GIVI MonoKey luggage is a great option for motorcycles that do not have factory installed bags. The Italian company has a long history of producing solid and versatile aftermarket luggage options for a wide variety of motorcycles. We put the MonoKey system to a rigorous real-world test over several thousand miles, both on- and off-road.
The MonoKey System
The MonoKey is the GIVI's premier luggage line and it features a patented locking system. One key can be used to not only lock and unlock the case but also and remove it from the mounts. Another attractive feature of this system is the ability to match all GIVI cases on your bike to the same key.
GIVI also offers a line called MonoLock, which is the company's "light duty" offering, but these two lines are not interchangeable.
GIVI MonoKey Construction
The GIVI MonoKey mounts – the parts that are semi-permanently attached to the bike – are rugged and well-designed. The mounts come in three basic variations: for side cases only, for top cases only, or for a combination of both. The nice thing is that due to their modular design, in many applications you can add other elements later as you see fit.
The actual mounts are a combination of flat and tubular steel that is powder-coated. I have found the welds to be substantial and clean and the mounting to be straight forward. All mounting hardware is included.
The mounting plate on the GIVI MonoKey system is applicable to all bags in that line. The plate is a molded plastic affair which is substantial and confidence-inspiring. The audible and tactile click you hear when the case is secured to the plate leaves you with no doubt that you are good to go.
Real World Test
We installed a GIVI MonoKey top case to a late model BMW R1200GS. The model-specific GIVI mount replaced the stock plastic BMW rear rack and it looks as good if not better than the stock rack. It also adds two nicely-designed passenger grab handles. Bolting up the unit was no more than a half hour job, with every mounting point lining up perfectly.
The bag option that we chose was one of GIVI's traditional black options called the Traffic II. At first, the tight fit of the parts made locking the bag to the bike a bit of a challenge. In fact, it was necessary to reach inside the bag and press down toward the mount surface. I called GIVI about this and the customer service representative explained that this is normal due to the close tolerances for a secure mount. He said the "click in" would become easier over time and it has – but it took several trips for the change.
Because of the dual-sport nature of the big GS, testing has included not only paved roads but also some dirt road riding. Even while riding in rougher conditions, though, the GIVI MonoKey setup performs flawlessly. The mount is ultra rigid and the mating of the bag to the mount remains amazingly secure.
The only problem experienced over thousands of miles of road use is that one of the GIVI badges on the plate fell off along the way, but one call to GIVI customer service had another on the way within days.
There are several GIVI bag options aside from the Traffic series described above, but these are the most popular:
E Series: This line is GIVI's most traditional and affordable. It includes the E36 and the E45, with each number (36 and 45) designating the liter capacity of the bags. GIVI's E Series bags can be used in either top or side applications and the maximum capacity is 22 pounds. The E series also includes a Maxima variation which has a more stylized appearance and includes more sophisticated reflective and lighting options.
Trekker Series: The new Trekker bags are GIVI's adventure inspired offerings. They are plastic cases that are clad in strategic places with aluminum. The lid system is the most unique aspect of the new line, incorporating a mechanism by which the lid can be partially opened for quick access or opened completely for full access.
The entire GIVI MonoKey line is worth a serious look for your aftermarket luggage needs.