Harley-Davidson Nightster

Harley Davidson Nightster review (Baujahr 2022)

What can the new and currently cheapest Harley Davidson do?

Harley Davidson Nightster im TestPhotos: Motorradtest.de
The new Harley Davidson Nightster is currently the cheapest model in Harley's rich model range at 14,999 euros. It is prescribed in the Sportster segment and is not only the sister model of the successful Sportster S, but also the successor to the legendary air-cooled Sportster 883 models. Can it follow in these footsteps with its new engine?

This is how it stands

If you try our motorcycle search and enter Harley-Davidson as a manufacturer filter, you will see immediately: 15,000 euros are really cheap for a Harley! In contrast to the sister model Sportster S (16.795€), the Nightster can also be recommended to beginners as an entry-level Harley. It weighs only 221 kg ready to drive and drives like that. The Nightster is available open with 90 hp or as an A2 variant with 48 hp.
At Harley Davidson Kiel , the Nightster in black is the demonstrator - and is looking forward to test drives. There are two other color variants red and gray, each of which costs 280€ extra charge. We actually like all three, but we would actually order a Nightster in raven black, matching the name.
Farben Harley Davidson Nightster
Seat test: The handlebar is mounted far forward, which pulls the arms neatly long. In addition, there is the Harley-typical low seat height of 70 cm and the not so Harley-typical rather centrally mounted footpegs. All in all, this results in a slightly stooped sitting posture, which may seem a bit strange to Harley newcomers at first. There is no pillion seat in series, but can be ordered. The low driver's seat allows all drivers, regardless of size and leg length, to stand safely and manoeuvre easily. The knee angle is also okay for taller riders, as you can see here:
Abmessungen Harley Davidson Nightster

360 degree tour around the Harley Davidson Nightster

Cockpit Harley Davidson NightsterAuspuff Harley Davidson NightsterBremse Harley Davidson Nightster

Technology of the Nightster

The Nightster comes with ride-by-wire, traction control and the three driving modes Rain, Road and Sport. Unlike many other bikes, the selected riding mode actually has a noticeable influence on the throttle response. The mode also influences the traction control and the engine tow control - this is really successful!

Like the Sportster S in series, the Nightster also has Keyless Go, an on-board computer and self-resetting turn signals. Fortunately, gimmicks such as QuickShifter, lean angle sensors, mobile phone connection, etc. were omitted here.

The small round cockpit shows the speed analogously and in an LC part the gear, the selected driving mode, the fuel level and, if desired, the digital speed. The lighting is completely realized in LED and we like visually very well. All in all, an appropriate technical equipment that does not overwhelm or distract anyone. Good job.

Revolution Max 975T

This is how it drives itself

In contrast to the Sportster S, the Revolution Max 975T was capped at 975 cc and delivers 90 hp at 7,500 rpm and 95 Nm of torque at 5,750 rpm in the Nightster. This is not stunning by Harley standards, but since the Nightster weighs only 221 kg when fully fueled, this ensures proper propulsion. In addition, the new engine is revving well beyond 5,000 rpm. The stroke is rather short and so the Nightster almost becomes a small barrel organ. It not only accelerates well, but can also convince in the pull-through test. We wouldn't have believed "the little" Harley to do that.
Certainly, Harley disciples of older age group will turn up their noses and the Nightster will deny the usual V2 folklore - but this target group does not want to appeal to the new Nightster. She also drives much too sporty for that. It goes quickly around the curves and is surprisingly handy. The chassis is rather simple, but works perfectly. The conventional 41 telescopic fork comes from Showa and is not adjustable. The stereo struts are adjustable at least in the spring base, but it lacks a hydraulic command dial. All this signals: Don't worry about the chassis, just drive, it already works.
We can report the same about the brake. Although only a single disc is used at the front, the Nightster still brakes well and predictably. The levers are adjustable and the necessary hand force to operate the clutch is pleasingly low. The tank solution of the Nightster is also interesting: The plastic tank is installed under the seat and 11.7 liters. The range of the bike is therefore mathematically rather modest with 229 km - given. And while we're on the subject of criticism: The processing of the Nightster is partly mediocre, e.g. when laying the cables in the left fan/motor area. Well, the price difference has to come from somewhere ...
Harley Davidson Nightster
Despite the low suspension travel - especially at the rear - the Nightster does not drive uncomfortably. Sure, the chassis acknowledges potholes with a greeting to the intervertebral discs, but otherwise we have no reason to criticize. The situation is different with the service intervals: Every 8,000 km (or once a year) the Nightster has to go to the dealer. Other bikes are allowed to scrub twice as many kilometers until the service is due. But let's be honest: Most bikers don't drive 10,000 km per year anyway, so we push all our machines for service every year, right?

Conclusion - what sticks

The Harley Nightster is a lot of fun! Especially on country roads, it turns out to be a surprisingly agile bike. The engine has decent power and feels just as surprisingly comfortable even in higher speed climes. The Nightster looks like a typical Harley, but is different in many ways. Better or worse? Matter of opinion! Real V2 steam hammer fans will not convince them, if only because of the restrained sound (90 dbA stationary noise). However, we believe that Harley wants to win new customer groups with the Nightster, and that should succeed.
The test bike was kindly provided by Harley Davidson Kiel for this test. There is the Nightster as a demonstrator - among many other chic Harleys. A visit to HD Hiel is always worthwhile, if only because of the wide range of used machines. In addition, you can do a wonderful round around the Westensee - have fun!

Price/availability/colours/years of construction

  • Price: 14.999€
  • Availability: since 06/2022
  • Colours: red, black, grey

Zubehör für die

  • Moneta
  • Polo
  • Amazon

Pro & Kontra

  • High-revving engine with a lot of taste
  • Good driving performance
  • Amazingly manoeuvrable
  • Relatively light, also suitable for beginners
  • Sound 1b
  • Processing here and there a bit unloving
Von unserem Team geprüft:




2,250 mm
1,140 mm
221 kg
Ab. Weight
418 kg
705 mm
1,545 mm

Driving Performance & Range

Tank contents
11.7 l
5.1 l
229 km
180 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
Number of cylinders
975 cc
97 mm
66 mm
90 hp
95 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Lattice tube frame
Suspension front
Showa telescopic fork 41 mm
114 mm
Strut rear
Stereo struts, spring base adjustable
76 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm
Brakes in front
floating single disc, Brembo, axial
320 mm
Tyres at the front
100/90-19 57H
Brakes rear
Single disc
Rear tyres
150/80B16 77H