I’ve owned a wide range of adventure bikes over the last few decades, so I am well acquainted with the luggage obsession of adventure riders. Having been a fan of Givi accessories for years, it was time to give its new Trekker Outback line a try. The Outback products are specifically designed for the adventure market, thus employing both the strength and styling cues that have become earmarks of this moto subculture. The top-opening Outback boxes are constructed of heavy-gauge aluminum and are available in both natural and black-coated finishes. The corners of the cases are fitted with heavy molded plastic pieces and the boxes come adorned with strap mounting points on the top, a welcome standard feature.
Like most Givi offerings, the Outback series is semi-custom. The luggage mounts are bike-specific, but the actual bags are modular and fit a wide range of applications. Since my particular application, a 2007 BMW R 1200 GS, has a left-side exhaust, the bike would look off balance from the back if the same size pannier box were mounted on both sides. While some riders do opt for that setup, the configuration I chose was to have the 48-liter box on the right and the narrower 37-liter box on the exhaust side. With this layout, the outside of each box is the same distance from the bike’s centerline.
The heavy-gauge, tubular mounting rack that Givi has designed for the oilhead GS is relatively simple and straightforward to install. The racks are reminiscent of the company’s normal design style, but in a beefier form. They fix securely to existing mounting tabs and frame tubes and feature the familiar Givi rectangular bag contact point found in a number of the Italian manufacturer’s offerings. Since that mounting surface must sit outside the GS exhaust, the mount’s left bias is asymmetrical in appearance, which may be off-putting for some riders when the boxes are not mounted. Obviously, bikes that have dual or underseat exhaust designs will not have this issue.
Once the racks are installed, the cases click into place with a solid and confidence-inspiring sound and feel. Removal is a one-latch process that operates from the rear of the bag. I should note that I have had an issue with one of the boxes being harder to dismount from the frame than the other. I know it is not a technique issue since the other box comes off smoothly. A feature that I really like about the Givi case construction is the ability to completely remove the lid for loading and unloading. When closed, the rubber seal is secure and seemingly watertight, but the cases are not advertised as waterproof. The boxes are substantial, cavernous and well designed.
The Trekker Outback series is available for most major adventure motorcycle applications and both side panniers and top boxes are offered. Givi’s foray into rugged, aluminum dual-sport luggage is a good one. High quality and thoughtful design are evident in the products. The Trekker Outback panniers are priced competitively with other premium aftermarket storage systems. Retail on the luggage as tested (two side boxes and mount) sits at about $1,200, but many Internet marketers offer the components at a respectable discount.
For more information, call (704) 679-4123 or visit giviusa.com.