Judging by the lap time of 1.26.1, you might assume that the Harley-Davidson Nightster is a slow motorcycle. After all, it’s less than one second faster than the Ola and is considerably slower than the Zontes motorcycles. In fact, even the Royal Enfield Scram leaves it behind by a good two seconds. Well, the simple answer is that the Nightster feels fast, instead of actually being fast on the timing sheet. And I say that’s the way it should be. Well, let me explain. The geometry of any motorcycle with feet-forward positioning should in no way make you feel the sensation of speed, but interestingly, the 975cc V-Twin does. It has a strange way of lulling you to sleep with its actions in the lower part of the rev band, where it acts all docile, but give that throttle a sharp twist, and you suddenly find yourself being flung backwards as you try to grip the tank with your knees. And that was enough for me to know all that I needed to know about the Nightster.
After a few laps around the BIC, I began to see the Nightster for what it really is – a straight-line rocket that can carry a bit of speed around corners. It’s a motorcycle that ultimately wants you to take it easy, even when you are going fast. The engine makes it quite easy to attain high speeds – in fact, cruising at triple-digit speeds doesn’t really take too much effort on your part. Its take-it-easy attitude is also reflected in the instrument cluster. It’s a simple analogue unit with barely any frills. You don’t look at the cluster trying to figure out what mode you want to be into all the time (the Nightster does get riding modes), or the stage of traction control you want. Ultimately, I think the Nightster is the perfect motorcycle for sports bike riders, for whenever they want to just go out for a fun ride, the Nightster is laid back enough to offer just that and fast enough to satisfy their need for speed.
- Harley-Davidson Nightster (Lap Time – 01:26.1)
|COMFORT & PRACTICALITY||10||7|
|RIDE & HANDLING||10||6|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||20||11|