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Givi, SW-MOTECH, Krauser, & Five Stars: Which to Choose?

Posted on September 16, 2003 by TwistedThrottle.com There have been 0 comments

Here we have an article explaining some of the advantages and disadvantages of the of the four brands.


 



Suzuki '01-later GSF1200 Bandit with Givi Wingrack, E52 New Maxia topcase, and E41 Keyless sidecases.

This article compares five different hard luggage rack options: Givi Wingrack, Givi PL-series, Five Stars, SW-MOTECH, and Krauser. Although each manufacturer supports several different motorcycle models, I have included images depicting each on the Suzuki Bandit for the purposes of comparison and consistency.

In addition, I have also included a sample parts listing and costs for a typical system capable of carrying three luggage cases - a topcase and two sidecases. Note that this price is current as of this article's publication date, and could vary considerably in the future. Note also that different configurations could result in a dramatically lower cost, such as using sideracks only or smaller, less expensive luggage cases.

All of the racks profiled below share some common characteristics.

Depending on the motorcycle model, most sideracks kits require relocation of the turn signal using supplied brackets. The Givi Wingracks replace the stock turn signals using a modular unit that is integrated into the sideracks. The relocation of the turn signal serves two purposes: to allow close fitting of the sidecases without interference and to increase safety by maintaining side visibility of the turn indicators. Oddly, turn signal relocation is typically the most time intensive part of any rack installation.

Although some models of motorcycles may allow shortening of the turn indicator stem or other modification to prevent relocation, for safety reasons we always recommend following the rack manufacturer's recommendation for turn indicator mounting. Riders of motorcycles with integrated rear turn indicators (like the VFR800) do not have to relocate or replace their signals, of course. When mounting only a toprack, turn signal relocation is not required.

Most of these racks enable the fitting of either the toprack or sideracks independent of one another. Some of the Five Star siderack applications require the toprack for proper fitting. In all cases, the toprack is a perfectly functional luggage carrying platform when the topcase is not fitted.

Each of these racks also have some marked differences, as well. You should consider and weigh the features of each to determine whether the racks fit your needs. Most of our clients tend to consider the design and function more than the "bottom line" - the total price for a given system.

 



The Givi N140 Wingrack II top and side luggage racks mounted on a Suzuki Bandit.

Givi Wingracks

Givi Wingracks have the advantage of being well-established both worldwide and within the US, where Givi USA has sold them since about 1995. The Wingrack system consists of three components: the modular Wingrack (with or without turn signals or toprack depending on configuration), a model-specific fitting kit, and two or three Monokey luggage cases (as desired). Each of these components must be purchased separately.

Givi constructs the Wingrack from cast aluminum rack with steel or aluminum mounting hardware, depending on the particular application. Givi typically finishes the Wingracks with a black enamel.

The Wingrack fits standard Givi Monokey cases, such as the E21s, E36/45s, E360/460s, and E41s.

Advantages:

o Racks transferable between different motorcycles using special fitting kits

o Replacement parts widely available in the US

o Modular design supports a wide variety of motorcycle models and configurations

Disadvantages:

o Bulky appearance when cases not fitted

o Relatively heavy compared to other racks

o Relatively wide compare to other racks due to Wingrack and fitting kit design

Parts and prices to outfit a Suzuki Bandit with a Wingrack system carrying two sidecases and a a topcase:

o N140 Wingrack $173

o Y523 Fitting Kit $107.26

o Two Givi E360N side luggage cases, matte black (at $169.65/each) $339.30

o Givi E460N top luggage case, matte black $182

o Total cost: $801.56

 



Givi tubular sideracks and PB02 toprack on the early model Suzuki Bandit.

Givi PL-series Tubular Racks

Givi's PL-series tubular racks are a relatively new design. Givi is rapidly expanding their line of these unique racks, which maintain a much more discreet appearance than the bulkier Wingracks. In most cases, you can add a toprack or topcase to the PL-series racks using a special toprack attachment. Givi builds the PL-series racks specifically for each supported motorcycle model, so there is no requirement for an additional hardware fitting kit.

The PL-series racks are very similar in construction to the Five Stars racks, however, the two rack systems are not compatible. For general example, you cannot fit the PL-series sideracks with a Five Stars toprack. The PL-series racks tend to have a more lightweight (but not as strong) design as the Five Stars racks.

The PL-series racks fit standard Givi Monokey cases, such as the E21s, E36/45s, E360/460s, and E41s.

Advantages:

o Stealthy appearance due to discreet, unobtrusive profile

o Custom fitted for particular models -- no additional fitting kit required

Parts and prices to outfit a Suzuki Bandit with a PL-series system carrying two sidecases and a a topcase:

o PL523 tubular side luggage racks $165.00

o F522 Monorack toprack $119.16

o Two Givi E360N side luggage cases, matte black (at $169.65/each) $339.30

o Givi E460N top luggage case, matte black $182

o Total cost: $805.46

 



Karl Hagenbuch's '01 GSF1200 Bandit with Five Stars toprack and sideracks mounted. Note the stock signals relocated to the toprack.

Five Stars Racks

The Five Stars racks are German-made tubular sideracks that fit the same Givi Monolock luggage cases as the Wingrack and PL-series racks. The Five Stars manufacturer is independent of Givi. Five Stars constructs their racks from tubular steel and welded metal brackets. The racks are finished either with a tough, matte black powder-coat finish for durability, or nicely chromed for custom cruiser applications.

The Five Stars racks fit standard Givi Monokey cases, such as the E21s, E36/45s, E360/460s, and E41s. As each Five Stars rack is designed for a specific motorcycle model, there is no requirement for an additional fitting kit. Because of the integrated design, some siderack applications require the toprack for proper mounting.

Some of the Five Stars models for newer motorcycle incorporate a quick-release feature which Five Stars calls the "Delock" design. This enables the racks themselves to be quickly removed from the bike using special quick-release fittings, leaving only small, discreet mounting tabs. Currently, this feature is only included on a limited number of models, such as the '02-later VFR800.

Advantages:

o Custom fitted to each bike model – no extra “fitting kit” required

o Lightweight and strong

o Close fit for narrow lateral profile and discreet, OEM-like appearance

o Accepts common Givi luggage cases

Disadvantages:

o Non-transferable between different bike models

o Frequent availability problems due to wide, rapidly growing supply chain

o Close fit of toprack may limit topcase size or passenger comfort on some models (correctable with additional part)

Parts and prices to outfit a Suzuki Bandit with a Five Stars system carrying two sidecases and a a topcase:

o Five Stars sideracks $150

o Five Stars toprack $130

o Two Givi E360N side luggage cases, matte black (at $169.65/each) $339.30

o Givi E460N top luggage case, matte black $183

o Total cost: $802.30

 



SW-Motech Quick-Lock sideracks (Suzuki Bandit model shown) remove in only seconds thanks to special quick-release fasteners. Note relocated turn indicators.

SW-MOTECH Racks

The German-made SW-MOTECH racks are a truly innovative design which address a common complaint that luggage racks look "too ugly" when the cases are removed. The SW-MOTECH racks can be quickly removed from the bike in only seconds thanks to special quick-release fasteners. SW-MOTECH calls their design the "Quick-Lock" sideracks.

SW-MOTECH has also recently added their "ALU-rack" toprack to their product line as well. These topracks are custom designed for each motorcycle model and are compatible with the Quick-Lock sideracks, enabling a topcase option as well. The ALU-rack consists of a custom fit, precision-cut aluminum toprack and associated hardware. A special fitting plate (available separately) enables the fitting of a Givi topcase. Quick-release fasteners allow this plate to be quickly fitted or removed.

The SW-MOTECH racks fit standard Givi Monokey cases, such as the E21s, E36/45s, E360/460s, and E41s. As each SW-MOTECH rack is designed for a specific motorcycle model, there is no requirement for an additional fitting kit.

SW-MOTECH Quick-Lock sideracks can technically fit a wide range of luggage cases with the use of special hardware kits, to include Givi, Krauser, and Hepco & Becker. However, for the ease of client shopping and consistency, we package each siderack set with the Givi hardware fitting kit, as this is the most widely used and available luggage case in most of our markets.

Advantages:

o Unique “Quick Lock” design allows fast rack removal

o Flat metal design creates narrowest lateral profile available

o Custom fitted to each bike model – no extra “fitting kit” required

o Accepts common Givi luggage cases

Disadvantages:

o Currently supports only a limited range of bike models

o Quick release design works both ways - special security hardware needed to discourage theft (available separately)

o Non-transferable between different bike models

Parts and prices to outfit a Suzuki Bandit with a SW-MOTECH system carrying two sidecases and a a topcase:

o Quick Lock sideracks with GIVI adapters $219

o ALU-Rack toprack $119

o Topcase adaptor plate $50

o Two Givi E360N side luggage cases, matte black (at $169.65/each) $339.30

o Givi E460N top luggage case, matte black $183

o Total cost: $910.30

 



Krauser K-Wing sideracks on the Suzuki '01-later GSF1200 Bandit. These racks fit the K4 or K5 luggage cases. Note: image shows pre-production unpainted fitting hardware.

Krauser Racks and Cases

Krauser is a very old German company that formerly supplied BMW factory luggage and is now operated by the same company that owns Hepco & Becker. Their recent revival and product redesign has ensured their relevance for a long time to come. The K-Wing rack and matching K4 and K5 luggage cases are of top-notch design, quality, and ruggedness.

Krauser racks utilize a unique fitting and latching mechanism that is not compatible with the Givi standard. In other words, you cannot fit Givi cases to a Krauser rack or vice-versa.

Krauser builds both top and sideracks for most of their supported models. In almost every case, the toprack and sideracks can be fitted independent of one another. Since each rack is custom made for the intended motorcycle, no additional special fitting kit is required.

In general, the Krauser cases and racks are of higher quality and better finish than similar Givi or Five Stars components. However, Krauser's range of supported motorcycle models is much more limited. Additionally, while their cases are among the best synthetic hard luggage that you can buy, they are limited in color and design -- only black K4s or K5s available.

 



Kevin Chalmers' '00-later GSF600 Bandit with Krauser sideracks and K5 luggage cases.

Advantages:

o Top-notch build quality

o Discreet, OEM-like appearance

o Custom fitted to each bike model – no extra “fitting kit” required

Disadvantages:

o Not Givi-case compatible – must use proprietary Krauser cases

o Currently supports only a limited range of bike models

o Non-transferable between different bike models

Parts and prices to outfit a Suzuki Bandit with a K-Wing system carrying two sidecases and a a topcase:

o K-Wing sideracks $199

o K-Wing toprack $139

o Two Krauser K4 side luggage cases (at $222/each) $444

o Krauser K5 top luggage case, matte black $233

o Total cost: $1015


This post was posted in Five Stars, GIVI, Hepco & Becker, Kappa, Krauser, SW-MOTECH Bags-Connection