show it equipped with Harley’s stock radiator guards and the rugged aluminum single-piece bash plate sold as an accessory.

Ivan Cervantes Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro to compete at the Baja Aragon in Spain
Ivan recently snatched a win at the Bassella Enduro Race on the Tiger 900 Rally Pro. Photo: Triumph

On Instagram Pedrero calls riding the Pan America in the upcoming Baja Aragón “quite a challenge,” adding that he loves to be tested and is ready to go. 

As for Cervantes aboard the Tiger, he has said he’s discovered a new world since collaborating with Triumph. “After years riding in high-end Enduro competition, I am faced with new challenges.” And when he heard about the premiere of the new Trail category at Baja Aragón, his immediate reaction was: “Let’s go for it!”

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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