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Could Harley-Davidson’s electric bike be the future of racing?

The LiveWire races against another Harley in this new video

When the public first got a preview of Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle in 2014, it was a bit of a mixed bag. At the time, when electric vehicles and bikes weren’t as prevalent as they are now, it was easy to think of it as something that was made for the future. But as things happen, that future arrived much more quickly than we thought. 

The electric sport bike might seem a little out of place in the Harley-Davidson lineup, especially when you think about the usual image that comes with the brand. But the LiveWire isn’t exactly speaking to the Sons of Anarchy crowd—it’s meant for a different type of market, a different generation of riders altogether. And even with all that, it still stands for the things that have made Harley-Davidson what it is: the sense of freedom, the love of exploration, the longing for the road. Only, it’s a bike that’s meant for the new world. 

The LiveWire is the first electric vehicle from the Harley-Davidson workshops.
Photo: Harley-Davidson

The LiveWire is sleek, aggressive, and is just straight up cool if we’re being honest. The short of it is, it looks exactly the way you’d imagine a sporting Harley would, but it’s also quiet into the bargain. And while this might take some getting used to, the important question is: can it race? 

That’s what Harley-Davidson attempts to answer in a new production called the Science of Speed. In it, the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines drag racing team talk about what it takes to win at the tracks. And having won the NHRA championship 10 times already, they know what they’re talking about. 

The team tests the 2020 LiveWire and pits it against the 2020 Harley-Davidson FXDR. With no gears to change, and the ability to go 0-60 mph in a flat three seconds, the riders get a feel of what the future of racing could be like.  

We’re not going to spoil the outcome, but you can catch it in the video below. And while there may not be any electric motorcycle races yet, it’s likely just a matter of time.