2020 Baggers Spec Chart Comparison

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

All the baggers, by the numbers

This all started with our recent Bagger Battle between the two juggernauts in the field: The Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special and the Indian Challenger Limited. In just nine days, that story garnered enough views on MO to make it our ninth-most read story of 2019 – and it was posted on December 23rd!

All that traffic got us thinking about how these two American giants stack up to the rest of the bagger field, although long-time MO readers might remember we’ve already done something similar – the Big Dam Tour shootout of 2018. Back then we actually rode all the bikes in the field, which consisted of:

  • BMW K1600 B
  • Indian Chieftain Dark Horse
  • Kawasaki Vaquero
  • Harley-Davidson Street Glide
  • Harley-Davidson Road Glide
  • Moto Guzzi MGX-21
  • Yamaha Eluder

In lieu of the logistical nightmare that is putting seven motorcycles together for a test – especially since we’ve already ridden all of them – in this spec chart comparison we’re going to swap the Indian and two Harleys for the Challenger Limited and updated Road Glide, respectively, and take a look at the numbers. All the other bikes in the field haven’t changed much, if at all, since we rode them in 2018, which should give us a chance to see how far the new Harley and Indian have leapfrogged the field – or if they simply inch away.


Let’s get right to the heart of the matter here. Engines define a motorcycle, and nowhere is this more true than in the cruiser category. Making this comparison interesting is the wide array of engine sizes in this match-up. Bringing up the rear of the field is the Moto Guzzi, with a “paltry” 1380cc – mounted transversely, no less! But what the MG lacks in displacement it makes up with a total of eight valves, four spark plugs, and a huge 104mm cylinder bore – second only to the Indian’s 108mm cylinders. The result is 78.9 hp at 8000 rpm, more than the Kawasaki (68.7 hp) and Yamaha (75.2 hp). Of course, the tradeoff is a torque figure of 72.7 lb-ft at 2400 rpm. Last in this group by a wide margin.

From there the other V-Twins bump up in displacement quite a bit, starting with the 1700cc Kawasaki Vaquero, 1769cc Indian, 1854cc Yamaha, up to the 1868cc Harley Davidson. What’s impressive here is how much horsepower the Indian punches – 95.0 hp at 5,000 rpm – despite its small-ish engine. [We should note here that the Challenger MO dynoed had significantly lower numbers and didn’t rev as high as those in other magazine’s tests. Indian tells us our tester was a “preproduction” unit, whose ECU cut the spark at 5000 rpm. The PowerPlus engine is supposed to make max horsepower at 5500 rpm (122 crankshaft hp), and redline at 6500. – Ed.] Liquid-cooling definitely helps, as does its single overhead cam (instead of power-robbing pushrods), eight valves, and aforementioned 108mm pistons. Also huge in this category is its sportbike-like 11.0:1 compression ratio. On the torque front, its 111.9 lb-ft at 3,300 rpm is the most in this group, including the six-cylinders!

Ah, yes. The duo of six-cylinders. Both BMW and Honda come into this segment with the K1600B and Gold Wing, respectively, boasting not one, but six pistons going up and down. The BMW is the smaller of the two, at 1649cc, with the Honda coming in at 1833cc. If you’ve been paying close attention, the Harley Road Glide, while down four cylinders, trumps both of the metric machines in displacement. No matter, as both the BMW and Honda trounce all the others in the field with measured horsepower numbers of 131.8 and 102.1, respectively. Torque numbers are close, with the K1600B pulling 106 lb-ft and the Honda at 106.4 lb-ft.

Of course, the riding dynamics of a V-Twin versus a six-cylinder are vastly different, as explained in the Big Dam Tour story above. While the V-Twins deliver a rumbling pulse, the BMW and Honda give you silky smooth refinement. Hammer on the throttle, though, and the torque will quickly whisk you away, no matter what you’re on.

Considering the Bagger Battle and Big Dam Tour stories reveal all there is to know about the respective machines, the real question is how the new Road Glide and Challenger stack up against the old guard in the bagger category. Judging by the numbers, both bikes more than hold their own (except against the six-bangers). Especially the Indian. It seems remarkable what the Challenger can pull off despite its displacement deficit. The scorecard ratings reflect this, too. Despite being scored during separate tests, both the Harley and Indian engines tied in the ratings at 87.5%, far surpassing the 79.8% the highest-ranking BMW scored in the Big Dam test.


Honda Gold Wing’s front suspension

When it comes to suspension and ride quality, there are no big revelations the Harley or Indian bring to the table. The Harley rides on a 49mm fork with twin shocks in the rear while Indian went for inverted forks 43mm in diameter and just a single shock out back. The others similarly follow suit with telescopic forks and shocks. Once again, the BMW and Honda stand out – BMW for its Duolever front suspension and the Gold Wing for its double wishbone front end. For a bagger’s intended purpose, shredding miles in comfort, it could be argued either method of quelling road imperfections is better than your standard fork/shock combo.

In the real world, the V-Twins still perform well. As Evans explains: “While you can tell the difference between the non-traditional front ends and the old, reliable telescopic fork (of both the standard or inverted variety), the front suspensions of all the bikes are more than capable of handling the rigors of travel – both on the interstate and two-lane highway. However, what truly differentiates the suspensions of these bikes is the shocks. The quality of these baggers’ ride breaks down pretty much where you’d expect it to once you look at the specs for the rear suspension travel. The Harley ranks dead last, and with 2.1 inches of travel, it should come as no surprise. With the rest of the baggers having 50%-100+% more rear suspension travel, the results pretty much sort themselves out by the length of the stroke that the shock(s) have to deal with road conditions. Not surprisingly, the BMW and the Honda, with their transcontinental touring bike roots, smooth the hard knocks the best.”

Fuel Capacity

Baggers are meant to shred miles, right? To do that you need a lot of gas in the tank. Looking down the line, we see the BMW leading the way with its massive 7-gallon tank. The Yamaha’s 6.6-gallon capacity is a close second, with the new Road Glide and Challenger tied at 6 gallons. Ever since it was introduced, Honda was criticized for equipping the new Gold Wing with only 5.5 gallons (Honda says the new Wing is more efficient than the last, cancelling out the slight drop in capacity from before), but this is still more than the Moto Guzzi (5.4 gallons) and the Kawasaki (5.3 gallons). In our testing, which typically features heavy right hands, here’s what kind of real-world mileage we’ve seen from each bagger:

MotorcycleFuel Mileage (mpg)
BMW K1600B38
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special42
Honda Gold Wing41
Indian Challenger40
Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero38
Moto Guzzi MGX-2133
Yamaha Star Eluder40

As you can see, despite the Honda’s 5.5 gallons, the Wing’s increased efficiency is more than just marketing fluff, scoring the second-best fuel mileage in the group. Only the new Road Glide bests it, and only by one solitary mile. With a result that close, they’re basically nill. Despite its heft, the Yamaha’s still able to nab 40 mpgs. Impressive. Way in the rear of the pack is the Guzzi, maybe because you need to wring its neck and keep the revs up to stay with the group and have fun. Of course, more revs means more gas.


When it comes to heft, “only” 106 pounds seperates the lightest bike here, the BMW, from the Yamaha at the other end of the weight spectrum. It’s slightly more remarkable considering the K16 has three times the number of cylinders as the Eluder. But the K16 also utilizes lighter plastic compared to the gobs of metal on the Yamaha. After the BMW comes the Guzzi (795 lbs), then the Honda. The Road Glide (847 lbs) and Challenger (835 lbs) are among the heavier bikes here, with the Kawi slotting in just behind the Harley at 845 lbs. Generally speaking, light makes right on a motorcycle, but if ever there was a category where poundage was a non-issue, it’s this one. Who cares what it weighs; as long as it looks cool and stirs the soul.


Isn’t it funny how motorcycles were meant to be an escape from the imaginative, figurative, hopefully not literal, and now electronic chains of everyday life? Now all the rage is connecting your motorcycle to your devices so you can keep tabs on your electronic life via dashboard display. Like it or not, motorcycle electronics are continuing to evolve. Below are just some of the ways each individual motorcycle embraces the 21st century.

BMW K1600BAudio system with Satellite Radio and Bluetooth, Hill Start Control Pro, Gear Shift Assist Pro, Central Locking/Anti-Theft Alarm, Dynamic ESA, Ride Modes, Cruise Control, Multifunction Display, On-Board Computer, Auto-leveling Headlamp
Road Glide Special
Electronic cruise control, Boom! Box GTS audio system with GPS and 6.5” full color TFT touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and voice recognition, USB connect and electric power accessory port, H-D Connect service, Reflex Electronic Linked Brakes with ABS. Optional Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) including Cornering Enhanced ABS (C-ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS), Drag-Torque Slip Control (DSCS), Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Gold Wing
Homelink (garage door opener), Apple Carplay, Tire Pressure Monitor, Cruise Control, Navigation
Lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, Cruise Control, Navigation (with traffic and weather overlays), Ride Planning and Tracking (via phone app), Glove-compatible 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth
Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
AM/FM/WB audio system with iPod and SiriusXM radio compatibility, Cruise Control,
Moto Guzzi
Ride Modes, ABS, Traction Control (3 level), Cruise Control, AM/FM Stereo, Bluetooth, MG-MP phone app,
Star Eluder
7-inch Color LCD Touchscreen, Bluetooth, GPS Navigation (optional), CB Radio (optional), Satellite weather and traffic (optional)


On the surface, all seven of these baggers seem to be on a fairly even playing field as far as base price goes, with the Kawasaki’s $16,799 being the least expensive and the DCT version of the Honda Gold Wing bringing up the other end of the price scale. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking anyone would buy a base version of any of these. Depending how wild you want to go, with the exception of the Moto Guzzi and Kawasaki, each of these models can be accessorized to the moon from the factory, and the resulting price tag can knock on the door of 40-large. And that doesn’t include accessories you can find in the aftermarket…

MotorcycleBase Price
BMW K1600B$20,095
Harley-Davidson Road Glide$21,699
Honda Gold Wing$23,800 (6-speed), $25,000 (DCT)
Indian Challenger$21,999
Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero$16,799
Moto Guzzi MGX-21$21,990
Yamaha Star Eluder$22,499 – $23,999

What Have We Learned Here?

If ever the saying “Different strokes for different folks” applies, it certainly does here. Seven different interpretations of a bagger – some traditional, others not – all excelling in their own ways. However, the point of this spec chart comparison was to see how the new Harley Road Glide and Indian Challenger slotted in with the pack. It shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, but the two are standouts in this category. Their combination of style, power, refinement and technology continue to be the benchmark others rate themselves against. But what do you think? Are the Road Glide and Challenger top dogs, or have we completely missed the boat (again)? Let us know below.


2020 Baggers Spec Chart Comparison


2019 BMW K1600B

2019 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

2020 Honda Gold Wing

2019 Indian Challenger

2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS

2019 Moto Guzzi MGX-21 Flying Fortress

2018 Yamaha Star Eluder

MSRP$20,095 base21,699 base$23,800 (6-speed) / $25,000 (DCT)$21,999 base$16,799 base21990$22,499-$23,999
Engine TypeLiquid cooled, inline 6-cylinder, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, dry sump lubricationTwin-cooled, Milwaukee-Eight 114 45° V-TwinHorizontally opposed six-cylinder, four valves per cylinder, single overhead Unicam, finger-follower rocker arm on intake, roller-rocker arm on exhaustLiquid-Cooled SOHC 60° V-Twin; 4 valves/cylinder, 108 cu in52° V-twin, liquid-cooledAir and oil-cooled 90° V-Twin, 4-valve, dual spark ignition per cylinderAir-cooled OHV V-twin; 8 valves
Bore x stroke72.0 mm x 67.5 mm102.0 mm x 114.3 mm73.0 mm x 73.0 mm108.0 mm x 96.5 mm102.0 mm x 104.0 mm104.0 mm x 81.2 mm100.0 mm x 118.0 mm
Fuel DeliveryElectronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle systemElectronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)EFI, 50mm throttle bodyElectronic fuel injection, closed loop/52 mm dual boreDFI 42mm throttle bodiesPhased electronic Multipoint sequential injection, Magneti Marelli IAW7SM, “ride by wire”, 52 mm throttle body, IWP 243 Magneti Marelli injectors, double oxygen sensor, integrated management of 3 engine mappings, traction control, cruise controlYamaha Fuel Injection with YCC-T and D-Mode
Compression ratio12.2:110.0:110.5:111.0 : 19.5:110.5 : 19.5:1
Peak hp, Dynojet 250 rear wheel131.8 hp @ 8000 rpm80.0 hp @ 4700 rpm102.1 hp at 5500 rpm (measured)95.0 hp @ 5000 rpm68.7 hp @ 5300 rpm78.9 hp @ 6600 rpm75.2 hp @ 4300 rpm
Peak Torque106.0 @ 5200 rpm106.8 lb-ft @ 2900 rpm106.4 lb-ft. at 4200 rpm (measured)111.9 lb-ft @ 3300 rpm87.9 ft-lb @ 3200 rpm72.7 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm105.8 lb-ft @2800 rpm
TransmissionConstant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical cut gears, multi-plate wet clutch, hydraulically operated6-speed6-speed manual or
7-speed automatic DCT w/ Walking Mode F/R
6-speed; wet, multi-plate6-speed with overdrive and positive neutral finder6-speed, dry single plate clutch with flexible couplings6-speed; multiplate assist and slipper wet clutch
Final DriveShaft driveBeltShaftBeltCarbon fiber-reinforced beltDouble cardan joint and fixed bevel gear seatBelt
Front suspensionBMW Motorrad Duolever; central spring strut, 4.5 inches travel49mm conventional forkDouble-wishbone front-suspension system w/ Showa shock absorber, 4.3 in. travelInverted telescopic fork, 43 mm diameter, 5.1 in (130 mm) travel45mm hydraulic fork, 5.5 inches travelStandard fork , 46 mm46mm telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
Rear suspensionBMW Motorrad Paralever, 4.9 inches travelDual emulsion-style shocks, hydraulically adjustable preload on left shockPro-Link system w/ Showa shock absorber, 4.1 in. travelSingle shock 4.5 in (114 mm) travel, hydraulic adjustableSwingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping, 3.1 inches travelDouble shock absorber with adjustable rebound and remote spring preloadSingle shock with remote preload adjustment; 4.3-in travel
Front BrakeDual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers, diameter 320 mm, ABSDual 320mm, four-piston calipersTwo radially mounted 6-piston Nissin calipers w/ 320mm rotors, electronically controlled combined ABSDual 320 mm floating rotors with 4-piston calipers, ABSDual 300mm discs, dual four-piston calipers, K-ACT II ABSDual 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial callipers with 4 horizontally opposed pistons: ABS as standard equipmentDual hydraulic disc, 298mm; Unified Brake System and ABS
Rear BrakeSingle disc brake, diameter 320mm, dual-piston caliper, ABS320mm, four-piston caliper3-piston Nissin caliper w/ 316mm rotor, electronically controlled combined ABSSingle 298 mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper, ABSSingle 300mm disc, twin-piston caliper, K-ACT II ABS282mm stainless steel discs, Brembo floating caliper with 2 pistons: ABS as standardHydraulic disc, 320mm; Unified Brake System and ABS
Front Tire120/70 ZR 17BW 130/80B17 65H130/70-18Metzeler Cruisetec, 130/60B19 66H130/90×16120/70-R21 62V130/70R18 Bridgestone Exedra
Rear Tire190/55 ZR 17BW 180/65B16 81H200/55-R16Metzeler Cruisetec, 180/60R16 80H170/70×16180/60-R16 80H200/55R16 Bridgestone Exedra
Rake/Trail??/4.2 inches26°/6.7 in.30.5°/4.3 in.25°/5.9 in.30°/7.0 in27.8°/4.9 inches31.0°/5.7 inches
Wheelbase63.7 inches64.0 inches66.7 in65.7 in.65.6 in66.7 in.67.6 inches
Measured Weight768 lb847 lb806 lbs (DCT, measured)835 pounds845 lb795 lb874 lb
Storage Capacity19.5 gal.16.9 gal. total7.9 gal.>18 gal.19.2 gal.15.2 gal.18.8 gal.
Seat heightStandard: 30.7 in., Low Seat: 29.5 in.29.0 in.29.3 in.26.5 in.28.7 in29.1 in. (28.3 in. option)27.4 in.
Fuel Capacity7.0 gal.6 gal5.5 gal.6 gal.5.3 gal5.4 gal.6.6 gal.
Fuel Economy38 mpg42 mpg41 mpg40 mpg38 mpg33 mpg40 mpg
Available ColorsBlack Storm MetallicVivid Black, River Rock Gray, Billiard Red, Barracuda Silver Denim, Scorched Orange/Silver Flux, Zephyr Blue/Black SungloCandy Ardent Red
Matte Majestic Silver
Pearl Stallion Brown
Titanium Metallic, Thunder Black Smoke, Sandstone Smoke, White Smoke, Thunder Black Pearl, Deepwater Metallic, Ruby MetallicMetallic Spark BlackBlackImpact Blue, Raven, Liquid Silver
Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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