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The Five Best Harley Davidson Night Rod Models of All-Time

2009 Harley Davidson FXSTB

From 1999 until 2017, Harley Davidson brought forth one of the most memorable of the company's lineup of motorcycles, namely the Night Train models. Otherwise dubbed as the Night Rods, the Night Train made its introductory debut in 1998, showing off its features that included a comfortable low seat, electric starter, and a 56-horsepower engine. This attractive bike also came with single disc brakes in the front and rear. As impressive as this bike was at the timing of its first year of production, the stretch of time did welcome opportunities to install technological upgrades, all of which Harley Davidson took advantage of as they strove to improve the lineup of the Night Train lineup. This bike also features the lacing of the front wheel and the rear wheel disc.

Harley Davidson History Lesson

In 1903, Harley Davidson Inc. made its humble beginnings out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin as brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson go into business for themselves, along with William S. Harley. Along with Indian Motorcycle, it was the only manufacturer of motorcycles that managed to survive the Great Depression that virtually crippled the entire American nation during an era that is also known as the Dirty Thirties. Not only did Harley Davidson survive, but thrive, as they are now one of the world's largest producers of motorcycles, as well as an iconic brand that has a fiercely loyal fan following. After graduating from university with a degree in mechanical engineering, Harley would play an instrumental role in catapulting Harley Davidson and its motorcycle lineup as a successful business that would survive two world wars, the Great Depression, and a number of other obstacles that claimed so many others. The First World War had the United States government demand an increase of military-grade motorcycles from Harley Davidson as they did their part to contribute.

After the conclusion of WWI, Harley Davidson continued to maintain an optimal production level of motorcycles until the day of the stock market crash in 1929 that would devastate the world, especially America. Now with the demand for their bikes falling from over 21,000 sold to only 3,100 in 1933, Harley Davidson sought to reinvent themselves as a means to survive the Great Depression. They did this by using their motorcycle engines to benefit industrial powerplants, as well as producing a trio-wheeled delivery vehicle. This move not only helped the company survive the Great Depression but enabled them to once again fulfill the demands of the United States government during its involvement with the Second World War. After WWII had come and gone, Harley Davidson often found its name dragged through the mud where their name, reputation, and finances had gone through quite a roller coaster ride. However, they managed to survive all that in a manner where their name has a much higher standing now, one which commands just as much respect as the collection of motorcycles they continue to make today. This also includes the run of the Night Train series that made its run from 1999 until 2017. Although the series is now discontinued, it is still among the most sought motorcycles the company has produced.

2005 Harley Davidson Night Train

5. 2005 Harley Davidson Night Train

2005 marks the year where Harley Davidson would expand the rear tire of the Night Train models to a 200-millimeter size that would improve upon the handling and stability of one of the most popular chopper-class motorcycles of all time. Fans of Harley Davidson motorcycles, specifically the Night Train models, continued to appreciate how the company continued to make improvements and upgrades, year after year, as should be the case with every manufacturer of vehicles regardless of its make and model.

2004 Harley Davidson Softtail Night Train

4. 2004 Harley Davidson Softtail Night Train

Classified as a high-quality, reliable motorcycle, the 2004 edition of Harley's Night Rods is designed to accommodate taller riders. As a used motorcycle, this model is among the best to retain its resale value, which typically sits around the $15,000 USD mark. 2004 also marks the first year where Harley Davidson would forego the dual-fuel carburetion system for the electronic sequential port fuel injection, making it a new standard for the Night Train models.

2003 Harley Davidson FXSTBXSTBI

3. 2003 Harley Davidson FXSTB/FXSTBI

This black-on-black version with the custom Badlander seat features stainless steel drag bars located on top of 6-inch risers. One of the favorite features of the 2003 Harley Davidson FXSTB/FXSTBI models was the blacked-out engine and the heftier one-piece fuel tank. The aesthetics of the black textures and wrinkles added that much more appeal to the bike, as did the blacked-out tank console, oil tank, air cleaner, and rear fender supports. There was also an option available to interested buyers to either stick to the dual-fuel carburetion system or opt for an electronic sequential port fuel injection instead. The 2003 lineup of Night rods were also lighter at just 633 pounds at the dry weight.

2007 Harley Davidson FXSTB

2. 2007 Harley Davidson FXSTB

Fans of the Harley Davidson brand of motorcycles noticed the series of upgrades to the 2007 lineup of Night Train models, especially the 1584 cc displacement along with the standardized fuel injection system. This improvement sees a boost in the model's torque performance to 87.9 pounds per foot at 2,750 revs-per-minute, as well as a 6-speed gearbox. 2007 also marks the year when Harley Davidson introduced the 86B Twin Cam engine to their Night Rods, as well as an extended rider footpeg and brake pedal that allowed a further stretch out of the legs as a means for added comfort.

2009 Harley Davidson FXSTB

1. 2009 Harley Davidson FXSTB

It is one of the most famous models coming from the Harley Davidson complete lineup of motorcycles. More than any of the listed Harley Davidson Night Train models, the 2009 FXSTB is mentioned among a variety of sites such as The Motor Digest. The primary reason behind the popularity is the all-black look, which best simulates the look of a black-out night train. The front end of this motorcycle is extended, adding a slicker appearance to a beautiful bike. This model boasts a 96B Twin Cam engine that is capable of producing a displacement of 1584 cc.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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