Harley-Davidson has produced many variants of its popular Softail motorcycle for all shapes, sizes, and riding styles, but it is the Night Train model that stands out as perhaps the most talked-about custom cruiser on the streets. The dark-themed machine looks like something Batman might ride if he chose a Harley-Davidson, and if popularity is any indication, why wouldn’t he?
The 2005 Harley-Davidson Softail Night Train is powered by a four-stroke, 1449cc, air-cooled, Pushrod, V-Twin engine with an electric starter, named the Twin Cam 88B. With 85 lb-ft of torque delivered at 3000 rpm, the darkly themed Night Train commands respect on the streets and on highways alike. With a compression ratio of 8.9:1, and 95 x 101.5 mm bore and stroke, the heavy breathing Softail is able to bring all of its available power to the road. The fuel system is available in either electronic fuel injection or carburetor configuration, both of which appreciate premium fuel. The five-gallon fuel tank ensures a reasonable range and maintains the iconic lines of the Softail that fans the world over have come to love. The five-speed manual transmission is belt driven for low maintenance requirements, while the multi-plate clutch with diaphragm spring in oil bath keeps shifting smooth and crisp throughout the power band.
The telescopic fork handles bumps in the road up front and does a superb job of tracking, while in the rear, the twin-sided swing arm with dual spring shock absorbers keeps the rider comfortable and under control, no matter what the road throws at the Harley-Davidson Softail beneath him.
A black leather Badlander Seat provides seating for two passengers with a one-piece design. Grab rails come standard, and due to the modular design of all Harley-Davidson bikes, optional seats are interchangeable. The bodywork of the Night Train includes a belt guard, front fender, rear fender, rear fender rail, hand grips, side cover, and kick stand. Foot pegs are included for both the driver and passenger and are set in an aggressive, yet comfortable position. Storage includes the tank divider, although additional front and side racks are not available. This is a streamlined machine, built for the streets and not long distance travel.
Drag-race style handlebars keep the rider in an aggressive riding position on the Harley-Davidson Softail, and the tank-mounted instrument panel allows all important information to be in view at all times. The digital instrumentation provides fuel level warning, speedometer, trip odometer, along with the standard turn signal, low and high beam, and emergency light feedback. Other information includes a resettable trip-meter and diagnostic readout, oil pressure indicator lamps, and engine diagnostics.
On this Harley-Davidson, the large 11.5-inch front and rear disc brakes reliably slow down the Softail. The black highlighted machined disc keeps the theme dark for the Night Train. The front steel-laced wheel measures a meaty 21 inches in diameter and looks great in laced chrome aluminum, wrapped in Dunlop MH90 rubber. The rear wheel is 16 inches in diameter, but very wide at 150mm, and wears Dunlop high-performance rubber.
All three of the color options for the Night Train continue the dark theme of the bike. Whether you choose the Vivid Black, Black Cherry Pearl, or Black Pearl, there is little doubt that this bike is intended as a night rider. If you are looking for a bike with style and individuality, the Softail Night Train might be perfectly suited for you.