If I didn’t know any better I’d say Harley-Davidson really wants me to swap in my paid-off V-Rod for one o’ them thar new liquid-cooled Sportsters and their fancy-schmancy Rev Max powertrains. And now the 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster model joins the latest chapter of the Sportster saga. Harley-Davidson says it’s “a leap forward in performance and design while remaining an accessible entry point to motorcycling and the brand.” The new motorcycle gene splices a classic Sportster model silhouette with the on-demand performance of the new Revolution Max 975T powertrain and a host of new electronic rider aids and features. It’s also targeted at a new generation of rider. So if my old ass does get one, I also get the illusion of feeling younger while scratching the whole mid-life crisis thing. Which I’m totally not experiencing. And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
“The Nightster is an instrument of expression and exploration, underpinned by performance,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “By building on the 65-year Sportster legacy, the Nightster provides a canvas for creativity and personalization, offering the ultimate platform for customization and expression for new and existing riders.”
New Revolution Max 975T Powertrain
Harley-Davidson Revolution Max 975T Engine Specs
- Displacement 975cc
- 90 HP (67 kW) @7500 RPM
- 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm) peak torque @ 5000 RPM
- 97mm bore x 66mm stroke
- Compression Ratio 12:1
Hydraulic valve lash adjustment ensures quiet operation and eliminates the need for costly, complicated service procedures. Internal balancers help reduce engine vibration to enhance rider comfort and improve vehicle durability. The balancers are tuned to retain just enough vibration to make the motorcycle feel alive.
On the Go
The Nightster model pairs a nimble, lightweight chassis with a powerful engine tuned for strong mid-range performance, an ideal combination for navigating urban traffic and charging along curving backroads. Mid foot controls and a low-rise handlebar put the rider in a centered, comfortable posture on the bike. Unladen seat height is 27.8 inches. The low seat height combined with a narrow profile makes it possible for most riders to confidently place feet down flat at a stop.
The Revolution Max 975T powertrain is the central, structural component of the Nightster motorcycle chassis, which significantly reduces motorcycle weight and results in a very stiff chassis. The tail section structure is lightweight aluminum. The swingarm is formed of welded rectangular steel tubing and is an attachment point for the dual rear shock absorbers.
Front suspension is 41mm SHOWA® Dual Bending Valve conventional forks designed to provide improved handling performance by keeping the tire in contact with the road surface. The rear suspension features dual outboard emulsion-technology shock absorbers with coil springs and a threaded collar for pre-load adjustment.
Rider Safety Enhancements
The Nightster model is equipped with Rider Safety Enhancements by Harley-Davidson, a collection of technologies designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking. The systems are electronic and utilize the latest chassis control, electronic brake control and powertrain technology. Its three elements are:
- Antilock Braking System (ABS) is designed to prevent the wheels from locking under braking and helps the rider maintain control when braking in a straight-line, urgent situation. ABS operates independently on front and rear brakes to keep the wheels rolling and prevent uncontrolled wheel lock.
- Traction Control System (TCS) is designed to prevent the rear wheel from excessive spinning under acceleration. TCS can improve rider confidence when available traction is compromised by wet weather, an unanticipated change in the surface, or when riding on an unpaved road. The rider can deactivate TCS in any Ride Mode when the motorcycle is stopped and the engine is running.
- Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) is designed to adjust engine torque delivery and reduce excessive rear-wheel slip under powertrain-induced deceleration, which typically occurs when the rider makes an abrupt down-shift gear change or quickly reduces the throttle while on wet or slippery road surfaces.
Selectable Ride Modes
The Nightster model offers selectable Ride Modes that electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle, and the level of technology intervention. Each Ride Mode consists of a specific combination of power delivery, engine braking, ABS and TCS settings.
The rider may use the MODE button on the right-hand controller to change the active ride mode while riding the motorcycle or when stopped, with some exceptions. A unique icon for each mode appears on the instrument display when that mode has been selected.
- Road Mode is intended for daily use and delivers balanced performance. This mode offers less-aggressive throttle response and less mid-range engine power than Sport Mode, with a higher level of ABS and TCS intervention.
- Sport Mode delivers the full performance potential of the motorcycle in a direct and precise manner, with full power and the quickest throttle response. TCS is set to its lowest level of intervention, and engine braking is increased.
- Rain Mode is designed to give the rider greater confidence when riding in the rain or when traction is otherwise limited. Throttle response and power output are programmed to significantly restrain the rate of acceleration, engine braking is limited, and the highest levels of ABS and TCS intervention are selected.
The 3.1-gallon lightweight plastic fuel cell is located below the seat – what appears to be a traditional fuel tank forward of the seat is a steel cover for the airbox. The fuel fill is reached by lifting the hinged locking seat. Locating the fuel cell below the seat optimizes the capacity of the engine intake airbox and moves the weight of fuel lower in the chassis compared to a traditional fuel tank location, which results in a lower center of gravity for improved handling and easier lift off the side stand.
The Nightster model features a round 4.0-inch-diameter analog speedometer with an inset multi-function LCD display mounted on the handlebar riser. All-LED lighting is designed to deliver style and outstanding performance while also making the motorcycle conspicuous to other motorists. The Daymaker® LED headlamp has been designed to produce a homogenous spread of light, eliminating distracting hot spots. Combination rear brake/tail/signal LED lighting is located on the rear fender (US market only).
Fresh Design Based on Classic Form
All-new from the wheels up with a look that is lean, low, and powerful, the Nightster model conveys classic Sportster model styling cues, most obviously in the exposed rear shock absorbers and the shape of an airbox cover that evokes the iconic Sportster walnut fuel tank. The round air intake cover, solo seat, chopped fenders and speed screen recall elements of recent Sportster models, while a side cover that conceals the under-seat fuel tank has a shape similar to the previous Sportster oil tank. The Revolution Max powertrain is the centerpiece of the design, framed by snaking exhaust headers and finished in textured Metallic Charcoal powder coat with Gloss Black inserts. A cover below the radiator conceals the battery and helps the radiator appear less prominent. The wheel finish is Satin Black. Paint color options include Vivid Black, Gunship Grey, and Redline Red. Gunship Grey and Redline Red color options will be applied only to the airbox cover; the front and rear fenders and speed screen are always finished in Vivid Black.
Harley-Davison Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories has created a range of accessories for the Nightster motorcycle, designed to enhance fit, comfort and style.
The Nightster model arrives at authorized Harley-Davidson® dealerships globally beginning in April 2022. US Base MSRP is $13,499 (Vivid Black) and $13,899 (color options).
Harley-Davidson stands for the timeless pursuit of adventure and freedom for the soul. Go to H-D.com to learn more about the complete line of 2022 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, gear, accessories and more.