Harley-Davidson has revealed the new Nightster, which has been introduced as an update to the Sportster at the entry point to the brand’s motorcycles. Described as ‘a leap forward in performance and design’, it will retain the classic Sportster silhouette with a new 975cc engine and electronic rider aids and features.
That powertrain is called Revolution Max 975T and it’s a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin with a torque band that keeps flat across the power band. Its power delivery has been designed to offer strong acceleration while remaining ‘robust’ in the mid-range. It makes 89bhp and 95Nm of torque.
Harley-Davidson says the engine’s hydraulic valve lash adjustment means it operates quietly and eliminates the need for costly and complicated servicing. Meanwhile, internal balancers reduce engine vibration to improve rider comfort, but retain ‘just enough vibration to make the motorcycle feel alive’.
The Nightster is designed to be ideal for urban travel, with a lightweight chassis making it more nimble, and it comes with mid foot controls and a low-rise handlebar too. Its low seat and narrow profile mean most riders should be able to comfortably get their feet down when stopped.
Rider assistance technology includes ABS to prevent the wheels locking under braking, a traction control system to limit wheel spin under acceleration, and a drag-torque slip control system, which adjusts engine torque to avoid wheel slip under aggressive engine braking.
There are three ride modes available. Road mode reduces throttle response and increases the assistance systems’ inputs to make riding easier, while sport mode unleashes the bike’s full potential, with all of the power and reduced assistance intervention. Rain mode significantly holds back engine power to reduce the chance of slipping in low grip conditions.
Looks-wise, the American firm says the Nightster is a fresh design from the ground up, though still conveying the classic Sportster styling cues.