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Here’s The Real Reason Why Baggers Became Popular Again

When riding season comes around, or you’re lucky enough to score a warm day in the middle of the winter, you may notice that everyone is happy to bring their bikes out. But if you are paying close attention, you may notice that a significant portion of these motorcycles happen to be on the bigger side.

That is because almost everyone these days are upgrading to a touring motorcycle, aka “baggers.” They are in the city. They are in the suburbs. They are in rural towns. They are literally everywhere. So why has there been a sudden surge in popularity with baggers when compared to sport bikes and cruisers? It all depends on who intends to stay in the motorcycle world for the long-term. Because much like any other interest, activity, or hobby, your tastes and priorities change over time.


Related: 10 Reasons Why It’s Time You Should Buy A Bagger

People Love Baggers For Their Comfort And Convenience

2022 Harley-Davidson Road King Special

Shot of a green 2022 Harley-Davidson Road King Special cruising on the highway

One of the primary features that makes touring motorcycles such a huge draw on the market is how comfortable they are. Built on a large frame with a cushy saddle big enough for two. Baggers are ideal choices for riders built on the bigger side as these motorcycles have been designed to handle carrying large amounts of weight across long distances for extended periods of time with minimal effort.

Of course your choice in motorcycle boils down to the kind of riding they intend on doing. Sport and naked bikes are ideal for urban and short-distance rides. Certain cruisers can handle short, medium, and long rides, but the same can’t be said for the riders themselves. Because only after a couple of hours on the highway will the rider really feel it, needing to pull over at a rest stop to stretch, refuel, and recharge. Meanwhile, for bagger owners, their larger fuel tanks and greater weight distribution make riding on the highway, or even just around town, a much more pleasant cruising experience.

We also need to mention how much more comfortable a passenger feels on a touring motorcycle after a few hours when compared to a sport bike or cruiser. With the amount of customizable seating options available, which includes back rests, heated seats, and gel seat pads, the passenger will feel less like they are on the back of a motorcycle and more like they are riding on a couch instead. Because, if you feel uncomfortable getting of a sport bike after an hour, imagine how unpleasant your passenger is going to be!

Lastly, being able to transport clothing, helmets, equipment, groceries, and so on inside those stock saddlebags definitely make life much easier in the long-run. Because bags are a lot like that George Ellis quote, “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

Baggers Feature The Latest Technology

2022 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

Action shot of a 2022 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

For a time, baggers carried the same social stigma as trikes, as they were seen as the “old man” bike. But as time marches on, the torch has been passed to a new generation of riders that grew up with today’s convenience of modern technology with their own baggers. Motorcycles these days are not as stripped-down and simple as they once were. They come with computers, touch-screen infotainment systems, cruise control, Bluetooth functionality, LED lights, and so on.

Related: Best Motorcycle Technology of 2021

Because the existing generation of riders are much more tech-savvy than their predecessors, having a bagger come equipped with speakers, ABS, GPS, and hill-assist are not that surprising. In fact, they are almost seen as mandatory. For those times when a group of friends takes their baggers on a cross-country road trip, they are going to want to ride to their favorite artists by wirelessly syncing up their bike’s audio system to their favorite playlists on their smartphone. As they embark on their journey, they can also check the weather, cycle through their motorcycle’s ride data, and reroute their GPS to a hole-in-the-wall burger joint off the beaten path from their destination.

There is also the myriad of safety benefits backed up by new technology. Some touring motorcycles come equipped with Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) which provides extra confidence and self-balance while riding through slick and hazardous surfaces, or specialized wave radar systems that can detect, measure, and regulate the distance between the motorcycle and the vehicle in front of it.

People Choose Baggers Because Riding Habits Change Over Time

2023 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST

Press photo of the 2023 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST

If you have owned more than one motorcycle in your life, take a look at the evolution of styles you’ve been riding through the years. Many of us start young and typically started out on sport bikes and small cruisers, mainly due to them being fast, nimble, cheap, and easy to learn on. Because it is better to make a mistake on a small, cheap bike than a big, expensive one. Because deep down, a bagger is the bike you truly want if you’re playing the long game.

But as we mature, so does the kind of riding we plan on doing. Many bagger owners appreciate the comfort, control, and sturdiness of a modern touring motorcycle. However, the other bonus behind baggers is that they possess the capabilities to perform double-duty as both a cruiser and a high-performance glutton for horsepower. After taking the long list of engine upgrades available to the touring class, those that love that extra kick when they start to roll on the throttle have their need for speed satiated too. It just comes in the form of a larger, fully-grown machine.

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