Just as promised for a while now, American bike maker Harley-Davidson pulled the veils off a new entry in the Sportster family of motorcycles, with the reveal today of the 2022 Nightster. We’re promised “a leap forward in performance and design,” but at the same time “an accessible entry point to motorcycling and the brand.” AMERiders gives you information on what was unveiled.
Sixty-five years after the first Sportster, Harley-Davidson produced their first water-cooled entry-level model, which also rekindles the Nightster name in the range.
Pulling off the same trick as most of the Harley range, the new Nightster works hard to look authentically ‘heritage’, while actually boasting a decent raft of high-end tech, clever packaging solutions, and electronic rider assistance.
At its core – literally and structurally – is the debut of the new 975cc version of the firm’s Revolution Max engine platform, first seen in 1250 guise on the Pan America. This new 60° liquid-cooled V-twin is developing a claimed 88.5bhp at 7500rpm, and a punchy 70lb.ft torque at 5000rpm from its 97mm bore and 66mm stroke.
While the 1250T has variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust valves, the new 975T only uses VVT on the inlet cam. So why a 975cc engine capacity? “If you take the engine capacity numbers off the existing 883 and 1200 Sportster range, and concentrate on the desired performance, then introduce the Revolution Max engine platform, that led us to a displacement of 975cc to deliver that,” says Wick.
Vice President of Style & Design, Brad Richards, picks up the thread: “Having a compact unit with a compact head and small exhaust and smaller radiator all helps to keep the silhouette balanced.
“There is always creative tension within the process. From a design perspective, I was trying to eliminate the radiator while Kyle was trying to keep it to stop the engine from melting! We had several iterations of radiator size and tried several positions, and we ended up smaller than we started, which is great.
At the core of this entirely new machine sits a version of the liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine called 975T. The number stands for the powerplant’s displacement and is accompanied by two others: 90 for horsepower and 95 Nm for torque. The thing is not mounted inside a traditional hoop-style frame, but acts as a stressed member, helping reduce weight and adding to the stiffness of the chassis.
The motorcycle comes with three riding modes, namely Road, Sport, and Rain, taking the rider from less-aggressive throttle response and less mid-range engine power for Road and Rain to the bike’s full potential when it comes to Sport.
Designs-wise, the Nightster is supposed to be all-new. It rides on Satin Black wheels, and features exposed rear shock absorbers, a Sportster walnut fuel tank, and chopped fenders. LED lights, around a 4.0-inch-diameter analog speedometer, and a multi-function LCD display on the handlebar riser complete the look of the Nightster.
Harley will offer the new Sportster starting this month, with pricing kicking off at $13,499. Visually, the bike can be had in Vivid Black, Gunship Grey, and Redline Red. A whole range of Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories has also been created for the model.
“The Nightster is an instrument of expression and exploration, underpinned by performance,” said a statement by 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.”
Here are the specs on the new Nightster
2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster Technical Specifications
Type: 975cc liquid-cooled 60-degree Revolution Max 975T
Engine power: 88.5bhp @ 7500rpm
Engine torque: 70lb.ft @ 5000rpm
Bore & Stroke: 97mm x 66mm
Compression Ratio: 12:01
Front brake: Axially mounted, 4-piston caliper, single disc
Rear brake: Floating single-piston caliper, single disc
Front suspension: 41mm non-adjustable Showa Dual Bending Valve RWU forks
Rear suspension: Twin suspension shocks, preload adjustable
Front tyre: Dunlop D401 100/90-19 57H
Rear tyre: Dunlop D401 150/80B16 77H
Rake x Trail: 30° x 137mm
Wheelbase: 1545 mm
Weight: 221kg (wet)
Fuel capacity: 11.7litre
Seat Height: 705mm
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders give you the skinny on Harley’s Unveiling of The New 2022 Sportster Called the Nightster on April 12th.
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