You may know Kathy and I are avid motorcycles no brainier there but we also are hooked on bicycles. This January we rode 300 miles. Last September we jumped off the deep end and purchased a tandem! Yes, a tandem, TWO “A” personalities on the same machine that only ONE can steer shift and brake! They are called the divorce machines. Plus we are clipped in. In other words the bottom of our shoes have clips that lock us into the peddles. I am reporting that we are doing well and Kathy and I have signed up for THREE metric Centuries this year. The Wine Country Century, Tour De Fuzz, and the Levi Gran Fondo. We usually serve as moto marshals on these rides but this year we are riding them with Andy and Susan on our tandems. This last Saturday our training ride consisted of the “north” half of the first century in May which includes Chalk Hill road a nice “hill”. The total ride was just over 43 miles longest ride to date on the two up machine with the “hill” at the 35 mile mark. Ouch! But we did it. Now back to the gym.
This month RKA would like to introduce you to the “RKA BLOG”. You can see the link at the right of this page. Unlike the Newsletter the BLOG is deigned to be more specific, a informational, instructional, learning place. There is already a lot of stories in the burner on luggage and textiles, Bluetooth, "how to" stories and myths resolved. If you have a something you would like to see in this area let me know. The first story is posted for your review.
Case study ONE, A2DP & SENA Bluetooth headset functions.
I will try to keep the 2015 Event schedule updated so check it out regularly. So far we will be going to the BMW National in Billings, MT in July, Horizons Unlimited in Sept. and for sure a lot of the regular rallies and events we go to every year. Please book mark it.
Lastly we hope all you folks in the east stay safe and warm. The cabin fever must be setting in. We’ll see ya all when the garage doors can open and the motos come out.
This last summer RKA spent a week at Kurt’s Place in Maine between events and here he is shoveling 3 feet of snow where our rig was parked.
"Congratulations Richard. I still remember traveling around the country for 5 1/2 months on my FJ1200 in 1993. I had that bike loaded down like a pack mule. I also had RKA tank bag, side bags and a seat bag. Your products were so durable and great. Thanks for making great products. Jim Maroun"
Happy 30th everything! Tim Briscoe sent the pictures on and we loved seeing them. Brings back great memories. So happy for you guys! We miss you! I am still riding my BMW ST, Brad is still on the Honda ST.
Love you guys,
Cinda and Brad
Hi Richard & Kathy
You took time to help me choose a product that would perform as I needed it to; the tank bag has worked well for me. I was trying to help folks make good decisions when outfitting a C-14 and wanted to share how well it was working for me. I thank you for providing a good product to the industry.
Thanks for the personal message. Hope you and Kathy have a good Christmas and a great 2015.
|So who's Bob?
Bob Dragich is a veteran writer, photographer and advertising salesperson in the motorcycle industry. He has written and done photography for a wide variety of publications and websites.
Currently at the Motorcycle.com forum network, Bob is an online vendor manager for more than 150 motorcycle enthusiast forums. Putting more than 20,000 miles a year on two wheels, his idea of a good touring bike is an Aprilia Mille Factory R or a Triumph Daytona 675R.
He credits his RKA luggage with allowing him to get away with notions like this. "Without Richard and Kathy, I would have been forced to ride touring bikes just because of all the stuff I think I need to take along for a successful weekend away. I mean, everyone needs an onboard cappuccino machine, right?" .
Hi RKA readers,
The 675R carried me down to Anaheim this weekend for the North American Music Merchants show at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Totally insane. Hundreds of exhibitors, 95,000 attendees, miles and miles of guitars and amps.
Got to meet one of my LinkedIn buddies, Peter Stroud.
Peter is the guitarist for Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan.
Kind of quiet and humble, real southern gentleman.
Here he is tearing it up with Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for the Rolling Stones:
Also got to hang out with the cool folks at Vintage Guitar Magazine
Got invited to their party at Malone's in Santa Ana.
"SAH, nuh TAH, uh NAH"
The big surprise of the evening was Rudy Jaramillo.
He did a version of The Allman Brothers' "Sweet Melissa" that was simply amazing.
Check him out here:
All the way back on Hwy. 1.
(Editors note: 26 liter Sonoman Tankbag, our biggest,
50 liter Hwy 1 saddlebags)
The temp was in the 70s the entire way.
Had a Cubano sandwich
at the Ragged Point Inn
Just south of Big Sur.
The little 675R is closing in on 30,000 miles.
See ya next time
|So who's Nick?
Kathy and I meet Nick Ienatsch in 1985 when he published RKA' very first product review! Nick has been a magazine editor, writer, AMA roadracer (250 podium rider), TV roadrace commentator and much more. The only issue is he was always on the move in the southern part of our state or traveling to races and events so we never got to actually go on a ride with him. His most famous piece is on the right column of almost every page on our website …. It’s called “The Pace” if you have not read it, read it this winter and that alone will make you a better rider this coming season. If you want to get really cool go to one of his YCRS schools!
History: THE RESURRECTION OF YCRS
How a riding enthusiast single-handedly saved the Yamaha Champions Riding School
-Nick Ienatsch, from fastersafer.com
When Freddie Spencer quit the school business in 2008, Miller Motorsports Park and Yamaha picked up my whole crew and we continued as the Yamaha Champions Riding S
chool in Utah. In 2013, Miller realized that cars were more profitable and axed the less-profitable riding school.
Ken Hill and I led the school and had been brainstorming for months as we noticed the lack of future planning from Miller’s management team. By the time they sat us down with the sad news, we had feelers out for the next big thing.
We had proved with Spencer and Miller that our brand of riding instruction worked to make riders faster and safer, especially safer. Graduates were wholehearted backers of the school and support was everywhere. A dozen ideas were circulating.
And then Josh Siegel called. In an instant the path was clear and the situation right. Siegel is an investment banker from New York, but more importantly, he was a three-time graduate of our riding school. Josh remembers, “No way in hell that school was going to close. This industry needs it, riders need it. There’s nothing out there even close…”
And then the perfect storm started. Siegel puts together businesses, that’s his business. He knew Ken and I needed to have ownership. He knew we needed a top Operations guy who also had ownership. He knew marketing was huge.
Ken and I brought a successful, proven and evolving curriculum that Josh knew and trusted; that box was checked, but we were leaving the excellent operations management of Miller Motorsports Park and needed someone to replace Jill Sato Giles.
Months before all this went down, Siegel had met Keith Culver, a Hyundai service writer in New Jersey with a passion for roadracing. Culver had club raced at the expert level but began Evolution Racing, a program that puts kids from mini-bikes onto full-sized roadracers.
Culver was underfunded but gamely trying to make it all work. Siegel added some funding and sponsorship to Evolution and admired Culver’s work and moral ethic. Operations guy: Check.
Siegel then made a call to Limore Shur. Shur runs eyeball, a motorsports-heavy marketing company responsible for shows like Following Filmore. And get this: Shur was also a YCRS graduate and leapt at the chance to market the new school. The school had done amazing things for Shur’s riding, and the riding of Shur’s friends. “I’m in, let’s do it.” Marketing: Check
Siegel called Larry Pegram next. “I’ve been helping Larry over the years and I race an ex-Pegram Yamaha R1,” Josh said. “Larry wanted something to retire to after racing and he got onboard the ownership team too.”
The ownership team of Siegel, Ienatsch, Hill, Shur, Culver and Pegram then turned to David Docktor and Martin Vivanco at Yamaha. The marketing Shur produced for those meetings helped convince Yamaha that YCRS was back and stronger than ever. Forty bikes arrived in New Jersey with a full complement of YamahaLube products and GYTR pieces.
Dunlop signed up again. Alpinestars back in. PRS recommitted. Chatterbox too. Arai again. GB Racing back on board. And then new sponsors took the plunge: Kushitani, Heroic, Payless Car Rentals, Hang Dry, Yamaha Power Products/Generators, GoPro. All driven by a desire to support the curriculum that has changed so many riders’ lives, and to reach the true enthusiasts who take YCRS. Look behind the sponsoring companies and you will find YCRS graduates stepping up to support the resurrection of this school.
There’s passion in the air at YCRS, fueled by every member of the team. The inmates finally have control of the asylum…and damn it feels good. Students find our approach simple and logical, and fast and safe. We chase only one thing: the most-possible improvement of our students. Customer satisfaction is job one…and two and three.
We’ve added two instructor/owners with the addition of Chris Peris and Kyle Wyman, a pair of fantastic personalities. CJ Laroche also teaches for us, and we have a broad and diverse group of excellent guest instructors, from Anne Roberts to Dustin Coyner to Eziah Davis to Kat Zimpel. Oh…Horizon Award winners Andre Ochs and Anthony Mazziotto too…Kaleb De Keyrel…Mark Degross. Scott Russell is our permanent Instructor Laureate. We’ve had schools with the superstars of Yamaha roadracing present and you never know who will drop in. Lawson says he’s coming…
Siegel’s enthusiasm and financial backing made all this possible. For Operations Manager Culver, Siegel’s involvement was life-changing. “My job at the car dealership was horrible. Don’t want to go into detail, but “miserable” doesn’t quite describe it. Josh gave me a chance to work in the industry I love. I had always sent my roadracing kids to YCRS and they came back fast and consistent…I’m thankful the school was saved and to be asked to head the Operations of YCRS is a dream for me.”
For Ken Hill and me, Siegel’s involvement in YCRS was a Godsend: a man with money and passion stepping up to invest time and effort in a product he believes in. Not only will more students be exposed to YCRS, but future possibilities for this company are practically limitless with the team that is in place. We have become an MSF-recognized Tier Three school and have caught the eye of other large groups. The future is more than bright.
Josh Siegel has helped many racers financially from the shadows of anonymity but everyone involved in YCRS from the management or student side needs to tip their helmets to this man. One rider’s passion will now affect thousands of riders. Josh Siegel made YCRS2 happen. Thank you my friend