Jul 12, 2012

Want It Hard or Soft?

This is a really well considered discussion of bike luggage: Do you want it hard or soft? (your motorcycle luggage, that is). I'm a fan of both, hard and soft for exactly the reasons everyone interviewed in this article listed: hard for the big bike and security ("hard" for me is my GIVI rig on the DL) and soft on the WR and when I'm worried about falling down a lot.

Yeah, I know. I should always ride with soft luggage if "falling down a lot" is the criteria. However, I have fallen down pretty hard with the GIVI stuff on the bike and it held up well. I was smacked by a douchebag in a low rider in North Dakota at a filling station stop and the GIVI's kept me from being smashed against the pump. They are really water-tight and tough. I can squeeze a lot of crap into the side cases, if I'm dedicated to the proposition.

On the other hand, the Giant Loop gear on my WR holds about as much stuff a lot closer and lower on the bike with a fraction of the total container weight (especially considering the GIVI frame mounts). The Giant Loop stuff is water-tight, tough as metal, incredibly convenient, very removable with excellent access to the innards without having to remove it all from the bike, and looks cool. The zippers are waterproof and the rain flaps close with magnetic "latches."

I'm with the folks in this article. Hard or soft depends on the ride, the bike, and the rider. I'm both hard and soft. For around town commuting, I have a cheap sealed tail case on the V-Strom ($39.99 from J.C. Whitney) and a Motofizz small tail bag on the WR. Neither of these, especially the Motofizz, qualifies as "waterproof," but I'm not often commuting on the road long enough to worry about it.


Jonathan Hanson said...

Thanks for the reference, Thomas. I agree with you on the Giant Loop bags - very well thought-out and constructed.

Anonymous said...

One huge advantage of soft, for me, is that it is super easy to take everything off and ride around without it for the 90% of the time that I don't need all the luggage.