Here’s How Harley-Davidson’s Night Train Motorcycle Holds Up To Today’s Standards
By Medha Karn
Harley-Davidson says the Night Train is lean, mean, and built to ride hard. It is one of the best Harley motorcycles worth every dollar!
Harley-Davidson Night Train was first launched in 1998, as part of the Softail lineup. These Softail motorcycles had suspension springs located in the rear, out of the direct line of sight, to make them look like hardtail motorbikes. Over the years, other brands too, have adopted the term Softail, for their hidden suspension motorcycles and even bicycles. The Harley Night Train has its shock absorbers tucked away, underneath the transmission. It looks like a hard frame bike but retains the comfort of the rear suspension design. With its pitch black power train, black trims, and all black fuel tank, it looks sinister. Night Train was discontinued in 2009. According to TopSpeed, '07 Night Train is very comfortable and efficient.
Harley-Davidson says the Night Train is lean, mean, and built to ride hard. It is one of the best Harley motorcycles worth every dollar! Specially built for Europe, it sits low and looks good from almost all the angles. The balanced black and chrome color scheme gives it that feisty underdog look. While it does lack a few things here and there to flaunt that HD signature style look, it does have the bells and whistles at all the right places. Straight from the factory drag bars and the six-inch risers further oomph the looks. Some loyalists love it for the classy looks or the luxurious ride it offers, some do it for that bass sound, while some said on the hdforums that it's not the fastest or most comfortable motorcycle either.
Although it sure looks clean and classy, how does the Softail Night Train hold up to today's standards? Is it worth buying a new or used Harley Davidson Softail, nowadays?
Since Softail was claimed to be built, to compensate for comfort, let’s talk about that first.
Though the stock seat looks cool, it is slightly painful on long rides (which is why one would buy a Softail - long windy rides). However, a Mustang seat can easily fix the problem. Some find the bike better adapts to tall drivers, as you need longer legs and longer arms to steer tightly or reach the front pegs. On the other hand, some drivers think it is a bit difficult to find the required legroom and space for taller drivers. Although, nothing that some extended forward control extensions and heel rest or floorboards can't solve. The bike might be a bit tough on shorter drivers on long drives. With the controls and footpegs mounted way up and the seat so low, it makes the ride a tad bit uncomfortable. Add to that a stripped, padding-less seat and you would understand the plight of a short driver. Not only are the bumps pretty unforgiving but they directly hit your posterior.
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Engine, Power, & Handling
Night Train comes with a four-stroke air-cooled V twin engine. Originally, the model had a 1338 cc engine with a five-speed transmission, which does not fare well on all surfaces. Starting from 2000, it was revised to 1450 cc. A fuel injection system was added in 2002. The major modification came in 2006 though, when the engine was amped up to twin cam 96 vibration isolation - mounted valves, 1584 cc engine with six-speed, cruise drive transmission, and a compression ratio of 9.2:1. The rear tires were expanded too, to 200 mm in 2005. '07 or '09 model is one of the best Harley - Davidson bikes ever made!
It handles very well on open straight roads, but, turns and bends are not easy. Trying to manhandle on the bends, or, corners can be tricky with those super long front forks, long frame, and low seating.
Night Train is sheer joy if you ride with a cruiser attitude and enjoy it with wafts of fresh air caressing and ruffling your face.
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How It Holds Up Today
While handling is good, it does not drive well on rough terrain or hills. But, it definitely holds its own on open roads, even with uphill, downhill, or slight inclines. Night Train is fuel-efficient, so there's that! About 20-25 mpg on the highways. Lower speeds translate to better fuel economy and less tiredness than higher speeds. For those drivers who are looking for a laid back cruiser (probably 60-80 mph), Night Train is one of the best options, but, those looking for a daily commuter or something agile and high speed, this simply won’t fly in today’s world. Having said all of that, it pretty much retains its value. A used Night Train in good shape would easily sell on upwards of $10,000. Night Train is good if you have the skills and the patience to drive one. Not to mention, an insane obsession of Harley, which loyalists do have, goes a long way too!
NEXT: The 2009 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Night Train In Full Focus
Underneath, this classic pony car is more than just a black beauty.
Read NextAbout The Author
Medha Karn is an all cars and trucks fanatic. She loves riding her suv, reading, and watching movies/TV. She is usually found building her Nana's old Maruti 800, or reading something when she is doing nothing.
Pictures, trademarks and logos of third parties are the exclusive property of the respective owners. Technical specifications are subject to change without notice. Bikez.com has been developed by ObjectLabs.
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Back to 2002 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Index Page
Click photo to enlarge.
It makes a great desktop image.
2002 Harley-Davidson FXSTB/FXSTBI Night Train
– 2002 Harley-Davidson FXSTB/FXSTBI Night Train
Harley® riders have always had a special place in their hearts for the color black. The black-on-black Night Train™ has a profile that pushes the limit. Sink deep into the depths of its low custom seat. Settle in behind the stainless drag bars on top of six-inch risers, and a wide raked fork straddling a 21-inch laced wheel. The hefty, one-piece tank is settled over the bike’s new Twin Cam 88B™ engine, which is blacked out, using wrinkle black finishes.
Key FXSTB™ SOFTAIL® NIGHT TRAIN™ Characteristics
-Rigid mount, 1450cc Twin Cam 88B™ balanced engine
-Black powdercoated engine with wrinkle black and texture black covers
-Laced front wheel, disc rear wheel
-Black tank console, rear fender supports, air cleaner, and oil tank
-MSRP US $14,950
Vehicle specifications and features may vary from country to country depending on local laws, and some models are not available in certain countries.
Length 95.0 in. (2411.1 mm)
Seat Height (measure laden w/ 180 lb. rider) 25.2 in. (638.5 mm)
Seat Height TUV (measure unladen; int’l measure) (678 mm)
Ground Clearance 5.6 in. (140.9 mm)
Rake 34.0 degrees
Trail 5.0 in. (126.9 mm)
Wheelbase 66.9 in. (1697.9 mm)
Tires: Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series II D402
Front MH90-21 54H
Rear MT90B 16 74H
Fuel Capacity (includes 0.5 gal. reserve) 5.0 gal. (18.9 L)
Reserve Fuel Capacity 0.5 gal. (1.9 L)
Oil Capacity 3.5 qts. (3.3 L)
Dry Weight 629.6 lbs. (285.8 kg)
Vehicle Weight In Running Order (int’l measure) (302.8 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 1125.0 lbs. (510.8 kg)
Engine OHV Twin Cam 88B (balanced)
Valves Pushrod-operated overhead valves;with hydraulic
self-adjusting lifters; two valves per cylinder
Bore and Stroke 3.75 x 4.0 in. (95.25 x 101.6 mm)
Displacement 88 cu. in. (1450 cc)
Compression Ratio 8.9:1
Fuel System Carburetion (40 mm constant velocity with enrichener and accelerator pump);
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (Single runner, 45 mm throttle bore ESPFI)
Air Cleaner/Filter Elliptical style chrome with spun aluminum insert;
high-efficiency, pleated paper filtration
Ignition Single-fire, non-waste, map-controlled spark ignition system;
electronic breakerless with multiple advance curve matrix
Lubrication System Dry sump, internally mounted, crank driven gerotor pressure and
dual scavenge pump with spin on 10Ã¬ pressurized oil filter
Primary Drive Double-row chain; oil bath; mechanical tensioner;
25/36-tooth sprockets (1.44:1)
Final Drive Gates aramid fiber reinforced Poly Chain belt;
32/70-tooth sprockets; 2.188:1
Clutch Multi-plate with diaphragm spring in oil bath
Transmission Five-speed,constant mesh
Frame Mild steel, rectangular section backbone w/twin downtubes
Swing Arm Tubular mild steel
Front Fork Wide 41.3 mm custom fork
Wheels 21 in. (53.34 cm) laced front wheel, 16 in. (40.64 cm) cast black disc rear wheel
Wheel Bearings Dual-sealed, automotive-style, ball-type
Caliper type Four-piston front and rear
Rotor type (diameter x width): Patented, Uniform Expansion Rotors
Front 11.5 in. x .20 in. (292.1 mm x 5.08 mm)
Rear 11.5 in. x .23 in. (292.1 mm x 5.82 mm)
Front Wheel 5.61 in. (142.5 mm)
Rear Wheel 4.34 in. (110.24 mm)
Engine Torque 85 ft. lbs. @ 3000 rpm (106.9 NM @ 3000 rpm)
Braking at 60 mph (97 kph):
Maximum load 160 ft. (48.8 m)
Lean Angle (per SAEJ1168):
Right 31 degrees
Left 30 degrees
Battery Sealed, maintenance-free, 12-volt,19 amp-hour, 270 cca
(per Battery Council International rating)
Charging 38-amp permanent magnet alternator with solid-state regulator
(481 watts @ 3,000 rpm, 494 watts peak)
Starting 1.2 kW electric with Bendix-type engagement
Lights: (As per country regulation)
Headlamp Quartz halogen 55-watt low beam, 60-watt high beam
Tail/stop lights 8w/28w, (5w/21w)
Turn signal lights (self-canceling) 28w, (21w)
Running lights Front turn signals (except where prohibited by law)
Indicator lamps High beam, neutral, oil, turn signals, engine diagnostics,
and security system (optional)
Engine Trim Black texture/black wrinkle
Exhaust System Staggered shorty duals
Oil Tank Black
Ignition Barrel keyed
Handlebars Chrome dragbars
Seat Badlander style custom seat
Passenger Backrest Available Genuine Motor Accessories
Brake and Shift Lever Forward foot control
Rear Fender Supports Black wrinkle supports
Fork Lock Common with ignition key
Instruments Electronic speedometer with odometer and
resettable tripmeter w/diagnostic capabilities and
solid state tell-tale indicator module
Flasher Hazard warning integrated into turn signal controls
Vivid Black, Jade Sunglo Pearl
Warranty 12 months (unlimited mileage)
Service Interval First 1,000 miles (1,600 Km); every 5,000 miles (8,000 Km) thereafter.
– Inspections of certain systems and components are required at 2,500 mile (4,000 Km) intervals –
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Night value train harley 2002
She asked. - No, I just wanted to. - I began to speak, but was interrupted.Why the softail is the most underestimated Harley Davidson
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