Hack the planet!!
>Did you get the Givi mounts or the SW-MOTECH from TwistedThrottle?
I got the Givi mounts. Stripped a couple of bolts and cross threaded a socket trying to get the thing on. Finally gave up and had the dealer do it. I realized later that I was putting it on wrong -- over the plastic fairing rather than under it. I think the givi rack is pretty high quality, can't speak for the SW Motech.
>I am having second thoughts about really large cases on a Dakar. I have a Tourmaster Cortech top bag that is the same color as the bike and doesn't look bad, but I can't get much in it. My rain suit fills it about 75%. When I travel is use a large waterproof duffle (also the same color as the bike) as a seat bag. It gives me enough room, but it is awkward to get on and off the bike with a seat bag in place.
Someone over on F650.com made the point that with the Givi racks, if you have the $, you can buy E21's and a set of larger bags, and only use the larger bags when touring.
>One thing I am looking for is a quick, easy and secure way to store my full face helmet and jacket on the bike in summer. Noticed you have the helmet lock on the license plate bracket. I have thought about that. How do you like that?
Great until it rains! Extra key is annoying, but what can you do?
>I may end up going to a dealer so I can get a better idea of what various side cases would look like on the bike. You would think that pictures would do the job, but all the pictures I have seen of the Givi E45 side cases on a Dakar are angled so they look smaller than your cases when on the bike. That is obviously not the case, so pictures can be deceiving.
Givi was at the Itl motorcycle show this year, not sure when the next opportunity will be.