How Fast Can A Harley-Davidson Go: Know All About The Speed Limits Of A Harley-Davidson Bike


White Star Rides is your trusted Harley-Davidson companion, offering expert guidance and information to enhance your riding experience.

How Fast Can A Harley Davidson Go

Are you an avid Harley-Davidson looking to buy a new bike, but you’re prioritizing speed and want to know how fast it can go? If so, then you’re in the right place.

How fast can a Harley-Davidson go generally varies between 100 and 125 mph. However, the fastest model is the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114, which is capable of reaching an unbelievable 160 mph. As for the acceleration, most Harley-Davidson bikes are capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 3-5 seconds.

In this article, you’ll get to know all about the speeds of Harley-Davidson bikes, how fast can a Harley-Davidson go, which is the fastest Harley-Davidson bike, how do the speeds of Harley-Davidson bikes compare to other brands, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers that you’re looking for.

How fast can a Harley-Davidson go?

Unsurprisingly, early Harley-Davidson models were fairly slow machines. The first bike created, the 1904 Model 1 was only able to reach a moderate top speed of 35 mph. It’s no surprise, as it was powered with a 440cc single-cylinder F-Head engine that was rated at just 4 HP. In contrast, the top speed of the very first commercially successful V-Twin Harley was 60 mph. This bike was released in 1911 under the name Model 7D and used a 49 ci, 45° V-Twin engine rated at 7 HP.

An innovative Flathead engine replaced the F-head in 1929. The new power source was available in numerous displacements, including 45, 54, 74, and 80 cubic inches. The smallest Flathead 45 was popular for having great fuel economy, but it could only reach 60-70 mph. For instance, the 1932 Harley-Davidson RL 45 and Model RL shared the same 45 ci Flathead V-twin, 18.5 HP engine, ensuring a top speed of 70 mph. Another iconic model was the 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA 45, which could reach 65 mph.

Harley-Davidson bikes with large Flathead engines like the 1928 Harley JDH 74 and the 1930 Model VL 74 were able to reach a top speed of 85 mph. The latter came in both stripped-down and fully-equipped road configurations. It was known for being one of the fastest stock bikes of its time. It was no surprise that many of them even ended up on racetracks. By 1935, the available top speed of 74 cubic-inch Harley bikes reached 90 mph. For instance, the 1935 Harley-Davidson VD featured a 74 ci, 36 HP Flathead V-twin that offered 90 mph.

See also  How to Clean your Stock Harley Air Filter: Step-By-Step Guide

Flathead engines got replaced by the Knucklehead engines, which featured 61 and 74-cubic-inch engines coupled with a four-speed manual transmission. The former used to be nestled in the 1937 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead, which went as fast as 100 mph. Performance-minded bikers appreciated the extra power of the 74 ci engine configuration, as it offered top speeds of 110 HP. You could find this power source in the Harley-Davidson FL 74 Knucklehead that was released in 1936.

Harley-Davidson introduced its new Panhead engine in 1948, which offered a top speed of 80-105 mph. Similar to its predecessor, the Panhead also came in both 61 and 74 cubic inches. The most popular models from this era were the 1948 Harley-Davidson EL Panhead 1961 and the Harley-Davidson FL Panhead 1974. The bikes offered top speeds of 100 mph and 105 mph respectively. The Shovelhead engines got succeeded by the Evolution 80 ci V-twin, which used to be referred to as the EVO or Blockhead by enthusiasts.

The big-twin engine was used in numerous iconic models like the 1984 Harley-Davidson FXRS 1340 Low Glide, which had a top speed of 100mph. By 1999, the Evolution 80 got replaced by the Twin Cam 88. It was followed by 96, 103, and 110 cubic inch models. The top speed of most Twin Cam bikes varied between 90 and 120 mph depending on the model and year. Some of the fastest stock Harley-Davidson bikes were powered with 69 and 76 ci Revolution engines that were manufactured from 2001 until 2017.

Unlike their conventional brothers, the 60-degree V-twin revolution engines packed many innovative features. Some prominent ones included fuel injection, liquid cooling, and a special short stroke/big bore cylinder configuration. Due to these features, the Harley Revolution engines offered an exceptional top speed of 120-140 mph. The biggest stock Harley V-twin engines actually belong to the Milwaukee-Eight series. Introduced in 2016, they contain the 107, 114, 117, and 131ci engines. These engines are capable of offering top speeds of 100-125 mph depending on the bike’s features and the engine size. Incredibly, the flagship Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 can hit a remarkable top speed of 160 mph.

See also  Where is the First Harley-Davidson Motorcycle?
How Fast Can A Harley Davidson Go - Harley Davidson Motorcycle Parked In The Side Of The Road With Ostrich Warning Sign

Which is the fastest Harley-Davidson motorcycle?

The fastest Harley-Davidson bike in production is the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114. In terms of time, this bike can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. This is a remarkable feat, as it’s par for the course with improvements Harley-Davidson has made over the past few decades. Even though it isn’t aesthetically aligned with the designs that Harley-Davidson enthusiasts may know and love the most, the sleek Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 appeals to many riders, especially with its exceptional acceleration abilities.

Before the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114, the electric LiveWire had the record for being the fastest Harley-Davidson bike in production. Debuting not that long before the FXDR 114, the LiveWire was actually the first electric bike from the brand. It was able to reach 60 mph in just 3 seconds, which was a record at the time.

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire took over the record from the 2001 V-twin, which could hit 60mph in 3.5 seconds. Despite the increased acceleration times found in these bikes compared to the competitors, they don’t necessarily have record-breaking top speeds. As for pure horsepower, the most powerful bike that has been produced using Harley-Davidson engines wasn’t actually made to be sold to the public.

How much horsepower does the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 actually have?

The Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 has 90 horsepower. While it makes the FXDR 114 a formidable machine on the road, it isn’t comparable to some heavy-duty bikes on the market. The Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 is capable of achieving a top speed of approx. 160 mph. This feat makes the FXDR 114 the fastest Harley-Davidson production bike currently being sold now. Average Harley-Davidson bikers will rarely find themselves in a situation where they’re exceeding speeds of 160 mph. However, that hasn’t stopped Harley-Davidson from experimenting and pushing the envelope in terms of speed.

How fast can Harley-Davidson Cruiser bikes go?

While Cruiser bikes aren’t typically designed for speed, some motorcycles are faster than others. For instance, the Harley-Davidson Street Glide has a top speed of 110mph. That isn’t really the fastest bike on the market, but it isn’t slow in any way. Generally, Cruiser bikes are focused more on comfort and style rather than speed. If you’re looking for a fast cruiser, there are definitely many options out there.

See also  Who Makes Harley-Davidson Helmets: Choose The Best Helmets For Maximum Protection

The Harley-Davidson Street Glide is among the faster Harley-Davidson bikes, and it’s still an incredibly comfortable bike to drive long distances. If you’re looking to get the best of both worlds, fast cruisers like the Street Glide are definitely worth considering.

How do Harley-Davidson motorcycle speeds compare to other brands?

When talking about top speed, Harley-Davidson bikes are average at best.  There are definitely faster bikes on the market, but there are some slower ones as well. Generally, Harley-Davidson bikes aren’t focused on speed, so the fact that Harley-Davidson cruiser bikes peak at around 110mph isn’t surprising.

How Fast Can A Harley Davidson Go - Harley Davidson Rider Driving His Motorbike Fast

When it comes to style and customization, Harley-Davidson bikes definitely have an edge. Thanks to their unique style and wide range of accessories and aftermarket parts, Harley-Davidson bikes can be customized to suit any taste. If you’re looking for a stylish and unique bike that isn’t exceedingly fast, Harley-Davidson bikes are definitely worth considering.

Why are Harley-Davidson bikes slower than bikes with smaller engines?

One reason why Harley-Davidson bikes are slower than other bikes is that they generally have larger engines. A larger engine is capable of providing more power, but it adds more weight to the bike as well. This makes things more difficult to accelerate, while it can even lead to a higher top speed. Another potential reason is due to the unique styling of Harley-Davidson bikes. Most Harley-Davidson bikes have a lot of chrome and are customized with accessories and aftermarket parts. It makes each Harley-Davidson bike unique, but it can even drag and slow down the bike.


Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about the speeds of Harley-Davidson bikes, how fast can a Harley-Davidson go, which is the fastest Harley-Davidson bike, how do the speeds of Harley-Davidson bikes compare to other brands, and more. The top speed of Harley-Davidson bikes generally varies between 100 and 125 mph. However, the fastest model is the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114, which is capable of reaching an unbelievable 160 mph. As for the acceleration, most Harley-Davidson bikes are capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 3-5 seconds.

Photo of author
White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.

Leave a Comment