Forget everything you knew about the old Harley-Davidson Nightster. The 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster is entirely different from the motorcycle that previously used the name. The new Nightster is another landmark motorcycle from Harley-Davidson, as it debuts the new Revolution Max 975T powerplant. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started.
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster’s Revolution Max 975T motor looks like the Revolution Max 1250 used in the Sportster S, but it’s different. Displacing 975cc, the Revolution Max 975T uses the familiar liquid-cooled, DOHC architecture of the 1250. However, the 975T has unique bore (97mm) and stroke (66mm) numbers. Also, only the intake cams have variable timing, compared to all four cams on the 1250. It’s a simpler motor with a smaller displacement, though they share a common six-speed gearbox with identical ratios.
The Revolution Max 975T doesn’t have to rev as much as you’d expect to make its power. The Motor Company claims a flat torque curve for the 975T, with peak production of 70 ft-lbs at just 5000 rpm. When you hit 7500 rpm, you’re rewarded with 90 horsepower.
There are three power modes on the 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster that work with a compact suite of electronic rider aids. The three modes alter the power delivery, traction control, engine compression braking of the Revolution Max 975T, and ABS. The Sport mode gives you full power, the most responsive throttle, more engine braking, and less intervention by the ABS and traction control features. Road mode cuts some mid-range power, slows down the throttle response, and kicks up the ABS and traction control sensitivity. Put the Nightster in Rain mode, and you get less power, slower throttle response, reduced engine braking, and aggressive traction control and ABS. The ABS works with Brembo calipers, front and rear.
At first glance, you may think the Nightster shares a chassis with the Sportster S—it doesn’t. There are similarities, as both motorcycles use the motor as a stressed member and a trellis frame connecting the motor to the steering head. However, the Nightster’s suspension has no damping adjustments, and only spring-preload personalization in the rear. You get a 41mm conventional Showa Dual Bending Valve fork and twin emulsion shocks, compared to the fully adjustable 43mm inverted fork and linkage-assisted shock on the Sportster S. Unexpectedly, the Nightster has longer-travel suspension.
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster is as close as H-D has gotten to a café race since the XLCR, at least visually. You can’t miss the headlight cowling, the bar-end mirrors, the low grips, and the mid-mount foot controls. The Nightster’s 19-inch front wheel recalls the XLCR, though the XLCR had an 18-inch rear rather than the Nightster’s low-riding 16-incher. Also, the Nightster has bias-ply tires, rather than the Sportster S’s radials. Consider the Nightster to be café-style, at least until we ride it.
The seat height on the Nightster is an unintimidating 27.8 inches.
That’s not a neo-style peanut gas tank between your knees. Harley-Davidson engineers moved the 3.1-gallon fuel tank under the seat. Although it’s made of plastic, the fuel tank is intended to remind you of the air-cooled Sportster’s oil tank.
We know you think the round container on the right side between the cylinders holds the air cleaner. What looks like the fuel tank is a steel cover for the airbox.
Round is a recurring theme—headlight, turn signals, speedometer, mirrors, and faux air filter holder. There is an inarguably wide array of retro styling cues. The back of the Nightster is especially clean, with the taillight function integrated into the turn signals and the side-mounted license plate holder. In a nod to the 21st century, the lighting is all LED, with a Daymaker unit headlight.
You’ll be able to get the 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster this month, and you get a choice of three colors. The Nightster’s MSRP in Vivid Black is $13,499. The price tag goes up $400 if you want Gunship Grey or Redline Red.
Photography by Daniel N. Johnson, Buddy Wilinski, and Clutch Studios 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster SpecsENGINE
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!