Bike Into Bagger Buying Guide

By Glenn Zetterquist (Zee331)


Bike into Bagger 2014

Adding a batwing fairing and hard saddlebags to your bike are the major modifications you need to make to achieve that "bagger" look for your Harley or Metric Cruiser. Why do you need a bagger? In addition to their clean aerodynamic shape, the real advantages are in comfort and storage.With a Bagger motorcycle you are protected from the elements, can enjoy your music and you’ll enjoy plenty of storage space, allowing you to ride wherever the road take you!

Traditionally, a “bagger’ was a full sized touring Harley Davidson outfitted with wind protection and saddlebags. Roughly five years ago, this term morphed into touring bikes from all makes American and Metric alike, which came from the factory full fairings and hard saddlebags. Today this term is generically used across Harley, Victory, and Metric motorcycles to describe a capable touring motorcycle which has been outfitted with a fairing and saddlebags.

This Bike into Bagger Buying Guide will outline the motorcycle industry's most popular products which will allow you to convert or transform your standard or naked into a fully functional “bagger.”

One of the best ways to know what you want “your bagger” to look like is to visit rallies, events, forums, and showrooms to see what style of fairing and saddlebags best suit the look and functionality you are striving to obtain with your bagger build.

Luckily, the bagger segment is in full swing and there are hundreds of manufacturers offering fairings, brackets, windshields, saddlebags, audio systems, and so much more! Stay tuned as we weed through the hundreds of items and bring you the good, better, and best in bagger options so you can be prepared to get your build on! 

Fairing Revolution

Harley Davidson birthed the bagger in 1969 with the introduction of the fork mounted fairing option on their Electra Glide motorcycles.  In the early 2000’s the Street Glide and Road Glide began to gain popularity over the Dyna, Road King and Sportsters. It wasn’t until 2005 or so that the fairing manufacturers began expanding their offerings from Harley only applications catering to the metric bikes.

Bike into Bagger

Hoppe and Dragonfly were leaders in the “bagger revolution” with the highest quality products . In 2010, Memphis Shades released their Batwing Fairing, which attached to their trigger lock mounting system and brought fairings to metric bikes for just about $500.  Kuryakyn then released the Sportech line of fairings in the $700 price range. All of a sudden, fairings became obtainable for the average Joe, whether riding a Harley or a Metric motorcycle.

Saddlebag Revolution

Fitting saddlebags to any bike that does come with saddlebags can be a challenging venture. Finding the correct brackets, the right size bags, throw over, bolt-on, locking hard vs. soft... there is so much to think about and to factor into the equation. Today, we will boil these options down into a good, better best format you can easily follow!

Mustang Seats Studded Covered Saddlebags

(Shown: Part #: M-13300)

Good, Better & Best of Fairings at Cruiser Customizing

Our “good” could be your “best” The “good fairing” here is our most popular fairing and it works for just about every bike out there! It really is the most universal fit fairing with as many, if not more, features and accessories than the other fairings in our lineup. The “all inclusive” nature and hand craftsmanship of the Hoppe Fairing makes it the “best” in this guide.

PRICES in this page are estimates* 

Good = Memphis Shades Batwing @ $560
  • Shell: $280 and made of black formed acrylic windshield material.
  • Interior: Hollow that allows for use of a windshield bag.
  • Mounting Kit: $145 Trigger Lock Mounting Kit for Quick Release removal
  • Windshield: $75 and available from 5” to 12” and in various colors
  • Trim: $60 and provides stylish custom look for fairing to windshield transition
  • Audio: $400 Hogtunes offers a bolt in stereo kit

Watch Video:

Better = Hoppe Industries Vanillazilla @ $800
  • Shell: Top Quality Hand-laid fiberglass for superior strength
  • Interior: Fiberglass and abs plastic
  • Windshield: Includes a 12 inch clear windshield.
  • Mounting Kit: Included as they are all make / model specific.
  • Trim: $89 - $125 Available but not a necessity
  • Audio: Allows room for Road Tech radios
Best = Hoppe Industries Quadzilla @ $1700 - $1850
  • Shell: Top quality hand-layed fiberglass
  • Interior: Fiberglass and abs plastic and most are complete with speakers and stereo
  • Mounting Kit: Included as they are all make / model specific.
  • Windshield: Included 12” clear shield
  • Trim: $89 - $125 Available but not a necessity
  • Audio: Most have built in audio systems

Watch Video:

Good, Better, Best of Saddlebags at Cruiser Customizing

Saddlebags come in a multitude sizes, shapes and styles. As a general rule, they can be boiled (down to the following options)

Hard VS. Soft
Throw-Over VS. Bolt-On
Studded VS. Plain
Slant VS. Box or Round

This being a Bagger Guide, we will focus on the good, better, and best in the bolt-on / quick release category.

PRICES in this page are estimates* 

Good = Saddlemen Custom Fit Cruisn’ Slant Saddlebag w/ quick release @ $320
Better = Cycra Hardstreet Saddlebags w/ or w/o Brackets @ $429 to $799
  • Saddlebag: $499 Cycra ABS injection molded plastic for perfect fit and finish
  • Bracket: $180 Alloy Tech Multi Fit Bracket 
Best = Mustang Seats Hard Covered Saddlebags w/ Easy Brackets @ $915
  • Saddlebag: $760 Fiberglass saddlebag covered with matching Mustang Seat vinyl
  • Easy Brackets: $155 Strongest and most effective quick release saddlebag bracket

Watch Video:

Best = Best of the Best = Addition of the NEW Mustang Hard Covered Trunk @ $915
  • Trunk: $670 Fiberglass covered trunk with matching Mustang Seat vinyl
  • Trunk Bracket: $225 Chrome brackets for mounting trunk to motorcycle 
  • Bolt Kit: $20 for mounting brackets to bike and trunk to brackets

Watch Video:

Images, css and javascript optimized via IISpeed by We-AMP