I had two questions on my mind as I made my way to the Givi display at AIMExpo in Las Vegas.
The first thing I wanted to know more about was the Italian company’s serious foray into making soft luggage for the adventure rider. The GRT709 Canyon was there and they had the experts on hand to talk about it.
The other question I had is one you may have asked yourself from time to time: how the deuce do you pronounce their name? Is it a hard G or a soft G at the beginning of Givi? Well, I got the definitive answer. From Italians. I’ll share it with you at the end of this piece.
But first, the Canyon. Givi has been thinking about getting into the soft bag market for years. As they watched the market swing towards more adventure riding and saw other manufacturers get in the game, they decided the time was right to make the jump.
Their hard luggage, while popular and practical, is not made for the rigors of off-road riding. It can bang into things and not give way willingly. Either it gets dented, or the impact unsettles your bike — or, in the worst case, you fall over and get your leg trapped under the hard bag.
Givi’s solution is a 35 liter, totally waterproof soft bag that attaches securely to your machine.
The bag has two main elements. The first is an internal lining that is completely removable. It can be taken indoors while the outer shell stays on your bike, if you wish. It’s easy to clean. It has a bright lime-green color to make it easier to find things in its spacious interior.
The inner shell is completely waterproof.
The outer shell is the tough customer. It’s made of ballistic nylon that is scratch and UV-radiation proof. It may be water-resistant but it is not intended to be waterproof. It’s there to protect your stuff from damage.
The whole thing is closed like a standard dry bag. That is, you roll the top down, tuck it in and then snap it closed. It’s secure and won’t let the rain in. As a bonus, there’s also a side “sleeve, if you will, that runs down the rear end of the bag. It, too, has a waterproof, lime-green inner lining. Givi suggested you might use it to stash your dirty socks or unmentionables on a long ride, or put a water bottle there.
The whole thing attaches with two plates. One you mount on your bike. The other is on the case. It slides on and off easily. It is lockable.
The Givi GRT709 Canyon costs $599 a pair in the USA and is available now.
OK, now let’s close with how to pronounce Givi. Hard G or soft G?
And the answer is… soft G. GEE-vee. As in golly gee. The name is sort of a portmanteau of the company founder’s name, Giuseppe Visenzi, who was an Italian Grand Prix bike racer in the 1960’s (and is still alive and kicking at 77 years old, we’re happy to report.)