February 2012
Issue 27

Hi Friends of RKA,
It's tuff but somebody has to live here.
The ballons launch close by and come over our house
all the time, but this was a COLD January morning
from our driveway.It had to be 28 degrees that morning!
Had to be a little cold up there huh?

Once again "Happy New Year".

This is actually the first newsletter of the year since January is always a recap of the year before. So we hope you enjoy it. Go back to the 2011 Newsletters, and look around, I did, and there is a lot of interesting information there that will always be useful.

Personally I hit a new phase in my life this year, on January 16th I turned 65!
Wow that's really OLD! Huh?

I went on a 200 mile motorcycle ride on the 15th and a shortened 12 mile bicycle ride with my new friend and restaurant owner Patrick. If not for an unscheduled luncheon date with my cousins and Mom we would have went 25 miles. So I guess I may be old but I can still get around a little.

Birthday Pushbike ride
I'm the old guy in the blue.
Kathy and I have been amazed at the way our business has turned for the better this last part of 2011 year and the first month of 2012!

If you were to look at our yearly sales for the last 6 or 7 years it has been such an up and down roller coaster ride. Just like everyone else out ther in life and business.

Of course we understand it's not perfect for everyone, but RKA sales are way UP, .... but what is way UP when you were SO DOWN for so long. But it is nice to see the press and some of our motorcycle related business reporting positive things.

It looks like the "coaster" is rolling UP at a tremendous speed right now and here are a few headlines to encourage you all to come out of the shell and play. "The economy seems to be finally rebounding"!

"WSJ" 1-28-2012 : "US economy picks up steam".

"Fasttrack riders" sells out for first event of 2012!

"BMW Club Of Northern CA":. BMW Motorad USA has just had an unbelievable sales year. There will be lots of new bikes and new owners for the 40th 49ner rally!

"PowerSports Business Today" says: "Year-end motorcycle sales up Slightly".

"The News, what's happening in the world of powersports business" . reports Harley-Davidson worldwide sales jump 10.9 percent. Polaris reports record 2011 fourth quarter.

RKA has acquired a lot of new customers this year and there is surely a few things you may not know about us. There are also a few things some of our older customers may not know about us.

Seems like every time we are at a show or event someone asked "Who makes your stuff"?

Over the years we have addressed this issue but since we have had such a surge of new customers this year I have decided to cover it again.RKA is our LIFE Kathy and I started RKA in my Mom's garage in 1985, after Kathy built me a tailbag from a grocery bag and duct tape that I designed. So read on and you will see where our products come from.

Enjoy the Newsletter..........
Here is a few more photos of our New Years Day motorcycle ride. We rode from Windsor, CA to Bolanis CA, and had lunch there.

Where the hell is Bolinas?
If we told you we'd have to
shoot you.
January 1st 2012
It was a COLD but NOT Stormy morning.
YES he rides!
Freestone Bakery
Freestone Bakery
No much room in Bolinas and they like it that way.
Kathy and Dick
One of the ring leaders
and the rest of the gang

Birthday Ride and Lunch 01-15-2012
January 15st 2012
It was a COLD but again
NOT a Stormy morning.
Booneville for coffee.
Hwy 128
Another secret.
PC Hwy 1, with friends
PC Hwy 1, with friends
PC Hwy 1, with friends.
How can it get any better than this?
Charcuturie Resturant
in Healdsburg, CA.
65, not so bad.
65, not so bad.
AND .... I was going
sooooo fast!

A Love story.
Kathy and I are both from the thoroughbred race horse industry and met in 1983, I designed a tail bag out of duct tape and a grocery bag and asked Kathy to make it for me. In 1985 we moved to Northern California, Got married and started RKA with no money, one tailbag, and one ad in Motorcyclist magazine. We are in our 27th year in business and marriage. That's the short story.

All the luggage products you receive from us are designed, and manufactured right HERE in this building I am typing from right now. Yup that's my desk there that I am setting at right now.

Not 6000 units of each bag or 600 units of each bag, but more like 6 to 10 at a time. Kathy cuts every pattern piece that goes through the sewing machines and Marina sews every bag. After it comes of the machines I assemble them, package them, store or ship them.

It's ALL done by hand, very HI Quality and LOW production. So we have control on quality beyond belief.

At the beginning of the 2011 season we were ready to rock and roll with enough store stock to get us going for the season. But then two things happened we did not plan on but were sure happy they did!

Number one, our dealer base doubled over the summer and we could not keep up with the orders.

Secondly, RKA designed a tankbag configuration, saddlebag liners, and a trunk bag for the BMW K1600GTL. The GTL owners went viral on us and we were overwhelmed AGAIN!

Now maybe some of you will at least understand why you had to wait for your luggage this summer.

So we hope this little story makes you want to purchase "Made in the USA" beautiful, functional, low production high quality products from us at RKA.

One last little tid bit. Kathy and I are enthusiasts and motorcyclists among other things. We still do track days on our motorcycles and actually ride to many events during the year, using the products we manufacture.

SNEAK PREVIEW ..... RKA Generation IV prototype preview
Changes are in the wind, more next month on new products coming from RKA.

Events Schedule

We'll post the offical event schedule on next months newsletter and always keep you updated here. but you can always visit the "Event/Schedules Page" on our website.

Kathy and I are still trying to connect the dots. We cannot be everywhere all at once so we have to choice.
Here is a run down on what we have been looking at. If you have a suggestion of some other events or you would like to see us at one of these events, let us know.

May 18th to 20th Overland Expo Flagstaff, AZ
May 24th to 27th WSB Miller Motorsports, Tooele, UT
May 24th to 28th 49ner Rally, Mariposa, CA
June 14th to 17th BMWRA Rally, Copper Mountain, CO
May 24th to 27th MSTA STAR, Avon, CO
July 12th to 15th Top O the Rockies, Panonia, CO
July 19th to 22nd BMWMOA NAtional, Sedalia, MO
July 26th to 29th AMA International Womans Conference, Carson City, NV
August 15th to 19th Iron Butt National, Denver, CO
October 18th to 21st Horizons Unlimited, Cambria, CA

There may be more, and we may not attend all these listed but it's a start to the yeart of travel for us so stay tuned and check back on the events page and give us feed back as to were YOU would like to see us go.
SENA Update

We have been testing the SENA products now for a while and they have moved into the second spot behind J&M for their price point and funtions.

I have been testing the SMH10 3.5 MM Adapter and the SPH10's on my bicycle and they are GREAT!!

So if you are interested in Bluetooth communications drop us a line or give us a call and we will tell you all we know.
Visit the RKA SENA Page and update yourself on the latest new stuff.
The SMH10 is a
Bluetooth v2.1+EDR Class 1
Stereo Headset with long-range
Bluetooth Intercom
designed specifically
for motorcycles
The long awaited 3.5mm adapter
for the Sena SMH10 will allow
use of any 3.5mm
in ear speakers (earbuds).
This is the accessory to have for
those who have invested in
high quality speakers
or custom molded
in ear monitors
The SPH10 is a
Bluetooth v2.1 Class 1
Stereo Headset with long-range
Bluetooth Intercom
designed specifically
for motorcycle riders
without helmet.
The SR10 is a
Class 1 Bluetooth Two-way Radio
adapter based on Bluetooth 2.1+EDR technology.
You can connect various
two-way radio devices in the market
by using SR10 and may talk
wirelessly using most any
Bluetooth headsets
in the market.

Garys Prickets very important Engineering Flow Chart
Please study this carefully there will be a test later

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This is a must read.
The Bible, Holy Grail,
The Zen of motorcycle articles
An article by
"Nick Ienatsch"
Writer, Racer, Announcer,


BMWr1200RT, R1200R, K1200GT, K1300GT, K1200S, K1200R linerbags, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, BMW, Bike to bike, intercoms, communications, CB, FRS radios, J&M, Scala, G4,
Midland, Motorola, Starcom1, Motorcycle Bluetooth headsets

Well has you can see this month's Newsletter was not so much about the stuff we sell
has to about how we make it and how we also have a little fun with life.

Hope you all enjoyed this month's newsletter has much as I did putting it together.

Ride Safe
Have Fun

See you next month
Richard & Kathy