What about Bluetooth?

The main issues we have had with bluetooth we're; BATTERY LIFE, AUDIO QUALITY, and AMPLIFICATION.
J&M Corp has figured out all three of these issues. So check out the J&M area of our website from the products page for more information.

If you are interested in a completely Bluetooth system give us a call at 1-800-349-1-RKA or drop us a line from our page.

I have personally been using my system since Febuary 2009 and I am and have been sold.
Yes it's more money than any other wired system out there, It's more than anyother bluetooth system out there.
BUT ..... It works! and it works GREAT!


Driver passenger intercom, GPS, XM, MP3, Audio books, Cell phone, Radar, bike to bike FRS radio AND/OR bike to bike CB radio.
ALL THIS with NO cables or wires coming from you helmet! Up to 31 hours of battery life, Full stereo, Full sound quality, Full amplification that will blow your ears out of your head if you choice to turn it up that much. Wear earbuds? No problem you can use your buds also if you choice.

UPDATE 09-24-09

We tested the NEW RKA handlebar bag today on the beautiful Harley show here using the
Bluetooth headsets, ............ HS-BLU277EDR-OF
Dongle, .............................. JBLU-DNG03
Harness Connection Cable .. JBLU-DNG03-CA09

Hooked up to a Zumo 550, IPhone, and FRS two way radio.

Results where UNBELIEVABLE!!! First this motorcycle has pretty much straight pipes and is LOUD, VERY LOUD! I rode the bike with our new line VEGA 3/4 helmet shown here which is a demo helmet and is two sizes to large for me! So lots of wind noise.

The whole system worked FANTASTIC, I could not turn the volume up all the way as it would have blown me off the motorcycle! We tested the ZUMO 550 nav, Cell phone, Music, & FRS radios no issues with anything at freeway speeds!

Click on any of the photos to take you to the actual "Handlebar Bag Page"

Got it? .... Questions? Of course you have them ..... Call us at 1-800-349-1-RKA or drop us an e-mail from our page.

What is an IN-Charge Series tankbag?

The "IN-Charge Series" Generation III tankbag allows you to build a motorcycle communications system in and on the tankbag
RKA has been working on this motorcycle communications system tankbag for some time.
It features a RKA designed "base plate" and "tracking plate" with "cradles" that slide left & right, for & aft ready for you to mount your devices on.
It features hidden portals on the front and rear left side of the bag that allow cables and cords to enter and exit the bag.
It features a control box inside the bag that the cables and cords reside in, keeping them hidden, out of the way.
It features a SAE to SAE cord to bring power into the bag from the 48" fused power lead that connects directly to your battery.
You can mount and power devices in and on this tankbag. Your GPS, XM radio, Radar detector, FRS radio, CB. Whatever you want up to three devices on the optional Rammount bases and cradles.
This tankbag is movable from bike to bike with the only need in common is a tankbag attachment and a fused power lead.
We also have a optional battery pack that can run the system for up to 7 hours.
Lastly RKA can build you a bag to your specs using the RKA, StarCom1, Garmin, Rammount, Powerlet, and Motorola parts we have in house.

Why is a complete system best?

RKA has researched and studied communications tankbags since 1987 having mounted CB’s, Car radios, intercoms and such in our custom made tankbags for years.
The benefits are numerous:
All your expensive equipment is in the bag and easy to remove and take with you.
You can cover it all with the raincover when needed.
Hardly any wires to attach to the moto. Power, Passenger intercom and maybe the XM antenna.
The devices ride on the smooth cushion of the tankbag rather than the harsh jolting of the handlebars or dash.
When you combine technologies of the J&M or STARCOM1, ZUMO550, FRS radio, Bluetooth phones, and Powerlet products you have a system that rises above the pack. The J&M or StarCom1 provides POWERFUL, high quality sound and with the ZUMO550 you have complete control over all functions with the touch of a finger. Bike to bike or a phone call with the push of a button.
The RKA IN-Charge Tankbag puts all these technologies together in one complete package that’s beautiful and easy to use.

What is a Starcom?

StarCom1 is a universal motorcycle communications system that can combine….
Rider to passenger hands free and natural conversation.. Just talk.
Bike to bike communication vox (voice controlled) or PTT (push to talk) with the addition of a FRS radio or CB
Stereo music, at CD quality, from any portable music system.
Mobile phone. Enjoy a normal phone conversation at speed. Totally hands free.
Satellite Navigation or radar, allows voice commands to be heard clearly
High Speed clear conversation.
Maybe most important it is an amplifier that allows you to hear everything with plenty of power, volume and quality.

What is a Zumo 550?

This is the ONLY GPS out there has far has we are concerned. Yes there are features here and there that we would like to see added but overall this is the one. This device was designed by GARMIN specifically for motorcycles. It starts by just being the good old GPS navigation device we have always wanted for our motorcycle. YES this is a waterproof, touch screen device that’s made to use with your gloves on. BUT …. This is were the ZUMO 550 begins. This GPS includes a CAR cradle with a microphone and speaker so you can move it easily from Moto to Car.

Customize your ride with the rugged zūmo 550. Designed by bikers, zūmo’s motorcycle-friendly features make it easy to operate while in the saddle. From back roads to rallies, its preloaded maps and high-end navigation features give you the freedom to go where you want.
Enjoy Bike-Friendly Design
Durable and dependable, zūmo 550 is built for motorcycles:

· Glove-friendly touchscreen with left-handed controls makes it easy to operate

· High brightness, sunlight-readable, UV-resistant display makes it easy to view your screen

· Motorcycle console for trip information, including fuel gauge to warn you when it's time to fill up

· Motorcycle mount with universal mounting hardware so you can mount it anywhere

· Included motorcycle and automotive mount (with integrated speaker) for riding or driving

· Custom caps available in a variety of colors to reflect your style

· Vibration-tested, waterproof and built with fuel-resistant plastics to withstand the elements

Navigate the Open Road

zūmo 550 comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator® NT street maps and a hefty points of interest (POIs) database, including motels, restaurants, fuel, ATMs and more. Simply enter a destination, and zūmo takes you there with turn-by-turn voice directions that speak street names. In addition, zūmo accepts custom points of interest such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs. The 550 also comes with a rechargeable, removable lithium-ion battery a for trip planning or use on foot, and even accepts additional maps.

Add Traffic, Weather and Radio

With optional XM subscriptions and an XM antenna, you can check the weather, move ahead of traffic and listen to the radio when you travel with zūmo in the U.S. As an alternative, zūmo can receive optional TMC traffic alerts (in select cities) when used with a compatible traffic receiver. Simply press a button on the screen, and zūmo recalculates your route to avoid traffic tie-ups.

Talk and Listen Wirelessly

With zūmo 550’s Bluetooth® wireless technology, you can talk on the phone safely without removing your gloves or helmet. Connect zūmo to your Bluetooth-enabled headset/helmet and cell phone to make and receive hands-free calls. You can even make phone calls to POIs through zūmo’s Bluetooth interface. In addition, zūmo transmits navigation voice prompts to your headset so you can listen wirelessly.

Plan Your Trips and Share Your Rides

Zūmo 550 makes it easy to plan your next trip and share routes with your riding buddies. Plan trips on your computer before you start. Search for food and fuel stops and local attractions. Then, transfer your route to zūmo and go.

At the end of the day, share your favorite places and rides with other zūmo riders, and review your travels in Google™ Earth. SD card expansion makes it easy for storage and route sharing. Download routes to share with your riding buddies — even load mp3 files to your unit to enjoy tunes on the road. In addition, JPEG picture viewer lets you share photos of your adventures with friends and family.

Zūmo 550: The navigator that's born to ride.

How do you want to mount devices?

RKA has designed this tankbag to accommodate your devices by mounting them ON or IN the bag.
If you want to mount things on your handlebars or dash this is defeating the propose of the bag and concept and this bag may be more than you require.

Will this system ride properly on my motorcycle?

MOST IMPORTANT is to start at the bottom with the attachment of the tankbag.

Mounting the tankbag properly is the key to the whole set up. If you follow instructions the bag will not move. Your devices will be solid and steady. If not installed correctly the bag will move from side to side and the devices will not be secure.

When the system is done properly everything rides smooth and any movement is a soft movement compared to the jolting of a handlebar-mounted unit.

Can I see my instrument panel?

Most all instruments can be seen easily or with a slight movement of your head

This of course depends on the motorcycles configuration, where the instrument panel is located and where you tankbag is located and what your seating position and height is.

The devices can be moved from side to side, fore and aft.

We are trying to get customer photos of the different motos, so check out our "Communications Page". and from there look at the Completed 2009 Generation III IN-Charge Communications Tankbags. For answers to your application issues, or better yet give us a call.

What about Speakers versus Earbuds?

This is my testimonial that I sent to “Bigearinc.com”

I am the owner of RKA.
We manufacture motorcycle luggage and sell communications systems installed in our tankbags.
I have never used ANY ear bud speakers before in my helmet. I received my “Big Ear” Stereo Earplugs.
Well they have been tested and APPROVED! Tested them on my Bicycle for a few days then went on a 2500-mile business trip with them in my ears for over 12 hours at a time and they were most comfortable. Being “in the business” you may think I am one sided or maybe got a “deal” but I want you to understand I purchased these from Ted Greene at a motorcycle event. I did not ask for a “vendor discount” nor did Ted offer one. I paid full price for the “Big Ears” and I want you to know they are worth EVERY PENNY! I found a 30 to 35 second riff at the beginning of a U2 cut that I thought was just blank space! I had never heard it before on ANY speakers!

There are considerations of course when using these fabulous units in a moving vehicle type environment. I tend to be a little long winded so for a full (Fatherly) report visit the communications page on our website at www.rka-luggage.com

Richard Battles
Owner RKA
Windsor, CA.

This is the rest of the story.

I will NEVER use the BIG EAR earbuds while riding my bicycle ever again.
Why? Because they are TOO good. They block out almost ALL outside noise.
On a bicycle this is not a good thing for sure and not really a good thing on a motorcycle.

Right up front I want to say that using any earbuds must be done with discretion. They do limit what you can hear and they may cause problems with your balance. DO NOT just put them in and go split lanes on I405 at rush hour! Us them carefully and test them before going out to far. They also take a little usage to settle into their spot and become comfortable. With that said read on.

The following is only suggestions and not meant to sway you one way or the other it is just what I think is the correct solutions.

I will explain why I have done these things down the page. There are certain issues I do not like while using the earbuds so this is what I have decided to do.

1: I have a Shoei RF1000 and this is now my around town and short run helmet and I am using the SH-004 Full Face Starcom headsets with speakers inside my helmet. I do not like the earbuds (any earbuds) while riding around town

2: I have a Nolan N-Com FULL BLUETOOTH flip up helmet I was going to sell. I decided to keep it and remove the Bluetooth unit out of it (see my take on Bluetooth below this write up) and install the Starcom PP-06 Boom mic and 3.5mm plug setup for us with my BIG EAR earbuds. This setup is for my business trips and or trips over a day or out of state etc.


The SHOEI works great for around town and the helmet is easy off and easy on with the speakers installed in the helmet. The earbuds are a pain in the butt to put in and remove from your ears everytime you stop. The sound quality with the SH-004's has always been fine with me even at speed so this scenario works fine for me.

The NOLAN is great for traveling, one, I do not have to remove it at gas stops just flip it up and have your coffee and snack If I need to remove the helmet I personally find it much easier to remove and install the earbuds with the flip up helmet. NOW UNDERSTAND I have always thought the SH-004 speakers were fine even being hard of hearing (I am way over due for a hearing aid L )


1: The BIGEAR EARBUDS fit perfectly and comfortably in your ears.
2: The sound quality is so much better it is almost unbelievable. AT 110 mph I can hear to softest sounds with the BIGEARS!
3: When using the BIG EARS I have to turn down ALL volume systems by 50%
4: My Bluetooth cell phone has always been the weak link as far as volume goes and I have had to turn it to MAX to hear a incoming call at 85mph in HIGH winds.

So the SHOEI for around town with speakers, the NOLAN for long trips using the BIG EARS.

I understand that not everyone can afford two sets of headsets and two helmets, the point is that this is the best of both worlds, YOU will have to figure out the balancing act of what you can afford and what YOU want to do.

Remember ....... Always RIDE SAFE.