Hard of soft luggage? We believe there is not an universal answer for this question, it depend from which kind of trip you usually do.
After using the Aluminium Panniers for a couple of years in both off/on road trips we can say that probably the hard luggage offers you a bit more protection in case you are carrying value things ex. laptop but you have to think that Aluminium it’s not going to be as good as the soft luggages with vibration. The soft luggages are less strong in case of impact but offers you the same protection from the water and more reliability when it comes to difficult off road trail.
Yamaha Panniers: To us these are still the best looking Alu Panniers for the XT660 Z model but I got to admit that my experience with them so far has not been brilliant.
Aluminium made but not the finishes you expect from such an expensive pannier (around 1200€ for both panniers and rack).
Personally mine starts having problem after around 20000kms.
They just loose pieces because of the vibrations-, but I’m pretty sure Yamaha could have thought this a little better to improve the solidity of the product.
If you need to carry extra fuel or bags on the outside of the panniers is also going to be a problem because there is no attack point where to install your equipment.
I installed eight small handles four on each pannier to have a attack point but you have to drill the luggages to do it.