Tag Archives: Harley-Davidson Reviews

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

For the past 32 years, Rider has selected a Motorcycle of the Year. With the exception of two years when we made a People’s Choice selection by popular vote among readers (the Honda F6B in 2013 and the BMW R 1200 RT in 2014), it has been up to the Rider editorial team to choose a winner based on our collective experience with the year’s eligible contenders.

We ride as many of the new or significantly updated motorcycles released over the past year as possible, and we evaluate them within the context of their intended use.

Since we announced last year’s winner, we’ve tested cruisers, baggers, sportbikes, adventure bikes, naked bikes, minibikes, sport-tourers, luxury-tourers, cafe racers, standards, dual-sports, and even an electric dirtbike for kids.

Narrowing down such a diverse range of motorcycles into a single “best” isn’t easy. Our goal is to identify the one that best fulfills its intended purpose and advances the state of motorcycle design, performance, and function.

We haven’t always hit the mark. The BMW K1 we selected as our first MOTY in 1990 proved to be a flop, and the forkless Yamaha GTS1000 we selected in 1993 was the answer to a question no one asked.

Even if some of the selections we’ve made don’t stand the test of time, we stand by them because they were impressive motorcycles within the context of their eras. Others are easier to defend, like the 2001 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing, the 2002 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, the 2005 BMW R 1200 GS, and the 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight Touring lineup. 

For 2022, there were more than 60 eligible contenders. We narrowed them down to 10 finalists and one ultimate winner. 

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Finalists

1. BMW K 1600 GTL

2022 Motorcycle of the Year BMW K 1600 GTL
2022 BMW K 1600 GTL. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Winner of Rider’s 2012 MOTY award, BMW’s top-of-the-line luxury-tourer got its most significant update yet for 2022. Its ultra-smooth 1,649cc inline-Six makes 160 hp and 133 lb-ft of torque, its full suite of electronic rider aids was upgraded, and it has a huge 10.25-inch TFT, an air-conditioned smartphone compartment, and other new comfort and convenience features. 

2. CFMOTO 650 ADVentura

2022 Motorcycle of the Year CFMOTO 650 ADVentura
2022 CFMOTO 650 ADVentura. Photo by Gary Walton.

Competing head-to-head with the Kawasaki Versys 650LT, the all-new 650 ADVentura is powered by a 649cc parallel-Twin that makes 60 hp and 41 lb-ft of torque. It has an adjustable windscreen, a TFT display, LED lighting, a slip/assist clutch, standard ABS, Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires, and hard-shell saddlebags. At $6,799, it undercuts the Kawasaki by $3,200.

3. Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak
2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak. Photo by David Schelske.

The range-topping Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak’s 1,158cc Grandturismo V4 cranks out 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque, and its apex-strafing game gets elevated with a new Race mode and revised quickshifter. It’s equipped with a full electronics package (including adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection), Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers, and more.

4. Harley-Davidson Nightster

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Harley-Davidson Nightster
2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The spiritual successor to the air-cooled Evo-powered Sportster, the all-new Nightster is a performance cruiser built on Harley’s modular liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine platform, in this case with a 975cc V-Twin with variable valve timing that produces 90 hp. Classic styling cues include a peanut “tank” (actually an airbox cover), a round air intake cover, and exposed rear shocks.

5. Honda Navi

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Honda Navi
2022 Honda Navi. Photo by Drew Ruiz.

Toeing the line between a twist-and-go scooter and a step-over motorcycle, the all-new Honda Navi borrows the fan-cooled 109cc Single and CVT transmission from the Activa 6G scooter and the Grom’s popular design language. The 8-hp Navi weighs just 236 lb, has a 30-inch seat height, and is priced at just $1,807, making it an ideal gateway to the world of motorcycling.

6. Indian Pursuit Limited

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Indian Pursuit Limited
2022 Indian Pursuit Limited. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Indian’s Challenger bagger, powered by the liquid-cooled PowerPlus 108 V-Twin that makes 108 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, was Rider’s 2020 MOTY. Touring capability gets a boost on the Pursuit Limited (or Dark Horse), which adds fairing lowers, a tall adjustable windscreen, a Touring Comfort seat, heated grips, and a trunk with an integrated passenger backrest.

7. KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo

2022 Motorcycle of the Year KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo
2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Known as “The Beast,” the 1290 Super Duke R added “Evo” to its name and was updated with WP Semi-Active Technology (SAT) suspension available with six modes and automatic preload adjustment, a revised throttle-by-wire system, and more. Its 1,301cc V-Twin cranks out 180 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque, and its electronics allow riders to tame or unleash The Beast as they see fit.

8. Royal Enfield Classic 350

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Royal Enfield Classic 350
2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350. Photo by Brandon Bunch.

The Classic 350 brings back the styling that made the Royal Enfield Bullet – built from 1931-2020 – such an iconic bike and pairs it with a 349cc air-/oil-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, fuel-injected Single with a 5-speed gearbox. Available in nine color-style combinations and priced as low as $4,599, the Classic 350 is the embodiment of simple, fun, affordable motorcycling.

9. Triumph Tiger 1200

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Triumph Tiger 1200
2023 Triumph Tiger 1200. Photo by Kingdom Creative.

Triumph completely revamped its Tiger 1200 adventure bike platform for the 2023 model year, shaving off 55 lb of weight, bolting in a 147-hp Triple from the Speed Triple, and equipping it with a new chassis and upgraded electronics. Five variants are available: the street-focused GT, GT Pro, and GT Explorer and the off-road-ready Rally Pro and Rally Explorer.

10. Yamaha MT-10

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Yamaha MT-10
2022 Yamaha MT-10. Photo by Joseph Agustin.

At the top of Yamaha’s Hyper Naked pecking order is the MT-10, a descendent of the FZ1 that was Rider’s 2006 MOTY. This “Master of Torque” is powered by a 160-hp crossplane inline-Four derived from the YZF-R1. It was updated for 2022 with new R1-derived electronics, upgraded brakes, revised styling and ergonomics, a new TFT display, and more.


And the 2022 Motorcycle of the Year Winner is…

SUZUKI GSX-S1000GT+

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Here at Rider, we’re big fans of performance. That’s an often overused and general term, but it encapsulates so much of what we love about motorcycles. Powerful, thrilling engines. Strong, responsive chassis – everything from the frame to the suspension, brakes, and tires. And these days, electronic rider aids that allow responses to be tailored to different conditions or rider preferences.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

We’re street riders. We may do the occasional track day or school, but it’s usually to help us sharpen our skills so we can ride more confidently and safely on the street. We want performance that is exciting yet still manageable on public roads.

At the same time, we like to go the distance. Rider was started in 1974 just as the touring segment was taking off, and motorcycle travel has been one of the magazine’s hallmarks. We’ve tested thousands of motorcycles over the years, and we gravitate toward bikes that are comfortable, reliable, and versatile yet still get our performance juices flowing.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Our 2021 Motorcycle of the Year was the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT, an adventure-style sport-tourer that’s lighter and more affordable than traditional heavyweight sport-tourers like the BMW R 1250 RT, Yamaha FJR1300, and Kawasaki Concours 14 – every one of which has worn Rider’s MOTY crown at some point. In fact, eight of our 32 previous MOTY winners have been sport-tourers.

And now, make that nine. The Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (the ‘+’ denoting the model with standard saddlebags, whereas the base GT model goes without) delivers all the performance a street rider needs in a refined, comfortable, sophisticated package at a reasonable MSRP of $13,799. It checks all the right performance boxes while also being practical and providing – as George Carlin would say – a place for our stuff.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S’s 999cc inline-Four is adapted from the GSX-R1000 K5, a bulletproof, championship-winning engine. Tuned for street duty, it churned out 136 hp at 10,200 rpm and 73 lb-ft of torque at 9,300 rpm on Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno.

As we said in our road test in the July issue, “The GSX-S engine is a gem with no rough edges. From cracking open the throttle above idle to twisting the grip to the stop, power comes on cleanly and predictably.”

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S1000GT+ is equipped with the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, which includes three ride modes that adjust throttle response, power delivery, traction control, cruise control, and other systems. It has the best up/down quickshifter we’ve ever tested, and thanks to its street-tuned, sportbike-spec chassis, the GT+ offers predictable handling, unflappable stability, and impeccable smoothness.

Touring amenities include comfortable rider and passenger seating, 25.7-liter side cases that can accommodate most full-face helmets, and a 6.5-inch full-color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity via Suzuki’s mySPIN smartphone app. With its angular sportbike styling, the GSX-S1000GT+ looks as fast as it goes, and the side cases can be easily removed for an even sportier look.

As we concluded in our road test, “The GSX-S1000GT+ strikes an excellent balance between performance, technology, weight, comfort, and price. Life is good when the scenery is a blur.”

Congratulations to Suzuki for the GSX-S1000GT+, Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year!

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

To find a Suzuki dealer near you, visit SuzukiCycles.com.

The post 2022 Motorcycle of the Year first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

For the past 32 years, Rider has selected a Motorcycle of the Year. With the exception of two years when we made a People’s Choice selection by popular vote among readers (the Honda F6B in 2013 and the BMW R 1200 RT in 2014), it has been up to the Rider editorial team to choose a winner based on our collective experience with the year’s eligible contenders.

We ride as many of the new or significantly updated motorcycles released over the past year as possible, and we evaluate them within the context of their intended use.

Since we announced last year’s winner, we’ve tested cruisers, baggers, sportbikes, adventure bikes, naked bikes, minibikes, sport-tourers, luxury-tourers, cafe racers, standards, dual-sports, and even an electric dirtbike for kids.

Narrowing down such a diverse range of motorcycles into a single “best” isn’t easy. Our goal is to identify the one that best fulfills its intended purpose and advances the state of motorcycle design, performance, and function.

We haven’t always hit the mark. The BMW K1 we selected as our first MOTY in 1990 proved to be a flop, and the forkless Yamaha GTS1000 we selected in 1993 was the answer to a question no one asked.

Even if some of the selections we’ve made don’t stand the test of time, we stand by them because they were impressive motorcycles within the context of their eras. Others are easier to defend, like the 2001 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing, the 2002 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, the 2005 BMW R 1200 GS, and the 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight Touring lineup. 

For 2022, there were more than 60 eligible contenders. We narrowed them down to 10 finalists and one ultimate winner. 

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Finalists

1. BMW K 1600 GTL

2022 Motorcycle of the Year BMW K 1600 GTL
2022 BMW K 1600 GTL. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Winner of Rider’s 2012 MOTY award, BMW’s top-of-the-line luxury-tourer got its most significant update yet for 2022. Its ultra-smooth 1,649cc inline-Six makes 160 hp and 133 lb-ft of torque, its full suite of electronic rider aids was upgraded, and it has a huge 10.25-inch TFT, an air-conditioned smartphone compartment, and other new comfort and convenience features. 

2. CFMOTO 650 ADVentura

2022 Motorcycle of the Year CFMOTO 650 ADVentura
2022 CFMOTO 650 ADVentura. Photo by Gary Walton.

Competing head-to-head with the Kawasaki Versys 650LT, the all-new 650 ADVentura is powered by a 649cc parallel-Twin that makes 60 hp and 41 lb-ft of torque. It has an adjustable windscreen, a TFT display, LED lighting, a slip/assist clutch, standard ABS, Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires, and hard-shell saddlebags. At $6,799, it undercuts the Kawasaki by $3,200.

3. Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak
2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak. Photo by David Schelske.

The range-topping Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak’s 1,158cc Grandturismo V4 cranks out 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque, and its apex-strafing game gets elevated with a new Race mode and revised quickshifter. It’s equipped with a full electronics package (including adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection), Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers, and more.

