Those of you with soft luggage - Do you leave it on the bike when you park or do you take it with you so it won't be stolen or emptied? Do you just take the contents and leave the empty luggage on the bike?
only thing i won't leave on the bike is the key, my wallet and cell phone. i don't care enough about the rest to haul them around for the day.
one time a teeny-bopper came up to me in wal-mart. the conversation went:
TBop: "you shouldn't leave your riding jacket on your bike, someone might steal it."
Benda: "like who?"
Benda: "i'm not worried; i'll be able to give the cops a good physical description of you when it disappers."
I only use my tail bag and I don't use it that much. Maybe that is the problem because I cannot leave it out of my sight for over 5 minutes before I figure it has been stolen. I never leave my jacket, helmet, or gloves with it other than in my driveway. Perhaps I am just too untrusting.
I carry 3 cables w/ me under the seat. Then I use them to secure stuff when I get somewhere. I generally use one or two for all my gear and the last for the bike.
I lock the helmet on the hook under the rear seat. I run a cable through the arms of the jacket, pantlegs of my pants. Then I lock that to the bike. I also have this tailbag ($37 from newenough.com). I will take a cable and loop it through the D-ring on the side, handle on top, other D-ring on the side, and then through the grab bar on the rear. I also have a small lock to keep the zippers together.
Never leave any of my gear. At work I bring my whole tank bag in, but leave the base w/ magnets on the bike. If I'm out at a store I always take/wear my jacket/pants/boots with me and usually leave my helmet on the bike. For the luggage it depends on where I am and how long I'm going to be gone. If I'm in a bad neighborhood I'll take it even if I'm only going to be gone for 2 minutes, but around my town I'd leave it full of stuff for a few hours without worrying. Situation dictates...
Edited to add that's a good idea about the cables. I hate taking the cage when I don't want to walk around in my gear or haul it with me. I might have to do that...
But I have locks that lock the luggage bags shut...
I have the fieldsheer Rio bags, and they're locked under my seat, and then with the locks, you can stick a hand in.. but that's about it. If I'm going to be inside for a long time then I'll take my bags inside... but normally if I have bags on, I'm going somewhere and only stopping quickly.
Depends on the situation. If I ride to work with a tank bag, it goes inside with me. However if I was fully loaded in touring mode, the stuff is too inconvenient to lug into restaurants etc. Imagine trying to lug a tankbag and saddlebags into a roadside stop. In that case they stay on the bike until the end of each day's ride - then everything goes into the hotel. I kept my wallet, phone, keys, mp3 player and small stuff in a Camelbak that went with me everywhere.