I did the hard bags for the wet days on longer trips. I also like to keep my stuff locked without the need to carry it in everywhere I go. I have soft bags and upgraded for the water proofing alone. I had two times come up on my bike to find people had open the soft bags, not to steal but just to see I guess. I can remove all brackets in about 2 minutes. So if not needing it no bags, no trunk, no brackets.... I never thought I would like it this much, but, I have to say..... I will probably never bother with the soft again.