Differences between SW-MOTECH EVO sidecarriers and Givi PL sidecarriers
Have you always wanted to know about the differences between Givi and SW-MOTECH sidecarriers but are too afraid to ask?
After all, both are capable of carrying many of the same models of cases on the same models of motorcycles. Qualitatively, Givi sidecarriers are lighter weight, lighter duty, and less expensive. SW-MOTECH sidecarriers are heavier, heavier duty, and more expensive. Here we show how some of the material specifications compare between the two brands.
SW-MOTECH was the first company to introduce the "QUICK-LOCK". First created in 1999, SW-MOTECH's QUICK-LOCK sidecarriers allow you to easily remove the sidecarriers when you're not using your sidecases. Lockable QUICK-LOCK fasteners provide the sidecarrier system with keyed security so that the sidecarriers cannot be easily removed by would-be thieves. All SW-MOTECH sidecarriers come with the QUICK-LOCK function.
SW-MOTECH typically uses 4 attachment arms for each sidecarrier hoop on "adventure" or "enduro" motorcycles like the BMW R1200GS, Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, and Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere to provide maximum strength for off-road use. SW-MOTECH typically uses 3 attachment arms for each sidecarrier hoop on dedicated sport bikes like the Suzuki Bandit or Honda VFR800 to provide decreased weight.
On bikes with a single-sided exhaust, SW-MOTECH typically keeps the sidecarrier on the non-exhaust side of the bike as close to the bike as possible, creating an asymmetrical sidecarrier. This keeps the weight of the cases as close to the center line of the bike as possible, providing better handling. Because the sidecarrier support arms are as short as possible, the carrier is more resistant to crash damage or breakage from being overloaded. Because the sidecarriers are asymmetrical, some riders choose to place a wider sidecase on the non-exhaust side of the bike to try to make the bike look more "even". This is a purely aesthetic decision and will not significantly affect the handling of the motorcycle.
SW-MOTECH's fender mounting points are designed to work with both European and North American license plate mounts and fenders.
SW-MOTECH material specifications:
Flat mounting arms: 6mm thick x 30mm wide mild steel typical - varies by application
Tubular mounting arms: 17.5mm outer diameter tubes with approximately 2.5mm wall thickness
Sidecarrier hoop: 15mm x 30mm oval tubing for increased rigidity
SW-MOTECH sidecarriers have a manufacturer warranty of 2 years, regardless of what cases you choose to attach to them. Crash damage is excluded from warranty coverage, as with most luggage manufacturers. Replacement parts and complete hardware kits are easily available through TwistedThrottle.com.
Most Givi sidecarriers are permanently mounted to the bike and cannot be removed without tools. Givi released a "Rapid Release" sidecarrier similar to SW-MOTECH's QUICK-LOCK sidecarrier in 2009; the part numbers for Givi's removable carriers start with "PLR".
Givi sidecarriers typically use only 3 attachment arms for each sidecarrier hoop. This saves weight and cost, but does not provide as much strength as typical SW-MOTECH sidecarriers on adventure and enduro motorcycles.
On bikes with a single sided exhaust, Givi typically makes its sidecarriers symmetrical. This keeps the cases an equal distance from the center line of the bike, and results in the case on the non-exhaust side of the bike being spaced further out than necessary. Because the support arms are longer than necessary, more torque is placed on the mounting arms on the non-exhaust side of the bike, decreasing effective strength vs. a sidecarrier designed with shorter support arms. Givi typically sells symmetrical luggage cases, so it chooses to make its carriers symmetrical.
Givi designs its rear fender mount on its PLR "Rapid Release" racks to work with European bike models only and does not provide a "fit kit" for proper installation on North American fender styles. On some bikes, this is not a problem, but on others, your bike (or the Givi kit) may need to be modified to install the PLR carrier. Check with us before ordering a Givi PLR carrier if you're concerned about needing to modify the fit for your motorcycle.
Flat mounting arms: 4mm thick x 25mm wide mild steel typical - varies by application (45% lower cross sectional area than SW-MOTECH mounting arms)
Tubular mounting arms: 16mm outer diameter tubes with approximately 2.2mm wall thickness (16% lower cross sectional area with a 12% lower wall thickness than SW-MOTECH sidecarrier arms)
Sidecarrier hoop: 16mm outer diameter round tubing (43% lower cross sectional area than SW-MOTECH sidecarrier hoops)
Givi sidecarriers have a warranty of 2 years, but only when used with cases made by Givi. Crash damage is excluded from warranty coverage, as with most luggage manufacturers. Individual replacement bolts and parts until recently were not available, however, Givi recently started selling complete replacement hardware kits for some sidecarriers for about $50 (as of late 2010).
If your motorcycle is dedicated to street use and you do not typically overload your motorcycle, Givi sidecarriers are an economical solution for mounting hard cases on your motorcycle.
If you ride an adventure or enduro motorcycle that you may take off-road, or if you are just plain rough on your gear and tend to overload your bike, you may be better off spending a few extra bucks and getting the significantly beefier SW-MOTECH sidecarriers.
As in a lot of things - you get what you pay for. SW-MOTECH's sale price is higher, in part, because they use more metal. Givi's sidecarriers, while they will definitely do the job for the average street rider, may not take as much of a beating as SW-MOTECH sidecarriers.