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What is a Harley-Davidson Bagger?

Harley Davidson

Harley-Davidson Baggers are trending styles in touring bikes. For some the term is not immediately obvious, but for road warriors who know what it's like to do without the necessities, a bagger is preferred by those who can't hold enough of life's essentials on a long ride. Here is everything you need to know about Harley Davidson Bagger motorcycles.

What is a Harley-Davidson Bagger?

A Bagger is a motorcycle that is equipped with full sets fo saddlebags. The term was created simply to describe the fact that the bike has these accessories. Baggers may also be referred to as a dresser, a full dress tourer, or a full dresser. Most commonly, Baggers are touring bikes or cruisers, but almost any bike can be modified to accept saddlebags.

Popular HD Baggers

Harley Davidson Baggers are among the brand's top selling styles and it's been that way for decades. Some of the most iconic baggers include the Road King, the Electra Glide, The Road Glide, and the Street Glide. While some prefer a more stripped down version others who like to take day or longer rides know the value of having the storage space for personal items and necessities.

The HD Road Glide

The Road Glide, or FLTR first made its appearance on the scene in 1998. It was a step up from the Tour Glide in the same family but as an update. This was a controversial bike that some Harley riders loved and others despised. It's one of the best selling Touring models with three variants available, all baggable.

The HD Road King

The Road King or FLHR was released to replace the Electra Glide Sport in 1994. It was fully equipped with standard windshield and hard saddlebags. The most distinctive feature of this bagger was the exceptionally large front headlight nacelle. It cut the Road King from the rest of the herd.

HD Electra Glide

The Electra Glide, or FLH made the record books for HD as their first electric start models. It appeared in 1965 and set a serious precedent with a Panhead engine for the first year and a Shovelhead for the 1966 model year. This held firm until the engine was replaced 18 years later with the Evolution engine. This is also a bagger bike.

The HD Street Glide

The Street Glide was an Electra Glide in a stripped down version. It was introduced in 2006. with a sleeker aesthetic, and it was loaded with amenities. The Harmon Kardon audio system, and cruise control came standard, but ABS and security were both optional features that you could add on for an additional cost. No fender trim or Tour Pak came with this bike, but it did become the most poplar DB bike of all time. Although not a bagger, this model could be modified to accept them.

Baggers are a trend

More Harley riders are understanding the benefits of owning a bagger. Those that enjoy taking to the open road for extended rides and cruising simply need the space for storing their necessities. Baggers provide room to carry along other accessories for riding and any personal items like a change of clothes, toiletries or other personal items. They're also great for storing rain gear when it's not raining, but it looks threatening. Baggers help you to be more prepared for anything funky that can happen when you're miles away from home or a town for that matter. They're a practical accessory but baggers can also be exceptionally stylish. These are just a few of the reasons why baggers have become the new trend in motorcycle customization and accessories.

You can customize your saddlebags

There are even available add on gadgets and devices that can make your saddlebags even more functional and useful. It's the equivalent of accessorizing an accessory, and this is a really cool concept for over the top customization. Anything that enhances the quality of the ride is a bonus feature. Here are a few ways you can accessorize your bagger.

Saddlebag Guard Bag with Water Bottle Holder

Harley-Davidson has manufactured this add on accessory to give you even more extra storage space. It make it possible to pack a generous supply of cold water or other beverages with you, and it's mounted in an easy to access spot. It's a simple bag made of strong synthetic leather that is easy to snap to the saddlebag guard. It even gives you a zippered inner closure for string cellphones, sunglasses, wallets, and more. It also comes with a compatible water bottle.

Drag Specialties Saddlebag Guards

The Saddlebag Guards are a thoughtful invention that provide protection for your expensive saddlebags. They help to lessen or eliminate parking lot rubs on the bags. They're available for a variety of Harley-Davidson models in several different finishes so they look good on the bike.

Flexible Heat Shield and Trim Ring

Another great accessory that helps to keep your bike in good condition. The heat shield and trim rings are available in a variety of different styles and finishes. They compliment the look of the bike while adding a bit more protection to vulnerable areas.


Baggers aren't everyone's preference and some with never give in to the notion of weighing down their stripped versions with extra baggage. For those who enjoy a long and comfortable cruise on a tourer, they've nearly become a necessity. New and innovative styles and designs in saddlebags and their accessories are making them even more popular with the touring crowds. Baggers have been popular for years and it appears that they're one of the latest trends with the aging crowd of boomers who are ready to relax and enjoy all of the finer things that life has to offer them.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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