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, 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 2019 .. Happy Holidays!!

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

Are we ready? Two hundred and fifty strands of lights... one hundred individual bulbs per strand for a grand total of twenty-five thousand individual, miniature imported Italian twinkle lights. Twenty-five THOUSAND! The lights go on and the power surge temporarily drains the cities's power grid. The orbiting space shuttle can see their house from space. All the family runs out and gathers around Clark. Tears well up in his eyes.

Nora: It's lovely Clark.
Clark: You deserve a house like this to spend Christmas in.
Clark Sr.: It's a beaut, Clark.
Clark: Dad, Dad, Dad... I learned everything I know about exterior illumination from you and the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter.
Clark: He embraces Francis ... Dear Francis. I hope this adds to your enjoyment of the holidays.
Clark: Clark embraces his father in law, Art. Art... Arthur.. Dad. Thanks for being here.
Art: You got too many blue lights.
Clark: I know Art. Thanks for noticing.

Clark moves to the next person.. Catherine is wearing a quilted car coat. Clark hugs her.
Clark:  Catherine ..Dear..
Something's not quite right. Clark lets go of her.. steps back and looks at her and Eddie.
Clark: Eddie?
Cousin Eddie: I sure hope you didn't do this on our behalf...
Clark: Eddie?

Clark Griswold / Chevy Chase .. Nora / Diane Ladd.. Cousin Eddie / Randy Quaid .. Christmas Vacation (1989)

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

Picture Of The Month! Castle Mountain, Canada (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 Randy Brower of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He says of the shot.."This is a photo taken at around 4pm in the afternoon on August 26th at Castle Junction in Banff National Park, Canada.

We had just stopped for a rest break on our trip back home to Calgary, from Riding the "Selkirk loop" ( www.selkirkloop.org )
We had been redirected at Cranbrook BC, due to the highway (#3) being closed due to an accident, so we ended up here, totally unplanned.

The natural light at that time lit up the mountain range beautifully and with the bike parked, I snapped this photo with my iPhone. "

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.

---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------

The Rally Formerly Known As the I-BMW Deals Gap Rally.. 9/7/19

I've been going to I-BMW gatherings for 19+ years now. Almost without exception, they've been the only rallies I attend. I call them "anti-rallies." If you'd ever attended one you'd know what I'm talking about. Now that I-BMW has shut down and boarded their windows, the year end Deals Gap event has moved on under a new name, organizer, date, and location. The good news is... the attendees are the same crowd. This year.. (our 20th) it was called the 20th Non-Invitational Deals Gap Rally and it was promoted through theriderspace.com..

After 19 years, one would think I'd be tired of seeing the same old (and getting exponentially older) faces, but that wasn't the case. In fact it was the opposite... While I didn't get to actually ride with the group of misfits this year due to my workload, Saturday night I rode down to share dinner with the group and enjoyed seeing every single face. Usually that's NOT the case. Perhaps I'm mellowing a bit in my 60s. Could be the onset of dementia. Perhaps I just like to see anyone my age still alive.. Perhaps it's something more.

Has anyone else who's attended multi-year "legacy" events noticed that the conversations seem to have shifted? Rather than non-stop bench racing, the conversations seem to be more about families, life, health, what Melania is wearing, etc with motorcycle-speak only peripherally. Just an observation. Time has a way of changing priorities, doncha know. I especially appreciate those who knew me well enough to comment on how silver my hair has become over the last couple of years. Observant bastages.

At this year's event I know I wasn't the only one surprised Saturday night after dinner at J. Arthur's when the waiter told us that "somebody" in our group had clandestinely paid the restaurant tab for our group. Geezus H. There were over 25 of us and the place was not cheap.. I heard afterwards that it might be my good friend, Mani Ravee so when we got back to the motel I asked him. At first he denied it and then eventually admitted it.. He simply said.."I just wanted to give something back to the group." Modest and generous. With attributes like that, I think he's over-qualified for our group. Again.. "thank you" Mani for the great meal, the use of your room for changing, and your friendship. I'll not soon forget. Very classy move.

Of course a hardy pat on the back goes out to my good friend Joe LaCroix.. aka.. justjoe (the man behind the curtain at theriderspace.com) who again organized the event. More goes into these events behind the scenes than most realize. He seemed to handle the task with effortless aplomb, although.. he was drinking like a Russian sailor by the end of the event.. Cause and effect? Probably.. To all my friends... it really was a pleasure.. Hope to see you all next year. Every one of you.. For the few pictures I collected of the event.. check out our DGR 20-2019 Photo Gallery at SmugMug..

---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------

I-BMW Farewell from Vic Salemme..

In our July / August newsletter, I wrote.. "as a member of I-BMW from the very beginning, I know I'm not the only one who misses the camaraderie, the voluminous motorcycle information, the humor, and the ball-bustin banter that the site always offered. I'm getting daily emails and/or calls from lost souls asking.. "what has happened to I-BMW?" All hoping I'll have a comforting answer. Unfortunately.. I do not.

Since then, guess who popped up..? Yes.. the man behind the curtain..the ayatollah of rock and rolla, the elusive one, himself. Vic Salemme. He offered up these (I'll assume) final words on I-BMW (pasted below without edit.)

"I-BMW was 20 years of passion. I put an over abundance of enthusiasm into it, in retrospect too much, in an era where minimal responsibilities existed. Those responsibilities changed as did a few dozen members turned trolls that took the enthusiasm out for me and many who grew tired of baby sitting them. When faced therefore with a catastrophic failure of a 14 year old racked server and whether to resurrect good memories and the overshadowing attempts by the grandstanding DB few, relegated to unoriginal, sparsely visited copycat-ville, well.....here we are kid.

Sure, I get the void thing and nothing will ever come close to replacing those 19+ 'good' years of hosting the greatest sport touring website on the planet, a time when the confluence of the Web's dawning, an amazing bike and those who ushered in that one of a kind community to revel in that once in a life time experience, but......"

Like most of my readers, I still find it hard to believe that I-BMW is history. It was my home page for the last 20 years, for Chris' sake. I literally woke up to I-BMW every single day.. No longer. In reality, Vic Salemme is a busy guy with a full life. Between his daughter, wife, and job it appears like he 's just ready to move on. After 20 years.. who can blame him? I just wish he'd chosen to allow I-BMW to go out with a bang.. a party.. something.. anything rather than just pulling the plug without warning. I guess we should just be greatful for the time we all had together. Thanks for all you did, buddy.. “It’s been quite a party ain’t it?” .. Augustus McCrae / Lonesome Dove.

One big question remains... Where to now? Glad you asked.. A former long time member of I-BMW has started up an alternative chat site where many of the old I-BMW gang now hang out.. If you are missing the camaraderie (aren't we all..) you might want to check out.. theriderspace.com Tell them I sent you..

---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------

R1200GS LC & R1250GS Adventure Stealth Backrest: What's In Your Wallet?

Since we came out with our R1200GS LC Stealth backrest a few years ago, I've been regularly bitched out for not making an "Adventure" version. I haven't seen the stats, but I think the GSA has actually out-sold the standard GS. To be fair, I had looked at the Adventure's rear rack early on, but couldn't figure out how to make an attractive, functional kit for that bike. Proof that my imagination does have limitations unless the subject is sexual perversion. For the past few years I've simply turned "Adventure" owners away or referred them to Corbin or Sargent for a seat/backrest combo. No longer..

A while back, I was told (by someone) that the R1200GS oem rack might be interchangeable with the R1200 / R1250 Adventure model's tubular rear rack, but I'd never had anyone actually confirm it until this week. A customer of ours, Mark Jones, apparently wanted one of our backrests pretty fucking badly as he decided to shell out the money and once and for all find out if the standard oem rack would actually bolt right on to his 2019 R1250GSA. He bought the parts from his local dealer, removed the oem GSA rack and viola.. success! The standard GS rack bolted on perfectly.. No mods... No drama. Then he bought our backrest which installed like a charm. (pic at right)

So.. to recap.. while the entire conversion is costly.. it can be done and the picture at right is proof. The oem R1200GS LC rear rack will bolt onto any late 2013 +R1200GSA LC & 2019+ R1250GSA LC.  Good news for Adventure riders around the globe and more importantly.. their passengers. The question is..." how bad do you want to make your passenger happy?"

Picture courtesy of Mark Jones

What Men Really Want for Christmas: Pirates Lair Gift Cards 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 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!

---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------

New At Pirates Lair: By Popular Demand... R1200RT LC & R1250RT Menu!

After a few years of profound procrastination, I just went live with a new menu for the BMW R1200RT LC / R1250RT. Yea yea.. It's taken me a while to get around to it, but I finally got 'er done. Getting chastised almost weekly by RT owners looking for swag was admittedly.. highly motivational.

While the 'pickin's on the new RT menu are somewhat limited at the moment (see a few of the items pictured below,) over the next few months I'll attempt to bring this new section up to Pirates Lair standards with all kinds of mouthwatering, wallet emptying goodies.

Please feel free to email me with suggestions of things you'd like to see on the RT menu. I honestly don't know any RT owners so I'm counting on my customers telling me what the bike needs.. and doesn't need. Any advice is welcome..

Thanks to all the RT owners/riders for the relentless prodding to get this done. Help spread the word.

And now, without further adieu.. for all those special R1200RT LC and/or R1250RT owners.. the moment you've all been awaiting for.. check out our new menu here..BMW R1200RT LC / R1250RT. Merry Christmas...

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

What's New In the No-Spin Zone

1. Planning on doing some track days in 2020? Now is the time to start thinking about when and where.. This may help.. America’s Ten Best Race Tracks

2. Most street riders will find this interesting and helpful.. Asphalt Jungle 20-Point Extreme Survival Guide for Motorcycle Riders

3. Top Ten Things I Hate About The BMW GS.. Check out this funny video rant by a GS owner from the UK. This vid has hit 450K views, mainly due to the tongue-in-cheek delivery of the so-called grievances. Pretty sure most GS riders will like it.. I thought it was pretty funny...

4. At some point you may need to ship your motorcycle within the USA.. Ask opinions and they'll be all over the place. I had a bike shipped from Asheville to an I-BMW event in Colorado a few years ago and learned a ton. I documented that experience here.. JC Motors Motorcycle Transport: The Agony and the Ecstasy. I came across this article recently at the Adventure Rider website and thought it might be helpful ...Shipping Your Bike Throughout The USA

5. Riders in Texas are about to see less red as Gov Greg Abbott signed legislation to ban red-light cameras across the Lone Star state. The reasoning behind the move was privacy concerns and right to due process. Score one for Texas...!

6. If you have an Escort Radar Detector (like I do..) I got the following notification from them a few days ago.. .." Please update your detector if you are located in one of the following states/provinces: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia. New software is available on our website." I wish this service were free.. It pisses me off that you have to pay dearly for software upgrades..

7. We've heard from multiple sources that the Harley-Davidson Livewire Motorcycle is DOA.. As in dead as a rotting corpse on a hot sunny day. A couple of on-line magazines are reporting them sitting in showrooms collecting dust. Ouch!.. That's gotta sting.. I have to admit... I'm not surprised.. In fact.. I'd been wondering who exactly their target demographic was? Have they ever actually met a Harley rider? The consummate business/market saavy company simply dropped the ball on this one.. My guess.. Harley, in a PC move, stupidly hired some bun-wearing, whiny millennial for their design team who thought an electric Harley would be a good idea.

The early writing on the wall says this will be an epic disaster of the same magnitude as the BetaMax, New Coke, and/or the Apple Watch. Of course, at $29,799 a pop MSRP, it shouldn't surprise anyone to hear that Harley-Davidson will be likely counting sales on the Livewire in the dozens, not thousands of units sold. Production on them has been halted..

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 while they last... 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 is 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. New- Pirates Lair R1200RT / R1250RT Products!.. If you missed it in the top section or just suffer from ADD.. we now have an all new menu for the BMW R1200RT LC and R1250 RT.. Sorry I couldn't get around to it sooner. The apathy is strong in this area. If there's a product or two you think I should add to our menu... please let me know.. I don't know any RT riders so I'll have to rely on owners to tell me what these bikes need or don't need. Spread the word.

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 Bagger Product! We now have Carbone Loraine Brake Pads for the BMW K1600B / Bagger...

5. "Bring out your dead...".. I hate being the harbinger of bad news, but our troubled R1200RS / R1250RS Stealth Backrest project appears to be dead as of 9/27/19. Unless I turn to the Chinese.. it's not gonna happen. The full weepy story in our Jan /Feb 2020 issue..

6. During the month of December and in the spirit of giving.. Pirates Lair is giving away a FREE Raci Baby Helmet Liner or pair of Grip Buddies with every exhaust system or Wilbers shocks sold... Take your pick. Just let us know at time of order.

7. Many have noticed that there are a shit-load (that's a technical term) of I-BMW links still on our website. Probably over 100 in total. Many on our How-To page. I'm leaving those up for a little bit longer just in case I-BMW is resurrected.. Better to leave them in place for now than spend a few hours tracking them down to remove them only to have the site go back up and have to re-do them.. My mama didn't raise no fool..

8. On October 28th I started making some changes to our website to make things more "smart phone" friendly... It's not an easy process as there are so many different mobile formats.. The first changes should be evident now to iPhone, Android, and Blackberry users. I say "should be" as I have no way of knowing unless somebody with one of these devices checks in to let me know.. I don't use a smart phone and don't plan on buying one any time soon.. Hopefully, my HTML effort will be apparent. It'll take some time and there's a lot to figure out, but I'm on the case...

9. New Product for 2020: We've been selling the Kisan Tailblazer for over a decade... IMHO.. it's the best rear lighting accessory we carry.. Until recently these kits were produced with Halogen bulbs.. Now Kisan is offering an optional LED version. I've decided to offer both versions on our website. You choose at time of order. While I personally prefer halogen to LED bulbs.. I'm generally in the minority. Everyone seems to want LED bulbs these days.. Apparently Kisan figured that out, too..

Both versions Tailblazers are truly plug-n-play replacement bulbs. Kits are available for both the late and early BMW K1200RS /K1200GT, K1200S, K1200R, K1300GT, and the R1200RT. and yes.. the Tailblazer is Can-Bus/ABS compatible. In case you are bi-curious.. the Halogen and/or LED kits are the same price. Let us know at time of order. If not I'll email you for your choice before shipping. Choices are good..

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have no new contributions this month. Our last 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 rolling joints and cunnilingus so the opinions within the archives are only my own. Savvy?

BMW How-To Section

We have no new contributions this issue.

---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------

Guess that kinda wraps this one up. This will be the last communiqué for 2019. What an interesting year it's been, but aren't they all? I know we don't tell you enough, but Amber and I really appreciate everyone's continued support, advice, encouragement, and occasional naked pics throughout the years. Best wishes to you all for a safe and prosperous 2020...

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