Is there anything as appealing and satisfying as the deep barreled throaty rumble of a Harley Davidson? Maybe, but we couldn't tell you what it is. Something about the king of bikes is just more majestic and exciting than other motorcycles. From the very first in 1903, Harley has made excellent products, and they've always garnered a loyal following because of their world class motorcycles.
Before we get into the beauty that is this bike, let's talk about what's going on with Harley Davidson. Have you heard that Kawasaki bought out Harley Davidson? No? Good, because it never happened. (Sorry Kawasaki, we like you just fine, but you're not Harley.) Perhaps it all started with a silly article written by Beantown Baggers . All the rumor did was cause Harley Davidson's' stock prices to go up. That part wasn't so bad since the stock had plummeted previously, and we all know Harley is an incredible brand with a distinguished history.
The 'quote' from Kesuke Morita Miyagi who supposedly owned Kawasaki was utter April fools day tomfoolery that said things like "Non-Riders all over the world will still be able to buy closets full of ‘Harley Davidson apparel’ without actually needing to know how to ride a motorcycle. In addition, we will send rider certificates upon request to anybody who would like to look as if they ride a motorcycle." Kesuke Morita Miyagi is more commonly known as Pat Morita. He was a beloved comedian, and he played, among other famous roles, Mr. Miagi in the original Karate Kid movies.
Stranger Than Fiction
Some people would tell you, probably quite loudly and not at all correctly, that everything about Harley Davidson is All-American. The brand certainly is an American Original, but saying every part of every Harley is completely 100% made in the USA would be flagrantly wrong. The truth is that some parts of these beautiful bikes are indeed made in other countries.
Why? Well, because the USA, as marvelous as it is, doesn't always make the best or most cost-effective quality parts. We're not saying that's a bad thing. After all, people everywhere are good at their jobs, that's not a national issue, it's a result of mature human work ethic and the fact that brilliance and dedication can be found everywhere humans live, work and thrive.
Moreover, Harley announced last June that they'd be moving some of the operations overseas. While we don't care to comment on the political reactions to this, let us just say that some fans of the brand were more vociferous than others, but also that Harley was making the best choice as they see it to avoid retaliatory tariffs from the EU.
Like it or not, sometimes business decisions have to be made based on what seems best for the business. Does any of this mean that your Harley is going to change? Probably not. Harley's are sold overseas, and avoiding tariffs may be just their way of putting some bikes where they're being sold anyhow. Alternately, it might be to get access to those same foreign parts, like the Asian electronics and Italian brake and clutch parts that are already in the bikes now without spending more and needlessly jacking up the prices on customers.
"Come on Baby Let's Go Listen to the Night Train" (From Night Train by Jason Aldean)
Now that you know where Harley is going let's talk about where your Harley can take you. Specifically, a 2009 Night Train Softail can take you almost anywhere. Not to wax poetic, too much, but this is the bike of our dreams. Everything about the Night Train, from those gleaming silver tailpipes to that sleek double Bad lander seat oozes Harley charm. If you can't see yourself, with the wind in your hair, rolling through the night somewhere far away from the last gleam of city lights, breathing fresh air as you watch the stars fly past then maybe you're not looking at it right.
Is it just us, or do you get a little hot under the collar when you hear Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)? After all, an efficient engine is a happy engine. This exceptional cruiser has a list of features as long as your arm. Among our favorites are the fuel countdown, five-gallon Fat Bob fuel tank, and the air-cooled, twin cam 96B engine. Something about those air-cooled twin cams shining on a showroom floor reminds us that this is what Harley does best, and they always have, even though the air-cooled twin cams like the 96B were introduced in 1999.
- Engine Displacement (cc): 1584
- Engine Type: V Twin
- Cylinders: 2
- Engine Stroke: 4
- Valve Configuration: OHV - Pushrod
- Carburetion: Fuel Injected
- Transmission: Manual, 6 Speed
- Brakes: Front & Rear Disc
- Wheelbase (in / mm): 66.9 / 1699.3
- Weight: 656 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
- Seat Height (in / mm): 25.2 / 640.1
Not Just Posturing
There's so much to rave about with this bike. It's hard to choose. However, there's something that deserves its own accolades. The way this bike sits is exactly what it should be. The Bad lander seat is slung low, but not so low as to be uncomfortable. With forward foot controls that place your legs in a pleasant forward stance and the addition of drag bars that couples with the smooth, relaxed ride, you'll feel like you're on rails as you slide through the shadows. As cruisers go, you couldn't ask for a more enjoyable trip.
When it comes to downside, there's not much to say. It's easy to get moving on a machine like this and forget that the breaks aren't quite as smooth as the ride. That said, they do the job if you know what you're about. Some riders might find the forward posture less than ideal, but that's just a matter of preference. Mostly, it's hard to fault the Night Train for anything. Frankly, if we had to complain, about all we can think of is that as good looking as the bike and posture are, you might seem a little bit like a stereotype from a picture raiding around on the 2009 Night Train. If you can get past the idea that you might look too good riding, then you should take a test ride on this sleek machine and see if you fall in love as fast as we did.
This gorgeous piece of work is well worth the ride. If you're of a mind to go test out a new Harley, we couldn't suggest a better model. The name says it all. Not every bike gets named after a famous custom bike. This one is the descendant of Willie G's 1971 factory custom. The bike was featured in Hot Rod Magazine and became somewhat famous along with its nickname. Like Harley itself, all great traditions have to start somewhere, and anything worth doing once is worth doing again. Hence the reborn Softail Night Train comes with all the history and experience the company possesses, plus it just sounds cool.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith