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Nitro Bikes Thunder At NHRA Season Opener
Many NHRA national events now feature a very unique motorcycle class known as Top Fuel Harley, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Photo By Mike Burghardt

For the past few years, several NHRA national events have also featured a very unique motorcycle class known as Top Fuel Harley. These motorcycles utilize custom built two cylinder engines based on the infamous Harley Davidson V-Twin engine. The engines range in size from 175 to 200 cubic inches, putting out 950-1000 horsepower on a 90-100 percent nitro methane fuel mixture. They cover the quarter-mile distance in the low six-second range at speeds around 220 mph. They often cover the entire distance with the front wheel in the air, making them very popular with motorcycle fans. The category competes under the NHRA Mickey Thompson (M/T) Top Fuel Harley series, competing at 10 events on the NHRA schedule. For perspective, the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle (Bike) category covers the quarter-mile distance in the 6.7 second range at 200 mph, utilizing specially built naturally aspirated engines based on the V-Twin Harley Davidson (160 cubic inches) and Suzuki inline 4-cylinder engine (based on the Suzuki G5-1150; 113 cubic inches) running on racing grade gasoline.

The NHRA M/T Top Fuel Harley category featured an eight-bike field led by Randall Andras of Morgan City, Louisiana with a 6.224 at 228.73 mph. Andras utilized 6.279 at 216.58 mph, 6.346 at 205.91 mph to get by Rich Vreeland and Tim Kerrigan as he rode into the final round. Andras would then square off against the 2019 champion, Tii Tharpe. Tharpe utilized 6.753 at 198.47 mph and 6.313 at 213.43 mph runs to advance past Tyler Wilson and Jay Turner (2017 Champion) into the final round.

Andras was able to get away first (0.019 to 0.044 second reaction time) and power away to a 6.346 at 191.62 mph to 6.569 at 189.032 mph over Tharpe to take the season opening Winter Nationals event title.

The next event on the 2020 HRA schedule is at Wild Horse Raceway Park in Chandler, Arizona the weekend of Feb. 21 through 23. The Top Fuel Harleys will compete at this event as well as other events during the season, including April 24-26, Charlotte, N.C.; June 12-14, Topeka, Kansas; July 9-12, Chicago. Ill.; Aug. 13-16, Brainerd, Minnesota; Aug. 21-23, Epping, N.H.; Sept. 2-7, Indianapolis, Indiana; Sept. 17-20, Reading, Pa.; and Oct. 15-18, Dallas, Texas.