Harley-Davidson is in full party-planning mode. It’s not prepping for the Holidays, however. The Motor Company recently announced that it will officially present its 2023 motorcycle lineup on January 18, 2023. With the momentous date less than a month away, Harley is shoring up its 2023 headliners. According to Australian certification documents, that could include a new Nightster S variant.
Uncovered by Motorcycle’s sleuth extraordinaire Dennis Chung, the filing lists the base model Nightster, Sportster S, and Pan America 1250 Special returning Down Under in 2023. H-D hasn’t offered the standard Pan America in Australia as of yet, so its exclusion from this list raises no flags. In the submitted file, the new Nightster trim showed up as the RH975S model code.
The document also reveals that the S model will retain the Revolution Max 975T V-twin, which still puts out 90 horsepower (at 7,500 rpm). While the base and up-spec trim share the same size wheels, the S will ditch the seven-spoke cast wheel layout for a more intricate design. A new pillion pad and passenger pegs also distinguish the Nightster S.
Pictures supplied along with the filing indicate that the S trim will gain a retro-inspired tank graphic, but that seems to sum up the differences between the two Nightster variants. With the S designation, we expected a dual-disc front-end braking system, USD fork, or souped-up Revo Max to add a sporty nature to the Nightster lineup.
Instead, it seems like the S primarily equates to styling upgrades. With Harley discontinuing the Evo-powered Sportster range in 2022, the Nightster S’s retro-leaning aesthetic could help recuperate disgruntled air-cooled Harley fans. As always, we’ll have to wait for Harley-Davidson to officially roll out the model before we can measure its impact within the lineup. Hopefully, that occurs at the firm’s January 18, 2023, event.
Sources: Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson