An ex police motorcycle Sgt and Tactical Pursuit Advisor, Dave has advised police forces around the UK and further afield, as well as addressing The International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) conference on how to deal with the criminal and anti-social use of motorcycles. He has owned everything from mopeds at 16 through sportsbikes, off roaders, supermotos and currently rides a Honda Africa Twin.
Date reviewed: January 2020 | Tested by: Dave Yorke | Price: £39 | www.givi.co.uk
Working at the 2019 Motorcycle Live ‘Test Ride Zone’, I got the chance to ride a huge range of bikes, from the KTM SuperDuke to CCM Spitfire; Suzuki GSX-R1000 to Honda Goldwing and Triumphs Tiger to Indian Scout… Wearing the Givi ST608 Sport-T leg bag through the nine days and hundreds of miles – not to mention on my own Honda Africa Twin for rides on and off-road – has given me the perfect opportunity to review it.
With a heavy duty UV-resistant 1200D PVC construction, along with an anti-scratch thermoformed vinyl coating on the main outer panel, it should – and does – feel like a quality piece of kit.
The back panel nearest the leg is coated with a textured, slightly grippy material that won’t damage your trousers, and certainly didn’t mark the laminated Gore-tex trousers I was wearing. The outer thermoformed panel offers a little protection to the contents if you were to accidentally bump into something while off the bike and helps the bag to maintain its shape, though of course it would squash if you fell on it.
The bag holds up to three litres, which is enough for everyday essentials like wallet, phone and keyless fobs. Although it’s not a normal everyday scenario, using the bag on the ‘Test Zone’ at Motorcycle Live showed its usefulness; many bikes these days have keyless ignitions and the way we run test rides at the show means the rear outrider looks after all the fobs during a ride out. This year, with the bag on my leg, it was so much easier to have all the keys together in one easily-accessible yet secure place, rather than dotted around several pockets.
While it can of course go on either, I wore the Givi ST608 on my right leg and found it very easy to get on with. It comes with a removable belt that doesn’t have to be used – it could be attached to an existing belt on your trousers, or onto a belt loop. From there, it secures to your leg via a thigh strap that’s elasticated and adjustable for a good fit. Wearing it on the right leg means the double toggle zip is face up when you sit down, which means the contents won’t spill out if its opened.
Inside, the bag has a main and three separate compartments. The separate ones are either zipped internally or elasticated to hold items; I kept my phone – an iPhone XR for size comparison – in the slightly padded compartment that sits next to my leg. It remained in there despite jumping on and off different motorcycles and because it’s slightly padded the screen remained safe from damage.
There’s also a mesh pocket, a zipped pocket and of course the main bag area itself. The GIVI logo is described as reflective, but I’d say it’s only mildly so.
The leg bag has a water-resistant zip, but also comes with a rain cover. When I used it on a 20-minute ride in light rain without the elasticated sleeve it kept its contents dry, so I subjected it to couple of minutes in the shower and managed to make the inner feel damp; a piece of paperwork I had inside got soggy at one spot, so the rain cover does provide another level of protection that means the interior won’t get wet at all. Of course, it takes up space in the bag if want to carry it with you.
The rain cover doesn’t have the reflective logo on it – you could argue that it’s poor conditions when you’ll most need that reflectivity.
The Givi ST608 Sport-T leg bag is attached to you; what can be more secure than that? Your valuables stay with you at all times.
Whether you’re riding a bike with lots of luggage or one with zero storage space, we all need somewhere to put easy-to-hand items like phones, wallets and keyless fobs. The Givi ST608 makes these items much more accessible; it’s become a solid part of my everyday riding kit.