4. Harley-Davidson Nightster

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Harley-Davidson Nightster
2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The spiritual successor to the air-cooled Evo-powered Sportster, the all-new Nightster is a performance cruiser built on Harley’s modular liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine platform, in this case with a 975cc V-Twin with variable valve timing that produces 90 hp. Classic styling cues include a peanut “tank” (actually an airbox cover), a round air intake cover, and exposed rear shocks.

5. Honda Navi

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Honda Navi
2022 Honda Navi. Photo by Drew Ruiz.

Toeing the line between a twist-and-go scooter and a step-over motorcycle, the all-new Honda Navi borrows the fan-cooled 109cc Single and CVT transmission from the Activa 6G scooter and the Grom’s popular design language. The 8-hp Navi weighs just 236 lb, has a 30-inch seat height, and is priced at just $1,807, making it an ideal gateway to the world of motorcycling.

6. Indian Pursuit Limited

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Indian Pursuit Limited
2022 Indian Pursuit Limited. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Indian’s Challenger bagger, powered by the liquid-cooled PowerPlus 108 V-Twin that makes 108 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, was Rider’s 2020 MOTY. Touring capability gets a boost on the Pursuit Limited (or Dark Horse), which adds fairing lowers, a tall adjustable windscreen, a Touring Comfort seat, heated grips, and a trunk with an integrated passenger backrest.

7. KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo

2022 Motorcycle of the Year KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo
2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Known as “The Beast,” the 1290 Super Duke R added “Evo” to its name and was updated with WP Semi-Active Technology (SAT) suspension available with six modes and automatic preload adjustment, a revised throttle-by-wire system, and more. Its 1,301cc V-Twin cranks out 180 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque, and its electronics allow riders to tame or unleash The Beast as they see fit.

8. Royal Enfield Classic 350

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Royal Enfield Classic 350
2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350. Photo by Brandon Bunch.

The Classic 350 brings back the styling that made the Royal Enfield Bullet – built from 1931-2020 – such an iconic bike and pairs it with a 349cc air-/oil-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, fuel-injected Single with a 5-speed gearbox. Available in nine color-style combinations and priced as low as $4,599, the Classic 350 is the embodiment of simple, fun, affordable motorcycling.

9. Triumph Tiger 1200

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Triumph Tiger 1200
2023 Triumph Tiger 1200. Photo by Kingdom Creative.

Triumph completely revamped its Tiger 1200 adventure bike platform for the 2023 model year, shaving off 55 lb of weight, bolting in a 147-hp Triple from the Speed Triple, and equipping it with a new chassis and upgraded electronics. Five variants are available: the street-focused GT, GT Pro, and GT Explorer and the off-road-ready Rally Pro and Rally Explorer.

10. Yamaha MT-10

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Yamaha MT-10
2022 Yamaha MT-10. Photo by Joseph Agustin.

At the top of Yamaha’s Hyper Naked pecking order is the MT-10, a descendent of the FZ1 that was Rider’s 2006 MOTY. This “Master of Torque” is powered by a 160-hp crossplane inline-Four derived from the YZF-R1. It was updated for 2022 with new R1-derived electronics, upgraded brakes, revised styling and ergonomics, a new TFT display, and more.


And the 2022 Motorcycle of the Year Winner is…

SUZUKI GSX-S1000GT+

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Here at Rider, we’re big fans of performance. That’s an often overused and general term, but it encapsulates so much of what we love about motorcycles. Powerful, thrilling engines. Strong, responsive chassis – everything from the frame to the suspension, brakes, and tires. And these days, electronic rider aids that allow responses to be tailored to different conditions or rider preferences.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

We’re street riders. We may do the occasional track day or school, but it’s usually to help us sharpen our skills so we can ride more confidently and safely on the street. We want performance that is exciting yet still manageable on public roads.

At the same time, we like to go the distance. Rider was started in 1974 just as the touring segment was taking off, and motorcycle travel has been one of the magazine’s hallmarks. We’ve tested thousands of motorcycles over the years, and we gravitate toward bikes that are comfortable, reliable, and versatile yet still get our performance juices flowing.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Our 2021 Motorcycle of the Year was the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT, an adventure-style sport-tourer that’s lighter and more affordable than traditional heavyweight sport-tourers like the BMW R 1250 RT, Yamaha FJR1300, and Kawasaki Concours 14 – every one of which has worn Rider’s MOTY crown at some point. In fact, eight of our 32 previous MOTY winners have been sport-tourers.

And now, make that nine. The Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (the ‘+’ denoting the model with standard saddlebags, whereas the base GT model goes without) delivers all the performance a street rider needs in a refined, comfortable, sophisticated package at a reasonable MSRP of $13,799. It checks all the right performance boxes while also being practical and providing – as George Carlin would say – a place for our stuff.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S’s 999cc inline-Four is adapted from the GSX-R1000 K5, a bulletproof, championship-winning engine. Tuned for street duty, it churned out 136 hp at 10,200 rpm and 73 lb-ft of torque at 9,300 rpm on Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno.

As we said in our road test in the July issue, “The GSX-S engine is a gem with no rough edges. From cracking open the throttle above idle to twisting the grip to the stop, power comes on cleanly and predictably.”

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S1000GT+ is equipped with the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, which includes three ride modes that adjust throttle response, power delivery, traction control, cruise control, and other systems. It has the best up/down quickshifter we’ve ever tested, and thanks to its street-tuned, sportbike-spec chassis, the GT+ offers predictable handling, unflappable stability, and impeccable smoothness.

Touring amenities include comfortable rider and passenger seating, 25.7-liter side cases that can accommodate most full-face helmets, and a 6.5-inch full-color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity via Suzuki’s mySPIN smartphone app. With its angular sportbike styling, the GSX-S1000GT+ looks as fast as it goes, and the side cases can be easily removed for an even sportier look.

As we concluded in our road test, “The GSX-S1000GT+ strikes an excellent balance between performance, technology, weight, comfort, and price. Life is good when the scenery is a blur.”

Congratulations to Suzuki for the GSX-S1000GT+, Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year!

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

To find a Suzuki dealer near you, visit SuzukiCycles.com.

The post 2022 Motorcycle of the Year first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Harley-Davidson Unveils the Low Rider El Diablo

Low Rider El Diablo

Last year, Harley-Davidson launched its limited-edition Icons Collection, which revisits classic models or design themes and reimagines them using contemporary platforms, with the stunning Electra Glide Revival. The Motor Company has unveiled the second model in the collection, the Low Rider El Diablo. It will be a limited one-time build of only 1,500 serialized bikes.  

The Low Rider El Diablo is based on the popular Low Rider ST that mimics the characteristic style of the 1983 FXRT.

Low Rider El Diablo

“It embodies the spirit of counterculture in Southern California in the ‘80s in a contemporary package that features meticulously crafted custom paint and pinstripe trajectories that nod directly to those of the original FXRT,” said Brad Richards, H-D’s Vice President of Design and Creative Director. 

What makes this limited-edition model pop is the detailed paint scheme hand-applied by the artisans at Gunslinger Custom Paint in Golden, Colorado. Layers of El Diablo Bright Red, Bright Red Sunglo, El Diablo Dark Red, Dark Red Pearl, and El Diablo Dark Red Metallic give this motorcycle a depth of color that makes it stand out from the crowd.  

Harley-Davidson Low Rider El Diablo

The El Diablo is built on Harley-Davidson’s Softail chassis and the Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin powertrain augmented with a Heavy Breather intake and a 2-into-2 offset shotgun exhaust. It’s claimed to produce 125 lb-ft of torque.  

Factory-installed audio fits perfectly within the fairing and is designed for quality sound. Riders can connect the audio to their mobile device to enjoy the 5.25-inch woofers and 250-watt amplifier. The audio features the Automatic Volume Control which adjusts volume based on vehicle speed. 

Like the standard Low Rider ST, El Diablo features lockable and removable clamshell saddlebags with a combined 1.9 cubic feet of storage capacity, a 43mm inverted fork with dual disc front brakes, and Michelin Scorcher tires. Cruise control and ABS are standard equipment. 

The Low Rider El Diablo will reach authorized Harley-Davidson dealers this fall with an MSRP of $27,999, approximately $6,000 more than the standard LR-ST.  

Following the impressive 2021 Electra Glide Revival, which was inspired by the 1969 Electra Glide, the first Harley-Davidson available with an accessory “batwing” fairing, and the 2022 Low Rider El Diablo inspired by the 1983 FXRT, we look forward to seeing what iconic bike Harley plans to revamp in 2023. 

The post Harley-Davidson Unveils the Low Rider El Diablo first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster | First Ride Review

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster
The all new Harley-Davidson Nightster connects past to present with classic Sportster styling elements and the modern, modular Revolution Max engine platform. Photos by Kevin Wing and Brian J. Nelson.

Reinventing an icon is never easy, and the Sportster is about as iconic as a motorcycle can get. Introduced in 1957, the Sportster is old enough to qualify for Medicare, and it’s the longest-running model family in the 119-year history of Harley-Davidson.

When the Motor Company introduced the Sportster S for 2021, its name was the only thing it had in common with previous Sportsters. Its model designation was RH instead of XL. It was liquid-cooled instead of air-cooled. And it was lighter, more powerful, and more modern than the Forty-Eight, the only 1,200cc Evo-powered XL still in Harley’s lineup. With its upswept pipes, mash-up of colors and finishes, and Fat Bob-inspired headlight and chunky tires, the Sportster S was intended to be a radical departure from the past.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

The new Nightster, on the other hand, has classic Sportster styling elements. It has an airbox cover that’s shaped like a peanut tank, a round air cleaner cover on the right side of the engine, and dual exposed rear shocks. It has a solo seat and chopped fenders like the Iron 883, a small speed screen like the Iron 1200, and a side cover over the underseat fuel tank that’s reminiscent of a Sportster oil tank. It also takes its name from the Nightster XL1200N, a blacked-out, Evo-powered Sportster built from 2007 to 2012 that was part of Harley’s Dark Custom lineup.

Check out Rider‘s 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster
Packing 90 horses in a solid chassis and weighing just 481 lb, Harley’s latest RevMax-based Sportster is a serious corner carver. We used all 32 degrees of available lean angle over and over. The small speed screen looks cool and helps smooth airflow. Mid-mount controls can create a cramped cockpit for taller riders.

Rev to the Max

The Nightster’s name and styling serve as a bridge to the past. But like the Sportster S and Pan America adventure bike, it’s built on the modular Revolution Max platform that represents Harley-Davidson’s future. Its liquid-cooled, 60-degree RevMax V-Twin has DOHC with four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, and forged aluminum pistons with machined crowns to deliver a 12:1 compression ratio. The RevMax serves as a central, structural element of the chassis, with the trellis front frame, mid frame, and tailsection bolted directly to the engine.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

GEAR UP
Helmet: Fly Racing Sentinel
Jacket: Fly Racing Coolpro
Gloves: Fly Racing Brawler
Pants: Fly Racing Resistance Jeans
Boots: Fly Racing Journeyman

Harley-Davidson has long had 1,200cc and 883cc versions of XL Sportsters in its lineup. Likewise, there are two versions of the RH Sportsters, with the Sportster S displacing 1,252cc (105 x 72mm) and the Nightster displacing 975cc (97 x 66mm). Compared to the Sportster S, the Nightster’s RevMax not only has a smaller bore and a shorter stroke, it uses a single spark plug per cylinder rather than two, and variable valve timing is used only on the intake cam rather than on both the intake and exhaust cams. Claimed output on the Nightster is 90 hp at 7,500 rpm and 70 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, whereas the Sportster S makes 121 hp and 94 lb-ft.

