A symbol of technology, designer, beauty and exclusivity on two wheels, baggers are gaining more and more admirers
BY CLÁUDIA TERRA
PHOTOS: VILIS DESIGN AND ADRIANA RIEMER PICTURES
In simple terms, “Bagger” is a motorcycle with saddlebags, but the term has assumed, over time, a special meaning. A Bagger, especially Harley Baggers, allows for many extreme customizations. Particularly in the USA, the Touring or Bagger motorcycle was about any touring bike. These machines generally have large windshields and windshields, which offer a high degree of wind protection. It also has fuel tank with larger capacity, powerful engine, more relaxed riding position, autopilot, rest pedals and, of course, large side and upper rear luggage compartments, among many other typical features of the style. In addition, the great Baggers have the optional amenities for full-time hikers, and may include equipment not normally offered on other motorcycles, such as full stereo (AM / FM radio with CD players or MP3 connections), satellite radio, heated seats, GPS navigation, integrated air compressors and airbags. There are also dual Purpose Baggers, a recent type of adventure touring motorcycle used in extreme events such as the Dakar Rally.
The history of the Baggers as we know it arises as a remarkable theory that perpetuates in the very distant past. Some believe that the Baggers are the largest cargo motorcycles, incredibly developed from the secret engineering derived from NASA’s Soyuz project. Motorcycles played an important role in the various war theaters throughout the 20th century. During World War II, Harley-Davidson received the lucrative military contracts that allowed it to overcome its first crisis in the market, as well as the Indian Motorcycle, although this one has entered decay a few times since its creation, but fortunately it is of back in our times. The WLAs had their side racks and other military-specific customizations in the war; moreover, they were simple and resilient and allowed the conducting soldiers to repair them even on the battlefield, which was the main advantage the brand had offered to the military in the front, and this made Harley a passion among the soldiers, who on returning home became dedicated HD clients. WLA replicas appear in the movie “Captain America – The First Avenger,” one of Marvel’s superheroes, but there are still a number of WLAs in perfect repair running around. Harley-Davidson has launched a special series with several of its models inspired by Marvel superheroes.
The American Harley-Davidson is the world champion of high performance motorcycles and has benefited greatly from the “boom” of the Baggers. There were always builders, such as Arlen Ness, Dave Perewitz, and Donnie Smith to name a few luminaries, who built a custom Baggers model before they became popular, which was a small portion of their portfolio. Perhaps it was the reliability and power of the Twin Cam that opened the minds of everyone else. So it was Harley and the creative and always inspired Willie G. Davidson guru who probably launched the Bagger style as we know it today. When the Street Glide (FLHX) was introduced, Harley-Davidson already had several Touring models, with style generally conservative in the designer, on their production line. HD has the longest history in the tourism industry and its bikes are great references, regardless of context and style. Currently, in the high-performance motorcycle market for travel, there are many new Tourings options from different makes and models. Gold Wing, Honda, Star Venture, Yamaha and the Indians are strong in the market.
