• Lifestyle

Nightster – A week riding the new bike.

Well, a week on the Nightster – time for some initial thoughts.

It’s not a Daytona.

Its really quite a different riding experience. In fact, due to the high Nightster’s handlebars, I would say it feels closer to a motocross bike than a road bike. The big wide bars mean you can push it around corners fairly easily, and you are sitting bolt upright, nearly to the point of leaning back, so it’s a really different stance to the old bike.

Brakes? What Brakes?

I think the rear disc on the Triumph was nearly as big as the Harleys front! Well, not really, but going from a dual disc to a single disc is quite a change – and I am quickly learning the value of applying some rear brake as well – something I had all but forgotten on the 675. If I don’t grab enough front, I won’t stop in time. It’s not really as ‘sure’ as the old bike either, but, it’s also something I am quickly getting used to – and I don’t really think I will be needed to stop as quickly on it either.

My god. The sound.

Is just so awesome. This particular Nightster bubbles and spits on decel a lot. Which I love. But reading up indicates it may be also running a bit lean – which I will address at some point with a Vision Commander. I believe the factory chip has been flashed to match the Short Shots and Hi-Flow – but I will be tinkering more – so something self programmable is going to be important. Regardless – it is loud, but the thump of the engine and the gurgle of the pipes is infectious!

Talking of the engine – it shakes

On the Nightster, sitting at the lights in neutral, or just sitting on the bike full stop is an experience. The V shakes and basically, well, thrubs under you. Compared to the 675, which I will now describe as smooth as silk, it’s a much more ‘raw’ experience – which is something I am really enjoying.

Hold On – it’s got no fairings

Which means above 100kmph, it becomes an experience to ride. The riding position, coupled with the fact it has no fairings – means you have to hang on. I can see the neck muscles are going to get stronger holding my head in place. Despite how it might sound, I am actually really enjoying the roughness of the ride – unlike the old bike, which was like a scalpel, you really feel like to have to ‘ride’ the Nightster


Holding On – Hand Grip and Indicators

One thing I am still getting my head around are the grips – well, not getting more head around, more, trying to fit my hands around.

Because I am taller that Harleys intended rider, the standard handlebar and therefore grips force my wrists both back, and out. I can alter the back bit by losing off the levers and adjusting them forward, but the pullback will require me to change handlebars – and I think the solution may be Clip-Ons. Because my wrists are pushed slightly out, the lower part of my outer palm sits on the grips, and, all my gloves have either hard or soft armour right there – the result is that I shift my hand out on the grips, and now, I can’t reach the indicators properly. This essentially means I need to let go of the throttle to hit the indicator – which is less than ideal.

My back still hurts – but now in a different way

I am not sure what the ‘average’ Nightster rider height is meant to be – but it’s certainly shorter than me. While better than the rear-sets I have been used to, the mid controls are still a little cramped – so I will be putting on forward controls in the near future – however, I also want to stretch out my top a bit as well – so considering clip-ons – and the combination could make for a very interesting riding stance – much like a ‘<‘ posture. We shall see what the back things of that.

So much to do!

What I do love about the Nightster, is that there is such a developed tinkering community. So much to customise, and so much information on how to do it yourself. I have been reading up heaps online and am forming a list of mods to do to the bike – both cosmetic and performance wise. The good thing though, compared to the Landrover, is that its all much smaller scale – so the mods can be done quicker and easier.

Pulling Stuff off – putting it back on

Nearly immediately after getting home, I unbolted the front fender as the beginning of my ‘bobbing’ process; and then put it back on 2 days later.

It’s amazing – ride it in the rain without a fender and you get a constant fountain of water that comes up over the front of the bike and straight down onto the middle of your visor. It’s uncanny how accurate it is.

I have come to the conclusion that most people who bob their Nightster’s, don’t ever ride them in the wet. So – I am going to have 2 modes for the bike – middle of summer and rest of the year.

Love it

Its totally different to the 675, which is what I wanted – an new experience and a new buzz. Go the Nightster!

Shoot straight(er).

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Kerry Adams
Kerry Adamshttps://thebloke.co.nz
A constant learner with an inquisitive mind, Kerry created Precision Shooter as a way to share what he was learning from the community of experts he found himself surrounded by.Somewhere along the line, he picked up one or two things himself. But don't call him an expert.

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