We knew as soon as we saw it that the new 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster was going to spawn other variants, and Harley hasn't waited long before dropping the second bike in the all-new Sportster lineup, the 2022 Nightster.
Big news for Harley fans apart from the obvious is that the Nightster is the first bike to run the smaller capacity 975 version of the Revolution Max T engine. Previously we've seen the Revolution Max in 1250 guise in both the Pan America and the Sportster, but the Nightster opens the door for more potential sub-1000cc models. Possibly we might see the Bronx actually release if the Nightster does well.
Just like the bigger versions of the Revolution Max, the small capacity version runs the same high-tech design including variable valve timing and hydraulic self-adjusting lifters.
Peak power is a lively 90hp and 95Nm of peak grunt, which should translate into a fun bike on Kiwi roads.
The styling of the new bike is on point, with a classic long and low Sportster silhouette. Interestingly, the bike has its 11.7-litre fuel tank hidden away under the seat while the traditional space for the tank is actually a steel airbox cover.
As the centrally mounted fuel cell indicates, Harley has taken steps to blend classic style with good handling with the new Nightster and the suspension looks to be up to the task despite its old-school design. While there is no fully adjustable USD fork or monoshock here, it should be capable of soaking up the weight of the 218kg Nightster. Up the front is a 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve conventional fork, while the use of twin shocks at the rear end rather than the monoshock favoured by Harley in recent models also links back to the previous generation Sportsters.
Up the front is a 19-inch front wheel (matched to a 16-inch rear) with a classic headlight cowling while the controls are mid-mounted. Behind the headlight is a traditional analogue speedo with LCD insert to keep the rider informed rather than the TFT of the Sportster S.
As you'd expect, the Nightster is backed by the latest in safety aids and electronics including three rider modes (Road, Rain and Sport), ABS, traction control and Harley's drag-torque slip control system.
Naturally, the Nightster comes in under the Sportster S in terms of pricing, with NZ pricing confirmed to start at $25,495 for the Vivid Black option while the brighter colours are priced at $25,830. The first bikes are expected in dealers very soon.