The second cruiser in the Revolution Max family has just dotted down, and will be known as the Nightster, reusing a well recognised name for the Bar and Shield brand. H-D says it represents “a leap forward in performance and design while remaining an accessible entry point to motorcycling and the brand”. Think of this then as Sportster S-lite.
Nightster combines the Sportster silhouette with a smaller iteration of the Revolution Max engine, in this case known as the 975T. Like the Sportster S, it features a slew of electronic rider aids but won’t be as expensive with ride-away pricing of $NZ25,495.
The 975T is a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twin with a flat torque curve throughout its broad powerband, and a dynamic midrange, thanks in part to variable valve timing and tuned intake velocity stacks. It’s good for 67kW of peak power at 7500rpm, while there’s 95Nm of torque arriving at 5000rpm. Hydraulic valve lash adjustment limits the need for servicing, while internal balancers help to keep operation smooth and durable.
Mid-foot controls and low-rise handlebars put the rider in a centred, comfortable, sporty posture while seat height of 705mm makes the Nightster approachable for most body sizes.
The RM 975T powertrain serves as a structural component of the Nightster chassis, ensuring high stiffness and low weight (claimed 221kg). The tail section is made from aluminium while the swingarm is formed from rectangular steel tubing. The latter also serves as an attachment point for the dual rear shocks. Front suspension is by 41mm Showa forks, while rear shocks are pre-load adjustable.
Safety systems include ABS brakes, traction control and drag torque slip control system which prevents rear wheel lock-up during downshifts. There are also selectable ride modes (Road, Sport and Rain), switchable on the fly.
Other items include a solo seat, chopped fenders, a black ‘speed’ screen, an 11.7L plastic fuel cell located below the seat – the ‘tank’ is actually the airbox cover – a round 4.0-inch analogue speedometer with an inset multi-function LCD display mounted on the handlebar riser, and full LED lighting.
The wheel finish is satin black while paint colour options include grey, red and black. Deliveries begin later this month, and colours other than black incur an $336 added cost.