Installing GIVI Trekker Hardbags on a Kawasaki KLR 650

I once overheard a rider complain that all his goodies toppled onto the ground every time he opened the side-opening lids on his hard saddlebags. I’d never thought much about it, as whenever I ride a bike with side-opening lids, I keep my junk in a saddlebag liner bag. I like side-opening hardbags as they allow enough access to put larger items in them. But this rider’s dismay was legitimate, and it limited him to only using saddlebags with top access. To each his own. Until now.

GIVI has recently released these cool adventure-style Trekker accessory hardbags (in two sizes) with a hinged lid feature which can be configured to satisfy anyone’s saddlebag lid taste. I guess you can call them convertible two-doors. There are two hook-shaped selector levers positioned inside the bag lid (on either side) that allow you to convert the lid to either open fully as a one-piece door, or open only the uppermost smaller door. The latter is practical for quickly accessing items from the bag, avoiding accidental goodie spillage. No tools are required to make the quick change; all you need is a strong thumb to snap the hook lever on the appropriate bobbin.

Expandable bag liners, available separately from GIVI, are equipped with carry handles, shoulder straps, and zippered outer pocket.

No matter which opening style you have the bag configured for, there are weatherstrips on the door to keep the environment out. And even when the bag is set up to just open the uppermost portion, the opening size is generous. It’s an ingenious feature that makes me ask: why didn’t anyone think of this before? Give that guy at GIVI a raise!

As mentioned, there are two sizes to choose from, with capacities of 46 liter and 33 liter. They are both black plastic inside with an aluminum skin, wrapped by a tough plastic bumper strip vertically and horizontally. And while I initially called these adventure-touring bags, I’m sure they’ll look handsome on a wide variety of bikes. They mount to the motorcycle using GIVI’s popular Monokey bracket system, and our three-piece set came keyed alike. So convenient!

Using our Kawasaki KLR650 test bike as the guinea pig, we opted to use the 33-liter versions as side cases and the larger 46-liter Trekker as a top case. You don’t need to use the lock key to attach the bags to the Monokey brackets on the bike; they quickly snap in place. I can attest to the craftsmanship of GIVI’s hardware, as all the brackets, supports, and mounting plates bolted right up with nary a cuss word uttered. The only hard thing about this installation was the cases themselves.

The hinged door openings make for convenient, quick access to the cases.


Hard data: GIVI Trekker Cases

TRK33N Case, $320 each

TRK46N Case, $335

Monokey Plate, $95

Side Holders, $189



Bags purchased as pairs will come with matching keys.

TRK33PACK2, $640

TRK46PACK2, $670


Or all three bags:

TRKPACK3, $925

($50 less than if purchased individually).


By Steve Lita

Originally published in RoadBike, August, 2011

The topcase mounting kit comes with two metal brackets specifically designed to fit on top of the KLR650 factory luggage rack, to which a Monokey plate will attach.

The stock KLR luggage rack.

Start by removing the factory luggage rack hold-down bolts with an 8mm socket wrench, one side at a time.

New hardware is included to attach the GIVI support brackets to the luggage rack top; hex head bolts go near the front, flathead Allen bolts to the rear.

The factory toolkit compartment on the KLR is still accessible with the brackets in place. Nice work, GIVI.

Nylock nuts and Allen bolts attach the rear of the Monokey plate to the brackets. Special diamond-shaped washers fit neatly into the indentations.

Toward the front, there are studs protruding up, so only the diamond-shaped washers, flat washers, and Nylock nuts are needed. There are only four points to tighten.

Start all the fasteners by hand, then go around and tighten each one.

The cover snaps in place over the Monokey plate honeycomb.

Four small screws secure the cover.

The topcase slides into two forward pins, and snaps to the Monokey plate. The silver button is used to remove the case from the plate; the black button is used to open the lid.

Top case installed.

The tubular sidecase supports include a stiffener bar that wraps around the rear of the KLR and ties the two sides together.

Start the sidecase install by removing the lower factory luggage rack Allen bolt.

Next, remove the passenger footpeg clevis and cotter pin. These will be replaced with bolts from the GIVI kit.

Loosely hang the sidecase support with the new, longer GIVI Allen bolt. Note that the left-side Allen bolt is shorter than the right-side bolt; this is due to the exhaust exiting on the right side of the KLR. The right-side support is accordingly placed farther out.

The passenger footpeg is reinstalled with long bolts provided and a shouldered nut, shoulder facing down. Do not overtighten the nut; the footpeg should pivot up and down freely.

The sidecase support bracket is then attached to the new footpeg bolt with a Nylock nut.

Loosely hang the sidecase support with the new, longer GIVI Allen bolt. Note that the left-side Allen bolt is shorter than the right-side bolt; this is due to the exhaust exiting on the right side of the KLR. The right-side support is accordingly placed farther out.

When I trial-fit the sidecases I noticed that the left rear signal lamp interfered with the bag. There’s no problem on the right side due to the bag being farther out because of the exhaust routing.

A quick fix is to relocate the signal lamp farther back using the lamp’s front bolt in the rear bolt-hole.

Now there’s about 1/4" of clearance between the lamp and the sidecase. That’s plenty.

With all the bags trial-fitted, I’m almost done.

We also acquired this accessory passenger backrest pad from GIVI.

The instruction sheet has a template printed on it. Cut out the template, center it on the inside of the topcase lid, and tape it in place.

Use a portable drill to drill two holes through the topcase lid.

Two 6mm bolts attach the backrest pad to the lid from the inside.

This KLR650 is ready to roam.