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, etc 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: December 2003 Issue

Fellow esteemed and quasi-esteemed K12 Riders.... ..A famous (and slightly edited) holiday quote...
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas... and nothing says Christmas like a cheesy K12 newsletter." Calvin Coolidge

Yes.. it's that time again..... My quasi-humble attempt to inform you of what's new in the BMW K1200RS/GT community and... at Pirates' Lair.

What's new in the News...?

1. On a frosty note... A lot of unfortunate people are getting ready to store their bikes for the winter....(God help us all)...and I'm one of them. This info may be helpful for those like me who use a Battery Tender and were wondering about compatibility issues with the new Gel batteries on the market. .

The big cheese Mike Prelec / President of Deltran Corp (makers of the Battery Tender). spews wordage...
" The Battery Tender Plus is different from the BMW Gel Battery Tender, despite that they look the same. BMW asked us to design a battery charger specifically for the new Exide gel battery that would be used in their motorcycles. Exide required a very specific charge algorithm which is different from other batteries, including other gels. One of the changes made is to the timed sequence of the absorption period. While the packaging on the Battery Tender Plus states it does charge gel batteries, this was put on the packaging before the new Exide gel battery came to light, and the packaging is now being changed. What this means is the BMW charger complies with the warranty requirements for the gel battery. "

2. and speaking of seasons that suck... Unless you are one of the lucky bastages living in a warm climate... in the last couple of weeks your riding time has just shriveled up to nothing (think shrinkage, folks!) .. or else you are toughing it out in electric gear, miles of coiled wiring, thick gloves, and special suits... FYI.. I recently received for my birthday one of the full body socks.. aka.. long thermal underwear from CAROL DAVIS SPORTSWEAR, Inc. at http://www.cdsportswear.com/ It's simply the most comfortable long underwear I have ever used in 35 years of motorcycling.. It's THICK, has a full frontal zipper, and made of Polartec.. yes. the same material that many dive suits are made of. The material wicks perspiration away from the skin to keep the rider dry, warm and comfy. It's around $100 a pair and it's worth it, me thinks. They even come with a rear zipper flap for the ass so in an emergency.. you could "go" without removing the entire suit saving precious gut wrenching seconds.. Yikes..... Carol runs the biz herself and caters to motorcyclists and hunters. I actually met her at the last Virginia National Rally.. Very nice.. and a babe, ta boot. Her products have my thumbs up, for what it's worth..Did I mention these suits are warm? Tell her I sent you...

3. Still waiting to hear back from those guys in Denmark who approached us about being the lone US importer/distributor of Clear Front Turn Signal Lenses for the early model K12 body style. As you may or may not know, we almost produced some a few years ago but was going to be too cost prohibitive. These guys tell me that if we pool our resources.. a "hands across the water" project, if you will... it might be worth our while...Stay tuned..

4. Under the "Say What?!" category...Remember last month I congratulated Stefan Verholen (and the lovely Karen, his new wife) for their recent nuptials? Well... Just heard from Karen that Stefan has quit the company and they both have moved from Germany to California to start a new life and biz... His mother, Monika (and her partners) will continue to run Verholen in Germany... Best wishes to them ...

5. Got a few miles on that K of yours? Of course you do.. Suspect your steering damper may be shot? We know how painful that is.. As far as I know.. the only replacement dampener has been from your local extortionist...er..dealer. Things are about to change. A fellow designer has developed and easy to install bracket that will allow for the use of an Ohlin Steering Damper on both the GT's and RS's. He plans on offering this as a complete kit.. via Pirates' Lair. He's sending me a sample for evaluation. Unlike the factory piece.. the Ohlin is rebuildable.

6. This same designer has also come up with another useful little item. Many of us have steel braided brake lines on our bikes but can NOT install a matching steel braided clutch line to our bikes because of the weird German factory fitting on the bottom end...As far as I know, no steel braided line maker has a fitting that will bolt to it... until now. This same designer has developed a stainless steel coupling that attaches to the factory fitting that will allow for ANY steel braided line to attach directly to it.. Very cool. Not sure about price but I think he mentioned around $45-50. Sample is on the way for evaluation, or so I'm told.

7. Just a passing thought..(which to me is ANY thought not put on a "Post-It) ..If anyone has K12 or product related info that might be of interest to others.. send it to me.. preferably written on the back of a $5 or $10 bill and accompanied with some pics featuring gratuitous nudity (preferably women..) or tasteless, warped humor. I'll give it special consideration. If newsworthy, I may just add it to the newsletter...

The Brad's Daughter Christmas Fund... Update: Fund Closing Dec 20th

As most of you know by now, for the last few weeks we have been collecting for a Christmas fund for Brad Reetz's daughter. FYI.. we lost Brad exactly one year ago when some lowlife rear-ended him on an east coast interstate. Brad was raising a 10 year old daughter. Her name is Anna. While she is living in a good home and is not wanting for anything (as we are told), we wanted to give her something in remembrance of her father.. a friend and fellow K12'er. To show her she is not alone in missing his company.

This whole effort has kinda steamrolled as contributions have been coming in from all over the world and even a couple other chat sites (one being the R1150R site) that felt compelled to join in... and no.. I didn't ask them. As of today we have collected nearly $2000 for her from over 100 people and are now working on finding a representative of our group to deliver the "gift" just after Christmas. Will post at http://www.i-bmw.com/ and the next newsletter how she received it. Thanks all!

If you have contributed, take a second and check out our Contributors List Page If you do NOT see your name, please contact us at 828.628.7093 EST or e-mail Amber at piratesmate@acelink.net FYI.. Note: We are NOT posting amounts contributed. Why? We just don't think it's the right thing to do, that's why. This is NOT about how much you can afford...it's the thought of helping a child.. be it a $2 contribution or $100. Some can afford to give more than others.. simple as that.

What's new at Pirates' Lair?

1. We now have the Daytona Hubcap in stock from Wunderlich of Germany This wheel cover is simple to install, works on both the 5.0 and 5.5 wheels, looks trick, and makes cleaning your wheels so much easier. . Web page is up at http://pirateslair.net/DHubcap.htm

2. Yea.. we bad... We are now authorized to carry the entire Wunderlich line of products....Looks like the first thing on the menu will be the aforementioned Daytona Hubcap and the Passenger Footrest Lowering Kit . We do get a lot of requests for them. This passenger lowering kit will lower the rear pegs by a full 60mm down increasing the knee and hip angle of your beloved or quasi-beloved passenger and hopeful will nip that incessant bitching in the bud. After all.. your pegs are adjustable why shouldn't hers be? Seems only fair. Working on a web page. I'm looking through their large catalog and deciding who's been naughty and who's been nice.. er.. I mean.. what's worthy of our product line...Lots of cool little nick-nacks in there.... top quality German s*%#. more to come..

3. Our MV Agusta section will officially go on-line sometime in January but we have a quasi-working product page is up at http://www.pirateslair.net/MVPP.htm . This may not interest most BMW people but it gives me wood. and we all know.. "wood is good." Will probably not make a freakin' penny on this project.. but I'm giving it my best shot...because I want to.. Already have some exclusive products that should rock any F4 or Brutale owner's world including the the worlds' first MV Throttlemeister developed just for us and sold exclusively by us. It's good to be the king..

4. Still waiting to hear back from Reevu. As mentioned in the last newsletter, 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... We have filled out all the paperwork, jumped through the prerequisite hoops, hoping I don't have to ask Amber to blow somebody... just waiting for approval. Is it comfortable? is it quiet? is it attractive? How much will it cost? Ginger or MaryAnn? All unknown at this time and believe me.. if it's a piece o' crap we'll bail on the offer, but if it's a top quality lid and it actually works.. it will be invaluable to many .. especially those of us with hard core sport bikes where the only thing we see in our mirrors is our elbows or occasionally flashing blue lights... .. I'm very excited about this...

5. Prices on our K1200RS/GT/R1150R Stealth Backrests are going up slightly as of Jan 1st.. For those of you who have been procrastinating... this hike's for you. Funny thing... We have sold literally thousands of these backrests over the last few years and you know how many people have complained about the current price? Two or three..(to our face.) In contrast.. our new Honda ST1300 Stealth backrest (which is the ONLY ST backrest available worldwide) has been on the market less than a month and we hear at a few complaints every week!! Geeez... Demographics...Amber now just tells them to deal with it or go elsewhere.. So much for gratitude.

6. and speaking of Stealth backrests, we have a new one in pre-production for the R1100R. This same backrest will fit at least 2 other BMW's, but as of this writing I can't remember which..The same factory rack fits 3 models. I should have prototype pics up by the next newsletter with a list of which bikes it will fit on.

7. Design of our new Solo Seat Cowlings was completed in Nashville last week. Looks like sometime in the new year we will offer them in ABS (instead of the current hand made fiberglass) for less $$. How much less? Too early to tell, but hopefully at least 30% off current price...

8. We now have the Verholen Short Shifter on the menu, but alas.. we're almost sold out of our first shipment. Have one or two late model kits left in stock. If you want one.. e-mail or call before ordering or you may be in for a long wait for shipment # 2. . Just got mine installed last week and it rocks, my brothers and sisters. It's a little item that shortens the "throw" of the KRS/GT shifter by 70-80%" making shifting as fast as ANY Japanese bike. There are TWO versions.. for early and late models. They're a bit pricey, but we offer a $25 rebate for returning the stock pieces... which will help a bit.. a How-To Install guide is at http://pirateslair.net/qskhowto.htm

9. We will NOT be ordering any more Manual or Electric Handlebar Kits from Verholen. Why?.. A very strong Euro makes the new pricing outrageously high at over $2100 retail and I will NOT go along with this no matter how cool they are... Have (1) Electric and (1) Manual Kit left in stock at the old pricing... once they are gone.. *poof*.. Like Keiser Sosay... you'll never see them again .. at least on our site.

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2004 /

Word from a few different sources including Rider Magazine and Motorrad say there's gonna be a big BMW Rally at the Biltmore Estate here in Asheville, NC at http://www.biltmore.com/ supposedly in May or June 2004. The Biltmore has graciously agreed to open up a large area of their estate for campers. In case you are unfamiliar with this place.. it's the bomb.. think Hearst Castle luxurious. Very scenic.. a huge tourist attraction here on the east coast.. IMHO.. it should be an excellent place for a rally with mountain roads within 10 minutes... will probably have some sort of gathering here at the 'Lair... Details to come...

Next year's 2004 K12 Hill Country Rally will be held on April 8-11, 2004 in Kerrville, Tx. Barry Gibbs, the "seasoned" rally organizer (and former PR advisor for Michael Jackson) is now taking reservations for the rally to be held at Inn of the Hills in Kerrville. Mark those dates on your calendar right now. The Hill Country Rally is one of the best K1200RS rallies to be held anywhere. Great roads, no traffic and Texas hospitality. Check it out at http://www.tbmwsr.com/

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 I'll be there...

The 5th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally will 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 Tell them you are with the BMW K12 group.

How to Survive Tips
I have a How-To Install the Verholen Quick Shift Kit How-To at http://pirateslair.net/qskhowto.htm
Also.. just added a few new How to Survive on Your Motorcycle tips at www.piratesk12site.net/SAFETY~1.htm (#57) sent in by the infamous Scott Marburger and a couple (#58/59) from the quasi-esteemed Carlos Santos.

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive tip.. 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 kinda wraps this one up. This will be the last communiqué for 2003. It's been a good year for Amber and I (and Pirates' Lair) thanks to many of you.. or in spite of many of you. We appreciate your help, advice, and encouragement. Best wishes to you all...

In spite of what the ACLU would like, we sincerely hope that you and yours (no matter what bike you ride and/or religion) have a a very Merry Christmas and a safe Holiday Season. Remember if you're gonna drink...stop by here and of course... leave the bike at home... For our troops serving overseas..a heartfelt thankyou for everything you are doing and... Godspeed.

Take care.. ride safe...stay warm.. watch out for flying reindeer...see you in the New Year..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues