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

Around the 1st or 15th of each month, when I deem you are worthy, we put out our cheesy newsletter to inform the masses as to what's happening in the BMW K12RS/GT/S/R world and of course... Pirates' Lair. How else are you going to find out? If you want to subscribe and have these sent via e-mail to your home or office just let us know at pirate@acelink.net .. otherwise you'll get 95% of it here. Why only 95%? Because I tend to tell the brutal truth as I see it on many issues/products and while I don't mind spewing "my opinion" into your home, office or cell, I have no desire to slam, insult, or malign any company, individual, competitor in public.. unless they blatantly deserve it.

While I do try to add a little humor in every newsletter, some of my language may offend the mild mannered or meek, amongst us. If you are offended easily I suggest you look elsewhere for your written info-tainment. So it is written.. so let it be done....

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: February 2007 Issue

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

The world-class playboy and part-time secret agent from the 1960s, Austin Powers emerges after thirty years in a cryogenic state to battle with his nemesis Dr. Evil. After being thawed and briefed of the situation, Ms.Venessa Kinsington, whom he'll be teamed with for this mission, takes him to pick up his personal effects. A clerk brings out a locker-basket and reads off a list.

Clerk: (reading) Danger Powers, personal effects.
Austin: Actually, my name's Austin Powers.
Clerk: It says here, name "Danger" Powers.
Austin: .. Cooly looking at Venessa...Danger's my middle name.
Clerk: OK, Austin Danger Powers: One blue crushed-velvet suit. One frilly lace cravat. One copy of the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter. One gold medallion with peace symbol. One pair of Italian shoes. One pair of tie-dyed socks, purple. One vinyl recording album: Burt Bacherach. One Swedish-made penis enlarger pump.
Austin: (embarrassed) That's not mine.
Clerk: (reading) One credit card receipt for Swedish- made penis enlarger pump, signed Austin Powers.
Austin: I'm telling you, baby, that's not mine.
Clerk: (reading) One warranty card for Swedish-made penis enlarger pump, filled out by Austin Powers.
Austin: I don't even know what this is. This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby.
Clerk: (reading) One book: Swedish-Made Penis Enlarger Pumps and Me: This Sort of Thing Is My Bag, Baby, by Austin Powers.
The clerk shows the book to Austin, who is humiliated.
Austin: OK, OK man, don't get heavy, I'll sign. Just to get things moving, baby.

Austin Powers / Mike Myers... Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 1997

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

Performance Wear Comparo: Silver Eagle Outfitters vs UnderArmour

I've been wearing UnderArmour under my leathers for about 2 years now and swear by them. I was turned on to this type gear during my first track days at Barber Motorsports Park when I noticed virtually ALL the racers were wearing either the shirts, the pants, or both or some similar brand under their leathers. I tried them and was spoiled from day one. In essence, besides the fact that they will keep you cool when it's hot.. and warm when it's cold, they making getting in and out of your leathers 1000% easier. Your leathers just glide right off you. According to their advertising spiel..." UA METAL™ technology maximizes moisture transport, pushing sweat to the fabric's surface, where evaporation pulls it from the body. "

UnderArmour is NOT cheap! I think I paid almost $55 for my first "Full Metal" longsleeve shirt directly from their website and about $50 from a local outlet store for a second shirt about a year ago. Is UnderArmour worth it? IMHO.. yes it is. While the material will NOT keep you exactly COOL.. it will take the edge off a hot day. and while they won't keep you exactly WARM.. it will take the edge off a cold day. I'd guess I have mine on about 80% of the time I'm on my bike.

Apparently other people are figuring out the benefits of this material as there are now a plethora of companies advertising similar gear and Silver Eagle Outfitters is one of them. You may have seen their ads in BMWON magazine. Silver Eagle's apparel is made of "Hydroweave", a composite fabric that promotes evaporative cooling. Sounds good to me. FYI.. In early December I asked for and received a Mock Turtleneck Long-Sleeve Microfiber Loose-Fit Tee from cofounder Nancy Keen. Their clothing, featuring what they call "TempraDry" technology, is slightly different in a variety of ways when compared to UnderArmour. First..the Silver Eagle long sleeve shirt costs about 1/2 as much as the UA clocking in at under $25. Secondly...the Silver Eagle shirt fits loosely rather than the "painted on" lycra-like fit of the UnderArmour. To be honest I was kinda disappointed when I first opened it up.. It looked just like any sport shirt you could pick up at JC Penny. The Silver Eagle sizing baffled me as well. According to their charts, my 44 chest would require a size Large which I ordered but it was waaay too big. Keep that in mind when ordering. I ended up sending the Lg back and swapped it for a Med which, IMHO was still too big to be effective.

As for comparison... BOTH products feel good on the skin... both are silky soft. One thing to keep in mind when buying UnderArmour.. You MUST be in good shape to wear it.. If you are fat er.. gravitationally challenged.. forget it. The UnderArmour feels more like spandex and fits like a Power Ranger or dive suit... It's TIGHT almost like a girdle. In contrast... the Silver Eagle product is loose fitting. Your size may actually dictate which brand you choose. FYI.. I have tested the UnderArmour in hell-like temps (103 degrees) and they absolutely kept me cooler. For THIS comparo I did NOT get to test the Silver Eagle product in HOT weather, but I suspect they would work well but NOT as good as the UnderArmour due to the loose fit. However, I did test BOTH in cold weather over a period of 2 weeks in temps ranging between 30-55 degrees underneath a Kilimanjaro jacket wearing a long-sleeve cotton tee over the test products.

My personal opinion? The more expensive UnderArmour is easily a better product hands down. It feels expensive and it is.. It feels superior and it is. It works better than the less expensive Silver Eagle product which, while soft, feels like any sport shirt you can pick up at Target. . Again.. it all comes down to your body type and what you are looking for in underclothing. If you are overweight, the Silver Eagle might be a nice option. If you are fit and trim... the UnderArmour simply rocks.. and for the hefty price.. it should.

You can contact Silver Eagle Outfitters at 888.672.6963 or their website is www.CoolingApparel.com You can buy UnderArmour directly from their website at http://www.underarmour.com/ or in some of the finer sporting good stores.

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Flip-Up Helmet Comparo!! Nolan N-102 N-Com vs HJC Symax

I have been wearing an HJC Symax for the last 5 years. Why? It's one of the best flip-ups on the market. Comfy, attractive, relatively cheap, and quieter than most full face non-flip helmets. I've owned 3 of them with nary a complaint with the fit or quality. Every time it's time for a new helmet I go look at my options and ultimately end up buying another.. They are that good.

Recently I read a customer satisfaction survey comparing all the helmets on the market and my trusty Symax was rated # 25th out of the top 50 helmets while the Nolan N-102 rated # 2!!! Hmmm.. As I was wanting a second helmet to match one of my leather suits.. I hinted to my lovely wife, Amber that I wouldn't mind getting a Nolan from Santa and sure enough... on Christmas eve I had one in my grubby lil' hands.

Before hand, I went and tried on some Nolans to figure out the sizing. The HJC's are pretty accurate in their size charts and apparently.. so are the Nolans. My perfectly formed head requires a MED in both brands.

The Nolan N-102 N-Com allows for Nolan's N-COM blue-tooth communication system but I did NOT order this feature so I won't even comment on that aspect of this helmet.. only the basics.

Finish: The Nolan wins here. It simply exudes class. The material looks like it's more expensive. The interior's material looks like it'll last longer than the HJC, but that's just a gut feeling. The outer finish has a shine that would blind Stevie Wonder.

Fit & Comfort: The Symax wins here. Both are plush, but the Symax is down right luxurious. Both have removable, washable liners. Both have air guards. Both have firm pouting young breasts. It's a treat to wear either.

Noise Level: Another close category, but I'll give the edge to the Nolan. I'd guesstamate that it's about 15% quieter than the Symax.

Weight: Another close category, but this time the Symax edges out the Nolan. Usually, the major downside of wearing a flip-up helmet is the weight. A heavy helmet will make your neck tired and your penis shorter even after short rides. It's a tradeoff for the convenience of the flip feature. The HJC Symax weighs in at 3lb/13oz while the Nolan comes in at a close 3lbs/14.8oz.. Virtually a dead-heat.

Aerodynamics: The Nolan wins here. At subsonic speeds their isn't much difference between the two, but when you kick the tires and light the fires and the speed goes extralegal, the Nolan's super smooth shell design really struts it's stuff. At over 90mph the HJC wearer can feel the pull of the helmet against the wind and the side-to-side buffeting starts to be a nuisance. The Nolan slices through the wind like a hot knife through a lawyer. At over 130 the HJC feels like it wants to lift off your head while the Nolan just begs.. "More speed, Scotty."

Ease of Use in Daily Mortal Life: Honestly.. these helmets are equally easy to live with. Both offer one-hand flip-up operation. Venting is about the same. Comfort is about the same. Weight is about the same. The Nolan has the built-in flip up tinted visor which I do NOT particularly care for and will probably remove sooner or later. Sure, having this feature makes carrying 2 shields around a PITA of the past, but there are also downsides. As you are looking through multiple pieces of plastic, optics aren't as good as a single shield and if you are also looking through sunglasses, it can be down right distracting when the late day sun is already producing shadows. However..the clear Nolan shield has excellent optical clarity.. just not the tinted flip-down piece. Also.. at "loose your license" speeds you don't want that tinted section flipped up.. trust me.. but.. back on the plus side... the Nolan has a quick-release helmet strap for easy off/on convenience which the Symax does not. I LOVE these quick release straps. All helmets should have them, dammit! The Nolan offers better peripheral vision which is a big plus..Visually, my wife prefers the Nolan and I'd tend to agree with her. It "looks" smaller although I didn't measure.

Cost: Believe it or not.. Even the price of these lids is almost the same. Santa purchased my solid color Nolan N-102 N-Com from www.imotorcycle.store.com for $239 and that included shipping from the North Pole. I usually buy my HJC Symax from www.motorcycle-superstore.com for about $225 without shipping. That's puts them on even ground as far as your wallet is concerned.

Bottom line.. These are two damn fine helmets. I have them both.. I love them both. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd probably lean ever so slightly towards the Nolan simply because it has the quick-release chin strap.. In every other way I'd have zero preference. Ain't that somethin'?

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

I should note that as the RS and 02-05 GT has been discontinued, I receive less and less news of any new products for them.. I mention this as a few semi-loyal subscribers have accused me of abandoning our roots.. Not true.. I only report what's going on.. Don't shoot the messenger.. I will NEVER abandon the K1200RS crowd. It appears that the times.. they are a changin.' Deal with it. Also.. a special thx to www.I-BMW.com, www.K-Bikes.com , and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these chat sites..

1. Recently, in one of my cheesy newsletters, I casually mentioned that there are two types of riders out there... "Those who will crash.. and those who already have". My thinking is...it's virtually inevitable that sooner or later you're gonna go down.. Well somebody contacted me after reading this and went off on me saying that I was irresponsible for putting that in print and I should NEVER say these things as

A. It will scare off potential riders and
B. It's simply not true...

So... what's the truth? Was I being irresponsible? or was this guy just a moron living in a fantasy world? To find out, I recently started a poll at the #1 BMW chat site in the world..www.I-BMW.com under the title..Crash Poll!! Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?.. asking the masses about their illustrious riding history. How else are we gonna find out exactly what's going on in the real world?

Why THAT web site? Because BMW riders are usually long term, educated, seasoned (read: older) riders.. Usually. BTW.. In case anyone is curious.. I've crashed only once in 35+ years suffering only a scratch (which kept me in a hospital for nine months) and perhaps 5 zero mph drops. I admit it. Only my wife thinks I'm perfect. Anyway.. check out the poll results and bare witness that once again.. I'm right.. and some people are.. as I suspected... clueless morons.

2. I just recently spoke with my good friend, Richard Battles ..Owner/CEO (and rumored Kwisatz Haderach) of RKA Luggage.. He informed me that the latest version of their 33l Soft Saddlebags (which will work perfectly on the new K1200S and K1200R) are now on the market. Quality is first rate and these are made in the good ol' USA by real Americans. A rational option to spending $800 on the foofoo, ugly factory saddlebags.. and they come in every color your sick mind can think of!!

3. Looks like Verholen of Germany is now offering some Fog/Running Lights for the K1200S!!.. I see that one dealer stateside ( A & S Cycles) has them. ... FYI.. I'm not sure if we will carry the FogLights until we get rider reports on them.. I've been testing something similar on my own bike for the last six months and I believe theres simply not enough clearance between the lights and fender.. Mine is as high as it will go and still be visible to oncoming traffic and I still bang the fender on a weekly basis.. on PERFECT roads..Perhaps Verholen has figured out something I couldn't...

4. Wilbers Shocks rule!! We just received a copy the August 2006 issue of the German bike magazine, PS which did a head to head comparison of all the top motorcycle shocks on the market...Ohlins, WP, Wilbers, Bitubo and Sachs. Wilbers came out on top, besting second place finisher, Ohlins as the best aftermarket shocks money can buy. Das gut.

5. We were just informed that BMW now offers BMW LED Blinkers for the K1200R. They are 35 Euros each with the following part numbers: No idea what they look like.
front: 63 13 7 708 048 (order twice!)
rear: 63 23 7 710 574 (order twice!)

6. Just heard from the Guymer brothers in Australia. They own and run Motorcycle-Cruise Controls.com They tell me .. "We are having a first look at the K1200S BMW next Wednesday. "

7. Recall Notice: All you fellow owners of the new in-line 4 series.. K1200S, K1200R, K1200GT, etc should be receiving a recall notice from the motherland sometime soon. Relax.. it's something very minor or so our sources tell us.. The recall will include a new cap for the oil reservoir with a breather. New parts have not yet arrived at the dealers in Germany. Nothing to lose sleep or even whine about. This is part of the typically German tweaking process. Here is the official word from Starfleet Command.. "....BMW Motorrad has ascertained that frequent short-trip usage at ambient temperatures below zero degrees can cause water vapor to condense and freeze in the outlet port of the oil-tank breather. This, in turn, can cause the oil tank to rupture, allowing oil to make its way onto the rear wheel."

8. We just got word that Corbin (my favorite company next to Enron) has their BMW K1200GT Modular Seat available. I'm sure it's reasonably priced.

9. Looks like A & S BMW Motorcycles has a new offering for the BMW K1200S.. Can't quite tell from the pic, but its either a rotting corpse of an emaciated Rhino or a new seat from Verholen of Germany. Dem wacky Germans.

10. Speeding without a radar detector is like visiting a whore house without condoms.. Sooner or later you're gonna run outta luck and have to come home with something very bad to show for it. Personally, I wouldn't leave home without my V1. Well..we just heard that Escort Radar is about to release an all new radar detector which should replace their venerable 8500 X-50 which has been rated in the top 3 in every survey. The revolutionary Passport 9500i . looks like it might just raise the bar. While it's not yet on the market, the features sound like something out of Star Trek.. Check this out...

It has a GPS receiver and memory in it so it can...
* Record false signals and remember their location AND ignore the false warning in the future
* Mark speed traps and remember their location AND provide advance warning
* Computes and displays your speed on the display
* It now talks to you
* Alerts to Borg vessels in or out of the neutral zone.

Price looks to be $450.. Me thinks Mike Valentine should stop resting on his fat laurels and pay attention.. This would appear to make the V1 look down right primitive by comparison.

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Here's the latest on our upcoming R1200RT Stealth Backrest...FYI.. The project is running behind, but we're making progress.. I want this one to be "visually" first class.. Not cutting any corners so I'm NOT putting pressure on the machinists..I had a second prototype in my hands just before Christmas and after fitting to a local R1200RT I decided I wanted a simpler mounting method. My original design would have required the RT owner to remove the rear factory rack to install the Stealth bracketry. That would have taken at least 1-1.5 hours and a few beers. I brainstormed and came up with a new mounting method that would allow the customer to bolt our bracket on in about 30 seconds.. one bolt. Cool, huh.

As of today, 2/1/07 my machinists are working up the new mounting idea and I should have a 3rd prototype in about a week. Also.. My guys have figured out how to slightly "curve" the bracket to fit more closely with the slightly curved BMW rack.. This should make the entire unit look sleeker.

The only bad news I have.. (besides the delays) is that the price of stainless steel has gone through the roof.. We had to raise the price of ALL our backrests last week for this very reason. At this point, I have ZERO idea what production RT pieces will cost... I'm as clueless as Mike Tyson at a Mensa gathering. That's about all I can tell you now.. except.. there's a good chance it'll also fit the new K1200GT. Wouldn't that be cool! E mail me if you want added to our project status notification list.

2.. The GOOD NEWS: We just got our Kisan TailBlazer page up. Install is as easy as changing your bulb. This item is cheaper and than the Brake LED Kits sold by Gizmo Mill. Essentially, the TailBlazer rapidly flashes the taillight the instant you apply the brakes. The flash rate then slows down to a steady ON - this cycle lasts about 4 seconds. Is your ass worth it? Mine is. Each kit even comes with a spare bulb!! The GT kit comes with TWO spares!! Is that cool or what?? The BAD NEWS: We are still waiting on our first shipment. We were told that Kisan is tweaking the electronics to make them trouble free no matter how foofoo your German CanBus system is..These will fit the K1200S, K1200R, K1200GT, R1200RT, etc..

3. Pirates Lair is now offering to our quasi-eseteemed clientele the Evoluzione Race Airflow System for the K1200S and K1200R. Basically.. the kit includes dual high performance air filters which are mounted to the factory airbox with some strikingly beautiful CNC'd billet 6061-T6 brackets. A simple bolt on.. no mods...So what do you get for your hard earned doubloons? How about 6hp at the rear wheel with stock or aftermarket exhausts and a lighter wallet. No downsides except the bike will have noticeably louder intake air noise... A terrific bang for your HP dollar.

4. Clymer finally has their 640 page Shop Manual on the market for the 1998-2005 BMW K1200RS, GT & LT ..Yes, my fellow pirates... it covers EVERY model year K1200RS, first generation GT, and the K1200LT .. all in the same freakin book!! All for about 1/2 the cost of the factory version. Unlike the factory manual.. the Clymer version has wiring info.. This is the best money you can spend if you own one of these bikes. We have them in stock!

5. After countless hours pondering this on the tree of woe, I have just posted a new product page on our website for the K1200R crowd ... Had NOT planned on doing it as I don't care much for that bike, but it was inevitable and.. we get lots of requests from those power hungry, naked bike, sickos.. So without futher adieu.... If you are a K1200R owner. Click Here for everything we sell for that bike!! Don't say I never did anything for you. We'll be adding many more "R" specific products to this section in the near future. Stay tuned.

Show me more!!

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2007

Texas Hill Country K12 Roundup 2007: April 23rd-26th (Contributed by James Myrick aka James of Texas over at www.I-BMW.com )

Well Partners, the Texas Hill Country Roundup 2007 is upon us. The official dates are April 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th. It will start on Monday and end Thursday. This year we will have two dinners that will be outside on the patio, overlooking the Guadeloupe River. You can get additional information on www.I-BMW.com, under forums-Rallies-THCR2007. This year registration and the 2 dinners are $50.00 per person.
It will be held at the River Inn Resort in Hunt, Texas. A one bedroom is $55.00 plus tax, some do have sofa sleepers and they all have a refrigerator and microwave.

You can secure your reservation with AMEX, MasterCard or Visa....7 day cancellation policy. Please call 1-800-841-0501 and talk with Cindy, Michelle or Brenda and tell them you are with the BMW motorcycle group. (NO on-line reservations available) Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm cst. Sat. and Sun. 9am to 4pm CST, only. We have taken the whole facility which is less than 50 rooms. So, it's first come, first serve, please reserve your room now. Deadline for liability wavier and registration will be on April 6th, (Good Friday). There will be no late registration or paying for dinners at the Roundup.

Also, there will be a Pre-THCR07 Gathering, April 20th, 21st and 22nd in the Big Bend Texas area. Information available on I-BMW.com.
So, there you have it folks. Lets get together, ride, eat and enjoy what the Hill Country has to offer. Hope to see you soon.

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Blue Ridge Parkway K12 Rally 2007: May 17th - 20th, 2007 (Contributed by our good buddy, Sir Tim Hudspeth aka CBNFVR over at www.I-BMW.com )

Where: Peaks of Otter Lodge, Blue Ridge Pkwy mp 86, Virginia
When: May 17th thru 20th, 2007 (Thur – Sun)
This is the weekend after Mother's Day, before Memorial Day, and well after the Georgia Mtn Rally.
Call Peaks of Otter Lodge for reservations @ 1.540.586.1081 • 1.800.542.5927 • Fax 1.540.586.4420
Note: Specify one bed or two. !! Blue Ridge Parkway info and maps can be found here and here

Don’t know what BRPR is? It is us. Real people, riding and laughing for three days. Rain or shine. If you don’t have a good time,.sell the bike. FYI.. I'm already booked!

Alternate Lodging (info only) :
Super 8 – Bedford
Days Inn – Bedford

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35th Annual BMW RA International Rally: June 7th-10th, 2007

We just got the official word.. The 2007 RA International Rally will be held here in Asheville, North Carolina on June 7-10th. The location is set for the Biltmore Estate .

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2007 Deals Gap K12 Rally: Sept 27-29 (Contributed by our good buddy, Sir Tim Hudspeth aka CBNFVR over at www.I-BMW.com )

Tapoco Lodge at Deal's Gap again for 2007, Sept 27th - 29th. It won't hold us all, so make plans now! Amber and I are already booked!!
No sign-up sheet . Just reserve a room and be there! If you were there this year and didn't sign up for 2007, call Tapoco NOW before someone else gets your room. Most of us from this year already have a room reserved, so it's not too soon to plan.

Friday noon meal (at 1:00pm) will be at the Troll Restaurant in Helen, Ga (under the bridge)
Saturday noon meal (at 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, video worthy of Americas Most Wan.. er Funniest, 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

We have some new contributions this month from across the pond.. !! WooHoo!! Check out #114-117 Contributed by veteran rider Sir Ian Finlay of London, UK Could these tips 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.

BMW How-To Section

Nothing new this month..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues