REVIEW OF THE GIVI V46NT TOPBOX
- Where to Buy: http://www.giviusa.com
- Colors: Flat Black (shown above), Glossy Black, Light Silver, Dark Silver
- MSRP $273 (case), plus mount hardware (cost varies, depending on the make/model)
- 45 Liter Capacity, 22"L X 17"W X 13"D
- Optional accessories include light kits, top rack, seat rest and integrated brake light kit
- Waterproof seal (tested!)
- Removable and Detachable
- Secure Lock
- Review Date: April 2010
So why a Givi? One word: Security. A secure place for my purse, laptop or whatever I want to leave on the bike. Not having to think twice about going somewhere on my motorcycle (for the most part). It also makes running errands for work related tasks so much better. I'd much rather ride around town dropping off or picking up packages, grabbing lunch or last minute supplies on my motorcycle than in a car. And it's great to be able to hop on my bike instead of having to wait for a cab. You can also fit two helmets, one on its side and the other right side up. My husband and I have done this a few times with our helmets and it's always fit quite well. With the larger 55liter box you should be able to store them both on their sides instead.
The V46NT Is part of the monochrome special edition series of Givi cases for motorcycles and scooters. They feature clear reflector covers, vs traditional red ones like the rest of their collection. You can get them in 2 additional models, the E55NT (55 Liters!) and the E300B, perfect for scooters and/or small motorcycles.
When I saw these, I knew I had to get one. Especially with the clear reflectors! I really didn't like the standard red versions, and was so happy to see these new styles. I opted for the plain matte black case, since my bike is already shiny silver (the glossy options cost extra). The reason I didn't go with the E55NT was because it just seemed a little too big. That one is slightly flatter and wider whereas the V46NT is a little bit rounder. (Still large, but less large). It also didn't exceed the width of my mirrors, which is crucial for proper lane sharing.
You may notice from the Givi website that there are two lines of TopBoxes, the MonoLock and the MonoKey series. The MonoKey series tend to have a slightly larger capacity than the MonoLock and are made for use on motorcycles. Whereas the MonoKey series are made for use on Scooters and MaxiScooters. The one feature they have in common is the ability to unlock and remove the box from the mountplate with just one key. This is pretty useful if you need to park your bike or scooter outside and have a large load which makes it easier to remove the box and bring it with you.Or, perhaps it's raining and you need to pack up your box inside before locking it to the bike. So the mounting plate stays on the bike if you're not using the box.
I've been wanting a Givi top box for awhile now, since I tend to lug everything with me to work. Backpacking and bungee cords were getting a little annoying and I could just see myself packing everything in a top box. Although my commute is only 6 miles each way, lugging a bag with my purse, a pair of shoes, lunch and my laptop can be annoying. My main motivation for getting this case was to have a secure place to leave things behind on my motorcycle. I just don't trust soft luggage, even with locks to do this. I also got tired of carrying everything on my back in the form of a courier bag or backpack. I've been doing this for years and I just felt it was time to have a more permanent solution. My previous bike was also a very uncommon model of Kawasaki, so a larger top box was never an option.
I hesitated on getting one for awhile due to the way I thought the rack and top case would change the aesthetics of my motorcycle. But it's been well worth it. I now have a waterproof and secure case to keep 2 helmets, or all my go-to-work necessities. It's so nice to go to dinner and be able to toss my helmet in the back, take off my overpants and change my shoes into something a little prettier. If I take my laptop to work, it does make storing my helmet and laptop (13" macbook, first gen) impossible, so I normally carry my helmet and leave the laptop if I have my laptop with me.
I've also taken the box with me on a long weekend (2 nights, 3 days) trip to Mendocino, CA (~3.5 hours north of SF). It was the perfect size for everything I needed. You might be thinking that one topbox for a weekend might be a little light, but it was really quite perfect. A couple changes of clothes, a couple pairs of shoes, personal beauty necessities and that's all I needed. I also tend to pack heavy in general, even on weekend trips. I did have to tame myself a little in order to get everything in, but I certainly didn't need to forego anything to make everything fit. I will say that however, that with the box completely full and maxed out in terms of capacity, I can feel the higher center of gravity at slower speeds, but not at faster / freeway ones. I rode through twisties, freeways and highways and not once did I ever feel the box interfere with my riding whatsoever.
My only issue with the V46 is the inability for the box to remain fully open at times. If I'm on a fully flat surface, the box tends to close shut on its own and I need to wedge something between the lid and the box to keep it propped open. If I'm on a slight incline, the box will stay open on its own, but it depends on the forward lean angle of the bike. This is a small price to pay however, vs. the alternative of not having a generous storage space.
Overall, I would highly recommend the V46 as an alternative to carrying everything you own on your back, to and from work or school. I find it virtually impossible to carry anything heavier than a small messenger bag on my bike anymore. Having the comfort in knowing that I can leave belongings behind without having to worry about where to put my gear has greatly added to my ability to ride almost anywhere, anytime.