June 24, 2011

644 words 4 mins read

Ride Friday: Adding a Givi E55 top case

Damn lot of cargo space
The 4th of July is coming up soon, and that means summer is here! I decided that the holiday would be a perfect time for me to take a few extra days off and take a little motorcycle road trip. The thought was to take the motorcycle down someplace nice and scenic like the coast (i.e.

US 101) and maybe spend some time in SoCal. Being the good and proper motorcyclist that I am, I went to get a bunch of servicing done on the bike (good thing too, turns out my rear brake pads were worn out). At the same time, I figured the trip was a good excuse to finally get a little more luggage, a top case to be exact. Now I don’t need that much space for myself but when you’ve got a traveling companion, it just makes things a little easier. And so, after much searching and researching, I decided on a Givi E55 Monokey Topcase, a Givi E183 Topcase Rack (specific to my BMW R1100RTP) and a Givi E111 Backrest. Last night I got all the parts in, installed them, and wrote up a nice little guide along with a video review.

First thing’s first, Video Overview! I instantly took a liking to the design and simplicity of the Givi E55 so I wanted to show off how it worked. I can’t say that it is a full review since I had just put the kit together an hour before. So without further adieu…

I will say this for a review of the E55: The latching mechanism is a bit strange; you need to push the top of the case down and front in just a little tiny bit. I can’t tell if it is supposed to make it better/faster/strong/more secure… but it isn’t that much of an issue. The lid stays open on its own without any sort of springiness, so that’s perfect. The document storage case is extremely nice and having a flat surface is perfect for the mounting of my FasTrak. Also the mechanism for attaching/detaching is quite well designed, I actually think it fits better than BMW’s own system (the sidebags can be quite a pain). Finally, the size (based on my own personal preference) is AWESOME.

Before Givi

That brings me to the second part of puzzle, the Givi E183 rack. If you’re not familiar, Givi has made dozens of unique racks that all conform to BOTH their Monokey mounting system AND the nuances of your specific bike. For my BMW R1100RTP (Note: The police model must be converted to a two seater with rear luggage rack before you can add the Givi) I needed the E183 unit. Should I buy another bike all I need to do is buy another rack plate ($90 give or take) and I can use my E55 again! Thank god for reusable luggage. Since I had to follow Givi’s “lego style” instructions (see also: Ikea Style), I decided to put together a quick Install guide for the E183. As I mentioned in the video, it didn’t take me more than about 30 minutes to install and I would consider myself an newbie in terms of motorcycle addons.

After Givi
I’ll admit that I was a little hesitant to spend as much as I did on all these parts. I know they are expensive per se, but it is a decent dent in the pocket book. Along with my quivering wallet, I was unsure about the install difficulty. So to anyone else considering the plunge — DO IT. The install (at least for my BMW and I’d wager many bikes are much the same) was absolutely painless and I’m REALLY happy with the overall kit so far. The E55 looks nice, is well designed and is quite spacious — what more could you want?