"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: January 2007 Issue : Happy Freakin' New Year!!

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

Arthur is standing alone high on the hill, fully decked out in armor.. his flag waving in the breeze. All eyes turn to him...Cedric stares questioningly to his second in command Cynric and his scout who has just assured him that all the Knights had fled...
Cedric: A single knight. (Cedric grabs his British scout by the throat) Didn't you just say they were gone? What is this? A ghost?
British Scout: (choking) One man. A tiny fly on the back of your great army.
Cedric: Who is he?
British Scout: (slightly terrified and half whispering).. Arthur.
Cynric chokes then throws the scout to the ground..
Cedric: (musing) Arthur...
On the hill, Arthur looks down to see the British scout and Cedric walking towards him waving a white flag of truce. Arthur stabs his standard into the ground and gallops to meet Cedric. Cedric dismisses the traitorous scout who climbs a nearby tree. Slowly the gate of the fort swings open and Arthur atop his mighty steed, Excalibur drawn, comes out to meet the barbarian.
Cedric: Arthur. Wherever I go on this wretched island, I hear your name. Always half whispered, as if you were a... god.
Arthur circles around Cedric
Cedric: All I see is flesh, blood. No more god than the creature you're sitting on.
Arthur: Speak your terms, Saxon.
Cedric: The Romans have left you. What are you fighting for?
Arthur: I fight for a cheesy newsletter beyond Rome's or your understanding... Arthur keeps circling around Cedric..
Cedric: You've come to beg a truce. You should be on your knees.
The majestic horse neighs and snorts... Arthur points Excalibur at Cedric.
Arthur: I came to see your face, so that I alone may find you on the battlefield, and it would be good for you if you marked my face, Saxon. For the next time you see it, it will be the last thing you see on this earth.

Arthur / Clive Owen / Cedric / Stellan Skarsgard ... King Arthur... 2005

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

35th Annual BMW RA International Rally Announced: Asheville, NC

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 . Rally attendees should be in for a real treat.. in theory. Hopefully the Biltmore learned from the fiasco which was their last rally. "the horror... the horror.."

The Biltmore is isolated on 8,000 acres of some of the most beautiful property you'll ever see and the roads in the area are to die for. Besides the Blue Ridge Pky, I can point you to some roads that will blow your knee draggin' mind.. This area is simply a motorcyclist's dream.. the reason we moved here in the first place.

Rally details will be forthcoming on both their website and in upcoming cheesy newsletters. .


Product Review: Pirelli Diablo Corsa III's on the BMW K1200S

I consider myself a competent rider..not an expert (contrary to what the monsters from the Id tell me), but competent. Perhaps a 7 or 7.5 on a 1-10 scale. I like to go fast and I don't care how many miles I get out of a tire as long as it sticks to the pavement at any lean angle. I feel fortunate if I get 2500 miles out of a street tire.

My K1200S came with Michelin Pilot Powers and while the Pilots are very predictable, warm up quick enough, and track well over most surfaces.. they simply don't have enough "stick" for the curvaceous roads around here. I was sliding the front and/or rear on almost every "decent" curve even when riding like an old codger... and when riding HARD.. Geezz.. I had ZERO confidence in them. With the Powers I couldn't ride more than 7/10th's without feeling like I'd soon end up low-siding into a ditch alongside roadkill..

I managed 4300 miles out of the front before I removed both front and rear with at least 2K left on the rear.. As I've been a big fan of the Pirelli Corsa series over the last few years and even used their Corsa Pro at the track with "ass-kicking" success, it was the perfect opportunity to try the all new Pirelli Diablo Corsa III's. These tires are produced with two or three different rubber compounds. Soft on the sides where you need grip, transitioning to a little harder rubber, and then an even harder compound for straight up riding and decent mileage, I think.. In theory.. the best of both worlds.

Pirelli advertises the "multi-compound" Corsa III as a "hypersport" street tire capable of track day extremes and my own testing seems to back that assertion up. On November 24th I installed the Corsa III's on my K1200S and headed to Deals Gap for some serious corner carving on the Tail of the Dragon. For my Dragon testing, (pic a right) I settled on 40psi up front and 35 in the rear and ran the 311 curves in 1st and 2nd gear..

his would be the maiden voyage of my new "S" on the Dragon and honestly, I was not too optimistic as to how it would fare on the tight curves especially against lighter bikes with shorter wheelbases. I remember all to well how my old K1200RS would absorb all my energy in a single pass leaving me nauseous and ready to sell Buicks.... and the RS has a SHORTER wheelbase.

However.. the K1200S was a pleasant surprise. Due to the 100lb lighter weight, godlike low-end power, quick turn-in afforded by the Hossack steering, and yes.. the tires, I was able to keep up with every sportbike which wondered into my cross-hairs. Most I could pass.. a few I couldn't due to the S's Peterbuilt wheelbase and slow flickability, but no matter what I threw at them, the Pirellis stuck like glue. They never once broke loose even at extreme lean angles. The tires are completely neutral at all times and instill confidence even when ridden to the outer edge of the tire surface (pic at upper right). I felt like I could have easily put a knee down if I had wanted which I do NOT recommend on the street. After my runs, the rubber on the tires hadn't balled up like it would have on a "dedicated" race tire which would lead me to believe that they might actually last a pretty good while. Icing on the proverbial cake.

Bottom line.. The Corsa III's are possibly the best street tires I've ever tried and I wouldn't for a second hesitate putting them on a track bike for a weekend thrashing. They are THAT good. If I can manage 2500 miles out of them.. I'll be stickin' (no pun intended) with them...

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.K-Bikes.com , www.I-BMW.com, and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these chat sites..

1. WooHoo!! Kisan has just developed one of their TailBlazer Kits for BMW's with the new foofoo CanBus systems... K1200S, K1200R, K1200GT, etc.. Install will be as easy as changing your bulb. Price will be in the $70-75. range. This will be cheaper and probably more effective 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.

2. Have had a few K1200S people asking when we'd be able to provide FRONT Lite Buddy or Run-N-Lite Kits for their bikes to match the rear kits. I contacted my good friend Klaus (Big Kahuna / owner of Run-N-Lites & Wilbers USA) and he told us this...
"I am sorry to say that not will not happen soon. I need to find a new machinist for my molds. The person I had doing work for me is totally overloaded with work that brings him money - which I understand - and can not do small orders. As soon as I have found somebody with a CNC machine, I will continue making new developments, and the K 12 S front will be the first item to come. Regards."
Klaus Huenecke

3. Here's good news for you R1200GS owners... I just heard from Frank at MotorCycle Cruise Controls of Australia They are working on a cruise control for that bike as we speak.. This is the same company that makes them for the early model K1200RS.. and those kits were wonderful...They keep telling me the ONLY reason they have NOT started on a cruise for the K1200S is that they do NOT have access to a bike.. Drat!

4. Just purchased a Garmin Nuvi and want to hard-wire it to your bike? It's NOT as easy as just wiring it directly to your battery. You'll fry the expensive electronics in 2 micro-seconds unless you have the correct wire with in-line current reducer. Powerlet Products has what you need.. Be specific when ordering. Super customer service and a product line of electronic goodies to die for. If you are wanting to wire a GPS or radar detector to your bike and can't find the necessary hardware to do it like a pro, they've probably got what you need. I received a waterproof cigarette socket (with in-line fuse) from them for a custom GPS install I'm doing on my new Ducati and it's absolutely first class.

5. Looks like there's yet another K1200S/K1200R exhaust system on the market!! Check out the Spectrum Full Titanium System It offers a full 9hp increase, which is just slightly better than any slip-on on the market (and LESS than the Staintune slip-on) but a substantial weight loss. I couldn't find the price on their website. Oddly, according to their verbiage it's not too loud, but the stats show it's a cracking 94db... Isn't that kinda loud? Lets ask our early morning neighbors.

6. Thinking about a pair of the waay cool GSG Frame Sliders for your K1200S? If you have an 06 or 07... there's no issues, but we have determined that there can be a fitment problem on the very early 2005 models. Apparently the filler neck on the fluid reservoir under the frame on the left hand side is directly centered and in the way of where the slider needs to clamp. On post Aug 2005 production models, this filler neck was moved forward and out of the way. Apparently, when the GSG sliders were designed, the manufacturer was unaware of this factory mod. So.. if you have an early 2005 K1200S you have two options. 1. You can order the parts to change the position of the filler neck from your local extortionist..er..dealer or 2. you'd have to return the sliders to whoever you bought them from for a refund.

The BMW part numbers you'll need to purchase from your local BMW dealer to make this coolant tank conversion are as follows:
- 17117699540 Expansion Tank ($62.50 MSRP)
- 17117687715 Cover Lid ($21.00 MSRP)
- 17111707556 Exhaust Steam Hose 7x10 660MM (MSRP $3.80)
- 17117687715 expansion tank pressure cap $21.00
- 17117695418 plastic expansion tank pressure cap cover $6.00
Many thanks to Sir Steve Bussman for providing this information!

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1..Stealth Backrest Price Increase Warning: As reported in last months cheesy newsletter, as of Jan 1st 2007 Pirates Lair implemented an across the board increase on ALL our backrests. This was due not to greed, not that there's anything wrong with that, but rather to the soaring cost on stainless steel. Pirates Lair is eating about 1/2 the increase.. Customers will eat the other 1/2. Mmm.. tastes a little bitter. Only fair..Deal with it..

2. As per the prophesy above... Kisan has just developed TailBlazer Kits for BMW's with the new foofoo CanBus systems... K1200S and K1200R. A 2 bulb kit for the 2006-07 K1200GT will also be available. If you have a stock tail light... you MUST consider this option...It could save your stinkin' arse...We're currently waiting for an application list before we activate a web page. Stay tuned!!

3. We just received a rare shipment of Verholen 65mm bar risers for the 98-2005 K1200RS. I usually do NOT keep these in stock and had intended on ordering just 2 pair for the Christmas rush, but like a freakin' moron I screwed up and ordered 10 pair so I'll have them for a while.

4. As proclaimed in last months cheesy newsletter, due to incessant whining from the hungering masses, I decided to produce one last production run of our K1200RS/GT Protectors. As of this writing, I have a few left in SILVER only. Buy now or forever hold your piece. (and no.. that's not a typo)

5. We have just added the GIVI T431 Soft Saddlebags to our product line. I can not tell you how much I love these bags. They fit my S perfectly without making me look like a Sherpa. Here's a pic of them on my bike.. http://pirateslair.net/givi400.jpg

7. Do you new GT owners care about your paint?? Sure you do. We now have Carbon Fiber Tank Protectors for the new K1200GT.

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2007

Blue Ridge Parkway K12 Rally: 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


35th Annual BMW RA International Rally: Asheville, NC: 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 .


The 2007 Deals Gap K12 Rally: Sept 27-29, 2007 (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


Hillbilly K12 Roundup... Jasper, Arkansas: October 18- 22, 2007 Contributed by James (Plumb Loco) Myrick aka James of Texas over at www.I-BMW.com )

FYI.. there will be no 2007 Texas Hill Country Rally due to the fact that the resort where we've had it for the last few years simply booked up for the time it's usually held so as an alternative.. it'll be in Jasper, Ark. The following info was provided by our good buddy, J Myrick.
I am happy to let everybody know.......We will be staying at the Gordon Motel in Beautiful downtown Jasper. We have All 18 rooms there but you have to call and give them a Mastercard or Visa and phone number. The number is 1-800-477-8509 and tell them you are with the BMW Motorcycle group ...October 18 ( Wed.) to 22 ( Sun.). We have a Wonderful rate of $ 40 + tax for a room with 2 beds ( 12 rooms ) and $ 45 + tax for a room with 3 beds ( 6 rooms ) for a total of 18.
So do not wait to long or you will be SOL . They have a 7 day cancellation policy as well. I have my room so now there is 1 less = 17 left

Lets enjoy another roundup ...Hillbilly style. Welcome back to the Fifties Motel way of life. www.gordonmotel.com The cabins are a few miles down the road and are NOT part of this and they do not handle reservations by website...Much Obliged ...Hope to see Y'all.


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

WooHoo!! Check out #113 Contributed by Gil Davis, Buena Park, CA Could it 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