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Harley-Davidson Unveils a Water-Cooled, 975cc Entry-Level Sportster Moto

The Harley-Davidson Sportster is an absolute icon of a motorcycle, first introduced in 1957 and remaining one of the MoCo’s most popular models today. And with this year marking the Sportster’s 65th anniversary, Harley has opted to do away with its long-running Iron 883 to introduce an all-new, water-cooled entry-level model known as the Nightster.

Reviving the Nightster nameplate that was first used in 2007, this new Sportster variant boasts Harley’s signature heritage look while packing contemporary mechanics, tech, and running gear. Making its debut on the Nightster is a 975cc version of the Milwaukee marque’s Revolution Max V-Twin engine — from Harley’s Pan-America ADV bike — that features a double overhead cam setup, liquid-cooling, and variable valve timing on the inlet cam. The 60-degree mill is also good for 88.5hp and 70ft-lbs of torque. Weighing 487lbs at the curb, the new entry-level cruiser also features an axially-mounted, four-pot front caliper, a pair of adjustable rear shocks, and a conventional non-adjustable 41mm SHOWA Dual Bending Valve fork. Interestingly, instead of being constructed around a traditional hoop-style chassis, the new Nightster utilizes a more modern structure with a frame that uses the engine as a stressed member.

Following the Black and Orange’s traditional design language, the Nightster sports a peanut-style tank, a cafe-inspired headlight cowl, a bobbed rear fender, a mono-posto saddle, low-drag handlebars with drop-down mirrors, and a belly-pan and side covers to mask the Revolution Max 975T engine’s cooling system. What’s more, Harley has also engineered the Nightster to be extremely conducive to customization, with elements like an easily-removable subframe — not to mention Harley’s enormous catalog of optional add-ons and accessories. On top of a trio of selectable ride modes, the Nightster also boasts a suite of rider safety tech such as traction control, ABS, and a Drag-Torque Slip Control System.

Scheduled to hit dealerships later this month, the 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster RH975 motorcycle has been priced at $13,499 for the Vivid Black color option and $13,899 for the Gunship Grey or Redline Red liveries.

Purchase: $13,499+

Photo: Harley-Davidson