Although the Nightster has a 60-degree vee angle between its cylinders, its two crankshaft connecting rod journals are offset by 30 degrees. This gives the RevMax a firing order and pulse feel like a 90-degree V-Twin. The engine has roller-finger valve actuation, which reduces valve noise, and hydraulic lash adjusters, which eliminate the need for valve adjustments. The variable valve timing advances or retards intake camshaft timing over 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation, which broadens the powerband, improves combustion efficiency, and reduces emissions compared to fixed cam timing.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster
The single gauge includes an analog speedometer and a multifunction digital display. Exposed wires and bulbous switchpods detract from the lean-and-mean look.

Located between the cylinders are a pair of 50mm down-draft throttle bodies, and fuel delivery is optimized for each cylinder. Above the engine is a 6.5-liter airbox with tuned velocity stacks that pack air into the combustion chambers for more power, and the airbox has internal ribs that eliminate unwanted resonance and intake noise. The RevMax’s dual counterbalancers reduce primary and secondary vibration as well as rocking couple, but they are tuned to allow enough vibration to deliver a visceral riding experience.

The Nightster is equipped with Harley-Davidson’s Rider Safety Enhancements electronics suite, which includes ABS, traction control, and drag-torque slip control. There is no IMU or lean-angle sensors, so ABS and TC are not lean-angle-adaptive. There are three ride modes (Road, Sport, and Rain) that adjust throttle response, engine braking, ABS, and TC settings.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster
The round air cleaner connects the Nightster with Evo Sportsters. The trellis front frame, mid frame, and subframe are bolted directly to the RevMax engine.

Take a Seat

“Form follows function, and both report to motion,” declared Harley-Davidson’s VP of Design, Brad Richards, at the Nightster’s press launch. Motorcycles are intended to be ridden, and their design should serve that purpose. But we all know that compromises are made in the name of style. And when it comes to cruisers, many buyers are more concerned with how they look than how they go.

The Nightster, however, balances the scales between curb appeal and riding appeal. The design team went to great lengths to give it a classic Sportster profile, with a 19-inch front wheel paired with a 16-incher out back. Even though it is built on a different platform, the Nightster’s rider triangle is similar to that of other Sportsters, with a low 27.8-inch seat, midmount controls, and a low-rise handlebar. (For those who prefer forward controls, they are available as a $599.95 accessory.) A nice bonus is that both hand levers are adjustable for reach.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

With 3 inches of travel for the emulsion-technology shocks and 4.5 inches of travel for the 41mm Showa dual-bending-valve fork, the Nightster’s well-damped suspension provides a comfortable, responsive ride. The only adjustability is rear preload, and a spanner is included under the seat. And with 32 degrees of cornering clearance on either side, a fair amount of lean is possible before chamfering one’s boot soles. Single-disc brakes front and rear with Brembo calipers and steel-braided lines provide plenty of stopping power.

The RevMax is a rev-happy engine – redline is 9,500 rpm – and the 975cc version in the Nightster feels lively and engaging. Giving it the whip through a fast set of curves feels like the right thing to do. How else does one do justice to such a responsive engine and solid chassis? But the Nightster is still a cruiser, just as happy to chug down Main Street at a chill pace.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster
A single 320mm front disc is paired with a Brembo 4-piston caliper, and ABS is standard. Cast wheels are shod with Dunlop D401 tires.

Details, Details

There’s a good reason we love air-cooled engines. They are elemental, pure, and elegant in their simplicity. Cooling fins look cool, and the lack of a radiator and associated plumbing keeps the engine bay clean and tidy. The performance and emissions advantages of a liquid-cooled engine are undeniable, but let’s face it, not many of them are pleasing to the eye.

The surfaces and finishes on the RevMax make it look muscular and solid, but also somewhat robotic. On the Nightster’s pipe side, everything on the powertrain has its proper place, but the plastic shrouds covering the radiator and oil cooler look like an afterthought. On the kickstand side, there are unsightly wires and hoses between the engine and radiator that even the discontinued Street 750 managed to avoid. Harley-Davidson is known for its attention to detail, and on its Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight it went to great pains to hide the evidence of liquid cooling. As good as the RevMax engine is, aesthetic appeal is its biggest challenge.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster
The Nightster is a true performance cruiser, blending strong power, good handling, and aggressive styling.

There’s also unattractive exposed wiring around the handlebar, and the switchpods next to both grips are bulbous with cheap-looking buttons. Perhaps it is because Harley-Davidson has previously set such high benchmarks for fit and finish that these deviations stick out like sore thumbs.

Otherwise, the Nightster looks sharp. Like the original XL1200N Nightster, bright work is minimized, with the only chrome found on the fork stanchions. The seven-spoke wheels are finished in Satin Black, and the 2-in-1 exhaust is matte black. The black speed screen is both stylish and functional, and the single round instrument gauge is handsome and user-friendly. All the lighting is LED, and the rear turnsignals double as brake lights.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster
There’s a sharp contrast between the clean, tidy pipe side of the Nightster and its unfinished-looking kickstand side. It’s often called the “B” side for a reason.

In its early days, the Sportster developed a reputation as a hot rod because it offered more horsepower and less weight than most of its competitors. Over the years, however, that reputation faded, and the Sportster came to be regarded as a venerable member of the old guard rather than the vanguard.

Thanks to the RevMax platform, the Sportster S and Nightster have reclaimed a reputation for performance. The Sportster S is more powerful, more radically styled, and has higher-spec components and electronics, while the Nightster is more familiar, more accessible, and has stronger links to the long history of Sportsters. Both are taking Harley-Davidson in a bold new direction.

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster Specs

Base Price: $13,499 (Vivid Black)
Price as Tested: $13,899 (Redline Red)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: Harley-Davidson.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 975cc
Bore x Stroke: 97 x 66mm
Horsepower: 90 @ 7,500 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Torque: 70 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 61.3 in.
Rake/Trail: 30 degrees/5.4 in.
Seat Height: 27.8 in.
Wet Weight: 481 lb
Fuel Capacity: 3.1 gals.


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The post 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Riding the Motorcycle Century

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Child of the ’60s meets Bud Ekins’ 1915 Harley-Davidson in 1978. (Photo by Robin Riggs)

Looking through a file folder named “Cars & Bikes” on my computer the other day, I noticed that in 50 years of riding, I’ve experienced nearly the entirety of motorcycle history. From 1915 Indian board-track racers to a 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo, that’s 108 model years’ worth. And in between were tests, rides, or races on more machines from every decade. Hardly planned, this all resulted from simply loving to ride, being curious, and, most of all, saying yes at every chance. Here are some of my favorite moto memories, one apiece covering 12 decades.

1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F

In 1978, Cycle magazine gave me an assignment after I joined the staff: Write a feature about anything I wanted. Interested in the history of our sport, I replied that I’d like to ride a really old bike. “Call this guy,” the editor said, handing me the number of Bud Ekins, an ISDT gold medalist and the stuntman in the epic The Great Escape jump scene.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
More than a century after its manufacture, this modified 1915 Harley-Davidson 11-F completed the cross-country Motorcycle Cannonball. (Photo by SFO Museum)

In his enormous shop, Ekins reviewed the starting drill for his 1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F: Flood the carb, set the timing and compression release, crack the throttle, and then swing the bicycle-style pedals hard to get the V-Twin’s big crankshaft spinning. When it lit off, working the throttle, foot clutch, and tank-mounted shifter – and steering via the long tiller handlebar – were foreign to a rider used to contemporary bikes. But coordination gradually built, and after making our way to the old Grapevine north of Los Angeles, I found the 998cc engine willing and friendly, with lots of flywheel effect and ample low-rpm torque to accelerate the machine to a satisfying cruising speed of about 45 mph. And its rider to another time and place.

RELATED: Early American Motorcycles at SFO Museum

1927 Norton Model 18 TT Replica

On a lucky trip to New Zealand, McIntosh Racing founder Ken McIntosh let me race his special Norton Model 18 in the Pukekohe Classic Festival. Unlike the exotic Norton CS1 overhead-camshaft model that likewise debuted in 1927 – a big advancement at the time – the Model 18 TT Replica used a tuned version of the company’s existing 490cc pushrod Single engine. Its name was derived, fittingly, from the sterling Model 18 racebike’s multiple Isle of Man TT wins. As such, the production TT Replica had as much racing provenance as you could buy at the time.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
The author aboard New Zealander Ken McIntosh’s 1927 Norton Model 18 TT Replica, which reached 80 mph on track. (Photo by Geoff Osborne)

I found it surprisingly capable, delivering a blend of strong power (a digital bicycle speedometer showed a top track speed of80 mph) and predictable, confident handling – despite the girder-style fork and hardtail frame. However, lacking gear stops in its selector mechanism, the 3-speed gearbox required careful indexing to catch the correct gear. But once I got the process down, the bike was steady, swift, and utterly magical, like the Millennium Falcon of Singles in its time.

RELATED: Retrospective: 1974 Norton Commando 850 John Player Replica

1936 Nimbus Type C

When a friend handed me his 4-cylinder Nimbus, it had big problems. The engine was locked solid, and my buddy wanted to get it running and saleable. Built in Denmark, the Nimbus is unique for several reasons. One is its 746cc inline-Four engine. Rather than being mounted transversely like modern multis, it was positioned longitudinally in the frame, with power flowing rearward via shaft drive. Interestingly, the rocker-arm ends and valve stems were exposed and, when the engine was running, danced a jig like eight jolly leprechauns. The frame was equally curious, comprised of flat steel bars instead of tubing, and riveted together. With a hacksaw, hammer, and some steel, you could practically duplicate a Nimbus frame under the apple tree on a Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Bob Sinclair, former CEO of Saab Cars USA, loved motorcycles. He’s riding a Nimbus Type C sidecar rig with a furry friend as co-pilot. (Sinclair Family Archives)

Anyway, the seized engine refused to budge – until I attempted a fabled fix by pouring boiling olive oil through the spark-plug holes to expand the cylinder walls and free up the rings. Additionally, I judiciously added heat from a propane torch to the iron block. Eventually, the engine unstuck and, with tuning, ran well. But the infusion of olive oil created a hot mist that emanated from the exposed valvetrain, covering my gear and leaving behind an olfactory wake like baking Italian bread.

1949 Vincent Black Shadow

One blissful time, years before Black Shadows cost six figures, I was lucky enough to ride one. Seemingly all engine, the Black Shadow was long and low, with its black stove-enamel cases glistening menacingly, and its sweeping exhaust headers adding a sensual element to an otherwise purely mechanical look.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Unquestionably the superbike of its day, Vincent’s 998cc Black Shadow was simultaneously elegant and menacing, and a big 150-mph speedometer let the rider know it. This is a 1952 model. (Photo by Clement Salvadori)

Thanks to the big, heavy flywheels and twin 499cc cylinders, starting the Vincent took forethought and commitment. And once the beast was running, so did riding it. A rude surprise came as I selected 1st gear and slipped the clutch near the busy Los Angeles International Airport. Unexpectedly, the clutch grabbed hard, sending the Shadow lurching ahead. The rest of the controls seemed heavy and slow compared to the Japanese and Italian bikes I knew at the time – especially the dual front brakes. The bike was clearly fast, but glancing at the famous 150-mph speedometer, I was chagrined to find that I’d only scratched the surface of the Black Shadow’s performance at 38 mph.

1955 Matchless G80CS

Despite not being a Brit-bike fan in particular, I’ve owned five Matchlesses, including three G80CSs. Known as a “competition scrambler,” in reality the CS denotes it as a “competition” (scrambles) version of the “sprung” (rear-suspension equipped) streetbike. Power comes from a 498cc long-stroke 4-stroke pushrod Single of the approximate dimensions of a giant garden gnome. Starting a G80CS requires knowing “the drill” – retarding the ignition, pushing the big piston to top-dead-center on compression, and giving the kickstart lever a strong, smooth kick all the way through. This gets the crank turning some 540 degrees before the piston begins the compression stroke again.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
A true garage find, this 1955 Matchless G80CS hadn’t been used since 1966. Now resurrected, the long-stroke 498cc pushrod Single shoves the desert sled ahead like the rapid-fire blasts of a big tommy gun. (Photo by John L. Stein)

Once going, the engine fires the G80CS down the road with unhurried explosions. Then at 50 mph or so, the Matchless feels delightfully relaxed; vibration is low-frequency and quite tolerable, and the note emanating from the muffler is a pleasant bark –powerful but not threatening. It is here, at speeds just right for country roads, that the G80CS feels most in its element as a friendly, agreeable companion. With such a steady countenance, it’s no wonder that G80CS engines powered tons of desert sleds. I just wouldn’t want to be stuck in a sand wash on a 100-degree day with one that required more than three kicks to start.

RELATED: Retrospective: 1958-1966 Matchless G12/CS/CSR 650

1961 Ducati Diana 250

During Ducati’s infancy, the Italian firm concocted a249cc overhead-cam roadster named the Diana. Featuring a precision-built unit-construction engine like Japanese bikes, it offered an essential difference: being Italian. And that meant all sorts of wonderful learning, as I discovered when, as a teen, I bought a “basket-case” Diana. The term isn’t used much anymore, but it means something has been disassembled so thoroughly that its parts can be literally dumped into a basket. In the case of this poor ex-racer, literally everything that could be unscrewed or pried apart was. The engine was in pieces, the wheels were unspoked, the frame and fork were separated, and many parts were missing.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
The author aboard his basket-case 1961 Ducati Diana. (John L. Stein archives)

Its distress repelled my friends but inspired me. Upon acquiring it, a year of trial-and-error work included rebuilding the scattered engine, designing and welding brackets onto the frame for a centerstand and footpegs, assembling the steering, fabricating a wiring harness, and ultimately tuning and sorting. This basket-case Ducati literally taught me the fundamentals of motorcycle mechanics, by necessity. And due to the racy rear-set controls I’d crafted, the machine had no kickstarter, necessitating bump-starting everywhere, every time.

The bike was never gloriously fast, but it carried me through my first roadrace at the Ontario Motor Speedway. After selling it, I never saw it again. Rest in peace, fair Diana. And by the way, the California blue plate was 4C3670. Write if you’ve seen it!

1971 Kawasaki Mach III

Stepping from an 8-hp Honda 90 onto a friend’s Mach III, which was rated at 60 hp when new, was the biggest shock of my young motorcycling life. I knew enough to be careful, not only because of the 410-lb heft of the Kawasaki compared to the Honda’s feathery 202 lb, but because the Mach III had a reputation as a barn-burner. It was true. Turning the throttle grip induced the moaning wail from three dramatic 2-stroke cylinders, and propelled the Kawasaki ahead with a ferocity I’d never come close to feeling before.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Rated at 60 horsepower, the Kawasaki Mach III (officially known as the H1) was the quickest-accelerating production motorcycle of its time. (Photo by John L. Stein)

In those first moments of augmented g-forces, I distinctly felt that the acceleration was trying to dislocate my hips. In reality, it was probably just taxing the gluteus muscles. But regardless, I remember thinking, “I’ll never be able to ride one of these.” That clearly wasn’t true, but the memory of the Mach III’s savage acceleration and whooping sound remains indelible. Additionally, the engine vibration was incessant – there was simply no escaping it – and in those pre-hydraulic disc days for Kawasaki, the drum brakes seemed heavy and reluctant, even to a big-bike novice. Glad I found out early that the Mach III’s mad-dog reputation was real.

1985 KTM 500 MXC

If Paul Bunyan designed a motorcycle, this KTM 2-stroke would be it. For its day, the 500 MXC was extraordinary at everything, such as extraordinarily hard to start; the kickstart shaft was a mile high and the lever arm even higher. At over6 feet tall in MX boots, I still needed a curb, boulder, or log handy to effectively use the left-side kickstarter. The motor had so much compression (12.0:1) that this Austrian Ditch Witch practically needed a starter engine to fire the main one. Once, I was stuck on a desert trail with the MXC’s engine reluctant to re-fire. Not so brilliantly, I attached a tow line to my friend’s Kawasaki KX250 and he pulled me to perhaps 25 mph on a nearby two-lane road. Before I could release the line and drop the clutch, my buddy slowed for unknown reasons. Instantly the rope drooped, caught on the KTM’s front knobby, and locked the wheel, slamming the bike and its idiot rider onto the asphalt. The crash should have broken my wrist, but an afternoon spent icing it in the cooler put things right.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
A beast to start and a blast to ride, this 1985 KTM 500 MXC 2-stroke was also comically and maddeningly tall. So was the desk-high kickstart arm. But, oh my, how the Austrian Ditch Witch could fly. (Photo by John L. Stein.)

When running, though, the MXC was spectacular. Capable of interstate speeds down sand washes and across open terrain, the liquid-cooled 485cc engine was a maniacal off-road overlord. The suspension included a WP inverted fork and linked monoshock with an insane 13.5 inches of travel out back. I bought the 500 MXC used for $500, and I had to practically give it away later. But now, I wish I had kept it, because it was fully street-plated – ideal for Grom hunting in the hills today.

1998 Yamaha YZF-R1

On a deserted, bucolic section of Pacific coastal backroads, I loosened the new Yamaha R1’s reins, kicked it in the ribs, and let it gallop. And gallop it did, at a breathtaking rate up to and beyond 130 mph. That’s not all that fast in the overall world of high performance, but on a little two-lane road edged by prickly cattle fences and thick oaks, it ignited all my senses. What had been a mild-mannered tomcat moments before turned into a marlin on meth, but it wasn’t the velocity that was alarming.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Superbike tech leapt ahead with Yamaha’s YZF-R1. Its performance rang every alarm bell in the author’s head. (Photos by Yamaha)

No, the point seared into my amygdala was how hard the R1 was still accelerating at 130 mph. Rocketing past this speed with a ratio or two still remaining in the 6-speed gearbox sounded every alarm bell in my head, so I backed down. Simply, the R1 rearranged my understanding of performance. But simultaneously, it made every superbike of the 1970s, including the King Kong 1973 Kawasaki Z1 – the elite on the street in its era – seem lame by comparison.

2008 Yamaha YZ250F

After 25 years away from motocross, in 2008 I bought a new YZ250F and went to the track. Oh, my word. The dream bikes of my competitive youth – Huskys, Maicos, Ossas, and their ilk – faded to complete irrelevance after one lap at Pala Raceway on the modern 4-stroke. Naturally it was light, fast, and responsive, but the party drug was its fully tunable suspension. By comparison, everything else I’d ridden in the dirt seemed like a pogo stick. Together, the awesome suspension and aluminum perimeter frame turned motocross into an entirely different sport, and I loved it anew.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Contemporary technology turned riding motocross from torture in the sport’s early years to the best workout – like simultaneously using every machine in the gym at maximum effort. Training and racing this 2008 Yamaha YZ250F produced heartrates just shy of running a 10k race. (John L. Stein Archives)

In retrospect, the glorious old MX bikes were dodgy because real skill was required to keep them from bucking their riders into the ditch. But, surprisingly, I found motocross aboard this new machine still merited hazard pay, for two reasons: 1) Thanks to the bike’s excellent manners, I found myself going much faster; and 2) Tracks had evolved to include lots of jumps, sometimes big ones. Doubles, step-ups, table-tops – I later paced one off at Milestone MX and realized the YZ was soaring more than 70 feet through the air.

2017 Yamaha TW200

There’s something about flying low and slow that’s just innately fun. Just ask the Super Cub pilots, lowrider guys, or Honda Monkey owners. After a day in the Mojave, plowing through sand, sliding on dry lake beds, and dodging rocks and creosote bushes, Yamaha’s TW200 proved equally enamoring. Yes, it’s molasses-slow, inhaling hard through the airbox for enough oxygen to power it along. And it’s built to a price, with an old-school carburetor and middling suspension and brakes.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
For flying low and slow on a dry lake bed, the fat-tire Yamaha TW200 is righteous. Learn to dirt-track early in life, and the skills last forever. (Photo by Bill Masho)

Nonetheless, its fat, high-profile tires somehow make it way more than alright, kind of like riding a marshmallow soaked in Red Bull. Curbs? Loading docks? Roots, ruts, and bumps? Scarcely matters at 16 mph when you’re laughing your head off. Top speed noted that day was a bit over 70 mph – good enough for freeway work, but just barely. So, actually, no. But throttling the TW all over the desert and on city streets reminded me just how joyous being on two wheels is.

RELATED: Small Bikes Rule! Honda CRF250L Rally, Suzuki GSX250R and Yamaha TW200 Reviews

2020 Kawasaki Z H2

Building from its supercharged Ninja H2 hyperbike, Kawasaki launched the naked Z H2 for 2020. Lucky to attend the press launch for the bike that year, I got to experience this 197-hp missile on a road course, freeways, backroads, and even a banked NASCAR oval. The latter was, despite its daunting concrete walls, an apropos vessel to exploit the bike’s reported power. Weighing 527 lbs wet, the Z H2 has a 2.7:1 power-to-weight ratio – nearly twice as potent as the 2023 Corvette Z06.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Exploiting Kawasaki’s 197-horsepower Z H2 definitely required a racetrack. (Photo by Kawasaki)

Supercharged engines are known for their low-end grunt, and the Z H2 motor was happy to pull at any rpm and in any gear. But it fully awakened above 8,000 rpm, as the aerospace-grade supercharger began delivering useful boost. From here on, the job description read: Hang on and steer. Free to pin it on the road course and oval, I did. And not for bravado’s sake – I really wanted to discover the payoff of having so much power. As it turns out, a supercharged liter bike dramatically shrinks time and space, making it a total blast on the track – and absolute overkill on the road. Watch where you aim this one.

Based in Southern California, John L. Stein is an internationally known automotive and motorcycle journalist. He was a charter editor of Automobile Magazine, Road Test Editor at Cycle, and served as the Editor of Corvette Quarterly. He has written for Autoweek, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Cycle World, Motorcyclist, Outside, and other publications in the U.S. and abroad.

The post Riding the Motorcycle Century first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

LiveWire Unveils S2 Del Mar Electric Motorcycle

LiveWire S2 Del Mar Electric Motorcycle
2022 LiveWire S2 Del Mar

Harley-Davidson and its LiveWire brand introduced the S2 Del Mar today, a smaller, lighter, and less expensive electric motorcycle than the LiveWire ONE. The street-tracker is said to produce 80 hp and weigh less than 440 lbs, yielding a 0-60-mph time of just 3.5 seconds. City range is said to be 100 miles, and highway range will be significantly lower.

The S2 Del Mar was designed at LiveWire Labs in Mountain View, California, in the vicinity of Silicon Valley companies like Apple, Google, and Meta. It’s built around a new, scalable “ARROW” architecture that uses a proprietary battery, motor, charging, and control systems. The powertrain serves as the central component of the chassis and is a modular design so it can be adapted to future models.

LiveWire offered 100 serialized “Del Mar Launch Edition” models with an exclusive paint scheme and a unique wheel design for $17,699, but all were sold out in the first 18 minutes. Those who missed the opportunity can get their name on a waiting list for when regular production models ($15,000) are shipped from Troy, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 2023. The press release below includes more details.

