Scott's 2001 VFR 800, No frills and pretty much stock


Beth's 98 VFR 800, OEM blue bodywork and stripped rims

Beth's 2001 Suzuki SV650S - GIVI Hard Luggage

  Prior to our trip to North Carolina in August of 2000, I decided that I needed some serious luggage. So I opted for the GIVI hard luggage for my 98 VFR 800. The stuff is fantastic! So when we bought the SV650S, the first thing I did was get a tail bag setup for it. GIVI does not make a Wingrack mounting kit for the SV650S like they do for the VFR.

  The kit is very simple to install. I forget how much the rack costs, but it was probably not more than about $150. The bags are sold separately. They are interchangeable between any bikes with GIVI racks. The rack takes me about an hour and a half to install, so it is not something you will be putting on and taking off on a regular basis. I have to remove both seats, the passenger grab handle, and the rear cowling. No biggie. Then I install the rack loosely until I make sure everything fits. Then I snug it up good and tight. I put the back of the bike back together and is done. It fits great and looks pretty good as well.

  The nice thing about both of us having the GIVI bags is that they can be swapped between our bikes. I have an E50 Maxia 50 liter top bag and two E360 40 liter side bags. We bought another E50 for the Suzuki. However, the E360's can be used as top bags as well if the large size of the E50 is not needed.

  We have used the bags in heavy rain and had no leaks at all. They are also very durable and take lots of punishment without looking like it. I recently dropped my 98 VFR in a low speed turn and had one of the E360's on the back, it made a great frame slider and you can hardly tell where it hit the ground!! They lock to the bike. For my three bags, one key opens and removes them all. However, my key won't work with Beth's bag. They only sell identical key/tumbler kits in sets of three. So I have six keys and giving Beth a spare is no big deal.

  We recently (June 2001) completed a 3000 mile trip on the bikes. Each of us packed everything in our E50 top bag. Beth also took a tail bag that strapped to the back seat just in front of the GIVI bag. I took a magnetic tank bag that I have converted to a camera bag only. So all of my luggage went in the E50 bag. I had lots of clothes to spare.

  The presence of the bag does not seem to adversely affect the handling of the bike. This does not mean that you can't tell it is back there. However, it does not keep the rider from experiencing a very brisk pace on some very technical and challenging roads. Some of the roads of Arizona, Southern Utah and Colorado are incredibly fun, even with the luggage. On both bikes, you do have to be careful when leaving from a dead stop. The added weight on the back of the bike makes doing wheelies quite easy hehe! One note though, on the VFR, I usually have the topcase mounted backwards. It moves the CG forward by several inches. The same can be done on the SV650S. Either way works quite well though.

  I highly recommend the GIVI luggage. Having a lockable place to put your more valuable stuff is a great relief on long trips. If needed, you can still use soft luggage saddle bags with the GIVI in place. And the bracket for the GIVI makes a great place to put bungee cords and tie downs. True it is a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

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