How fast are Harley-Davidson motorcycles? Everything you need to know

How fast can a harley-davidson motorcycle goHow fast can a harley-davidson motorcycle go
How fast can a Harley-Davidson motorcycle go

Riders coming from sport motorcycles generally enquire about the speed of Harley Davidson. Also, most of the new riders generally look for speed in the motorcycle as they buy. Thus, in this post, I am going to talk in detail about the top speed of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and also compare it with other motorcycles. Here is what you need to know.

So, How fast can a Harley-Davidson motorcycle go? According to my research, Harley-Davidson’s can reach an average speed of 108 mph. The fastest Harley FXDR 114 can reach up to 160mph with the average time taken to reach 0-60 is 2.5 sec. While the least top speed for Harley is 100mph with the time taken to reach 0-60 is 5.0 sec.

Harley Davidson motorcycles are not meant or designed for speed, unlike other motorcycles. It’s all about iconic big motorcycles are designed for comfortable cruising and touring.

How fast is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle?

Harley-Davidson motorcycle can go up to 115mph and it takes about 4.4 sec to go 0-60. The top speed depends on many factors like engine type, engine CC, ergonomics, etc. As, the cruiser is generally focused on having the balance among top speed, comfort, and cruising.

To know the actual figure on Harley Davidson speed, I have collected the top speed of more than 18 Harley-Davidson motorcycles from different liable sources and compiled in the below table.

*The data collected for the list is from the latest models:-

Harley-Davidson ModelDisplacement (cc)Top speed0-60 mph (Time taken to reach)
Harley Iron 833883 cc105mph5.6 sec
Harley Iron 12001,202 cc118 mph4.2 sec
Harley Forty-eight1,202 cc110 mph 4.3 sec
Harley Breakout 1141,868 cc115 mph 4.6 sec
Harley Livewire (Electric)—-110 mph3.0 sec
Harley Roadster1,202 cc124 mph 4.2 sec
Harley Street Bob1,868 cc125 mph4.5 sec
Harley Softail Slim1,746 cc125 mph4.2 sec
Harley Low rider S1,746 cc105 mph 4.0 sec
Harley Sports Glide1,745 cc115 mph4.6 sec
Harley Fat Bob 1141,868 cc110 mph3.5 sec
Harley Fat Boy 1141,868 cc110 mph5.0 sec
Harley Electra Glide Standard1,745 cc100 mph5.0 sec
Harley Heritage Classic1,745 cc110 mph 4.4 sec
Harley Road King1,745 cc100 mph5.0 sec
Harley Road Glide1,868 cc105 mph5.0 sec
Harley Street Glide1,868 cc105 mph5.0 sec
Harley FXDR 1141,868 cc160 mph2.5 sec
Top speed of Harley Davidson motorcycle with all the data

So, from the above data, you can see that most of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle speed ranges between 100 mph -125 mph with some exceptions of FXDR 114. While the average time taken to reach 0-60 for most Harley motorcycles is 4.2 sec.

Apart from top speed, I have also added the displacement of Harley Davidson motorcycles. I am pretty sure that you have noticed, I left the displacement data of Harley Davidson live wire.

The reason is quite simple, Harley Live wire motorcycle is an electric motorcycle which power is measured in kW. So, Harley live wire has a 78 kW (105 hp) electric motor that can achieve 110 mph (117 km/h),

Now, in order to get some real data on, how fast are these Harley motorcycles? I am going to compare it with the sports motorcycle top speed and the time it takes them to reach 0-60. So, that we can have comparative value to analyze the speed.

Comparison of Harley-Davidson top speed with Sports motorcycles

Harley Davidson motorcycle can reach an average top speed of 100 mph to 160 mph that can reach 0-60 under 5.0 sec. While the fastest Harley-Davidson motorcycle can reach the top speed of 160 mph reaching 0-60 under 2.5 sec.

In this list, I am going to list some motorcycles with their top speed and time taken to reach 0-60. 

Now, from the above-collected data, you can see that I have listed some sports motorcycles to compare with Harley Davidson motorcycles.

ModelDisplacement (cc)Top Speed0-60 (time taken to reach)
BMW S1000RR999 cc188 mph2.6 sec
Honda CBR1000rr999 cc185 mph3.6 sec
Yamaha YZF-R1998 cc186 mph2.3 sec
Kawasaki ZX6r636 cc175 mph3.1 sec
Ducati Pingle v41,103 cc180 mph3.3 sec
KTM RC 390373 cc105 mph4.9 sec
Kawasaki Z900948 cc158.5 mph4.7 sec
Kawasaki 650649 cc132 mph3.5 sec
Suzuki Hayabusa1,340 cc194 mph2.5 sec
Top speed of Sport motorcycle

As you can see, the Yamaha YZF-R1 is one of the fastest sports motorcycles on the list that can reach 0-60 min 2.3 sec. While the slowest motorcycle on this list is the KTM RC 390 that comes with a top speed of 105 mph that can reach 0-60 min 4.9 sec.

Now, both fastest sports motorcycle Yamaha YZF-R1 can be compared to the Harley FXDR 114, and both can reach 0-60 around 2.3 to 2.5 sec.

From the above data, it is very much clear that sports motorcycles are way faster than Harley motorcycles. A 600cc sports motorcycle can beat a 1200cc Harley motorcycle easily in speed.

Why is Harley so underpowered?

Harley Davidson is underpowered because of some prominent reasons like engine types, ergonomics, weight, chassis design, and purpose, etc. Harley comes with pushrod operated undersquare V twin engine that is slower than a high-rev engine but produces a good amount of torque at low RPM. That’s why Harleys are underpowered compared to other bikes even in the same engine displacement.

As Harley motorcycles are big and heavy thus require a greater torque amount to get moving giant machines. Although using a V-twin engine doesn’t stop Harleys to make a fast motorcycle. As Ducati motorcycles also come with a V-twin engine and it has entered the sports market. 

Because Harley has its purpose, as they are focused on stability, balance, comfort, and easy-to-handle motorcycles. Their main focus is cruising with comfort not achieving top speed.

Harley motorcycles are made for riding at ease and comfort in a relaxed state for short and long distances. That’s the reason Harley may seem underpowered compare to any sporty motorcycle with the same engine CC.

Apart from this, if you have ever ridden Harley then you know it comes with a very relaxed comfortable seating position compared to any sports one.

Are Harley slower than a sports motorcycle?

Harley motorcycles are slower than a sports motorcycle because it comes with pushrod operated, undersquare, V twin engine that are slower than high-rev engine but produces a good amount of torque at low RPM.

If you just see the ergonomics and body design of Harley and sport you will notice why sports motorcycles are fast.

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are slower than sports motorcycles because these were never meant for speed. Harley is all about riding or cruising in comfort at high-way. While sports motorcycle comes with sporty ergonomics having an aggressive riding position with a high-revving engine and lower weight makes it faster than Harleys.

Harley motorcycles are made for cruising and comfort that’s the reason these are generally slower than sports motorcycles.

Here is a video about a drag race between Harley and Sports motorcycle. After watching this video you will get your answer.


At this point, you know the reason Harley motorcycles are slower than other motorcycles having high-rev engines. Now, as a customer, if you want a relaxed and stable riding position then Harley is good. You can do long-distance riding without having any issues because of its ergonomics. If you are not getting into some racing then you should not worry about taking Harley. And, if speed is the thing that you are looking for then go with a sports motorcycle as there are plenty of options.

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