Thursday, November 16, 2017


Enrico gets fitted for the road…

I took Enrico, the Yamaha, on an eighty-mile round trip this morning in a light rain as his new Givi panniers had arrived and he was scheduled for a fitting at Factory Powersports of Santa Rosa.  They’re proving to be a REALLY GOOD dealership. 

Why do this today?  Well, the bags came in and I was eager, but…

…I make it a yearly practice to take a ride during the second real rain of the season.  I pass on the first storm’s precip as the winter’s earliest showers tend to dredge up oil and dirt from summer’s long-dry pavement making for extra slippery and rather treacherous riding conditions.  Who’d want that?

This annual voluntary rain ride is one wherein I reacquaint myself with critical wet weather skills so necessary for times, on long road trips, when one gets caught in a cloudburst.  It happens in Montana, Oregon, Wyoming and damned near everywhere west; and, I’d opine, that it pays to have developed some damp weather confidence before the deluge.

On the wet pavement, I practice moderate speed, moderate lean angles, moderate braking, increased clearance behind the vehicle in front and, as was the case today where an unanticipated half inch of water was sweeping across US 101, a few “Hail Marys.”  Hydroplaning on two wheels?  Yikes!

Then again, that’s why I do this.

The panniers purchased, Givi ‘Dolomitis’ are constructed of thick aluminum. 

Tie downs are incorporated onto the lids to accommodate a duffel of extra cargo. 

One key fits locks on both and both close snugly, sealing rain out quite effectively.  A paperback copy of an Easy Rawlins mystery (Charcoal Joe) I’d been reading while waiting at the dealership, experienced no soggy pages from the rain on the thirty-plus mile ride home.

Top (as opposed to side) loading and easily mounted and removed from the bike, they fit securely to the Super Tenere and do not require a rerouting of the exhaust and silencer, as did the Jesse system I’d purchased for the BMW ten years ago. 

And, to me, they are attractive, in a rather industrial sense.

Factory Powersports matched the best on-line price I could find.

So Enrico and I are ready to suit up, rain or shine, as the newly outfitted Yamaha looks good in the garage, but better on the road.


Notes:  Link to Factory Powersports in Santa Rosa (Yamaha and Suzuki dealer):

© 2017
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. Looking sharp! Givi makes a great product. My top case hasn't leaked in the 5 or so years I've had it.

  2. While I’m sure they’re functional, they look like 2 industrial beer coolers hanging on for dear life.

    I guess there comes a time when we sacrifice looks for functionality but one could never accuse these as blending in.

  3. Good point. I come to this from a little different angle. After a couple of years on a lovely, lovely bike that fell short of my expectations - but probably would meet others expectations quite well - I moved to a more utilitarian motorcycle: the Super Tenere. It fits my carcass better and I prefer the way it handles the roads I find myself on. The panniers I purchased are equally utilitarian, high quality and rugged. They just aren't visually as stunning as those on a Wing or a Trophy or the leather ones on my T-Bird. That said, I like what they do and how they do it.

    Enjoy your ride!