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 Model||Displacement (cc)||Top speed||0-60 mph (Time taken to reach)|
|Harley Iron 833||883 cc||105mph||5.6 sec|
|Harley Iron 1200||1,202 cc||118 mph||4.2 sec|
|Harley Forty-eight||1,202 cc||110 mph||4.3 sec|
|Harley Breakout 114||1,868 cc||115 mph||4.6 sec|
|Harley Livewire (Electric)||—-||110 mph||3.0 sec|
|Harley Roadster||1,202 cc||124 mph||4.2 sec|
|Harley Street Bob||1,868 cc||125 mph||4.5 sec|
|Harley Softail Slim||1,746 cc||125 mph||4.2 sec|
|Harley Low rider S||1,746 cc||105 mph||4.0 sec|
|Harley Sports Glide||1,745 cc||115 mph||4.6 sec|
|Harley Fat Bob 114||1,868 cc||110 mph||3.5 sec|
|Harley Fat Boy 114||1,868 cc||110 mph||5.0 sec|
|Harley Electra Glide Standard||1,745 cc||100 mph||5.0 sec|
|Harley Heritage Classic||1,745 cc||110 mph||4.4 sec|
|Harley Road King||1,745 cc||100 mph||5.0 sec|
|Harley Road Glide||1,868 cc||105 mph||5.0 sec|
|Harley Street Glide||1,868 cc||105 mph||5.0 sec|
|Harley FXDR 114||1,868 cc||160 mph||2.5 sec|
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.
|Model||Displacement (cc)||Top Speed||0-60 (time taken to reach)|
|BMW S1000RR||999 cc||188 mph||2.6 sec|
|Honda CBR1000rr||999 cc||185 mph||3.6 sec|
|Yamaha YZF-R1||998 cc||186 mph||2.3 sec|
|Kawasaki ZX6r||636 cc||175 mph||3.1 sec|
|Ducati Pingle v4||1,103 cc||180 mph||3.3 sec|
|KTM RC 390||373 cc||105 mph||4.9 sec|
|Kawasaki Z900||948 cc||158.5 mph||4.7 sec|
|Kawasaki 650||649 cc||132 mph||3.5 sec|
|Suzuki Hayabusa||1,340 cc||194 mph||2.5 sec|
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.