Watch Harley-Davidson’s Electric LiveWire Motorcycle Smoke a Tesla in a Drag Race

No one was betting on the bike

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle in a drag race
At a drag strip in Ennis, Texas, the Harley LiveWire put the smackdown on a Tesla Model 3 Performance.
Screenshot via DragTimes on YouTube
By Alex Lauer / April 7, 2020 1:47 pm

Before the COVID-19 pandemic threw every vehicle manufacturer into a tailspin, Harley-Davidson was already on the decline, with U.S. sales sliding every year since 2015. It didn’t help that there were hiccups in their big bet-the-farm release: the LiveWire electric motorcycle.

Now, in a weird reversal, things might be looking up for the embattled bike company. First of all, while the full ramifications of the coronavirus on automotive buying habits won’t be understood for a long time, signs say it might benefit EVs. Also, while people spend more time streaming, the LiveWire may get a boost thanks to Ewan McGregor’s upcoming Long Way Up TV series. And lastly, the LiveWire recently underwent the ultimate test: facing off against a Tesla, and winning.

Tesla is no stranger to the drag strip; just head to YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of fan-made videos of its electric vehicles smoking conventional gas cars in the quarter mile. But the channel DragTimes recently uploaded a video of a LiveWire facing off against a Tesla Model 3 Performance and winning not once, but twice.

Watch the races here:


“As we suspected, the Model 3 managed to reach a higher top speed on both runs and likely had a lot more to give,” wrote motorcycle website RideApart. They continued, “This means that the LiveWire’s superior power-to-weight ratio is perfect for sprints while the Tesla’s superior output allows it to perform better in ‘marathons.’”

OK, we’ll admit, it only smoked the Tesla off the line, but you have to admit that was impressive.

And sure, the LiveWire sounds like your kid’s RC car, and a Model S would most likely beat the LiveWire. But none of the matters. As Brooks Weisblat of DragTimes says at the beginning of the video, this is the first LiveWire quarter-mile run he’s ever seen, and as such, it’s an important test that may have riders considering switching to an EV.

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