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 K1300S, K1200S, GT, R, RS, S1000RR 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 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 2011

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

Rather than call it a day, Max decides to pick up one last fare of the night... Vincent. He's a smooth, charismatic fellow who is sharply dressed and apparently wealthy, offering Max an excellent tip if he'll bring him to five stops throughout Los Angeles. Fate intervenes and Max soon learns that Vincent is not a businessman, but a contract hitman making his rounds and he forces Max to be his driver. As the night progresses, Max finds himself under the microscope of the psychopathic cold blooded killer.

Vincent: Look in the mirror. Paper towels, clean cab. BMW some day? How much you got saved?
Max: That ain't any of your business.
Vincent: Someday? Someday my dream will come? One night you will wake up and discover it never happened. It's all turned around on you. It never will. Suddenly you are old. Didn't happen, and it never will, because you were never going to do it anyway. You'll push it into memory and then zone out in your barco lounger, being hypnotized by the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter and daytime TV for the rest of your life. Don't you talk to me about murder. All it ever takes is a down payment on the bike. That girl,... you can't even call that girl. What the f#@* are you still doing driving a cab?

Vincent.. Tom Cruise / Max.. Jamie Fox / .. Collateral 2004


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

Picture Of The Month! Chateauguay Valley! (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 POTM was contributed by Dennis Panneton. He says of his picture taken with a Panasonic Lumix..."It was Friday October 22nd mid day in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and with the smell of snow in the air with winter just around the corner I called it a day to take advantage of one of the seasons last rides. It was a chilly 3C (37F) with overcast so I decided to make a run for the US border crossing at Trout River NY. Well I realized that it was getting a little late since the sun sets closer to 5:00 this time of the year so I decided to take a left off Rte 138 at the last junction before being committed to the border. Relying solely on my GPS, the change in route directed me along 1st Concession Road which skirts along New York State. The area is known as the Chateauguay Valley, very picturesque with many Heritage propertie. From there I continued to Herdman and discovered this beautiful century old Church located on Brook Road just west of Rte 202, picture perfect with the autumn foliage in the background. "

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 or K1300S, K1200RS, K1200R, R Sport, S1000RR, or any model year K1200GT or K1300GT and B. In focus.

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Word Up: Pricing On The K1600GTL / K1600GT.. Not Too Painful!

BMW Motorrad USA finally released the latest feature packages and pricing on the K1600GT and K1600GTL. The K1600GT will have a MSRP of $20,900US, while the K1600GTL will have a MSRP of $23,200US. (additional destination charge of $495 is not included in MSRP). Here's a list of standard features that both base models of the K1600GT and K1600GTL come equipped with:

  • Xenon headlight with dynamic leveling
  • Heated seat and grips
  • Exhausts that are only quasi-ugly
  • Cruise control
  • Multifunction display, on-board computer and multi-controller
  • Integral ABS
  • Luggage rack
  • E-Gas throttle with three power modes
  • White LED turn signals
  • Power adjustable windshield
  • Flux capacitor

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Product Review: Leather to Vinyl / Night to Day / Yanni to AC/DC

When I bought the Corbin seat for my BMW K1200S a few years ago, it was the only seat option on the market. The buying experience was not a good one.. Only slightly less painful than having a rusty 10 penny nail shoved into my urethra.. At the time, the only available cover material offered was leather which IMHO is the stupidest choice of material for any motorcycle seat. When leather gets wet or even damp you are stuck to it like stink on roadkill which makes sliding around or hanging off..( a prerequisite for "proper" fast riding) ... almost impossible. I do understand why someone would want a leather seat on a Harley, where sliding around is not important or on a show bike, but on a sport bike?? It's simply Jethro Bodine stupid. Mine was already starting to show small cracks in the leather and it's garaged 24/7/365. While the quality on the Corbin seat is/was pretty good, you've probably guessed by now that I've always hated the leather so in the fall I started checking around to have it recovered in vinyl as my lone winter project..

First I contacted my evil nemesis Corbin for a quote. I figured a reasonable price to recover the small section would be $70-100 + shipping.. Having learned my lesson with them previously, I figured they'd price gouge me and double that to $140-200. Wrong...They quoted a criminally insane $309+ shipping.. I'm not kidding. Just for a small seat cover. Not even a promise of a reach-around.

After I regained consciousness I called 4 other seat-makers which all quoted under $190, but finally settled on my good friends at Sargent. Cost for a vinyl cover and some added sculptured padding (to change the profile)... a reasonable $175. Just after Jan 1st, I sent the seat to Sargent for the modification. In 2 weeks it was back in my hands looking like a million dollars and feeling absolutely wonderful to my formerly magnificent gluts.

Over the last few weeks, the glacial weather has turned spanktacular which translates to lots of saddle time. Did the re-worked seat live up to my lofty expectations? In a word ..Yes ..A night and day difference. It's now super easy to slide around on the vinyl seat, hang off, and generally act like a fool no matter how wet the weather or how sweaty the gluteus maximus. The slight padding modification was just icing. After a ride, instead of removing the seat to wash the bike (as not to get the leather wet).. I can now leave the seat on, just spray it and wipe it off. Sweet. No more expensive leather protector products. Vinyl rules.

Anyone thinking about recovering their seat or just adding some additional padding should look no further than the good people at Sargent. Those guys are the best as far as this aging pirate is concerned. Now excuse me while I go kick myself in the ass (not an easy thing to do) for not doing this about 3 years ago. DOH!

Click Here for Larger Image
Click Here for Larger Image

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Let There Be Light!! Goodbye DDM .. Hello ETI HID Kits!

We've been selling the Chinese-made DDM HID kits for over 2 years. A good product at a reasonable price. Sold over 2000 kits! At $60 a kit delivered, it's hard to keep them in stock. Last week I went to place my monthly order with DDM and they casually informed me that they no longer carry them for motorcycles... What the f@#*! I was told all the H7's are gone. They may have a few H3's, H11's etc left in inventory, but once those were gone they would not be ordering more. Geeezz. As this is one of our biggest sellers, this news kinda kicked me in the nads and they were the only reasonably priced supplier in the US....

The good news is, after scrambling like Peyton Manning, I found another source .. ELEC-TECH International. They are a huge company out of Hong Kong that makes both auto and motorcycle HID kits. I checked them out using my highly evolved investigative skills, brushed up on my Chinese, then ordered an H7 unit for evaluation. The kit arrived within a week. The hardware looks EXACTLY like the DDM unit. Side by side you can't tell them apart. Sleek and plug-n-play. The ETI H7 HID kit comes with better instructions and better packaging and at the same price as the DDM. Sweet! Install and testing showed it to be a virtual identical kit to the DDM. That's what I was hoping for.. Since the evaluation checked out, I placed a large order with them and guess what... it showed up yesterday. Woohoo!! If interested.. we have H7 HIDs back in stock here...

Got HID?? Click Here...

What's New In the K12 / K13 / 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. Two Wheels Only Resort, Suches, GA is closing! You can stick this news under the "aww hell" heading... TWO is in fact shutting down. Unfortunately, they couldn't renegotiate the lease with the property owners. I hear it has something to do with a family feud akin to the Hatfields vs McCoys. Go figure. TWO has been a great place for motorcyclists to gather and get a reasonably priced bite to eat for years. Hope this gets resolved! Let me reiterate.. "Aww hell!"

2. Hyperpro Introduces ESA-Adjuster: I was surprised to see this. Hyperpro is bringing out a range of ESA Shocks and custom adjusters. You can set customize your own Comfort, Normal and Sport settings etc. This is good news for any BMW rider with ESA who (like me) fears the $3000 replacement cost asked by BMW.

3. CycleWolrd.com just did their first review of the new 6 cylinder BMWs and they are impressed.. BMW K1600GT and K1600GTL - First Ride I liked this blurb. When I remarked about the differences between the softer, larger Gold Wing and the GTL, a BMW executive replied with a pleasant smile, “We wanted to build a shark, not a whale.”

Click Here for Details!

4. Here's a rider's review of the K1600GT done by Kevin Ash, a UK moto-journalist who attended BMW's South African launch.

5. ...and another review of the new BMW "6"s from on-line CycleNews... All good...

6. Check out this Rizoma Left Side Engine Guard for BMW S1000RR if you want to see some tasty bling...or this unique Rizoma Sprocket Cover for BMW S1000RR Sweet!!

7. Ever been itching to run a red light that just won't change? You just know if you do, it'll be the one time Barney Fife is watching from behind that stand of trees and he'll swoop down on you like a pit bull after a T-bone. Kansas lawmakers think motorcycle riders should be able to run those lights. The Kansas House on Tuesday Feb 22nd approved a bill that would allow bikers to run a red light if the signal "fails" to turn green after a "reasonable period of time." The proposal leaves the discretion in the hands of the motorcyclist, but is aimed at ensuring riders don't get trapped in perpetuity at intersections because of signals that either malfunction. Could this be the first instance of elected officials actually doing something for us motorcyclists? rather than against us? This must be a quadrazine hallucination. In actuality, a few other states already have enacted similar laws.

8. Weepy News From Legal Speeding: As of 03/28/2011, HARD units are no longer available. When current supplies are exhausted, they will be off the market for a while. We were told by Legal Speeding that the HARD systems are NOT dead.. Due to cost issues, they will be looking for another manufacturer as costs of producing the units have gotten out of hand. They will produce them again at some point. No idea when. Ain't dat a pisser!?

9. Nothing like sexy babes and motorcycles to warm the soul and harden the wood...... Sexy S1000RR Screensavers from MotorcycleUSA.com

10. Ever get a ticket in the mail from one of those red light cameras? Sucks, huh? Rather than just bending over and taking it.. here's an idea for some cheap protection?. Check out the Licence Plate Super Protector which is designed to defeat photo radar & laser cameras from side and above angles and/or PhotoStopper Radar Reflector Spray which reflects photo radar flash, helping to prevent a costly ticket! Both items are available from OnTrack. Zero idea if they're legal in all 50 states, but it should say so on their website. I used to use their license plate cover when I lived in Nashville and it really does work... It's us against them folkes.. Just remember, the next time you come home and have to sheepishly explain to your wife what you got because you weren't using protection.. don't come whining to me.. I tried to learn ya.

Protect Thyself!

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

Pirates Lair Does Facebook.. Woop Dee Freakin' Do!

Arrrr.. it be true. Let me preface this blurb by admitting that
I resisted this for over a year as I think Facebook is just the latest cyber fad perpetuated by uber-geeks and will probably disappear from our collective memories like that no-talent, Justin Bieber after his 15 minutes are up.. However.. the powers that be here at Pirates Lair.. i.e.. Amber has finally succeeded in dragging me into the 21st century. So without further adieu. drum roll please... Pirates Lair now has a Facebook page.. Geezz.. Guess it was inevitable and unavoidable as a swollen prostate. I'll post new product updates daily (if I can remember) and Amber plans on making daily weather reports for riders coming into the area.. Would you be our friends? Stop in and say hello!! It'll make Amber happy.. She likes to be poked.
Poke me, please!

1. Sign of the Apocalypse? On March 21st the Pirates Lair server went down and for 3 days we devolved into knuckle-dragging primates neither sending or receiving emails. Many incoming emails were lost un-read like tears in the rain.. So what happened? Our highly paid geeks couldn't say. Glitch in the Matrix? Japanese radiation? Al-Qaeda plot? They were stumped, but the problem has been corrected and we did survive although my knuckles are still sore. If during that time you sent emails and got no response... I offer our sincere apologies.

2. New Product Alert! We've been selling the German made Synto levers for a couple of years now. While they produced kits for virtually all the late model BMWs.. they did NOT produce a kit for the venerable K1200RS. What's up wit dat? Well my friends... they do now...If you've always wanted a pair, we now have them for your K1200RS. If you've got small hands (like me).. these make a world of difference. You can even adjust these on the fly! Individual replacement parts are available. Colors Available for Levers & Adjustment Wheel: Mix and Match Silver, Gold, Blue, Black, Red, Titanium . These will fit every model year BMW K1200RS.. 1998-2004. No word yet as to if they fit the GT, but if anyone is interested in a pair.. email me and I'll get them to figure it out. Woohoo!! Took us long enough, but as I've always said.. I'm not gonna abandon our long time RS customers..You deserve the best...and I got your back.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

3. I mentioned in last months cheesy newsletter that we get more requests for a stealth backrest for the Kawasaki Concours 14 than any other bike. Until recently I honestly couldn't figure out how to do it and have it not look "industrial" like our visually challenged competition. I had all but given up on the project due to some design roadblocks when out of the blue, a fellow fabricator contacted us with some ideas which should resolve my previous design concerns. Woohoo! With that said... we are in the prototype phase of the "Concours" project. Unless something goes horribly wrong, we hope to have a backrest on the market for the mighty Kawi 14 by early summer 2011 and if things go as planned, it will be a worthy addition to the Pirates' Lair line of specialty backrests. Details to come. Our Kawasaki Concours Stealth page is up here. Here's a generic idea of what it will look like on the bike ..Click here.

4. New Product Alert! I know many have been waiting a good while for this news..and many have been pestering the crap out of me for an availability date.. Are you ready?? We now have Sato Rearsets for the S1000RR. If these don't give you a chub... you're playin for the wrong team..

5. New Product Alert! Don't want a massive tankbag mucking up the looks of your ride? Of course you don't.The Bags-Connection Daypack II Quick-Lock Tankbag is a small 5-liter to 7-liter tankbag that locks to a subtle bracket that installs to pre-existing threaded holes in the motorcycle’s gas cap. It actually looks pretty good on the bike unlike many others .. this one won't make you look like a Sherpa. The Daypack II can be removed without a key, does not interfere with gas cap operation, and does not contact the tank, preventing tank scratches that are typical of magnetic tankbag applications. The tankbag is constructed of a highly water resistant thermo-molded EVA nylon material and uses Gore water-sealed zippers. Rain cover and shoulder strap are included.. Price starts at $130.US

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

6. For the K1300S owners out there looking for an aftermarket exhaust slip-on.. This may help you decide which way to go. I just added a YouTube Sound Clip of the K1300S Remus Hexacone to our website. Sweet!!

7. We need a volunteer tester for an all new center triple clamp mounted S1000RR Radar Detector Mount. Email me for pics and details. Some details can be found here... or here..

8. New Product Alert! If your BMW K1200RS has over 40K on the clock.. your factory shocks are as useless as tits on a boar and need to be replaced. Want to go faster on your favorite set of twisties? Forget about an exhaust and replace your shocks. It's the single most important improvement you can make to your bike. Pirates' Lair is proud to now offer Ohlins Suspension products for the 1998-2004 BMW K1200RS. Ohlins have long been the #1 choice for those who want a shock that delivers the ultimate in control and confidence for all types of riders and bikes. The dynamic relationship between rider and road is managed solely by a motorcycle’s suspension. Because of that, the feel, the feedback, and the fun of riding all depend on the quality of the suspension. Sold individually or as a combo. Fully rebuildable and come with a full 5 year warranty. Fits Front & Rear 1997-2004 BMW K1200RS only.

9. New Product Alert! The good news just keeps on comin'. We just added Hornig Polished Aluminum Instrument Rings for the 98-2004 BMW K1200RS / 2002-05 K1200GT. The (4) piece kit includes polished machined aluminum rings for the speedometer, tachometer, temp, and fuel gauge. We also have these for the K1200S & K1300S. These are da shizzle.

