Transverse impact response of a linear elastic Kevlar® KM2 fiber yarn was determined at various striking speeds from Hopkinson bar and gas gun experiments incorporated with high-speed photography techniques. Upon transverse impact, a triangle shape was formed in the fiber yarn. Both longitudinal and transverse waves were produced and propagated outwards the fiber yarn. Both the angle of the triangle and Euler transverse wave speed vary with striking speeds. The relationship between the Euler transverse wave speed and the striking speed was determined. The transverse impact response of the fiber yarn was also analyzed with a model, which agrees well with the experimental results. The model shows that the longitudinal wave speed is critical in the ballistic performance of the fiber yarn. At a certain striking speed, a higher longitudinal wave speed produces a higher Euler transverse wave speed, enabling us to spread the load and dissipate the impact energy faster, such that the ballistic performance of the fiber yarn is improved.