Which bike to use to build a performance bagger?

September 12, 2023

Which bike to use to build a performance bagger?


The performance bagger is an unnatural preparation of a bagger into a sportier motorcycle.

In the tradition of Clubstyles, the aim is to improve the riding skills of a motorcycle, originally designed for cool riding, into a sportier, more fun motorcycle.

We've written a full article on the subject: Performance bagger: what you need to know

We'll now take a look at the bikes that can be used to make these extraordinary preparations.

The most common basis for a performance bagger is the Harley-Davidson Road Glide.





In Harley-Davidson basics, we distinguish between Touring and Softail. Touring models are generally used for Performance Baggers, and Softail models for Clubstyles.

The Harley-Davidson Touring range includes the Harley-Davidson Road Glide and the Harley-Davidson Street Glide.


Performance Bagger Street Glide

The Harley-Davidson Street Glide is a popular touring motorcycle known for its iconic design, comfortable ride and generous storage space. It features a V-twin engine, modern technologies and customization options. This top-of-the-range motorcycle is popular with long-distance riders.

There is a performance bagger version of the Street Glide: 

Road Glide Performance Bagger

The Road Glide and Street Glide are very similar motorcycles.

The main difference between the Harley-Davidson Street Glide and the Road Glide lies in their front-end designs:

  • Street Glide: features a batwing-style fairing attached to the handlebars, offering a classic cruiser aesthetic.
  • Road Glide: features a distinctive "shark-nose" fairing design attached to the frame, offering better aerodynamics and improved stability at high speeds.

The choice often depends on personal preference and riding style. 

The Road Glide is the preferred basis for a Performance Bagger. Here's an example:

Older Harley Touring models are also popular for bagger preparation, as they are more affordable.



Road King Performance Bagger


The Harley-Davidson Road King is a classic cruiser-style motorcycle, appreciated for its iconic design, detachable windshield and comfortable riding characteristics. It's prized by bikers who love the combination of nostalgia and long-distance capability.


Base Indian Motorcycle


Indian Challenger Performance Bagger


The Indian Challenger is a bagger-style motorcycle renowned for its modern design, powerful engine, comfort features and advanced technology. It competes in the high-end segment and appeals to riders who enjoy long-distance cruising in style and comfort.

Less responsive than Harleys, Indians also make for competitive Performance Baggers.

In fact, this is the model used in the "King of Baggers" competition against the Road Glide.


The other brands

The Performance Bagger phenomenon is fairly recent. No tuner has yet produced a Performance Bagger based on a Honda or Yamaha.
This should happen in the future, even if the limited availability of parts may be an obstacle.


How much does it cost to buy a base for a performance bagger?

The price of a Road or Street glide starts at around *10.000 for a model around twenty years old.

The price can go up to over $40.000 if you start your preparation with a new model like the Road Glide CV0 2023. 

Have you chosen the base for your Performance Bagger? Which do you prefer?

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