Baggers are not marketed on production lines, like most motorcycles. These bikes are true works of art on two wheels, and are produced individually at the customer’s request. There are several experts in the making of these super bikes scattered around the planet. This style of motorcycle is the most modern of bikers styles. Among the main features of the classic Baggers are the elongated side luggage compartments and closing with the rear mudguard, both of them almost touching the ground; large front fairing and front wheel in size larger than the rear, and other typical details in the fairing and in the part of accessories and mechanics. Of course the limit for creating a Bagger is the pilot’s own imagination and the ability of the designer who will perform the job. According to Villis Design Villis, the most popular models for Bagger customization are the Harley-Davidson Street Glide, CVO and the Electra Glide and Ultra Glide, because these models have the perfect structure to withstand the extreme modifications and extra weight which the Baggers demand. “Harley is the only bike in the world that transforms everything and it remains 100% Harley. It only improves, does not lose personality, “says Villis. A common thing is that the customer who owns a Harley Touring is always making modifications, changing his clothes, so he always has a new bike without changing the engine, in fact. This is one of the hallmarks of Harley-Davidson on the market, as a family passion that goes on for generations to come. In the words of Villis: “Harleys Touring are special, proper to be Baggers. They drag a fusca, they’re real power plants, the motherships for the Baggers. ”
Villis Design – Building Baggers dreams in Brazil
Villis Design was created in 1994 by Villis Oliveira, but in 2010 was made the first Bagger, starting from an Ultra 2001. In 2004 the owner of this Bagger changed the clothes and made a new Bagger using the same Harley. The idea of working with the creation of Baggers arose after seeing the work in American magazines, but the problem was that here in Brazil, this style was new and there were no bikes appropriate for that. Fortunately, now everything is better and quietly allows the creation of the Baggers. At Villis Design, a Bagger takes an average of one month to complete, however, the time for completion depends on the project. After the development, the project is sent to the customer for evaluation, everything done remotely, that is, the client sends the bike and can follow the work unfold through social network and chat. Villis Design also does restoration of fairings, wheels, paintings and installation of accessories. Besides the beauty and exclusivity, the Baggers have in their chests an increase of up to 40% of load capacity.
One of the cool and challenging projects was an ultra orange “on fire”. According to Villis, the first impression seemed an unfeasible project, because traditionally, for the flames effect to work out it would have to be done on a black bike, but not for him, who managed to make the fire work on the orange motorcycle. The project was carried out at Adriana Riemer’s Ultra Glide, a customer in Rio de Janeiro. “Villis did a great job on my bike, which I keep in my living room as a work of art. I knew what I wanted and he did the layout. Super professional. I’m from Rio and it was worth doing with Villis, in São Paulo “, says Adriana. “Baby”, as Adriana has called it, has the appearance of flames inspired by the color of her red hair illuminated like flames, causing a furor wherever she goes.
For women and men of short stature and who wish to realize the dream of having a high performance motorcycle but do not feel comfortable with their height when they ride a motorcycle of this, because they do not have 100% support with their feet on the ground, the suspension air is the best feature to control the height of the bike. For those who do not know yet, even a person of little height can fly a higher motorcycle and have total control of it for the maneuvers stopped with the use of the air suspension. The installation is simple and gives 100% safety to the pilot. In the United States, there are hundreds of manufacturers, but for the guys here in Brazil, the option is still import, and prices vary immensely. Villis Design installs this accessory, as well as other customizations to reduce the ground height of the bike, such as reducing the height of the seat upholstery, creates more anatomical designers, generating harmony with the rider. According to Villis, it’s possible to do anything to make a bike the “perfect extension” of the rider, and the investment is worth it. As he says: “You only live once, so it’s worth to realize your dreams and always be happy!”
Villis Design is the first Baggers manufacturer in Brazil, headquartered in São Paulo, and has a dedicated team, with Villis, Vanessa Dell Sola, who, in addition to managing everything, works in the shop and is the company’s main model. The group also has Eduardo Fernando and Eric Dell Sola in the services of basic mechanics and auxiliaries in the part of the shop. Villis Design manufactures its own elongated shoulder bags, extended mudguards, side flaps, elongated bull’s head, front fairing (bat), tour pak, among other fiberglass and ABS parts. It makes several types of original and personalized paintings, going from the vintage style to the most futuristic. The vibe at Villis is very vibrant and positive, you feel at home or in a magical place that realizes dreams. Just imagine and Villis will perform. As he always says, “Where most see a problem, I see possibilities, I see solutions, I see something new and incredible to be created.” This passion reflects on the love and perfection with which the company develops each project. Whoever loves the bike they have knows exactly what all this means. This is a great time for motorcycling, and the great moment for the Baggers. Expect the unexpected! Turn free, secure and stylish!
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*Cláudia Terra is a journalist, rider and lover of the Harley-Davidson universe. Follow her on the blog: