The penguin's motorcycling and Jeep blog

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Adding a GIVI topbox mount to V-Strom 650

This is how to add a Givi hard luggage topbox mount to a 2008 Suzuki V-Strom 650. The Givi kit is the E528 plate kit. It should be identical on everything V-Strom.

When you open the Givi box and unpack the kit, you find this: There are the two brackets that mount on the OEM luggage rack, the top plate that mounts to the brackets, and the hardware packet with all the screws for doing this. There's also an insert (the hard plastic thing), but I never put that on because it makes it hard to take the top plate off when necessary (remember, you have to take the top plate off to get to the luggage rack bolts, and you have to take the luggage rack off to get into the side covers to do things like, e.g., add brake fluid to the rear brake).

To do this task easily, you need these tools: From left to right: a 5mm allen wrench, a 4mm allen wrench, a 10mm open-end wrench, a tube of blue (medium) thread-locker, a pair of bent-nose pliers, a pair of scissors, and a 10mm socket wrench. You can actually do this job with the contents of your Suzuki toolkit plus the thread locker, but it's a lot easier with better-quality tools.

Okay. now here's the ground rules. There's other ways to do some of this. For example, I will take the luggage rack off. But someone with smaller fingers or better eyesight may just need to loosen the luggage rack screws. The way I'm going to do it is the easiest way (not necessarily the way I *actually* did it, mind you, but the way I'd do it again!).

So here we go:

Remove the seat.
Remove the luggage rack by unbolting the following four bolts with your 10mm socket wrench.

Place the rack on old newspaper or some other surface where it won't get scratched up, and remove the rubber top cover on the luggage rack. There are five rubber nubs holding it in. To remove one of the rubber nubs, take the bent-nose pliers and use them to tuck one edge of the flange on the backside into the hole, while at the same time you pull on the other side. If you keep tucking pieces of the flange into the hole while tugging on the other side, eventually the whole thing will pop out. Repeat until all five are out, and lay the rubber top cover aside. (Sorry I have no picture of me doing this, hard for me to take pictures when doing something that takes two hands plus my knees!).

Once the rubber cover is off, we're ready to mount the brackets onto it. Here is the hardware we need to mount the brackets. Note that the FLAT-sided bracket goes on the back. The ANGLE-sided bracket goes on the front. Assemble the hardware as such:

Round-top 4mm allen-head screws with washers on top, washers then the bright-colored 10mm ny-lock nuts on the bottom. Here we are going to put the front bracket on first, which is the bracket with the ANGLED sides. The rear bracket is the one with the FLAT sides. You only need to snug up the bolts, you don't need to twist the heads off, remember we have nylock nuts here which won't come off easily. Note that the front bracket is supposed to point the other way, towards the front. Having it this way moves the mounting plate and topbox backward slightly and gives more room to the passenger, but at the expense of making the top plate harder to mount (since the top-plate nuts are hidden behind the bracket to a certain extent). Experiment to see what works best for you -- this is motorcycle science, not rocket science, and there's no One True Way.

Now bolt the rack with brackets back onto the bike. Put a couple of drops of blue thread locker on each of the long 10mm bolts when you snug them down. Thus far I have not found a Suzuki spec on what these things are supposed to be torqued to...

Now place the plastic Givi mount on top of the brackets so that you can see the bracket's mounting holes through the diamond-shaped holes in the mount. Drop a diamond-shaped silver plate into each of the diamond-shaped holes and position so you can see the mounting bracket holes through the holes in the silver plates. Assemble a 5mm allen head screw and washer, and shove through the hole in the plate and through the hole in the bracket. Now, using your 10mm open-head wrench, take the black nylock nut and position it under the plate next to the screw, lift the screw from the top and then shove the nut into place with your open-head wrench and jam the screw back down onto it. Tighten a few threads using the 5mm allen wrench on top and the 10mm open head wrench on bottom. Repeat for all screws. Now, tighten all four corners so that the nuts are barely touching the brackets, and then position the top plate to your desired position. Snug down the allen-head screws. You're now done! Note -- I never put the smooth cover that says "Givi" onto the Givi mount. It makes it harder to take the top plate off, and the diamond-shaped holes in the Givi top-plate give places to poke bungee cords through the thing when you're using it as a luggage rack rather than a luggage mount. This is how I leave it. And here is my Givi E45 mounted on it:

My SOLAS tape is really doing its job of shining, eh?!

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

No comments: