Review by Olaf Wolff
[This Givi Monokey V46 Motorcycle Trunk Review was originally published in the September 2006 issue of Rider magazine]
Not all that long ago the idea of putting a trunk on my motorcycle wouldn’t even have entered my too-cool-too-fast conscience. Today I think my bike looks incomplete without one.
Ride motorcycles long enough and many of your early notions will change dramatically, kinda like how you feel about bell bottoms. The Givi catalog uses the term “motoplanetary evolution” for this phenomenon. As we get older, we collect “stuff,” and the Givi Monokey V46 top-case is a stylish way to go mobile with it.
When I ride these days I always take my camera, layerable clothes and another pair of gloves, a bottle of water or two—my wife’s purse. The 46-liter Givi Monokey V46 motorcycle trunk absorbs all this and a bunch more without so much as a burp. It will also hold two full-face helmets.
If you’re the least bit familiar with Da Vinci’s work or have watched the Winter Olympics’ opening or closing ceremonies, you know the Italians are big on style and design. This top-case is further evidence that they’re really good at it. Although capacious on the inside, it’s not the least bit swollen looking on the outside. In fact, it looks a little like its moving when standing still. Givi’s V46 is a profound example of Italian design hocus-pocus.
The way Givi works its catalog and Web site is straightforward. You first pick a case that best suits your personal stuff requirements; I picked the V46 because it’s ideal for mid- to long-range trips, and because of the simplicity of the Monokey system. One key opens the lid and releases the top-case from the lock-mount, allowing it to be removed and carried like a suitcase.
Once you have your top-case preference worked out, go to the back of the catalog or click on the proper Web site pulldown menu to find the make and model of your bike. There you’ll find the corresponding mounting hardware to fit your case. There are also additional accessories such as back pads and top-case racks available.
Installation for most motorcycle models involves a maximum of eight hex-head bolts, washers and locknuts and is an entirely uncomplicated procedure, yet leaves no doubt that the top-case is securely mounted and vibration free. The installation instructions include a template for the optional back pad. Position the template as indicated and tape it down. The tip here is to use a smaller drill bit than is required for the first pass, then go back and re-drill the two holes with the correct size. The plastic is soft and the potential for over-drilling the hole exists.
My wife enjoys the back pad, but is quick to point out that it’s a good thing she’s small, as things could get snug on the back seat if she weren’t. Check the position of the top case with a passenger before committing to the pad. Depending on the make of your bike and/or case, there can be space concerns with full-size passengers.
The V46 features wide reflectors that are not only useful but function well as part of the design scheme. Furthermore, the replaceable color lid panels are interchangeable, adding the opportunity for fickle versatility. The price of the Monokey V46 ranges from about $250-$300, depending on color and finishes (matt vs. gloss). The individual hardware averages another $100 and the back pad and rack are $50 and $70 respectively.