Frugal, tough... but is the Harley-Davidson LiveWire record fast too?

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire meets the drag strip as riders attempt to notch up some new land speed records with the electric motorcycle

It doesn’t take a genius to explain why Harley-Davidson is so keen to promote the abilities of its LiveWire electric motorcycle.

While we could point at a lukewarm response from press and public alike as one reason for throwing some marketing spend behind it, the American firm should be given some credit for going against not only its own tide, but the industry as a whole, by bringing a smart bit of technology to the masses (albeit at a price).

Indeed, with the electric motorcycle market largely to itself - save for less established brands Zero and Energica - the LiveWire has been notching up some worthwhile landmarks, whether it’s going as far as possible on a single charge, or climbing its way through South America with Ewan McGregor astride or, in this case, breaking land speed records.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire (2020) Review |

In this latest stunt, Harley-Davidson tasked riders with a drag race in Indianapolis to cover as much ground as quickly as possible and also see where the naked maxes out at top speed.

And the winner was Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider and Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey, who managed to hit 110.35mph (the bike is limited at 110mph) and more importantly cover a one-eighth mile distance in 7.017s, plus a quarter-mile in 11.156s.

“Let me tell you what’s amazing,” said Sampey. “That was the first time I rode the LiveWire. I could not wait to get it on the track. The LiveWire is so easy to ride. Just twist the throttle and go, and you really go!”

The stats shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that has had the chance to sample the benefits of the instantaneous torque an electric motorcycle provides, going some way to making up for that lack of rumble and noise by being blisteringly quick from stationary.

While Harley-Davidson may be a little too far ahead of the curve at the moment with regards to the appetite for electric motorcycling, based on sales and feedback, it’s worth giving credit for the chance it has taken in a market that will seemingly eventually go greener, even if it’s unclear if that timeframe will be measured in months, years or decades.


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