By June 22, 2009

Givi E55 Maxia hard motorcycle luggage review

I love my new 2009 Yamaha FJR1300A. It is very nimble for its size, has lots of power, and is fun to ride. One of the things I don’t like about are the factory side cases. They are probably just a little bigger than my old Givi E21 panniers (21L capacity), but definitely smaller than the E360 cases (40L capacity) I have on Cylon. I am not sure what the displacement is on the factory side bags, but I would guess they are somewhere around 25L.

Anyway, Givi doesn’t make a Monokey side rack for the Generation 2 FJR1300A (that’s model year 2006 and newer), so using my E360s on Apollo is out of the question. Buying the latest and greatest Givi side rack and side cases would set me back almost $900 before shipping, and I am not ready to make that plunge.

So I bought the biggest fucking top case I could find — the Givi E55 Maxia hard plastic top case.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/7049-2/IMG_9539.JPG
The Givi E55 Maxia hard case installed on my 2009 Yamaha FJR1300A. I got the optional gloss black lid.

The Maxia is the biggest top case Givi makes. I am pretty sure I could put my old V46 inside of it. I could TOTALLY put Rosie in it, but she’s 35 pounds and therefore over Givi’s load recommendations. It’s a Monokey case, which means you can put it on any standard Monokey mounting plate like the one on the SR357 top rack I installed last week. You can also exchange lock tumblers so that you may use the same key on your Givi top and side cases. I did this on my Yamaha FZ6, and it’s handy to only keep track of one key.

Like the V46 and the E52 top cases, it is possible to add a brake light kit and a luggage rack to the E55. I have the brake light kit on order. If I need even more storage on the E55 I must have either quit my job to tour the USA or we’re smack dab in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/7040-2/IMG_9532.JPG

One of the nice things about the Maxia case are the metal hinges on the inside. The V46, E360, and E350 Flow cases I have owned have plastic support wires, which only serve to keep the lid from opening too much and damaging the hinges. Otherwise they are totally useless at keeping the case open on anything but a totally flat grade. It’s nice to use both hands while rummaging around in the E55 — I always had to balance the V46 open and hope the case didn’t Pac-Man my hand inside.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/7043-2/IMG_9534.JPG
Givi claims the V46 can carry two helmets, but it’s too narrow to carry some modern sport helmets, like my GMax GM68S or Zox Azuma R helmets. The E55 eats them with room to spare.

The Maxia has a new opening and latching system. The prior Givi top cases made you push a lever in and up to lock the case. You just have to close the lid of the E55 all the way to get the lock to latch. It sounds like an improvement, but I don’t like it.

For one, you really have to push hard on the top to get it to latch. Pushing on such a high point on a motorcycle is the last thing I want to do, especially when the bike is on its side stand. I’ve taken to hugging the top case shut as opposed to pushing the lid down.

The other thing I don’t like about the latch is that there isn’t a lot of positive kinetic feedback when it’s latched. The top makes a nearly imperceptible “click” when it latches. When I have my ear plugs and helmet on I can barely hear it, so I wind up trying to push on the lid to make sure it’s latched.

It’s not all bad, though. Opening the case is super easy: just push the “PUSH” part of the handle. You can also turn the key a little bit more, and the handle will pop up, like this:

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/7045-2/IMG_9535.JPG

which allows you to carry the case like a briefcase:

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/7047-2/IMG_9536.JPG

That may not sound like a big deal, but my biggest complaint about the V46 was that it was a real pain in the ass to carry around off of the bike. The V46 is too wide to carry under one arm, so a fully-loaded case and a front door presents an interesting challenge. The E55 changes all of that, and the carrying handle makes “living” with the case a lot easier.

All in all, I am very pleased with the E55. I would have preferred to keep the money for the case in my pocket, but the side cases are just too small for my needs. The case sells for $315 at Twisted Throttle. I paid an extra $72 for the gloss black lid (yes, I know that’s fucking ridiculous).

I strongly recommend the Givi Maxia E55 hard top case, and highly recommend that you purchase it from Twisted Throttle.

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Posted in: motorcycling, review

8 Comments on "Givi E55 Maxia hard motorcycle luggage review"

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  1. Starbuck says:

    I like the fact that it can hold two helmets ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great choice! I’ve got the GIVI E55 on my scooter!
    http://www.scootforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=145&t=689

  3. rudi setiawan says:

    wow, it is nice, i still have the old type of maxia (E52) and V35 for side case

  4. Jon says:

    i just got the exact same bike two weeks ago. taking it out to the texas hill country is amazing but im going to need extra storage when i start going to rallies and on long trips so im going to order the givi trunk soon. this blog is nice, good details and such!

  5. Cap'n says:

    I bought the Maxia a year ago for my FZ6, and my only gripe has been the thin plastic hinges that you mention have been changed for metal. Color me jealous. Also, I got the brakelight kit, and it is MUCH more visible to cars behind me, which makes it worth its weight in gold. Not only do the new brake lights triple my brake light surface area, but the 2 new lights are up at the eyeball height of most drivers. The brake lights make this just as much a safety device as one of storage and convenience, in my opinion. Keep the reviews coming, please!

  6. Scott says:

    nice review. short, concise, good photos, details, pros/cons, and complete with expletives, of which no review should be without.

    in the market for a new top case to replace a damaged V46 and was on the fence between another V46, the E55, and the SHAD SH50. I’m leaning toward the E55. was thinking I might not be able to open my Trax top loading side cases with the E55, but oddly, the dimensions don’t change much for the extra capacity, and it’s like a difference of < 1.5" รท 2. thanks for the info.

  7. panos vatikiotis says:

    While I was driving my Yamaha FJR today at
    a speed of 100km/h at a slight bump my Givi Monokey E55 flew away. I noticed that the case was missing 2 kms further down. With the help of police we found the person who has picked up the case. Which case, during the fall opened up. The plastic which holds down the case (at the case) was almost broken. As experienced driver and old user of Givi products i consider this particular product unsafe.

  8. Simon (UK) says:

    Had the E55 for a couple of weeks now and used daily. This is a great review which I almost entirely agree with.
    Replaced a V46 and I now hate the fact that, whilst unlikely, it is now possible to lock your keys in the box as the closing locking mechanism works without the key inserted, BAD idea.
    Re: closing difficulty, as per the instructions, if you press the area of the Maxia logo with your thumb whilst closing the lid with your fingers, it closes pretty easily with no downward force required. More of a squeezing together of the two halves.
    TOTALLY agree with the lack of “clunk” feedback when closing the case. It has never, not locked but I’m already getting serious OCD checking and re-checking after closing as the quiet click doesn’t inspire confidence.
    I was able to carry two helmets in my V46 but they had to be laid on their sides with the helmet bases meeting in the middle, not upright as we can now do :o)
    Like you, I’m pleased with mine but I hope Givi reads your review and takes note of it’s minor but annoying deficiencies.