There is a new midsize cruiser from Harley Davidson in town, and it promises to be a step-up from the previous-generation cruisers from the American brand. Say hello to the Harley Davidson Nightster, a new motorcycle based around the company’s new-gen Revolution-Max platform for midsize cruisers. While it has the typical low-slung appeal of a traditional big-sized American cruiser, it claims to offer an altogether new experience for a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The new Harley Davidson Nightster has arrived at the sweet spot dominated by the Indian Scout for a long time, which now happens to be its only rival in the Indian two-wheeler market. Here, we compare these motorcycles spec-to-spec and in terms of design and equipment and find if the new Harley Davidson goes one-up over the Indian Scout.
Compared to the Indian Scout, which is already available for Rs 17.51 lakh in India, the Harley Davidson Nightster arrived at Rs 14.99 lakh, thus making it almost Rs 2.52 lakh more affordable than the former. While the Indian Scout is available in three colour options – Black Metallic, Maroon Metallic and Silver Quartz Metallic with Black, the Harley Davidson Nightster can be had in Gunship Grey, Redline Red and Vivid Black.
|Model||Harley Davidson Nightster||Indian Scout|
|Price||Rs 14.99 lakh||Rs 17.51 lakh|
(prices mentioned above are ex-showroom, India)
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Engine and Chassis
Both the Harley Davidson Nightster and Indian Scout come equipped with liquid-cooled, V-twin engines, among which the Scout’s engine is bigger and produces more power and torque, thus gaining a displacement advantage. While the 975cc engine of the Harley Davidson Nightster produces 90 bhp of power and 95 Nm of torque, the Indian Scout claims 100 bhp of power and 97 Nm of torque from its 1133cc engine.
Both motorcycles have hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and dual-sided hydraulic coil springs at the rear. While the rear suspension travel of both the motorcycles is the same at 76mm, the Harley Davidson Nightster offers a smaller suspension travel, thus making it slightly stiffer at the front. Both the motorcycles also have an identical 150/80-16 rear tyre, though the 100/90-18 front tyre of the Harley Davidson Nightster is different from the 130/90-16 front tyre of the Indian Scout. Both the motorcycles also have a single disc brake setup at both front and rear, which come equipped with dual-channel ABS.
|Specifications||Harley Davidson Nightster||Indian Scout|
|Engine||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, V-Twin, 975cc||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, V-Twin, 1133cc|
|Power||90 bhp @ 7,500 rpm||100 bhp @ 8,100 rpm|
|Torque||95 Nm @ 5,750 rpm||97 Nm @ 5,900 rpm|
|Front suspension||41mm hydraulic telescopic forks, 114mm travel||Hydraulic telescopic forks, 120mm travel|
|Rear suspension||Dual-sided hydraulic coil springs, 76mm travel||Dual-sided hydraulic coil springs, 76mm travel|
|Front tyre||100/90-19 tubeless||130/90-16 tubeless|
|Rear tyre||150/80-16 tubeless||150/80-16 tubeless|
|Front brake||Single disc, 2 piston caliper||298mm single disc, 2 piston caliper|
|Rear brake||Single disc, 1 piston caliper||298mm single disc, 1 piston caliper|
|ABS||Dual-channel ABS||Dual-channel ABS|
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Keeping these two motorcycles side by side, and even on paper, the Indian Scout emerges as a larger motorcycle over the Harley Davidson Nightster. The Scout is longer and wider while having a longer wheelbase, a higher ground clearance and a lower seat height. However, it also weighs more than the Nightster.
|Dimensions||Harley Davidson Nightster||Indian Scout|
|Kerb weight||221 kg||256 kg|
|Fuel tank capacity||11.7 litres||12.5 litres|
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Design and Features
Both the Harley Davidson Nightster and Indian Scout are traditional American midsize cruisers, which though look huge and majestic in the Indian context. Compared to the Indian Scout, which is now in the Indian market for almost a decade with paint scheme updates, the Harley Davidson Nightster comes as a fresher and more appealing package, with a few more modern add-ons in its package.
The Harley Davidson Nightster is the more modern-looking motorcycle among the two here. The rounded headlamp at the front is an all-LED unit, which is surrounded by a nice-looking cowl. The rounded turn indicators are LED units too, with the rear indicators featuring the dual functionality of the LED tail lamp. It also gets a brushed aluminium finish for the engine casing, a beautiful-looking 2-into-1 exhaust pipe finished in black, and a sloping fuel tank. It also has a newer-looking single-pod part-digital instrument console with digital readouts for gear indicator and tachometer and gets bar-end rear view mirrors
As we have mentioned before, the Indian Scout is there in India for a long time now and has started to show its age. Still, it has got the charm of a big American cruiser with its low-slung old-school appeal. It gets a halogen setup for the round-themed headlamp and turn indicators, while the tail lamp mounted on the rear fender has a unique-looking vertical design. Here, the engine casing and 2-int-2 exhaust pipes stacked vertically are finished in chrome, while the alloy wheels have a machined finish to them. It also gets a part-digital instrument console, which looks more conventional compared to the unit in the Harley Davidson Nightster. Even the switches and rearview mirrors are finished in a theme of chrome.
When the Indian Scout arrived in India for the first time, it came in as a value-for-money cruiser with all the popular American appeal with a good mix of black and chrome elements. It got the right amount of performance and kit for the asking price. However, over the years, the motorcycle hasn’t received significant updates apart from colour options, which has robbed a bit of a novelty factor which people look after at this price point.
It is this aspect that the Harley Davidson Nightster strikes the most. It is a newer motorcycle among the two, and as a result, looks more modern and gets a few new-age elements too. Compared to the Indian Scout, the Nightster is smaller and less powerful with a smaller engine on offer. While the Indian Scout offers a mechanically upgraded feel in terms of power and handling, the Harley Davidson Nightster is the one which has a higher degree of visual appeal. Pick your choice of elements, and there you have a well-differentiated winner.