“ 35 Litre capacity. Equipped with a wide reflector that is ideal for low and medium powered scooters. „
A gentleman's word
To be honest I hadn't originally planned to fit a top box to my new scooter since it already has space for a helmet, a small briefcase and smaller odds and ends under the seat. But when the dealer told me he couldn't get the backrest I had ordered and that he would give me the top box "free" if only I paid for the mounting rack and its fitting, I was persuaded to go ahead and get one: the top box could not only hold a second helmet, but also act as a kind of backrest too. I was offered a choice of two, and I chose the larger one, which turned out to be the Givi "Flow".
In the end, the rack and fitting cost about double the price of the top box alone, so the deal wasn't quite as good as it first appeared. But a deal is a deal and I signed on the bottom line ... again.
Givi was a new make to me since I hadn't owned a motorcycle for 28 years and the company was founded just 25 years ago by Giuseppe Visenzi, a former Italian bike racer famous in the 1960s, although I hadn't heard of him either. However, it seems he knew what he is doing since Givi is now a leading supplier of quality motorcycle accessories at reasonable prices. Givi products are specifically designed or adapted for a very wide range of motorcycles and scooters. Apart from racks and top boxes they produce panniers, windscreens and helmets too. In some cases they are even supplied (rebadged) as manufacturer's "original" accessories (take a look at a "Yamaha" top box).
The Givi "Flow" is available either self-coloured (black) or with a painted lid (either silver, dark blue, or red). The mounting rack fits behind the seat with the box fitted on top. It opens in the conventional manner with the hinges placed at the front. The lock releases either the lid (smaller push button) or detaches the box from the rack (larger push button). Hence Givi call this design Monolock®. A large red reflector is fitted to the lid, which improves your visibility, particularly at night. An optional lighting kit converts the reflector into a high-level brake lamp. I haven't tried this though. On the other hand I have purchased the optional padded backrest which mounts with screws onto the front of the top box, greatly improving the comfort and security of your passenger. The quality of fit and finish of all parts is good as is the quality of materials used.
In use the box is simple to use, you open by turning the key a quarter turn clockwise, press the smaller button, which releases pressure on the catch, and then press on a part marked "press" which unhooks the catch allowing you to open the lid. A word of caution, if you overfill the top box so that you have to press down on the lid to close it, this last action of unhooking the catch may prove impossible and the box won't open. I did this only once! Eventually, I did get it open - after removing it from the rack - by a combination of shaking it to move the contents around and sitting on the lid.
Equally the locking is quite simple too, after shutting the lid you again press on the pressure plate which clicks shut and only then turn the key anticlockwise to lock the box again. Unfortunately the dealer didn't give me any instruction sheet and I can't have understood his verbal instructions properly because at first I had great difficulty shutting and locking the box (I was trying to do it with the key removed). A benefit of this design is that you can't lock the key inside the box. Provided you know what you are doing it is easy to open and close, however.
The "Flow" is stated to be suitable for low and medium powered scooters (like my 250). Although the capacity is quite large at 35 litres - more than enough for a full face helmet - the weight limit is only 3 kg and the maximum speed when loaded is 75 mph. This has not proved to be a problem for me; I put heavier items under the seat and have never needed to exceed 75 mph. You have plenty of room for boxes of cereals, packets of biscuits, hay for the rabbit or whatever and an advantage over the under-seat storage is that it is unaffected by engine heat. Please note that if you use the backrest on your top box it is absolutely vital to ensure you have locked it properly to the rack. It is one thing to lose your luggage, quite another to lose your passenger...
Like a thief in the night
As a postscript I should add that thieves broke into my garage recently and attempted to steal my scooter and its contents. They broke the lock on the Givi "Flow" by jamming a screwdriver into the lock barrel but were defeated by the simple catch mechanism, so my helmet and gloves were still there. I thought I would have to replace the whole top box but it turned out I don't even have to replace the whole lock. I was able to remove the lock, completely dismantle it confirming that only the barrel and one other small part were damaged. Both were available to order from a local Givi stockist enabling me to repair the lock and catch mechanism for minimum cost. I have also learned a lesson and no longer regard my top box as secure storage.
Blowing in the wind
One last point: I had always been worried by the instability of my scooter in side-winds but with the top box temporarily removed for repairs I found a significant improvement. It seems that the turbulence produced by the top box does adversely affect stability (hence the 75 mph limit I suppose). Taking into account my point concering security above, I now always remove the top box when it's not needed.