Reinventing an icon is never easy and the Sportster is as iconic as a motorcycle can be. Introduced in 1957, the Sportster is old enough to qualify for Medicare and it is the longest running motorcycle in Harley-Davidson’s 119-year history.
When the Automobile Company introduced Sportster WILL for 2021, its name is the only thing in common with previous Sportsters. Its model name is RH instead of XL. It is liquid cooled instead of air cooled. And it’s lighter, more powerful, and more modern than the Forty-Eight, the only 1,200cc Evo-powered XL still in Harley’s lineup. With premium pipes, color combinations and finishes, along with Fat Bob-inspired headlights and chunky tires, the Sportster S is intended to be a radical departure from the past.
The new one Nightster, on the other hand, has classic Sportster styling elements. It has an airbox cover shaped like a peanut barrel, a circular air cleaner cap on the right side of the engine and dual rear shock absorbers. It has a seat alone and fenders chopped like the Iron 883, a speed screen as small as Iron 1200, and a visor above the fuel tank below is reminiscent of a Sportster oil tank. It also takes its name from the Nightster XL1200N, an Evo electric, black Sportster produced between 2007 and 2012, part of Harley’s Dark Custom lineup.
Rev to the Max
The Nightster’s name and styling act as a bridge to the past. But like Sportster S and Pan America Adventure Bikeit’s built on modular Revolution Max The platform represents the future of Harley-Davidson. Its 60-degree, liquid-cooled RevMax V-Twin features DOHC with four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, and forged aluminum pistons with machined knobs to deliver a 12 compression ratio. : 1. RevMax serves as the central structural element of the chassis, with the mesh front frame, midframe and tail section bolted directly to the engine.
Harley-Davidson has long had 1,200cc and 883cc XL Sportster versions in its lineup. Likewise, there are two versions of the RH Sportster, with the Sportster S having a capacity of 1,252cc (105 x 72mm) and the Nightster having a capacity of 975cc (97 x 66mm). Compared to the Sportster S, the Nightster’s RevMax not only has a smaller bore and shorter stroke, it uses a single spark plug per cylinder instead of two, and a variable valve is used only on the intake cam instead of the intake cam. on both the intake and exhaust cams. Power announced on the Nightster is 90 hp at 7,500 rpm and 70 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, while the Sportster S makes 121 hp and 94 lb-ft.
Although the Nightster has a rotation of 60 degrees between its cylinders, its two crankshaft connecting rod magazines are apart by 30 degrees. This gives the RevMax the same firing order and pulse feel as a 90-degree V-Twin. The motor features a roller finger valve actuator, which reduces valve noise, and a hydraulic lever regulator, which eliminates the need for valve adjustment. Variable valve timing improves or slows the intake camshaft time over 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation, which extends the power range, improves combustion efficiency and reduces emissions compared to fixed cam timing.
Between the cylinders is a pair of 50mm long throttle valves, and the fuel distribution is optimized for each cylinder. Above the engine is a 6.5-liter airbox with adjustable velocity stacks that feed air into the combustion chambers for increased power, and an airbox with internal ribs that eliminate resonance and noise. unwanted noise. RevMax’s dual counterweights reduce primary and secondary vibration as well as double shake, but they are tuned to allow enough vibration to deliver a visceral riding experience.
The Nightster is equipped with Harley-Davidson’s suite of safety-enhancing electronics, including ABS, traction control, and slip-torque control. There’s no IMU or tilt sensor, so the ABS and TC don’t adapt to the tilt angle. There are three driving modes (Road, Sport and Rain) that adjust throttle response, engine braking, ABS and TC settings.
“Form follows function and both report motion,” Harley-Davidson Chief Design Officer Brad Richards stated at the Nightster press launch. Motorcycles are designed to be driven and their design should serve that purpose. But we all know that compromises are made in the name of style. And when it comes to cruisers, many buyers care more about how they look than how they ride.
The Nightster, however, balances the scales between curb appeal and ride appeal. The design team put a lot of effort into giving it a classic Sportster look, with a 19-inch front wheel combined with a 16-inch rear wheel. Despite being built on a different platform, the Nightster’s rider triangle remains similar to that of other Sportsters, with a low 27.8-inch saddle, mid-mounted controls and low handlebars. (For those who prefer forward controls, they’re available as a $599.95 accessory.) A nice bonus is that both hand-held joysticks are adjustable to suit your hand.
With 3 inches of travel for the emulsion technology shock absorbers and 4.5 inches of travel for the 41 mm Showa dual-valve forks, the Nightster’s well-damped suspension provides a comfortable and responsive ride. The only adjustability is the front-rear load and a wrench is included under the saddle. And with 32 degrees of cornering clearance on both sides, you can lean in reasonably before bending the soles of one’s shoes. Single disc brakes front and rear with Brembo brake calipers and steel braids provide plenty of stopping power.
The RevMax is an engine that feels fun – revving at 9,500 rpm – and the 975cc version in the Nightster feels lively and engaging. Taking it through a series of quick curves felt like the right thing to do. How else does one do justice for such a responsive engine and solid chassis? But the Nightster is still a cruiser, just like fun going down Main Street at a cold pace.
There’s a good reason we love air-cooled engines. They are elemental, pure and elegant in their simplicity. The cooling fins look cool, and the absence of a radiator and associated plumbing keeps the engine bay clean and tidy. There’s no denying the performance and emissions advantages of a liquid-cooled engine, but let’s face it, not many of them leave you satisfied.
The surfaces and finishes on the RevMax make it look muscular and sturdy, but also a bit robotic. On the Nightster’s muffler side, everything on the powertrain has its proper place, but the plastic covers that cover the radiator and oil cooler look like an afterthought. On the base side, there are unsightly wires and hoses between the engine and the radiator that even the discontinued Street 750 is hard to avoid. Harley-Davidson is known for its attention to detail, and on the Milwaukee-Eight Twin-Cooled it went to great lengths to hide evidence of liquid cooling. As with the RevMax engine, aesthetics were its biggest challenge.
There’s also unattractive exposed wiring around the handlebars, and the switch pins next to both handles are bulbous with cheap-looking buttons. Perhaps it’s because Harley-Davidson has previously set such high standards for fit and finish that these deviations show up like sore thumbs.
Otherwise, the Nightster looks sharp. Like the original XL1200N Nightster, bright work is minimized, with a single layer of chrome found on the fork bars. The seven-spoke wheels are finished in Satin Black and the 2-in-1 exhaust is matte black. The black tachometer display is both stylish and functional, and the single circular instrument gauge is sleek and user-friendly. All lights are LED and the rear turn signals act as brake lights.
In its early days, the Sportster gained a reputation as a hot car because it offered more horsepower and less weight than most of its competitors. Over the years, however, that reputation faded, and Sportster was seen as a respected member of the old guard rather than the vanguard.
Thanks to the RevMax platform, the Sportster S and Nightster have regained their reputation for performance. The Sportster S is more powerful, sleeker, and has higher-spec electronics and components, while the Nightster is more familiar, more accessible, and more closely associated with the calendar. Sportster’s long history. Both are taking Harley-Davidson in a bold new direction.
Specifications of Harley-Davidson Nightster 2022
Basic price: $13,499 (Vivid Black)
Price as checked: $13,899 (Red Border)
Guarantee: 2 years, unltd. mile
Engine type: Liquid cooled, 60 degree horizontal V-Twin, DOHC with 4 valves per cyl.
Diameter x stroke of piston: 97 x 66mm
Horse power: 90 @ 7,500 rpm (claimed, at crank)
Torque: 70 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm (claimed, at crank)
Transmission process: 6 speeds
Last drive: Belt
The standard long: 61.3 inches.
Rake / Trail: 30 degrees / 5.4 inches.
Seat height: 27.8 inches.
Wet weight: 481 lb
Fuel quantity: 3.1 gals.
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