February 2016
Volume 24 / Issue 74
Products History Gallery Instructions Events Reviews Terms Contact Dealer

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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,
From the desk of the Editor

Hi Gang,

Hope you all in the snow banks and flooding are ok and dug out and dry!

I know a lot of you are engineers so I know you are ok.
When engineers go camping.

Our Newsletters have a lot of technical advise to try and help you all out, and we hope that this feature makes you decide on where you purchase your next wonderful device.

But what we really do is for 30 years we have been manufacturing luggage right here in the USA in our Sonoma County shop.
“So I went to visit Mom” is about devices and setups but remember the whole story begins with the RKA IN-Charge MADE IN THE USA Tankbag.

The articles include:

"Possible Fix" is about helping you figure out issues, sometimes before you even know you have them.
"Customer Comments" area tells it all.
"The video sections" below are helpful fun and serious for your enjoyment.
We have a "guest story" once in a while also.
"The schedule" will tell you where to see us.
And of course the ever funny “Life Explained" series

Did you know we have Gift Certificates?
Not sure the year model or tankbag / luggage to get for that special occasion.
Just purchase a Gift Certificate!

Got a Bluetooth Device?

This is a mandatory read .... Firmware 1.6 update

Why register your SENA device? Why update your firmware?

You need to make sure ALL your devices are updated with the latest firmware.

Devices are getting more connectivity and with that comes more firmware, updates and new rules.


Because we all now can connect :..…….. Your Headset to your handlebar remote control, GPS voice navigation, Smartphone, music XM, MP3, Pandora, iHeart and more, an FRS, CB or even ham radio, radar detector audio, the SENA PRISM camera, and get this …….. You can turn it off and on, single shoot, burst mode and video record start and stop with the push of a button!

THINK, about not too long ago when you had to rotary dial your big black desk phone!
Does anybody remember what a phone booth looks like?
Things and times are NOT a changing, they have changed and will continue to!

Updating literally gets you a NEW device for nothing.
Have you really ever thought about that?

THINK, remember back in the 90’s when the VHS & Hi8 video cameras were $2,500.00 and then when you got back from vacation yours is now $500.00 and the NEW one is $2,500.00 with new features you can’t do without?

So recently on the way to the forum (pun intended) an interesting thing happened.

A customer stopped by the shop and we were setting up his RT that was JUST LIKE MY OWN SETUP.
Everything worked fine but when we put the iPhone 6 in the loop everything started going funny.

We “factory reset”, “Cleared” everything and tried every combination time and time again.
Then finally as a last resort I hooked up Kathy’s phone and then my phone. They both worked fine! So we had narrowed it down to the phone which is the very last thing anyone wants to blame an issue on.
So we had our customer call SENA and APPLE.
An Apple support person answered first and the nice lady said ….. “O ya, the latest IOS may load “sideways” and mess up… specifically affecting … Bluetooth headsets, so you need to remove it and reload it again”. So we said to her …. THANKS for the heads-up! So the IOS gets updated and now after TWO days of RKA support and hard work everything is Great!

It’s not over yet.

So then it comes time for me to update my iPhone 5 firmware and STILL everything is working fine.

Everything on my communications system is working great and that’s a lot of stuff.

NOW SENA introduces Firmware 1.6 for the 20s with DUAL Stereo capabilities!

So what do I do? Read up on what it does and how it works (another article)
I clear everything, BMW module, Nav V, SR10, RC, SENA Headset, iPhone CLEARED!

Start testing different scenarios with Mobile phone pairing A2DP, Second mobile phone pairing, GPS Navigation pairing, HFP for phone only connectivity.

All this connects my BMWR1200RT’s Bluetooth module, Nav V, Phone to the Nav V, SR10 Bluetooth Radio Adapter, PRISM Camera, Remote Control.

Confusing right? With the NEW 1.6 20S firmware it allows different ways to do these connections depending on your preferences of how you want to make phone calls or how you want to listen to TWO A2DP devices when you want.

So after some testing that gives radical results I start to narrow it down to the basics.

I connect my iPhone to my SENA 20S and I get AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Nice, no music no intercom just AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
After clearing and reconnecting two or three times I conclude it is my phone.

I update my Apple IOS firmware and start over.
(During the update I noticed I had more than likely pulled the plug on the phone the first time before the update was finished!)
Guess what? After updating everything works.

We want to help you.
We want to help you make everything work.
We want your 21st century communications system be enjoyable for you.

For RKA to give you proper support, YOU need to be prepared to accept our help by preparing your devices.


Possible Fix

I have had sporadic issues with making and receiving phone calls since we updated to 1.6.
When making and receiving calls I could hear but my transmit did not work. In other words, the other party could not hear me.

I am not saying this is everybody’s issue and I am not saying this is a 100% fix for anything All I am saying that it worked for me. And it is a iPhone 5 fix and not tested on any other iPhone or Android.

I rooted around in the iPhone settings and found a “Call Audio Routing” setting” Follow the images if you want or need to try it.

Go to Settings
Go to General
Go to Accessibity
Go to Call Audio Routing
Change from Auto
to BT Headset

Customer Comments

Kathy, I received my order Friday, got it put on and wired up. Took it for a little 150 miles test ride. Works great.
Thank you,


Good morning Richard,

Just wanted to say thanks for all of your help. The dealer that I bought the U-clear from allowed me to return it in I'll pay the difference up to 500 bucks for a dual Sena20 S and they got it the next day and this weekend my wife and I got to ride with them. They were perfect. I was kind of stuck having to buy it from them and I tried to talk them into just giving me a refund so I can try to buy them from you . I definitely enjoyed the merchandise that you have for sale and will be buying some stuff from you as soon as I get some of this other stuff paid for. It was the first time for my wife to ride so a lot of fun I haven't her on the back and being able to talk with you and being able to hear her be excited about what she was seeing. Here's a couple pictures of us at the bypass in the great Smoky Mountains national Park in Gatlinburg Tennessee. 

John C

Thanks Richard.

Yeah I was a bit concerned the small bag would be too small so I appreciate the honesty. Here are a couple of shots of my bars to give you an idea regarding the ram balls. I said mirrors and then realised that wouldn't make sense, I mean clutch and brake perch, I use them for aux mirrors.



As usual, you folks make an excellent product!
I'm very pleased with the 18 ltr Star II fit on my Yamaha FJ-09.
That bag is a perfect size, nice balance of volume VS not too big on bike.
Thanks for allowing a January delivery on your December sale price.
This is the 12th RKA luggage I've bought, I'm addicted. :-)

Greg Henderson.

Hi Richard,

I got a call from a resident at 14 Eastern Point Road saying they had found my package.  It’s a duplex so for the last few days they each thought it was for the other.  When neither picked it up, one of them took a closer look.  She tracked me down and I picked it up this morning.

The liners are beautiful!  Everything I expected. Great quality and the color really fits with the BMW.  Kathy helped me select the royal blue with silver piping.
I have a factory (expensive!) tank bag, but may be saving up for one of yours at some point down the road.

Thanks for helping out on this.

Best regards,


Read your write up on the heart issues last evening and will re read.
Quite a lucky story.
Thanks telling the story on your site.
You’re riding friend is a very observant guy.
Happy New Year !

Tom Grossman

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So I went to visit Mom.

I decided to take a little trip to Redding, California to visit my Mom. She will be 90 this year!

There was a BIG storm coming across northern California and Redding was in the bull’s eye. If I started the 4-hour trip at the right time and if I could thread the needle I would not get wet.

I could get there about a half hour before it starts pouring and leave in two days after it passes.
Well the plan almost worked as I was pelted the last 15 miles but I had it figured out pretty close, Mom had the garage open and I pulled right in outta the rain.

So this was obviously a great testing ride and to have some fun with all the SENA Bluetooth devices and features.

Do you remember when you had to call home from a phonebooth?
Do you remember when you had maps but still had to ask the gas station attendant (Who is that?) for directions?
Do you remember trying to find a radio station in the middle of nowhere?
Do you remember tapping on your tank to get your buddy to stop for fuel and other interesting hand signals?
Do you remember how you took photographs and movies if at all?

IN the photo gallery below you can see the individual items marked with red arrows. NO OTHER Bluetooth headset can connect to ALL these devices at once.

BMW Module, Navigator V, iPhone to Nav V, make and receive calls, Can listen to XM, Pandora, Audio Books, Aux USB Port, Remote control, SR10 for Radar and CB radio (Always fun talking to the truckers), PRISM camera,

Although in this scenario I have my iPhone hard wired to the BMW AUX input.
With the NEW ver 1.6 firmware update you can now connect to TWO A2DP stereo devices!

Lastly, my headset is connected to Kathy for bike-to-bike Bluetooth communication, but she was not on this ride.

LIke I said in my editorial it all begins with the luggage.

Different Radar Location
What's with the phone?
The plugs
top compartment
main compartment
Control Box
inside Control Box

See It IS Raining
Full Monty
New locations for devices
BMW Module
Remote Control
Inside bag
Waterproof Radar

TPX Visual Alert
Midland 75-822 CB
CB PTT Button
Charging / Audio

VIDEO to make you cry

Donor Video
So I forgot to remove my ID holder from my bicycle jersey and it got washed.
Kathy sat it all out on the dining room table to dry.

My Starbucks emergency fund, personal credit card, Bicycle club card, Gym card, driver’s license,

Kaiser card, and still stuck to the back of my license my “ORGAN DONOR CARD".

Then a short time later I was looking over Kathy’s shoulder has she scanned her Facebook page and I saw this:


I do not get teary eyed easily.
If you are not already, become an organ donor.

The RKA You Tube Page is now on the website

We have made it easy to find our videos by dividing them up into pages.

You can now find instructional, Bluetooth, IN-Charge applications, What to video, & How to video series right from the "Products Page".
Look for these "Camera Icons"

Here is a couple to view right away. One on helping and one for a smile.

New device manager install video

Frankie and Allez. fell a little short of going viral like we wanted but still fun, this video was done 10 years ago.

What does Bluetooth compatible mean?

So the box says “2689LMT Bluetooth® Compatible”

Read the fine print

“Sync a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as your smartphone, to nüvi 2689LMT for hands-free calling through its integrated microphone and speaker. Stow your phone in your pocket, purse or console and still make and take calls.”

Same here:
2597LMT Bluetooth® Compatible

Sync a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as your smartphone, to nüvi 2597LMT for hands-free calling through its integrated microphone and speaker. Safely stow your phone in a glove compartment, pocket or purse and still make and take calls without moving your hands from the steering wheel or your eyes from the road.

This says nothing about headsets! It is designed to use in your CAR and speak into the mic on the GPS NOT through a helmet.

THE compatible headsets that work best in our opinion is the GARMIN ZUMO 660 and 665.
Here is a few discontinued Nuvi’s that ARE headset compatible but remember they are not designed for outside usage or shocks like motorcycles deliver.

I’m just saying.

dezl 770
nuvi 765T
nuvi 775T
nuvi 785T

Bobby D

Bob D is a writer, rider, photographer, Guitar lover, and overall pretty good story teller and a friend of RKA for 30 years.

Once again, the 675R was invited to the annual North American Music Merchants show at the Anaheim Convention Center.
100,000 music industry attendees, hundreds of thousands of feet of displays (mostly guitars and related products).

Lots of interesting sights, like . . .

Famous bassist Lee Sklar (Jackson Browne) taking pictures of other people.

Also saw Peter Stroud and Johnny A.

On Friday night got invited to the Eminence Speakers 50th Anniversary party (like I actually was somebody )

Artists included (from left):
Josh Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjptN9P_c-M
Matt Schofield: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yfi9fKpm3yU
Tomo Fujita: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNIVhz_dW1k
Eric Gales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q-1KSW4BiM

Others who came up included Oz Noy, Kirk Fletcher, Dane Baker and Gary Morse.

I had never heard of Gary Morse (Brookes & Dunne) before, but check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlCvAWStZuc

On Saturday night got a chance to have dinner with an entire family of really nice people.

That's Tony Livolsi, second from right. He makes these cool knobs for amps and pedals that you can turn and lock.

From left it's his son, his wife and his sister.

Check out his sister's hair. Emmylou Harris get out of town, right?

On Sunday I got up late, stayed up too late talking with the Livolsi family the night before, put in way too much mileage at the show and was thinking about just taking Hwy. 5 home.

Here's proof that it's never a bad idea to take the coast highway. (NOTE RKA LUGGAGE ;-) )

Dinner at Pepper's Mexicali Restaurant in Pacific Grove before the last 120 miles (that's swordfish):

Not a bad weekend, to tell the truth.

Happy Birthday to my daughter and a big thanks to The Angel (still feasting on the pasta)


RKA 2016 Tentative Schedule

What is our plans for 2016?
Click Here for the actual real Schedules page.

New for you locals we will attend SRBMW’s open house on March 12th with some special deals and fun stuff.

Nothing is locked in stone yet but here is our list of places you may be able to see us at.
If you have an event to suggest let us know.

Tentative RKA 2016 Event Schedule is


Here’s the deal.
As you can see some of these events overlap or are on the same weekend. We have to connect the dots and the final plan will be on our schedules page. Also there may be more than what you see here. So once again get on that mailing list and stay in touch.
Join Our Mailing List

SRBMW Open house
March 12th
SRBMW, WIndsor, CA
MotoAmerica / MotoGP
April 8th to 10th
COTA / Austin, TX
The Quail A Motorsports Gathering
May 14th
Carmel, CA
BMW Nor Cal 49ner Rally
May 26th to May 30th
Mariposa, CA
MotoAmerica / Road America
June 3rd to 5th
Elkhart Lake, WI
June 7th to 11th
Lake George, NY
MotoAmerica / Barber
June 10th to 12th
Birmingham, AL
MotoAmerica / WSB / Laguna Seca
July 8th to 10th
Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA
Reno Rendezvous
July 7th to 9th
Reno, NV
BMW National
July 14th to 17th
Hampton, NY
Top Of The Rockies
July 14th to 17th
Paonia, CO
Wing Ding
August 31st to September 3rd
Billings, MT
Curve Cowboy Reunion
August 30 to September 3rd
Monterey, CA
August 29th to September 1st
Grand JUnction, CO
CCBMW Beemer Bash
September 15th to 18th
(Dates may change)
Quincy, CA
Horizons Unlimited
September 22nd to 25th
Mariposa, CA
October 13th to 16th
Orlando, FL
We have installed "Chat Buttons" on our website. They are at this time located at the bottom right hand corner of all pages.
Click on the "Chat.Center" icon and give us a shout. This is a perfect way to communicate with us!
We can answer questions in real time and we can direct you to other important pages or photographs etc.

Join the RKA You Tube Page
Once there click on the subscribe link.