AKA features World-class products by World Champions. Gil Losi, Jr. and Joel Johnson are the people originally behind AKA, and together they are some of the most winning and recognized names in r/c history. Gil is the designer of some of the most successful off-road tires for the past decade and more. The combined knowledge of these two experts means AKA has the most tire design experience under one roof than any other company in the history of r/c racing. In mid-2021, Horizon Hobby purchased AKA products broadening AKA's distribution network and other resources. AKA tires are all proudly made in the USA to ensure the best quality, consistency, and value for our customers.
Gil Losi, Jr. - As a young off-road racer in the early 80's Gil quickly established himself as one of the drivers to beat at the national level. By 1985 he had racked up several national championships, two SCORE world championships and topped it all with the 1985 IFMAR Two Wheel Drive World Championship. During this time he also ran 1/8th On-Road, his real racing passion, and was able to TQ the 1987 IFMAR World Championships. So as you can see Gil is no stranger to what it takes to go fast and win. All the time Gil was racing he was also fulfilling his desire to design and create. The first result of this was his pivot ball T-bar system still used in 1/12 scale on-road cars to this very day. Innovations like this and many others soon led to the formation of Team Losi with his father Gil Losi, Sr and Gil's appointment as Head of R&D. Gil's first full car design was the Team Losi JRX-2 and soon after that the JRX-T. Both cars had suspension systems and design elements that were like none other on the market. This type of innovation would soon become the trademark of a Gil Losi, Jr. design. Over the years at Team Losi, Gil designed the full line of Losi Natural Rubber tires including all the compounding that went into those National and World Championship tires. Other notable design accomplishment were the Hydra-Drive traction control device and the development of the first all composite injection molded chassis for 1/10 off-road. This chassis construction is still the standard today. When it comes to cars he's designed the names will be familiar to anyone that has had contact with R/C cars in the past 20 years: XX, XXT, XX4, Street Weapon, XXX, XXXT, XXXNT, XXX4, JRSX and the 8ight nitro buggy. After leaving Team Losi, Gil joined Kyosho America as Director of R&D where his years of industry experience allowed him to have a significant impact immediately on topics ranging from distribution ideas to product development. During his time at Kyosho America he co-developed the AKA brand of tires along with racing legend Joel Johnson. Gil is now a Technical Manager for Horizon's Product Innovation Team.
Joel Johnson - Involved with the hobby industry for over 30 years, Joel Johnson has seen the R/C car market develop from his first .049 powered Jerobee car in 1975 to the ultra modern designs of today. Joel was exposed to the R/C industry at a very young age due to his father's involvement in the industry since the 50's. Joel grew up behind the counter of a hobby shop and quickly became noticed as a talented on-road driver. He began winning local championships at the age of 11 and was sent to the 1981 ROAR Nationals at the age of 13 where he won two of the five classes with a second, third and fourth in the other three classes. From here the rest is history as they say. Joel went on to capture 34 ROAR National titles in many on-road classes including nitro, electric and oval. His latest came in 2007 when he won the 1/8th Open On-Road National Championship in Las Vegas. To go with his 34 National titles, Joel also won two IFMAR World Championships. His first was in 1987 with a Kyosho Ultima in 1/10 Off-Road Electric 2WD. His second was in 1992 in 1/10 On-Road Electric. In 1997, Joel graduated from San Jose State University with honors earning a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. Two years after this Joel decided to retire from full-time R/C racing after 18 years of traveling to national and world events. The years following this Joel worked in the high tech industry in Silicon Valley and New York City, but it was not long before he was back in the hobby industry. Joel served as Vice President at Kyosho America running the day to day from 2005 to 2009 and during this time was also President of Team Orion, Inc. the American arm of Team Orion. Joel orchestrated AKA's split from Kyosho and is now separated from AKA since its acquisition by Horizon.