My last bike had hard bags and no crash protection, a low speed fall resulted in both bags and rear fender damage as the low bag got pushed into the fender and the fender took out the other bag.
I have had to test the crash protection on my XCT in a drop and sustained no damage past a scuff on the bag guard.
Is it worth the extra money, that is up to you, unless you have a XCT then it is stock. A few hundred dollars is worth not killing my bags to me. I wouldn't spend what they ask on the police bars though, that is nuts.
2012 Victory Cross Country Tour, Sunset Red.
Parts added to make her louder, faster and more mine.
Stage 1 filter and pipes, Lloydz VFIII & ATW.
Clearwater Darla, LED GLO, emergency lights and siren.
Bushtec hitch and harness, Kompact Kamp trailer.