2022 Harley Davidson Nightster

Harley Davidson Nightster
Harley Davidson Nightster

Welcome to the 2022 Harley Davidson Nightster showroom review and specification page. Harley Davidson seems to be in a period of a innovation and this is one of their new models called the Nightster and it is technically more a replacement for the old Sportster than the new ‘Sportster S’ covered previously. To confuse things further there was a completely different model called the ‘Nightster’ at least a decade earlier. This model however is quite different in concept from the old model. 

Lets talk about the styling which is what Harley-Davidson’s brand image is all about. After all the lifestyle element of the brand has taken a back seat in the last 10 years. The brand’s styling in the past has been very much clones of an evolved template from the 1960’s – nostalgia or perhaps inability to move on or catering purely to current owners arguably the main cause. The Nightster is a step in a different direction and this looks like a modern interpretation rather than an original model from Harley Davidson its self and very similar to the Street 500 design language. 

Harley Davidson styling was and still is all about show casing the engine and the Nightster is no different. In a sense this is catering to exisiting customers which is a great way to establish a brand but as history shows not a way to stay in business. As its name suggests the Nightster is all about blacked out parts and this time more contemporary matte finish engine covers. Fins are no longer needed as they are liquid cooled. It so honestly appears like the correct model to replace the 20 year old Sportster model rather then the actual new model currently called the Sportster which incidentally doesn’t look like a traditional Sportster.

Harley Davidson’s are now liquid cooled which means a more civilised riding experience. Sure the some will miss the vibrations that arguably stimulated the crotch as per a rather large vibrator but I’m sure there’s an accessory for that lost sensation. Mind you the marketing material says HD has designed the vibration level which may also indicate that they don’t have the technical experience or could not be bother refining the engine. Nonetheless that is what riding a HD is all about 

The engine is based on the recently released Pan-America adventure bike but will only 975cc. The new engine features overhead cams and 16 valves with variable valve timing and even ‘drive modes’ which is new for Harley Davidson. New safety inclusions include ABS, Traction control something called DSCS Drag-torque slip control. Unfortunately this is old tech for the rest of the world.

Overall the Harley Davidson Nightster is a much delayed but step in the right direction for Harley Davidson as a brand, like most of it’s new models. However the model name and pricing are the biggest flaws of the model. It alienates the owners and aspirants to the traditional Sportster look and it’s position as an entry level model. Would a Sportster owner buy the new Sportster? No, they would buy this one instead, the Nightster. I suspect some heads in marketing will be MIA. Regardless, Harley Davidson really needs new models like this to attract new buyers who usually aspire to a 50 year old VW Combi.

Harley Davidson Nightster Key Specifications (2022)
Engine: 2 cylinder DOHC 16 Valve (EFI)
Capacity: 975cc
Power/Torque: Approx 67 Kw @ 7500RPM 95 Nm @ 5000 RPM
Gearbox: 6 speed manual
Kerb Weight: 211kg
Performance: 0-100kph N/A seconds Approx
Max Speed N/A Kph Approx 
Fuel Economy: 12 litre fuel tank
Approx 5 litres per 100km
Seat height: 705mm
Dimensions: L2250 X W850 X H1140 mm
Wheels: 100-90-19F 150-80-16R
Recommended Retail Price: Est $24300 AUD (2022)