"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....

Bad Santa

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: December 2007 Issue : Happy Holidays

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

As various members of the family bring out a punch bowl and glasses, Janie sits down at the piano and strikes a chord. She starts playing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and the entire crowd joins in the singing. Some people are still coming in and dropping their money on the table. Carter, the bank examiner, makes a donation; the sheriff sheepishly looks at George and tears his warrant in small pieces. Just then, Harry, in Naval uniform, enters, accompanied by Bert, the cop.

Harry: Hello, George, how are you?
George: Harry . . . Harry . . . !!
Harry: (as he sees the money) Mary ---- looks like I got here too late.
Bert: Mary, I got him here from the airport as quickly as I could. The fool flew all the way up here in a blizzard.
Mrs Bailey: Harry, how about your banquet in New York?
Harry: Oh, I left right in the middle of it as soon as I got Mary's telegram. Ernie hands Harry a glass of wine.
Harry: Good idea, Ernie. A toast . . . to my big brother, George. The richest man in town! Once more the crowd breaks into cheering and applause. Janie at the piano and Bert on his accordion start playing "Auld Lang syne," and everyone joins in.
George, still holding Zuzu in his arms, glances down at the pile of money on the table. His eye catches something on top of the pile, and he reaches down for it. It is Clarence's copy of the Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter. George opens it and finds an inscription written in it "Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has a BMW and friends. Thanks for the wings, Love Clarence."
Mary: (looking at the newsletter) What's that?
George: That's a cheesy Christmas present from a very dear friend of mine.

George Bailey / James Stewart Mary / Donna Reed / It's a Wonderful Life ... 1946

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

Back in Black from Guatemala Vacation: You Can Relax Now

As most of you know, Pirates Lair was closed for 2 full weeks just recently for a long overdue mental renovation.. a.k.a..vacation. We appreciate everyone's understanding while we were away and for those who didn't understand... Blow me. Anyway, Amber and I went to Guatemala in Central America. Many of you don't know I lived there for almost a year and it's my favorite place in all the world. Had always wanted to share it with Amber so we pulled the trigger in late Oct...

If you get bored and are even faintly interested feel free to check out our most humble vacation photos!

I loaded 3 albums as we visited 3 or 4 different locales in Guatemala..They should be the first 3 photo albums visible. The best way to view them is to click on the album you want to view then click the slide show button over on the right

Guatemala Trip 2007 Book # 1- Tikal The first 2 days we spent visiting the Mayan ruins at Tikal.. deep in the Guatemalan rain forest ..a true adventure.. How deep? I swear, road signs warned of Jaguar Crossing.. another warned of Boa Crossing.... I'm not kidding. That deep! We watched howler monkeys playing over our heads, fought off demonic insects, and stood 15 feet from one of the rarest eagles in the world.. and I got pics!

Guatemala Trip 2007 Book# 2 - Antigua Second leg of the trip was to the ancient, beautiful city of Antigua which sits at the base of a massive volcano. It's simply the coolest town I've ever visited.. Cobblestone streets, wonderful people, food to die for, etc...I always told Amber that I wanted to retire there.. now that she's seen it.. she wants to join me. We stayed at the best digs in the town.. the Meson Panza Verde which Amber told me was the most romantic hotel she'd ever stayed in.

Guatemala Trip 2007 Book # 3 - Panajachel Last leg was to the tiny town of Panajachel on scenic Lake Atitlan which virtually every travel guide in the world calls the most beautiful lake in the world.. and I believe it. Panajachel sits on the edge of the lake overlooking twin, mirror image volcanoes.

Click Here for the Guatemala Photo Album
Lake Atitlan is crystal clear and very deep. The local Indians, after thousands of years, still live out their lives on the shores. We stayed at the Hotel Atitlan which is, I swear, the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed at... The grounds look like the Garden of Eden... The view in every direction is.. well.. breathtaking. Some side shots in the last book are from the tiny town of Chichicastanaga which we visited on market day which this year happened to fall on All Saints Day.. Nov 1st which is one of their biggest holidays...Indians come from all over to socialize and sell their food/wares, etc.. The sights, smells and sounds were amazing and the people ... wonderful... and beautiful. It's refreshing to see people so poor yet always happy and smiling.

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Group Bike Transporting: Two Wheels Travelers

A long time ago when the earth was still young and the only BMW's on the road were sissy twins, trailering a bike was frowned upon like taking a fat girl to the prom and the residual fallout ridicule was brutal sticking with you for years like that bad rumor that you were caught in the high-school girls bathroom masturbating. Those days are long gone.

With the advent of very expensive soft rubber tires, trailering a bike these days not only makes sense in some cases.. it's rational. Having your bike hauled for you is another option. Some of us simply don't have the time to ride 5 days each way to a 3 days event nor would some of us even want to if the roads are as boring as Florida or f%#*ing Ohio. So what to do?

There are lots of nameless, impersonal motorcycle transport companies out there hauling bikes as if they were cattle . Nameless carriers who don't know s#@t about motorcycles and only want to fill their trucks and collect a buck.

Recently I came upon a company that is taking motorcycle transporting to a whole new level. Two Wheels Travelers who bill themselves as the motorcycle transport specialists has nailed a new niche. They haul groups to a certain destinations.. rallies, bike week, Sturgis, BMW National, etc then hang around on site for all your motorcycling needs. I spoke with one of the owners, Mike Morey and he explained it thusly..." we stay for the duration of the event to offer overnight storage for bikes and gear on the trailer. The trailer also can serve as a "home-base" of sorts, it's custom fabricated and includes central heat and air, shower, toilet, and furnished lounge area (the same applies to the coach area). This way the clients that utilize our services, can relax for a bit after riding and it allows them certain luxuries without having to travel all the way back to their rooms or condos. Sometimes the client only requires one-way transport, but other times round trip. "

Here is some verbiage from their web site...
"Our transport services take the guess work and frustration out of planning to attend such an event. We make it simple. Fly and Ride! It doesn't get much simpler than that. How does it work? Once, your transport service is booked, we arrange for the pick-up of your bike by our qualified personnel. Next, your bike and gear are expertly loaded into our custom built transporter and transported to your event. If booking round-trip transport, the service is repeated all over again,and your bike is delivered back to your home or business.

Now, you've taken what would have been a week of travel time and condensed it down to a matter of hours by allowing your bike to be transported and waiting for your arrival. Now, you have time to attend the events you always thought you would never have time for. What are you waiting for? You deserve it, and we can make sure it happens."

You can reach them at 800.565.1375 or 404.915.0068 or check out their web site. Looks like a first class operation. Tell them I sent you..

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BMW To Recall 39,000 K & R Bikes! Flame On! (as seen over at www.i-BMW.com)

We've been hearing stories over the past year or so from K12 customers who'd be riding and notice a wet leg, look down and find their pants leg covered with gas... or find a puddle of gas under their bikes after a ride. One K1200RS owner told me his bike actually caught fire after a ride. Yikes! Unless you are Johnny Storm, going down the road in flames in probably NOT an ideal way to travel. Apparently there is more "heat" to the story than I had thought.. Check this out.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) will recall 39,000 motorcycles sold in the United States from the 2000 through 2004 model years to fix a damaged seal and a possible leak in the fuel line. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday on its web site that the German vehicle maker was recalling the K and R series motorcycles.

BMW said fuel-line seals might have been damaged when the vehicles were serviced. The agency began an investigation in December after receiving six complaints, including one involving an injury. Notification of bike owners, whose vehicles will be repaired at no charge, will begin next month. -- Bloomberg News

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 04V028000 Recall Date : JAN 15, 2004 Component: FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE DELIVERY:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS Potential Number Of Units Affected : 39000

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BMW K1200R Recall Notice : Got Brakes? (as seen over at www.i-BMW.com)

On Sunday, October 07, 2007, BMW of North America filed a recall notice with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding brake fluid foaming in the reservoir... The recall affects ALL K1200R's and R Sports.. NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V466000

Basically .. on certain bikes, during long periods of riding at sustained high engine RPM, vibration within the front brake reservoir can cause the brake fluid to foam. This could/can allow air to enter the front brake system which could lead to baaaaaaad things. So much for superior German engineering. HA!

The Fix.. Dealers will bleed the front brakes and install a damper weight in the brake fluid reservoir. Supposedly, this weight will dampen possible vibrations that can cause foaming of the aforementioned brake fluid. The recall is expected to begin immediately. Just call your local extortionists...er dealer to make your appointment or call BMW at 1-800-831-1117.

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Dragged Into the 21st Century: An Office Space Odyssey!

We've been resisting upgrading our bank of Pirate computers for eons. Change doesn't come easy.. or cheap on this ship. I've been working with the prehistoric yet predictably horrible Windows ME for years and would have continued bravely forward if our main rig hadn't imploded just 2 weeks ago. Geezz..

On November 27th we paid the local geek-squad to come in and revamp our gear to the latest greatest goodies and it was anything but painless. I won't go into the personal learning curve or the Vista operating systems and pre-Vista software compatibility problems that smacked us right in the face. The change-over is still not complete as we are still working out gremlins/bugs. I'd guess we are operating at only about 80% with our new Hal 9000. The geeks did manage to download and then lose about 134 incoming emails on Nov 27th so if you have not received a response to a past email.... please re-send. Why am I wasting precious newsletter time mentioning this? Because our usual stellar customer service may suffer a bit until we get our sails back up and into the wind.. Just be patient.


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

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

1. You 2006 and Up K1200GT owners waiting for Staintune to deliver slip-on exhaust kits for your bike had better sit down and have your Puerto Rican maid pour you a stiff one as I've got baaaad news. Looks like it's not gonna happen. In case you didn't know... for a few weeks, Staintune was selling their K1200S version Staintune slip-ons with a different connector piece to GT owners but for whatever reason.. they immediately pulled them from the market. I first heard that they were redesigning the connector piece but I now hear that they've dropped the project all together.. When I asked my buddies down under why no GT version.... they sent me this... (pasted unedited..)
"The K1200GT muffler we decided not to do in the end although we initially had them listed. Its more of a managerial decision but the GT's never took off in Australia so they decided not to do them."

Paul Schmalz
Sales Division, Staintune Australia

2. Here's a cool Staintune care tip sent in by Mark Badovinac .. " I bought a Staintune can for my K1200S a while ago. I like it but I thought the furnished Staintune clamp was a bit of an eye sore. Turns out the stock clamp is made out of the same high quality, non-magnetic stainless that the Staintune is. If you have access to polishing equipment, I highly recommend giving the clamp a polishing. If I get bored this winter, I may hit the header too. "

3. Winter is upon us and if you're like me.... keeping your hands (and your johnson) warm is a main concern. Even heated grips can't keep the outside of your hands warm. If you have the new BMW K1200GT here's another solution for cold digits. Aeroflow makes some plastic hand guards for your bike. Easy install and no drilling into the plastic. What more can you ask?

4. Evoluzione has informed us that there is a new version Race Filter Kit for the 2007 K1200R. Apparently due to the fact that BMW has changed the air box on the new R bikes, their standard K1200R Race Filter Kits had to be modified a bit to adapt. Apparently the difference involves only a small bracket on the right side. How do you determine which kit is right for your K1200R? If I understand them correctly.. the mounting points for the early air box have identical mounting points on both the left and right side of the bike. On the new version air box, the bike has a clip on one side and a bracket on the other.

5. Is the brake pedal on your K1200S, K1200R, R Sport, or 2006 & Up too small for you? Have canoes for feet? We hear it all the time.. Well... Just saw these on the Hornig website...it's a brake pedal enlarger kit for the new K12's... This enlargement simply slips on and is held in place with two set-screws. I'm sure Pirates Lair will be importing them soon.

6. Looks like the French company Secdem has a new windshield for the K1200R.. Looks pretty damn good!! Price is a bit high.. 123Euro or $174 US.. Ouch!

7. Woohoo! The first ever BMW K12 track day weekend has been arranged by a member of www.I-BMW.com . The event is limited to site members and there are a limited amount of spots open. The weekend is confirmed and reserved. If you are a member of I-BMW.com and are interested in attending this event you should visit the site for full details.They need a final list by January 15, 2008. Here's some basic info...
When: August 16 & 17, 2008 (Saturday & Sunday)
Where: Roebling Road Race Track (Savannah, GA area)
Cost: 1 instructional group with 10 people. Cost is $250.00 per day. $500 total. BOTH DAYS REQUIRED! 1 non-instructional with 20 people. Cost is $150.00 per day. $300 total. BOTH DAYS REQUIRED!

8. Speaking of windshields MRA of Germany has just released a Vario Touring Screen for the naked K1200R. Price looks to be a reasonable $140.US... While I'm sure by the looks of it it would offer substantially better protection against the elements... it's painful to look at.. I believe Stevie Wonder would cringe... Click pic at right for larger image if you dare.. but be forewarned.. it's liable to cause bed wetting and/or spontaneous hurling.. but... if protection from the elements out ranks beauty in your motorcycling world and you must have one ..Twisted Throttle is probably importing them.. Nice people to deal with..

Click For Larger Image.. If You Dare!

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. The good news is.. we just got our first shipment of Carbon Fiber Rear Huggers from Ilmberger of Germany. The bad news is.. we are already sold out of them. Even worse news is... Out of all the vendors we deal with, Ilmberger is the worst taking 2-5 months to get product. As they are the only game in town for a few Carbon Fiber products, including these huggers, we just bend over, grin, and say.. "thank-you sir, may I have another?" Early on they had fitment problems with some bikes and I told them we'd never sell them again unless they redesigned.. which they apparently have. This is top of the line quality, my friends and the criminally high price reflects that fact. In case you are curious, the Carbon Fiber pattern of Ilmberger products is an exact match for the patterns of both ZTechnik and Pack Parts Carbon Fiber products so there is no issue with mixing and matching. These huggers fit the 06&Up K1200GT, K1200R, R Sport, and K1200S. No idea when the next shipment will be here.

Click For Larger Image.. If You Dare!

2. There's another HID Headlight Conversion Kit on the market.. The German web site/store 2Wheels4You has them but all text/info is predictably in German. We spoke to a K1200R owner that has one on his bike and he told us this... "Installation is easy. The original cable connects to the ballast (no need to cut the original cable), all the plugs are included. You need to drill a 1 inch hole into the dusk cap of the lamp to accommodate the wiring. I put the ballast below the left air intake - easy to mount, use some double-sided tape (or velcro)." Here's a pic of the unit installed.. and one of the bright result.

3. We have been selling the Brake LED Kits from Gizmo Mill for years now. No more as of November 25th. Their kit for the BMW K1200RS is/was simply the finest rear lighting enhancement on the market, IMHO..We never did care much for their lack-luster K1200S version, but that's neither here nor there now. Recently the company moved to a new larger location. When this happened all service from them went to hell in a hand basket. Phone calls go unanswered.. emails go unanswered ..phone service to one of their numbers has been disconnected . Bottom line.. when we place an order with ANYONE.. we expect to get a confirmation and eventually a product. We owe it to our customers to deliver a product in a timely fashion and as we can no longer do this with the Brake LED Kits... they have been dropped from our menu. As of today.. I have not heard from Gizmo Mill in over 5 weeks.

4. We just got our first shipment in 12 months of Billet Torque Arms for the K1200S/K1200R, and the 2006 & Up K1200GT. If you are one of those sick, demented people that can actually live with that ugly piece of crap that BMW pawned off on your $17,000 bike.. don't even click this link.. but if you are like me and love beautiful things on your bike.. our custom designed, exclusive torque arms will take your breath away. The ultimate Christmas gift for the guy/gal that appreciate the finer things in life.

5. We have the new Evoluzione Race Air Filter Kits In Stock for the 2007 BMW K1200R. The kits are slightly different than the 2006 K1200R kits..(see blurb above)

6. As per the blurb above.. We have already ordered a shipment of the aforementioned brake pedal enlarger kits for your K1200S, K1200R, R Sport, or 2006 & Up.. This enlargement simply slips on and is held in place with two set-screws.Will list them as In Stock on their respective product pages as soon as they are available.

7. Woohoo!! Our R1200RT Stealth Backrest just hit the market. This project took over a year to complete and it's just in time for Christmas. There will be only ONE PRODUCTION RUN of (80) units so if you own an RT or know someone that is looking for one.. Now would be the time to get your arse in gear. Once these 80 units are gone.. there will be no more no matter how much begging or BJ's are offered. We're just selling these to recoup our R & D costs. They are simply too expensive to produce due to the skyrocketing costs of materials. So if you're on the fence... this is your only chance to make your move. I should mention.. these went on sale 2 weeks ago and are selling fairly well in spite of winter coming on. As of this writing there are about 60 left. Consider yourself forewarned.

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2008

Blue Ridge Parkway K12 Rally: May 15th - 18th, 2008 (Contributed by our good buddy, Sir Tim Hudspeth aka CBNFVR over at www.I-BMW.com )

Looks like the Snowshoe people have decided to let our bunch of miscreants inhabit the Inn at Snowshoe for BRPR 2008 (BRPW = Blue Ridge Parkway Rally). This is a confirmed event. I'm already booked.

Location: Inn at Snowshoe , Snowshoe, West Virginia
Reservations: 1 877 441-4386 , Mention "BMW Motorcycle Group - 5071OE" 40 rooms are held for us until 4-11-2008. After that any remaining rooms are available to the general public. The rate is 79 per night (plus taxes).
Amenities: Bar, jacuzzi, walk to beverage store, walk to gas or groceries, restaurant on site, pool. Each room has a TV and phone. Some have a fridge.
Sat Lunch: River Place, downtown Marlinton
Fri-Sat evening meals At the Inn or walk to the Deli a few hundred feet away! No riding required. (Note: There is no organized meal. (i.e. Pay as you go. Go when you wish.)
Links: http://www.pocahontas.org/

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Deals Gap K12 Rally: Sept 25-28th 2008 (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

Well.. the last K12 rally of the year will again be at the Tapoco Lodge at Deal's Gap. Dates are set for Thursday Sept 25th - Sunday 28th. It won't hold us all, so make plans now! Amber and I are already booked!! This'll be the last K12 Rally of 2008, my friends. Be there or forever regret it like the time you blew that chance with those twins because you misread the subtle signals they were giving you..

Call NOW to reserve a room...!

Friday noon meal (12-1:00pm) will be at the Troll Restaurant in Helen, Ga (under the bridge)
Saturday noon meal (12-1:00 pm) will be at the Bistro, Telico Plains, Tennessee (western end of the Cherohala)

As usual, Fri and Sat evening will consist of tall tales, videos worthy of "Americas Most Wanted", and food in the Lodge. No set times.

Alternate Lodging in Robbinsville, NC. Microtel Motel.
Closest dealer (err, one in Knoxville yet?) Touring Sport BMW Greenville, SC

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

Our latest contribution?? Check out # 131 contributed by contributed by
Mark K of scenic Doylestown Pa.!!! Thx dude!!

Could this tip save your life? Dare you NOT look?

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.

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BMW How-To Section

We have a new one this month.. Contributed by Sir Paul Gatto Check out his How-To Adapt the K1200S R&G Frame Sliders to the 2006+ K1200GT .

Guess that kinda wraps this one up. This will be the last communiqué for 2007. 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, encouragement, and occasional naked pics. Best wishes to you all...

In spite of what the far left ACLU would like us to say, we sincerely hope that you and yours (no matter what bike you ride and/or religion) have a a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Remember if you're gonna drink...stop by here and of course... leave the bike at home... For our secularist customers... Happy Winter Season... for the Seinfeld aficionados.. Happy Festivus.

For our US troops and loyal allies serving around the world....a heartfelt thank you for everything you are doing for us and the world and... Godspeed. Best wishes to you and your families.

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues