MoneyINC Logo
Years of

The Five Best Harley Davidson Nightster Models of All-Time

2007 XL1200N Sportster Nightster

Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has been in the business of manufacturing motorcycles straight out of the company's original home roots of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, and William A. Davidson pooled their knowledge and resources together to turn a time humble machinery shop into the mighty Harley-Davidson, Inc. that is so widely known and respected today.

Over time, a number of the finest motorcycles ever to rumble the road have become an iconic part of human history. Harley-Davidson is one of the few companies that survived all the hardships the Great Depression poured upon the American people, including the businesses they ran at that time. The company not only endured the worst but continued to grow by doing what they've always done best, which is using the sign of the times as a queue to adapt and improve so that they can stay ahead of the competition.

Harley-Davidson Sportsters and Nightsters

Among the most popular Harley-Davidson motorcycles ever produced, is the Sportster, which began in 1957. With a four-stroke V-Twin engine and connecting rods that came with a knife and fork design, and a sharing common crankpin. This was how each Sportster model was made.

Newer Sporster models later featured the Iron 883 and Iron 1200. The Roaster, SuperLow, and Forty Eights each have these incorporated into their designs, as well as the infamous Nightster models. Since 2007, Nightster models started to spawn from the Sportster series.

Its lineup of Harley-Davidson's motorcycles has become one of the most popular machines in recent memory to reach the consumer market. All that was really done to start the Nightster lineup was repainting the Sportster series into an all-black design. When critical experts reviewed this, they saw these Nighsters as a very different motorcycle.

2010 Harley Davidson XL1200N - Sportster Nightster

5. 2010 Harley Davidson XL1200N - Sportster Nightster

In 2010, nine new motorbike models were introduced by Harley-Davidson. It had been the most expansive introduction in HD's history. Among six of the model platforms, a fusion of tradition and technology offered more power, luxury, style, and value. This included boosting the infamous Sportsters models and Nightster models. This also allowed more customizable options for riders, something of which has always been a Harley-Davidson trademark.

2008 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Nightster

4. 2008 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Nightster

The 2008 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Nightster has earned a special place in the hearts of women as one of their ideal motorcycles to ride. While men also have a special fondness for the model, the ladies from Women Riders Now make it clear why they loved the 2008 Nightster so much. For confident beginners wanting to ride that first Harley-Davidson, Nightster 1200 models made a great choice. For experienced writers who simply want a decent ride that doesn't deplete their wallet so much these Nightsters made it an ideal investment opportunity for them.

2012 VRSCDX Night Rod Special

3. 2012 VRSCDX Night Rod Special

Starting in 2007, Harley-Davidson introduced the VRSC, which is an acronym for V-Twin Racing Street Custom. Otherwise known as V-Rod. These all-black 2012 VRSCDX night rods were armed with a 1247cc liquid-cooled DOHC Revolution engine that Porsche and Harley-Davidson had developed together. Thi engine could unleash 123 horsepower, along with a torque performance of 85 lb-ft.

2009 FXSTB Night Train

2. 2009 FXSTB Night Train

In 2009, Harley-Davidson brings forth the FXSTB Night Train with a highly performant 1584cc Twin-Cam 96B engine that was tied to a six-speed cruise drive transmission. It was good enough to deliver 87.9 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 revs per minute. This bike was meant for riders who wanted more than just speed. The extended front-end feature allows riders to better enjoy the feeling of freedom.

2007 XL1200N Sportster Nightster

1. 2007 XL1200N Sportster Nightster

It was the 2007 XL1200N Nightster model that started America's new love affair to the Sportster lineup by motorbike enthusiasts and experts. When Harley-Davidson debuted these two-wheeled machines, it showed off its uniqueness of a bobbed rear fender, fork front gaiters, and a side-attached license plate. It also had an air-cooled rubber-mounted 1200cc evolutionary V-Twin powertrain, which also included an electronic sequential port fuel injection system.

Also, tied to the engine was a five-speed transmission setup, which helped make the Nighster lineup become a more versatile motorcycle to cruise with. Not long after the introduction of the 2007 Nightsters began, it became one of the most sought-after bikes at the time.

End One Era, Start Another

The Harley-Davidson Nightster models enjoyed a run from 2007 until 2012 as a much-needed marketing boost the Sportster series needed to win over consumers. This mostly all-black breed of motorcycles had critics, enthusiasts, and experts drooling enough where sales of these machines played an instrumental role that ignited a new run of enthusiasm for Harley-Davidson as a company, as well as a brand.

When the critically-acclaimed series, Sons of Anarchy, began in 2008, this revved up the popularity of most Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including the Nightster models. Because Sporsters and Nighsters were among the least expensive motorcycles on the market at the time, overall sales of these machines were impressive due to the desire for both new and experienced riders to get their hands on one.

In reality, the only thing that set Nightsters apart from the Sportsters was their color schemes. When Harley-Davidson announced in 2019 that the infamous Sportster was also coming to an end, fans of the series were not happy to hear about it. While 2021 does mark the end of an era for the Sportster series in Europe due to new governmental regulations that resulted in Harley-Davidson making this decision, this doesn't mean the lineup has come to an end completely.

Recently, the 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S has been shown off in color schemes that seem to resemble something closer to what a modern-day Nightster would look like. Does this mean Harley-Davidson fans are about to witness a comeback?

While Harley-Davidson Sportsters may no longer have new models rumbling around on European roads, doesn't mean they can't continue doing so on American soil. There have been rumors about the return of the Nightsters but as their own independent brand.

According to Harley-Davidson Forums, there has been a filing by the manufacturers to officially trademark Harley-Davidson Nightster as an official brand of its own. On the Motor Biscuit website, there are speculations that have revolved around Harley-Davidson's Custom 1250 and what it may bring to a consumer market that seems to be biting its nails with anticipation.

You can also read:

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

Related Articles

Stay ahead of the curve with our most recent guides and articles on , freshly curated by our diligent editorial team for your immediate perusal.
As featured on:

Wealth Insight!
Subscribe to our Exclusive Newsletter

Dive into the world of wealth and extravagance with Money Inc! Discover stock tips, businesses, luxury items, and travel experiences curated for the affluent observer.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram