2015 - 2022 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager
Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 line is well established with the Vaquero and the Voyager — a bagger and full dresser, respectively — both come with ABS and, as the name suggests, the 1700 cc engine in the V-twin configuration with liquid cooling and a six-speed transmission. Ready for a cruise around town or hitting the open road, the Vulcan 1700s are well fitted and all-around solid.
2017 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
Harley-Davidson updated its sharknosed Road Glide in 2017 and replaced the little-loved Twin Cam engine with its new Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, a combination that persists into model-year 2021. There were a handful of aesthetic adjustments made over that span, but the model remains pretty much as it was when it hit the showroom floors in MY17. On the current-year model, top-shelf infotainment capabilities join with a plush suspension system and premium paint packages to deliver the comfort and style H-D riders expect, and the Mil-8 107 engine turns out the torque that we demand.
2020 - 2021 Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle rolled into MY2020 with an all-new model family – the Challenger – that comes complete with a new look, powerful 122-horsepower PowerPlus engine and improved safety equipment to keep America’s oldest bike builder competitive against challengers domestic and abroad. The inaugural year sees a trio of packages ready for public consumption, but it’s the sinister, boulevard-bruiser blackout Dark Horse version we’re going to look at today. Like the rest of the Dark Horse category, it makes a visceral connection to the custom-life underbelly of American motorcycling and brings a showroom-custom vibe to the new Challenger line.
2020 - 2021 Indian Challenger Limited
No doubt about it, Indian Motorcycle entered a new chapter with its all-new Challenger line and PowerPlus engine, and so far, the toppest-shelfest example of that combination is the Challenger Limited. It has that custom bagger style that Americans like so much along with a host of electronic goodies that improve safety and comfort over the long haul. Of course, the 120-plus pound-feet of torque it brings to the table doesn’t hurt at all, neither does all the historical Easter eggs the factory scattered about to tie into its own storied history.
2015 - 2021 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
Kawasaki delivered the 2015 Concours 14 ABS with a whole slew of improvements over the prior year — some cosmetic and some for performance — and carried that over to 2021. At the core, the Kawasaki kept the 1,352 cc engine derived from the Ninja® ZX™-14R in a chassis tuned for touring. The sportbike DNA is quite evident in the overall styling, so whether you love it or hate it, you don’t ignore the Concours 14 ABS.
2020 - 2021 Honda Gold Wing
Honda greeted the new decade with a buffed-up, base-model Gold Wing range that’s best described as a BNG-Plus treatment with a few extra goodies thrown in. Updated damping values tune up the suspension system along with improved electronics to complete the package. Of course, this is all accompanied by the performance and handling that has always held the Gold Wing in good stead and keep the line in an excellent competitive position within the U.S. Market.
2020 Indian Chieftain Elite
Indian Motorcycle rolled into the 2020 model year with a host of new features, and the new Chieftain Elite serves as the flagship bagger model, delivering some of the best gear the factory has to offer. Hand-painted sheet metal in a distinct color combination heralds the coming of this aptly-named elite machine. Not only does it rock with a premium sound system, it rolls with a new engine that boosts displacement up to a total of 116 cubic-inches. Indian also upgraded the Ride Command system with a new quad-core processor and Indian’s new Connected Services feature that further improves an already top-shelf system. It all comes with the usual bad-itude that has always come stock on Indian’s baggers.
2022 BMW R 18 B and Transcontinental
It was more a question of “when” rather than “if” BMW was going to branch out with its retro-styled R 18 family tree, and it seems the factory opted for sooner rather than later with the release of the new-for-2022 Bagger “B” and Transcontinental. The classically-designed platform carries touring-minded bodywork up front along with 27-liter hard bags out back, and together cover the touring market as well as the boulevard bruiser segment. Power comes from the most powerful Boxer Twin to ever come from Beemer, and they carry an electronics suite that is frankly surprising, even from a marque so well known for its technological prowess..
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival
Harley-Davidson rebrands its tourbike line under the “Grand American Touring” banner in 2021, and the American marque marks the occasion with the all-new Electra Glide Revival. This bike is a bona fide rolling tribute that brings classic design elements together with top-shelf electronics and a large powerful engine, all of a more recent vintage to make this a thoroughly modern ride.
2021 Harley Davidson Street Glide Arctic Blast Limited Edition
Harley Davidson’s Street Glide has been a huge success for the Milwaukee-based manufacturer. Now it is available as a limited edition in the Arctic Blast paint job. Just 500 examples available with a price tag of over $38,000! Despite this, expect it to sell out quickly.
