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.
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.
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.
Or all three bags:
($50 less than if purchased individually).
By Steve Lita
Originally published in RoadBike, August, 2011