If you thought baggers were just for your dad or the deeply uncool, it’s time to get with the program. Baggers are the bikes of the moment. If you haven’t already got one, it’s time to reconsider.
Designed with long-distance travel in mind, these big motored beauties give you the freedom to go wherever the road takes you. If you need any more inspiration to bag yourself a bagger, check out these ten best bagger motorcycles of all time – believe it or not, not all of them have Harley in the title.
1. Indian Challenger
If there one’s manufacturer that poses a threat to Harley’s dominance of the bagger segment more than most, it’s Indian. Offering three entire families of baggers and a total of ten models, it’s got all your touring needs covered. All the models have their merits, but few more so than Indian’s most powerful bagger yet, the Challenger.
Equipped with an ultra-powerful 1,768cc PowerPlus engine, it delivers an outstanding 103.1 hp and 113.1 pound-feet of torque. The accessories don’t disappoint either: expect a Power-adjustable windshield, 7-inch display screen, Ride Command system, and two very convenient two storage areas. Available in three trims and with an MSRP starting at $21,999, it’s one of Indian’s most crowd-pleasing efforts to date.
2. Yamaha Star Eluder
It’s lean, it’s mean, and it’s worth every cent of its $22,499 MSRP. If you still think of baggers as the kind of bike your dad rides on the weekends, you need to check out the Yamaha Star Eluder.
The features are plentiful (expect Traction control, ABS, cruise control, and the Venture’s infotainment package as standard) and the V-twin engine with twin counterbalances is a beast capable of dishing out 126 pound-feet of torque. But it’s those menacing good looks that’ll really get your blood pumping.
3. Harley-Davidson Street Glide
We had to get to Harley eventually, right? As the biggest player in the bagger segment, Harley is the go-to for anyone looking for a big tourer that performs. Why? Because it makes bikes like the Street Glide.
Described by motorcyclecruiser.com as the “iconic bagger upon which all others are based’, the Street Glide has shifted more units than most of our other entries combined. Basically, it blows most other baggers clean out the water. With a low handlebar for improved ergonomics, a refined one-button cruise control, easy access top-opening bags, and that legendary grunt, this is Harley at its best.
4. Harley Davidson Road Glide Special
It’s fun, it’s frisky, and it’s packing 104.7 ft-lb at 3250 rpm of torque. What are we talking about? The Harley Davidson Road Glide Special, a venerable bagger that might not occupy quite the same legendary territory as the Street Glide, but that comes pretty dang close anyway.
Delivering power and reliability in spades, it can get you to 60 mph before most baggers can get started. The tech is state-of-the-art but the look is classic Harley. The base price of $23,999 will get you the Vivid Black trim but throw in an extra $100 to get your pick of Velocity, Red Sunglow, Olive Gold, Superior Blue, and laguna Orange. If you’re feeling really flush, $1000 will get you a special custom paint job.
5. Moto Guzzi MGX-21
Moto Guzzi isn’t a brand for everyone. Some people hate it. But for every hater, there’s a lover. If you fall into the 2nd camp, prepare for your passion to grow to ever greater heights with the Moto Guzzi MGX-21, a bagger that’s less of a bike and more of an experience.
Capable of transporting the rider’s soul in ‘a beautiful and emotional experience’ made up of ‘adventure, freedom and discovery’ (and yes, that’s Moto Guzzi talking – we’d have lost the hyperbole but the sentiment’s on-point), the MGX-21 is a witty combination of power (that 1,400c transverse twin-engine packs a big punch) and voluptuous beauty.
6. Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
The Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero isn’t the most high tech of bikes. It’s got cruise control and a decent enough stereo, but if you want bells and whistles, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not the fastest either. And while the fit and finish are OK, it’s not a beauty queen by any stretch of the imagination.
So, why’s it one of the best baggers around? Because as motorcycle.com writes, its ‘Dollar Store demeanor’ is the whole point. Not everyone wants to spend a small fortune on a bike – a lot of people would be happy enough to sacrifice GPS if it means they can get a decent bagger for just $$16,799.
Plus, by reducing the accessories to the bare minimum, it’s done wonders for its reliability – after all, the fewer things it has, the fewer things that can go wrong. If you want a basic bagger that does the job but won’t break the bank, it’s ideal.
7. BMW K 1600 B
As motorcyclecruiser.com writes, BMW doesn’t do things by halves. The proof? The BMW K 1600 B, a smooth, powerful bagger with all the style and comfort you’d expect of the German giant. Thanks to Shift Assist, changing between gears is as close to effortless as a manual can get.
Cruise and traction control, ABS, ride modes, and Electronic Suspension Adjustment come as standard, as does the raw dynamism of its gorgeous sloping lines. The star attraction, of course, has to be the insanely powerful, insanely smooth liquid-cooled 1,649cc inline six-cylinder mill engine. Capable of packing 60 hp and 129 pound-feet of torque, this is a bike that’s going to get you places, fast.
8. Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring
If you want something a little classier than your typical bagger, look no further than the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring. With its voluptuous accents, its sweeping curves, and its contemporary details, it’s a head-turner.
But this is no case of style over substance: the features are dazzling (expect MGCT traction control, dual-channel ABS, ride-by-wire throttle control – basically, whatever you need, you’re going to find it here) and the 90-degree V-twin engine is capable of belting out a very impressive 78.86 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheel.
9. Indian Chieftan Elite
Indian makes its second appearance on our list with the Chieftan Elite, a powerful bagger with more comforts and conveniences than a five-star resort.
The peppy Thunder Stroke 111 engine dishes out 73 hp of power and 119 lb.-ft of torque – plenty enough to suit even the most power-hungry biker. As for the style – well, to say it’s impressive would be an understatement. The Elite is a veritable beast – if you like your baggers to look more like tanks than bikes, you’re going to love it.
10. Honda Gold Wing
The Honda Gold Wing is a stripped-back, slimline beauty that somehow manages to pack everything a modern biker could ever need into its lithe frame. Full-color display, cruise control, ABS, stereo, passenger backrest, heated grips, self-canceling turn signals…it’s all here, and it’s all yours for just $23,800.
You can also read:
- The 10 Best Dual Sport Motorcycles of 2022
- The 10 Best Adventure Motorcycles in 2022
- The 10 Best Motorcycles for Short Riders in 2022