Motorbike Soft Luggage Test: Givi Canyon GRT709 35L vs. Mosko Moto Backcountry 35L
If you are looking at your options to choose a motorbike soft luggage system, you came to the right place! Panniers are a significant investment and we wanted to share our experience with soft motorbike luggage systems we have a chance to use over the years. Hopefully our experience will help you make an educated decision that you’ll be satisfied with.
We had the opportunity to ride with both soft luggage systems, predominantly off-road over 30,000 km, in all kinds of terrain and conditions. We used these soft panniers for what they were advertised for. We never load more than 7kg per pannier and we used them in off-road adventure rides in Europe, South America and Asia.
WHAT THE MANUFACTURERS ARE SAYING ABUT BOTH MOTORBIKE SOFT LUGGAGE SYSTEMS
- Givi Canyon shows a red frame with “ADVENTURE” written in it on their website. We assume the intention is to broadly describe the intended use of the pannier system. They only say their luggage is “designed for Enduro and off-road motorcycle –> MORE INFO HERE
- Mosko Moto are more specific: “The Backcountry Pannier is our flagship product, designed for long-distance adventure touring, hardcore enduro-style riding, and camping from your bike … This is the system for long distance travelers, and people living off their bikes. Guides, instructors, and RTW riders.” –> MORE INFO HER
We’ll give you here our unbiased opinion, having travelled with both motorbike soft luggage systems.
These itemss were not given to us for endorsement or sponsorship: we don’t need to sugarcoat things to do product placement. We first purchased the Givi Canyon, because we could not afford the Mosko Moto panniers 😉 Then we paid the full price for Mosko Moto, ouch!
How are the panniers attached to the bike?
Both manufacturers use a similar system to attach the pannier to the motorcycle rack. A nylon or plastic plate is attached to the rack (tubular) with retainers and screws. Both systems are equally easy to mount.
Givi 3/10: Uses plastic retainers and smaller screws than Mosko Moto. Givi is using a hard plastic (or nylon maybe) plate on which the pannier slides and locks into the retaining plate with 4 hooks. Their system has the pannier hanging on these hooks onto the retaining plate. Although the fasteners are plastic, they did not break in our case.
Unfortunately, with time, the plastic plate on the back of the pannier, the hooks and the plate attached to the rack wears off. The wear is caused by the dirt and the vibrations. This means that there is no longer a positive snug fit between the retaining plate and the pannier. As a result the panniers are rattling. There is no chance of the pannier falling off, as there is additional anchoring to the top thanks to the metallic locking mechanism.
Mosko Moto 10/10: The nylon plate is thick and of higher density than what is found on the Givi Canyon panniers. The retaining plate is attached to the motorcycle rack with metal fasteners (not plastic). These fasteners fit perfectly to the KTM 790 or KTM 690 racks. The pannier slides onto the retaining plate and is perfectly snug. After 30,000 km riding in all terrains, there is absolutely no sign of wear. The panniers still fit like on the first day, they still have a very snug and tight fit. Nothing rattles.
LOCKING THE PANNIERS ONTO THE BIKE
If you are concerned that your panniers might be stolen.
Givi & Mosko Moto 10/10: Both pannier systems use slightly different concepts, but they both work as intended.
Givi has a lock & key which turns an angled metal plate 90 degrees to lock the panier to the retaining plate. Don’t forget to put the dust cover on the lock, if you don’t want the locking mechanism to jam.
Mosko Moto uses a small metal plate with their own mechanism to anchor the pannier into place. It’s elegant and simple. If you need to lock the panniers onto the motorbike, a small padlock has to be installed however. We use zip-ties instead of padlocks 🙂
ARE THESE SOFT PANNIERS WATERPROOF?
Everybody wants to know if chosen motorbike soft luggage really is waterproof before buying. You don’t want to have soaked clothes and nothing to wear at the end of a riding day.
Givi 9/10: the Canyon panniers can be ridden under pouring rain, snow or be covered in mud. They are totally waterproof: our stuff was never even humid.
However, the panniers were fitted on a KTM 690 Enduro R, which has a rear fuel tank. After dropping the bike, a small quantity of fuel spilled on the pannier. Everything inside the pannier smelled like it has been dipped in petrol… We had to wash the inside liner of the pannier (and all of the stuff) several times with strong detergents to get rid of most of the smell. Conclusion: the inside liner is porous to fuel. If your motorcycle does not have a rear fuel tank or if you never drop fuel on your luggage, then no problem.
Mosko Moto 10/10: Water proof, mud proof, fuel proof, bomb proof and probably anything proof. 100% approved!
MODULARITY OF GIVI VS. MOSKO MOTO
How easy is it to adapt the pannier to our specific needs, by attaching or removing pockets or other attachments.
Givi 7/10: Givi writes that they have a MOLLE system which allows the rider to add the following items to the pannier: “10 included M.O.L.L.E. fasteners (4 Double-D ring straps, 4 elastic straps, 2 universal hooks)”. What Givi doesn’t tell you about their adventure motorcycle panniers, is that the items they give you are in fact made of flimsy cheap plastic. In fact, it looks like stuff for kids. The MOLLE items provided with the Givi Canyon pannier system are useless for any motorbike related activity. The Givi Canyon panniers have no added modularity with them. There are MOLLE straps on the bags, so arguably you could use real MOLLE thingies to attach to them – if you really wanted to. The only explanation we could think of is that this must be the result of a marketing benchmarking exercise. They needed to have a MOLLE system (like Mosko Moto?). In our opinion, the Canyon panniers really don’t need it thanks to their integrated front and back pockets.
The front and back pockets of the Canyon panniers are convenient, easy to use and have the right size. They are the solution Givi chose in lieu of the MOLLE pockets sold separately by Mosko Moto. Both front and back pockets come with removable waterproof bags. These bags are made of the same material as the inside liner of the pannier and they are waterproof. The pannier and pockets pack well and are easy to compress. The material is easy to roll to close the pannier. You also don’t need to fork out extra cash to have those pockets.
Mosko Moto 10/10: They have a MOLLE system and it works perfectly. You need it to expand the range of use of the pannier (for additional money). No cheap stuff here, but you do get what you pay for. We love the possibility to use a pocket for a water bladder directly from the bike for example – the pocket has a small bottom opening that makes this possible. These details show the amount of thinking that went into designing the system.
The Backcountry pannier system is truly modular, and the guys that designed it knew what they were doing.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FALL?
We’re sure you would like to know if your luggage system will potentially survivre a spill.
Every fall is different. There are many gravels and a billion other possible factors that influence potential damages when you drop your motorcycle.
We did have slides in gravel with both pannier systems. Yes, it happened on different occasions, countries, speeds, etc. So, this is obviously not the result of a scientific experimentation. We did not measure speed, rock characteristics, angles, repeat the experimentation, etc. We fell in gravel, in curves, inspected the damage and that is what we think.
Givi 9/10: We fell after being over enthusiastic with the rear brake and underestimating the depth of the gravel in a turn. The bike was probably moving at a speed of maximum 30-35km/h when it fell and slid to a halt in gravel.
The damage: there were small cuts to the fabric of the bag. The integrity of the pannier was intact. We remember being surprised that there was not more damage. The Givi Canyon did what it was supposed to. Athough, it left the site with some small scars. Good stuff but not totally bomb proof.
Mosko Moto 10/10: We dropped the bike coming out of a turn in coarse fresh gravel at a speed of probably 30 km/h.
The damage: After the thrill & spill in gravel, we washed the Backcountry pannier to inspect it. It was as good as new! We have no clue what materials Mosko Moto panniers are made of, but it’s really good.
DURABILITY OF GIVI AND MOSKO MOTO
How long will the luggage system last before showing signs of wear.
Givi 3/10: One of the biggest problems is the following: the Canyon panniers have a metal tube on the upper side of each pannier. The metal tube is intended to prevent the outer fabric of the pannier from stretching at the point where they are attached to the corners of the plastic plate at the back of the pannier. That metal tube is cutting into the fabric. 3 weeks into our first trip with those bags and we had to use a duct tape to keep that tube from sliding out… not fun!
Yes, the panniers are not bad, but this point smells of an engineering after-thought, to try to compensate for thinner material – it merely shifted the problem. Givi did not manage to engineer their way out of cheaper materials.
You can keep on using the panniers, but make sure you keep duct tape handy. You’ll need it. Also, you’ll need to keep an eye on these tubes to make sure they don’t slide out completely.
As we mentioned previously, the wear between the retaining plate attached to the rack and that of the pannier is a problem as well.
Mosko Moto 10/10: The system looks and performs as on the first day.
Will you be able to carry what you need on your trip?
Givi 6/10: Givi does not mention a maximum load on their website. The retailer Louis.eu however says that the maximum weight to be carried in each pannier is 5kg per pannier MORE INFO HERE. But still, we don’t really know what the panniers were engineered for.
We used them on expeditions and camping trips, which we assume fit under the broad “adventure” description of the pannier system. We always weigh the bags before going on a longer trip and typically we pack around 7kg per bag. We loaded both the Givi Canyon and the Mosko Moto Backcountry panniers equally. The Canyon shows clear signs of wear with 3-4mm of play between the retaining plate and the bag.
Mosko Moto 10/10: The Backcountry system is still as good as new. They probably don’t need to indicate a max weight, or at least we could not find it. The panniers are extremely strong and our experience suggests the Mosko Moto will carry what you pack.
Both Givi and Mosko Moto use the same solution: adjusting the retaining plate position vertically. Both systems work fine in our opinion. Anyway, after it was adjusted, we never looked at it again. That speaks for itself 😉
DECISION TIME: GIVI VS. MOSKO MOTO
If you’ve stayed with us this far, you know where our heart lies and why… The Backcountry panniers perform exactly as Mosko Moto advertise them. It is a great product that will perform flawlessly for years. The price will make your eyes water though 😉 If you have the use for all the tremendous value built in them, and can afford them, they are absolutely worth every penny. You’ll probably never buy any other brand afterwards.
If you’re on a tighter budget. If you ride sporadically. If you want a pannier system that will do the job and can live with the shortcomings, then the Givi Canyon is not a bad pannier system, and is certainly more affordable.
We’ve heard some people describing the Givi Canyon as a cheap knock-off of the Mosko Moto Backcountry panniers. Having tested both, we would agree. We’re sure Givi, being a global brand, makes some great products. However, the Canyon soft luggage system could really be better. The overall design is quite good (they possibly had a look at what Mosko Moto did), but it’s a shame they’ve cut corners with the materials.
WHERE TO BUY YOUR MOTORBIKE SOFT LUGGAGE
- The Givi panniers can be found at most online motorcycle gear retailers
- Mosko Moto does not sell via retailers. You order directly from their website, also in Europe: https://moskomoto.eu