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New 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster vs Special: Which Is Better?

New 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster vs Special: Which Is Better?

this is the brand new 2023 Harley Davidson Nightster special and it basically takes the regular Nightster which was new for last year and adds a few nice little upgrades to bring it up to a much more feature-laden spec so in this video we’ll go through all of the details and find out is this the better buy or is the regular nights they’re still the one to go for [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] now of course these two bikes have plenty in common and we’ll start with the engine it’s the 975t variant of the Revolution Max platform this is a big departure from the air called v-twins that powered the Sportsters that the knights the range effectively replaces and I will admit there is quite a big trade-off in terms of character it just doesn’t have that chug in vibey talky feel of the Sportsters but more of a modern and

refined delivery that’s much more akin to something like a KTM or a Ducati liquid called V-Twin now the benefit of course of moving over to liquid cooling is that they can now pass the emissions regulations which pretty much killed off the sports does here in Europe but also it revs up a lot more freely and actually makes some decent top-end power so you’ve got 90 horsepower Peak up at seven and a half thousand RPM and at the same time it still maintains some of that low to mid-range grant that you’d expect from a cruiser with a healthy dollop of 95 newton meters at 5000 RPM certainly these liquid cooled Harley engines are going to take a little bit of getting used to and the sound and the emotive Vibes of the air cooled engines will certainly be missed but if you look at them in isolation without comparing them to what went before but rather what else is available on the market then they do look pretty decent and make competitive power figures now one complaint I did have about the base Knights that when I wrote it on the launch last year was that the throttle response was a little bit too snatchy especially in sport mode and it sort of unsettled the bike and felt a bit clumsy mid corner now I’m not sure if they’ve specifically addressed that but it seems like they have because I find this bike much better and it’s not really a noticeable problem anymore now the other thing that’s a little bit unusual about this bike certainly for a Harley anyway is the location of the fuel tank so previously it would have been up here on all of the sportsters and pretty much any other bike but this despite the fact

New 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster vs Special: Which Is Better?

that it’s metal is actually just an air box cover and the fuel Tank’s located sort of down here and you fill it up by flipping up the seat and the filler caps just there now it does probably look a bit odd when you’re filling it up but the benefit is that all of the weight of the fuel is held nice and low and that gives the whole biker low slung center of gravity which helps give it this very planted feel out on the road on top of that you get a little more fuel capacity as well so it’s 11.7 liters which is not massive but it’s certainly better than some of the old Sportsters which could be as small as sort of like eight liters now as well as that weight being held pretty low the whole bike is actually pretty slender so 211 kilograms has shipped 219 in running order so that’s basically their dry and wet weights and for context you know some of the old Sportsters would be more so up around the 250 kilograms Mark as a result because of the way the way it’s distributed and the fact that it’s pretty decent it’s comparable with other sort of retro bikes I’d say this thing goes and turns and stops better than any other middleweight Harley that I’ve ridden now the base nice there and the special get pretty much the same spec in this department so there’s not a great deal to separate them brakes are from Brembo you’ve got a single disc up front suspension is shower with the right way up four can twin shocks at the rear you’ve got the typical sort of Cruiser wheel sizes and the Dunlop tires which are Cruiser specific as well and look none of it’s ever

really going to compete with like a super naked in terms of handling but it’s a pleasant ride even at a decent clip and it does pretty well through corners considering that it’s safely in the cruiser genre now before we get on to the next one I just want to say a massive thanks to today’s video sponsor and that’s quad block mounting your phone on the bars is the quickest and easiest way to add navigation to your bike and for me quad lock make the best motorcycle foam mounts in the business on my personal bike I use a range of their products so I’ve got their handlebar mount Pro which is CNC aluminum and looks super premium I use their vibration Domino which helps to protect your phone’s camera from those unwanted harmful Vibes there’s a wireless charging head so if your phone is wireless charging compatible you don’t need to worry about keeping it Juiced up and also you can run that to your battery with their smart power system that will deliver that power but also switch off when the bike’s not running in to make sure it doesn’t drain your battery then when I’m out riding in the wet I use their rain poncho and despite the fact that many phones are now waterproof it does stop you getting unwanted

Taps and interruptions on the touchscreen of your phone plus they’ve got a whole ecosystem of other great mounts so things like desk mounts Car mounts bicycle mounts armbands for when you go out running and so you should be able to find a mounting solution to fit every use case genuinely I love quad lock products and you’ll find a link in the description to their website where you can find them all and down there you’ll also find a discount code specifically for my viewers so once again a massive thanks to quadlock for their support and with that back to the bike now whether two models do start to diverge though is with the riding position and although you do get the same mid position foot controls and the seat position is the same as well this bike actually gets five inch risers for the bar and that means that they’re two inches higher up and an inch further back towards the rider which gives it a much more laid back and upright and commanding riding position now on top of that you also so get the passenger seat and passenger pegs as standard on this night’s the special whereas the base nice the model comes as a solo setup and you’d have to spec these as accessories at an extra cost so I think the new bar position sort of accurately reflects the intended use of this bike because if you ride in two up you’re not going to be pushing quite as hard as perhaps if you’re riding solo well you actually might want to be up and over the bars a little bit more really it’s up to you as to what style of riding you actually think you’re going to be doing the most but for me I think I quite like the idea of two up riding

on a bike like this because I’d choose like a sporty naked or something like that for quicker riding but a chilled out cruise with someone on the back sounds like a nice way to spend time on a bike of this nature and it is nice and low at the back which makes it super easy for a passenger to hop on and off generally I find this bike super comfortable in fact it kind of surprised me with just how comfy it is it’s a nice Wide Bar position the pegs are in a nice spot it’s a comfy seat and really I’ve only got one with the ergonomics and that’s the foot control specifically the gear shifter it sort of goes up and back a bit rather than just straight up like on other bikes and that means you kind of have to hook your foot down and then up and then pull it kind of back to shift up and it’s a natural feeling to me and makes it quite tricky to use now maybe it is something that you could get used to but I think if I owned one I’d be looking online for something to remedy that now the other big differentiator between the bass knife step and this special is the technology package you see the regular Nightster gets a pretty simple analog Dash with a digital readout in the middle and while it does get three riding modes of sport Road and rain that all vary the throttle response and engine braking and traction control and abs you know that’s pretty much it on the tech front and it’s quite basic in the cockpit this bike though gets a round TFT display which you might recognize from the sports duress and that actually opens up a lot more functionality so on top of the three riding modes you’ve got two custom slots that allow you to dial it

into your exact preference clearly you need a TFT display to make those changes to the settings you’ve got far more buttons on the switch gear as well to help control it and then also you’ve got the Bluetooth connectivity features that allow you to pair the bike with your phone and that allows you to control music and calls and also access navigation features through the Harley app plus you get cruise control on this bike which isn’t even I don’t believe an accessory option on the base model and so for me on a bike of this style I don’t mind too much about the custom riding modes the connectivity you know you can make do without it if you’re willing to mount your phone on the bars to navigate but certainly for a laid back easy going cruising style of bike personally I’d really want to have cruise control also it gets their tire pressure monitoring system as standard which again not essential but all these little conveniences do add up now you do also have a few differences visually so primarily the wheels with a slightly more premium looking design to the cast rims on the special and they’re also finished silver which I think give it a slightly more traditional look that I quite like and there’s also a difference with the logo on the tank which again gives it a little lift and then you also get the headlight in the cell as standard on this bike which is no longer the case on the standard Nightster along with that you’ve got these cylinder head infills and one looks more accessorized and busy while the other looks a little bit more stripped back and sporty for me I quite like this one but it is a question of personal taste so let me know your pick down in the comments But ultimately this buying decision could come down to a

question of budget and there is quite a significant price difference so the standard bike starts at 14 195 whereas this special comes in at 15 395 and with both models there’s a 375 quid premium if you want anything other than the basic black paint so that’s 1200 quid on top for the knights the special which I think if you’re just looking for the basic riding experience you want a good engine and Chassis in a cruiser style package now perhaps it might not quite be worth it especially if you’re mainly going out and riding solo but look if you’re thinking of riding two up then spec in the passenger seat and pegs is already going to make up a good chunk of that and then you’ve got all the extra finishing Parts on top and all that functionality that that new Dash offers and so if you’re thinking of going further afield and maybe doing some light touring and you think you’ll make use of that then it’s quite easy to justify that price difference like I say for me the appeal of a buy like this is to do that to up riding and some sort of chilled out easy cruising a little bit of light touring and so for me I think it would have to be the special but as always I’d love to know which bike you’d pick down in the comments below so do let me know and also if you haven’t seen my review of the base Nightster which I shot at the launch in Spain last year I’ll link to it on the screen so you can watch it now many thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one

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