Into the sunset.

bigtrailmagazine

Reposted from @timburkephoto – Into the sunset.

For the next 6 months, through the deserts and savannas of Africa, I’ll be using the same @moskomoto panniers that are pictured here.
There’s an ongoing debate in the motorcycle-travel community about whether hard boxes or soft luggage are “better.” Spoiler alert: I don’t engage in debates in which opposing sides’ opinions are based solely on personal preference. Why would I? Why does anybody?
Do what is best for your needs: not social media’s.

With that said, if you track backwards, throughout my travels, you’ll notice that, similar to tire choice, I switch back-and-forth between styles, depending on what the adventure entails and calls for.

There are pros and cons to both. Hard luggage (usually made of metal) offers obvious lockable security. I think it’s the primary incentive. The rigidity of it also can hold a bike off your body when it inevitably tips over on challenging terrain. This very same feature can work against you if a limb happens to be under these metal boxes.
On the subject of crashes, metal is very difficult to return to its original shape. This means that as soon as you crash (head on into a Toyota Hilux in the Peruvian Andes, for example), the likelihood of these boxes remaining waterproof is slim.

Soft bags can take an absolute beating, On or off road. You name it. So long as they don’t tear (very hard to do) they’ll remain waterproof.
Like everything, there are downsides. One of the downsides is the ability to organize. Packing with soft bags takes a little bit more foresight.

With all that said, the next 20,000 miles or so of travel will call for luggage that can handle my daily tip-overs while trying to outpace a Cape Buffalo that’s angry at me for trying to play with it.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk about protecting the engine

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