"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 K12RS/GT/S/R 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 look elsewhere for your written info-tainment. So it is written.. so let it be done....

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: August 2006 Issue

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

The father/son therapy session seems to be going well until newcomers Dr. Evil and son, Scott are introduced. Scott speaks first and spills his guts about hating his father whom he'd never met until a few days prior...
Therapist: Don't be so hard on yourself. You're here, that's what's important. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Scott: I just think, like, he hates me. I really think he wants to kill me.
Therapist: OK, Scott, no one really wants to "kill" anyone here. They say it, but they don't mean it. The group LAUGHS.
Dr. Evil: Actually, the boy's quite astute. I am trying to kill him but unfortunately my attempts have been unsuccessful. He's quite wily, like his old man.

Therapist: We've heard from Scott, now let's hear from you.
Dr. Evil:
The details of my life are quite inconsequential.
That's not true, Doctor. Please, tell us about your childhood.

Yes, of course. Go ahead....
Dr. Evil:
Very well, where should I begin? My father was a relentlessly self- improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen-year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims, like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. A sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. If I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds and deprived of my Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter.. Pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fifteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. At the age of eighteen, I went off to evil medical school. From there...
Therapist:..... I think it's time we end our session today.

Dr. Evil / Mike Myers Scott / Seth Green ... Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 1997

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

Product Review:: Nuvi 350 GPS

I get lost often. It's not that I can't follow a map, it's just that due to all the illegal substances I "sampled" back in the 70's... and 80's.. and 90s.. and....where was I??.. O, yea... I have no short term memory. I can memorize a trip itinerary and before I'm 5 miles from the house, I've forgotten every turn of it which leads to much stress and anxiety as well as occasional penile dysfunction.

Due in no small part to the fact that Amber and I got lost 8 times while making a recent 6.5 hour drive from Asheville to the coast, I decided to buy myself a freakin' GPS. I'd been debating the financial outlay for the last 2 years and this trip was the straw that broke the wondering Pirate's back..

I did the usual anal research as to all the best units on the market and while the Nuvi 350 is nowhere near the best..it is in the top 4 or 5 and it fit my demented criteria of being super sleek, chimp-like easy to use, and fully loaded with US and Canadian street maps. The best part (for me) is that it gives you the option of running on batteries (up to 6 hours) so there's no need to hardwire it...For pics of the Nuvi mounted on my own K1200S.. Just e-mail me.

Unlike the larger brick-size Garmins on the market like the 2730 or 2820, the 5oz Nuvi 350 is no larger than a pack of playing cards at 3.87" W x 2.91" H x 0.87" with a nice bright display of 2.8” W x 2.1” H (3.5” diag.) I have almost no trouble seeing even in bright daylight. Another difference is that the Nuvi has no buttons on the front.. All controls, save for the power button, are done via the touch screen. It is so intuitive that Jessica Simpson could figure it out in 10 minutes without a manual. Not only can you plan your trip to the Emerald city and back again in a matter of seconds, but the Nuvi speaks your directions turn by turn either via an external speaker or via headphones if you plug some in to the audio port. It's also a MP3 player, translates currency, plays audio books, is a picture viewer, world clock, calculator, recommends restaurants, tourist attractions, leads you to the nearest gas station, and yes.. cures penile dysfunction.

One downside of the Nuvi is that it is NOT waterproof like the larger Garmins, so if you're gonna use it on your bike, you'd better carry a zip-lock with you for the unexpected rain storm. Would be a shame to ruin a $700 foofoo gadget like the Nuvi. Also.. unlike the larger ones, the Nuvi does NOT offer you the option of putting in predetermined coordinates.. only street addresses unless that's a feature I haven't figured out. As I said.. it doesn't even come with a manual..

After using my Nuvi 350 for the past 2 weeks..I can honestly proclaim from the rooftops.."I'm in love!" While I was in Vermont last week touring the Vanson Leather facility, the Nuvi effortlessly guided me from the Providence, RI airport to Vanson (which is in Massachusetts), to restaurants, to movie theaters, to gas stations, and back again with zero probs. I never got lost once. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I now feel like the little device is indispensable. My own private Tenzing Norgay .. except with a female voice.. and no mountaineering gear. With a little creative mounting, I can now swap it out between my K1200S and 2 cars in a matter of seconds with the result being that Amber no longer has to put my name on milk cartons every time I leave for a brief trip.

