StromTrooper banner

Givi E41 and E52 luggage modifications

5127 Views 20 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DesertBike
Recently, I bought a 2004 Vstrom DL650 that came with Givi luggage: E41 side cases and an E52 top case.

Givi E41 side cases come with a red lens on the lid.

Peripheral Input device Computer hardware Font Mouse

That red lens has behind it...
...a piece of glossy white paper.

This doesn't do much for conspicuity. I decided to fix that.

Using the paper as a template, I cut out pieces of 3M SOLAS tape (the gray stuff in the photo) to match the shape.

Notice the hole in the middle of the insert. It's there because the lens has a post on the inner side:

that accepts a screw through a hole on the inside of the case lid:

(sorry, no picture of screw) to hold the lens in place.

This is the "socket" for the lens, on the outside of the case lid, with lens removed:

The nubbins/nipples/protrusions in the floor of the socket serve to hold the white paper against the lens when installed. Good idea, poor result though.

Someone is probably wondering "why didn't you simply line the lens socket with the SOLAS tape?" You could do that, but I didn't because:

1) I tried that with my old Kappa K48 top case, which had a huge red lens. It didn't work all that well. The paper insert for the E41 lens holds the SOLAS tape right up to the inner surface of the lens, maximizing the amount of light that gets reflected. Putting the tape in the "socket" for the lens would reduce the effectiveness.

2) SOLAS tape is a PITA to work with. Once it sticks, you can't reposition it without destroying it, and the stuff is not cheap. It was way easier to use the paper inserts as templates, tracing their shape on the back of the strip of SOLAS, then cutting that out with scissors & sticking that to the template to use as an insert. I did fine trimming with the razor knife. My tape job isn't perfect, but you can't tell once it's behind the lens.

Took some photos last night to try to show the difference that it makes to have the red lens backed by the SOLAS reflective tape. Here's a photo of the back of my Vstrom with the E41's mounted. Case on left is unmodified. Case on right has the reflective tape behind the lens.

With no more than ambient light, I can't tell a difference. The right side is in shadow due to a vehicle parked in the driveway.

Add flash and HUGE difference. Right lens lights up quite a bit.

A flash from 6 feet away is brighter than car headlights would be, but you get the idea. 3M SOLAS tape is stupidly reflective.

That bright white area at the right edge of the photo is from my FJR. The side cases have large patches of reflective material applied. I didn't install them, but I think previous owner may have got them from here:

I'm probably going to grab a couple more of their products to make my FJR even more obnoxiously visible at night.

Regarding the E52 top case: Note that the red lens on the E52 top case doesn't light up much in either photo. It's backed with the same glossy white paper as the E41 lenses. I have a plan to fix that as well.

FWIW, another solution for the E41's is (or was) the Admore E41 LED lighting kit:

It's out of stock though. I would guess it's not coming back, as Givi E41's went out of production years ago, so there's probably not much demand.

That out-of-stock situation is one reason why I cooked up this idea with the reflective tape. Also, I didn't care to spend quite that much.

As for the E52 top case: Givi does offer an "official" lighting kit. However it isn't that great:
It only does a brake light function, with two arrays of small incandescent bulbs.

Admore sells an E52 lighting kit that is much better. It uses a bunch of LEDs in four banks to be much brighter, and to add turn signal repeaters to the tail & brake light functions:
I'm planning to buy and install one and will document that here.

Admore no longer offers a plug-n-play wiring kit for the 2004 Vstrom (if they ever did) so I'll be buying a tail light hook-in adapter from Eastern Beaver to handle that. The Admore lighting kit does come with Posi-Taps, but I don't want to poke holes in the factory wiring if I don't have to.

Another reason I'm using the EB adapter: the tail light wiring in the 2004 DL650 has almost NO slack. I need to add some length to tap it for the E52 lighting kit.

With the Admore E52 kit installed, I may also back the red lens with 3M SOLAS. I haven't opened up the E52 lenses yet, but would not be surprised if they also had white paper inserts.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
I have an Admore lighting kit in my Givi top case, and yes,. It is very bright.

I use a connector similar to this to retain my ability to remove the case easily.

If I were doing it again, Is fine a connector with more points, and bring switched 12v power in for charging phones, etc.

2008 Suzuki DL650A VStrom "Bucephalus"
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks for the tip. I'd want a 5- or 6-pin bulkhead connector, since I'm doing all 4 functions (tail/running light, brake light, left and right turn, 5th pin being ground), but it's the same idea.

I say 6-pin, because sometimes these connectors aren't available with the exact amount of pins desired. Also, I might want to run an extra, 6th 12V line (inline fused probably) for charging things inside the top case.

Years ago I added lighting to a Kappa K48 top case. It was a very simple setup, using red LED strip to light up the large red lens for an extra brake light, as well as a few strips inside the lid for when I wanted to dig around in the top case after dark. There's a thread about it on this forum.

It wasn't very bright, because LED strip doesn't put out all that much light. I think I'll be much happier with the Admore kit.

I don't have any of the stuff I'm going to install yet, but I poked around to find the tail light connection:

I don't know where this connector is on later years but on my 2004, it's buried way up in the tail of the bike. Clipped to the tail frame, in such a way that it's going to be a real challenge to access it without major bike surgery. It's that 6-positiion (5 terminals) connector near center of photo.

What a PITA location.

Once I have the Eastern Beaver plug-n-play adapter installed, I will at least have easier access to the tail light wiring. I'm planning to use the running light/tail light line (always powered when bike is on) as the "sense" line on my dashcam power supply.
See less See more
I have the Admore kit on my E460 on the Strom. I also used the Eastern Beaver connector that connects under the tail section. Admore lighting kit LED360/460-T-TS Givi E460
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I also have an Admore kit in my E55 Maxia case that I sometimes run on my Valkyrie.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
The Admore kits come with their own bulkhead connectors so that the case can be easily removed. I don't know that I'd use the same connector for a 12v charging source; the pins and wiring to them is a pretty thin gauge, since they're only powering LEDs. The connector style they use is very much like these (right angle connector that threads to the receptacle on the case): with dip switches integral in the wiring.

This company does also sell the same type connector for higher amp usage. Rather than reconfigure the Admore harness, I'd probably wire it as they intended and add another plug with a higher rating for my 12V power feed.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Connector aside, I am not sure the tail lights circuit can supply enough juice to charge anything, while also operating all the lights.

I probably won't bother. Charging things in the top case wouldn't be all that useful.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Connector aside, I am not sure the tail lights circuit can supply enough juice to charge anything, while also operating all the lights.
I agree, and you wouldn't want a phone/gps/whatever to draw a bit too much and pop the fuse for the tail lights. If anything, I would add a separate 12v plug from a dedicated accy source that is it's own (aftermarket fuse box) or a circuit that isn't critical.

I have a "lighter plug" that is in the storage area behind the battery, and I never use it. I have a USB connection on my handlebars that I plug my phone into if need be for using Google Maps or just to charge. No real need for any other, for me anyway.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
As someone who has a pair and bought the last set of E41 spare lids in North America several years ago, these have been long-discontinued. Might want to scrounge up any spares that you can find now, as they'll only get scarcer.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Yup. Already bought a pair of extra red lenses.

What parts tend to wear out?
Yup. Already bought a pair of extra red lenses.

What parts tend to wear out?
Good. The only other thing I've had a lot of problems with is the rubber seals. Thankfully you don't need to order those from Givi and a local hardware store would have something that would work.

And, obviously, if a lid snaps off it's game over at this point unless you buy entire spare cases.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
That doesn't sound too bad. As you say. I replaced the gasketing on my old Kappa K48 top case when I redid the paint a couple years ago. Kinda had to. Original rubber was very dried out and fell apart.

It took some experiment to work out the right size of weather seal from Home Despot, but that was part of the fun!

My red lens replacements are supposed to arrive today. FWIW, I've tried gluing a cracked one back together but had limited success. Maybe I wasn't using the right epoxy. It was still a bit rubbery after having 24 hours to cure. Was labeled for plastic repair, but that doesn't guarantee results.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Got my Admore E52 lighting kit yesterday.

Starting the install. Hooked up all the bits for a bench test. I had a 12V power supply and all the other bits from some previous experiments with LED strip.

All works as advertised so far.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Install is as finished as it can be.

By the way, relating to an earlier discussion about bulkhead connectors: the one included with this Admore kit is 3-wire.

The wiring harness connects to all 5 of the bike's taillight wires, but those then go into a microcontroller, which manages the two LED arrays (left and right) through 3 wires. Presumably, ground, and left and right power.

I put the bulkhead connector in pretty much the same place where the Givi kit connector would go.

If I don't like it there I can always reposition.

I'm waiting on some bits from Eastern Beaver to plug the kit into my bike.

Yes, I could use the included Posi-Taps, but I don't like using a bunch of them together (5, in this case) on the same wire bundle. It gets bulky. The EB tail light adapter will be a more elegant solution. Also there is almost zero slack on the factory wires. Rather have an extension to work with.
See less See more
Good news! My Eastern Beaver kit arrived yesterday.

I need to get some long pliers or hemostats from Harbor Freight to do the required surgery, then I can hook up the E52 lighting.

I was looking at the E52 for various places to put the bulkhead connector. The problem with this case is that the only flat part is on the bottom.

Ok technically the lid is sorta flat on at least part of it, but that wouldn't be a good place for the connector.

The connector for the Givi lighting kit sits flush when installed. The one Admore supplies sticks out a little.

Then if you have the case sitting on something off the bike, you can have its weight on that connector. Not great.

Solution: rubber feet on the bottom of the case. I think they can be positioned so that they keep the bulkhead connector from touching down, but also don't interfere with the top case plate.
See less See more
Finished hooking up the EB tail light wiring adapter and now have the Admore top case kit connected.

Also used the taillight adapter to get switched power for my dashcam.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Combo lock on one side case is completely messed up. It spontaneously reset itself to some random number. I did figure out the number, as there's a known method to "pick" the lock if you look closely.

however that wasn't all. The lock also jammed completely. It will not open, even with the correct combination. I had to break the latch to get it open. There aren't any replacement parts available, so I'll have to epoxy it shut permanently and avoid trying to use the other combo lock. I'm sure it would do the same thing if I kept using it.

Apparently this is a known problem with the combo locks. Nothing you can do except not use them.

That's why I'm not too upset about the unavailable replacement parts. Even if I could get the lock working it would just jam again eventually. Not worth the money or effort.
I did end up wanting to relocate the through hole for the E52 lighting kit connector.

First place I tried was where you drill a hole for the official Givi lighting kit. There's a well molded into the floor of the case rhere. I cut a corresponding hole in the top case mounting plate.

That didn't work well. It was difficult to get the plug to mount to the socket properly, due to the lock ring being crowded on the underside of the mounting plate. After 2 rides where I got home to discover that the plug was hanging loose, meaning my top case had been unlit the whole time, I decided to move the hole.

Admore sent me some plugs for the 7/16" hole very fast upon request.

The 7/16" drill bit included with the Admore kit was not super useful because it's 1/2" drive, but I only have a drill with a 3/8" chuck. Did not feel like buying a cheap 1/2" drive drill for this one project. I made do by drilling a pilot hole with the largest 3/8" drive bit I had (3/8"). Then cut the hole larger by hand-jamming the Admore-provided bit through the hole a few times. It worked. The case plastic is soft enough that a sharp new drill bit has little trouble shaving some.

I bought a 7/16" bit with 3/8" shank off Amazon to drill the second hole. I'm going to suggest to Admore that they include this style bit with their kits. People with 1/2" drills can adjust their chuck down, but people with 3/8" drills (a super common size) can't do the same.

Second hole is behind and a bit sideways from the first hole. Works well so far. Easy access to the quick connector. I've used 3M VHB to stick on a couple of 5/16" rubber feet, as a sort of guard for the socket when the case is off the bike.

Pics later.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1

Interior wiring arrangement. Front of top case at top of picture. handle/latch at bottom.

Original hole to left (now plugged), in the molded indentation for the official Givi lighting kit. New location to the right.
See less See more

Bottom of case.
Gray thingy = rubber foot.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 21 Posts