From all that I've read, your assessment is spot on. Extremely similar products-- they are close to identical. And yes, I've read that the 22 liter bags are identical aside from emblem branding.
You'll notice other similarities such as: K40/E41, Garda/Trekker, K49/V46, and the list goes on. Often, where differences exist, the differences are subtle. For example, (with Givi) the E41 and Trekker have a second access lid near the top, and the sibling Kappa cases (K40 & Garda) have a similar overall structure but without the second access lid. In many cases, these subtle differences help keep the cost down-- and in my opinion have less moving parts to break and/or fewer sealing points which may leak. The V35 bags are another example of the re-branding.
I recently bought Kappa side case racks from the USA Kappa distributor (tourandride.com), and fitted them to my existing Givi top case bracket system. It was the same kit that I would have bought from Givi, but over $70 less than Givi list price.
After all that I've read, it surprises me that more people don't buy the Kappa stuff. Maybe when people realize that it's essentially the same product (owned by Givi), sales might increase in the USA. I have a boat load of Givi stuff, but would not hesitate to buy Kappa-- if I needed to replace one of my current items.
Originally Posted by asphaltaddict33
Can anyone articulate the difference between Kappa and Givi branded parts? From what I can tell they are offering the EXACT same things. Same parts, designs, even prices.... just branded with a different sticker.
I ordered a rear wheel hugger off eBay, a few months ago when there seemed to be a drought of the part on Twisted and Revzilla. It was advertised as Givi, recieved Kappa branded part. No big deal its solidly constructed and mounts exactly the same as the same Givi part. They even share the same part number. Now I am seeing TwistedThrottle carrying both the Givi and Kappa rear wheel hugger, at the exact same price (although the Givi part appears to be on sale, still currently listed as the same price)
Recently shopping for side cases, the Givi E22N and K22 seem to be the exact same thing, even sharing the 'monokey' feature.
Both companies seem to be Italian. I cant make sense of it. It doesnt really matter but the business logic behind the same parts and prices, under 2 brands in the same market is what intrigues and confuses me. Givi has some name equity here, Kappa is a sorority moniker in my head. What gives?