Take me home, El Capitan!

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

Around every other month, when I deem you are worthy, we post our cheesy newsletter to inform the masses as to what's happening in the BMW world and of course... Pirates' Lair. How else are you going to find out?

Warning: While I do try to add a little humor in every newsletter, some of my language may offend the mild mannered, politically correct, liberal, or meek amongst us. If you are offended easily I suggest you stop reading here and look elsewhere for your written info-tainment.

FYI.. If you'd like to be notified when each new newsletter is posted, just email me with your request and I'll make that happen. Our email database is 100% secure. Stored in a lock box formerly owned by Al Gore. Never shared or sold to third parties. Never perused by the NSA. Your name and email address will be safe with us into infinity and beyond.

Bad Santa

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: November / December 2017 .. Happy Holidays!!

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

The family car has broken down in the snow with a flat tire. Ralphie Parker, at the urging of his mother, reluctantly gets out to help "the old man" change the tire. Mr Parker assigns him the simple task of taking care of the lug nuts...He carefully puts them in one of the hubcaps for safe keeping. Somehow, someway the hubcap goes flying, throwing the lug nuts to the wind. Without thinking Ralphie's mouth opens and....

Ralphie: Oooh fuuudge!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!
Mr. Parker: [stunned] *What* did you say?
Ralphie: Uh, um...
Mr. Parker: That's... what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over - I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited me.
Back at home......
Mother: All right. Now, are you ready to tell me where you heard that word?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. But, I chickened out and said the first thing that came to mind.
Ralphie: The Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter!

Ralphie .. Peter Billingsley / Mother... Melinda Dillon / Mr Parker..Darren McGavin / A Christmas Story (1983)

Oooh fuuudge!

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

Picture Of The Month! Rustic 18th Century Portugal (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 our Picture of the Month spot..

Our November / December POTM was contributed by Rui Ribeiro who lives in Figueira da Foz, Portugal. He says of the photo.." This picture of my K1300GT was taken with my Blackberry Z10 ... Despite not having a high quality is reasonable, considering it is a mobile phone. The location is in the north of Portugal, in a village called Redondelo near the Chaves City. This is a House of the 18th Century, completely restored and adapted to rural tourism. "

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 late model BMW and B. In focus. C. No GS's for Gods sake.

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2017 I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: Over and Fun! My Last Gig as DGR Host (Promoted by www.I-BMW.com )

Back, tired, and sore from the 18th DGR. Absolutely perfect weather.. 70s/50s... No cops. No traffic. No tickets.. and the Tapoco Lodge never looked better. Their new rear 3 tiered patio restaurant area was stunning and inviting and yet.. we had a record low turn-out this year. I counted only 6 riders. Slightly down from the 100+ riders we used to draw in our glory days (pic at right.) I was left baffled by the legions of no-shows especially after I changed the date back to what many had been asking for and gave a full year's notice. Even during Hurricane Joaquin two years ago we had 20 riders show up who knew there was a 90-100% chance of rain every freakin' day.

I had a rocky start at this year's event. I haven't ridden much this season except on my lawn tractor on which I probably put in 500 freakin' hours. My timing was waaaay off on day one, but I was back in the groove by day 2 and my new Michelin Power RSs were fucking impressive. Felt pretty damn good to run the Dragon and Cherohala again. Even after all these years I always forget how good the roads are in the area.

FYI... with the dwindling numbers and interest in this event, I've decided that I'm hanging up the organizer hat. I'm thinking the I-BMW Deals Gap Rally has just run out of steam after all these years and I get that... Lives change.. people change.. bikes change. Otherwise.. we had a good long run at 18 years.. Not too shabby. I think almost all of us can come away with fond misty, water-colored memories of past DGRs. I certainly do.
To those that showed up this year.. thanks for attending. As always.. it was a pleasure.

Glory Days..DGR 2

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Pirates Lair Closing For Upgrades: I'll Take Mine in Titanium, Please

"We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster" is what I heard after my consultation with the orthopedic surgeon recently.. and that's what I wanted to hear.

To backtrack a little.. my one and only motorcycle accident happened on my first motorcycle when I was 15. I'll be 62 in November. It was a bad one. I almost died. My left leg was crushed. If it hadn't been for a young trauma surgeon just back from VietNam, I would have lost it. After he put me back together, I spent 9 months in a hospital, six months in a full body cast at home, then 2 years of rehab. I learned a lot from that one accident. Fortunately, I came through the experience with only a truck load of scars.. both physical and mental.. a fear of hospitals.. and a bad knee. As history will record, like George Bailey.. I went on to live a wonderful life.. Running, hiking, tennis, martial arts, climbing, and of course.. motorcycling, but though the years my "humpty dumpty" knee slowly deteriorated (as they told me it would) to the point where it now needs to be replaced.

I grew up hearing all the horror stories of knee replacement surgery. We all have. Everyone including the doctors used to say.. "put it off as long as you can" and I took that advice. I've been putting it off for at least a decade waiting for the procedure to get better and in the last few years.. it has. Now they can install a full knee without cutting tendons or muscles.. The incision is now on the side of the knee and only 4-5" long. Recovery times have been cut in half... Less pain.. Shorter rehab.. Quicker recovery times. Time to man up and get 'r done. Destiny calls.

That being said.. on November 30th I'll be shutting down our operations for 2 full weeks while I let them rebuild me. Our tentative closure dates will be Nov 30th - Dec 14th. I chose this date so I could both enjoy our epic fall riding season and then use the winter months for my recovery. FYI... Any orders taken during that time will not be filled until my triumphant return. During the down time I'll NOT have access to a computer so I'll not be able to answer questions or offer advice or enjoy on-line porn. I hope my customers will understand. I'm told that I'll be back on the bike come spring... Better, stronger, and yes... faster..

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BMW R1600C Vision Concept by Wunderlich
(Source- motoridersuniverse.com)

Wunderlich has just introduced the BMW R1600C Vision.. which a number of motorcycle experts (I'm not one of them, BTW) say should be built. It’s been over 10 years since BMW ended the production of its R1200C power cruiser. That was a momentous day for the human race IMHO, but apparently these kind of motorcycles are becoming more popular. Witness Ducati's XDiavel. The German based motorcycle accessory maker Wunderlich can be thanked (or blamed) for this creation.

Power comes from a 1,600cc Flat Twin engine, which should be just enough for cruising. The front end is similar to the R1200C and the dominant part is a retro round headlight. I'll not even ask why they'd put a "retro" headlight on a thoroughly modern bike. I leaned a long time ago to never try to think like a German. The fuel tank is slim and arches towards the rear, creating a single unit with a modern sculpted brown seat. Inspired by the R-nineT model, in particular its rear subframe, the R1600C Vision also comes with a removable pillion seat. It can also be folded upwards to create a back support for the rider, just like it was on the original R1200C. Now that's a nice touch..

In BMW tradition, the power is via a drive shaft, and stopping power is provided by three massive brake discs with Brembo calipers. The twin exhaust is mounted to one side and gently follows the lines of the motorcycle body. A set of multi-spoke machined rims complete the bike’s sober and sophisticated look. My guess is.. there will those who hate it... and those that love it. Just like the R1200C. Just like the Diavel...Will it ever be built? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Year End Reflections - Deep Thoughts and Follow-Ups 2017

As we all know.. opinions can and do change after we've spent some time with something. Sometimes for the better.. sometimes for the worse. Wife # 3 comes to mind, but I digress. Thought I'd wrap up the year's last cheesy newsletter with some follow-up thoughts on a recent review..

Michelin Power RS: A New Generation in Tires July / August 2017 In our July 2017 newsletter I wrote glowingly of my initial impressions of the then new Michelin Power RS tires stating.. "With the risk of resorting to hyperbole.. this tire, IMHO is an industry game changer."

Now after months of diligent testing under both legal and quasi-legal conditions, my opinion hasn't changed much although I have discovered an interesting "Gremlin" with these tires. While at our recent year end I-BMW Deals Gap Rally a group of us were riding through Townsend, Tn when the back end of my K1200S started feeling squirrelly as if I had a low tire.. Not quite a flat. Just very low. The movement was bad enough that I chose to stop the group and check it. The tire pressure was perfect.. WTF?!. I spoke to two buddies riding behind me and both said that they also noticed a high crown in the road and some irregularities in the pavement, but the problem did NOT manifest itself on their bikes like the Power RSs did on mine... ie... feeling like riding on marbles.

We got back on the road and once we hit another type pavement.. the problem vanished. Once more on this trip I experienced the same problem, but only for a few seconds on another road which also had an irregular surface. I'm convinced that this "issue" is due to Michelin's new patented Adaptive Casing Technology (see explanation in my original review.) Did it freak me out? A little, yes. I'm wondering if anyone else using these tires has experienced this phenomenon?

Ginger? or MaryAnn?
That being said... at least for my riding style, even with this issue which lasted less than 30 seconds, they appear to be the closest I've ever come to the"perfect" street tire. I can not put into words the confidence they inspire when at full lean.. While NOT the quickest steering tire I've tried on my K1200S, the grip is exemplary. Faultless. The stuff of legends. I still can not say how many miles I'll squeeze out of them. Too soon to tell. They've got my 2017 vote as best "sport / sport-touring" tire on the market and certainly a worthy successor to the Pilot Power series..

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What Men Really Want for Christmas: Pirates Lair Gift Cards, Tees, and BJs!

Through the years we've gotten more requests for gift cards than anything else except perhaps naked pictures of Amber. Who are we to deny the masses? This holiday season we are again offering Pirates Lair Gift Cards in a number of denominations to fit your congressionally pummeled budget. From $25 to $300! Our standard sized plastic gift card is sleek, stylish, and professionally made. Whip it out (the card, that is) and you will garner respect and admiration from not only your peers, but also the less fortunate around you.

Like buying underwear or choosing a hooker, buying motorcycle accessories is a very personal thing. Simply guessing what your favorite rider actually needs/wants/desires for his ride is a hit or miss proposition. Rather than putting yourself in the embarrassing situation of getting the wrong thing or worse.. something that he or she hates and has to return... you can't go wrong with one of our waaaay cool Pirates Lair Plundering tees or Pirates Lair Gift Cards. Ladies.. these are perfect for the holidays, birthdays, weddings, promotions, or just a way of saying.. "Sorry honey..but I didn't realize that the old guitar I sold at last month's yard sale for $40 was a 1965 Fender Stratocaster personally autographed by Jimi Hendrix." Remember.. nothing says.. "I love you" or "I'm sorry" to a man like shiny plastic or I suppose.. an unexpected BJ.. One that doesn't involve begging, cash, or undercover police officers.

Included with every Pirates Lair Gift Card is a single-fold, greeting card style gift card holder with a folded/glued pocket inside for easy gift card insertion and removal. And that's not all! We also include a small matching envelope. Folded size: 4 3/4" x 3 3/8" Actual cost of each card is $5 to cover cost of card, holder, envelope package, and insured shipping inside the US. For instance.. a $25 gift card will cost $30 to your door. Saavy? Foreign orders are welcome. Happy Holidays!

I got what you want!!

What's New In the 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 and www.K-Bikes.com for the information and/or pictures I regularly pilfer from these sites..

1. We're starting to get 2018 I-BMW Rally dates in. See the "rally" section below.. I'll post them as we get them... As mentioned above.. 2017 was my last year setting up and hosting the I-BMW Deals Gap Rally.. If anyone wants to spear-head the next one.. Feel free.. You don't need my permission.

2. While I'm not one of them, many think that the K1300S / K1200S mirrors leave something to be desired. I think we can all agree that those aftermarket mirror extension blocks are butt-ugly. Here's a viable alternative.. I saw these posted at I-BMW recently...Wide Angle Mirrors by MFW in Germany.

3. BMW Recall : Washington, DC – BMW is recalling approximately 9,000 accessory turn signals because they may be insufficiently visible to other motorists and fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment,” NHTSA reported. Details here..

4. 'Easy Rider' generation has a higher risk of fatalities on motorcycles, says AAA. Worth a look, but there's a lot of misleading statistics in the article. To paraphrase a poster over at I-BMW.com.. It doesn't say anything about how experienced the over 60 riders were that died. Certainly reaction time can play a part in in an accident, but so does the lack of training, the amount you ride, and how long it's been since you actually rode much. I definitely agree when the author states"This the point when people say, 'I rode a motorcycle for 20 years.' They mean: 'Twenty years ago, I rode for a year. And now I'm just getting back on a bike.'" A lot of older-rider accidents probably occur in that group, but for people who have continued to ride over the years or came back to motorcycling and were humble about their skill level and took it slow and took rider safety courses, I think the accident rate is probably pretty low. Certainly much lower that the 20 and 30-something maniacs.

5. If you want to see a very special K1200RS.. Check out the mods on this one over at the worlds #1 BMW chat site.. I-BMW.com. I thought I'd seen some great mods and inspired innovation through the years, but this one belonging to my good friend Tim .. aka... jmtenthusiast breaks new ground. Pretty damn impressive even by my OCD standards.. Well done, my friend. To paraphrase "Contact"... " No - no words. They should have sent a poet."

6. Thinking about touring Ireland via motorcycle? It's always been on my personal bucket list. Celtic Rider is a 5 star award winning motorcycle touring company based in Kildare, Ireland that specializes in self-guided tours. They offer complete packages to fellow motorcycle touring enthusiasts including motorcycle rental, Garmin sat-nav and riding gear, Safety Orientation Course (to familiarize riders with riding in Ireland, rules of the road etc.). Check out their 5 Star Rating on TripAdvisor.

7. Look into the crystal ball... This is very insteresting... 5 Future Motorcycles You Must See

8. GREAT NEWS to end the year : I just got confirmation from Remus USA that their K1200RS / K1200GT / K1200LT full exhaust systems are back on the menu as a special order item. Apparently (as promised) our new president recently repealed one of Obama's executive orders forbidding any exhausts to be sold in the US that got rid of the cat. Bam! If interested, the K12 Remus systems are available in Titanium or Carbon Fiber... They have dropped the aluminum version. Pirates Lair has them, of course and until they run out... we are offering a free tee with every exhaust purchase. I must add that IMHO they probably will not be producing them much longer.

9. Here's another well done YouTube vid from my friend, Moshe Levi.. Lee Parks DeerSports PCi Gloves Review If you've been wanting some deerskin gloves.. these are worth a look.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Holiday Military Swag: During the month of December, Pirates Lair will again be giving away a Free Pirates Lair Kickstand Pad with every order from a veteran or American soldier... Just ask and you shall receive. You will NOT see these listed on our website. Our kickstand pads are made of a black thermoplastic with the legendary Pirates Lair logo emblazoned on them. This now a Pirates Lair holiday tradition. We hope our service men and women around the world take us up on the offer. This is our humble way of saying "Thank you for all you do, soldier..."

2. During the month of December, Pirates Lair is giving away a FREE Pirates Lair tee with every exhaust system or Wilbers shocks sold...

3. Here's a last minute idea for an inexpensive Christmas present.. FYI.. I never ride without wearing a helmet liner inside my helmet.. NEVER.. and the best one on the market IMHO is the Raci-Baby Helmet Liner I actually did a review of this helmet liner in our July 2012 Issue. I have 3 that I rotate in the wash when the other is dirty. IMHO.. these would make the perfect gift for anyone who wears a helmet.... Motorcyclists, snowmobilers, skiers, bicyclists, and probably soldiers. And did I mention these are made here in the USA?

4. New Product Alert: Just in time for Christmas! Remus R1200R / R1200RS "8" Series Exhaust Systems from Austria. Witness the bad-ass looking Remus 8 Slip-On or Full Exhaust Systems for the 2015+ BMW R1200RS & R1200R. The multi-pass interior design of the innovative "8" muffler offers a big expansion volume to enable an increase of engine power and torque in combination with the well-known sonorous Remus sound. Of course the Remus 8 sound is within all legal limits and kit is delivered with EEC approval papers. Despite the big volume of the muffler, the slim design enables the easy mounting of oem cases. The Remus 8 slip-on exhausts are available in Matte Stainless Steel or Black Stainless Steel. Both choices come with a Carbon Fiber end cap, Connecting tube, and a Carbon Fiber heat shield. Optional header is available for removing the cat. All mounting hardware is included. Check out our dyno chart. System retains centerstand capability. Chimp easy install. The question is.. have you been naughty? or nice?

Click Here To See More... If You Dare!

5. New S1000XR Product : Big boots and a small brake lever make for a cheatin' wife.. er ergonomics. . Pirates' Lair offers and easy solution for XR owners wanting something a little more substantial under their boot with the Hornig S1000XR Brake Lever Extension. This brake lever adapter, which is imported from Hornig of Germany, fits directly over the existing brake lever giving you the extra length your wife dreams about. Problem solved. This slip-on enlargement makes for safer braking and easier accessibility. Simple install using a (2) furnished set screws. Fits the S1000XR as well as the the K1200S / K1300S / K1200R / 2006 & Up K1200GT.

6. Just a reminder... For the last 15 years I've collected photos of bikes, rallies, events, vacations, babes, etc and have uploaded all of them to the Pirates Lair Photo Gallery hosted by SmugMug. I have dozens of albums there for public viewing and/or downloading. Our "Wall of Shame" album seems to get the most hits.. If you'd like to contribute.. email me a pic of your close encounter with the law. Enjoy

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

7. New Product Alert: Just in time for Christmas! Pirates Lair has sold a buttload of Verholen hubcaps through the years so it caught us by surprise when they discontinued them recently... Not one for giving up and crying like a little girl, I went on a quest and found another source.. Hornig of Germany. As expected the quality of the Hornig BMW Hubcap is first rate. The caps install in 4 minutes and adds a simple beauty to the rear wheel. A Hornig emblem is included free of charge with each hubcap sold.. These new hubcaps will fit all of the following bikes... R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure & HP2 (air cooled), R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure (water cooled), R1200RT (air cooled), R1200RT (water cooled), R1200ST, R1200R, & RnineT (air cooled), R1200R (water cooled), R1200S & HP2 Sport, R1200RS, K1200S, K1300S, K1200R & K1200R Sport, K1300R, K1200GT (2006-) , and the K1300GT. We have them here..

8. Our R1200RS Stealth backrest was postponed for numerous reasons, but it's back on track. I'm hoping to have them available by early summer 2018...

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

9. GREAT NEWS to end the year : I just got confirmation from Remus USA that we can put the Remus K1200RS / K1200GT / K1200LT full exhaust systems back on the menu as a special order item. Apparently (as promised) our new president recently repealed one of Obama's executive orders forbidding any exhausts to be sold in the US that got rid of the cat. Bam! and just like that.. we're back in the saddle again. If interested, the K12 Remus systems are available in Titanium or Carbon Fiber... They have dropped the aluminum version. Expect a 3-5 week wait time. I just relisted the K1200RS / GT Remus here.. and we have the K1200LT listed here.. What a great way to end the year and begin 2018! Thank you, Jesus!

10. We had to drop the K1200RS Carbon Fiber Ilmberger Hugger from our menu almost 2 years ago when we lost our source. Today I put them back on the menu as we've secured another supplier in Germany. You are most welcome. . We have those here...

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2018
Here ye.. Here ye: I-bmw.com is not an "official" sponsor of any of the following posted events. Event participation is the sole responsibility of the attendee. Motorcycle riding is potentially dangerous and can result in personal injury or death or lots of velocity awards.. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability. It's called.. "personal responsibility."

Australian I-BMW Rally: March 2-6th March 2018 New!

Currently all details including detailed maps showing the daily routes, lodging, etc... can be found at I-BMW.com

Basically.. starting in the town of Tumut, NSW, Australia on the Thursday 1st March afternoon/night.. Why those dates? Victoria Labor Day Weekend is the following weekend and is a bike and hotrod show in Bright, and the World Superbikes is scheduled for the previous weekend. This should give us the same riding as last year which was clear roads with the minimum of “fuzz/Leos” about. Starting and finishing the rally in Tumut may present an opportunity to unload some gear for a few days for some long distance riders, and will also work for anyone that wants to “trailer” their bike to the rally. The weather…… could be cold mornings and warm afternoons like our previous rallies, could be 36 degrees every day like the 2016 Rally. More importantly we hope it doesn't rain..

Motorcycle rentals are available out of Sydney and Melbourne with quite a few BMW's on the menu. Costs are about $200-300+ a day plus insurance, deposit etc. Be a part of (hopefully) a new tradition.. and watch out for the 'roos.

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

Our last contribution this year was from Paul Andry of Highlands, North Carolina . Check out #166. Could his 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.

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-hundred 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

Or last contribution was from Joey Ahrens of Reston, VA . Check out his
BoosterPlug Install Pictures On K1200S This should prove helpful for anyone doing that install.. Thanks, Joey

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Guess that kinda wraps this one up. This will be the last communiqué for 2017. We (as in most of us) have survived another year. Who knows what the future will bring. Amber and I appreciate everyone's continued support, advice, encouragement, and occasional naked pics throughout this past year. Best wishes to you all for a prosperous 2018...

In spite of what the far left 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... leave the bike at home... For our secularist customers... Happy Winter Season.

For the US troops serving all over the world thank you for everything you are doing for us and our country. Godspeed, soldier.

Take care.. ride safe...stay warm.. and watch out for flying reindeer... See you in the New Year..
in my mirrors.

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues