I was in Thailand not too long ago as part of the envoy of media personnel who had the chance to try out Harley-Davidson’s newest offerings on this side of the world. Amid the bevy of American motorcycles, the Nightster stood out then as it’s the newest member of the H-D family and the latest entry to the automaker’s Sport line.
Fast forward to today, Harley-Davidson of Manila has officially launched the 2022 Nightster for the Philippine market. As the H-D with the smallest displacement engine in the range, as well as the most affordable of the bunch, the Nightster serves as the perfect bike for beginners and intermediate riders alike.
“The Nightster is built for nimble performance and distinctive style based on a motorcycle story laid 65 years ago, and we are pleased to share this new chapter in the Sportster legacy with our Filipino customers. We have witnessed a phenomenal response for the Sportster S model, and we are confident that this new, best-in-class offering will resonate well with our riders,” said Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director, Asia Emerging Markets & India at Harley-Davidson.
For those familiar with the Nightster, this is the return of the nameplate after it was discontinued in the previous decade – and boy it came back with a bang.
Powering the 2022 Nightster is the smaller version of the new Revolution Max engine, the 975T, which is a liquid-cooled, 60-degree 975cc V-Twin engine that puts out 89hp and 95Nm of torque. In my quick stint with the bike in Thailand, this engine has an incredible pull in the mid-range, which makes it suitable for both city and highway uses. Fuel tank capacity is at 11.7L, with fuel economy rated at 19.6 km/L.
And just like the Sportster S, the Nightster does away with the traditional hoop frame, with the Revolution Max engine a stressed member of the bike’s chassis. That said, the new Nightster is lighter, stronger, and more compact than its predecessor which was discontinued in 2012.
Design-wise, the Nightster has the appeal of a retro bike, which suits my taste, besides the fact that it has the smallest footprint within the Harley lineup. The standard bar-end mirrors and headlight cowling were reminiscent of a cafe racer, though the low seating harkened to its cruiser roots. The round analog gauge screamed retro, though it’s already integrated with a modern LCD display for the fuel meter, odometer, clock, gear indicator, and riding mode display.
Meanwhile, the aluminum cast wheels are finished in satin black, with 4-piston disc brakes up front and a floating, single-piston caliper at the rear.
For 2022, the Harley-Davidson Nightster is offered in Vivid Black with a starting price of P950,000. The Gunship Grey and Redline Red color options are priced at P1,000,000.