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Harley-Davidson Introduces the Nightster – A New Sportster With a Liquid-Cooled 975cc Twin

Harley-Davidson has introduced the new Nightster, which is an evolution of the Sportster concept now powered by an all-new, liquid-cooled engine.

Although this is an entirely new motorcycle, one feature stands out. That is the Revolution Max 975T engine. This liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twin is the smaller sibling of the Revolution Max 1250 found in the Pan America 1250 tested by MD last year. The new 975cc powerplant makes a claimed 90 horsepower and 70 foot/pounds of torque.

The new Nightster also has a modern electronics package, ABS and traction control. Here is the press release from Harley-Davidson:

MILWAUKEE, WI (April 12, 2022) – The 2022 Harley-Davidson® Nightster™ model starts a new chapter in the Harley-Davidson Sportster® motorcycle story – a leap forward in performance and design while remaining an accessible entry point to motorcycling and the brand. This all-new motorcycle combines a classic Sportster model silhouette with the on-demand performance of the new Revolution® Max 975T powertrain and a host of contemporary electronic rider aids and features. The 2022 Nightster model redefines the Sportster motorcycle experience for a new generation of riders.

“The Nightster is an instrument of expression and exploration, underpinned by performance,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “By building on the 65-year Sportster legacy, the Nightster provides a canvas for creativity and personalization, offering the ultimate platform for customization and expression for new and existing riders.”

New Revolution Max 975T Powertrain

At the heart of the 2022 Nightster model is the new Revolution Max 975T powertrain. It is a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twin with a torque curve that stays flat through the broad powerband – and engine performance designed to deliver strong acceleration and robust power through the mid-range. The length and shape of the intake velocity stacks, combined with the airbox volume, are tuned to maximize performance across the engine speed range. The profiles of dual overhead camshafts and Variable Valve Timing phasing on the intake valves are designed to match the performance of this engine.

Revolution Max 975T Engine Specs

  • Displacement 975cc
  • 90 HP (67 kW) @7500 RPM
  • 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm) peak torque @ 5000 RPM
  • 97mm bore x 66mm stroke
  • Compression Ratio 12:1

Hydraulic valve lash adjustment ensures quiet operation and eliminates the need for costly, complicated service procedures. Internal balancers help reduce engine vibration to enhance rider comfort and improve vehicle durability. The balancers are tuned to retain just enough vibration to make the motorcycle feel alive.

Powerful Agility

The Nightster model pairs a nimble, lightweight chassis with a powerful engine tuned for strong mid-range performance, an ideal combination for navigating urban traffic and charging along curving backroads. Mid foot controls and a low-rise handlebar put the rider in a centered, comfortable posture on the bike. Unladen seat height is 27.8 inches. The low seat height combined with a narrow profile makes it possible for most riders to confidently place feet down flat at a stop.

The Revolution Max 975T powertrain is the central, structural component of the Nightster motorcycle chassis, which significantly reduces motorcycle weight and results in a very stiff chassis. The tail section structure is lightweight aluminum. The swingarm is formed of welded rectangular steel tubing and is an attachment point for the dual rear shock absorbers. 

Front suspension is 41mm SHOWA® Dual Bending Valve conventional forks designed to provide improved handling performance by keeping the tire in contact with the road surface. The rear suspension features dual outboard emulsion-technology shock absorbers with coil springs and a threaded collar for pre-load adjustment.

Rider Safety Enhancements

The Nightster model is equipped with Rider Safety Enhancements* by Harley-Davidson, a collection of technologies designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking. The systems are electronic and utilize the latest chassis control, electronic brake control and powertrain technology. Its three elements are:

  • Antilock Braking System (ABS) is designed to prevent the wheels from locking under braking and helps the rider maintain control when braking in a straight-line, urgent situation. ABS operates independently on front and rear brakes to keep the wheels rolling and prevent uncontrolled wheel lock.
  • Traction Control System (TCS) is designed to prevent the rear wheel from excessive spinning under acceleration. TCS can improve rider confidence when available traction is compromised by wet weather, an unanticipated change in the surface, or when riding on an unpaved road. The rider can deactivate TCS in any Ride Mode when the motorcycle is stopped and the engine is running.
  • Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) is designed to adjust engine torque delivery and reduce excessive rear-wheel slip under powertrain-induced deceleration, which typically occurs when the rider makes an abrupt down-shift gear change or quickly reduces the throttle while on wet or slippery road surfaces.

Selectable Ride Modes

The Nightster model offers selectable Ride Modes that electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle, and the level of technology intervention. Each Ride Mode consists of a specific combination of power delivery, engine braking, ABS and TCS settings. 

The rider may use the MODE button on the right-hand controller to change the active ride mode while riding the motorcycle or when stopped, with some exceptions. A unique icon for each mode appears on the instrument display when that mode has been selected.

  • Road Mode is intended for daily use and delivers balanced performance. This mode offers less-aggressive throttle response and less mid-range engine power than Sport Mode, with a higher level of ABS and TCS intervention.
  • Sport Mode delivers the full performance potential of the motorcycle in a direct and precise manner, with full power and the quickest throttle response. TCS is set to its lowest level of intervention, and engine braking is increased.
  • Rain Mode is designed to give the rider greater confidence when riding in the rain or when traction is otherwise limited. Throttle response and power output are programmed to significantly restrain the rate of acceleration, engine braking is limited, and the highest levels of ABS and TCS intervention are selected.

The 3.1-gallon lightweight plastic fuel cell is located below the seat – what appears to be a traditional fuel tank forward of the seat is a steel cover for the airbox. The fuel fill is reached by lifting the hinged locking seat. Locating the fuel cell below the seat optimizes the capacity of the engine intake airbox and moves the weight of fuel lower in the chassis compared to a traditional fuel tank location, which results in a lower center of gravity for improved handling and easier lift off the side stand.

The Nightster model features a round 4.0-inch-diameter analog speedometer with an inset multi-function LCD display mounted on the handlebar riser. All-LED lighting is designed to deliver style and outstanding performance while alsomaking the motorcycle conspicuous to other motorists. The Daymaker® LED headlamp has been designed to produce a homogenous spread of light, eliminating distracting hot spots. Combination rear brake/tail/signal LED lighting is located on the rear fender (US market only).

Fresh Design Based on Classic Form

All-new from the wheels up with a look that is lean, low, and powerful, the Nightster model conveys classic Sportster model styling cues, most obviously in the exposed rear shock absorbers and the shape of an airbox cover that evokes the iconic Sportster walnut fuel tank. The round air intake cover, solo seat, chopped fenders and speed screen recall elements of recent Sportster models, while a side cover that conceals the under-seat fuel tank has a shape similar to the previous Sportster oil tank. The Revolution Max powertrain is the centerpiece of the design, framed by snaking exhaust headers and finished in textured Metallic Charcoal powder coat with Gloss Black inserts. A cover below the radiator conceals the battery and helps the radiator appear less prominent. The wheel finish is Satin Black. Paint color options include Vivid Black, Gunship Grey, and Redline Red. Gunship Grey and Redline Red color options will be applied only to the airbox cover; the front and rear fenders and speed screen are always finished in Vivid Black.

Harley-Davison® Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories has created a range of accessories for the Nightster motorcycle, designed to enhance fit, comfort and style.

The Nightster model arrives at authorized Harley-Davidson® dealerships globally beginning in April 2022. US Base MSRP is $13,499 (Vivid Black) and $13,899 (color options).

Harley-Davidson stands for the timeless pursuit of adventure and freedom for the soul. Go to H-D.com to learn more about the complete line of 2022 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, gear, accessories and more.

*Disclaimer: Available traction is determined by the road/tire interface. The systems are only able to adjust brake pressure or powertrain torque in an attempt to keep the forces at the tire from exceeding available grip. These technologies do not have the ability to increase grip, to intervene when the rider has not made a brake or throttle application, or to directly influence vehicle direction. The rider is ultimately responsible for steering, speed and path corrections.

112 Comments

  1. Dave, one of many Daves says:

    I think this is very competent smaller cruiser (but fast; just read a road test somewhere and they loved it). I will buy a used one (with 5k miles on it) in 5 years for half the price (less if I find one with lots of upgrades). I always buy my bikes 5 years old for half price. Makes no sense here in the Northeast to buy a new bike at full price. What is this $15k out the door? Crazy. And I can afford it. As someone has already said Rebel 1100 much better value. Still I have never owned a Harley and would like to some day. My 800lb Triumph Thunderbird LT (wonderful motorcycle) will be getting too heavy for me when I turn 68. Have owned used BMWs, Triumphs, Hondas, Suzukis, Kawasakis, Can-Am Spyders but never a Harley. This one I would proud to own.

    • paul says:

      I agree but you must realize that 5 years at this stage of your life is a lot different from 5 years when you were in your 20’s and 30’s. Thanfully I’m much younger than you are, I’m only 66.

  2. Darwin Holmstrom says:

    Are these being built in Thailand? It seems like building Harleys anywhere but in the United States is eliminating a major reason anyone chooses to buy a Harley. The brain trust running Harley might think most buyers won’t care, but Harley’s sales figures tell a different story.

  3. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    This one has me uneasy, about an opinion IMHness.
    I am very happy to see HD embracing modern design elements and the numbers are all correct (except price). Never thought a Harley would ever be under 500 pounds wet, and BEST of all have an under seat fuel tank. Anybody who has never ridden an undie, will be surprised at how much better they handle. This is a cruiser, and it should not be faulted because of that. You want a crotch rocket, or adventure bike go elsewhere. Yes I think cruisers are stupid but Geez Louise, this one has foot controls where they belong.
    On the other hand the stylists have screwed this nice bike just enough to hurt.
    1.Side mounted license plates are in in the way, do nothing to help a fender, and are aerodynamically draggy.
    2.The radiator shroud should NEVER present a convex curve side view toward the back of the front tire. Should be straight or concave.
    3.The air box should not look like a faux fuel tank, especially if it does not cover half the frame works behind the headstock.
    4.The right side of the engine looks like two Warner Brothers cartoon Matians looking out thru a space helmet sun shield. Barrels and Heads crap, and the 3 little bars on the barrels do not remind me of proper fins.
    5.The leaf blower muff should be at least oval to mitigate the side dimension, and not cover the rear axle.

    Other than that, I kinda like the nuts and bolts effort from our American motorcycle brand.

  4. Dirty Bob says:

    Comparing apples and oranges again. HD has got it wrong. A street bike award goes to any non-american bike manufacturers. Harley can’t make a street bike, period.

  5. Randy says:

    I guess as a non harley guy this is easier to say. It looks like progress to me. In other words from a guy that would NEVER consider a Sportster because of the horrendous shocks, vibration and discomfort, for me to say I would consider this, I guess that is what HD is looking for. They need new blood.

  6. Randy says:

    I have seen quite a few new Sportsters this spring around town and I have to admit they are eye catching. That said, I can’t figure out how Harley can’t figure out how to better incorporate the radiator into the look of the bike. Like the snow blower shrouds of the V_Rod, the radiator is just screaming hit me to every thing that little front fender doesn’t collect. The radiator is black to start with but it ain’t going to be for long. Not around here anyway. I also get a bit of a Ducati Monster feel from the pictures of the left side of this bike, hoses and wires got to do their thing, but they shouldn’t dominate the over all look of the engine. There will always be room in my heart for the air cooled Sportster, going back to the Then Came Bronson days. My own feeling is keep the air cooled V twin alive and just modernize it, Oh, that be a Buell, exactly!

    • todd says:

      There goes out skewed demographics again. I’ve yet to see one of these things on the road other than the motorcycle show last year. Plenty of other bikes though!

      • mickey says:

        This is HD big twin country here. We had 2 sunny days in the 80’s this past weekend and they were popping out of the garages like daiseys. Conservatively I saw 100 bikes this weekend. I saw one BMW R1200R, I saw my CB 1100 and the rest were Harley baggers. None were Sportsters, all big twins. Nothing European at all and nothing Japanese other than mine.

        That’s normally what it’s like around here anyways.

        • VLJ says:

          Sounds like MotoHell.

          • Jeremy says:

            Moto Hell is when you get behind a herd of 20 or 30 of them going 20 mph below the speed limit on your favorite twisty road because the bikes handle so poorly they can’t make the turns without some hard parts touching down. They can barely navigate these behemoths on such roads yet are loathe to passed by anyone, especially if you have to pick them off two or three at a time, temporarily mingling in with them and messing up their hallowed stagger formation.

          • mickey says:

            LOL they don’t bother me and I don’t bother them so it’s inconsequential to me what someone else rides, as long as I don’t get stuck behind them on a curvy road, but then again, they tend to head toward the straight flat roads and travel in groups, saving lives everywhere they go. lol

            Jeremy is right. I have seen zero Aprilia’s on the road in years, the last one was down in North Carolina at Little Switzerland Inn probably 8 years ago. I see one or two KTMs a year, a lone Moto Guzzi here and there, a couple BMWs a year, mostly GS’s, a couple of Indian’s big twin baggers, an FJR here and there, couple of Goldwings a summer. Never seen a Zero on the road either.

            Looking for a bike around here that isn’t a Harley big twin is indeed like searching for Leprechauns, Unicorns, and Sasquatches’. Sighting one is a rare treat as in “Oh look, a KTM, COOL!.”

        • Jeremy says:

          Yep, wherever one is, demographics are going to be skewed to that locale. I’ve ridden just about everywhere in the US save for Hawaii, and the Big Twins dominate what you see out in the wild most places. In some areas like the Midwest, you’re lucky to see anything else. To see a sport bike or god forbid something like a Tuono is akin to spotting a unicorn in Wisconsin or Iowa.

          California, from the Bay area south in particular, is least like the rest of the nation. There is quite a bit of moto diversity there, though I’ve definitely seen a lot of Big Twins and cruisers in general each time I’ve been there. But it is refreshing to see them greatly outnumbered by sport bikes and standards.

          Where I live in Colorado, adventure bikes reign supreme, though you are likely to see just about every brand and type of bike if you are out on a weekend ride. I’ve even seen a few new Sportsters lately, though not this particular one yet.

    • Provologna says:

      My Buel was the biggest POS imaginable. I’d rather walk than ride anything and I mean anything “sporting” that motor or any derivative of that motor.

      Journalists who raved about Buel should have their credentials burned.

  7. mickey says:

    90 hp and under 500 pounds are not really bad numbers for this type of bike. Would certainly be a decent streetable ride. This is a huge step forward for a HD Sportster. Got to be a better bike than the 883cc in almost every concievable way. I’ve had 2 of those over the years, a ’59 I bought used in 1968 and a ’94 I bought new. The nice thing about them was they were very narrow for a big bike, the bad was unbearable vibrations over 55 mph. I had a buddy with a 1200 with longer rear shocks and mid pegs and it was actually quite comfortable when we switched bikes on the BRP.

    A set of longer rear shocks and maybe some standard rise handlebars and the ergos would be just fine on this one too I believe.

    A little weird that there are no passenger accomodations, either seat or pegs. Guess Harley wants to hit you up for more cash for those.

    • Jeremy says:

      I remember test riding a 1200cc Sportster around 1999 – 2000 or so. It is to this day the worst bike I’ve ever ridden. The vibration was unbearable, and the ergonomics had a strong, 23-yo back crying for mercy after just 10 miles.

      Four or five years later, I rented a Sportster 1200 R for a few days while on vacation. It had normal footpeg position, normal handlebars, and decent brakes. The engine was also rubber mounted to the frame as opposed to the rigid-mount affair of the last Sportster I had ridden. I wouldn’t call the bike fast or nimble, and there wasn’t nearly enough rear suspension, but the riding experience was a pleasant one. It wasn’t a bike I would have bought, but it was one I could have gotten along with.

      This power train with the same ergonomics and sportier stance of that old R model would probably make for a pretty affable package. At that price, there would still be much better buys to fit my fancy, but it would be a bike I could get along with.

      • mickey says:

        Yea, it’s never going to be a road racer, or canyon carver, but an awful lot of guys don’t go out to ride like that, they just go out to ride. Maybe they live in an area that is devoid of seriously curvy roads but with plenty of long straight or leisurely meandering bits of curves. Then again, there are guys who just have to have a Harley Davidson, but they don’t want an 800 pound 70 horsepower lumbering beast that costs $25-$30K. This bike would be just fine for them.

        • mickey says:

          After watching several videos on it, the faithful and wannabes are NOT going to be happy with the sounds (engine & exhaust) emanating from the motorcycles, no matter how much fun it is to ride lol

  8. DR007 says:

    With so many better bikes sitting at dealers as leftovers, why even waste your time looking at a Sportster? I want HD to have success, but their pricing is out of line and the used HD market isn’t any better. For the smart shopper, I would rather spend the $14.5K on an adventure bike for a comfortable seating position and a much larger gas tank.

    • VLJ says:

      “I would rather spend the $14.5K on an adventure bike for a comfortable seating position and a much larger gas tank.”

      That’s like saying, “Instead of watching a Kamala Harris press conference, I’d rather go to a Yankees-Red Sox game.”

      One has nothing to do with the other. No one who is seriously interested in purchasing a Lilliputian cruiser is also considering a massively tall and rangy ADV. They’re two entirely different shoppers.

  9. ben says:

    Another bike designed for appearance and style rather than ergonomics and rideability….looks lie another cramped little feet forward cruiser turd. No thanks

  10. SVGeezer says:

    For most posters not liking H-D there are one **** of a lot of comments.

    More comments = More Harley stories. Choose wisely.

  11. Stayin in Mexico says:

    I Like it a lot! Little pricey but they did warn that Harleys will cost more to reflect being exclusive! About the time the Sportster gets a modern engine, Of course, there are going to be those that only feel a true Harley is 47 Horsepower, push-rods, and air cooling. oh yea let’s not forget straight pipes got to have those!

    About 40 years ago I rebuilt a 65 XLCH as my Daily ride with all the performance parts from that era rode and raced it fixed it often but back then it was what it was and knew no better.

    Fast forward

    A few years ago nostalgia came over me so I built a hammer 1275cc Sportster with CNC ported heads, and Matched Cams for the street. It was rather quick for a 560-pound bike and put down an Honest 94 horsepower on a nice cool day also ran hot got 29 MPG required large investments of lock-tite products using the color spectrum of red,blue,and Caterpillar Black, and what did not fall off usually cracked total investment with the price of the Sportster (Model Low) over fourteen grand so to my surprise my nostalgia wore off when the engine mount cracked while leaned over in a nice sweeping turn in the North Carolina Mountains and I shit my pants trying to save myself!

    And now you can purchase a water-cooled 60 Degree v-twin with VVT along with soon to be big bore kits and cams oh how did this happen, Harley

    I own a few bikes from Japanese to Italian and ride a Very Engine Modded V-Rod as well every day not a Harley hater

  12. Artem says:

    Harley is good.
    Sporter – the best.
    In itself.
    Indian Scout is good finish.
    Like Mercedes

  13. JC says:

    Most of the complainers here wouldn’t ride a free Harley.
    This bike looks like a Harley to me. It looks like a sportster. Toni they got it mostly right.
    They could have taken a page from Triumph and hidden the radiator a little better.
    It’s also expensive.

    • Mick says:

      That has been put to the test and you are right.

      My girlfriend drove my truck to BIR because she arrived late to the Superbike race there back in the ninties. I rode my 916 there. After the event there was severe weather in the forecast. So I was going to toss the Ducati in the truck and drive home with her. As I was preparing to do so some Harley rider came up complaining about “crotch rocket” riders because one apparently had a bit too close of a call with him and his passenger pag hooked the back of the guy’s knee and injured him.

      There was already a dirt bike in the truck so only one street bike would fit unless I had some additional equipment. So I loaded to guy’s Harley in the truck and sent him home with my girlfriend. He was quite surprised to see what I jumped on to ride home.

      There was a tornado about half a mile east of me during the ride home. The atmosphere was like pea soup and I struggled to see the lines on the road or the tail light of the car in fron of me. It was pretty scarry.

      The girlfriend arrived with the guy’s bike because there was no able bodies to unload it. I tossed it in the garage and fixed the damage from the light tipover the guy had. The thing sat in my garage for six weeks before the guy came to pick it up. The guy wanted me to at least test ride the thing to see if it worked. The light damage was all about the left grip and clutch lever. There was nothing wrong with the rest of the bike. I did suit up to ride the thing. But there was a 916 Ducati and a 610 Husqvarna, my dual purpose rig at the time, sitting next to it. I’d look at the Harley and the other two street bikes and there was no way I could toss a leg over that thing. Having gone over the bike and worked on it a bit, I just couldn’t get over how crude it was. There was no way I could bring myself to ride the thing.

      Whatever, different strokes.

      • SVGeezer says:

        “I just couldn’t get over how crude it was”

        Crude like Rock.

        Rock always work.

        Don’t use rock for scissors. (will go back to full and actual english now)

        • VLJ says:

          Except that in this case, no, the rock doesn’t always work. Harleys have ranked at or near the bottom of every Quality Index Survey since the dawn of time. Even the new models still don’t come within a country mile of matching Japan, Inc.

          So, not only are they slow, crude, uncomfortable, antiquated, and massively overpriced, their lack of performance still isn’t balanced by any corresponding increase in reliability.

          • joe b says:

            I could not have put it better. Yes. The owner of the local HD shop (here in so cal) wanted me to ride his, souped up, crazy looking white the chrome monster, and I took it out of town, opened it up for a while, ran it up to its top speed and back down a few times, “to get a feel for it”, I was working dealer level, as a line tech for Honda Suzuki BMW, I was not impressed. Not at all.

          • Mick says:

            The things are wildly popular. I can accept that.

            There are a lot of things in life that I will never understand. I can accept that too.

            In the end the are motorcyclists. So they have my general support until they earn the right not to.

  14. Jeremy says:

    This isn’t my kind of bike, though something a little sportier with sensible ergonomics and more focus on function, and it could be.

    In any case, I think it is a positive step for the Sportster line. 90 hp and 480 lbs wet aren’t going to impress anyone, but those numbers make for a decent motorcycle. Also, that is considerably lighter and more powerful than the 1200cc Sportster still in the lineup. And the 975 only costs $1200 more. So if the price is too high, then the old 1200 is priced way too high.

  15. todd says:

    I think the Yamaha Bolt is actually hitting the Sportster mark better than the new Sportster. At 65% of the cost, a much better value too. I don’t understand what HD is thinking.

  16. TP says:

    Wow, lots of smack here. That’s more like it. No one likes the uninspired engine–is that the best Harley can do with a new design? The exhaust is a nightmare, and the radiator shroud and cowling are a mess. Otherwise, it’s not bad! (No, it IS bad.) This bike could use some chrome highlights but Harley couldn’t deliver even that at $14.5K It also knew that putting some chrome doodads in the catalog means they can get this bike to $17K. Which is what they really want to do.

  17. halnwhels says:

    I won’t be selling my ’98 Sportster 1200 to get this. They’ve abandoned the air cooled 45 degree V-Twin for a 60 degree liquid cooled engine. So, what makes it a Harley other than the factory it came out of? So now H-D has to compete via the spec sheet. Just look at what happened to the Street 500 and 750.

    • mickey says:

      And this is why Harley Davidson as a company can’t move forward, as the “faithful” are STUCK in the past.

      • Grover says:

        Not necessarily. I’ve put more miles on Harleys since 1998 than most people ride their metric bikes. I’ve also amassed a lot of mileage on metric bikes over the last 45 years. So am I you’re typical Harley owner? Judging from all the Harley owners I know, we’re quite eclectic when it comes to motorcycles. We are mostly multi-bike owners with Honda’s the most likely bike to be found alongside our Harley.
        I’m happy that Harley is breaking out of the mold with a W/C 60 degree V-Twin as it offers less vibration and a lot more power. A lot of Pam America buyers seem to agree. The only downside I see is the price point for this new line of Sportsters equipped with this new engine. Very expensive for younger riders and nearly the price of a big twin. Time will tell if Harley’s pricing is out of line.

    • VLJ says:

      He needn’t worry, as neither this thing nor the Street 500 or 750 were ever competitive via the spec sheet.

      News flash for halnwhels and his ilk: Harley’s gradual move to liquid cooling is not an attempt to compete with superior Japanese and European competition. Rather, it’s necessary to remain compliant with ever stricter emissions requirements, with a side benefit to the rider being less leg-baking heat from the rear cylinder.

      See, Harley would sorta kinda like to remain in the business of selling new motorcycles. ’98 Sportsters ain’t a viable business model.

      • Dave says:

        These bikes aren’t my flavor but I think it’s and the Street models are and were very competitive in their target markets. The Street 750 made way more power than an 883, Honda Shadow and whatever fell into that class of cruiser bike. This doesn’t make the same raw power as the Indian but it has VVT so I’ll bet it has broader power and gets better mileage.

        I also think that liquid cooling is about more than emissions. They know that they have to reach more new riders and I bet they found that their antiquated technology and unimpressive power output has been a deal breaker for many. I believe this is what the V-Rod was about, they just failed to continue to develop in that direction for a while. They’ve made bad choices before.

        Again, these aren’t my thing but I commend HD for finally moving off of their historic laurels and trying new things. From what I’ve read, the Pan America is an objectively excellent motorcycle in its segment. I continue to hope they make us that Bronx. I have money and a really nice VFR to trade in.

    • Anonymous says:

      The original engine is to inefficient. It is a Harley just had a more reliable, better running, smoother and appeals to more rides. Would you rather see Harley go out of business. They still have the original. If I was physically able to still ride, I want a engine that is smooth running, dependable, liquid cooled. Harleys are still a American standard and symbol. I applaud Harley for their efforts. AMF ruined their heritage and I want to see them still in business, keeping their workers still working. If you aren’t willing to change you die and I don’t want Harley Davidson to die. When they came out with the V-Rod I was at a Pro-Engineer C. A. D. Software users seminar and they provided a tour of the Harley Plant and drove the V-Rod and was really impressed with the bike. It didn’t vibrate and the handle bars were not shaking. Harley is doing the right thing and sincerely feel they will continue to make the Harley you know and love.

  18. fred says:

    IMHO, H-D is getting there. The power-to-weight is decent, and the bike s/b quite quick. It’s not going to hunt down Hayabusa’s, but should be fine in terms of real-world performance. The ergo’s are about as good as you can find in a cruiser, especially with the (ridiculously) low seat height.
    I’d prefer the Bronx, and a much lower MSRP, but this is (again IMHO) a much better Harley, and offers hope for the future. OTOH, the into video was horrible. Had to shut it off after just a few minutes.

  19. Marcus says:

    They killed off the Bronx for this? I’ll pass.
    The Bronx was the first Harley that ever had my interest. I saw it at the NYC bike show and though, well I’ll be, Harley can make a decent bike after all. But no.

  20. fred B says:

    Nice engine now put it in good standard set up. For the $14000 you can put good suspension,brakes,wheels, and a 4-5 gallon tank on it.

    • paquo says:

      you would think that would be the golden ticket for harley, i mean they stepped outside the comfort zone with the PA and that turned out well.

  21. Mick says:

    I understand now why Harley has been making basically the same bikes for 60 years or so. Because the minute they step out of their very narrow comfort zone, they fail miserably.

    It looks like a cheap knock off that ain’t cheap. Maybe if they give you a helmet that looks like a bottle blond comb over with it the Chimp Pansy crowd will just have to have one.

  22. newtonmetres says:

    Ugly! worse looking exhaust on any brand for some time. radiator shroud too bulky. engine looks
    like plastic-though in the flesh could be better. Tank too small. 90 HP claimed-so probably 80 rear wheel-too soft for me. Too expensive. HD should put PAN AM 1250 in street naked style.

  23. paquo says:

    different segments and neither are for me but this is way better than the hawk

    • Jeremy says:

      I can’t imagine anyone interest in the Hawk would be cross-shopping this bike and vice versa.

      • joe b says:

        I would think in real life, if the 2 bikes were side by side, the Hawk would look like a mid sized machine, smaller, all around, skinny, sleek, not fat heavy looking. With more torque and HP, dont compare specs, the Hawk 11 is also lighter. Unlike the HD that is littered with Japanese made parts, I dont think there are any USA made items on the Honda, good thing if you want quality components. I like the Hawk 11, but I’ll admit it, I’m too old for the lean over bars, especially if you have to put your feet half way forward, Ugh. High bar kits for the HD will be available, I’ll guess for another 2k?

  24. Rob says:

    I love it. The leaf blower style exhaust will be the first thing to go. A nice 2bros 2into1 will look awesome. I wish the price point was a bit better
    But overall I’m excited to take it for a ride.

    • mickey says:

      LOL now that you said it, I can’t not see the tube of my Echo leaf blower on there.

    • Bob says:

      “Gee, I can’t wait to put on a loud-ass PoS ‘muffler’ on this, and prove that stereotypes about senselessly irritating H-D riders are both true and valid.”

      • Fivespeed302 says:

        Thank god only Harley owners run straight pipes or aftermarket exhausts, right? Have you ever been on a public road? Sheesh.

  25. joe b says:

    What a mess. Obviously designed by committee. Nothing jells? Just looking at it, its all wrong. Mid foot controls, with flat bars? Hunched over all day, impossible riding it like this. The back and the front, just the opposite of the Honda recently released. This has a big fat rear tire, big fat rear fender, contrasting with a tall skinny front tire, and almost nothing front fender? super low seat height contrasting a baby like fairing that only covers almost nothing? the giant can I say really super ugly muffler and hideous exhaust. the faux engine covers on the heads look like toy robot heads. And could they have made a more obnoxious looking radiator, and giant plastic whatever underneath it? Even the 1975 Gold Wing, hid its radiators between the front downtubes, 45 years ago. All the superlatives, describing what most modern bikes have had for decades now, like its something new must have item. And still, if compared to other bikes in its engine size catagory it would be last. But wait, “its beautiful”, “a great bike”, come’on. This thing is horrible looking, A terrible entry into todays hotbed of new models. with so many things out of place, wrong on this, you can bet next year it will be “all new”. imho How it will perform, is yet to be seen, road tested. so many times magazines gloss over poor performance, and point to other intangibles, like charisma, or soul. When in reality, those are often seen by many as problems, deficiencies. If ever there was a MC made by Homer Simpson, this is it.

  26. Kevin spradlin says:

    The Indians have overhead cams and the Harleys can’t accelerate like they do with pushrod motors ,time to up the game .

    • Motoman says:

      You might want to read up on this new, very modern motor Kevin. Not only does it have dual overhead cams but also hydraulic valve adjusters and variable valve timing.

  27. Kevin spradlin says:

    If this is their attempt to stop getting their as#$s
    Hand to them by Indian in flat track racing ,GOOD LUCK ,because they need to do something asap ,as the old saying goes ,win on Sunday sell on Monday.

  28. PD says:

    Harley should go out on a limb and put this engine in a cafe racer style bike with reasonable ergonomics. Something to compete with the Thruxton and the new Honda Hawk. But I guess they don’t see that as their crowd.

  29. Keith says:

    This bike is decent for 11 grand, but at close to 14 it’ll get destroyed by either the Indian Scout, or Scout 60, just pick one of the models you like the look of. Very poor effort considering the asking price.

  30. Bill says:

    Looks like an industrial v-twin powered leaf blower. Zzzzz.

  31. Bill says:

    Looks like a v-twin powered leaf blower. Zzzzz.

  32. robert says:

    It’s a nice looking $ 10,000 bike–oh wait the want over $14.500 with fees-can’t see that happening

  33. Lula Morton says:

    Wow, the same old uninteresting garbage. Unless if Harley makes a bike that’s actually cool or interesting I don’t think they will last after all of the boomers and silent generation are gone. Make an entry level sport bike! kick the R3 and RC390s ass. I want a bike that makes America proud. I’m tired of Harley making motorcycles that are just chromed out wheelchairs for the burger eating obese American has beens.

    • Fast Eddie says:

      No need to bash older riders hardly wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for us chrome polishers .have some dignity quit bashing boomers

      • Bob says:

        Stop destroying our economy, our democracy, our environment and our hope for future.

        Do even some of that, and us youngin’s will stop calling you boomers out for all of your selfish boomer shit, you thin-skinned geriatric.

  34. 223 4 me says:

    Whats wrong with a Sportster that now has the capability to take a rider cross country…..absolutely nothing, Bravo H.D.

    • matloweluke says:

      With a 3 gallon tank?

      • VLJ says:

        With just over barely an inch of sacked-out suspension travel tasked with hauling the typical lardasses who ride these things over our bombed-out highways, a three-gallon tank range is the height of optimism.

      • Tom R says:

        You better live in a small country.

      • Dave says:

        With the engine’s mild tune and presumably good efficiency it probably has ok range. It’s also probably not comfortable enough for long stints in the saddle. I saw a video on another site and either the presenter was 6’5”+ or his thing is TINY.

  35. DR007 says:

    I want HD to succeed, but I agree with some above that the engine is just ugly. A simple redesign of the head covers would go a long way. The radiator shroud was the first thing that caught my eye and somehow they need to make a thinner version as it’s too clunky. The Sportster needed to be updated a long time ago. A few tweaks and it would be fine.

  36. YellowDuck says:

    Ha ha “emulsion technology shock absorbers”. Sounds impressive…

    I do like the look of the bike though, and I am an air-cooling diehard.

  37. TP says:

    Not bad. I’m not exactly wild about the radiator shroud and cowling but H-D had to do something. And probably the rear suspension travel is as little as before.

  38. Neal says:

    Meh. So much of this bike is retro affectation but, then again, that’s about all that Harley does. The radiator shroud is really bad. HD isn’t showing the left side of the bike anywhere, probably with good reason. The price is just silly if the intention is to replace the 883.

  39. Bubba Blue says:

    I don’t get the naysayers. I love it. Horsepower, torque weight all right on the mark and liquid cooled. Low cg and beautiful traditional design. Price is right.
    And you get a free ticket to hang at Harley.

    • Jeremy says:

      I think it’s is a good evolution from the former Nightster or whatever Harley called it in 1200 or 883 platform and I’m sure a much better bike by all accounts, but the weight and power aren’t going to impress anyone who judges motorcycles against non-cruiser benchmarks, which is most of the people that visit this comment section. They probably don’t want to hang out at Harley either.

  40. Tank says:

    Try selling in a year. You’ll be lucky to get $8,000.

  41. My2cents says:

    The engine is just ugly like the 1250, just a smaller version of ugly. Like Dr. Evil and Mini Me. Honestly the engine looks like it was produced by a vacuum cleaner company. In the Pan America the 1250 seems to be less obvious, probably because the rest of the bike is so hideous. I what a shame the Sportster has been demoted to a funky looking thing as this. Hopefully the exhaust sound is throaty enough to make up the difference.

    • Dave says:

      I hate to bring more bad news, but you’re looking at its “good” side.

      I have to admit, after watching how brilliantly Triumph managed to integrate liquid cooling into their classic style bikes, I have to wonder what’s going on at the motor company.

  42. Jim says:

    Another bike Indian does better.

  43. larlok says:

    You gotta love balancers that don’t. I must be the only one who wants a Revolution Roadster.

  44. ABQ says:

    I have mixed feelings, but I still have hope for these engines. I also enjoy dancing with the homely girls, giving them a spin and a good time. That is what really connects me to these bikes.
    Now what irks me:
    I recently put LED lights and the SE air cleaner on my 2021 Freewheeler. Items that were already on all of the other models and should also have been on the FLRT. But noooo. I had to pay extra for standard stuff. And a tuner.
    The Daymaker headlight makes the front light even WORSE. It is bright on the road for ten feet, then I can’t see the road ahead. Just faint lighting off to the side. Headlights have always been Harleys weakest point, but forgodsakes don’t make it so much the worse.
    The other LED lights on the back are excellent, especially with the strobe on the brake lights. Strobes on the brake lights are my best recommendation. They tell people to back off.
    I look forward to Harley putting the 1250 engine on something like the Lowriders S. Tune it up to 150hp as the standard. I just may switch back to two wheels again.

  45. EZMark says:

    The Indian Scout is better looking and makes more power for less money.
    The Scout 60 makes a little less HP for a lot less money.

  46. Tom Arline says:

    I think I’ll keep my Indian FTR Carbon R.

  47. Curly says:

    Come on Harley offer, at no extra charge, optional 2 inch longer rear shocks so the bike doesn’t look ass end down and has some usable travel. With that it would actually look pretty good.

    • Dan-o says:

      Agree. Getting closer, but with our roads we need a little more cush. I want the full 150 HP as well.

  48. falcodoug says:

    Should have put the 1250 in that. Duh.

  49. Jim the Kiwi says:

    Looks better than the Rebel 1100 however as stated by Gary in NJ, the Honda is probably better value, especially if the buyer is not brand conscious. I will keep my stage 2 performance Street Glide for touring and the new Ducati 937 (called 950 in some places) Monster for sportier rides. Have a great summer’s riding in the Northern Hemisphere.

  50. James the Kiwi says:

    It would be a good light bike for urban areas. I’ll keep my stage 2 performance updated Streetglide for touring and my new 950 Ducati Monster shorter trips.

    • Johnny Ro says:

      I like the bike for what it is but I don’t think of it as a light bike for urban areas. My Super Sherpa set up for street, now that is a light bike for urban areas.

  51. RyYYZ says:

    “The rear suspension features dual outboard emulsion-technology shock absorbers with coil springs and a threaded collar for pre-load adjustment.”

    So, same as any bike from 50 years ago. Although with the usual 1.5″ (maybe 2, if you’re lucky?) of suspension travel, I’m not sure any shock could make it much better.

  52. RD350 says:

    Waiting for the 400lb XR750 Street Tracker version …

  53. Randy D says:

    $13,500 is a bit much. But, I’m sure it will sell to the cruiser crowd.

  54. Dave says:

    Bronx.
    Make. Us. The. Bronx.

    • Gary in NJ says:

      Exactly. H-D needs NEW customers. New customers come from new designs. Look at how well the PanAm is doing. The Nightster is a little bit too close to the Rebel 1100…and the Rebel is a better value.

    • skortch says:

      Agreed. The Bronx was a bike I would buy and added some variety to the Harley catalog. This thing isn’t and doesn’t.

  55. Goater says:

    If the seat was raised to a reasonable height, there would be room for more fuel and a better rider triangle. Why are these bikes designed for the height-disadvantaged? At least it has mid controls.

  56. Brinskee says:

    I literally yawned while I was reading this.