In India, Harley-Davidson has just unveiled its newest offering, the X440. Developed in partnership with Indian manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, the X440 is Harley’s smallest motorcycle in its current lineup, as well as the only one currently running a single-cylinder engine. The bike was built to expand the brand’s presence in the Asian market, and when looked at from the bigger picture, can actually be considered a big bike in the region.
Having said that, it’s almost certain that the X440 isn’t the last of its kind, as a lot of popular models from a variety of manufacturers share the same platform. As is usually the case, new models start with a neutral design, and indeed, this is the case with the X440. Sitting somewhere between a cruiser and a naked bike, the X440 boasts rather upright ergonomics with a tall handlebar and mid-set foot controls. Naturally, the launch of this bike has stirred speculation about what could come next from Harley’s small-displacement platform.
The rumor mills are churning, and they seem to suggest that a “Nightster” iteration of the X440 could be coming next. Indeed, if you run a search on India’s IP online platform, you’ll see that the name “Nightster 440” has been patented, not by Harley-Davidson, but by Hero MotoCorp. You can try this for yourself by searching for it in the link below. Said patent was filed on July 17, 2023.
Those of you familiar with Harley-Davidson’s current lineup should be no stranger to the Nightster name, as it’s the newest model in Harley’s Sport lineup, sitting below the Sportster series. It’s a more approachable, lightweight model, packing a 975cc, liquid-cooled V-twin engine. I’ve ridden this bike on multiple occasions, and it’s clear that Harley has dialed down the machismo in favor of accessibility and smoothness. As for the Nightster 440, well, all we can do is speculate as the X440 is already accessible as it is.
Indian publication AutoCar India thinks that the upcoming Nightster will be a sportier iteration of the X440, and this sentiment is shared by quite a few other publications in the Asian market. Perhaps the Nightster 440 will come with lower bars, giving the rider a more aggressive stance. On top of that, the bike is speculated to feature tweaks to the frame, and maybe even the suspension, to provide a more engaging ride on twisty roads.