Take me home, El Capitan!

"Gather 'round, lads.... gather 'round"...
Burt Lancaster / The Crimson Pirate (1952)

Around the 1st or 15th of each month, when I deem you are worthy, we put out our cheesy newsletter to inform the masses as to what's happening in the BMW world and of course... Pirates' Lair. How else are you going to find out?

If you want to subscribe and have these sent via e-mail to your home or office just let us know at pirate@acelink.net .. otherwise you'll get 95% of it here. Why only 95%? Because I tend to tell the brutal truth as I see it on many issues/products and while I don't mind spewing "my opinion" into your home, office or cell, I have no desire to slam, insult, or malign any company, individual, competitor in public.. unless they blatantly deserve it.

While I do try to add a little humor in every newsletter, some of my language may offend the mild mannered, politically correct, liberal, or meek amongst us. If you are offended easily I suggest you stop reading here and look elsewhere for your written info-tainment. So it is written.. so let it be done....

Prepare to be boarded!

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: April / May 2012 Issue

Fellow esteemed and quasi-esteemed motorcyclists.... ..A famous (and slightly edited ) movie moment to start the month.....

The hired professionals are getting tired of being kept in the dark about their mission.. After all.. their lives are on the line.. They want answers and now...

Sam: What's in the case?
Deirdre: That isn't necessary.
Sam: Is it heavy? is it explosive? is it a certain highly sought after cheese-filled newsletter? is it chained to some unlucky bloke's wrist? Are we gonna have to chop it off?
Deirdre: All right. But I am not under any obligation to let you know...
Sam: If not, the price has gotta go up. I'll get you the case, but the price has gotta go up. If it's gonna be a amateur night, I want a hundred thousand dollars. I want it up front. I want it in a bank account. I want another $100,000 when you get the case.
Deirdre: [after a phone conversation with someone] You'll get your money when we get the cheese..er.. I mean the case.
Sam: The others too.
Deirdre: That is what I understood. We've gotten the word.

Deirdre ..Natascha McElhone / Sam.. Robert De Niro ..   Ronin (1998)

News and Feltercarb From The Two-Wheeled No-Spin Zone...!!

Picture Of The Month! Alone Time in Illinois! (Click Image for a Larger View)

Every month customers send us killer photos and I see no reason to keep them to myself so what better way to say thanks for sharing than to post them in this Picture of the Month spot..

Our April / May POTM was contributed by .. Rob Day ..of Marshall, IL. He says of the shot... "That's Lundy Lake, California in the background. It's my "base camp" for rides like the Sonora Pass, Tioga Pass, Tahoe, Yosemite, Mammoth, etc. This was September of last year (2011). I took this with my DROID-X, which has proven to be quite a handy camera. The weather was awesome, mostly in the 60's and 70's with a very clear broken cloud cover. As is the case in the Sierras, a clear day can turn cloudy almost instantly, and then clear up and get pretty damn hot as well. On the long ride through Sonora, it was cool at the top (55-65) but over 100 in Sonora. That Sonora Pass is an absolute JOY on a bike, almost as if the road engineers built it specifically for bikers. California has at least three of the country's top ten rated biking roads, and this is one of them. "

If you would like to contribute your own"worthy" shot for our newsletter, here's what I'll need. First.. just email me 1 or 2 of your best digital shots. It'll need to be at least 1024x768 in size or larger and preferably A. Of a BMW K1200S, K1300S, K1200RS, K1200R, R Sport, S1000RR, K1600GT, GTL, or any model year K1200GT or K1300GT and B. In focus.

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------

The I-BMW 2012 Hill Country Rally!! Zero Tickets!! Fewer Molested Cattle This Year!

We hear the 2012 Texas Hill Country Rally was yet another successful, incident-free event and we've got the pics to prove it! From the reports I've read, the weather was absolutely prefect.. there was plenty of great food.. old friends.. spanktacular roads... and the hookers were noticeably better looking than last years. Isn't that what it's all about? Lots of trip reports are posted over at the quasi-sponsoring website... www.I-BMW.com We heard one unconfirmed rumor that not a single "velocity award" was achieved during the event...!!?? Can that be right?? Have we evolved into a bunch of underachievers? Say it ain't so!!

A special thanks to James Myrick and his posse who helped organize the event and all the guys at www.I-BMW.com for promoting yet another successful gathering. Wish I could have been there. Hopefully I can next year after this coming November's regime change.. It's all about the finances these days.

If interested/bored/bi-curious.. check out our Texas Hill Country Rally 2012 Photo Album. Thx to all the I-BMW.com miscreants who selflessly (and in some cases.. unknowingly) contributed photos to this year's photo album.. Muddy and IMXMAN in particular. Long live Texas!!

Show me more!!

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------

The Pirates Lair Stimulus Plan! Going Postal in Asheville

Amber and I moved to Fairview, NC (a microscopic suburb of Asheville) about 10 years ago for no other reason than I wanted to live and ride in the mountains. The area is a motorcyclist's dream with endless curves in every direction. The fact that Asheville is regularly voted in the top 3 places to live in the US doesn't hurt.

Up until about 2 years ago, Pirates Lair shipped ALL our packages from this rural area via FedEx. Both foreign and domestic. That changed virtually overnight when they cancelled our account. Inexplicably, dozens of Canadians were refusing to pay their customs fees on Pirates Lair orders and rather than FedEx pursuing them as is their responsibility, FedEx kicked those fees back on us. I refused to pay the multi-thousand dollars owed, told them to shove their $5000+ a month account up their ass, then switched to the USPS. Little did I know at the time that this move would profoundly change the lives of so many locals and the small town in which we live.

About a year ago, after reading in the local papers that hundreds of small post offices around the US were being closed (including 4 in the surrounding counties) due to lack of revenue, cost cutting, or simply government ineptitude, I spoke to our local postmaster to see if their heads were on the chopping block. I was getting worried that we'd have to find yet another shipping method for transporting our Solent Green. As we'll never go back to FedEx without a huge apology (and a BJ from the company CEO) so if our local USPS branch closed UPS would be our next choice followed by DHL, I guess. What he told me caught me by surprise.

He said that the Fairview branch post office had been on a list of facilities due to close and then virtually overnight, revenue increased by almost 3000%. This sudden windfall must have thrown a red flag to the bean counters in Washington as shortly thereafter, big brother sent down a postal numbers guy to check the books to make sure something fraudulent wasn't going on. I would have assumed that these days they'd be used to (and accepting of) fraud in government, but I digress.. . Anyway... after a serious scrutinization they determined that the financial infusion at the Fairview branch could be attributed to a single, new cash cow in town called... Pirates Lair.

Our postmaster flat out said.. "without your buisness..we would have closed our doors, all our employees would have either retired or relocated or been out on the street and hundreds of patrons would have to drive to the next county's branch for service." Wow! He also said their six (post-middle aged) employees had already been sweating bullets about having to start looking for another job in this economy. FYI.. the unemployment rate in NC is over 12%. The writing was on the wall.. and there were a lot of 4 letter words in it.

Since their death-row reprieve, the staff at the Fairview post office now treats us like royalty. They make two stops at our front door daily. Pick-up and drop-off. They call us if something comes in that we might need or want.. even after hours.. They hand deliver supplies when we ask. It's a symbiotic relationship that works pretty good.

A few weeks ago I was talking to our main delivery person and he casually asked how business was. I honestly told him that if the economy doesn't turn around, we'd be lucky to be in business 24 months from now. He paused and looked shocked as if he'd just heard Chuck Norris was gay then asked... "Is there anything we can do to help keep you in business?" I said "please ask everyone down there to vote against Obama in November." He smiled and said.."Hell.. we'd all planned on doing that anyway."

Postscript: I should add that even with the multi-thousand dollars Pirates Lair pushes their way each month .. I have no doubt that the Fairview post office is still losing money. It is after all... a government agency being run by overpaid beurocrats who have zero incentive to be cost effective or competitive .. ie.. to run things efficiently. I'm sure there's a magic number on a piece of paper somewhere that somebody came up with that if you drop below it.. they close their doors.. stay above it and the doors stay open. It has nothing to do with profit. We carried that number far enough to the right to keep the doors open.. not into the black. Remember.. "failure" in government is simply a reason to double down and keep doing exactly what you've been doing.. except with better advertising and more speeches.

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------

Rewarding Bad Behavior at the 2012 I-BMW Rallies: Arrrrrr

When the economy tanked a few years ago, due in no small part to the fiscally irresponsible oafs in Washington, the Pirates Lair allocation of rally freebies suffered some serious "shrinkage" so we stopped giving out stuff for a while... If only Washington would do the same... but I digress.

As some of you may remember.. at some of the past I-BMW rallies, Amber and I gave out kickstand pads, tees, or hats to rally attendees who achieved a "velocity award".. i.e. a speeding ticket while at our humble little gatherings. Our way of sayin "top o the world, ma!" to those less restrained than myself and also as a way of hopefully turning that post-PoPo encounter frown into a smile...  Unlike other vendors (or our government), we rarely just gave away stuff for showing up as any chimp can do that...

Now that the Obama stimulus has turned things around.. (Bwwaaaaah!)... we're gonna start handing out "Velocity Award" freebies for the next few big I-BMW events including THCR, BRPR, SGR, and DGR. Amber and I will be offering the victim.. er.. winner their choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a velocity award while in transit to or from or at the rally itself.. All you'll need to do to collect your freebie is scan the ticket and show us.. Hopefully I won't be with you when you achieve it. Warnings from underachievers don't count..  Bottom line... once again we plan on rewarding bad behavior. We are, after all.. pirates! Arrrrg. How's that for being un-PC?? 

Hope to see you all at some of the rallies... DGR for sure....

PS... Speeding is wrong.

"top o the world, ma!"

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------

Michelin Power Pures: Mini Review! My Sacred Quest Is Over!

Anyone who owns a BMW K1200S or K1300S will tell you that these bikes go through tires like the Secret Service goes through Columbian hos. As this is a painful (and expensive) reality, I'm constantly in search of a tire that provides both grip and at least a modicum of longevity for the overweight BMW. Is that too much to ask? I think not. With that said... in my never ending search for the perfect tire for my "S".. here's my latest in a long line of mini-reviews on the subject.. In this month's episode.. my initial impressions of my first pair of Michelin Power Pures.

Let me begin this review by stating that I tried Pilot Powers a few years ago and wasn't too terribly impressed. They were a little harsh.. a bitch to install due to the hard carcass.. had a little too much turn-in.. and I didn't find them particularly sticky enough for the mountain roads where I live. I trashed a pair then moved on. In the interim I've tried Pirelli Corsa 3s, Diablos, and the relatively capable and reasonably priced Dunlop Q2s. Having just finished shredding a second set of Q2's, I decided it was about time to reexamine the Michelin brand and see what their latest technology has to offer.. Enter the Power Pures.

The Power Pures are 2 steps up from the Pilot Powers on the evolutionary scale and one step below the Power One tire which is a designated track-day/quasi-street tire. In case you are curious.. here's the current Michelin Street Tire Product Line.

It's been my experience that Michelin tires are usually a pain in the arse to mount due to their stiffer sidewalls. That being said, it came as a pleasant surprise that the Pures weren't much harder to spoon on than most other brands. I can only theorize that they have a softer side compound than the Powers. Sweet! According to their website they are more than 2 pounds lighter than comparable high-performance tires although I didn't check this stat when installing mine nor did they feel any lighter than any others I've used. I'll take their word for it. Unsprung weight is unsprung weight.

Once on the bike they warm up quickly. Faster than the Q2s in fact. Once scrubbed in the Pures absolutely rocked my world. At lean angles that would have had the Dunlops slipping and sliding and screaming like a little girl, the Pures were rock solid with nary a twitch even at extreme lean angles. I actually found myself purposely trying to make them slide and for the most part.. I couldn't without cheating with the throttle.. Amazing..The tires were 100% predicable and confidence inspiring. The blatant turn-in that used to bother me with the Pilot Powers is almost gone with the Pures. While NOT as neutral as most Pirellis .. they are close. For the sake of conversation, I did virtually all my testing in temps over 70 degrees, 36psi front & 40 rear, on perfect roads, with el grande cajones..

How can I sum up my feelings for the Michelin Pilot Pures? It's all love. With less than 400 miles on them I have no idea how long they'll last. My fingers are crossed. I have never, ever gotten more than 2800 out of any brand rear tire or more than 3200 out of any brand front...so if they provide at least that many miles I'll be swearing my oath of allegiance to Michelin and ordering the Pilot Pures into infinity and beyond. Could my holy quest be over? Stay tuned for a follow up..

What's New In the K12 / K13 / K16 / S1000RR No-Spin Zone

I should note that as the K1200RS and first generation K1200GT have been discontinued, I receive less and less news of any new products for them.. I mention this as a few semi-loyal subscribers have accused me of abandoning our roots.. Not true.. I only report what's going on.. Don't shoot the messenger.. I will NEVER abandon the K1200RS crowd. It appears that the times.. they are a changin.' Deal with it. Also.. a special thx to www.I-BMW.com, www.K-Bikes.com , and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these sites..

1. MV Verholen Of Germany delivers yet again with their K1600GTL / K1600GT Peg Lowering Kit. Bad knees? Join the club. This adjustable Driver Peg Lowering Kit offers so many positions, the possibilities are almost endless! The adapter can be mounted upwards or downwards to either raise or lower the pegs! The universal adapter can be rotated 360 degrees and extends up to 40mm from the stock position. The footrests can be mounted further forward and under for comfortable riding or further back for a racing style positioning. It mounts using an M10 screw, making it absolutely stable and secure. If you don't want to take the time of ordering from Germany... of course you can get them at Pirates Lair.

2. Here's a new K1600GT / GTL offering from Rad Guard in Australia... Not sure if there's any demand for this item here in the US, but it looks damn nice (and trick) to this jaded pirate.. . BMW K1600 GT & GTL Radiator & Oil Guard 2011-2012 If anyone wants me to check into adding them to our menu.. Just let me know..

3. Just dropped your K1200S and can't quite afford new OEM body panels?? Here's an option we found on Ebay... BMW K1200S 05 06 07 08 All Black ABS Fairing Set Cost for basically everything is only $635.US and that includes shipping... ZERO idea how good the stuff is.. It's coming out of Hong Kong... Feelin' lucky?

4. Summer is coming up and this little thingie might just make your helmet cooler, while simultaneously helping with helmet hair...Check out the "Airhead" We were furnished with a few for evaluation and I've sent them out into the field.. Will post our results in next months cheese filled newsletter...

5. Hands going numb while riding? If you looking for some vibration dampening from your crappy factory BMW grips.. here's an alternative to those fat foam Grip Puppies... Check out Grip Buddies.. a neoprene sleeve.

6. Not many things these days are FREE... Other than this cheese filled newsletter, lies from politicians, and oxygen... I'm pullin' a blank.. Just got word from Vics (big Kahuna over at www.I-BMW and huge HD fan) that they are offering FREE, I-BMW reflective stickers... Check them out for details!!!

7. For the sick and demented...Wunderlich & Continental unveil 'MAD MAX' Project Bike .. All I can say is... I'll bet the "Goose" would love this...

8. Here's a very cool YouTube vid of the Two Brothers Racing - 2012 BMW S1000RR Full Race System

9. Look ma, no helmet! Michigan repeals helmet law for motorcyclists. Geezz... Stupid is as stupid does... Of all the laws on the books that need to be looked at and revoked.. they actually choose one that saves lives and needs to be law.. Idiots!! The stupidity and ineptitude of lawmakers never ceases to amaze me...Check out the article from the Christian Science Monitor....

10. Some of you may find this write up from MOTORCYCLIST On-Line entertaining/thought provoking... BMW K1600GTL vs. Honda GL1800 Gold Wing | MC Comparo.

11. and now for something a little er.. unique. If you want to add some extra lighting to the rear wheel of your K1300S... GloRider has something for you... I'll not comment on what segment of the population might like the look.. that would be wrong... Judge for yourselves...

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Through the years we've had a lot of requests for an LED TailLight for the BMW K1200RS and the early K1200GTs.. Clear Alternatives came out with one a few years back, but it was problematic with Can-Bus systems. We sold them for a few months then discontinued them when 1 in 4 customers experienced warning dash lights and/or night sweats. Clear Alternatives never could figure out why 25% of them had issues and 75% did not. I'm sure they were cussing dem wacky Germans engineers... Anyway.. Whitelights (in Germany) seems to have a issue-free kit on the market 100% guaranteed Can-Bus and cruise control compatible. Plug-n-play 10 minute install. No cutting/splicing of wiring. Legal in all 50 states! These kits will fit every model year BMW K1200RS / 02-05 K1200GT / R1150R & Rockster.

2. We just added SS Racing Carbon Fiber Swingarm Panel Covers for the BMW S1000RR to our menu.. Sweet!! If I owned an S1000RR.. these would be one of the first things I'd stick on it ..after a radar detector, of course. If erection lasts over 4 hours.. call more ladies.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

3. In one of our past newsletters I mentioned that Stebel (makers of the Nautilus and Magnum motorcycle horns) was in the middle of a nasty lawsuit. I suspect it was some kinda patent infringement issue, but I have no evidence to back up that assumption. Gut feeling. Anyway.. Latest news is .. the court made a ruling and Stebel's assets have been sold to the highest bidder .. Not sure what all this will mean to John Q Motorcyclist. Currently we can still purchase the Nautilus Air Horn from various sources and while the actual horn still says "Nautilus" on it, the packaging doesn't nor does the company name "Stebel" appears anywhere on it. As of 3/26/12 I can't locate anyone who can get the Magnums....

4. Prices of all Staintunes just went up again!! Geezz.. Second price increase in 6 months... Ouch!

5. Been wanting to replace the stock windscreen on the BMW K1600GT or K1600GTL with something shorter? For a sleeker, sexier look? Look no further than this offering from the good people at Cee Bailey's! Pirates Lair now offers their 18" K1600GT/GTL Sport Shield which is 2" shorter than stock shield and available in Clear or a Light Gray tint. Cee Bailey's replacement shields (according to them) perform better than the originals and that's just the beginning. First, they lowered the center point and eliminated the geometric & hexagon shapes. They also filled in and tapered the sides for a more stylish look. In addition, they filled in the upper flat spots for better clarity and finally they straightened out the curved shape at the top for better optics. Our first shipment just arrived!

6. Yes.. you've had your heart set on a pair of the American Machine K1200RS Bar Risers for a while and now that they are all gone (due to the company crashing and burning under Obamunism).. Now you're depressed and can't sleep at night. Here's an out of the box idea if you had your heart set on the angle change that the American Machine offers.. You can always buy yourself some GT clip-ons from your local extortionist...er.. BMW dealer, install those on your RS, and then buy the American Machine GT Bar Risers. We have a few of those left. Cool, huh?!

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

7. News for 1998-2004 K1200LT owners... We now have Spiegler Steel braided Brake line Kits for that bike on our menu... FYI... if you are still running the factory lines on your bike... like your knees, they are old and in need of replacement.. Better to replace them now while the bike is conveniently sitting in your shop with a few beers handy and Steely Dan playing on your stereo rather than wishing you had later when you're broken down in the middle of Bumfugegypt, Ohio .. in the rain.. on a Sunday morning ...out of cell phone range.. with a busted line.. Just sayin.''

8. We've been selling the SportBikeCam Mount for at least 5 years.. A waaaaaay cool product. Used one myself on many occasions.. Well.. apparently they are another victim of the poor economy.. They closed their doors last week... Sad.. I think we've lost 6 vendors in the last 2 months. Please people.. vote in the next elections before it gets worse... Don't just complain... VOTE.

9. Here's something new for our venerable K1200RS / GT customers.. We just added Cee Bailey's K1200RS/GT Headlight Protector Kit to our menu. Priced a headlight lately? Are you sitting down? Are you bent over with a bottle of AstoGlide handy? The warming kind, of course. Call any dealer and you'll be quoted a nad busting $577! Ouch!!.. and that doesn't include labor or a reach-around..

12. Speaking of headlight protectors... New on our K16 menu.. . Cee Bailey K1600GT / K1600GTL Headlight Covers Any idea what it would cost to replace the K1600GTL or GT headlight? Take a guess..! Higher! Guess again.. Not even close.. FYI, you're looking at a sphincter busting $1200.US and that doesn't include foreplay or dinner afterwards. Hedge your bets against the randomness of mother nature with these aircraft quality grade acrylic covers from Cee Baileys. They install easily and securely with the 3M Dual-Lok fasteners. Easy on/off for cleaning. Clear in color for 100% Light Transmissibility. Protect yourself.. or not.. The question is.. "Do you feel lucky? Well.. do ya punk?"

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

K12 / K13 / K16 Rally Event News : 2012

2012 Blue Ridge Parkway I-BMW.com Rally: May 17-20, 2012

Where: Wattstull Inn, just north of Buchanan, Virginia
When: May 17th thru 20th, 2011 (Thur – Sun)

Call Wattstull Inn for reservations.
540-254-1551 / Mention: i-bmw group
SPECIFY ROOM TYPE - single, double, king.. / Rooms are 68 (ish*) per night plus tax (*2011 rates)

Blue Ridge Parkway info and maps can be found here and here

Alternate Lodging (info only) : Super 8 – Bedford or Days Inn – Bedford or Peaks of Otter Lodge

...and don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a "velocity award" while in transit to or from or at the rally itself..

NOTE: I-bmw.com is not an official sponsor of any posted events. Event participation is the sole responsibility of the attendee. Motorcycle riding is potentially dangerous and can result in personal injury or death or lots of velocity awards.. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability. It's called.. "personal responsibility."


The 13th Annual I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: October 4-7th, 2012

Where: Fontana Village Resort
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: October 4th-7th, 2011 [Thur-Sunday]
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

20 lodge rooms w/ 2 queen beds/ns: $85+tax - 6 2br cabins with 1 queen and 2 twin beds/kitchen/ns: $120+tax When calling, specify room or cabin. Lodge rooms are in the Garden units with parking outside the door. Cabins will be either the Laurel or Hemlock cabins. Reservations for blocked out rooms will end 45 days prior. Saavy? Free Pirates Lair tees to all attendees who get speeding tickets. Woohoo!! Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking.

...and don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a "velocity award" while in transit to or from or at the rally itself..

NOTE: I-bmw.com is not an official sponsor of any posted events. Event participation is the sole responsibility of the attendee. Motorcycle riding is potentially dangerous and can result in personal injury or death or lots of velocity awards.. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability. It's called.. "personal responsibility."

Be there!!!


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

Our last contribution
was from Chris Spence of Macon,Ga .. Woohoo! Check out his safety tip # 160 Thx, bro. Could his tip save your life? Dare you not look?.

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle, How to Survive Deals Gap, or any How-To link.. First... check out the tips we already have and if you have something new... just send to me and if it's worthy... I'll add it.

Pirates Lair Sacred Archives

We get a lot of requests for specific articles and/or reviews I've written in the past. Rather than fry my aging brain trying to remember where they are on our multi-hundred page website, I have decided to list the "worthy" ones here. Most of the links are to past newsletters.. Some are to full web articles. Remember, I'm no expert on anything except perhaps cunnilingus so the opinions within the archives are only my own. Saavy?

BMW How-To Section

We have no new contributions this month..

Picture at right Courtesy of Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss, Jr. / Model: Ms Melissa Haro

Click For Larger Image.. If You Want a Chub..

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------------

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues