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Best Motorcycle Baggers Brands

Best Motorcycle Baggers Brands

Motorcycles were once considered the most affordable mode of transportation. While the same is still true for two-wheelers, they have evolved into more than just a powerful engine on two-wheels. Motorcycles date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Initially, motorcycle manufacturers installed small engines on a bicycle. Over the years, a range of motorcycle segments have emerged that boast uniqueness. While different motorcycle genres are inspired from each other, for example a sport touring motorcycle  is inspired by a tourer and a sports bike, they serve a unique purpose. In the United States, the concept of the touring motorcycle emerged in the post-WWII era as the country had a well-developed network of highways and two motorcycle companies, Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles that could manufacture powerful and reliable touring motorcycles, which are specialized for long hauls. Since there was a growing market for touring motorcycles in the United States, the motorcycle companies dedicated their energies to create ultra-comfortable and significantly powerful touring motorcycles. From engines to frame design, suspension systems, braking setup, ergonomics, and exhuast, each component was reimagined to make it more suitable for long distance travels. The result of these untiring efforts was the bagger segment. Today a bagger has many names, including dresser, tourer, full-dresser, touring bike, etc.

Originally, the term bagger was used for large cruisers with saddlebags. In modern times, any bike that has a low-end torque production, powerful V-Twiin engine, and is equipped with saddlebags, fairings, and plush seats for two-up riding can be termed a bagger. However, it is worth mentioning that the use of baggers is restricted to the paved roads only. The touring motorcycles that can be used for both off-road and on-road riding are called adventure touring motorcycles. Similarly, a touring motorcycle that boasts the performance of a sports bike but can support prolonged time on the road is called a sports tourer. Compared to conventional baggers, sports tourers are faster and more agile. The aerodynamic efficiency of a bagger and a sport tourer also differ significantly. Moreover, hard-side panniers are more common on a sports tour, while baggers may be equipped with soft or hard luggage bags, and for additional storage, riders can install aftermarket baggers bags, tank bags, and tour packs.

Since motorcyclists have the time and resources for traveling, they are in a better position to afford baggers. This has increased the popularity and demand of this motorcycle genre. Consequently, many motorcycle brands have started prioritizing touring segments and providing class-leading bagger lineups. Initially, Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles were the prominent bagger brands worldwide. However, Honda, BMW, and Kawasaki have also ventured into the market with their impressive baggers. Therefore, motorcycle enthusiasts now have a wide selection of baggers at their disposal. More brand options often make it difficult to choose the right bagger for your needs. In this article, we will explore the best motorcycle bagger brands as having a better understanding of the brand can help simplify the bagger shopping process.

1. Understanding the Term Bagger

A bagger is a road-only motorcycle designed specifically for use on highways and well-paved roads. A bagger is characterized by its unparalleled touring capabilities, its large frame and engine, full-fairings, and saddlebags. In addition, a bagger is a broad term used to refer to any bike that has saddlebags and can cover long stretches of asphalt road. Therefore, a cruiser motorcycle with a bagger, low-end torque production, and reliable long-haul performance can be considered a bagger.

2. Prominent Features of Bagger

Baggers boast unique features that help them stand out from other motorcycles. Each feature of a bagger is carefully designed to optimize long-haul competence and comfort. It is worth mentioning that baggers of different brands may differ slightly in terms of features. Therefore, all the features mentioned below may not be present in all the baggers as some models are more accessorized than their counterparts.


The most prominent feature of a bagger is its saddlebags. Saddlebags are typically on either side of the rear fender struts or wheel.


Bagger motorcycles are powered by large liquid-cooled V-Twin engines that offer low-end torque for highway rides.

Fairing and Windshield

Furthermore, the bagger possesses accessories, such as fairing and windshield, for adequate wind protection. Windshields may be tall, adjustable, detachable, or short depending on the model of the bagger.


Baggers feature specialized suspension systems with cutting-edge damping technology that ensures a comfortable and stable ride even on uneven rough roads. However, riders are advised to plan their route well to avoid riding the bikes on bumpy roads.


Alongwith powerful disc brakes, baggers are also equipped with ABS technology.


Compared to other motorcycle categories, baggers have thick tires that may be 16-18 inches wide. Fat tires offer optimal traction without compromising speed. In addition, they impart a more commanding presence to a bagger and add to its charm.

Electronics and Styling

In addition, comfortable and attractive leather seats, electronics, state-of-the-art sound systems, highway floorboards or footpegs, luggage racks, and optimized touring capabilities sum up the profile of a motorcycle bagger.

3. Motorcycle Brands That Made the Most Popular Baggers

Almost all of the popular motorcycle brands have launched a successful bagger motorcycle over the course of their production history. Motivated by the positive reception of their baggers, some motorcycle brands have continued to launch improved baggers year after year since entering the first bagger segment. Conversely, others have opted to discontinue production of their bagger motorcycles in favor of sports bikes, sport tourers, and adventure motorcycles. The global motorcycle market trends also influence a motorcycle brand’s decision to design and introduce new bagger motorcycles. However, prestigious bagger racing events like the Kings of the Baggers competition and popular motorcycle rallies such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally continue to drive the demand for baggers, as they are the preferred choice of vehicles for such events.

Recognizing this trend, the pioneers of the motorcycle bagger segment, Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles, continue to introduce impressive bagger lineups each year. Their 2023 bagger lineup is truly captivating and inspiring. In addition, Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Suzuki, and Moto Guzzi have also actively embraced the growing bagger culture, launching performance-oriented and stylish baggers in 2023 that pose strong competition to the most iconic baggers of all time. It is expected that these brands will continue to expand their bagger lineups and offer even more innovative options for the 2024 model year.

On the other hand, Yamaha and Triumph, while not as heavily focused on bagger production as some other brands, still deserve mention due to their contributions in the past. Victory Motorcycles by Polaris was once a prominent player in the bagger market. However, since the company ceased operations back in 2017, it is no longer an active participant in the bagger market. These brands are made part of this list because their once-popular baggers are still among the most sought-after bikes in the secondhand market. Let’s delve deeper into the journeys of note-worthy motorcycle bagger brands, exploring their 2023 lineups or iconic past models that remain highly coveted in the second-hand market.

4. Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson offers bagger motorcycles under its Grand American Touring category, a category the company made from the ground up. Harley Davidson launched its first touring lineup, the FL series in 1941. This motorcycle was powered by a V-Twin 1212 cc engine. Soon after the 1949 Harley Hydra Glide with hydraulic telescopic front forks was launched. The later models of the Hydra Glide came with stock plastic saddlebags. From its earliest bagger models, Harley sent out a message, the company was set to create motorcycles that offered the utmost level of power and comfort.

In 1958, Harley Davidson introduced the Duo Glide, which was equipped with telescopic front and hydraulic rear suspension. In 1965, Duo Glide transformed into FLH Electa Glide, the first bagger with an electric starter. In 1994, Harley introduced its most successful bagger, the Harley Road King. The FLTR Road Glide and Street Glide joined the Harley Bagger family in 1998 and 2006 respectively. While the bikes share most of their features, the shark-nosed fairing of Road Glide and the batwing fairing of Street Glide help each bike stand apart from the other.

Ever since Harley committed to producing premium-quality and reliable touring bikes that make extensive riding an enjoyable experience, the brand has managed to outperform itself.

4.1 2023 Harley Davidson Baggers

In 2023, Harley Davidson launched 11 bagger motorcycles. A Milwaukee-eight V-twin engine powers each bagger and features striking paint jobs, stock saddlebags, fairing, infotainment systems, upright riding position, a plush passenger seat, rider safety upgrades, and a fuel capacity of six gallons. Here is the list of 2023 Harley baggers:

  • Harley Davidson Road Glide
  • Harley Davidson Road Glide Special
  • Harley Davidson Road Glide ST
  • Harley Davidson Road Glide CVO
  • Harley Davidson Street Glide
  • Harley Davidson Street Glide Special
  • Harley Davidson Street Glide ST
  • Harley Davidson Street Glide CVO
  • Harley Davidson Road King Special
  • Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
  • Harley Davidson Road Glide CVO Limited

5. Indian Motorcycles

Much like Harley Davidson, Indian Motorcycles take pride in their American heritage. The brand had the prestige of manufacturing military models to support war efforts during WWII. These models were equipped with luggage to carry supplies, discreet weapons, and essential equipment. However, unlike Harley Davidson, Indian Motorcycles launched its first true bagger, the Indian Chieftain, in 2014, after Polaris Inc. took over the company. This motorcycle was equipped with a front fairing and hard saddlebags. Moreover, the bike boasted tire pressure sensors, speakers in the fairing, air-adjustable rear suspension, motorized windshield adjustment, and a Bluetooth media player. Due to these features, the Indian Chieftain was named the “Motorcycle of the Year” award in 2013.

After Chieftain, Indian Motorcycles has introduced many bagger lineups, including Roadmaster, Challenger, and Springfield. While each bagger was different from the other in terms of styling, all Indian baggers had one thing in common: they could take on open roads at any time. Therefore, Indian baggers epitomize freedom experienced on open roads but are also practical for around-town rides. The brand excels at designing high displacement engines that may be liquid cooled or air-cooled. Some baggers feature heritage inspired classic styling, while others come with a modern blacked out look. High-quality saddlebags, fairing, and windshields are a must on almost all Indian baggers. The bike also features comfortable passengers to make long-distance two-up riding possible.

5.1 2023 Indian Baggers

  • Indian Roadmaster
  • Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse
  • Indian Roadmaster Limited
  • Indian Pursuit
  • Indian Pursuit Limited
  • Indian Pursuit Elite
  • Indian Pursuit Dark Horse
  • Indian Challenger
  • Indian Challenger Dark Horse
  • Indian Challenger Elite
  • Indian Challenger Limited
  • Indian Springfield
  • Indian Springfield Dark Horse
  • Indian Chieftain
  • Indian Chieftain Dark Horse
  • Indian Chieftain Limited
  • Indian Chieftain Elite

6. Honda

Honda ventured into the bagger segment in 1975, when it first launched its quintessential bagger, the Honda Gold Wing. This bagger revolutionized the global bagger market and has also posed serious competition to Harley Davidson baggers throughout its production run. Hence, Honda became a top-of-the-line bagger brand by introducing Gold Wing, the single most perfect bagger.

The latest Gold Wing models are powered by a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine that displaces 1833 cc. The bike has an inspiring double-wishbone front suspension that offers stellar handling and class-leading comfort. The all-aluminum frame helps reduce the overall weight of the bike, making it adequately agile for everyday rides. Other technological features include Hill Start Assist, Throttle by Wire, an electric windscreen, and 55-watt speakers. The bike also boasts a trunk and saddlebags whose combined storage capacity amounts to 121 liters. For 2023, the Honda Gold Wing is available in five different trims.

6.1 2023 Honda Bagger and Its Trims

  • Honda Gold Wing
  • Honda Gold Wing Tour
  • Honda Gold Wing Automatic DCT
  • Honda Gold Wing Tour Automatic DCT
  • Honda Gold Wing Tour Airbag Automatic DCT

7. BMW

BMW started its bagger production journey back in 2012, with the launch of the BMW K1600 platform. However, the motorcycle was essentially a sport tourer. BMW finally expanded the K1600 series by adding, K 1600 B, a true bagger to the lineup in 2016. Powered by a six-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, the K 1600 B could produce impressive acceleration. The triple-disc brakes along with the ABS system provide optimal stopping power necessary to handle a bike that can produce immense power and acceleration. Moreover, the seven-gallon fuel tank, OE floorboards, Duolever suspension, heated seat and grip, speakers, color display, adjustable windshield, and 17-gallon storage space of the BMW K1600 B raised the standards for a bagger motorcycle even higher.

7.1 2023 BMW Baggers

  • BMW R18 Transcontinental
  • BMW K1600 B
  • BMW K1600 B Option 719 Midnight (Special Edition)
  • BMW R1250 RT

8. Kawasaki

Kawasaki is well-known in the world of racing as it has established a reputation for creating some of the fastest motorcycles in the world. However, Kawasaki has also produced reliable and performance-oriented adventure motorcycles and cruisers. In 2009, Kawasaki stepped into the bagger market and introduced the Vulcan 1700 Vaquero. Though initially part of the Vulcan cruiser series, the Vaquero stood out from other cruisers because it was equipped with saddlebags and frame-mounted fairings. Over the years, Kawasaki has also introduced a touring motorcycle, the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS, a motorcycle also available as the 2023 model. However, the bagger series of the brand is yet to be expanded. With its high-end technology and engineering, Kawasaki has demonstrated exceptional prowess in creating bikes that are not only comfortable but also capable of impressive touring capabilities.

8.1 2023 Kawasaki Bagger

  • Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS

9. Moto Guzzi

The Italian motorcycle brand, Moto Guzzi, has built many timeless two-wheelers of different categories and capabilities. Throughout its production history, Moto Guzzi introduced several cruisers and touring motorcycles, However, the brand only ventured into the traditional American bagger segment in 2017 by introducing the MGX-21 also called Flying Fortress. This motorcycle has remained the quintessential Moto Guzzi bagger ever since and is also available in the 2023 model year.

The motorcycle was based on the Moto Guzzi California 1400 platform, a V-twin American cruiser produced between 2013 and 2020. At the time of its launch, the MGX-21 Flying Fortress was considered the custom-style California 1400 due to its blacked-out parts, fuel tank, and saddlebags; however, it eventually established its identity as a traditional American bagger. It is claimed that the transverse 1380 cc engine of the MGX-21 generates approximately 95 hp of horsepower. Moreover, the six-speed transmission and carefully selected gear ratios allowed riders to fully enjoy the engine outputs. To make this iconic motorcycle easier to ride for a range of riders, designers added tech features, including throttle by wire, ride modes, and traction control, etc.

9.1 2023 Moto Guzzi Bagger

  • Moto Guzzi MGX-21 Flying Fortress

10. Suzuki

The 2023 Suzuki C50T can be considered a subtle attempt by the brand to enter the American bagger segment. Designed to tackle city streets and highways, the C50T is essentially a cruiser equipped with dual seats, a tall windshield, and stock saddlebags. The windshield improves the aerodynamic efficiency of the bike. Hence, it works as an alternative to fairing. The C50T is powered by a V-Twin 819 cc engine that generates manageable power and low-end torque for comfortable highway rides. Whether the motorcyclists will accept the 2023 Suzuki C50T as an American bagger is an unfinished debate. However, one cannot deny that the bike has filled the market gap, allowing novice riders who want to upgrade to a fully-dressed bagger but don’t possess the skills to handle one, to step into the world of baggers.

10.1 2023 Suzuki Bagger

  • Suzuki Boulevard C50T

11. Yamaha

Yamaha takes pride in manufacturing and distributing stunning motorcycles to the world. Being one of the oldest brands, Yamaha has perfected its motorcycle technology and delivers nothing short of excellence and reliability. Each motorcycle by Yamaha is a piece of art, especially if it is a sports bike. The brand is even synonym to stylish super-fast bikes that rule tarmac and tracks. However, Yamaha’s flair for motorcycle engineering is not limited to sports and race bikes. The company has also left its mark in the Americna bagger and touring segment by designing a couple of milestone models, such as the 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder. The Star Eluder was based on Yamaha’s touring platform, the Star Venture and offered every touring facility that an adventure seeker can ask. At the center of this bike was a 1854 cc air-cooled V-twin powerplant that hammered out 126 ft-lbs of torque. In addition to impressive performance figures, the Star Eluder engine boasted counter balancers and a composite mount that offered smooth power delivery and a distinct sound.

However, the gear ratios of the Star Eluder’s six-speed transmission were different from that of the Star Venture. As a result, riders could better enjoy the ample low-end torque. The bike featured ABS, traction control, infotainment system, cruise control, GPS, and passenger seat came as standard features. Moreover, the front suspension included a telescopic front fork, while the rear suspension included a linkage-type system with gas-pressurized shocks. Both front and rear suspension had damping and spring rates. In addition, the 298 mm dual front disc and 320 mm single rear brakes of the Star Eluder were also derived from the Yamaha Star Venture. The styling changes that made the Star Eluder a bagger and stand out from its touring counterpart the Star Venture are as follows:

  • The Star Eluder lacked the top trunk that the Star Venture had.
  • The Star Eluder featured a shorter windshield than that of the Star Venture.
  • For the Star Eluder, designers replaced the chrome accents with blacked-out parts.
  • The Star Eluder lacked the Sure-Park system that the Star Venture boasted.

Though the Yamaha Star Eluder did not introduce anything new to the bagger market, it was still well-received due to its exceptional comfort, big-black-bagger look, and reliable long-distance performance. The majority of riders who owned or rode the Star Eluder had good things to say about the bagger. However, Yamaha chose to discontinue both The Yamaha Star Venture and the Yamaha Star Eluder in 2020 with no future plans to resume production or introduce a new bagger model. The dependability, power, and design of the bike has helped it retain its popularity. But since the brand is longer focused on its bagger lineup, Yamaha fans are restricted to only one option: the secondhand Yamaha Star Eluder.

11.1 Best Yamaha Bagger Motorcycle

  • Yamaha Star Eluder

12. Triumph

Triumph is a well-known British motorcycle manufacturer famed for producing a wide selection of motorcycles, including classic and custom cruisers, street bikes, adventure tourers, sports tourers, and bobbers. In 2014, the brand ventured into the bagger segment with its first bagger, the Thunderbird LT.

The Triumph Thunderbird LT was part of the brand’s top-of-the-line cruiser series, the Triumph Thunderbird, but featured saddlebags, a windshield, a passenger seat, padded sissy bars, and a luggage rack. These accessories characterized the Triumph Thunderbird LT as a bagger. The LT in the name meant “Light Touring,” indicating that the motorcycle is not a full-dressed tourer.

Triumph introduced its bagger model to compete with Harley Davidson. The bike was powered by a 1699 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine, had a 65.6-inch long wheelbase, and could produce 111 ft-lbs of torque. The suspension system included Showa front and rear suspension, while dual front disc and single rear disc summed up the braking system. Among big bulky baggers that could pass for full-fledged touring motorcycles, the Triumph Thunderbird LT emerged as a practical and comfortable bagger. Weighing 769 lbs, the Triumph Thunderbird LT was more manageable and maneuverable than touring bikes and more comfortable than most cruisers. Though the bike was a massive success it was discontinued in 2018 because it failed to meet the emission standards.

12.1 Best Triumph Bagger Motorcycle

  • Triumph Thunderbird LT 1700

13. Victory

Victory Motorcycles, an all-American motorcycle brand, designed its two-wheelers to compete with Harley Davidson. Consequently, Victory Motorcycle was heavily focused on producing high-quality touring machines, cruisers, sport-touring motorcycles, and baggers that were powered by V-Twin engines and could compete with Harleys in terms of looks, performance, and classic style. In 2010, Victory launched its first bagger motorcycle, the Victory Cross Country. The bagger featured stock key-lockable hard saddlebags with 23.1 gallon of cargo capacity, frame-mounted fairing, and a windshield. Boosting a sleek design and a large powerful 106/6 Freedom V-Twin engine that could produce 106 ft-lb of torque. To support long hauls, the bike was equipped with a 5.8 gallon fuel tank. The high-tech features included cruiser control and ABS. For entertainment, the bike offered fairing integrated premium Dual Kick® speakers. The Victory Cross Country was an instant success in the United States and it allowed Victory to acquire a bigger share of the U.S. bagger market. The Victory Cross Country also had a touring version called the Victory Cross Country Tour. It was the same as the bagger but had an additional side fairing panel and a trunk. Furthermore, the Tour version offered 41.1 gallons of storage capacity.

Similarly, the brand launched Victory Cross Roads, another bagger. While both the Cross Roads featured the same 106/0 Freedom V-Twin engine and six-speed transmission as the Cross Country, the former offered better maneuverability at slow-speeds as it lacked the Cross Country’s frame-mounted fairing. Cross Roads only featured a small stock windshield for protection. Furthermore, the Victory Cross Roads also lacked cruise control and ABS, while both features are standard in the Victory Cross Country. The Cross Roads offers the same 21 gallon key-lockable hard saddlebags as the Victory Cross Country. However, the design and shape of the saddlebags of both motorcycles were different. The Victory Cross Road detachable saddlebags had a smaller sleeker look, while the Cross Country’s saddlebags had an integrated look. Out of the two Victory baggers, the Victory Cross Roads became popular due to its agile handling at all speeds. This made the bike more practical for everyday around town rides. The overall weight of both bikes was approximately 769 lbs. However, the lack of frame-mounted fairing in the Cross Roads made it feel lightweight due to its effortless steering.

Based on the rider’s preference, the Cross Country and the Cross Roads both were great baggers. Unfortunately, their production came to a halt when Polaris Inc. decided to cease all operations of Victory Motorcycles. However, the bikes continue to retain their popularity and have become one of the most sought-after baggers in the secondhand market.

13.1 Best Victory Bagger Motorcycle

  • Victory Cross Country
  • Victory Cross Roads

14. Last Words

For most motorcyclists, riding a bagger is the ultimate goal as this one motorcycle category tends to cater to every riding need a rider may have with the only exception being adventure touring. Once a rider acquires the expertise required to maneuver the bagger, the only decision that stands in the way is choosing the bagger brand. Since baggers symbolize American touring culture, riders who prefer authentic American bagger styling should opt for Indian Motorcycles or Harley Davidson. On the other hand, if you want a bagger that is inspired by modern styling and a sporty feel, then BMW and Honda may be good options. Beginners who want to step into the world of baggers should opt for a manageable bagger. In this case, Suzuki, Moto Guzzi, and Kawasaki may be the right brands to buy from. Riders who are inclined towards buying used baggers can avail of a wider selection due to the addition of discontinued Yamaha, Triumph, and Victory bagger motorcycles. Each of these baggers was designed to cater to the American bagger market. From powerful engines to ample low-end torque, wind protection, and massive cargo capacity, baggers from all motorcycle brands mentioned in this list are capable of extended tours and practical for regular use. While checking the latest lineup of bagger motorcycles from the best bagger brands, make sure you go through the listings on different online motorcycle marketplaces to find a well-maintained classic bagger at an affordable price. This approach is highly advisable to beginners who want to step into the world of baggers, long-hauls, and adventure.

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