motorcycle 101 guides

Top Non-Harley Baggers For 2023

Top Non-Harley Baggers For 2023

Harley Davidson has been dominating the American bagger market ever since it introduced the Electra Glide in 1965. Over the years, the brand has enjoyed unprecedented sales, owing to its most successful and high-selling bagger, the Harley Street Glide and the Harley Road Glide. Several motorcycle manufacturers have entered the American bagger market to compete with Harley Davidson but most have failed. However, as of now, several notable motorcycle manufacturers, including Honda, Indian, and BMW have established a notable share in the American bagger market and have sustained successfully in a competitive environment. Read this article to learn about the top non-Harley baggers for 2023.

1. Top Non-Harley Baggers For 2023

1.1 Honda Gold Wing

Honda Gold Wing
Photo credit: @Asphalt & Rubber
Honda Gold Wing
Year Model 2023
Displacement 1,833 cc
Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
Engine Type Horizontally-Opposed, Six-Cylinder Engine
Horsepower 125 hp
Torque 176.25 Nm
Final Drive Shaft
Fuel Tank Capacity 5.5 gal
Seat height 29.3 in
Curb Weight 804 lbs
Base Price $25,600

Honda is one of the leaders in the touring bike segment thanks to the Honda Gold Wing. This motorcycle is the successful trademark for Honda as it is one of the oldest motorcycles in the world with the longest production run of more than four decades. The first-generation Honda Gold Wing was introduced in 1974 as a touring bike and it continued to impress riders with a variety of improvements and innovations over the years.

The modern Honda Gold Wing is a uniquely designed bagger with a sporty touch. The front end of the motorcycle is inspired by a sports-touring motorcycle with aerodynamically-designed sporty fairing. The Honda Gold Wing has the distinction of being the first and only motorcycle installed with an airbag for improved rider safety. Talking about the features, the Honda Gold Wing is no less than a luxurious car. This giant bagger has a huge cockpit-style dashboard in front of the rider that is easily accessible. The dashboard contains a 7-inch TFT color display, 55-watt speakers, audio system, gauges, and hand controls. The infotainment system is compatible with both Android and iOS. The Honda Gold Wing also features a tire monitoring system, Bluetooth connectivity, and navigation.

The R&D at the Honda facility has been successful in creating a future motorcycle by incorporating a range of innovative features in the Honda Gold Wing. These include a smart key feature that allows the rider to start the motorcycle with a press of a button, electronic reverse, walking mode, hill start assist, Honda selectable torque control, throttle by wire, electronically adjustable windscreen, ABS, cruise control, heated seats, and heated grips.

Another prominent feature of the Honda Gold Wing that not only ensures a top-notch performance but also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the motorcycle is its 1,833 cc liquid-cooled, inline six-cylinder engine of 125 hp and a torque of 176.25 Nm, making it one of the fastest baggers in the market. Despite being fitted with an electronic control unit (ECU) and speed limiter, the Honda Gold Wing can reach a top speed of around 112 mph. This motorcycle also handles well in the corners thanks to its low center of gravity. The front double-wishbone suspension and the electronically pre-load adjustable rear suspension ensure a comfortable riding experience on both paved and bumpy roads.

1.2 Indian Challenger

Indian Challenger
Photo credit: @Bike Exif
Indian Challenger
Year Model 2023
Displacement 1,768 cc
Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
Engine Type PowerPlus V-Twin Engine
Horsepower 122 hp
Torque 173.54 Nm at 3,800 rpm
Final Drive Belt
Fuel Tank Capacity 6 gal
Seat height 26.5 in
Curb Weight 831 lbs
Base Price $24,999

Indian Motorcycle has been successful in giving tough competition to its fellow American motorcycle brand, Harley Davidson after being acquired by Polaris Inc. in 2011. Apart from reviving two of its best and oldest cruisers, including the Indian Chief and the Indian Scout, Indian Motorcycle also introduced one of the best performance baggers, the Indian Challenger, in 2020 to attract American riders.

Being a performance bagger, the Indian Challenger is different from traditional baggers due to its sporty nature. It has a dual nature and is considered a hybrid of sports and American touring bikes. When it comes to ride quality, maneuverability, handling, comfort, touring, and high-speed performance, the Indian Challenger ticks all the boxes. Despite being a heavyweight bagger with a wet weight of 831 lbs, the Indian Challenger does not feel heavy once you get going at a good speed. The lightweight aluminum chassis and the low center of gravity allow riders to turn corners with confidence without the fear of dropping.

At the heart of the Indian Challenger, there is a 1,768 cc liquid-cooled, PowerPlus engine capable of producing an impressive torque of 173.54 Nm and a horsepower of 122 hp. Being an ideal bagger, it features a large shark nose-style chassis-mounted fairing, along with integrated speakers, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, an electronically adjustable windshield, and hard saddlebags. The safety features include ABS, cruise control, and selectable ride modes.

1.3 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
Photo credit: @Motorcyclist Online
Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
Year Model 2023
Displacement 1,700 cc
Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
Engine Type 52° V-Twin Engine
Horsepower 81 hp
Torque 145.9 Nm
Final Drive Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Belt
Fuel Tank Capacity 5.3 gal
Seat height 28.7 in
Curb Weight 844.5 lb
Base Price $18,599

Kawasaki is one of the most versatile Japanese motorcycle manufacturers with the expertise of producing top-class sports bikes, cruisers, touring bikes, motocross, and enduros. When it comes to producing baggers, Kawasaki dared to compete in the competitive American bagger market with its Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero. Being engineered by Kawasaki, the Vulcan Vaquero is one of the most affordable and reliable baggers that comes with most of the essential features, making it a true bagger.

The Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero is a full-dressed bagger fitted with a full-coverage front fairing with an integrated small tinted windscreen, large air vents on both sides of the headlight, and small storage compartments on both sides of the radiator, also providing wind protection to riders’ legs. The saddle may not be ideal for long-distance two-up riding but you can replace it with a more cushioned and comfortable seat, along with the backrest to ensure a relaxed riding experience.

The 1,700 cc 52° V-Twin engine produces adequate horsepower of 81 hp and a torque of 145.9 Nm. The power may not be enough for most intermediate and experienced riders, but the engine ensures smooth power and torque delivery and soul-satisfying rumble. You can enjoy a safe riding experience on the Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero thanks to the standard equipment installed in this motorcycle, including ABS, electronic cruise control, and Kawasaki advanced coactive-braking Technology (K-ACT).

1.4 Indian Chieftain

Indian Chieftain
Photo credit: @Indian Motorcycle
Indian Chieftain
Year Model 2023
Displacement 1,811 c
Cooling System Air-Cooled
Engine Type Thunderstroke 111 V-Twin Engine
Horsepower 100 hp
Torque 161.34 Nm at 3,000 rpm
Final Drive Belt
Fuel Tank Capacity 5.5 gal
Seat height 25.6 in
Curb Weight 823 lbs
Base Price $22,999

Another top-of-the-line entry in the American bagger market by Indian motorcycle is the Indian Chieftain. It is one of the most elegant, comfortable, well-equipped, and aesthetically appealing baggers with tons of innovative features. The Indian Chieftain is also one of the top competitors of the most popular American bagger, the Harley Davidson Street Glide. Like the Harley Street Glide, it also features a fork-mounted wide batwing-style fairing with a small windscreen. A 7-inch touchscreen display, speakers, and analog gauges are all mounted to the wide fairing. The other standard premium features include ABS, cruise control, rear cylinder-deactivation system, and three riding modes. The Indian Chieftain is powered by the signature 1,811 cc Thunderstroke 111 V-Twin engine capable of a horsepower of 100 hp and a torque of 161.34 Nm.

Unlike the Indian Challenger, the Indian Chieftain is an ideal touring bike with a taller front end and a low seat height, ensuring an upright back position. Despite being a heavyweight bagger, weighing 823 lbs in its standard form, the Indian Challenger feels amazingly lighter at moderate speeds. The low seat height of 25.6 inches and the height of the floorboards allow riders to ride continuously for hours without getting fatigued.

1.5 BMW K 1600 B

BMW K 1600 B
Photo credit: @Indian Autos Blog
BMW K 1600 B
Year Model 2024
Displacement 1,649 cc
Cooling System Oil- and Liquid-Cooled
Engine Type Inline Six-Cylinder Engine
Horsepower 160 hp at 6,750 rpm
Torque 179.9 Nm at 5,250 rpm
Top Speed 120+ mph (Without Floorboards)
Final Drive Shaft
Fuel Tank Capacity 7 gal
Seat height 29.5 in
Curb Weight 758.4 lbs
Base Price $22,945

The BMW K 1600 B is another sports touring-style bagger designed to give tough time to the Honda Gold Wing. If you want a fast-speed bagger motorcycle with class-leading handling and cornering performance, the BMW K 1600 B is the perfect choice. It is one of the fastest baggers available in the market with a top speed of over 120 mph. Like the Honda Gold Wing, the BMW K 1600 B also carries an inline six-cylinder engine with the capability of delivering an unmatched horsepower of 160 hp and a torque of 179.9 Nm. The sporty characteristics of this motorcycle make it an attractive choice for those looking for high-end performance baggers, ensuring ride quality, comfort, high-speed performance, and safety. The 1,649 cc six-cylinder engine by BMW is well-known for producing smooth and quick acceleration and throttle response.

Despite its sportier style, the BMW K 1600 B promotes an upright riding position thanks to its pulled-back handlebars. The legroom is also quite spacious thanks to its forward-mounted rider floorboards. The BMW K 1600 B has a huge price tag of $22,945, but once you get to know about the loads of standard features it comes with, this bagger may not sound very expensive. The BMW K 1600 B incorporates most of the trendy features, including the BMW Motorrad Integral ABS Pro, dynamic traction control, engine brake control, hill start control, reverse assist feature, tire pressure monitor system, three ride modes (Dynamic, Road, and Rain), heated seats, heated grips, electronically-adjustable suspension, and a 10.25-inch large TFT screen.

1.6 Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT

Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT
Photo credit: @Ultimate Motorcycling
Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT
Year Model 2023
Displacement 1,083 cc
Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
Engine Type 22.5° Parallel-Twin Engine
Horsepower 86 hp
Torque 97.6 Nm
Final Drive O-Ring-Sealed Chain
Fuel Tank Capacity 3.6 gal
Seat height 27.5 in
Curb Weight 524 lbs
Base Price $11,299

Despite being one of the cheapest baggers, the Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT is a well-equipped motorcycle with several modern ride safety features, including wheelie control, Honda selectable torque control (HSTC), powerful disc brakes, along an anti-lock braking system. The Honda Rebel 1100 T also features the Honda’s signature dual-clutch transmission (DCT) feature to allow riders to switch to automatic transmission mode for smooth and uninterrupted riding. If you want more control over your motorcycle, you can shift to manual transmission mode and shift gears with the help of a pedal shifter installed near your left-hand control.

The Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT is one of the most unique and simplest baggers in the market. It is based on the Honda Rebel 1100 model with the addition of wide fairing and hard saddlebags. It is ideal for newbies and older riders who are looking for an affordable and lightweight bagger.

The Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT also has ride-by-wire throttle control and cruise control for a relaxed cruising experience on highways and open roads. The parallel-twin engine uses biaxial counterbalancers to successfully eliminate the primary and secondary vibrations. The low center of gravity, low seat height, slim design, and compact mass ensure superior handling and cornering. You can also charge your mobile phone while riding thanks to the USB C-type terminal installed under the seat.

The Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT features a 1,083 cc liquid-cooled, 22.5° parallel-twin engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 86 hp and a torque of 97.6 Nm. The parallel-twin Unicam engine design ensures a low overall weight, better maneuverability, and unmatched handling in the bagger class. The Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT has a compact design, a sophisticated blacked-out finish, a solo rider seat, and an iconic round headlamp.

Riding a Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT has become a lot easier thanks to its low wet weight of 524 lbs and a comfortable rider triangle, ideal for both short and tall riders. You can also enjoy comfortable long-distance rides and motorcycle tours with a passenger on the Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT by installing an aftermarket saddle for two-up riding and a footpeg kit. You can also install a larger windscreen for better wind protection.

1.7 BMW R 18 B

BMW R 18 B
Photo credit: @Rider Magazine
BMW R 18 B
Year Model 2024
Displacement 1,802 cc
Cooling System Air- and Oil-Cooled
Engine Type Twin-Cylinder Boxer Engine
Horsepower 91 hp at 4,750 rpm
Torque 157.27 Nm at 3,000 rpm
Final Drive Shaft
Fuel Tank Capacity 6.3 gal
Seat height 28.35 in
Curb Weight 877 lbs
Base Price $19,94

Another elegant entry in the top non-Harley bagger’s category by the top German automobile manufacturer is the BMW R 18 B. This bagger is a well-equipped, luxurious, and overweight motorcycle powered by the iconic BMW twin-cylinder boxer engine. The BMW R 18 lineup is a perfect blend of old-school style and modern performance. The most eye-catching feature of the BMW R 18 B is its 1,802 cc air- and oil-cooled, twin-cylinder boxer engine with the capability to deliver a horsepower of 91 hp and an impressive torque of 157.27 Nm. It is one of the most heavyweight baggers in the market with a wet weight of 877 lbs. The BMW R 18 B features a large and wide batwing-style handlebars-mounted fairing with a small windscreen and hard saddlebags, providing adequate storage space. To ensure better interaction between the rider and motorcycle and a fun riding experience, the BMW R 18 B features a 10.25-inch TFT color screen display, four analog gauges, and Marshal Gold Series speakers.

The BMW R 18 B ensures a comfortable riding experience thanks to the upright back position. The seat is well-padded, ensuring comfortable rides for both riders and passengers. However, the horizontally opposed twin-cylinder boxer engine restricts the installation of forward-mounted foot controls. The legroom is not comfortable enough for long-distance continuous rides, especially for taller riders.

The BMW R 18 B has several advanced features, including a BMW Motorrad ABS Pro and an optional active cruise control feature, allowing riders to cruise at a constant speed without having to pull the throttle. The other notable standard features include the hill start control, engine drags torque control, automatic stability control, keyless ride, three riding modes (Rock, Roll, and Rain), and an optional reverse assist feature.

2. The Bottom Line

Since their introduction, baggers have enjoyed much popularity, especially in the United States. They are the simplest type of highly-dressed luxurious touring bikes with stock large fairing, small windscreen, audio system, and hard saddlebags. Harley Davidson is considered to be the pioneer and the early manufacturer of baggers. For decades, Harley-Davidson had no competition when it came to the bagger segment. However, as soon as the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers took the world of motorcycling by storm, it ensured a competitive environment even in the American motorcycle market. Soon, Honda Gold Wing became a top-of-the-line bagger and gained worldwide recognition due to its class-leading performance and high-end features. Currently, several notable motorcycle manufacturers have stepped into producing successful baggers, including the Indian Motorcycle, Kawasaki, Honda, and BMW. If you are looking for a non-Harley bagger with several touring-oriented parts and tons of premium features, the Honda Gold Wing, the Indian Challenger, the Indian Chieftain, the BMW K 1600 B, and the BMW R 18 B are the most exclusive non-Harley baggers. Meanwhile, if you are looking for a low-cost bagger with good value for money and reliability, the Honda Rebel 1100 T DCT and the Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero are the perfect choice.

Viking Bags has a perfect solution for you if you do not own a bagger and want to enjoy fun and comfortable long-distance rides. At the Viking Bags’ online store, you can find a variety of aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories to help you customize your motorcycle. Installing a fairing, crash bar, sissy bar, backrest, and touring-oriented handlebars will not only transform the look of your motorcycle, it will improve the performance and comfort of your motorcycle on long-distance rides and tours.

Related Readings

Reading next

Explore the Top Harley Davidson Baggers for 2023
Explore the Top Harley Davidson Baggers for 2023

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.