Take me home, El Capitan!

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

Each month or so, when I deem you are worthy, we put out our cheesy K12 newsletter to inform the masses as to what's happening in the BMW K12RS/GT 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 or call us at 828.628.7093 EST .. otherwise you'll get 90% of it here. Why only 90%? 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 or meek, amongst us. If you are offended easily I suggest you look elsewhere for your written info-tainment.
So it is written.. so let it be done....

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: April 2004 Issue

Fellow esteemed and quasi-esteemed K12 Riders.... ..A famous (and slightly edited) movie quote...

A clearing by creek with a cluster of small oaks. Ringo leans against a tree, sipping a hip flask, smoking a slim cheroot. We hear chiming spurs approaching. Ringo looks up as the tall silhouette of his enemy emerges from the shadows.

Ringo: Well, ....didn't think you had it in ya.
* smiles, sets himself...
Doc: I'm your huckleberry.
*Ringo stiffens as the silhouette steps into the waning light. It's Doc, pale and drawn, looking like death itself, but awake and ready just the same..
Doc: Why Ringo... you look like somebody just took your Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter... (sees his shock) Oh... I wasn't quite as sick as I made out.
Ringo: My fight's not with you, Holliday.
Doc: I beg to differ. We started a fight we never got to finish. Play for blood.. remember?
Ringo: I was kidding about that.
* for the last time, a cheshire grin comes over Doc's face...
Doc: I wasn't...(Doc pulls back his coat revealing Wyatt's badge).. and this time it's legal...
Ringo: All right lunger. Let's do it...
Doc: Say when.

Doc Holiday .. Val Kilmer / Ringo.. Michael Biehn / Tombstone 1993

Fact and Urban Legends:

No.. there is NOT a RCU BarBack Recall I spoke with Roger Uhlich, big cheese at RCU Designs, Inc. and he spoke unto the masses, thusly....

"We've discovered a deviation in the mfg process of the BMW handlebar mount of later model K12GT's that may prevent proper seating of the RCU riser(s). We are notifying purchasers-of-record that should they experience any loosening of one or both of the bar/riser assembly(ies), the riser(s) is probably not compatible with their mount(s) and they should remove the risers and return them in exchange for a new design we have just completed.

Anyone you know who hasn't received a notice within the next week should contact Scott Coffin at BMW of Salt Lake (888-269-6375) to arrange for the exchange.

It's a combination of the grooved surface and the hole placement. We've measured up to 0.050" difference in hole location from one mount to the next and up to 0.030" difference in the left and right mounts on the same bike. Even though they are castings, I would not think that is an acceptable tolerance.

Since all sales have been through BMW of Salt Lake, whether to dealers or end-users, that is our "purchasers-of-record". We have no problem in you mentioning the alert in your newsletter. Purchasers of used GT's may appreciate the notice.

Thanks for the help."

Roger Uhlich
RCU Designs, Inc.

News From The Front

Here's the latest (BAD) news from the big cheese at Reevu Helmets (pasted below) ...As mentioned in the last few newsletters, the Reevu MSX-1 Helmet has a series of non-breakable mirrors made somehow into the rear that projects a rear view image across the top front of your visor allowing the rider a full view of what's behind them.. Here's a first look..

"Hi Jerry as you can imagine launching a new product of this ilk does not come without some hic ups .
We have decided as a strategy to proliferate the European territory's first ,as the demand for the product is out stripping our supply. There would be no point to come to the USA without a clear production strategy and by then a much greater understanding of the likely units we will expect to achieve ,this will be around September Iam sorry I have not got better news for you although I will keep you informed of any updates with regard to the USA."

Graham Steele / Sales Director REEVU

A Personal Bone to Pick: Gorilla Alarm Customer Service

I recently posted a How-To Install of my new Gorilla Alarm While I am pleased with the quality of the unit, design, and ease of install... I have since learned that their customer service is some of the worst I have seen. One option that Gorilla offers is a Garage Door Opener Transmitter for only $20.. It works with one of the tiny remotes that comes with each alarm. As Amber and I have been wanting a couple more door opener controls, I called to order one and ask for ease of install. The apathetic tech guy walked me through the "easy" procedure and then I placed the order (with this same guy) for the unit and an extra remote. A week later it arrives with missing parts. After a quick call they neither admit their mistake nor offer to express the missing part out to me. They tell me it will be a week before I have it. I insist they at least 3 day it. Like used-car people, they have to go in the back and talk it over with the owner and call me back. They never did. However.. 3 days later, the remote arrives. I immediately have programming problems so I make another quick call to the tech guy.. he's out but he'll call me back in 15 minutes... 8 hours go by.. another call and he's out again. I ask the operator to have him call me yet again...nothing. Day two: After 2 more calls, I speak with the tech guy who is clueless as to why the second remote doesn't work.. He offers... "I guess you could send it back for a refund" Geeez.. thanks.. that was so helpful. Be forewarned..

What's new in the K1200RS/GT News...aka.. the No Wheel-Spin Zone (A slow month....)

1. If you missed the Texas Hill Country Rally last week... you should be spanking... er... kicking yourself.. I had a damn good time... A public thanks to both the aging organizer , Barry Gibbs (and the lovely model he hired to masquerade as his wife) and my good buds, Jim (DYL) Kriner (and Kim) for loaning me his new Aprilia Mille for the rally.. Weather was perfect the first 2 days.. then turned to s#@t, but we got some great riding in and got less than 2 speeding tickets... FYI.. I have posted all my pics at HERE It's the the album that says appropriately.. Texas Hill Rally 2004..

2. BMW of Salt Lake is now offering Bitubo Suspension Kits for the K1200RS. Not much info is given on their website except...Both shock absorbers are equipped with: rebound adjustment with separate tank, spring-preload adjustment (on the rear one it is hydraulic) and compression dampening. The kit is packed in an aluminum case padded for protection. The case is a good storage unit for your stock shocks or about two bricks of primo Columbian..er.. I would imagine..

3. Would you like to lose some un-sprung weight on your K1200RS or GT? Of course you would? Got a pocket full 'o cash? How about an understanding wife/S.O./hubby? European Motorcycle Accessories has some very choice looking magnesium, forged aluminum, and CNC'd component wheels produced by PVM in an array of colors starting at $2495..Once you get to the site, click on the link that says PVM Wheels / Brakes.Too rich for my blue blood but ... damn they look sweet. A boy can dream.

4. There soon will be a Hardware Kit on the market for installing an Ohlin Damper to the K1200RS/GT/LT.

5. Good news...or so they tell me. There will also be a US made Short Shift Kit on the market within the next 6 weeks. Cost will be an estimated $150-$175.. Half what Verholen charges. Details to come..

6. Wish you could see more in your mirrors? Stupid question...Of course you do.. Check out this new offering from OSAKA, JAPAN
Not only do they offer some stylish replacement mirrors, but they also carry something to drop over your current mirror lense..and it sounds pretty damn good. As per their ad wordage.. (pasted)

GSG-DP Blue Mirrors
Magical Racing's RR mirrors are exclusively made using GSG-DP Blue Mirrors. GSG-DP Blue Mirrors are add-on blue glass lenses for use with stock OEM mirrors. When you install the new lenses on your stock mirrors, you will have a much wider, superior and clearer view compared to the original stock mirrors. During the day time, the blue lens reduces UV and provides a very soft view for the riders eyes. When the sun sets and during the evening time, the lens will show you a very clear and bright view for the rider resulting in the ultimate roadside visibility and safety. GSG-DP stands for Globally Selected Grade Dimensional Panel. The glass of the lens is built to the highest grade possible, the same demanding standards as many top automobile manufactures stock OEM mirrors. These lenses are truly the finest mirrors you can buy for your motorcycle. Absolutely the highest quality lenses available today. Nothing else even comes close.
Pricing in Yen is $6800 + $1500 shipping which translates to $63.50US + $14 shipping. I'll see if I can get a pair to evaluate.

7. Metzeler has just released it's new zero-degree belt Roadtec Z6 tire on the market. I think it's meant to replace the aging MEZ4. Verbiage sounds impressive. 30% better in the rain, 20% better handing over-all, 20% better grip at 30% lean angle (comparable with the Sportec M-1's), and up to 8000 miles estimated mileage. Might be worth a try. I should mention, and this is only my omnipotent opinion.... There are a lot of tires on the market, so we have a plethora of ways to spend our hard earned, dollars, Euro's, Peso's, Dracma's so keep this in mind... Metezeler is the ONLY company out there that produces ONLY motorcycle tires. They cater to us...IMHO, we should support them if they have a comparable product.. I for one always give them preferential consideration when I'm thinking about buying tires...

8. Has anyone taken the time to e-mail the toothless AMA for their lack of action in the recent Senator Jenklow debacle? I have.. Remember..He had a long history of speeding and disregarding traffic laws yet he got only 100 days for killing a fellow motorcyclist while speeding through a stop sign.. . Even today, he has shown zero remorse or apologized to the family. . Their disinterest leads me to believe what I have always suspected.. that the AMA is a paper tiger who ONLY wants to be fed momentarily..

9. Did you know that anytime you disconnect your battery or remove your motronic box you have to re-set the Throttle Position Switch afterward? I didn't either.. and here's how to do it...
1. Turn the key to the run position without starting the engine.
2. Twist the throttle 2 or 3 times through the full range.
3. Turn key off
4. Kick wife's cat.

Well.. I kinda added the last one for good measure.. FYI, I have been told by the guys at RhineWest, Inc that if this is NOT done you could see/notice hesitation at or just off idle.

10. Got Carbon Fiber? While it's not everyone's cup 'o swill... check out this new offering from Boxer Design in Germany. It covers the entire top section of the tank. Advertised at 198. Euro (about $240US)... looks interesting.. I'm trying to get a sample from them for evaluation...If anyone is interested, I may can broker a deal from them just so I can see one up close and personal

11. Just when I thought I heard the fat..er.. "gravitationally challenged" lady sing on an Underseat Exhaust Kit Project, I just received a call from a Canadian Company that wants to produce one. They are proceeding on their own and asked if we'd be interested in selling them... After I wiped the drool from my face I told him YES, but ONLY if it was as attractive and sexy as Britany Spears wearing nothing but a smile and Channel #5 . Stay tuned.

What's new at Pirates' Lair?

Those front Clear Lenses for your 97-2001 K1200RS are slowly starting to arrive! I have a few pics up in our Photo Album. It's the album called Clear Lenses for Early K12.. Duh. We will offer them with or without Sylvania SilverStar version 1156A ST bulbs. The SilverStar have a silver/clear/bluish appearance when off and an amber color when illuminated. They look great behind the clear lenses and only appear amber/orange when used. Production is VERY slow on them and taking about 4 days to produce 10 pair... They should be in stock in a few weeks.

2. About a year ago, a customer sent me photos of some custom torque arms a metal "artist" had fabricated for a R1100S.. They were simply stunning. I contacted the guy and asked if he would produce one for my bike.. He said.. NO.. but if I wanted to order at least a dozen, he would write the CNC program and do the work. I sent him a factory arm for measurements and told him to get back with me when he had the time to do it... as I said.. that was over a year ago. He recently sent us 12 arms and they are all gone, but due in no small part to my incessant yet effective whining, he's agreed to produce 12 more.. About half of those are promised.. so you know what that means... I have a few photo's posted in the Photo Album called K1200RS/GT Custom Torque Arm Project If you are interested in one of the last beauties.. e-mail me or forever hold your piece. (yes.. I meant to spell it that way.. ;-)

3. Remember that beeeutiful rear rack that we had pictured on our produce page under Projects In The Works? The guy bailed on us due to lack of time or something. Well.. I just bought the plans from him and looks like we will be producing them sometime in the near future. You can see pics in our Photo Album. It's the album called Custom K12RS/GT Rear Luggage Rack

4. Many of you have noticed that our Classifieds Section is down..Very sorry!. I was unaware myself until a week ago when customers starting yelping about it.I contacted www.Everyone.net (the kind folkes that run that section) and was told that not only was it down, but they were eliminating the service and... if I wanted ANY of my information back, I'd have to pay them $200!!! I politely told them to go fuck themselves. Trying to come up with another site as we speak.

5. We now have the Wunderlich Passenger Peg Lowering Kits in stock. This kit will lower the rear pegs by a full 60mm down increasing the knee and hip angle of your beloved or quasi-beloved passenger. After all.. your pegs are adjustable (either up or down) so now the passenger can enjoy the same choice. Seems only fair. Web page is in the works.

6. Talks with Pace American about becoming vendors of their enclosed trailers recently fell through. Apparently they already have an outlet in the area. I recently drove to Nashville and checked them out.. Very impressed. Price for a single bike trailer with quite a few bells and whistles including fold down rear drive up ramp, top-of-the-line suspension, side door, front rock guard, inside light, and custom paint was only $2050... Not bad at all!... The single bike 5 x 8' model we're looking at is the Journey. However... as I want one of these VERY bad.. and HATE paying retail... I'm hoping I can find 2 or three other cheap bastards..er.. like minded individuals who are looking for an enclosed trailer who might want to go in on a group buy. If I can get at least one or 2 other people interested, I'll see if I can work a deal with these people for a discounted price.. No idea if participants would have to actually drive to this area (Asheville, NC) or not to pick it up, but I'll work the deal if someone else is interested.. 828.628.7093 EST What say ye?


Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2004 /

.The BMW Rally planned at the Biltmore Estate here in Asheville, NC seems to be back on, but it may or may not be a designated "BMW" rally.. Here's the latest..
Originally, BMW corporate contacted the Biltmore Estate to arrange for a huge Rider Appreciation Event for late June. The Biltmore people were elated and said they would be glad to make all arrangements... After months of planning, the Biltmore staff was notified by BMW corporate that there had been a change of personnel in upper management and the guy in charge of arranging the Biltmore event either was fired, promoted, or reassigned. That's kindof unclear.. no matter.. The new guy at BMW decided to bail on the event and withdrew their official request.
The good news is, the Biltmore, having invested serious time and energy into making all arrangements has decided to go ahead with the event on their own. It will be held the weekend of June 25th-27th (same weekend as the Honda Hoot in Knoxville) on the Biltmore grounds and will be called The Ride the Ridge Rally. They will not even mention it officially on their website for another few weeks, but we have heard this much..it will be an ANNUAL EVENT.

The 2004 K12 Blue Ridge Parkway Rally has been planned for May 6-9, 2004 and will be held at the Inn at Afton in Charlottesville, VA or (800) 860-8559. Rally planners have locked in 108 rooms / Rate = $50 a night. Reference "BMW" when calling. Register at www.abrahamson.net/brpr2004/index.htm

The 2004 Ride to Read Rally from fellow K12'er and organizer, Jerome Eberharter... Mark your calendars now for June 12, 2004, when riders embark on an all-day adventure from Boise, Id. to Stanley and back to raise money for literacy programs in our region. This year plan on more people, more prizes, and more fun, with Team registration discounts (groups of 3 or more riders) and prizes for the biggest teams, the most creative team names, and the team raising the most money.
Sign up today for upcoming Rally News by visiting http://www.whitecloudcoffee.com/ and clicking through the Ride to Read links. Help them reach their goal of 200 riders this year!

The 5th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally will again be at the Tapoco Lodge on Sep 30th - Oct 3rd, 2004. As we did in 2003, Fontana Village and the Microtel Inn will be able to handle overflow. When contacting Tapoco about lodging mention K12RS BMW, or they may say they are full when actually it's reserved for "us". 828.498.2435 or 800.822.5083

The 2005 Hill Country Rally has already been scheduled for the following dates... April 7-10 No other information is available at this time, but I would surmise that it will be in the aging...er.. skillful hands of fellow K12'er.. Barry Gibbs. Stay tuned..

New How-To Tips ...

Three new ones this month...
1. How to Modify your K1200RS/GT Shift Lever Forward for More Footroom contributed by fellow K12'er and man about town, Paul Clark
2. and another by yours truly ... K1200RS/GT GorillaT Alarm Install How-To
3. How to Install the Aritronix SCORPIO SR-i500 Alarm contributed by Jaguar Stunt Man, Rick Sanford

and we also added (2) How to Survive On Your Motorcycle tips (#65 & 66) sent in by the quasi-esteemed Mark Hammond of San Francisco CA. Will they save your life?? Perhaps... Thanks guy...

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive.. First... check out the tips we already have and if you have something new... just send to me and I'll add it on.. Remember.. we're all in this together.. so use deodorant.

Guess that smells like the end... Take care.. ride safe...best wishes for an early spring...see you in my mirrors..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues