Harley Sportster Nightster
Sunday I got to spend a few miles aboard a 07 Sportster Nightster thanks to 1000RRHooligan who swapped steeds with me for a bit. His bike is mostly stock other than the rotors are upgraded to floaters and has a more comfy seat. I had a few impressions, thought I'd share.
At first it felt really alien and I wasn't immediately comfortable with the seating position. Definitely felt more disconnected from the bike than you do on a sportbike. Even with the upgraded brake rotors you quickly learn it's a good idea to use both the front and back brakes to stand any chance of stopping where you wish to stop. Leaning the bike over felt really bizarre, you're nowhere near being over the front tire and there's very little feedback. It felt as though it could wash out with just a few degrees of lean angle.
Most of that is subjective and as I rode on it did become more comfortable. Thankfully it was wearing stock exhaust pipes so I could hear myself think. The engine was very smooth everywhere except at a standstill. The transmission was not at all vague like I remember from years ago, the shifting action reminded me of a well built ratchet or the slide action of a precision firearm. Very clean shifting, very smooth.
I could definitely see one of these as a perfect Sunday ride cruising around machine. While the seating position didn't pretend to make you feel like Rossi there were flashbacks of Fonda & Hopper.