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2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser Review Specs Price

The new 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser in the intermediate weight class improves upon the Nightster motorbike riding experience in a variety of ways. The Revolution Max 975T is powered by a liquid-cooled V-Twin engine capable of producing exhilarating performance thanks to its focus on delivering maximum torque at low engine speeds. The engine is the central part of the chassis and is incorporated into the bike to reduce its total weight.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser

In 2023, you may get a brand-new version of the timeless Sportster design with the Nightster Special. A timeless form. Recent musculature. As the riding modes change, so should your demeanor.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser – Features and Specs

Vintage Styling

The medallion on the air box cover is very ’70s.

Two-Up Ready

The footpegs and passenger pillion make it possible to travel in tandem.

Front Suspension

Conventional forks with a dual bending valve are optimized for superior handling by maintaining tire contact with the road.

Stylish Lighting

Turn signals, brake lights, and front and back lights are all made of LEDs.

Revolution Max 975 Powertrain

A liquid-cooled V-Twin engine has a flat torque curve across the powerband, allowing it to produce a lot of torque at low RPM.

Select from several predetermined “ride modes” to improve your self-assurance when driving. Change between Road, Rain, or Sport modes, or set your own.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser – The Facts

The essential Nightster’s Revolution Max 975T motor is used in the Turbo. The 975T’s power delivery is much smoother off-idle than its bigger sibling, the 1250T. Because a learning throttle hand is less likely to cause an accident, this makes it a more appealing alternative for novice motorcyclists. The 975T is refined from the ground up, making it a fantastic choice for the 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special as its urban powertrain.

The few characteristics that make this Nightster “Special” are crucial. This Nightster is ideal for transporting a passenger since it provides a separate seat and footpegs for your significant other. The ergonomics have been improved to be more comfortable for the rider. Thanks to a redesigned handlebar and riser, the Special’s grips are an inch closer to the rider and two inches higher than a conventional Nightster. The Special’s rider triangle is much more condensed than a regular Nightster due to the reappearance of the controls placed midway between the rider’s feet. The Nightster’s comfortable design makes the rider feel in charge, which is especially useful while carrying passengers.

Most riders will reach the most robust setting within the three available power modes. There is more to it than just changing the throttle response between Sport, Road, and Rain modes. Modifications to ABS, engine braking, and traction control are included. In Sport mode, the throttle response is highly quicker, albeit not too sensitive. It is a lot of fun to rev the engine up to its 9500 rpm redline, and only experienced drivers should do this. The Road mode moderates acceleration for those who are nervous about it. If it starts to rain, go to Rain mode and stay there until it stops.

Through Sport mode, driving through Los Angeles is a blast. When operating in Road mode, the engine lacks the responsiveness necessary to take advantage of traffic openings or prevent being hit by a careless motorist. While the 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special’s Road mode works perfectly for solo rides, the bike’s urban and sporty styling makes it less suited to extended stints on the highway.

The speedy and spirited Revolution Max 975T is a reliable companion for getting about town. Slow down, and the engine will behave itself. However, acceleration is not as simple as just rolling along. You need to give the throttle a good, firm twist if you want to get going quickly. The 975’s acceleration is breathtaking in Sport mode, but you must take your time if you are driving on the Road. In most riding situations, the throttle response is more important than the subtle differences in other riding aids like ABS, traction control, and engine braking that occur when moving between Sport and Road modes. Keep with the Road mode if you are a beginner or have a shaky right hand.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser

Especially in congested city centers, the Special’s more erect and compact ergonomics are helpful. Combat is not the time to take it easy. The Special has a seat that puts you in a position to pay close attention to the road. It provides a comfortable sensation of control over the bike and a clear perspective of your surroundings. The Nightster Special has a lengthy wheelbase (61.3 inches), a rake (30 degrees), and a fork angle (28 degrees). Although its 100mm front tire and 16″ 150mm rear tire prevent me from calling the motorbike handy, they let you position it precisely where you need it in traffic. The 3.1-gallon gasoline tank is located beneath the passenger seat, contributing to the vehicle’s low center of gravity and helping keep the curb weight under 500 pounds.

The 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special performs admirably in the urban and rural canyons of Los Angeles. The Nightster Special may be a cruiser at heart, but it has the handling skills, power delivery, and cornering clearance to make long days of twisties enjoyable. The Special’s roomy wheelbase and high rake make it relatively steady when turning. You may push the bike as hard as the laws of physics will allow, thanks to the Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series D401 tires’ superior edge grip. The 19-inch wheels with 16-inch tires might not look like the sportiest setup, but their smaller width and softer cornering profile make up for the Sportster S’s shortcomings. The Nightster Special may not be quick, but it is undoubtedly not lumbering. You may confidently increase your speed thanks to the predictable and progressive handling.

Because of its stiff suspension and short wheelbase, the Nightster Special is best suited for paved highways. Even without any modifications, the Showa Dual Bending Valve 41mm fork’s 4.5 inches of travel is plenty. The emulsion shocks have a limited range of motion, about three inches. They work wonderfully on recently repaved highways, such as the Mulholland Drive stretch separating downtown Los Angeles from the suburbs. The Nightster Special rides smoothly in the twisties and on Hollywood Boulevard, but it gets jounced around on side streets that the maintenance personnel has not checked. The ride quality has improved since the air-cooled Sportsters were withdrawn, but there is still space for development.

The Nightster Special reacts when it is time to slow down. Since the Revolution Max 975T does not have the air-cooled Sportsters’ potent engine compression braking, the performance of the Brembo brakes is particularly noteworthy. While the hefty four-piston Brembo front caliper is not radially mounted, it can nonetheless stop a 320mm disc thanks to the help of a steel-braided line. The back brake is very effective and provides a welcome boost to stopping distance. If your right foot gets overly aggressive, the ABS is there to help.

Two unique rider modes are available should you have specific powertrain requirements. Even if you enjoy the quick reaction, you might want firmer ABS, throttle control, and engine braking. You just need to watch the circular TFT dashboard and press a few buttons to get what you want. It is always worth playing with the four parameters since you never know what works best until you try it. The factory preset modes may not be precise to your individual liking.

Veteran Sportster riders will be shocked to see the number and variety of switches at their disposal. You may connect your smartphone to the Nightster Special’s bright dashboard using Bluetooth to listen to music or receive calls wirelessly as you ride.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser

The 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special is an excellent addition to the Sportster lineup. There is no denying the bike’s improved performance over its air-cooled Sportster predecessor. Those upgrading from air-cooled Sportsters to the Revolution Max 975T must get used to the increased power and less roll-on muscle. Those who are unfamiliar with the system will have fun just riding along. Those who value convenience above stealth will like the Special’s improved ergonomics, and many will appreciate its ability to carry a passenger. Even if there is still time to clean up the appearance of the bike’s left side, for example, we are pleased with what Harley-Davidson is accomplishing with the reinvented Sportster series. Regardless, the Nightster Special provides the ride quality we expect from a motorbike in the Sportster family.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser – Price

The new 2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser is available at $14,999 to $15,449 only.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser – Technical Specifications


Length 87 in.
Seat Height, Laden 27.1 in.
Ground Clearance 4.5 in.
Rake 30
Trail 5.4 in.
Wheelbase 61.3 in.
Tires, Front Specification 100/90-19 57H
Tires, Rear Specification 150/80B16 77H
Tire, Type Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series Bias Blackwall
Fuel Capacity 3.1 gal.
Oil Capacity (W/Filter) 4.75 qt.
Weight, As Shipped 465 lb.
Weight, In Running Order 483 lb.


Engine Revolution Max 975T
Bore 3.82 in.
Stroke 2.6 in.
Displacement 59.5 cu in
Compression Ratio 12:1
Fuel System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust 2-into-1; catalyst in header

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special Sports Cruiser


Engine Torque Testing Method J1349
Engine Torque 70 ft-lb
Engine Torque (RPM) 5000
Horsepower 90 HP / 67 kW @ 7500 rpm
Lean Angle, Right (DEG.) 32
Lean Angle, Left (DEG.) 32
Fuel Economy Testing Method Estimated City/Hwy
Fuel Economy 52 mpg

Drive train

Primary drive Gear, 49/89 ratio
Gear Ratios (Overall) 1st 12.21
Gear Ratios (Overall) 2nd 9.022
Gear Ratios (Overall) 3rd 6.994
Gear Ratios (Overall) 4th 5.641
Gear Ratios (Overall) 5th 4.731
Gear Ratios (Overall) 6th 4.131


Front fork 41mm SHOWA Dual Bending Valve conventional forks. Aluminum fork triple clamps.
Rear Shocks The rear suspension is dual outboard, direct-acting (no linkage) suspension technology shock absorbers with coil springs & a threaded collar for pre-load adjustment.
Wheels, Front Type Aluminum cast, silver
Wheels, Rear Type Aluminum cast, silver
Brakes, Type Front: single rotor, floating, hub-mounted; Rear: solid uniform expansion rotor
Brakes, Caliper Type Front: axially mounted, 4-piston caliper; Rear: floating, single-piston caliper


Lights, headlamp, tail/stop/front signal lights All LED headlamps, low and high beam with signature position lighting; All LED rear lighting; LED bullet turn signals
Gauges 4-inch viewable area TFT display with speedometer, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, ambient temp, low temp alert, side stand down attention, TIP over warning, cruise, range, and tachometer indication BT capable – phone pairing to access phone calls, music, navigation


Type Color TFT
Screen Size 4 in.
Headset Specifications (If Equipped) Bluetooth
Languages Arabic, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (default), Finnish, French (Canada/France), German, Greek, Korean, Hungarian, Norwegian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal/Brazil), Indonesian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Mexico/Spain), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese
Hands-Free Mobile Phone – Via Bluetooth Standard
Voice Recognition Languages: Phone Functions Only Phone dependent
Voice Recognition Languages: Tuner/Media/Navigation Phone dependent
Text-To-Speech (TTS) Languages Phone dependent
Rider/Passenger Intercom Headset function only
Vehicle Information Screen (Air Temperature, Oil Pressure, & Eitms) TPMS, Engine temp, Battery Voltage, Ambient Air Temp
USB Charging and Instrument update, USB-C, 5V, 3A
Bluetooth Phone/Media Supported

Rider Safety Enhancements

Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) Included
Traction Control System (TCS) Included
Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) Included
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Included

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