My opinion on soft bags versus hard cases for motorcycle luggage options. Dave kept his hard cases on for this leg. Being a guy who greatly dislikes farkeling, we’ll see what he thinks when he straps some soft bags on in the fall.
Hard case pros:
– help keep bike off legs in the event of dropping bike. Which never happens.
– provide better leverage angle for lifting bike off the ground. In the event of dropping bike. Which never happens.
– are waterproof and theft-proof when locked
– farkle-less; easy to get in and out of
– great for showcasing bragging stickers of all places you and bike have been
– make a good table or seat
Hard case cons:
– dented cases can mean permanent reduction in volume and a lid that doesn’t close properly, thus the waterproof pro goes out the window
– if they hit you in the back of the leg and/or achilles tendon it hurts at best or maims you for life at worst
– can smoke obstacles with a ton of force and break things
Soft bag pros:
– lighter in weight
– soft enough to graze most obstacles without too much force
– looks way cooler (if you keep the straps tight and tied back, otherwise you look like a flap-happy dork on the road/track/trail/trapeze line)
– with proper strap expertise, bags can shrink or expand in volume according to gear inside
Soft bag cons:
– too soft and may crush contents in cases of bike dropping
– easy to hack into given more than 30 seconds
– extra weight and cost in buying cables to lock around bags to prevent aforementioned hacking
– farkeling nightmare; so many straps and buckles! I just want my flip flops but… they’re under… three rolls of fabric and five buckles!
– need dry bags inside to waterproof. Mine came with pods
– outer fabric can be trashed easily if bike goes down. Which as you’ll remember, never happens.