How Fast Is The Electric Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Really?

The recent surge in the electric vehicle market is finally bleeding over into the motorcycle space. Sure, there have been a few notable examples of excellent electric motorcycles that have sprung up over the years, like Zero Motorcycles, which exclusively makes electric motorcycles, but only since the late 2010s have bigger brands started to catch on. Harley-Davidson is one of the better-known motorcycle brands that started dipping its toes into the electric world with its Livewire sub-brand. 

The Livewire, which launched in 2019, featured Harley-Davidson's custom, liquid-cooled Revelation engine. It was Harley-Davidson's first venture into electric motorcycles and later refreshed as the cheaper and faster Livewire ONE. The all-electric naked motorcycle puts out a claimed 100 hp and 84 ft.-lbs of torque from its low-slung motor, while the 15.4 kWh battery can carry the bike for a claimed 95 miles of combined highway and city riding. Livewire also claims the battery will charge up to 100% in 60 minutes when connected to a DC fast charger. 

Of course, Livewire makes as many claims about the speed and acceleration as it does about the range and charge times, but are any of those claims realistic, and how does the Livewire ONE stack up to Harley-Davidson's other production models? 

The Livewire ONE is quicker than almost all other Harleys

According to Livewire, the ONE has some impressive speed and acceleration numbers, going from 0-60 mph in just three seconds and topping out at 110 mph. Sure, 110 mph doesn't seem awfully fast, but Harley-Davidson motorcycles were never known for being fast. According to testing by CycleWorld, the Livewire ONE lives up to its reputation, accelerating from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds — a fraction of a second slower than the marketed number.

Interestingly, in terms of acceleration, the Livewire ONE is second only to the FXDR 114, which has a 0-60 mph time of only 2.5 seconds, according to Harley Davidson of Kingwood. Being quick off the line is par for the course for an electric motorcycle, though — there are no gears to cycle through, and electric motor torque is usually much higher at low RPM. The highest top speed for a production Harley-Davidson bike also goes to the FXDR 114, which tops out at a respectable 160 mph, according to Peterson's Harley-Davidson. As far as the Livewire ONE's 110 mph top speed, that's par for the course for Harley-Davidson, with most everything except for the FXDR 114.