If you’re Harley-Davidson, and you want to set some production electric motorcycle speed records with the LiveWire, who do you call? You call someone who knows about speed, like three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey. She is, after all, a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines team rider. All the Motor Company needed to do was provide her with a different bike—so, they did.
The day: September 4, 2020. The event: Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. What did Sampey do? She covered the eighth-mile distance in 7.017 seconds, and also the quarter-mile in 11.156 seconds. Her speed was 110.35 mph—and please bear in mind that the 2020 LiveWire has a limiter that restricts top speed to 110mph.
“Let me tell you what’s amazing,” said Sampey. “That was the first time I rode the LiveWire. I could not wait to get it on the track. The LiveWire is so easy to ride. Just twist the throttle and go, and you really go!”
Sampey and teammates Andrew Hines and Ed Krawiec made a number of head-to-head drag race runs, all on stock LiveWires—and Sampey consistently beat her teammates every time. Whether you’re setting world records on drag strips or taking in the marvelous local foliage, the LiveWire packs a powerful, instantly torquey punch.
Just a simple twist of the wrist is all it takes, with no need to engage a clutch or worry about shifting gears. Unbottling the potential of all that power and speed is a lot simpler when you can do it one-handed. If that’s what a stock LiveWire can do, it makes you wonder what would be possible with no speed limiter on tap. Perhaps it helps protect other elements of the motor from overheating or something. However, if there’s a way to do it and reasonably expect no ill effects, hopefully it’s a challenge they’ll undertake in the future.