July 2017
Volume 40 / Issue 90
Products History Gallery Instructions Events Reviews Terms Contact Dealer

Who is RKA?
Click Here

Check out RKA's NEW VIDEO FUN page
"Click Here"

Visit our

Join us on

Make it easy with
Gift Certificates
Click Here

Click on this QR code link,
Scan it and join our email list

Click here
to text us a request

From the desk of the Editor

This is a very interesting Newsletter, it is about "LIFE", DEATH", and Having fun on that journey ...... Kathy and I hope you enjoy it.

Written by Kathy.

Mom took her last breath 12:30 PM Sunday June 25th, although sad we are relieved she is now no longer struggling.

Richard's daughter, Ellen, came last Thursday from the east, the 22nd as planned months ago. She and I had two very good days with her. Saturday she ate, wheeled around in the garden, did a little PT and she SANG.(thought I would never hear that again). She stayed up talking all afternoon.  

What a gift. We saw her early in the morning and knew she was ready to go. Howie (Richard’s step Dad) came so we went back home so he could have alone time.

Richard had seen her the previous Tuesday, then left for Oregon and came back Sunday morning. Howie, Twain (Richard’s baby brother) and his girl-friend were with her at the end. We were there shortly after. Carolyn (Richard’s youngest sister) came a little later.

So good to have family to cry, hold and laugh with.
Those of you that knew her, know our Mom loved all the times she had with our friends. 

Love always
Kathy, Ellen, & Richard

Mom and my little Sister
Mom and my Daughter
Mom and my Daughter,
Howie (my Stepdad) and Christina my brothers girl friend
Mom and my Daughter
Mom and my Daughter and Kathy
In memory of her we would like to share this great video from her Senior Idle win..

Published on Jun 9, 2011
Jeannie Harris performs "Life is a Cabaret" at the Cascade Theatre 2011!
Don't foget to click on FULL SCREEN, Mom was a full screen type of person!

John Day

After spending All of Tuesday with Mom I left at 3 AM Wednesday and headed to John Day, Oregon, 400 miles north, arriving about noon.
Got setup and had a nice three days with the Chief Joesph Rally, Oregon gang.

Did my Communications and Video 101 seminars.

Shut down Saturday at about 2:00 PM so I could get back to Redding as Kathy had picked my Daughter up at the Redding airport Thursday to see Mom.
Kathy was to leave Sunday but since the situation changed she stayed and left for home and work early Monday and I stayed until Tuesday to take Ellen back to the airport.

For reference Mom is in Redding California 200 miles from Windsor.

WIndsor Green
The best way to mourn is to celebrate we think, so Kathy donned a set of butterfly earrings from Mom and we headed down to the Town Green for Thursday night music. It was Salsa night and I took my new camera to shoot some shots. Kathy and the REAL dancers are in the last few photos.

New Luggage / New Seat / New Communications Options

My new premium color luggage!
YOU can personaloze your luggage also!!!
This is our IN-Charge
5 liter tankbag Shown with the Snow Lizard phone case.
This is our IN-Charge
5 liter tankbag Shown with the Snow Lizard phone case.
This is our IN-Charge
15.5 liter tankbag Shown with the Snow Lizard phone case.
The 15.5 liter bag is to large for most riders.
YES it does touch the handlebars on lock to lock.
BUT it is my personal long distance tankbag!
See the lock to lock video

So along with the Tankbags, Rackbag and Seatbag ya see I also got the beautiful liners Kathy made for me, so guess what? My Ludicous finished and lined LIKE NEW liners are for sale!!!

MSRP $240.00 Richard's "move them along" price is $185.00 That's the regular liner price for the Ludicous style!!!

Call now!!! 707 836 7659 or email me to lock in on them, richard@rka-luggage.com ;-)

My NEW Corbin seat

Kathy's first ride 1985
Corbin Seat



Getting started

Fine tuning

The wizards

The wizards

The wizards

The wizards

The NEW Sparrow

The NEW Sparrow

The NEW Sparrow

The Cafe

See them at SLC!

Come to my seminars to find out

WMA3000, What is it?

Audio Adapter, What is it?

iPhone 7 Adapter, What is it?

What's a driver?

What's a driver?

What's a speaker?

What is it?

What is it?

What is it?
We have had many discussions lately about where the NEW riders will come from.

It all seemed to come together,

Brian Rathjen’s editorial last month in Backroads Magazine about young riders hit home when TWO riders showed up at the 49ner rally with young riders. I asked the riders to send me a story of their experiences.

I want to personally thank Todd, Katherine, Peter & Dane for taking the time to write these little short stories.
Todd is a new customer this year and Peter .... wellllll .... Peter as been around so long I have his card memorized.

Here is the Backroads editorial and the two stories.
July Is Take a Kid for a Ride Month!

The ongoing discussion among riders and in the motorcycle industry is how do we get new riders to join our ranks.

Surely women have been the biggest recruits over the last many years – but we still need more young people – boys and girls, men and women - to slip on a helmet, zip up a jacket and slide into the saddle.

How do we bring in this much needed new blood?

In my mind the truth is rather sad.

It seems that kids these days are not all that fired up about getting out on the road themselves in cars, much less on motorcycles.,The instant gratification, Uber-chauffeured kids of today seem too busy looking at their phones to ever be looking out a helmet visor.

Still, this conversation repeats itself each time I get together with other riders and people deeply involved and invested in today’s motorcycle industry. How can we entice young riders? How can we spread our gospel?

I think the most basic answer is the easiest and maybe the most fun.

How did you first get into riding? I bet someone, somewhere took you for a ride.

Scary to think that it has been some 47 years since I, a young kid of maybe 13, walked up to make friends with the guy who owned the ‘motorcycle’ in my neighborhood in Woodside, Queens. It was a blue Honda CB360 that a local guy owned and parked on the street; and it stood out to me every time I rode by on my bicycle.

One warm Saturday in the spring I spotted this guy washing and waxing and I was eager to lend a hand. My payment? He tossed me a spare helmet and took me for a ride on the Honda to McDonald’s on Astoria Boulevard for burgers.

To me this seemed like riding around the planet - and it was life changing for me. Who could know where this ride, this one kindness to a kid, would really go.
Sitting pillion that day everything that I would grow to love about riding hit me for the very fist time. The wind, the noise, the leaning, the acceleration and the fun…. especially the fun!

Over the next summer I did my best to mooch a ride every now and again from this guy. The fire had begun.

My like of motorcycles quickly grew into a passion, then something much more. And, it all started with a kid getting taken for a ride.

So, here is my proposal – Take a Kid for a Ride!

Find a child (appropriate age, size and self-awareness needed) and see if they want to go for a ride.
We all now how motorcycles can perform - so show restraint. We don’t want to scare anyone, but rather entice the kids to want to ride again - to have them get off the bike and start having their own two-wheel daydreams.

Odds are that if everyone reading this took an opportunity to share their love of riding with a few kids one or two of them will get it. Some of them won’t – but that is how the numbers of the world work. This is why you are putting miles on your motorcycle while others are going to play bridge.

Here is a thought. July can be “Take a Kid for a Ride Month.” More than just a day, it gives you four weeks to find a child, or person for that matter (doesn’t have to be a kid), and take them for their first ride.

A safe, sane and enjoyable ride.

Go to lunch. Ride around the lake. Take that niece or nephew for a quick spin at the family barbeque.

Take a kid for a ride!

The best way to encourage more people to join us is to let them experience it for themselves and taking a kid for a ride is a great way to start.

Brian Rathjen / Backroads Magazine

The Todd & Katherine

Nor Cal 49er Rally from a Different Perspective.

Katherine Cotta is a 16-year-old girl from Central California. She is Home Schooled and attends West Hills College.

Several weeks before the semester ended at my community college, my dad, Todd Cotta, asked me if I was interested in going to a BMW 49er Rally with him in Mariposa on the 25th of May. I thought it would be a fun experience. I didn’t know what to expect, since this was the first time either of us had gone to a rally like this. I went because I love traveling and visiting places that I’ve never been seen. I personally enjoy the process of camping and being disconnected from everything but the atmosphere around you.

Loading the bike was a bit of a challenge, I wanted to bring our large North Face tent, and my dad loaded some of his camera equipment. Along with three nights worth of clothes, we brought two Helinox chairs and a small table and some snacks. The panniers BMW 1200 GSA held our clothes. I sat behind my dad on the bike, the tent was secured to my right, sleeping bags, air mattresses and Helinox chairs in a bag to my left. Behind me was camera equipment, snacks and everything we had leftover. There was no room to spare, everything had a place and everything was tied down with bungee cords before we were on the road.

The ride to Mariposa was nice; I definitely felt secure with the bags around me. My dad and I both agree that traveling is so much more immersive when you’re on a bike with the wind in your face. If I had gotten bored in a car I would have pulled out my phone and ignored everything. However, on a motor-cycle you can’t ignore your surround-ings. All of the sights and smells are in your face.

Once we got to the fairgrounds my dad and I started to set up camp with our North Face tent. It didn't take us too long, and afterwards we set up the Helinox chairs that wehad with us and hung out for the rest of the day. Our first night we ate at a local restaurant called Happy Burger; we both got milkshakes and split a hamburger.

The next morning, the both of us headed off to the Yosemite National Park on Friday at 6am. The morning air was crisp and cold as we drove up the mountain. There were patches of snow as we were nearing Glacier Point, but luckily where wasn’t any ice on the way up, just puddles of water. By the time we reached a viewing station my hands were stiff and shaking from the cold air through my gloves. The sights were breathtaking. We saw half dome and could hear three waterfalls from where we were standing. I’m glad we got the chance to leave so early in the morning, because by the time we left the crowds had started rolling in. It was enchanting being able to stroll through the forest on the bike as we visited Glacier Point and Bridal Veil Falls. That night my dad and I went into town and picked up a pizza from Pizza Factory. When waiting for the trolley that took us back to the fairgrounds we went window shopping. We looked through an art gallery and a couple of clothing shops. With only a population of over 17,000 in the County of Mariposa (as of 2014) you can imagine it is a fairly small town.

I met some really great people at the rally. It was nice how everyone connected with a shared love of motorcycles and traveling. My dad talked about a trip he took up theWest coast last year, as other people shared their stories. While we were there we listened to a few seminars at the rally. From video equipment for motorcycle videoblogging to two women and their 24,000 mile trip across the United States and Canada, the seminars were all engaging and informative. It was interesting hearing other people’s stories and struggles on their adventures.

There were several events while we were there. Just outside of our campsite, was a football field which held a skills course. On Saturday morning, some attendees were able to practice on the course with instructors. They would go one at a time slowly driving around cones without letting their feet touch the ground. Later that same day there was an Asphalt Challenge Race. It was held in the parking lot in front of the rally on the asphalt. Again the racers would go one at a time on the track, weaving through cones, trying to make it through a figure eight in a tight rectangle, stopping then driving across two-by-fours laid on the ground. At the end the driver would park his bike by a post and run to the “finish line”. Most of the people competing drove a BMW GS, so it wasn't surprising seeing some of them touch the ground, and in a couple cases, lose their balance and lay their motorcycle

The people at the rally were really great. I spoke to riders from all over California even some from and out of the state. Some brought their wives and children with them, either on a bike or motorhome. It was so cool seeing other women riding up on their own bikes with their family and friends. Al-though there were more men than women at the rally, the community there inspired me to want to learn how to ride a motorcycle. There was this sense of community all around. Everyone had a story to be
told. Even with the vendors you could see that they genuinely wanted to make riding your bike a better experience. There was a team of people making handmade, custom seats for the motorcycles. Lights, earplugs, riding gear all had their own booths. My dad got a pair of custom fit riding pants that he can wear over his clothes. Just before we left he picked up a Sena Prism Tube camera from RKA’s stand there as well.

It was a very fun event, and I’m glad I had the chance to go. It gave my dad and I a chance to spend time together and take a break from our daily grind. I would definitely go again next year if I have the chance.

Peter & Dane

Motorcycling with Grandpa

My 10 year old grandson Dane & I are standing in the RKA booth at the 2017 Norcal BMW 49r rally doing what Richard enjoys immensely, handing over my Visa card.  We’re getting a Sena headset installed in Dane’s helmet, both of us excited about this big upgrade.  We chat with the ever pleasant Kathy as the ‘master’ effortlessly installs the unit and synchs it to my helmet.  

So, how did we get here?  Aside from the obvious, via motorcycle, there’s a bit more to the story …

Three years ago, June 2014, my oldest son & his wife let me take Jaden,  Dane’s 5 year older brother, for a multiday camping ride from Grass Valley CA to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula .  We camped in great spots, saw amazing sights, dodged a few deer and had a superb trip.  Jaden was 12 at the time, tall enough to reach the pegs on my BMW R1200RT, funny enough to keep me in hysterics and just great company.  He enjoys the thrill of riding fast and often prodded me to amp it up a bit, although with precious cargo, I kept everything in check.  After this great trip, it was clear to me that I had to do more of this with the kids.
The following summer was 8 year old Dane’s turn for a long ride.  We decided to go to the Chief Joseph Rally in John Day, OR and my riding buddy Nick joined us for the ride.  The two of them shared their affliction with knives and fire starters and compared equipment while Nick shared his extensive back country camping knowledge.  A great trip up was followed by a great time at a superb rally. Dane is a very engaging little guy, very sure of himself and enjoys meeting and making friends with new people.  He particularly enjoys messing with folks that think he’s a girl because of his long hair. 

The summer of 2016 was Jaden’s turn for a ride and we decided to go to the wonderful Red Rock Rendezvous in Panguitch UT.  We traveled with 5 other bikes, a large but excellent group.  We saw some beautiful country and had an amazing time.  Jaden and I even won door prizes at the rally.  One of his more amusing observations was how often he heard “huh?”, “what?”, “say that again” (listen for it on your next trip, haha).  I reminded him about the need for ear plugs as all our ‘seasoned’ long distance riding buddies were yelling back & forth.  Once again, Jaden proved to be great company and made lots of friends along the way. 

So now it’s May of 2017 and we’re on our way to the 49r rally in Mariposa CA.  After multiple trips, we all know the program and it’s getting easier to do.  Finding adequate protective gear for the boys remains a big challenge but we manage.  Dane’s grown enough now that we no longer need wood blocks on the passenger pegs and his hair is even longer, furthering the boy/girl confusion in which he revels.  The rally should be a blast with the English Trials, live music, bike shows and even a GS Giants competition.  On the way to the rally, we went through Yosemite for Dane’s first visit.  We got to experience the park waterfalls unlike anything I had seen in all my many previous visits.  Water everywhere, it was spectacular!  We were screaming to each other “Look over there!”  “Look up there!” until we were hoarse.  Fortunately the solution was literally right around the corner and we headed straight for the RKA booth.

Walking away from the booth with our helmets on, talking effortlessly to each other was really special.  The next day’s poker run was fabulous with our new ability to easily talk to each other.  We had a great ride home on Monday and very much enjoyed the ability to talk about all the sights & smells along the way.

I can say without a doubt that the opportunity to ride with a new generation of riders has brought an additional level of enjoyment to my riding.  Find a son, daughter, granddaughter, grandson or friend’s child and take them on a motorcycle adventure.  You won’t regret it.  It’s not easy to properly plan rides that are enjoyable for you and the kids , while keeping everyone safe and comfortable.  When you pull it off, it’s really wonderful and will create lifetime memories for you and the little one.  You may even create a new enthusiast.  After all, somebody needs to fill in behind us outbound rockers so that Kathy & Richard have some new customers.  Ride safe & long, see you on the road.

Some thoughts about riding with young ones (in no particular order):

  • Rallies are great destinations.  Lots of entertaining things to do, great people and a safe place
  • Use soft foam ear plugs to protect their hearing and ingrain the habit early in their riding career
  • Good protective MC gear is very difficult to get for smaller kids.  Consider kids leather chaps, leather jackets with off-road protective crash pads underneath.  Inexpensive motocross boots are readily available in kid sizes to provide superb foot & ankle protection.  Buy them large and maybe get more than 1 season’s use.
  • Get a bluetooth communication setup in your helmets so you can talk about needs, concerns and point out the great sights along the way.  The alternative is agreed upon hand signals.
  • Before taking a long trip, go for a short (close to home) overnight to test out your program – camping gear, eating, bathroom program, riding gear, attitude, acceptable riding speeds, etc.
  • Start with low daily mileage (<200 mi) and work your way up as the situation allows.  You want them to look forward to getting back on the bike the next morning  vs. dreading it.  My guys and I have done 400 mile days with no problems at all, but we’ve been doing this a while.
  • The boys love and collect knives so each gets a new knife from grandpa for the trip.  This serves as a memento of the trip but also gets put to good use for carving wood and to cut all the things that inevitably need cutting.
  • Make sure your passenger is comfortable on the bike and feels secure.
  • NEVER scare your passenger.  It’s a very easy way to turn someone off to motorcycles forever
  • Kids fall asleep on the back (so does my wife).  Keep alert for the signs.  A helmet communication system really helps to stay on top of this common issue
  • Get quality, comfortable camping gear so they sleep well at night.  The mornings will be much better
  • Bring something other than coffee, beer and brown liquor to drink.  Remember, there’s a kid with you.
New customer luggage photos
We do ALL motorcycles. Not just BMW. These are just some of the latest photos.
Check out the "Photo Gallery"

Happy Maps
Published on Jan 6, 2015
Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along


Let us know what you want ......PRE-ORDER ….. Please call or email us as soon as possible
We will get you on our “PRE ORDER” list for the BMW National Rally.
You can preorder ANYTHING with NO immediate pre-payment! Just order by giving us a call,

RKA will install headsets, connect devices, and have the lowest price guarantee in effect!

Here are some things that may interest you:

IN-Charge Tankbag:

Pre-Order your IN-Charge Tankbag.
There are almost endless addons for the IN-Charge tankbag.

RKA is now offering a couple of essential addons to our IN-Charge tankbag solution making it even more complete for your needs.

Now you can add a two port USB connector for $27.95,

You can add the flat surface X-Grip for $25.49

For you iPhone 6 & 7 owners,

$149.00 gets you a Snow Lizard protective case that is also solar powered and has a 4,000 mAh amp backup battery

SPlugs ….

A money back guarantee makes these earbuds a no brainier.

$135.00 for single drivers (speakers) and $230.00 for dual drivers (speakers)

Adaptiv Pro 3.0 TPX Radar Detector $399.00, and the 2.0 $279.00.
Wayne from Adaptiv will be at our booth to set you up with everything you need

Snow Lizard iPhone 6 & 7 protective case

Nanotips, allows you to use your phone with your gloves on

NEW Zega Touratech hard case liners

NEW GSA design features Hardcase liners

GTL/2014 up RT Plush Ludicrous liners

Warm & Safe heated electric clothing


2017 schedule is posted on our Event/Schedule page.
The BMW National. We will have the big rig right in front of the "Grand Room" The main indoor vendor area with a outside 20x40 display.

DO NOT forget "Horizons Unlimited" in September. Could be the best, most fun rally you go to.


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

Friends Of RKA