How Fast Are Harley Davidson Motorcycles on the Road?

How fast are Harley Davidson Motorcycles?” is a common question that bothers enthusiasts of the iconic motorbike, especially if they plan on traveling with the hog. Fortunately, our team will review some of the most popular Harley-Davidson’s out there and discovered their highest speeds.

We’ll also compare the hog to other motorcycles on the market to determine which ones are faster and more comfortable. Finally, we’ll take a cursory look at some of the quickest hogs out there, so read to the end!

How Quick Are Harley Davidson Motorcycles?

The quickest Harley-Davidson motorcycle can get up to 160 miles per hour and that is the FXDR 114. That notwithstanding, the average speed of the Harleys is 110 miles per hour with most of the motorcycles registering speeds between 100 and 125 miles per hour.

Most of the Harleys can reach 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds due to the power produced by their strong engines. However, take note that Harleys are cruiser motorcycles, therefore, they are not built for speed. Instead, they are built to travel long distances in comfort and luxury on two wheels hence they have relatively low speeds compared to other bikes. Since Harleys can be customized to suit anyone’s taste, other individuals have produced faster and stronger Harleys.

For example, there’s the 2006 Dyna Super Glide FXD/I built by Hiro Koiso Racing that can reach 194 miles per hour without fairings. The Super Glide FXD/I features a 135ci JIMS131 Twin Cam Engine that can produce a whopping 400 horsepower.

This is faster than Mercedes-AMG CLA45 or the Toyota Supra. At the Bonneville Speed Trials, the Koiso racing team made the fastest Harley-Davidson cruiser that reached 260 miles per hour over a mile.

– Some Harleys and their Speeds

The Harley Davidson Road Glide can get up to 107 miles per hour while the Electra Glide can hit 160 miles per hour. The 2021 Street Bob and Fat Bob have top speeds of 110 miles per hour while Fat boy is 118 miles per hour.

The Harley Davidson Road King can travel up to speeds of 150 miles per hour while the Harley-Davidson Breakout features a top speed of 120 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the most powerful Harley-Davidson is the Savage 223, with speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

– How Harley Davidson’s Motorcycle Speeds Evolved

The first Harley-Davidson production motorcycle, the 1904 model 1, could hit only 35 miles per hour due to its smaller engines that could generate 4 horsepower. By 1909, the company manufactured its first V-twin motorcycle which reached speeds of 60 miles per hour.

The Atmospheric V-twin became the company’s first commercially successful motorcycle with a 49 ci, V-twin engine with a horsepower of 75. In 1932, the RL 45 was introduced, which could travel up to 70 miles per hour on a 45 ci Flathead V-twin engine that generated 18.5 horsepower.

The 1935 Harley Davidson VD could hit 90 miles per hour on a 74 ci, 36 HP Flathead V-twin engine. By 1937, the company, once again, improved its speed with the introduction of the Harley Davidson EL Knucklehead hitting 100 miles per hour.

The year 1948 saw the introduction of the Panhead engine that enabled the Harleys to cross the 100 miles per hour barrier by reaching a top speed of 105 miles per hour like the Harley-Davidson Sportster. Then there is the Harley Davidson Street Glide in 1984 that could hit up to 130 miles an hour.

In 1999, the Twin Cam 88 engine replaced the Evolution 80 engine and some of the Harley-Davidsons of that era recorded a top speed of 120 miles per hour. The fastest Harley-Davidsons came in 2006 with the Screamin’ Eagle which had a top speed of 145 miles per hour, the fastest Harley Davidson V-Rod.

The Screamin’ Eagle held the record until 2021 when the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 top speed hit 160 miles per hour. Though there are other individual Harleys that run faster than the FXDR 114, they are not produced by the company and hence have been excluded from this list.

– Harley Speed Compared to Other Motorcycle Brands

Compared to other motorcycle brands, Harley-Davidsons are of top quality and last longer. They boast some of the largest and most durable motorcycle engines. Their unique design and after-market accessories give them an edge over their competitors. However, their speed is average, which is not surprising because it’s a weighty motorcycle.

Harleys are known to be high-maintenance and spend a lot of time at the repair workshop but this is a misconception. The sheer number of modifications opened the floodgates for customization, thus many inexperienced and amateur mechanics toyed with the motorcycle.

This led to many Harleys breaking down, which was not the fault of the manufacturer. Harleys have been around for over 100 years and if they weren’t that durable and reliable, they wouldn’t have lasted that long.

If you own a Harley and want it to last, then follow the servicing schedule and avoid fixing it by yourself if you’re not a certified mechanic. Be sure to visit reputable repair shops that won’t experiment with your motorcycle but know what they’re doing.

What Are Some Factors that Affect the Speed of Harley Davidsons?

The two major factors that affect the speed of Harley Davidsons are the size of the engine and the weight of the motorcycle. Harleys have bigger engines that produce a lot of power but can slow the motorcycle down. Its average weight of 700 pounds is also a mitigating factor.

What Category of Motorcycles Does the Harley Belong to?

The category of motorcycles that Harley-Davidsons belong to is the cruise motorcycle category, which explains why it’s styled that way. The bike is designed to travel long distances, which can take a heavy toll on your body if it is not positioned properly and your feet are not perfectly rested.

This is why the seats are laid back so that they can support your back while you sit in an upright position without bending forward like other motorcycles. The long handlebars which are higher than the seat ensure that you remain relaxed while riding the bike.

The size of their engines also supports long-distance travel, therefore, you can open the throttle and enjoy the ride on the highway. Their unique style makes it difficult to ride on short distances and within the city.

Harleys have many after-market parts and accessories which you can use to customize them. This adds to the appeal of Harley-Davidsons and explains why many people want to get their hands on them.

Do the Tires on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle Affect its Speed?

The choice between wide vs thin motorcycle tires can have an impact on a Harley Davidson’s speed. Wide tires provide better stability and cornering grip, making them ideal for cruising at high speeds. On the other hand, thin tires offer less rolling resistance, leading to increased acceleration. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference and the intended riding style of the rider.


Though Harley-Davidsons are not the speediest motorcycles, they have enviable speeds which can reach 160 miles per hour. Here are a few other things we’ve discovered in this article:

  • The average speed of Harley Davidson is 110 miles per hour, with the fastest model, the FXDR 114, reaching a top speed of 160 miles an hour.
  • Most Harleys have big engines that can produce enormous power, enabling them to move from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 4.5 seconds.
  • The Harley belongs to the cruiser class of motorcycles and is suitable for long-distance travel and can be a bit clumsy when it is used within the city.
  • Compared to other motorcycle brands, Harley Davidsons are reliable and durable with their unique style and customization options that are a tad above the rest.
  • However, their speed is average, which is down to both their purpose as cruise motorcycles and their huge frame, which can slow them down.

In conclusion, Harley-Davidson motorcycles last longer when you strictly follow their maintenance schedules and allow only professional mechanics to work on them.

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