New Music Video Debut for the BMW R 18 B and Transcontinental
2022 Indian Super Chief
America’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer rolls into model-year 2022 with a new platform that pulls double duty as a celebration of the Chief’s 100th anniversary; the Indian Super Chief. Old-school bagger style and homegrown custom details join to set this new machine apart from the pack. Available with and without ABS, the Super Chief is powered by the proven Thunder Stroke 111 plant. It comes shot in monochromatic paint schemes on the sheet metal with liberal blackout treatment everywhere else. The Super Chief is a rolling history lesson, and class is in.
Harley vs Indian — Who wins the battle of the baggers?
Bagger Racing. That’s right folks. In further proof that if humans get ahold of at least two “things that go,” they will find some way to race ’em every single time, I present you with the Bagger Racing League. These ain’t your grandpa’s tourbikes by any stretch of the imagination as they roll with engine performance and potential lean angles that will quickly embarrass one of what you might call a “traditional” bagger. These high-performance machines butted heads from June 25th through the 27th at the first-ever Battle of the Baggers that was brought to us by aftermarket giant Drag Specialties at the Utah Motorsports Complex, where it was well received to say the least.
2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain Limited
Indian Motorcycle spruced up its Chieftain Limited ahead of MY2020 with a new color palette and abundant chrome treatment. It ain’t all about the aesthetics, though. The factory powers its revamped Chieftain Limited with the Thunder Stroke 116 engine with over 120 pound-feet of torque on tap. Custom touches abound on this top-shelf bagger with the usual smattering of historical references to tie in with the factory’s storied past along with a modern electronics suite to round out the package.
2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle carried over its popular Chieftain Dark Horse into MY2020 with much the same custom panache, but repowered it with the Thunder Stroke 116 engine. Classic historical touches abound on this ride for a healthy dose of nostalgia, but of course, it rocks all of the factory’s electronic fandanglery to make it a thoroughly modern machine. Whether you want to do some light touring or just do some boulevard cruising, the Chieftain Dark Horse brings something to the table for you.
2020 - 2021 Indian Springfield Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle is proving to be quick to capitalize on popular products, and the 2021 Springfield Dark Horse is yet another example that drives the point home. The Springfield Dark Horse seeks to ride on the success of the Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition model that made such a splash at Daytona. Bad-boy blackout is a constant throughout the paint packages up for grabs this year, as are the factory-custom touches that set this model apart from the crowd. Best of all, Indian powers it with the brand-new Thunder Stroke 116 that boosts power and performance even further with over 120 pound-feet of torque on tap.
2019 - 2021 Indian Springfield
Indian Motorcycle cashes in on its deep design roots with the Springfield model that hit the market in ’16 and has been carried over into the 2021 model year with nary but a few adjustments to the color palette. Power comes from what was Indian’s largest production engine prior to 2020, along with ABS and keyless ignition on board, but it’s the classic, old-school bagger looks that drive sales of this particular unit. Best of all, it’s among the least expensive of the available baggers, and that positions it well within the boulevard-bruiser/light-tour categories.
2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain
Indian Motorcycle brushed up its Chieftain line for 2020 with a lean, slammed look, and a choice between its proven Thunder Stroke 111 and the new, more powerful Thunder Stroke 116. As always, the Chieftain brings classic bagger style to the table, and of course, Indian’s top-shelf infotainment system comes stock to keep it competitive against the other top baggers around the world. No matter which engine you choose, you can count on 100-plus pounds of grunt that make the Chieftains perform as well as they look.
2021 BMW R 1250 RT
BMW heads into MY2021 with a significant facelift and upgrade package for its bagger-tastic R 1250 RT. A nip here and tuck there presents a new face to the world with equally-new instrumentation and a revised windscreen to complete the package. As a showroom bagger, it rolls with rider comfort as a front-burner item and comes stock with panniers for immediate utility as a tour bike, commuter, or grocery-getter. The cherry on top is the Active Cruise Control feature that uses radar technology to bring a level of safety to the motorcycle market that has mainly been restricted to use on vehicles with four wheels or more.
2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
After a revamp for the 2018 model year, Softail underpinnings are all radically different than the originals, but the overall classic look of the Heritage Classic remains largely unchanged for the requisite historical tie-in. Harley-Davidson put a new emphasis on the Softail lineup with plenty of performance-driven custom designs for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, but for someone looking for an old-school cruiser and tour bike, the Heritage Classic is your Huckleberry.