Take me home, El Capitan!

"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 K1300S, K1200S, GT, R, RS, S1000RR 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 stop reading here and look elsewhere for your written info-tainment. So it is written.. so let it be done....

Prepare to be boarded!

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: February / March 2011

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

The worlds greatest detective has just had a hood shoved over his head and absconded through the streets of London in a horse drawn carriage. He's now had the hood removed and is obviously in a place of great wealth. His whereabouts and the gentlemen he's meeting with are supposed to be a mystery....

Sir Thomas: Mr. Holmes, apologies for summoning you like this. I'm sure it's quite a mystery as to where you are, and who I am...
Sherlock Holmes: As to where I am, I was, admittedly, lost for a moment, between Charing Cross and Holborn, but I was saved by the bread shop on Saffron Hill. The only baker to use a certain French glaze on their loaves - a Brittany sage. After that, the carriage forked left, then right, and then the tell-tale bump at the Fleet Conduit. And as to who you are, that took every ounce of my not-inconsiderable experience. The Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletter on your desk was addressed to a Sir Thomas Rotherham. Lord Chief Justice, that would be the official title. Who you *really* are is, of course, another matter entirely. Judging by the expensive BMW K1300S parked out front and the sacred ox on your ring, you're the secret head of the Temple of the Four Orders in whose headquarters we now sit, located on the northwest corner of St. James Square, I think. As to the mystery, the only mystery is why you bothered to blindfold me at all.

Sherlock Holmes.. Robert Downey, Jr. / Sir Thomas...James Fox / .. Sherlock Holmes 2009


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

Picture Of The Month! Cumbria England Countryside View! (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 this Picture of the Month spot..

Our Feb POTM was contributed by Garth who resides in Cumbria England. He says of the picture..."This is just outside of a small town called Penrith in the county of Cumbria England looking towards Blencathra fells in the lake district. It was taken at the end of October 2010. Weather was sunny but a cool 5 C and the camera is a Panasonic TZ 10 lumix compact. I'm no camera buff and I find a compact a good camera to have in my pocket when on the bike."

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 BMW K1200S or K1300S, K1200RS, K1200R, R Sport, S1000RR, or any model year K1200GT or K1300GT and B. In focus.

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Big Brother Visits Illinois: Another Reason To Avoid the State..

December 27, 2010 (CHICAGO) -- At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, more than 100 new laws went into effect in Illinois. If you are traveling in Illinois this year and think about "opening it up" on our straight, flat roads, you might want to take a look at a couple of new laws.

Cracking the throttle will no longer result in just a speeding ticket, thanks to a new Illinois law which went into effect January 1 that targets people driving 100 miles per hour or faster. The new law has two important parts:

  • It makes speeding in excess of 30 miles per hour a Class B Misdemeanor with a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.
  • It also denies court supervision for aggravated speeding.
Driving over 40 miles per hour or more over the limit remains a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
"When you are going 40 miles above the speed limit, you fall into the category of being a potential killer," said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

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Things Are Tough All Over: Doing Business in 2011!

Damn!! I just heard that Cycle Gadgets, one of the larger accessory shops, went out of biz. (see blurb below) I've bought all kinds of stuff from them through the years and regularly refer our customers to them if they are looking for something we can't provide. And just days before, I got word that another company we do biz with has also closed it's doors..EMI Group aka European Motorcycle Imports. Almost every other week I hear of another vendor going down in flames. The Labor Department announced 159,000 people lost their jobs last month. Worst job loss in five years. Here's the ironic part, all 435 members of Congress still have their jobs. How does that work out? Think it's just the US economy going south? Think again. Our European counterparts are also struggling to stay afloat.

This is not good on so many levels. Yes, most of us (at least the ones not working for the government) are well aware of how bad the economy is and how it is effecting each and every one of us in our own respective fields of business. What many don't realize is how scary bad things are in the motorcycle accessory business in particular. As most of you know me as a straight shooter...( can I still use that term?).. I'll share this insider's bit of industry flotsam..

I speak with vendors (big and small) on a daily basis all around the world. It's a common tale of woe and despair. Other vendors are contacting me.. usually feeling me out ... probing for info.. not wanting to "reveal" their own predicament for fear that they'll .. oh I don't know.. look bad... think that we'll think they are poor business people.. whatever. They innocently ask.. "How is biz?" which is the code phrase for.. " Is your biz in the crapper, too? Please reassure us that it's not just us..Help me Obi Wan Kenobi!"

I'm getting this so often as of late that I have a pre-typed response to my fellow vendors which goes something like this. "Don't feel bad, my friend. It's not just you and you shouldn't take it personal. This is the worst we've ever seen it since I started this biz 13 years ago. About 20 months ago after 9 straight years of 30% increases in revenue..  sales leveled off... then slowly but surely they started to decline. 12 months ago biz was down 30% and stupidly I figured that's about as bad as it would get. Wrong. Today biz is down 80%.. Scary, isn't it?  Of course winter is the slowest time of year, but even Christmas sales  flatlined here.  NEVER seen that before. Am I afraid? Yes.. However.. I'm optimistic that if we can hang on long enough... ride it out.. things will return to normal and we'll be prospering again. Trust me.. you are not alone. My suggestion .. hang tough, look at this like a  lifestyle downscaling opportunity, and trust in the force"

The economy is so bad, today, I saw Bill Maher praying.
Speaking as a fellow rider and farkel junkie, (and not as a vendor)...  my humble suggestion to my quasi-esteemed readers is that we all support the vendors that take care of our needs.. Rather it be in a motorcycle related biz like ours, hardware store, local weed dealer, restaurants, dry cleaners, etc.. Most would be surprised as to how many small businesses are on the financial precipice. My 2 doubloons.

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BMW Sees Nearly 4% Growth in USA: S1000RR Their Best Seller! (as seen in BMW Motorcycle Magazine)

BMW Motorrad USA today announced they saw a nearly four percent growth in sales in 2010. This may not sound impressive given the 12.3% growth BMW Motorrad saw globally, but motorcycles sales in the US overall continued their downward slide by double digits in 2010.

BMW sales were helped by the February launch of the S1000RR. The BMW superbike became the best selling bike in BMW’s US lineup—selling better than the R1200GS which is BMW’s best selling bike worldwide in spite of it's ugliness. In its first year, the S1000RR earned numerous media awards in the US, including Robb Report’s “Best Sportbike,” Cycle World’s “Best Superbike for 2010,” and Motorcyclist’s coveted “Motorcycle of the Year” Award. Other popular models in BMW’s lineup—R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure, and R1200RT—benefited from the introduction of updated engines and posted strong sales, as well.

According to Mac McMath, National Sales Manager of BMW Motorrad USA, BMW is anticipating another strong year in 2011 as supply improves to meet continued demand for the S1000RR and as the new six-cylinder touring bikes make their debut.

What's New In the K12 / K13 / S1000RR 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, www.K-Bikes.com , and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these sites..

1. The economy is in the crapper and another one bites the dust We all know it's bad, but in the motorcycle accessory business it's downright scary bad. End of days bad. Vendors are dropping like flies around us. Here's some surprising news from a company that's been around as long as I can remember.. CycleGadgets.com is closed as of Friday, January 14, 2011. Here's the word from owner Sean Franklin.. "For nearly four years, we have struggled with declining sales and increasing costs, and at this point it is not feasible for us to recover and return the business to profitability. We are extremely proud of the history we've had with CycleGadgets.com, and will always fondly remember the terrific customers we have met and friends we have made. We want to thank all of you who have purchased from CycleGadgets.com at our website, in our store, and at rallies for making the past 11 years so very special. For further information about our closure, Click here. Damn!! We at Pirates Lair hate to hear this as they were great people. Our sincere best wishes for a successful future, Sean & Laurene.

2. EMI Group aka European Motorcycle Imports ..US suppliers of products from R&G Racing, Fren Tubo, TransLogic System, PVM Wheels, & Robby Moto Engineering just closed their doors. Hate to hear it as this was a top notch bunch of people we also deal with regularly. Very accommodating and professional. Here's what owner Jeff Hubert told us... "It's been a privilege to operate our business and meet so many great people over the years but the lack luster economy along with growing personal and family commitments have finally taken their toll. We hope the new importer will be able to build on the great product line from R&G Racing and will provide the same great support that I hope we have provided to you. I wish everyone continued growth and prosperity in 2011 and beyond. If you have questions or need more information please don't hesitate to call." Thank you, Jeff Hubert The EMI Group.

3. Naked Aggression: Evoluzione Cyclesports Strips a BMW S1000RR Here's a nice write up from the on-line version of MotorCyclist magazine on a naked S1000RR. Nice work, Ken.

Vaya con dios..

4. Remember the full product review of the Reevu Helmet I did a few months ago? I thought(and still think) it will eventually revolutionize the industry with it's built-in rearview mirror system. I had tested a pre-production lid and for the most part.. loved it. Here's the latest news on production pieces. I just received this from Graham Steele..CEO of Reevu "Hi Jerry just keeping in touch. Good news! We will have DOT production helmets available in April. We are so excited to be adding to the security and safety of Motorcyclists." Best Regards Graham.

5. Austin Racing (in the UK) has a new Carbon Fiber Rear Hugger available for the BMW S1000RR. Cost is $110 British Pounds which comes out to around $172US + shipping.

6 It was announced that the 2012 MOA BMW Rally will be in Sedalia, Missouri. Ahhh.. scenic Sedalia.

7. Guess it's not just a rumor.. "Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you...where you're young at heart." ..There will soon be a BMW dealer in Asheville, NC! Woohoo!! Details to come..

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Spring is coming.. or so one would theorize.. and many winter-weary riders will be dropping by Pirates Lair on their way to Deals Gap, the Cherohala Skyway, Blue Ridge Parkway or Sha Ka Ree. Rather than cluelessly wander around the galaxy looking for us, I'll be glad to furnish exact directions via email upon request.. or just go to Google Maps and type in "Pirates Lair Motorcycles ".. There we'll be. For our customers who need a place to drop trailers for a few days or even a few weeks while they do some riding in the area, we have a large side yard you are welcome to use at no charge. A Mexican dinner might be nice. Just sayin'.

2. We're having a rare sale on our R & G Racing Case Protectors for the BMW S1000RR. We/I simply ordered more than we should have so we're over-stocked. Grab them while you can. If you're planning on doing track days this spring and summer or you're just an alcoholic... these will offer you some cheap insurance should you go down. Just sayin'.

Chart a course!

3. We get more requests for a stealth backrest for the Kawasaki Concours 14 than any other bike. Until recently I honestly couldn't figure out how to do it and have it not look "industrial" like our visually challenged competition. If you've seen our other backrests you know we don't do ugly. I had all but given up on the project due to some design roadblocks when out of the blue, a fellow fabricator contacted us with some ideas which should resolve my previous design concerns. Woohoo! With that said... we are in the design phase of the "Concours" project. Unless something goes horribly wrong, we hope to have a backrest on the market for the mighty Kawi 14 by early summer 2011 and if things go as planned, it will be a worthy addition to the Pirates' Lair line of specialty products. Details to come. Our Kawasaki Stealth page is up here. Here's a generic idea of what it will look like on the bike..Click here.

4. New Product Alert! Are you like me and would rather have a salt encrusted, flaming, pointy stick shoved in your eye than stick an ugly tankbag on your bike? If you aren't a "backpack" kinda guy/gal, here's another waaaay cool option for some storage from ZTechnik. Their roomy 4-liter Storage Pod offers a stylish and practical way to carry the essentials. Web straps and vinyl coated hooks allow universal mounting on almost any bike. While the mounting straps are about as generic as it gets and will fit most bikes, the Z Storage pod will probably NOT fit every motorcycle. I suggest you evaluate your bike and where the strap clips will mount before ordering. I'll be glad to furnish install tips and pictures for the BMW K1200S via email request. The Z Storage pod is made of a durable canvas over a thermo-molded pod. It holds it's shape whether empty or full. These are in stock!

5. Due to global warming or the Bush administration (take your pick) we just implemented an across the board price increase on Remus exhausts.. Sorry. Don't shoot the messenger..

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

6. New Product Alert! Hate the looks of those "fugly" license plate helmet locks? Can't afford the expensive Easy Helmet Lock that we sell due to the economy being in the crapper? Here's a cheaper alternative. The Helmet Lok is carabiner with a twist...it LOCKS. Specially designed for motorcycle applications, it secures your helmet (or other valuable gear) and gives you a little peace of mind when you're away from the bike. Unlike a typical carabiner where the latch opens inward and restricts the size of the opening, the HelmetLok latch opens OUTWARD. This allows it to fit around handlebars, frame tubes, or other parts of your motorcycle measuring up to 1-1/8" diameter.The latching lever contains a programmable 3-pin combination lock which you can change anytime. To secure your helmet, slip the HelmetLok around your frame, hook your helmet d-rings or straps thru the caribiner, close the latch and spin the combo dial. Done. These should fit virtually every motorcycle on earth. Under $40.

7. New Product Alert! "WOW" is the word that comes to mind after seeing my first pair. MotoZen levers are top quality (some of the best I have seen!) There are so many adjustment options on these that it'll make your head spin so getting the ergos right on your bike has never been easier. Click Here for a Flash Video to see them in action.. You can even adjust these on the fly! Individual replacement parts are available. You deserve the best and without plundering your wallet. This is a new product to the market and not all color options are available yet. Currently, the part that attaches to your bike and the actual lever are ONLY available in black.. However.. the end lever (the part with the hole in it) and the adjuster knob are available in red/blue/gold/silver/black. Click Here for explanation. We have these for every model year S1000RR, K1300S, K1200S, K1200R, K1200R Sport, 2007-08 K1200GT, R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure, R1200R, R1200S, R1200ST, and HP2 Enduro. Cost is a reasonable $170.US pair delivered!

8. New Product Alert! The good news just keeps on comin'. We just added the entire line of Remus Slip-On Exhausts for the BMW R1200GS and Adventure to our most holy website.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare
9. New Product Alert! Shaka!.. Has anyone noticed how much new chit was added to our menu this month? Don't want a massive tankbag mucking up the looks of your ride? Of course you don't.The Bags-Connection Daypack II Quick-Lock Tankbag is a small 5-liter to 7-liter tankbag that locks to a subtle bracket that installs to pre-existing threaded holes in the motorcycle’s gas cap. It actually looks pretty good on the bike unlike many others .. this one won't make you look like a Sherpa. The Daypack II can be removed without a key, does not interfere with gas cap operation, and does not contact the tank, preventing tank scratches that are typical of magnetic tankbag applications. The tankbag is constructed of a highly water resistant thermomolded EVA nylon material and uses Gore water-sealed zippers. Rain cover and shoulder strap are included.. Price starts at $130.US

10. New Product Alert! Good news for our K1200S and K1200R owners looking for a probem-free, CanBus compatible Clear or Smoke LED taillight. We now import them from German company WhiteLights. As some of you may remember, we used to sell an LED taillight made by Clear Alternatives (now owned by MotoLume). Their version (which is/was produced in China) had more problems than Randy Quaid. We'd get 1 in 4 back with complaints of CanBus issues. The German-made WhiteLight LED taillights are problem free and 100% guaranteed to be Can-Bus compatible. Plug-n-play. No cutting/splicing of wiring and no sleepless nights. Connectors will match genuine BMW. WhiteLights offers 2 years replacement warranty by exchange. Fits every BMW K1200S, K1200R, K1200R Sport. Cool, huh!!

11. For the K1300S owners out there looking for an aftermarket exhaust slip-on.. This may help you decide which way to go. I just added a YouTube Sound Clip of the K1300S Remus Hexacone to our website. Sweet!!

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

K12 / K13 Rally / Event News : 2011

2011 Texas Hill Country K12 / K13 Rally: April 10-14, 2011

Location: Hwy 39 near Hunt - 22 miles from hwy 83
River Inn Resort in Hunt, Texas
When: Sunday thru Thursday, April 10-14, 2010 (arrive Sunday - leave Friday)

Please call 1-800-841-0501 and tell them you are with the BMW motorcycle group. (No on-line reservations available) Call Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm cst. Sat. and Sun. 9am to 4pm cst., only. A one bedroom is $60.00 plus tax, some do have sofa sleepers. Lodging is limited, so Book early to guarantee a room. You can secure your reservation with AMEX, MasterCard or Visa....7 day cancellation policy, however there is a $25 service charge. They all have a refrigerator and microwave.

Agenda: Meet. Ride. Talk, Eat. Ride. Talk.


2011 Blue Ridge Parkway K12 / K13 Rally: May 12-15, 2011

Where: Wattstull Inn, just north of Buchanan, Virginia
When: May 12th thru 15th, 2010 (Thur – Sun)

Call Wattstull Inn for reservations.
540-254-1551 / Mention: i-bmw group
SPECIFY ROOM TYPE - single, double, king

Blue Ridge Parkway info and maps can be found here and here

Alternate Lodging (info only) : Super 8 – Bedford or Days Inn – Bedford or Peaks of Otter Lodge


The 12th Annual Deals Gap K12 / K13 Rally: October 6-9th, 2011

Where: Fontana Village Resort
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: October 6th-9th, 2011 [Thur-Sunday]
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

30 lodge rooms w/ 2 queen beds/ns: $85+tax 7-10 2br cabins with 1 queen and 2 twin beds/kitchen/ns: $120+tax When calling, specify room or cabin. Lodge rooms are in the Garden units with parking outside the door. Cabins will be either the Laurel or Hemlock cabins. Reservations for blocked out rooms will end 45 days prior. Saavy? Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Thx to my good buddy, Bert B for arranging this event!!

NOTE: I-bmw.com is not an official sponsor of any posted events. Event participation is the sole responsibility of the attendee. Motorcycle riding is potentially dangerous and can result in personal injury or death. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability.

Be there!!!


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have a new contribution
this month. Check out # 14 in the LARGE GROUP RIDING TIPS section. It's a very cool tip concerning older bikes riding with newer bikes in a group. Woohoo! This was contributed by Justin A. Haber of Somerville, MA. Thx, bro. Excellent tip and I probably would have never thought of it on my won.

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.. Remember.. we're all in this together.. so shave your legs.

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-thousand 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

No new contributions
this month.
Picture at right Courtesy of Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss, Jr. / Model: Ms Melissa Haro

Click For Larger Image.. If You Want a Chub..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues