Givi Trekker Cases Motorcycle Luggage Review
[This Givi Trekker Cases Motorcycle Luggage Review was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Rider]
I’ve been a fan of Givi cases for many years. The first set I used on three bikes—I sold them with the third bike—and the second set is currently on its fourth bike. As much as I like their sturdiness, and the ease with which they can be attached or removed from the bike, I’ve never been completely happy with their clamshell design when used as side cases. Sometimes when I open them the contents fall out, or the rain falls in, and when I close them I have to squeeze everything back in place so I can close the lid without leaving part of a sweater hanging out. The new Trekker cases solve these problems in a clever way, without compromising the basic goodness they inherit from the earlier cases.
Most of Givi’s cases have a utilitarian look to them, but the Trekkers look a lot like the cases that come on high-buck European adventure bikes like BMWs and KTMs. When you open them you almost expect to find a handful of Kalahari sand in the bottom. They’re made of the same tough polypropylene material as Givi’s other cases, with aluminum accents. But the real news is in the lid design.
The Trekkers have a two-way lid that can be opened like a conventional side case in one mode. But inside each case is a pair of levers that you can use to convert the side-opening case into a top-opening case. This is particularly handy if you’re a packrat like me, and you’re tired of having to pick the contents of your overstuffed case off the ground every time you open it to look for something. With the cases in their top-opening configuration, I can drop things into them without having to jam other things back in place before closing the lid.
Trekkers come in two sizes, 33-liter and 46-liter. Both can be used as side cases or a top case. The 46-liter case has the top-opening option, but that’s not very useful when it’s used as a top case, nor is it possible to use at all if you attach the optional luggage rack, which spans the two sections of the case lid. There’s also an optional backrest for your passenger. Both the rack and the back rest require holes to be drilled in the case.
As a side case the 46-liter Trekker sticks out a lot farther than the 33-liter, but on some bikes with a big muffler on one side and a big empty space on the other, the asymmetry is handy—use the 33 on the muffler side and the 46 on the other side. The 33-liter can be used as a top case, too.
I snapped a trio of Trekkers—two 33s on the side and a 46 on top—onto the Givi-compatible Happy Trail rack on my Suzuki 650 V-Strom during the winter. As I write this I’ve been using them in fair weather and foul for several months. I had some doubts about the elaborate seals on the two-piece lids, but so far not even a drenching rainstorm has penetrated them. I set the left case, where I keep my frequently accessed gloves and heated gear, to top opening, and left the right case full of emergency gear in side-opening mode. Traffic in and out of the left case is heavy, but none of it has hit the deck yet. The 46-liter Trekker has been doing duty as a top case, and easily swallows a jacket or a full-face helmet.
This, my third set of Givi cases, is the best so far. Judging by their predecessors, they’ll probably outlast the bike I’m on now, and I can’t wait to see what they end up on next.
The 33-liter Trekker (TRK33N) sells for $320 each, and the 46-liter (TRK46N) goes for $335 each. Givi offers two 33s and a 46, all keyed alike, in a kit for $925. The 33s and 46s will soon be available in pairs, keyed alike, for $640 and $670 respectively. The luggage rack sells for $90, the passenger backrest for $55, and inner liners that are more like fancy carry-on bags sell for $75 each.
For more information: Contact Givi USA at (877) 679-4484; www.giviusa.com