Petersen Automotive Museum Exhibit to Feature Custom Electric Motorcycles


LiveWire is set to bring advanced design, technical innovation, and engineering expertise to urban riding and beyond, with the all-electric S2 Del Mar motorcycle, the first LiveWire model to feature the new S2 ARROW architecture.

  • The first 100 units will be built to order and serialized as Del Mar Launch Edition models, which can be reserved now at livewire.com for expected delivery in the spring of 2023.
  • The 100 Del Mar Launch Edition models will feature an exclusive finish and wheel design and an MSRP of $17,699.
  • The production S2 Del Mar will deliver immediately after the launch edition, with a target MSRP of $15,000 USD.
  • The S2 Del Mar features a targeted output of 80 horsepower (59.6 kW), and less than 440 pounds of weight, delivering projected 0-to-60 mph times of 3.5 seconds or less.
  • Del Mar range in city riding is targeted to be 100 miles.*

“The S2 Del Mar model represents the next step in the evolution of the LiveWire brand,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “The ARROW architecture underpinning the Del Mar, developed in-house at LiveWire Labs, demonstrates our ambition to lead in the EV space and establish LiveWire as the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.”

Advanced LiveWire ARROW Architecture

LiveWire’s scalable ARROW architecture with proprietary battery, motor, charging, and control systems debuts on the Del Mar model and was designed at LiveWire Labs in Mountain View, California. The ARROW architecture is intended to be modular and serves as the central component of the motorcycle chassis.

Del Mar is designed to offer its rider thrilling performance with a targeted output of 80 horsepower (59.6 kW), delivering projected 0-to-60 mph times of 3.5 seconds. City range is expected to be 100 miles.* The Del Mar model weight target is 440 pounds or less.

Urban Street Tracker

Del Mar presents a street-tracker stance on 19-inch front and rear wheels equipped with custom developed LiveWire Dunlop DT1 tires equally capable on paved and dirt surfaces. The slim seat tops a short tail section. A tracker-style handlebar fronted by a thin flyscreen places the rider in an upright position for a comfortable and controlled riding experience.

Launch Edition Model

Only the 100 examples of the Del Mar Launch Edition models will be made, featuring an exclusive finish and wheel design. The graphics and paint – in a choice of Jasper Gray or Comet Indigo – are applied by hand using a process that takes 5 days to complete. The design employs an opposing-fade, representing and celebrating both the exciting and soulful experiences of riding LiveWire electric motorcycles. The intricate pattern of the 19-inch PCB cast-aluminum wheels evokes the dense patterning and framework found on printed circuit boards. The vaulted and tapered spoke design promotes lateral stiffness for enhanced handling performance, while also pushing the boundaries of casting technology.

The Del Mar Launch Edition model debuts with an MSRP of $17,699, while the production version is expected to launch with a target MSRP of $15,000. Delivery of the Launch Edition and production versions of S2 Del Mar model are set for the spring of 2023. All LiveWire S2 Del Mar motorcycles will be assembled at Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations in York, PA.

To learn more about the LiveWire S2 Del Mar Launch Edition motorcycle visit: livewire.com/delmar.

UPDATE:

The all-new LiveWire S2 Del Mar Launch Edition sold out its 100 reservation deposits in 18 minutes today. Customers can still add their names to a wait list for the standard S2 Del Mar motorcycle expected to begin deliveries in Spring 2023 at livewire.com.

*Range estimates are based on expected performance on a fully-charged battery and are derived from SAE J2982 Riding Range Test Procedure data on a sample motorcycle under ideal laboratory conditions. Your actual range will vary depending on your personal riding habits, road and driving conditions, ambient weather, vehicle condition and maintenance, tire pressure, vehicle configuration (parts and accessories), and vehicle loading (cargo, rider and passenger weight).

Check out Rider‘s 2022 Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide

The post LiveWire Unveils S2 Del Mar Electric Motorcycle first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST | Review

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
King Of The Baggers champion Kyle Wyman (left) riding the street version of his Road Glide racebike next to racer and brother Travis Wyman on a Street Glide ST. Photos by Brian J. Nelson & Kevin Wing.

V-Twin baggers are regularly at the top of streetbike sales charts, and a perennial leader has been the Harley-Davidson Street Glide, with H-D’s Road Glide running close behind. The Glides are revered for the effortless way they trot along American roads accompanied by the loping cadence of their narrow-angle V-Twin motors.

Check out Rider‘s 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

However, there are many Glide owners who put a greater emphasis on performance than on touring ability. The performance-bagger market continues to gain momentum, a trend Harley says is “a new breed of speed.” The incredibly popular King Of The Baggers (KOTB) roadracing series has added more fuel to the performance fire.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The surging performance-bagger market is served by H-D’s new Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST.

To meet this market demand and to capitalize on its KOTB championship title, H-D proffers the new Glide ST brothers, available in Street and Road versions. Touring bikes for a new breed of riders, says the MoCo.

OUT COME THE BIG GUNS

If you’re gonna build a hot-rod bagger, there’s no better place to start than the engine, and so Harley plugs in the biggest gun in its arsenal. The Road and Street Glide STs are fitted with H-D’s biggest production motor, the 117ci Milwaukee-Eight, an upgrade over the 114ci V-Twin found in lesser models. This is the 117’s first appearance in a non-CVO Harley, firing out a tire-shredding 127 lb-ft of torque from its 1,923cc displacement. Harley says the 117 is a value proposition for riders who might otherwise invest in engine upgrades.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST are powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin.

Black is the dominant theme, as brightwork is limited to the chrome pushrod tubes, tappet covers, and machined cylinder fins. Matte Dark Bronze finishes on the lower rocker box, timer cover medallion, and the medallion on the Heavy Breather intake provide subtle highlights.

SWITCHIN’ TO GLIDE

The FLHX Street Glide is perhaps the most ubiquitous motorcycle on American roads. Introduced in 2006 as an offshoot of the popular Electra Glide, they are both led by their iconic batwing fairings mounted to the handlebar.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The Road Glide ST and its Street Glide brother are helping usher in the performance bagger trend in production bikes.

Harley’s FLTR Road Glide was introduced in 1998 as an evolution of the FLT Tour Glide from the 1980s, both using distinctive shark-nosed fairings mounted to the chassis. Other than their fairings, the Road Glide is essentially the same bike as the Street Glide.

The Glide STs are part of Harley’s Grand American Touring lineup, so they naturally include luxury items like a Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with a color touchscreen and navigation, fairing-mounted speakers, a hidden radio antenna, cruise control, and Daymaker LED headlamps. Both Glide STs are equipped with linked Brembo brakes with ABS.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
Prodigy cast-aluminum wheels finished in Matte Dark Bronze look sharp and match finishes elsewhere on the bike. Brakes are by Brembo, and Harley’s optional Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements package adds cornering ABS and other electronic aids.

For a sportier, lighter appearance, the STs receive a low-profile tank console and a trimmed front fender, plus a new solo seat that exposes the rear fender but leaves passengers at home. Standard-length saddlebags replace the extended bags used on Special models for additional cornering clearance and to expand aftermarket exhaust options.

Prodigy cast-aluminum wheels feature a Matte Dark Bronze finish to match the bronze engine highlights, while nearly everything else aside from the tins (front end, controls, powertrain, and exhaust) feature blacked-out finishes. For a dash of retro, the Harley-Davidson logo on the 6-gallon fuel tanks is modeled from Harley’s 1912 racebikes, and on black STs, it’s outlined in a gold color that matches the bikes’ bronze finishes.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The Road Glide ST is distinguished by its shark-nosed fairing that offers more expansive coverage and smoother airflow than its Street Glide ST brother.

GEAR UP
Helmet: Arai Regent X
Jacket: Alpinestars Hoxton V2
Gloves: Alpinestars Celer V2
Pants: Alpinestars Copper V2
Boots: Harley-Davidson Hagerman

Both Glides retail for $29,999 in Vivid Black. The Gunship Gray versions are priced at $30,574. Supply shortages due to Covid have forced H-D to exact a $1,000 surcharge.

Optional on Grand American tourers is Harley’s Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements package, formerly called Reflex Defensive Rider System (RDRS). It employs a 6-axis IMU to manage cornering traction control with ride modes, cornering ABS with linked braking, drag-torque slip control, hill-hold control, and tire-pressure monitoring. It’s a $1,025 upcharge.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The iconic batwing fairing on the Street Glide ST is the key difference from the Road Glide. As it mounts to the handlebar rather than the frame, the SG is more susceptible to crosswind inputs than the RG.

SWITCHIN’ TO RIDE

The Street Glide is the lighter ST, scaling in at 814 lbs in ready-to-ride form, and its less-expansive batwing fairing adds to the perception. The cockpit is roomy and accommodating, with a handlebar that rises up and sits at an angle. Four analog gauges reside just under the tinted low-profile windscreen, and they’re flanked by a pair of speakers and mirrors integrated at the fairing edges. The touchscreen TFT info/navigation panel sits just above the upper triple-clamp.

The larger fairing on the Road Glide adds visual heft to a rider’s perception, backed up by the bike’s 842-lb curb weight. Here, the vivid TFT touchscreen panel sits front and center just under the low-profile, darkly tinted windshield. The info screen is flanked by a fuel gauge and voltmeter, with a pair of speakers further outboard. A traditional analog speedometer and tachometer pairing reside just ahead of the handlebar mounts. Switchgear on both Glides is the familiar H-D array, including the dual turnsignal buttons.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
Both Glide STs feature longer shocks that deliver a bit of extra wheel travel.

The 117 fires up with a rumble and the familiar potato-potato thumping from below. The clutch engagement point is easy to ascertain, and, helped by the engine’s immense low-end grunt, you’d need to be a fool to stall the Glides when pulling away from a stop.

Pushrod valve actuation and air cooling suggest a lack of modern technology, but Harley’s M-8 functions extraordinarily well. As its name implies, the V-Twin breathes through four valves per cylinder, and they never need adjusting thanks to H-D’s hydraulic overhead valves. Power from the V-Twin is omnipresent, delivering a satisfying oomph at nearly any engine speed, eventually running out of breath near its 5,500-rpm redline. Rubber engine mounts eliminate harsh vibration from reaching a rider, and there aren’t many other powertrains that roll down the open road as smoothly and effortlessly as this one.

“A pushrod air-cooled V-Twin is our secret sauce,” said Brad Richards, H-D’s VP of design, who rode with us at the launch. “There’s something special about how it goes down the road.” And he’s right.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The solo seats of the STs aren’t as nicely padded as the saddles on H-D’s more luxurious touring bikes. Passengers will be even less comfortable.

Suspension consists of a dual-bending-valve 49mm Showa fork paired with emulsion-technology rear shocks and single-knob hydraulic preload adjustment. Harley pursues low seat heights more fervently than any other manufacturer, but the STs buck that trend somewhat by fitting shocks from the Road King to deliver 3 inches of rear wheel travel, up from the Road Glide Special’s 2 inches. Seat height shimmies upward to a still-low 28 inches.

Both STs feel similar when bending into corners, despite the drastically different fairings, banking over easier than you might imagine for an 800-lb bagger. It’s a willing and stable platform while unwinding a twisty road, but let’s not confuse it with a sportbike. Floorboards begin to drag when leaned over to 32 degrees – enough to have fun, but nowhere near the 55-degree leans that KOTB champ Kyle Wyman can achieve on his Road Glide racebike.

Solid braking performance is provided by Brembo 4-piston calipers operating via braided lines and clamping on 11.8-inch (300mm) discs. The single rear brake has the same specs. The front tire is a 130/60-19 bias-ply, while a 180/55-18 resides out back.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The Street Glide ST’s cockpit features a quartet of chrome-rimmed analog instruments augmented by a color TFT touchscreen.

There wasn’t an opportunity to fully delve into the Boom! Box GTS infotainment system, but it seems to be well sorted and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Audio quality via the radio is closer to adequate than exceptional.

Ergonomics are very good, but not beyond reproach. The rear brake pedal is mounted rather high, and the Heavy Breather intake intrudes on knee space when raising a boot to apply rear braking. Also, shift action of the 6-speed gearbox is rather clunky. The seat feels supportive for an hour, but it’s not up to the cushy standards of Harley’s other touring models. And while we’re nitpicking, I’d like to see a larger gear-position indicator and adjustable levers on my $30k bagger.

WHICH GLIDE?

This has been a hotly debated topic among H-D aficionados, with no clear winner aside from subjective judgments on style. In windy conditions, I much preferred the greater stability of the Road Glide, as stubborn crosswinds on the Street Glide’s bar-mounted fairing applied marginal unwanted inputs to the steering. The Road Glide’s triple splitstream vented fairing also delivers smoother airflow around a rider.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The Street Glide ST is lighter than the Road Glide ST, but its handlebar-mounted batwing fairing requires more steering effort.

That said, the Street Glide is slightly lighter, and its fairing attached directly to the handlebar allows a rider to wriggle his/her way through dense traffic more adeptly. And for some, its batwing fairing is irresistible.

WRAP IT UP

It’s not a surprise to have enjoyed seat time on these new Glide STs. They’re basically the same bikes that we’ve grown to appreciate for their over-the-road prowess and surprising agility but are now blessed with more power and tasteful high-end finishes. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised when a $30,000 motorcycle delivers the goods. And the Road/Street Glide STs include a pair of hardshell saddlebags in which to carry those goods more than 220 miles between fill-ups.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST
The Road Glide ST in Gunship Gray and the Street Glide ST in Vivid Black, the only two color options for both bikes.

2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST/Street Glide ST Specs

Base Price: $29,999 (Vivid Black)
Price as Tested: $31,599 (Gunship Gray, Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements)
Website: harley-davidson.com
Engine Type: Air-cooled, transverse 45-degree V-Twin, OHV w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,923cc (117ci)
Bore x Stroke: 103.5 x 114.3mm
Horsepower: 106 hp @ 4,750 rpm (at the crank)
Torque: 127 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm (at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated slip/assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 64 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/6.7 in.
Seat Height: 28.1/28.0 in.
Wet Weight: 842/814 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 6 gal.

The post 2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST | Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster | First Look Review

The 2022 Nightster is Harley-Davidson’s latest offering, resurrecting an old Sportster model name for a new liquid-cooled Sportster variant using a Revolution Max 975T powertrain. It’s similar to the Sportster 1250 S, but it’s dressed in more traditional garb with several classic Sportster styling cues, like the walnut fuel tank shape, round air intake cover, and a side cover that looks like the previous Sportster’s oil tank. The Nightster also uses twin shocks rather than the S’s rear monoshock. What looks like a fuel tank is an airbox cover to ensure adequate breathing for the 90-hp variable-valve-timing V-Twin, while a 3.1-gallon fuel tank resides below the seat. Pricing starts at $13,499 for the Vivid Black version, while color options retail for $13,899. More information can be found in the press release below.


2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

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.

Check out Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

“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.”

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

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) @ 7,500 RPM
  • 70 lb-ft (95 Nm) peak torque @ 5,000 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

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

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

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

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 sidestand.

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 also making 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 (U.S. market only).

Fresh Design Based on Classic Form

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

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-Davidson 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. U.S. Base MSRP is $13,499 (Vivid Black) and $13,899 (color options).

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

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.

The post 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs. Indian FTR S vs. Indian Scout Bobber | Comparison Review

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The Revolution Max-powered Sportster S is the start of a new era for Harley-Davidson. We tested it against Indian’s Scout Bobber and FTR S on canyon roads and city streets. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

The Sportster is one of most iconic and successful Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and it’s one of the longest-running motorcycle models in history. Introduced in 1957 – the same year Wham-O introduced the Frisbee and Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up” topped the Billboard charts – the Sportster was a response to the light, fast OHV British bikes that took the American motorcycle market by storm after WWII.

An evolution of the side-valve KHK, the XL (the Sportster’s official model designation) was powered by an air-cooled, 883cc, 45-degree “ironhead” V-Twin with pushrod-actuated overhead valves. It made 40 horsepower, weighed 495 pounds, and had a top speed around 100 mph, more than enough performance to outrun most British 650s of the day. In 1959, Harley unleashed the XLCH, a 55-horsepower, 480-pound hot rod that cemented the Sportster’s go-fast reputation.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The 121-horsepower, liquid-cooled Harley-Davidson Sportster S starts a new chapter for the Motor Company’s most iconic motorcycle.

Today, 65 years after the XL’s debut, there’s still an air-cooled 883cc Sportster in Harley-Davidson’s lineup: the Iron 883. Making 54 horsepower and weighing 564 pounds, it has a lower power-to-weight ratio than a ’59 XLCH, and by modern standards, the Sportster is no longer sporty.

YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION

Harley-Davidson puts its air-cooled Sportsters – the Iron 883 and the 1,200cc Forty-Eight – in its Cruiser category. Last year it added a new category – Sport – that includes only one model: the Sportster S. Designated RH1250S rather than XL, the new Sportster occupies a distinct branch of the Harley family tree. It’s built around a 121-horsepower “T” version of the liquid-cooled, 1,252cc Revolution Max V-Twin found in the Pan America adventure bike, and it weighs 503 pounds ready-to-ride. Compare that to Harley’s Evo-powered Forty-Eight, which makes 66 horsepower and tips the scales at 556 pounds.

Indian FTR S
With an upright seating position, rear-set pegs, and 17-inch wheels with sportbike rubber, the FTR S feels more at home on twisty roads than the others. Like the Sportster S, it has ride modes and IMU-based electronics.

Both the Iron 883 and Forty-Eight are available as 2022 models, so air-cooled XLs aren’t going away (yet). They appeal to cruiser traditionalists: those who want familiarity and simplicity, and those for whom the look, sound, and feel of an air-cooled 45-degree V-Twin are more important than outright performance.

The Sportster S carves out another niche in the market, appealing to a different sort of buyer: those who want a light, powerful, sophisticated American-made V-Twin. That sounds a lot like the Indian FTR S, the Sportster S’ closest competitor. Both are powered by liquid-cooled, DOHC, 60-degree V-Twins that make about 120 horsepower (factory claims). Both are equipped with ride modes, cornering ABS and traction control, and other modern electronics, and their base prices are $14,999.

Indian Scout Bobber
The Scout’s length, weight, and limited cornering clearance conspire against it in the curves.

But the Sportster S is a low-profile, feet-forward cruiser, whereas the FTR S is a sport-standard with an upright seating position and rear-set footpegs. Not exactly apples to apples. Indian’s Scout Bobber, on the other hand, more closely matches the Harley’s cruiser layout, so we’ve included it here. It’s also powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 60-degree V-Twin, but with less displacement and a lower state of tune than the FTR’s motor. Making a claimed 100 horsepower, the Bobber’s engine output is well below the others, and its only electronic riding aid is ABS (a $900 option), but its base price is $4,000 below that of the Sportster S and FTR S.

CURB APPEAL

These bikes are tightly packaged machines, with bodywork kept to an absolute minimum. They all have radiators, and designers did their best to keep hoses and associated plumbing tucked away. The Scout has a tall, narrow radiator wedged between the rectangular downtubes of its cast-aluminum frame. The sportier FTR and Sportster have shorter, wider radiators with small shrouds on the sides that help them blend in.

The traditionally styled Scout Bobber has a few splashes of chrome and a halogen headlight, while the more modern Sportster S and FTR S favor a mix of matte and brushed surfaces and have LED headlights.

More differences are apparent when looking at them parked side by side. With the lowest seat height (by 4 inches), longest wheelbase (by 2 inches), and stacked exhaust pipes that extend just past the trailing edge of the rear tire, the Scout is more slammed and stretched out than the others. And as the most traditionally styled of the three, it has the proportions and stance one expects from a cruiser.

The FTR is at the other end of the spectrum. With the most ground clearance, longest rear suspension travel (by 2.7 inches), and loftiest seat height (by 2.8 inches), it stands much taller than the others. Mirrors perched above the handlebar on antenna-like stalks further add to its height, while the others have bar-end mirrors. Upswept brushed-aluminum Akrapovič mufflers, an exposed rear shock with a red spring, and 17-inch wheels with matching red pinstripes give the FTR the sportiest appearance of the three.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The Indian FTR S is a uniquely American take on a naked sportbike.

The Sportster has a unique cut to its jib. It has a mix of glossy, matte, and brushed surfaces, and a mix of styling influences. Its high pipes and tidy tailsection are inspired by XR750 dirt trackers. Its pill-shaped LED headlight and chunky tires take a page out of the Fat Bob’s playbook, while its elongated teardrop tank is a big departure from the peanut tanks of other Sportsters. And its tubular-steel trellis frame, swingarm, and license-plate hanger hew fairly close to what’s found on the FTR.

BEHIND BARS

Differences in dimensions and stance affect ergonomics. With its long-and-low profile, 25.6-inch seat height, forward-set foot controls, and minimal pullback to the handlebar, the Scout Bobber puts the rider in a classic “clamshell” seating position with a tight hip angle, even more so for those with long legs. The Scout’s solo seat is reasonably plush, but with one’s legs and arms stretched out, style trumps comfort. As the lowest bike of the bunch, it also has less cornering clearance than the others – just 29 degrees vs. 34 degrees for the Sportster and 43 degrees for the FTR. Boot heels touch pavement first, but on some right turns the bottom of the lower exhaust pipe scraped, leaving an unsightly scar of raw metal on the matte-black finish.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The Harley-Davidson Sportster S has a color TFT display with a large tachometer and speed readout.

To accommodate its greater lean angles, the Sportster’s forward controls are positioned higher than the Scout’s (Harley offers mid-mount controls as a $660 accessory). Its solo seat is perched 29.6 inches above the pavement, which is on the tall side for a cruiser. The narrow, thinly padded saddle had us seeking relief long before the low-fuel light came on, exacerbated by the fact that the Sportster, like the Scout, locks the rider in place and has minimal rear suspension travel. Of the three, the Sportster has the most cramped cockpit, limiting its appeal among tall riders.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The Indian FTR S’ touch-enabled TFT shows an array of data and has two different layouts.

With a sport-standard seating position, the FTR feels altogether different than the two cruisers. The rider sits more upright, with a comfortable reach to the wide handlebar and a moderate forward lean to the upper body. Rear-set pegs put the rider’s feet directly below their hips, opening the hip angle at the expense of more knee bend. Our test riders were unanimous in declaring the FTR the most comfortable of the three, and it felt the most natural at a sporting pace. The 32.2-inch seat height may be a challenge for some, but the saddle has the thickest padding and it’s the only one here that accommodates a passenger (without digging into the accessory catalogs).

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The Indian Scout Bobber has the most basic instrumentation, with an analog speedometer and an inset multifunction digital display.

THE SOUND & THE FURY

There’s a reason nearly every motorcycle made in America has a V-Twin. The engine configuration delivers a visceral pulse that engages the rider, producing a rhythmic sound that can be both felt and heard. There’s nothing lazy about the 60-degree V-Twins that power these three. At idle, they emit a steady staccato rather than a loping beat. None of the stock exhausts are especially loud, but the Scout’s pipes play a deep rumbling tune that was sweetest to our ears.

The Harley’s Revolution Max engine is the only one here with variable valve timing, which optimizes power delivery across the rev range. Despite the Sportster’s added tech and 49cc displacement advantage over the FTR (1,252cc vs. 1,203cc), when strapped to Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno, they generated nearly identical peak horsepower (116.0 vs. 115.7). Where VVT delivers the goods, however, is in the heart of the rev range – the Sportster makes 5-10 more horsepower than the FTR between 4,000 and 7,000 rpm. The Harley also doesn’t trail off as quickly after the peak as the FTR and it revs out further. In terms of torque, the Sportster clearly dominates the FTR, generating the highest peak (89.0 vs 82.7 lb-ft) and a 5-12 lb-ft advantage from 4,000-7,000 rpm.

Rider Comparo
Look Ma, no fins! All three are powered by liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twins with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder. Designers did their best to showcase the engines while downplaying the radiators.

The Scout is outgunned by the Sportster and the FTR, maxing out at 85.2 horsepower and 64.5 lb-ft of torque, but its 1,133cc mill is perfectly suited for cruiser duty. What the Scout lacks in sheer grunt it makes up for in simple enjoyment. Unlike the others, it doesn’t have throttle-by-wire or ride modes, and there’s a pleasant analog connection between the right grip and the rear wheel. The Scout is the only bike here without a slip/assist-type clutch, and squeezing its lever requires the heaviest pull. Clutch action is lightest and gear changes are easiest on the Sportster. Compared to the Harley, the FTR felt less refined, with inconsistent clutch engagement (especially when the engine is cold), uneven fueling at steady throttle, and a coarser feel at higher revs.

’ROUND THE BEND

Apart from ergonomics and engine performance, these three bikes offer distinct riding experiences. As the longest, lowest, and heaviest (by 45-50 pounds) of the three, it’s not surprising that the Scout Bobber requires the most effort to steer through a series of tight turns. It rolls on 16-inch wheels front and rear, and the semi-knobby tread on its Pirelli MT60RS dulls response and feedback. Up front, the Scout’s single 298mm disc is squeezed by a 2-piston caliper, with hydraulic fluid sent through an axial master cylinder and braided steel lines. Braking power is adequate, but the Scout’s front lever doesn’t provide the precise feedback found on the Sportster and FTR, both of which are equipped with Brembo radial master cylinders. Furthermore, since it doesn’t have an IMU like the others, the Scout’s ABS does not compensate for lean angle.

Rider Comparo
Small gas tanks (and heavy throttle hands) kept the trio on a short leash. Low-fuel lights typically came on in less than 100 miles.

One of the Scout’s biggest limitations, which it shares with the Sportster, is a mere 2 inches of rear suspension travel. The Scout has dual shocks that are adjustable for spring preload only, while the Sportster has a single, fully adjustable piggyback reservoir shock with a linkage. Even though the Harley has more premium suspension with better damping, there’s only so much that can be done with so little travel. Few bumps pass unnoticed and big ones can be jarring, unsettling the chassis and sapping confidence, especially on the Scout.

At first glance, one would think that the fat front tire on the Sportster – a 160/70-17 that’s wider than the Scout’s 150/80-16 rear tire – would be an impediment to handling, but it has a triangular profile that helps it turn in. The Harley slices and dices confidently, with reasonably light steering and a solid, planted feel when on the edge of its tires. At higher speeds, however, the added weight of the front tire slows steering. The Sportster feels more eager than the Indians, especially in Sport mode, and it launches itself out of corners.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S
The Sportster S has good cornering clearance and rails through corners better than most cruisers.

As part of its 2022 update, Indian sensibly shifted the FTR away from its flat-track origins and amped up its street-readiness. The 19-/18-inch wheels with quasi-knobby tires were replaced with 17-inch hoops shod with grippy Metzeler Sportec M9 RR tires, steering geometry was tightened up, and suspension travel was reduced by more than an inch. The changes made the FTR a better corner carver in every respect. Although the Sportster will quickly pull away from the Scout on a tight, twisting road thanks to its superior power-to-weight ratio, the FTR has a definite edge on the Harley in terms of cornering clearance and braking performance.

With 4.7 inches of travel front and rear, the FTR’s fully adjustable suspension has more leeway than the Sportster’s to absorb the inevitable imperfections on public roads. With more fork and shock stroke to work with, as well as the best damping among this trio, the FTR’s chassis stays more composed, allowing its rider to stay focused on the road ahead rather than avoiding bumps. The FTR also has the best brakes of the bunch, delivering impressive stopping power and feel at the lever. It’s the only bike here with dual discs up front, a pair of 320mm rotors clamped by radial 4-piston calipers. The Sportster makes do with a single 320mm front disc that’s gripped by a monoblock 4-piston caliper, and its braking performance is a close second to the FTR.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The Indian Scout Bobber packages old-school cool around a modern engine and chassis.

COMING OUT ON TOP

This is not your typical comparison test. These three bikes have as many differences as they do similarities, but there are some common threads. They’re made in America by companies that were fierce rivals in the past and became direct competitors again nearly a decade ago. And they have liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twins that depart from air-cooled tradition. Beyond that, the threads begin to unravel.

Both the Scout and Sportster carry historic nameplates originally associated with speed, but more recently have come to represent smaller, more affordable cruisers in their respective lineups. The Scout Bobber, a darker, lower variation of the standard Scout, best represents cruiser tradition. Its styling is more elemental than the Sportster or FTR, appearing old-school even though its engine architecture, cast-aluminum frame, and optional ABS are contemporary. The Bobber delivers more performance than most typical cruisers, yet its no-frills spec sheet helps keep its base price to just $10,999–$4,000 less than the others. That’s a trade-off plenty of buyers are more than happy to make.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
These motorcycles redefine what it means to be an American-made V-Twin, and they’re taking Harley and Indian into the future. They’ve helped to reinvigorate a historic brand rivalry that is being played out on racetracks and in showrooms nationwide. And they are well-designed, solidly built motorcycles that are fun to ride.

The new Sportster S, like the Pan America with which it shares the Rev Max engine platform, represents the future of Harley-Davidson. Street Glides, Road Glides, Softails, etc. are – and will continue to be – the bread and butter of The Motor Company’s dominant on-highway market share in the U.S. But today’s motorcycle manufacturers think on a global scale, and high-tech engines and electronics that can satisfy increasingly stringent emissions and safety standards are essential.

There is, at best, a tenuous connection between the Sportster S and the iconic XL line, but H-D hopes its instantly recognizable name will help it succeed in the marketplace. Its fat tires, high pipes, bulldog stance, and mash-up of styling influences won’t appeal to everyone, but there’s no denying the performance of its engine or the capability of its chassis. The Revolution Max V-Twin is the Sportster S’ greatest attribute. Limited rear suspension travel, on the other hand, is its greatest limitation.

As a motorcycle we’d want to live with every day, the Indian FTR S is the clear winner here. Its street-tracker styling either appeals to you or it doesn’t (count us as fans), but from the standpoint of functionality and rider engagement, the FTR S checks all the right boxes. Compared to the Sportster S, the Indian’s engine is weaker in the midrange and feels rougher around the edges, but the FTR handles better, has the best brakes, is the most comfortable, and has standard passenger accommodations. Like the Sportster S, it has ride modes, modern electronic rider aids, cruise control, a USB charging port, Bluetooth connectivity, and a color TFT display, with the added convenience of a touchscreen.

With the FTR platform’s recent update, Indian has had a few years to work out the kinks, and the current iteration is a much better streetbike than the original. In addition to the FTR S tested here, there are three other variants to choose from: the base-model FTR ($12,999), the scrambler-styled FTR Rally ($13,999), and the top-of-the-line FTR R Carbon ($16,999). Harley-Davidson won’t rest on its laurels, and there will surely be updates to the Sportster S and spin-off models in the years ahead.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
Rear-wheel horsepower measured on Jett Tuning’s DynoJet dyno
Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
Rear-wheel torque measured on Jett Tuning’s DynoJet dyno

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S Specs

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
With a mix of styling influences and finishes, the Sportster S cuts a very different profile than the Sportsters in Harley’s XL family.
  • Base Price: $14,999
  • Price as Tested: $15,349 (Midnight Crimson)
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
  • Website: harley-davidson.com

Engine

  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 1,252cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 105.0 x 72.0mm
  • Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
  • Valve Insp. Interval: NA (self-adjusting)
  • Fuel Delivery: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Lubrication System: Semi-dry sump, 4.75 qt. cap.
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Belt

Chassis

  • Frame: Tubular-steel trellis w/ forged aluminum mid-structure & engine as stressed member, tubular-steel swingarm
  • Wheelbase: 59.8 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 30 degrees/5.8 in.
  • Seat Height: 29.6 in.
  • Suspension, Front: 43mm USD fork, fully adj., 3.6 in. travel
  • Rear: Single shock w/ linkage, fully adj., 2.0 in. travel
  • Brakes, Front: Single 320mm disc w/ radial 4-piston monoblock calipers & ABS
  • Rear: Single 260mm disc w/ floating 1-piston caliper & ABS
  • Wheels, Front: Cast, 4.5 x 17 in.
  • Rear: Cast, 5.0 x 16 in.
  • Tires, Front: 160/70R17
  • Rear: 180/70R16
  • Wet Weight: 502 lbs.
  • Load Capacity: 420 lbs.
  • GVWR: 922 lbs.

Performance

  • Horsepower: 116 hp @ 8,300 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Torque: 89 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.1 gals.
  • Fuel Consumption: 34.4 mpg
  • Estimated Range: 107 miles

2022 Indian FTR S Specs

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
Inspired by Indian’s flat-track racebike, the FTR S has the stance of a sport-standard.
  • Base Price: $14,999
  • Price as Tested: $14,999 (White Smoke)
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
  • Website: indianmotorcycle.com

Engine

  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 1,203cc (73 ci)
  • Bore x Stroke: 102.0 x 73.6mm
  • Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 20,000 miles
  • Fuel Delivery: Closed-loop EFI w/ 60mm throttle bodiesx 2
  • Lubrication System: Semi-dry sump, 4.4 qt. cap.
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: O-ring chain

Chassis

  • Frame: Tubular-steel trellis w/ engine as stressed member & tubular-steel swingarm
  • Wheelbase: 60.0 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 25.3 degrees/3.9 in.
  • Seat Height: 32.2 in.
  • Suspension, Front: 43mm USD fork, fully adj., 4.7 in.
  • Rear: Single shock, fully adj., 4.7 in.
  • Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm discs w/ radial 4-piston calipers & ABS
  • Rear: Single 260mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper & ABS
  • Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 x 17 in.
  • Rear: Cast, 5.5 x 17 in.
  • Tires, Front: 120/70ZR17
  • Rear: 180/55ZR17
  • Wet Weight: 514 lbs.
  • Load Capacity: 434 lbs.
  • GVWR: 948 lbs.

Performance

  • Horsepower: 116 hp @ 7,900 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Torque: 83 lb-ft @ 5,700 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gals.
  • Fuel Consumption: 34.0 mpg
  • Estimated Range: 116 miles

2022 Indian Scout Bobber Specs

Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs Indian FTR S vs Indian Scout Bobber
The long and low Scout Bobber is the most traditional cruiser in this trio.
  • Base Price: $10,999
  • Price as Tested: $12,399 (Maroon Metallic Smoke, ABS)
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
  • Website: indianmotorcycle.com

Engine

  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 1,133cc (69 ci)
  • Bore x Stroke: 99.0 x 73.6mm
  • Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 20,000 miles
  • Fuel Delivery: Closed-loop EFI w/ 60mm throttle bodies x 2
  • Lubrication System: Semi-dry sump, 4.5 qt. cap.
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Belt

Chassis

  • Frame: Cast aluminum backbone w/ engine as stressed member & oval-section steel swingarm
  • Wheelbase: 61.5 in.
  • Rake/Trail:29 degrees/4.7 in.
  • Seat Height: 25.6 in.
  • Suspension, Front: 41mm fork, no adj., 4.7 in. travel
  • Rear: Dual shocks, adj. for spring preload, 2.0 in. travel
  • Brakes, Front: Single 298mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper & ABS (as tested)
  • Rear: Single 298mm disc w/ 1-piston caliper & ABS (as tested)
  • Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 x 16 in.
  • Rear: Cast, 3.5 x 16 in.
  • Tires, Front: 130/90B16
  • Rear: 150/80B16
  • Wet Weight: 555 lbs.
  • Load Capacity: 433 lbs.
  • GVWR: 988 lbs.

Performance

  • Horsepower: 85 hp @ 8,100 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Torque: 65 lb-ft @ 5,700 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gals.
  • Fuel Consumption: 35.4 mpg
  • Estimated Range: 117 miles

The post Harley-Davidson Sportster S vs. Indian FTR S vs. Indian Scout Bobber | Comparison Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to its 2022 Lineup

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
Shades of the beloved FXRT! The 2022 Low Rider ST will roll into dealers in March.

Two new baggers, two new Low Riders, and four updated CVO models add up to eight additions to Harley-Davidson’s catalog.

“We are kickstands up at the dawn of a new day,” H-D says in its beautifully shot launch video.

“As part of our focus on stronghold segments, including Grand American Touring and Cruiser, the 2022 product line is designed for power and performance,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson. “Each of these new models feature the unrivaled power of the Milwaukee-Eight 117 for those riders who want nothing but the biggest and the best, building on our position as the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.”

In a bit of a surprise, the “Faster. Further” launch didn’t include a new variant of the Sportster S and its Revolution Max motor, but the company teased that we’ll see one or more versions later this year.

Low Riders

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
The Low Rider ST and Low Rider S.

Perhaps the most intriguing new model is the Low Rider ST, which employs a fairing with styling nods to the revered FXRT of the 1980s. It is also fitted with hardshell saddlebags and greater suspension travel, plus the 117 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight powertrain with Heavy Breather intake and 2-into-2 offset shotgun exhaust. The Low Rider S also uses the 117ci M-8 in a more stripped-down model.

Both Low Riders have styling rooted in the California “tall bike” movement and are equipped with a taller rear monoshock than the standard Softail chassis, with 0.5-inch additional stroke that translates to 1 inch more rear-wheel travel and a 0.75-inch taller seat. Harley promises improved ride comfort and more than 1 degree of extra lean-angle clearance. Dual front brakes with 300mm discs are said to deliver the responsive braking demanded by aggressive riders.

The ST’s lockable saddlebags ride high and tight, and they can be quickly removed for a cleaner appearance. Combined saddlebag capacity is 1.9 cubic feet (53.8 liters).

“A key element of this model is the frame-mounted fairing, which has a shape inspired by the classic FXRT Sport Glide model fairing favored by West Coast customizers,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Design. “With a dominant central headlamp flanked by side vents, the genetic connection to the original FXRT remains familiar. The sharper creases and revised proportions in the Low Rider ST fairing provide a look that is intended to be modern, athletic, and aerodynamically superior to the FXRT fairing.”

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
Could the Low Rider ST be the lightweight bagger of your dreams?

The ST’s six-inch windshield has a dark smoke tint, and the fairing holds a single 5.75-inch LED headlamp. A deep solo seat holds riders in place, and a 1-inch moto handlebar is mounted on four-inch pull-back risers. A low-profile textured-black console tops the 5-gallon fuel tank, with a compact digital display inset in the handlebar riser for a custom “no gauges” look. An audio system is an option.

“Our customers truly inspire us, and the Low Rider ST was born from seeing the incredible builds at motorcycle shows around the world,” said Richards. “We took the iconic Motor Company design from the Eighties and gave it a new identity with a modern echo. Add the Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine, a taller suspension and raised saddlebags, and the Low Rider ST delivers both a dynamic visual package as well as a dramatic performance punch.” 

Rugged, blacked-out styling includes Wrinkle Black finish on the powertrain, primary cover, triple clamps, top clamp, rear fender supports, and tank console, while Gloss Black finishes adorn the derby cover, intake, lower rocker covers, and handlebar riser. The handlebar is Satin Black. The forks are anodized black. Mufflers and exhaust shields are Jet Black. Radiate cast-aluminum wheels (19-inch front and 16-inch rear diameter) are finished in Matte Dark Bronze to contrast the Low Rider’s dark components.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
The Low Rider S includes a small windscreen and has mid-mount foot controls.

Color options for the Low Riders are Vivid Black or Gunship Gray. The S ($18,349) is available now, while the ST ($21,749) won’t arrive in dealers until late March.  

Grand American Touring 

The Street Glide ST and Road Glide ST are said to elevate bagger performance and bring the purposeful style of the championship-winning MotoAmerica King Of The Baggers racebikes to the street. These hot-rod baggers also feature the Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain that is dolled up with new dark and bronze finishes.

These baggers are equipped with Reflex linked Brembo brakes with ABS, a Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with a color touchscreen and navigation, cruise control, and Daymaker LED headlamps. MSRPs for both start at $29,999. 

Optional on the Grand American tourers is Harley’s Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements, which employ Cornering-Traction Control with ride modes, Cornering-ABS with linked braking, hill-hold control, and tire-pressure monitoring.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
The Street Glide ST in Gunship Gray.

The Street Glide ST uses a low-profile dark windshield atop its batwing fairing and unique engine guards that differ from other Touring models, as well as a trimmed front fender and a solo seat. Black is the dominant theme, as the brightwork is limited to the pushrod tubes and tappet covers and the machined cylinder fins. Matte Dark Bronze finishes on the Prodigy cast aluminum wheels, the color band on the lower rocker box, timer cover medallion, intake medallion, and the classic script tank graphic provide subtle contrast to dark finishes. The SG-ST will be available in two paint options: Vivid Black or Gunship Gray.  

The Road Glide ST uses the distinctive and shark-nose fairing with triple splitstream venting on the low-profile tinted windscreen to limit head buffeting. A low-profile engine guard and tank console combine to give the Road Glide ST trim lines. A new solo seat exposes the rear fender, and the front fender is a new trimmed version.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
The Road Glide ST in Gunship Gray and Vivid Black.

Suspension is similar to the SG-ST, with emulsion-technology rear shocks with hydraulic preload adjustments and a 49mm fork with dual bending-valve technology. It’s also equipped with the Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with a color touchscreen, two fairing-mount speakers, and a hidden radio antenna.  

Like the SG-ST, the RG-ST features blacked-out finishes for the front end, controls, powertrain, and exhaust, with shiny highlights from bright pushrod tubes and tappet covers and machined cylinder fins. Further contrast is provided by a Matte Dark Bronze finish on the cast aluminum Prodigy custom wheels, the color band on the lower rocker box, timer-cover medallion, intake medallion, and the script tank graphic. The two paint options are Vivid Black or Gunship Gray.

Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) 

Four updated CVOs join H-D’s 2022 lineup, “designed to represent the pinnacle of style and design.” The premium limited-production factory custom models boast exclusive and hand-crafted paint, as well as high-end features like a Rockford Fosgate audio system, a Boom! Audio 30K Bluetooth headset, and the Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements system. Each is fitted with the Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain. 

CVOs have always featured the best in paintwork, and that’s the case with these 2022 offerings.

“Gunslinger is our partner in custom paint that’s been that’s been adding incredible artisanal techniques to our CVO arsenal and family for a long time now, and they’re inspiring us to push the limits, so we try to do the same thing with them,” said Brad Richards. “When most manufacturers are at the limits of a robot, Gunslinger can go in there with an artist who has the ability to brush by hand and deliver the sharpest pinstripe possible. That hand-applied technique allows for very intricate two-tones, three-tones, airbrush drop shadows, and really transcends the ‘expected’ by delivering a truly custom look.” 

The CVO Street Glide “is a super-premium bagger for the rider who rolls loud and proud” behind the iconic batwing fairing. It features a Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather intake, new decorative insert finishes and Scorched Chrome powertrain covers (with the Blue Steel paint option), Rockford Fosgate Stage II premium sound, heated Kahuna Collection hand grips that match Kahuna Collection shifter pegs, brake pedal cover, muffler end caps, and rider and passenger pegs, plus a Daymaker Adaptive LED headlamp.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
The CVO Street Glide in its Envious Green with Black Hole Fade and Flame Pattern colorway with Gloss Black finishes.

Fugitive wheels can be had with gloss black and contrast chrome, all gloss black, or Blue Steel and contrast scorched chrome finish, depending on paint options. New paint colorways include Hightail Yellow Pearl/Black Hole with Lightning Silver Two-Tone and Bright Chrome finishes, Envious Green with Black Hole Fade with Flame Pattern and Gloss Black finishes, and Blue Steel solid color with Scorched Chrome finishes. Prices start at $41,899.  

The CVO Road Glide ($41,899) uses frame-mounted shark-nose fairing and its distinctive dual LED headlamps. Additionally, it uses an exclusive 21-inch front wheel with an 18-inch rear with laced spokes mated to cast-aluminum rims for a cool look that also enables the use of a tire-pressure monitoring system on a laced wheel. The bike also boasts Rockford Fosgate Stage II audio, and the fairing features splitstream venting to mitigate head buffeting.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
Check out the laced 21-inch front wheel with cast aluminum rims on the 2022 CVO Road Glide.

Color options include Wicked Orange Pearl/Black Hole with Lightning Silver Two-Tone and Bright Chrome finishes, Envious Green with Black Hole Fade with Flame Pattern and Gloss Black finishes, and Blue Steel solid color with Scorched Chrome finishes. A Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather intake and Fang front spoiler round out the styling upgrades.  

The CVO Road Glide Limited raises the bar for luxury and long-haul comfort, as it’s equipped with premium audio and heated seats and grips, as well as most of the non-Limited CVO Road Glide features. Its M-8 motor is the Twin-Cooled version.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
You’ll feel like the king of the road on the 2022 CVO Road Glide Limited.

Like the CVO Street Glide, the RG Limited uses heated Kahuna Collection hand grips that match shifter pegs, brake pedal cover, muffler end caps, and rider/passenger boards. The wheels are Harley’s Tomahawk hoops. Paint options include Wicked Orange Pearl/Black Hole with Lightning Silver Two-Tone and Bright Chrome finishes, Hightail Yellow Pearl/Black Hole with Lightning Silver Two-Tone and Bright Chrome finishes, and Dante’s Red with Dante’s Black Sunglo Fade Flame Pattern and Gloss Black finishes. Prices start at $44,899.  

And for something that will never tip over at a stop, the CVO Tri Glide trike offers distinctive style and long-haul touring capability, along with a premium audio system and the Twin-Cooled 117ci Milwaukee-Eight motor. It also gets the Tomahawk contrast-cut wheels and heated Kahuna Collections grips and dual-zone heated seats. The new paint scheme is Dante’s Red with Dante’s Black Sunglo Fade Flame Pattern and Bright Chrome finishes. It’s priced at $49,999.

Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to 2022 Lineup
The CVO Tri Glide in its new Dante’s Red colorway.

Visit H-D.com to learn more about the lineup of 2022 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, gear, accessories, and more.

The post Harley-Davidson Announces New Models to its 2022 Lineup first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com