Performance Bagger: What you need to know

July 26, 2023

Performance Bagger: What you need to know


What is a performance bagger?


A "performance bagger" is a special custom motorcycle.

First, it begins with a regular bagger bike, and then it undergoes upgrades with various performance improvements.

These upgrades make the bike more powerful and better for riding on the road.

This can result in a motorcycle that offers the comfort and convenience of a bagger while also providing the thrill and performance of a high-performance machine all in a totally crazy style. 

In recent years, a competition has become popular in the USA: King of The Baggers.

A racing competition between Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Indian Challengers on the same tracks as Superbikes.


Presentation of King of baggers by Harley-Davidson


How to make a performance bagger ?

The street version of the performance bagger is less extrem than the King of the Baggers one. 

The first steps are the same as for all types of motorcycle customisation:


1. Choose the Base Bike:

Start with a bagger-style motorcycle as your base.

The most model popular model is the Harley-Davidson Road Glide. You can also use an Indian Challenger or other HD Touring and Softail.

We wrote an article about it: 


2. Plan Your Upgrades:

Decide on the specific performance upgrades you want to make. This can include engine tuning, exhaust system upgrades, suspension improvements, brakes enhancements, and more.


project performance bagger

Make a detailed plan and research the compatibility of various upgrades with your base bike.


3. The performance baggers parts  


Engine Modifications

The new 135ci Stage IV by Screamin Eagle


Performance baggers often involve engine upgrades to boost power and torque. This can include installing:

  • high-performance air filters
  • upgrading the fueling system
  • installing a performance tuner
  • Even a complete engine swap for more significant gains



Exhaust System 

HPI 2 in 1 exhaust, one of the most famous bagger exhaust. 


Upgrading the exhaust can improve both performance and sound. Consider aftermarket exhaust systems that reduce weight and provide better flow for improved power delivery. The most popular exhaust is a 2 in 1 exhaust.



Suspension Upgrades Ohlins Shocks HD 044


Enhance the bike's handling and stability by upgrading the suspension components. High-quality rear shocks and forks can significantly improve the riding experience.




Beringer brake Beringer Radial Caliper


Ensure your bike can handle the increased power by upgrading the brakes. Installing high-performance brake calipers and stainless steel brake lines can improve braking efficiency.



 Wheels and Tires

Metzeler’s Cruisetec

Metzeler’s Cruisetec 

 Performance-oriented wheels and grippy tires can further enhance the motorcycle's handling and traction.



Dyno Tuning

dyno road glide

Cycle World 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Dyno


After installing performance upgrades, take your bike to a reputable shop for dyno tuning. This ensures that all the modifications work together optimally and maximize performance.




Cosmetic Customization


While performance is the primary focus, don't forget about the appearance. Custom paint, additional fairing accents, and aesthetic modifications can give your bike a unique and personalized look.

To know more about the bagger parts, we recommend our article about this topic with a large selection of products.




What is the budget to build a performance bagger?  Trask Assault Glide


The cost to build a performance bagger can vary a lot depending on different factors.

Typically, building a custom performance bagger can range from a few of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a competition model.

Here are some of the factors that can influence the budget:

  1. Base motorcycle: The cost of the base motorcycle can be a significant portion of the overall budget. Performance baggers are often based on touring models, which can cost more than standard motorcycles.
  2. Customization and modifications: Performance baggers typically undergo extensive customization to suit the rider's preferences and intended use. This can include changes to the engine, suspension, exhaust, and the addition of premium components like high-performance brakes and wheels.
  3. Accessories and features: Adding features such as high-quality parts, carbon fairing, headlight, or swingarm can contribute to the overall cost.
  4. Labor and expertise: If you are not performing the modifications yourself, labor costs for skilled technicians to do the work will also factor into the budget.
  5. Brand and quality: The choice of brands and the quality of parts and accessories used can greatly influence the cost. Premium, well-known brands tend to be more expensive.
  6. Geographic location: The cost of living and access to specialized services and parts in your area may also impact the overall budget.

To get a more accurate estimate for building a performance bagger, it's best to consult with custom motorcycle builders or shops that specialize in performance bagger modifications.




Should you buy a performance bagger already made or custom one myself ?


Buying a performance bagger :


  1. Time-saving: Purchasing a custom bike means you get the finished product right away, saving you time and effort.
  2. Expert craftsmanship: Reputable custom bike builders have experience and expertise, ensuring a high-quality and well-designed motorcycle.
  3. Access to unique designs: Custom bike builders can offer unique designs and features that may not be readily available in mass-produced motorcycles.
  4. Warranty and support: A professional builder may offer warranties and after-sales support for their work.



  1. Higher cost: Buying a custom bike from a professional builder can be more expensive than building it yourself, as labor costs and builder expertise are factored into the price.
  2. Limited personalization: While you can still choose from available options, it may not be as tailored to your exact preferences as building it yourself.


A exemple of a famous company who product high performance bagger : MOONSHINE


Building a Custom performance bagger:


  1. Personalization: Building the bike yourself allows you to have complete control over the design and components, resulting in a truly personalized motorcycle.
  2. Learning experience: Building a custom bike can be a rewarding learning experience, helping you understand the mechanics and engineering involved.
  3. Cost-saving: Depending on the parts and components you choose, building it yourself can be more cost-effective than buying from a professional builder.
  4. Sense of achievement: Completing a custom bike project on your own can be incredibly fulfilling and boost your confidence in motorcycle maintenance and customization.



  1. Time and effort: Building a custom bike requires time, research, and effort to source the right parts and perform the modifications.
  2. Skill level: If you lack experience or technical knowledge, the project may be more challenging and could lead to additional expenses if mistakes are made.
  3. Quality concerns: Without professional expertise, there may be a risk of improper assembly or potential safety issues if not done correctly.

In conclusion, the decision ultimately comes down to your skill level, comfort with DIY projects, available time, and budget.



Some examples of very nice harley performance bagger:


Road glide performance bagger




Performance bagger road king


 This Road King get a front shark noise from the Road glide. 



Street glide performance bagger





Performance baggers are road baggers with improved performance allowing sportier driving and bringing about a new vision of bagger driving.

This type of motorcycle customization requires a larger budget than other types of customization such as the cafe racer.


How do like Performance Bagger ?

Which one do you prefer ? 

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