Soft or hard luggage which ever you choose for your type of riding the usual comment that pops up is about security, hard luggage has it, soft luggage doesn’t.
This may be not a completely true statement. A determined thief will get into hard luggage just as quick they might to soft luggage, a screwdriver, and a little leverage is all that’s required to make those hard panniers never close with a watertight seal again, or a well-positioned kick can also gain access with some designs
…but soft luggage, undo the retaining clips or just cut it with a knife and the contents will easily accessible.
This is also true, but in some cases, its a little more involved, soft luggage generally has multiple clips to undo, it takes time and maybe more obvious that the ‘thief’ is not the owner of the bike.
Cutting into soft luggage? Most of it is made of very durable materials that are designed to survive multiple crashes on dirt or pavement so ‘simply cutting’ might take a while.
The main issue of small petty theft of items from a motorcycle is mostly just a case of opportunistic luck. Neither hard or soft luggage will ever be 100% secure when a determined thief is the person trying to break in.
Keep honest people…honest…!!!
Securing your soft luggage, five quick and simple ways and none of them cost more than $100
Pacsafe nets, available in numerous different sizes to fit over most soft bags
Small pack size when not in use
…and are also good for you hard luggage users when you want a way to secure that soft bag on your rack
The next two are similar, one from PacSafe the other from Mosko Moto, this idea is more for quick stops for lunch or groceries, stop lights, border crossings, etc.
The Pacsafe version is very lightweight around 3mm, and the Mosko version has a lot more thickness (5mm) for a lot less money, and if you wanted a thicker version, then Mosko has you covered there too, with their 8mm version which is still cheaper than the Pacsafe.
You could use a bike type cable lock but having tried that option you might find they can’t be pulled as tight and don’t always have infinite locking positons; therefore not as secure.
I guess Mosko Moto is asked a lot about soft luggage security, so they have a third option called Steelcore Luggage Locking Strap, this one is less obvious its a security strap because the Steelcore is inside the webbing, it is basically a locking cam strap.
These were originally designed to stop surfboards being stolen from vehicles, that might give you an added idea of how tight you can get them.
Any of the above could also be used to secure your riding gear threading it through the sleeves of your jacket for example.
At night it goes without saying throw a bike cover over your ride to make it less of a visible attraction
…and the last option is free; have a dirty bike, then no one wants to go near it or you probably