Harley-Davidson will debut their 975cc V-twin in the all-new Nightster

Harley-Davidson has announced the Nightster, an evolution of the Sportster complete with a brand new 975cc engine and three colour options.

Harley-Davidson Nightster.

Harley-Davidson has announced today (12 April 2022) the launch of their new Nightster model. 

The Nightster is designed to be an updated version of the Sportster, showcasing “a leap forward in performance and design while remaining an accessible entry point to motorcycling for the brand,” according to Harley.

Powering the Nightster is a brand new engine from Harley, called the Revolution Max 975T. The ‘T’, as far as is possible to tell from the spec sheets, does not stand for “Turbo”, unfortunately. However, perhaps a tuner out there can take some inspiration from some of Trick Star’s more recent work, and go about fixing a problem that, if we’re honest, probably doesn’t really exist.

As it is, the new Revolution Max 975T motor from Harley is a liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin of 975cc (clue’s in the name, there), with 89 horsepower at 7,500 rpm, and 95Nm at 5,000 rpm. The engine features a bore of 97mm, with a 66mm stroke, and a 12:1 compression ratio.

Harley-Davidson says that the engine has “a torque curve that stays flat through the broad powerband - and engine performance designed to deliver strong acceleration and robust power through the mid-range.”

They continue to say that the new motor has “Internal balancers [that] help reduce engine vibration, [...] enhance rider comfort and improve vehicle durability. The balancers are tuned to retain just enough vibration to make the motorcycle feel alive.”

The Nightster also features a lightweight chassis for agile handling which, combined with the rangey, torquey motor should mean the Nightster will provide a strong platform for intra-city travel; while the centred riding position should make it a good option for longer rides. 

Harley have also come over all Italian with their chassis design, by making the engine an integral, load-bearing component of the chassis, just like a Ducati Panigale. Now, the Nightster is not going to be winning any WorldSBK titles- well, actually, neither has the Ducati Panigale - but the point here is that the Nightster’s aim is not to be a track weapon, or a training bike for Alvaro Bautista; rather the point of its existence is to satisfy those riders who want to relax while riding, whether that riding is taking place in a city centre, or out on the open road. 

Harley’s handling-focused approach with the bike also extends to the swingarm, which is made of welded steel tubes, and acts as the attachment point for dual rear shocks that feature a threaded collar to allow the rider to adjust the preload. 

Meanwhile, at the front, the Nightster is suspended by Showa, who provide 41mm conventional Dual Bending Valve forks. 

Electronically-speaking, the Nightster is equipped with Harley-Davidson’s Rider Safety Enhancements, that maximise traction based on the condition of the road surface in all three traction-demanding stages: acceleration, deceleration, and braking. 

These electronic aids include ABS, traction control, and a Drag-Torque Slip Control System, which “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.”

The Nightster will also offer riders a choice of three riding modes: Road, for daily use; Sport, to feel more of the bike’s performance; and Rain, for greater confidence in wet conditions.

More racing-inspired features of the Nightster come in the form of the fuel tank (11.7 litres), which is located below the seat. In front of the seat is a dummy tank. To reach that actual tank when filling up, you need to lift up the seat, which locks in place. 

That dummy tank is part of the Nightster’s styling which is based mostly on the Sportster, with Harley looking for a “lean, low, and powerful,” aesthetic for the bike, which is completed by the satin black finish for the wheels, and “Vivid Black, Gunship Grey, and Redline Red,” colour options, although the latter two are only applied to the airbox, whereas the mudguards and screen are always finished in the Vivid Black. 

In the cockpit, there is a 4-inch speedometer with an LCD multi-function display (MFD) which is inset on the handlebar riser; and all of the lighting of the bike is LED, including the front Daymaker headlight.

The Nightster will set you back £12,995 in Vivid Black, while if you want one of the other colour options for the airbox, it will cost £13,370. 

Check out the full details of the Nightster on Harley-Davidson’s website, here.