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.
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.
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.
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:
which allows you to carry the case like a briefcase:
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.