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare
10. We're having a rare sale on our R & G Racing Case Protectors for the BMW S1000RR. We/I simply ordered more than we should have so we're over-stocked. Grab them while you can. If you're planning on doing track days this spring and summer or you're just an alcoholic... these will offer you some cheap insurance should you go down. Just sayin'.

11. New Product Alert! Good news for K1300S and K1300R owners with LED taillights who want them to FLASH. We now offer the 100% CanBus compatible Kisan LED Version Tailblazer on our website. The factory LED taillight on the BMW K1300S or K1300R is brighter than non-LED taillights, but it still won't protect you from the texting teen in the cage behind you. You need to get their attention before you become a multi-colored grill ornament on their Escalade. The 100HD-MZ LED TailBlazer from Kisan rapidly flashes your LED taillight the instant you apply the brakes. The flash rate then slows down to a steady ON - this cycle lasts about 4 seconds. Install is chimp easy with just a single wire splice. Bottom line.. if you have a factory LED taillight.. this kit will rock your world and potentially save your life. Works only with the new BMW's with LED taillights. Fits the BMW K1300S, K1300R, F650GS, 2008-2010 F800GS, 2006-2010 F800S , 2009-2010 F800ST, 2009-2010 R1200GS Adventure, 2009-2010 R1200GS , 2008-2010 R1200S

12. Lastly.. For reasons which are truly enigmatic, there are apparently quite a few fans of my writing out there. I hear it often and I always appreciate the compliments and kind words. Those people might find this interesting. Recently I started out writing a story about a road trip to visit my grandmothers grave. It started out as a two-wheeled road-trip story which I had planned on submitting to a couple of motorcycle magazines that regularly print my stuff. Ultimately.. the story changed. It evolved into something less motorcycle-related and into something more personal. After completion, I decided NOT be submit it to any magazines. However ..I have published it on-line for my family. As the readers of my Cheesy Pirates Lair newsletters are "family" to me.. I'll share with you. Here's a link should you be interested.. It's called.. Sentimental Journey... Remembering Polly. Opinions welcome.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

K12 / K13 Rally / Event News : 2011

2011 Texas Hill Country K12 / K13 Rally: April 10-14, 2011

Location: Hwy 39 near Hunt - 22 miles from hwy 83
River Inn Resort in Hunt, Texas
When: Sunday thru Thursday, April 10-14, 2010 (arrive Sunday - leave Friday)

Please call 1-800-841-0501 and tell them you are with the BMW motorcycle group. (No on-line reservations available) Call Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm cst. Sat. and Sun. 9am to 4pm cst., only. A one bedroom is $60.00 plus tax, some do have sofa sleepers. Lodging is limited, so Book early to guarantee a room. You can secure your reservation with AMEX, MasterCard or Visa....7 day cancellation policy, however there is a $25 service charge. They all have a refrigerator and microwave.

Agenda: Meet. Ride. Talk, Eat. Ride. Talk.

Support www.I-BMW.com (the un-official sponsor) by purchasing your official Texas Hill Country Roundup Tees here...


2011 Blue Ridge Parkway K12 / K13 Rally: May 12-15, 2011

Where: Wattstull Inn, just north of Buchanan, Virginia
When: May 12th thru 15th, 2010 (Thur – Sun)

Call Wattstull Inn for reservations.
540-254-1551 / Mention: i-bmw group
SPECIFY ROOM TYPE - single, double, king

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


The 12th Annual Deals Gap K12 / K13 Rally: October 6-9th, 2011

Where: Fontana Village Resort
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: October 6th-9th, 2011 [Thur-Sunday]
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

30 lodge rooms w/ 2 queen beds/ns: $85+tax 7-10 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? Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Thx to my good buddy, Bert B for arranging this event!!

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. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability.

Be there!!!


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have a new contribution
this month. Check out # 157 contributed by Rob Kraft! Thx, bro. Could Rob's 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.. Remember.. we're all in this together.. so shave your legs.

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-thousand 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

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..

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Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues