May_June 2014
Volume 4-5 / Issue 54-55


From the desk of the Editor

Hi Gang,This does not happen very often but this Newsletter will be for MAY and JUNE.

Not for lack of material but because of too much material and no time to process it.

So one of the culprits was one of the good things, Sonomafest. The preparation for it was overwhelming organizing the ride and then setting up the display 45 miles from the RKA shop. Then it ran right into the first week of May and I had no time to work on the newsletter.

Well Sonomafest is on the other side of the schedule now. It was a great five days of racing, riding and fun and there is no way I can do it justice in this issue of the newsletter.

Special thanks to Jere Starks and Jenah Smith who run the 3J’s Trackday of Sonoma raceway for all their hard work and contributions to the Speed Way Children’s Charities and “BUDMAN” of BARF (Bay Area Riders Forum) for all his help, time, and banner space to promote the event. And a very special thanks for John Ulrich of for helping to arrange the “Pro Superbike Shootout”!! What a great thing to see the superbikes west of the Mississippi this year!
Seems there is never enough time and next year we will start early and shot for a better turnout for the ride and the overall event. There was a LOT of entertainment for very little money.

So think Social Media because I am getting a new feeling about reaching out to our friends with BLASTS for short but fun and or important information.

The only way you can do this is to subscribe to our social media platforms! So do it NOW, The RKA Newsletter is like an online monthly magazine, the social media formats are like a press release, a short BLAST out to you. The chance is you will more than likely get information you would really LIKE to get. So subscribe and sign up now!
RKA Facebook, RKA Twitter page, RKA You Tube Video Page, and the new kid on the block the RKA Luggage Blog.

So here is a little packet of things the go bump in the night.

First off I have switched to a software called “Dreamweaver” to assemble the RKA website as my FAV GoLive 6.0 finally bit the dust and will no longer work with the new operating systems. Dreamweaver for me any way is a nightmare! And I am having issues formatting and get the job done.
Anyone can see I am having formating issues with this software! ANYONE out there that knows Deamweaver HELP!!!!!

Next my dentist says I have a filling that should be done ASAP and I ignore it. So my hygienist scares me into getting the filling done. Now Roger gets the drill going and says what you never want to hear “OOPS”. I just hit the nerve so your $200.00 dollar filling is now a $2,000.00 Root canal and cap. Not only expenses we cannot afford but a wasted day in getting ready for the trip.

It gets better …. The Mercedes Sprinter needs servicing and it’s a tad overdue as we have decided not to do snowboarding with it this past winter. This also has a surprise in store needs glow plugs, and a battery cable needs replacing part $10.00 bucks labor $400.00 ;-) So they had to keep it a day or two longer and this took another couple of days out of my computer time and load time.

It gets better still …… So we do the ride Saturday and I start the trusting R1200ST and drive it into our new trailer and get the rig back home Sunday night. Monday morning I unload it to go into the garage … It will not start! The van is FULL of product so I have to trailer it into the SMALL space of my mechanic to find out a switch came lose. After another wasted day. SO back to Michael’s and load up and take home.

I am SURE I spoke of the NEW 2014 water pumper R1200RT in front of her and she said ok I will just break now. So NEVER speak of a new motorcycle in front of your old one.;-)

Letters to the editor

Richard & Kathy

Long time since I communicated with you, in fact since August 2011.  Y'all helped me out preparing for a long road trip by selling me your own set of bags to replace an older set that was well worn and small fire damage.  I gifted those to another rider getting started.  We trailer-ed out of 108 degree Texas to high 80s in Sheridan WY and then rode Chief Joseph highway to Bear Tooth to Red Lodge MT to Yellow Stone to Idaho planes and area.  5 day out of 108 temps was marvelous and the scenery was awesome.  Hoping to make a repeat visit this year from Memphis to Glacier National road to the sun.

Last weekend I made a ride to central Texas in two days, two days off and made the jump home in one day, 758 miles in 14 hours.  I know those numbers do not impress iron butt riders but it impressed my butt.

However, 7 of those hours in rain.

What is the prescribed method to clean road grunge from bags?  Otherwise they still look and function great. They are stored on my bike in garage with little sunlight.  Is it time for spray protection?

 I still thumb my nose at those ugly, small and expensive hard bags BMW put out for the K12S.  What were they thinking?

I have attached my choice pic from the 2011 ride.  My own vanity aside, your free to use if you like.
K12S in the clouds on observation corner top of Bear Tooth just about to make 4000 foot switch back drop into Red Lodge, great place.

Any future intentions to make a jumbo trunk bag like the one I cobbled to my bike?  4 days clothes and weather gear for big person like me takes a lot of room.

Thanks again
Charles Rye
Memphis TN

Big thanks…bigger grin...

Later this year we're hiring an F800GT in Spain & I've been looking at photos of the bike to see if I can figure fairly closely whether or not I will be able to mount what I have on a machine I've never touched & hoping I don't need to buy something.

So, here this morning I find your instructional video - my 15 year old RKA tank bag will mount onto a current model machine - exactly. Just sort of proves that if you do it right the first time it stays done for a long time. Thanks for one of the best pieces of gear we own & sorry for the missed sale…;-)


Hi Richard & Kathy


though you might me amused that the tankbag you sent to Tulsa OK for me in 2012,
and which I took home to Vancouver on my Triumph, is now touring NSW, Australia
on my Honda VFR800 - and it looks great on it!



Cheers ... Alan--
Alan Toft

Sonoma Raceway Sonomafest Charity Ride

Once again Mr Bob Dragich makes my story of the month an easy job. This last Month and the next THREE months are so busy I am so happy to have a rider, writer & photgrapher like Bob Dragich as a freind for over 25 years!

Richard Battles and Kathy Storin of put on another one of their epic rides May 3.
Two of the people who have tolerated me the longest, Kathy and Richard:
In 25 years of using RKA luggage, I have only needed one repair:
A mis-loaded saddle bag came in contact with the muffler on my SV650.
Kathy fixed it in under 10 minutes, smiled and said, "Here ya go."
No lecture, nothing.

Starting at the front gate of Sonoma Raceway, the ride went west through San Rafael, over the coastal hills and on to Hwy. 1.
From there it was up the coast to Marshall and back to Nicasio for lunch.
The route for the ride:
Stopping at Anderson Dam,
one of Marin County's reservoirs:
Talking with the bicyclists and explaining how we were really trying to keep out of their way on the tight and twisty downhill sections.
The stop on Panoramic Highway:
Just over the hill behind the motorcycles is a stunning view of San Francisco, Tiburon, Angel Island and most of the rest of the northern part of San Francisco Bay.
There were not one but two 2004 Aprilia Tuono Rs on the ride. One is in the foreground above.
The 2013 Triumph Daytona 675R:
One year, one month and two weeks old in this photo. 18,050 miles and hasn't missed a beat.
Lunch was at Rancho Nicasio:
Because it's at the end of Lucas Valley Road, I've probably been by it 2,000 times and never been inside.
Great food, great service.
They host a lot of concerts with nationally-known musicians, both inside and outside in the back.
Here's blues guitarist Tommy Castro performing there:
Wayne Chen of Adaptive Technologies from SoCal was along for the ride.
Adaptive Technologies makes the world's #1 motorcycle-specific radar detector
And they recently released a line of electro-luminescent riding gear called GlowRider
Check it out:

Again, many, many thanks to:

Bob Dragich

2014 events ... Plan ahead

The last week of May Kathy and I head to Birmingham and the BMWRA rally to start the “RKA 2014 SUMMER TOUR”.
If you are out touring or happen to attend one of the events and can stop and visit with us please do.
Kathy will fly in and out for the bigger events but I will be out on the road until the very end of July.
For more information click hereWe are sure you are planning for your own tour this summer.
So please order your luggage as soon as possible.
We are stocking and loading the Sprinter and trailer and since it will be like a self-contained freighter out on the sea,
the rig will need to be restocked between events.
So the shop will be in short supply as we try to keep up production.
So order NOW!

Here is a great offer.
RKA is taking Pre-Orders and Appointments for installation at our summer events

for all the 2014 SENA products!!! Make an appointment for your RKA luggage purchase and installation, or order your VEGA Stealth F117 or Summit III Modular in the size and color you want,

Order your Adaptiv TPX radar or SENA headsets and accessories and you will KNOW they will be there for you at the event!

Just call Richard and Kathy, tell them what you want where you want to pick them up, a small non-refundable deposit and you are done!
Click here to see our websites schedules page, then bookmark it as it will be updated often.

NEW Products.
DO not have time to tell you all about these in the newsletter so here are the links or at least what I can say here


We have a LOT of 660’s and 665’s with us on our tour.
All I can say is ….. It is the ONLY way to go if you are riding a motorcycle. YES they cost an arm and a leg BUT. Do it right and step up to the plate ;-)
The unit does FIVE things that are important to motorcyclists…
1: Navigation,
2: Weather Radar
3: MP3 Player
4: Phone connection
5: XM radio (665)
This leaves profiles on your Bluetooth headset for other things!

VEGA F117 Carbon / VERTICE

VEGA as introduced two of the best helmets in the industry at the best possible pricing!!
Check them out!

HELITE (webpage coming soon)

This is an Air-Bag vest from France and we have the opportunity to show America this system FIRST!
Knut from Maxmoto is the USA distributor and we have product on board the rig as I type!
The RKA-Helite webpage is not finished yet but I will get it up ASAP.
We will be “inflating” a vest up at the rallies and events this summer so come and see what it can do to save your ass in 8 milliseconds!

Sale items worth repeating this month
New Vega Products Coming Soon, On going sale,

There is new products coming so the 2013 line of modular helmets is on sale.

Anti-Fog MSRP $ 27.99
RKA SALE $ 20.00 IN STOCK ONLY with helmet purchase
Smoke MSRP $ 19.99 RKA SALE $ 12.50 IN STOCK ONLY

Call for colors and sizes, these are the NEW in the box colors in stock...
Gloss Black, Pearl White, Silver and Titanium

VEGA 3.0 MSRP $179.99
RKA SALE $100.00
Candy Red, Hi-Vis Yellow

BY the time you read this they may be gone so take a look at the NEW VERTICE!!! It is BY FAR the best value in the induxtry right now!!
See ya on the road!

In order for RKA to get out to more folks in this new world of social media
please Click on the "Subscribe" to our Newsletter link, Facebook and You Tube links above and .....
"Like" us, "Friend" us, "Share" us, "Comment" about us.
We want ALL your friends and all their friends to visit TANKS!
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

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