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Vanson Leathers Factory: My Magical Mystery Tour

Vanson leathers has been around as long as motorcycles? Hell.. I've owned over a dozen of their garments through the years and the quality has been second to none in my omnipotent opinion. Usually I gain a little weight and have to sell my jackets or pants and get something larger. A penalty of growing older I guess. Nothing has worn out. After sampling all the other brands on the market.. I always end up going back to Vanson as the fit is generally excellent.

Due to the recent theft of ALL my riding gear, I had to look at replacing 2 Vanson jackets and a pair of Vanson pants. NOT a cheap undertaking, but necessary to my riding safety. The jackets I can buy off the rack and they fit like a glove. The pants are another matter so as I had to spend the megabucks anyway.. why not invest in a custom made pair?...and perhaps tour the factory?? As I have a kajillion air miles accrued on my Delta AmEx card, I recently booked a freebie flight and headed to Massachusetts.. well.. actually Providence, RI airport which is only 20 minutes from Vanson's Headquarters in Fall River, Ma.

My Nuvi (GPS) guided me to the front metal windowless door which I would have NEVER found on my own and if it hadn't been for the old 3 foot yellow sign in front I would have suspected that my GPS was lying to me. The facility was NOT what I expected. Instead of gleaming structure of chrome and glass towering into the gloomy Massachusetts sky, Vanson is located in an aging brick warehouse in the middle of fum-buck Egypt.

I had expected a high-tech building with massive signs, marble floors, lots of motorcycles in the parking lot, preppy-ish personnel with clone-like polo tees with VANSON emblazoned across their left nipples ready to jump to my wallet's bidding. Instead, I found 2 or 3 people who seemed to be working the floor in jeans and tees. In the back were about 4-6 women working their magic on 100 year old sewing machines. While there was virtually no other customers there it took a full 15 minutes before I got help, but when the help came.. I was treated very well. It took another 15 minutes for Heidi (the seamstress) to take my measurements and she seemed like she knew exactly what she was doing. Nice woman.

The facility, while unimpressive with it's shabby outer appearance, 100 year old wooden floors, and lack of air conditioning, made up for my visual disappointment with it's massive inventory. I have never seen so much leather in my life.. Hundreds and hundreds of jackets, suits, pants, etc.. Impressive!

I guess I had expected more opulence due to the astronomical prices their gear brings on the open market. What the f#* have the owners been doing with all the profits?? Other than investing in MORE inventory.. I have no idea, but I'll say it again.. The best motorcycle jackets I've ever worn were made by.. you guessed it... Vanson.... a company worthy of our support.

Lastly.. You may be asking why I devoted a full section of this .. the most holy of newsletters to a puff piece on a tour of the Vanson factory? Because IMHO supporting a leather company that has been so good to the motorcycling community for so many years is important. The motorcycle garment industry is booming these days and competition is fierce. While the new foofoo "polybalisticcorduralon" materials are very "practical"choices .. waterproof, cheaper, comfy, etc..., they do NOT offer the same crash protection nor one iota of personality. A leather jacket is still cool to own and wear! They get better as they get older... they look sexy with age....they become a friend. Would Brando, Elvis, Bronson, Fonzie, or the Terminator have been the same icons of "coolness" had they been wearing Cordura? Hell no! Nothing, my friends defines motorcycling like a good leather motorcycle jacket. Besides being a wonderful piece of protective gear, it is a statement to the non-riders who we allow to share the world with us..

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Product Review: Verholen 2006 BMW K1200GT Peg Lowering Kit

Here's two detailed reviews of the new K1200GT peg lowering kits made by Verholen of Germany from former man about town, Phil Space.... and a follow up by our second tester and former Sith Lord , Kevin Ward

"They are installed. Easier than the US POS's I bought from Bob Henig, but the pin for the pegs into the MV piece is a PIA. The flange is very tight against the rubber, so you have to both push that back as well as keep on the retractor spring, but with a vice and some rags or a good long punch it's not a big deal for a farm boy.

The left peg went on much easier, the rubber on my right one must have been off a bit, but just the same, a set of instructions suggesting the use of a punch for alignment so wrenching retards don't bugger things up might be nice.

The other thing I would add is an actual torque spec and maybe, if MV agrees some loctite blue or less. Also the big ass screw with the 8mm allen could probably use some thread lock and a torque spec to since it's pretty big and wrenchin retards will just torque away not thinking about the aluminum threads underneath.

The ability to adjust them front/back is also very cool. As I have them now, the horizontal distance to the shifter is the same, just lower. I could rotate it forward and close that and bring them up, or even better, rotate them back a bit bringing them up, but moving the pegs back. There is more than enough adjustment in the shifter to make things work. After a couple trips around town and readjustments, it's dialed in and perfect.

The downside is the brake lever. There is a turn buckle on the shaft going to the master cylinder, but I don't see a stop adjustment, the lever is spring loaded and comes right up against the frame from what I can see. I adjusted the turnbuckle one turn in to desensitize it a bit, but I don't see it as a show stopper at all. Some might complain, and maybe there is a stop like there was on my RT that I can work with and then readjust the linkage, but I don't see it. As it sits, I can use the brake, it's fine, and I'm not going to bitch about it.

Hey, I'm sold. I tried doing this on my RT, but the shifter was a bitch so I took them off and with with highway pegs instead for the occasional knee stretch. This is a much better setup than the one for the RT. I think they are cool.
Lastly..., I found one other “be careful”. For me, now that the shifter is spot on with the peg, there isn’t a lot of clearance between the shifter and the tang on the side stand. You have to be careful when you hit the tang with your heel to put the sidestand down, or you could knock it in gear, if you had it in neutral. My bike is NEVER in neutral, so it’s no big deal, but I have seen some guys that actually leave their bike on the stand in neutral."
Phil Space

"The brake and shift lever adjustments went good! To adjust brake and shift all you need is a 10mm open end. The shift adjust rod you need to loosen the lock nuts. The lower has reverse threads. Then you can adjust the lever to as low as you want to by twisting the adjust rod. The brake has a single lock nut. Loosen it and shorten the rod by twisting it. Everything feels and works good. The side stand is slightly less convenient because the pegs are closer to it. " Kevin Ward

What's New In the K1200RS/GT/S/R No-Spin Zone

I should note that as the RS and 02-05 GT has 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.K-Bikes.com , www.I-BMW.com, and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these chat sites..

1. Do you own a K1200S or K1200R and are experiencing sudden deceleration when slowly closing throttle? .. Occasional On/Off throttle action that's bad enough that it virtually snaps your head back and forth during deceleration and/or acceleration? Join the club my friends as you are not alone. I've heard this from a few dozen other owners in the last few weeks. This is a serious software problem and as of this writing BMW has no fix for it..
The good news is.. we have spoken with the people at BMW NA. They are fully aware of the problem, as is Germany, and they are working on a new SW release. They cannot quote a release date, as according the the source... "they need to make sure this one is full-proof" but we have heard release is imminent.

Stay tuned.. Will report as new info becomes available. For now.. what can we do?? You can fill in the on-line complaint form to the man behind the curtain at BMW NA at. http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/contact/index.jsp In these situations, there is strength in numbers and believe me.. I plan on flexing whatever muscle I can until a fix is delivered.

2. Own a 2006 GT and need a little back support?? Your Lay-Z-Boy won't quite fit on your bike? The good people at BAKUP have a driver backrest for the new GT. I spoke to a buddy that bought one and he said it works good and is easy to install with 4 supplied bolts. They may not have the new GT on their page yet but they are available.

3. In case you are staying up at night wondering... No..the Heli Bar Risers for the K1200S will not fit on the K1200R. The word from Carol in sales is that they will have something for the K1200R very soon.

4. Are any of you K1200S owners power hungry bastages like I am?? Of course you are.. Who could live with ONLY 165 horsies between your legs? Geezz.. Well here's a tidbit that should give you wood with anticipation... We just got word from the Ayatollah of Rock-N-Roller at RhineWest Performance, Inc / that their K1200S power chip will be ready within the next 6 months...WooHoo!! If it's anywhere as good as their proven RS version be prepared for MUCH smoother running, a perfectly linear powerband, and I'll take a guess at at least 12 more plug-n-play ponies...

5. A K&N Air Filter for the K1200R and S models is now available..(BM-1205) at $62.97 ea. plus shipping which is about 4 bucks. It's made with the usual face shape then it goes into a cone shape for a significantly enlarged surface area. It's got to pass more air with this design then anything else out there... I should add that K&N has made an air filter for years for the venerable K1200RS and GT but it does virtually more harm to how the bike runs than good with my meandering point being.... just because it's a new filter on the market doesn't mean it's any kind of improvement other than a being a "cheaper" option. ...If anyone tries one of these.. please let me know what you think... I have an open mind. For now.. if I were considering an aftermarket air filter.. I'd go with Evoluzione.

6. Heli Bars has announced that they should be releasing a ""handlebar relocator " for the 06 GT sometime this month. I won't even comment on this... Geezz

7. Have you even wondered if those Deer Whistles work?? Wonder no more....They don't!... http://www.ibmwr.org/otech/deerw.html

8. There's a rumor circulating that if you install a Remus on your 2006 GT you'll need to install BMW Heat Resistant Foil (p/n 46 54 2 316 611) to the right side case to protect it from the excess heat ...Apparently this isn't true...This just in from the importer... (pasted)

"Having installed several GT exhaust I do not foresee any issues with heat, bag and proximity. Please tell anyone who may be a bit paranoid that any good auto part store has adhesive heat shield. They can put some in what they consider a problem area. "
Knut Wagner
MaxMOTO Distribution

9. As contributed by our good friend... Sir Locus of Borg over at www.I-BMW.com: "Searching the Net I stumbled over something interesting. It is the new offering to add a Top-case to the S. The luggage rack (part.number: 650639.0101) is made by the German company 'Hepco & Becker' and the 'ground-plate by Givi. The Top-case is a 48 liters Givi... The original 'lower-frame' is still in place for the original sport-panniers supplied from BMW. I have also seen this option and it looks ok, the Luggage-rack is made and painted like the lower-frame and you will have to dismount the original Hand-racks to get this contraption mounted, but luckily you do not need to drill/modify any else. The Luggage rack will fit in between all 'plastic' and you could easily get your bike back to 'standard' looks by remounting the original Hand-racks...."

10. In a recent newsletter I mentioned a company called Bug-Guards for Beemers that has oil cooler guard kits for your K1200RS/GT/R/GS/R1150R. The kits contain a powder coated black, aluminum mesh screen that attaches directly to the oil cooler via Velcro and removes in seconds for cleaning. They now have their website up with easy on-line Paypal ordering.

11. I have posted the first pictures of the 2007 K1200S models in the Pirates Lair Photo Gallery . So far I have only 3 shots from our good friends over at www.K1200S.de ( Danke schön!) ....You'll see there will be 3 all new colors for the worlds fastest production BMW in 2007. Look for the photo album cleverly titled.. 2007 BMW K1200S: First Look

12. Own a 2006 K1200GT and want to mount a GPS, radar detector, or Auto Suck on your bars? What to do...? FYI.. We just yesterday learned that the ZTechnik TechMount, which is sleek, stylish, and amazingly attractive unlike virtually everything else on the market fits not only the K1200S, and R but yes... the new GT.. You can buy these mounts (part# Z6131) from any designated BMW dealer.. or from that guy at Pirates Lair.

13. I mentioned in last months cheesy newsletter the new waaay cool Kisan Sequential License Plate Frame. I already have one on my K1200S and it's killer. Install was chimp-easy but not without a small learning curve. Due to the fact that the BMW K1200S, K1200R, and second generation K1200GT are very complex bikes.. ..Kisan tells us there are only (2) places to tap for power in order NOT to muck-up the geewiz Can-Bus system.. The starter relay and/or the accessory outlet on the left side of the bike. Damn Germans... still getting us back for WWII.. Fortunately, the accessory outlet is very easy to access and that's where I ran the hot wire on my 2006 K1200S. But here's the kicker... You'll notice that even after you turn your key off the Kisan Sequential LED License Plate Frame will still be on!! What the f#%*!! Relax... this accessory port hot wire has a 60 second auto-shut-off timer on it. Your plate will turn off exactly 60 seconds after you turn your key off. It's actually very cool. Check out my own own How To Install the Kisan Sequential LED License Plate Frame on a BMW K1200S .

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. New Product In Stock!! We now have the new Kisan Sequential License Plate Frame. While they come in Chrome and Black, for obvious reasons we're just going to carry the BLACK version... This is the best license plate frame I've ever seen. Kisan has furnished us with K12 specific install instructions. Also...just got my own How-To install the Kisan Sequential LED License Plate Frame. Mine works like a charm!! Very sleek.. Unobtrusive. A chick magnet.

2. New Product In Stock!! We now have the all new 2006 K1200GT Verholen Peg Lowering Kits (Rider and Passenger). We offer the passenger kits in two lengths ... 40mm and 60mm although we suspect the 60mm version will outsell the shorter kit by 10-1 and ....we have already sold out of the 60mm version.. OK, you may be asking.... "We're Americans...we don't need no stinkin metric system!.. What's that translate out to..??" Glad you asked... 40mm = 1.5" and 60mm = 2.36" . Relatively easy install in spite of the typically bad German instructions.

3. New Product In Stock!! Have a K1200S or K1200R and worry about getting rear ended by a Buick... ?? We have the solution. .. the US-made K1200S Lite Buddy's are super bright LED solid state lights with 24 total LEDs per turn signal. They offer one solution to front and/or rear visibility (or lack thereof) for your BMW K1200S or K1200R, the new GS, the GS/Adv, and the F800ST. Lite Buddy's fit inside the turn signal housings. The FRONT kit (which is not yet available) burns amber all the time. The REAR kit, which we do have in stock, burns a bright RED at all times and 16 of the LED's burn amber when the turn signals are used. Very unobtrusive. Easy install with no mods or drilling. Increase your rear visibility by 200%.

4. Good news for those of you who are not quite balanced.. Due to a redesign, the price of the Marc Parnes K1200S/R/ 06GT & R1200GS/ST/RT Wheel Balance Kit has dropped from $185 to $150 effective today..WooHoo!!

5. Own a 2006 K1200GT and want to mount a GPS, radar detector, or Auto Suck on your bars? What to do...? FYI.. We just yesterday learned that the ZTechnik TechMount fits not only the K1200S, and R but yes... the new GT. We have them In Stock at http://pirateslair.net/ZRadarmount.htm

6. New Product! In Stock! Pirates' Lair delivers yet again with this exclusive offering... the Helmet Holder Helmet Lock! Ever wonder why your bike doesn't come with a halfway decent helmet lock? Go figure. The US made Helmet Holder fits virtually every motorcycle made and offers a super easy install and quick no hassle access. Each stainless steel and nylon unit clamps two helmets securely in under 30 seconds. Just flip out 1 or 2 arms, insert the helmet, hold the top arm down and spin the lock knob tight. While I think these are simply too big for sport bikes.. it looks just about perfect on any touring bikes.. the BMW K1200GT, R1200RT, LT, Yamaha FJ1300, Honda ST1300, Kawasaki Concours, Gold Wing, etc, etc..

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2006

The 7th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally ...(sponsored by www.I-BMW.com) is the last K12 event of the season and will again be held at the Tapoco Lodge at the end of September 2006. ... Sept 28-30th to be precise. This last year every room was booked so I suggest you make reservations NOW just to make sure. You can always cancel if you can't make it. Be there!! Simply the best time of year to be in the mountains. Virtually perfect weather the last 5 years. If you need advice as to where to stay, etc... email me and I can possibly shed some enlightenment in your general direction. Amber and I will be there... and she'll not be wearing panties.

How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have 1 new contribution this month.. . Thx guys/gals!!! Could these tips save your life? Dare you NOT look?
Check out # 111 Contributed by the legendary (in his own mind) Robert Rehkopf / Bartlett, TN

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive on your 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 use deodorant.

BMW How-To Section

Check out my own own How To Install the Kisan Sequential LED License Plate Frame on a BMW K1200S

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues