Install: Skid Plate for Harley-Davidson Pan America

In this video we walk you through the installation of the Touratech Expedition Skid Plate for the Harley-Davidson Pan America.

For a big, powerful, adventure machine like the Harley Davidson Pan America, a robust skid plate is critical. Like most bikes in its class, the HD Pan America does not have a full tubular frame under the motor to protect from impact, meaning investing in a well-engineered guard should be your top priority with this ADV bike.

Made of 4mm thick aluminum alloy, this engine guard is designed to give the maximum protection during hard hits on rocks, stumps, or bottoming out the bike off-road. The folded ridges give the aluminum material the best stability and rigidity while also keeping the most ground clearance possible for this big adventure tourer.

The Harley Pan America skid plate is mounted using attachment points on a stainless steel base plate. This thick baseplate is engineered to distribute the load of an impact around a larger area of the engine.

Two plastic sliders which are installed independently of the skid plate prevent mud and dirt buildup and protect the mounting bolt heads from impact. The plastic sliders are removable and replaceable, look great, and help the big bike slide over rocks and stumps when riding off road.


Hello and welcome to a Touratech product install video. My name is Iain and we’re going to be installing this Touratech Expedition Skid plate onto the Harley Davidson Pan America. This skid plate is the right skid plate to put onto your motorcycle. The factory skid plate that came on this bike is not the right skid plate.

This install has a lot of little pieces involved in it, but Touratech has some really good detailed instructions available on the website. So first and foremost, get onto the Touratech product page, download and print out the instructions for that. Once we have the instructions, we’re going to break down this installation into steps and get to work.

‘So let’s grab the tools, let’s grab the instructions and see where it takes us. Before we start putting the skid plate on the motorcycle, there’s some prep work that we have to do. Obviously, you’re going to have to remove the factory skid plate from the motorcycle. Once you’ve done that, we start by installing these cage nuts into the reinforcement plate that goes between the skid plate and the oil pan of the engine. So if you lay the reinforcement piece out as you see it here, these clip nuts get installed from the underside coming up just like this.

Once you have the four cage nuts installed in this piece, set it aside and grab the other stainless steel bracket. So this is the other stainless steel mounting bracket. This goes in front of the engine to support the front side of the skid plate, and this has two cage nuts that get installed and they come from the front side like this. Now that all of the cage nuts are installed, we’re going to grab the plastic sliders for the bottom of the skid plate and all the hardware that goes along with that.

they hide all of the hardware underneath the skid plate so it doesn’t get damaged and packed up with dirt. And also they create a more slippery sliding surface on the underside to allow this low motorcycle to slide over obstacles a little bit more easily.

 So you will have these two main sliders, and then you’ll have six of these counter sunk course thread screws, and then six of these plastic shouldered spacers here. The way you install these is by putting the counters sunk screw through the plastic shouldered spacer, and then you install them along the rail. The position is going to be exactly the same on both rails. So you have one all the way in the first hole, one all the way in the back hole, and then one in the fourth hole up, one, two, three, four right there.

These screws use a Torx T 20 driver like this to install down into the slider. I find it much easier to install these if I’m using a power tool to turn this wrench. When you’re installing these spacers, you don’t want them to be locked down completely tight. You want to have just a little bit of up and down play, and the spacer is free enough that it can spin on the bolt. This’ll make installing them onto the skid plate a lot easier down the road.

All right, these two sliders are now prepped. They’ve got the fasteners installed in the right place, and they’re all just loose enough to be able to spin and move around a little bit. All right, we are now under the motorcycle and we’re going to install the main reinforcement plate, this big guy there here. You’re going to position it so that the clip nuts are all on the top side of the plate here, and the cutout follows the exhaust pipe over here on this side right here, or the elongated side, excuse me, follows the exhaust pipe.

You’re going to use the four button head M-8 bolts, and all of these four spacers that are included in the kit. I highly recommend thread locker on the bolts at this point, as these do not need to be removed to service the motorcycle. You’re going to be installing these four bolts into the same mounting points that the factory skid plate was attached to. Now use your five millimeter Allen wrench to tighten down these four bolts.

Now we’re at the front of the engine here and we’re going to install the reinforcement piece that goes on the front of the engine case. It installs like this with the ears facing up and the cage nuts being on the inside of the bracket. So you’re going to use the two socket cap M-8 bolts, put some thread lock on and the washer and screw these ones in.

You’re only going to want to make these ones hand tight for right now, because the bracket does still need to be adjusted for position when we’re installing the skid plate. Put the same bolt in on the opposite side. Now it’s time to swing the skid plate up into place and get it bolted on. You’re going to use four of the M-6 by 20 millimeter long flan head bolts and two of the M-6 by 16 millimeter long flange head bolts.

The two shorter ones go on the farthest rear mounting holes of the skid plate. I like to start at the front of the skid plate first and just loosely install two of the 20 millimeter long bolts in the front positions. You’re going to use a Torx T 30 bit for all of these screws.

Once I have one of the bolts in at the front, I like to put one of the bolts in at the back, one of the shorter bolts. Now that I have two bolts holding the skid plate roughly in position, I can start threading in all the other bolts loosely. Now that I’ve got all six of the mounting bolts loosely in place, it’s the time to check to make sure you aren’t pinching any wires, especially here on the clutch lever side of the bike, and be doubly sure that you have the shorter of the bolts in the rear mounting positions.

Once you’ve confirmed all that is okay, start tightening the assembly down with the bottom bolts first. Then move to the front two bolts, and then you can tighten down these front cross bolts that hold the bracket at the front. Now that we’ve tightened down all of the mounting bolts on the skid plate, it’s time to tighten down these two front bracket bolts with your six millimeter Allen wrench.

The other side is exactly the same. The last step is to install the two plastic sliders underneath the skid plate by engaging the spacers in these cutout holes here, and then using the remaining M-6 by 20 millimeter Torx head bolts by screwing them in at the front here. If you’re having a hard time getting this piece to slide on, it’s because some of your brackets here, some of your little spacers are a little bit too tight. So go back and loosen these little bolts up, maybe a quarter turn and it’ll make it slide in there a lot more easily. Now you can torque down these two bolts using your Torx T 30 driver.

All right, we have completed the installation of this Touratech Expedition skid plate. It looks fantastic on the motorcycle. It offers about 10 times as much coverage as the factory unit, and it’s quick and easy to install or remove for service. So overall, great product, it’s going to perform awesome on this bike. If you want to learn more about any pieces we make for the Harley Davidson Pan America, please visit our website, As always, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and thank you for watching.

Find our entire line of Harley-Davidson Pan America products here.