Wife looking at a Nightster

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by Zamadan, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Zamadan

    Zamadan Active Member

    The little woman being vertically challenged loves the nightster. She wanted me to ask here for opinions on comfort, handling, control and wind buffeting and how it would do if she used it when we go touring. I would carry a gallon gas can cause of the small tank a just incase thing.

    I rode one on demo days and the suspension bottomed out on every bump. Would have to change the rear shocks I'm thinking and get a shield, plus I found the seat to be too firm.

    Any suggestions or recommendations for her?


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Z...you test rode it, but you did not compare her size and weight to yours...if she is all of say 100 lbs and 5' compared to you, it is likely she will NOT experience suspension bottoming and the small tank/seat will need to BOTH be replaced if you opt for the larger 4.2 gal tank of say a Sportster custom equivalent setup. Windscreen and other comfort mods should be experienced before purchasing...or have dealer install as a try before you buy...as standard HD items like this may very well be in stock.

    Research a little with your local HD Dealer for stock substitution part numbers (you could have her try the Sportster custom with the appropriate tank/seat combination to get an idea if it is closer to what you want), maybe they even have some take offs that they would put on to make your Nightster ideal for her...

    You also may want to look at adjusting the controls closer to fit her better by fitting bars (tilting towards the rider) and controls adjust clutch and foot controls for easier actuation for shorter rider. Try planning her a test ride in advance after her rider course completion (if she has not done so already). Consider having an EZ clutch installed as well (many smaller riders have a problem turning bars lock to lock and still have strength in their hands to reach and pull a stiff clutch lever). Just some thoughts to try and help...
  3. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Member

    My wife rides an 03 883C and loves it. I tried to get her to sell it give her my Wide Glide but she would have no part of that. She really likes her bike, and the new ones are even better. She has a windshield and that's all she seems to need, and not all that often. If we'll be gone all day, she'll put it on.

    Sportys handle great. I ride an Ultra and a Road King (sold the Wide Glide), but I wouldn't mind owning a Nightster myself!!!
  4. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I had a Sporty and if she plans on riding it longer than 30 or 40 minutes at a time, I would definitely recommend a seat and shock upgrade. Progressive makes direct replacement rear shocks that adjust nicely. The quick disconnect windshield is also a must if she's going to be chasing you at highway speeds for long periods.
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    I would suggest bypassing the sporty and go for a superglide if the wife can handle just a bit more bike and the finances can stand the extra. It will take care of the situation for a long time instead of upgrading after you try to taylor the bike to fit her. JMHO.
  6. Bait

    Bait Active Member

    My wife rides a Nightster & refuses to get anything else. She has gone on substantial "day rides" and her only complaint is that it is "bouncy". We previously put a Stage 1 upgrade and forward controls on it and are looking at Progressive Shocks to see if it stiffens the ride up a bit. Hope this helps.
  7. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    My wife and i took our 2 Sportster from north Scotland to Germany and back without issue her on a stock 94 883 and me on a stage 1 93 883 both fitted with larger tanks and throw over bags
    also did the length and breadth of the UK on the Sportsters
    both bikes would sit happily at 80 all day
    however we didn't do more than 350 miles in one day and were still fit to have a beer at the end of the day
    with the suspension correctly set and a wee bit of bike fitness longer trips are easily possible on Sportster

  8. blackplague14

    blackplague14 Member

    I'm 5'9" and about 150 lbs. I ride a Nightster almost daily, and I was also bottoming out the rear suspension often. I replaced the shocks with Biltwell rigid struts and replaced the stock handle bars with Lick's super narrow drag bars, and I love the way it rides now. I would much rather have the solid, rigid ride than the "clunk" of the suspension bottoming out on rough spots in the road.

    The longest ride I've done in one day was 240 miles, and we have a 400 mile ride scheduled this coming weekend. My hands get more sore from leaning on the drag bars than my rear end does from the stock seat and rigid struts.


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    "Bouncy" means not enough rebound dampening i.e. when shocks compress, the fluid is slightly too thin to control the "release". You may want to go up slightly on Front Shock fluid viscosity (stock is 5Wt...go to 7.5Wt) fork oil upgrade like Bel Ray up front and the Progressives out back like you were planning and I'll bet she will be happy...you might even end up chasing her in the twisties. :s
  10. Pong

    Pong Member

    My wife is 5"3' 130 lbs.... she can ride it around and never take it out far. I am 5"11' 145 lbs and found the Nightster to be a bit too stiff??!! I think the rear shocks are too stiff for rough Thai road, the front is behaving fine. The tank is definitely too small for touring and windbuffeting is normal for this kind of bike.