Take me home, El Capitan!

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

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

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

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

Prepare to be boarded!

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: January / February 2014 Issue

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

Wallace: Sons of Scotland!... I am William Wallace!
Soldier: William Wallace is seven feet tall! (hardy laughs amongst the men..)
Wallace: Yes, I have heard! He kills men by the hundreds! And if he were here, he would consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arss!
Many laugh--all get the point.
Wallace: I am William Wallace. And my enemies do not go away. I saw our good nobles hanged. My wife... I am William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men. And free men you are! What will you do with freedom? Will you fight?
Veteran: Two thousand, against ten? We will run--and live!
Wallace: Yes. Fight and you may die. Run and you will live, at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for one change to come back here as young men, and tell our enemies that they make take our lives, and our Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletters, but they will never take our freedom!

William Wallace / Mel Gibson - - Braveheart / 1996

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

Picture Of The Month! Alpine Glory! Grimsel Pass, Switzerland! (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 Jan/Feb POTM was contributed by Josh Hoogakker (aka sundog over at I-BMW.com) of Copenhagen, Denmark. He says of the shot... "I remember this stop quite clearly. This was on the way down the Grimsel Pass in Switzerland. It was my first ever day of riding the Alps and i was understandably overwhelmed by the staggering views that i was confronted with round each new corner. I live in Denmark, which, along with Holland is one of the flattest countries in Europe (and possibly the world), so this really was a treat! I had stopped to take a photo and while finding my spot, an old gentleman spluttered to stopped to admire my bike. He must have been in his mid 80's and was riding an old 100cc Puch (German scooter kind of bike). We didnt understand each others language but he made it clear he loved my bike. He offered me a biscuit, a traditional Swiss ginger bread kind of cake, which we nibbled on while admiring the best nature has to offer... Photo was taken with a Fuji FinePix F550EXR. Weather was fine and dry, temperature around 18ºC Height was approx. 1800m above sea level. "

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, K1300S, K1200RS, K1200R, R Sport, S1000RR, K1600GT, GTL, or any model year K1200GT or K1300GT and B. In focus. C. No GS's for Gods sake.

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BMW Recalls 50,000 in Canada and US for Potential Fuel Leaks ..

We just got word that BMW is recalling over 50,000 R and K series motorcycles produced between January 2004 and April 2011 over a possible fuel leak. Apparently a fuel pump flange on the models can crack, causing petrol to escape. Owners  will be notified soon and the flanges will be inspected and then (if necessary) modified and replaced.

A spokesman for BMW added: "Technically it is not classed as a ‘recall’ in the UK, as it is not safety related and customers will not be asked to immediately return their bikes to the dealers. We would class it as a campaign." Read more here.

According to the recall notice, cracks can develop in the fuel pump and/or the auxiliary fuel pump flange. When the motorcycle is turned on and the fuel system gets pressurized, fuel may leak (or gush like the Yangtze on a rainy day) from the fuel pump. In the presence of an ignition source or a dangling lit cigarette, the fuel leak may result in a fire and as we all know.. fires are NOT good on motorcycles..

A few of the bikes listed in this recall are the 2006-2008 BMW K1200R, 2005-2008 BMW K1200S, 2009-2011 BMW K1300GT, 2009-2011 BMW K1300R, 2009-2011 BMW K1300S, 2011-2012 BMW K1600GT, 2011-2012 BMW K1600GTL, 2010-2011 BMW S1000RR as well as quite a few "R" bikes... Full details with a list of models .. Click Here..

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Product Mini-Review: Westco Platinum WC14 Battery! More Power, Scotty!

Rode down to Lake Lure towards the end of the summer.. had a burger, got on my 2006 K1200S to leave and the battery was deader than Lou Reed... I had noticed it was cranking slower the last few rides, but thought it might just be my imagination.. Guess not.. Fortunately there was a guy sitting 10 ft from me in a Camaro who witnessed my plight and before I could even get my helmet off he had his jumper cables out and a helpful smile on his face ... Within 4 minutes I was on the road... Very fortuitous.. These things usually happen on a Sunday morning... out in the middle of Bumfuck Egypt... out of cell phone range.. in the rain.. just before you develop a case of explosive diarrhea.

Got home, did my usual I-BMW research and decided on the Westco Platinum WC14 AGM Battery which are available from beemerboneyard.com. While I was a Shorai dealer at the time, I simply couldn't afford one of those under this president. "Hope and Change" has pummeled my wallet. After a few clicks on the internet I received the Westco Platinum Battery for less than dealer cost of the Shorai.. $103.35 delivered. Sweet! Yes.. it would have been nice to save almost 10lbs pounds with the super light-weight Shorai, but we're watching our pennies these days... Feel me?

The Westco Platinum Series battery, which is made here in the good ole USA, is a superior battery line that delivers industry-leading performance through advanced AGM technology. It boasts a spill-proof and leak resistant design and serious cranking power. The WC14 puts out 220 cold cranking amps compared to 200 for the oem battery and yes.. you can really tell it every time you hit the starter button. Westcos are vibration resistant, have a low discharge rate, and are backed with an 18-month full replacement warranty. They can be charged with a standard battery tender or any other battery charger.

The oem battery weighed in at 12 4oz lbs.. the Westco 13lbs so weight is about the same. The Westco was the EXACT same dimensions as the oem so it dropped in in seconds.. Too soon to tell how long it'll last, but after a few months, I feel very confident having the Westco as my #1 power source. Mongo happy..

Westco Platinum WC14 AGM Battery

What's New In the BMW 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. Been wanting to add a sturdy rear rack to the back of your K1300S?? Here's a nice looking piece ..Check out the Hepco & Becker aluminum rear rack part #650 659 01 01. They call it the Alurack. Doesn't look half bad, IMHO. I think these are made in Germany, but you can get these here in the US from MotoMachines for under $200US. With the Alurack, you can attach any top case offered by Hepco & Becker. They are made of high quality cast aluminum with an integrated plastic cover. The top bow for the rack can be taken off for carrying luggage besides top cases. Features strap holes all around utilized to strap luggage down. They claim a relatively easy to install and come with the required hardware and instructions needed.

2. If you've got a K1600GTL, K1600GT, K1300GT, K1200GT, R1200RT and been looking for a bolt on backrest...You may find this interesting. There's a new one on the market from the people at www.Stongbilt.com They offer a kit which includes a full size aluminum rack in both chrome or black powder coated. Arm rests are included. They claim install time is 5 minutes. Doesn't look half bad either, but the price will leave most potential customers (and their ancestors) bleeding from every orifice.. Over $1000 to your door.. Ouch! Not sure if that price includes a reach-around.

StrongBilt Backrest

3. If you've been thinking of turning your front blinkers into running lights... Here's a cheap, easy to install product you might find tasty. The "Blinker Genie" is designed to allow single filament light bulbs, single intensity LED assemblies, or any two-wire indicators to function as both running lights AND blinkers - at full brightness! Sweet! Here's the results on a K1300S.... As of this writing.. they are on sale for a paltry $24.99 per pair! and did I mention they are made in the USA??!

4. For all my fellow race fans out there ...Check out the 2014 Calendar for MOTOGP, WBSK

5. Lots of new I-BMW rally news below... Newly listed are the 2014 Texas Hill Country, Deals Gap, Rocky Mountain, KHCR, and Blue Ridge Parkway rallies. Details and dates in the "rally" section below. Hope to see you at at least one of them. .. in my mirrors....And don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a "velocity award" while in transit to or from or at any I-BMW rally.. If we don't reward bad behavior... who else will?? Arrrrrrg.

6. Held North America Inc (makers of some damn nice gloves) will be closing its business on December 20th 2013. Held Biker Fashion GmbH of Germany, should have new representation established for the USA very soon. No idea if they are yet another victim of Obamanomics or not... It wouldn't surprise me... We lost half a dozen vendors in the last 24 months... Hate to hear this...

7. Been looking for a place to coat some exhaust or metal parts? Most people have seen and heard of Jet Hot coated parts.. which I dislike. I had some bad experiences with those guys. And we all know that putting chrome on a BMW is sacrilegious.. So sayeth the Lord. So what else is there?? Glad you asked.. I've been hearing good things about the people at Nitro Plate (operating out of Nashville, Tn). They offer various ceramic coatings at reasonable prices including Bright Silver (which is a step down from chrome), Satin Silver, Satin Black (my favorite), and Cast Iron. They specialize in car headers and motorcycle exhaust pipes, heat shields, valve covers, intake manifolds, and other aesthetic components. If and when I need some exhaust (or other metal parts) coated.. I'll be heading to Music City.

8. I just heard that MAX BMW (in New Hampshire) is about to open 2 new locations.. One in North Jersey and one in Connecticut. I love hearing this news since we've lost so many BMW dealers over the last 4 years. The crew at MaxBMW must be doing something right... Our best wishes to them..

Nitro Plate Finishes

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. For those of you who somehow missed last month's cheese filled holiday newsletter, I related a woeful tale of deceit, lies, and obfuscation that even the Obama administration would consider onerous. Yes... I'm talking about our dealings with the Eurotards that run Laser Exhausts of the Netherlands. Click here for the whole story.. In the write up I explained the reasons why Pirates Lair in no longer the US /importer distributor for them. It's a sad sad tale.

Since then there have been some interesting, TMZ-worthy developments. Just after the December newsletter went live, we got a call from another former vendor who informed us that Laser has filed for bankruptcy.. The second time in 4 years (DOH!) .. and.. there's an international class action lawsuit gaining momentum against them. Apparently, towards the end of 2013 Laser took quite a few orders and payments from vendors all over the world then.. *poof*.. like D.B. Cooper.. vanished. Essentially, they took the money and ran. Ouch! My source of this information was actually shocked that we got out without being ripped off. He inferred that from what he'd heard, Pirates Lair was the ONLY vendor who didn't get burnt. Wow. And I was feeling bad for only being out a few thousand dollars for paid advertising. It appears that we were luckier than every other importer.. Lastly.. while you may see a few Laser products being advertised at super low prices on Ebay (via an individual in China)... I'd be afraid. Be very afraid.

Anton Korvor and Cees Goudswaard

2. I will begin working on an all new Stealth backrest for the water-cooled 2013 / 2014 R1200GS this month. I'm getting a lot of requests. If all goes as planned it'll be on the market early summer. If you'd like your name on my notification list let me know and I'll email you with updates as the project progresses. Email me here.

3. One of the products that put Pirates Lair on the intergalactic map... our K1200RS Stealth Backrest will soon be discontinued. I must have sold 9000+ of them since 1999. Sales have slowed to a trickle and our original mold, like Keith Richard's spleen, is simply worn out. To produce another one simply isn't financially feasible.. An end of an era, indeed.

4. Amber just informed me that USPS shipping rates are going up again as of 1/28/14. That's 3 times in the last 2 years. So far Pirates Lair has resisted raising our rates, but the writing is on the wall. Expect to see our prices inching up over the next few months to compensate.

5. If you own a BMW K1200R or K1200R Sport and have been looking for a Carbon Fiber Bellypan... you've probably discovered that there's not much out there.. Until now.. Check out this new for 2014 piece from Pyramid Plastics. If you thought your only options were those butt ugly metal abominations or painted fiberglass... you were wrong, bukko! I love the flowing, curvaceous design which, IMHO softens the rough edged look of the bike. No mods necessary. Simple bolt on. We now have them listed on our menu as a special order item.

6. Lots of new I-BMW rally news below... Newly listed are the 2014 Texas Hill Country, Deals Gap, Rocky Mountain, KHCR, and Blue Ridge Parkway rallies. Details and dates in the "rally" section below. Hope to see you at at least one of them. .. in my mirrors.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2014
NOTE: I-bmw.com is not an "official" sponsor of any of the following posted events. Event participation is the sole responsibility of the attendee. Motorcycle riding is potentially dangerous and can result in personal injury or death or lots of velocity awards.. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability. It's called.. "personal responsibility."

2014 I-BMW Texas Hill Country BMW Pre-Rally / Rally / & MotoGP Gathering: April 5-14, 2011 NEW!

Pre-Texas Hill Country Roundup/Rally in Terlingua- Apri 5, 6, 7, 8 (arrive Sat.; leave Tue. to ride 400 miles to Hunt)
El Dorado Motel or 432-371-2111 -We have blocked: 2 King Suites @$109.; 2 Doubles @$100.; 5 Singles @$80. This time period fills up very quickly, hence the need to reserve space early.

THCR in Hunt. -April 8, 9, 10, 11 (arrive Tue.; leave Fri to ride to Austin for MotoGP)
River Inn Resort, approx 7 miles west of Hunt @ 800-841-0501 - We have 15 rooms blocked off, with a mix of types.

Post-THCR MotoGP in Austin - April 11, 12, 13, 14 (arrive Fri.; leave Mon.)
No arrangements have been made for lodging.
Hotels raise their prices at this time, so again - reserve EARLY!

For further details check @ the official tread at I-BMW.com ...and don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a "velocity award" while in transit to or from or at the rally itself..

Show me more!!

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2014 Blue Ridge Parkway I-BMW.com Rally: May 1-4th, 2014 NEW!

Where: Wattstull Inn, just north of Buchanan, Virginia
When: May 1st thru 4th, 2014 (arrive Thursday May 1, leave Sunday May 4)

Call Wattstull Inn for reservations.
540-254-1551 / Mention: i-bmw group
SPECIFY ROOM TYPE - single, double, king.. / Rooms are $70 per night plus tax

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

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The 2nd Annual I-BMW Rocky Mountain Rally: July 20 through July 23, 2014 New!

Where: Quality Inn of Gunnison
Nearest town: Gunnison, Colorado
When: July 20 through July 23, 2013
Reservations: 970-641-1237

Our base of operations will again be the Quality Inn of Gunnison, which is located at 400 E. Tomichi Ave (also known as U.S. 50) in Gunnison. They are currently taking reservations for a block of rooms that are reserved for us. I encourage you to make you reservations early (like now), and to mention that you are with the BMW Motorcycle Group in order to get the rate of $95 plus tax per night (down from their advertised $119 + tax). Most of the rooms have two queen-sized beds, but there are also some available with one king or one queen. A hot breakfast is included. Here is a link to the motel's website

Cancellation Policy: If you call as late as the day before (24 hours) you are supposed to arrive, they will not charge your card. Also, in case of a family emergency or hospitalization, you could call the day you're due to arrive and they would also not charge your card. And I also confirmed with them that if you make the reservation and tell them that you want to arrive earlier or stay later than the Sunday to Wednesday time frame, they will give you the $95 rate for all the days that you are there.

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2014 I-BMW KHCR: Aug. 7-10th, 2014 New!

Where: Blue Licks Battlefield State Park
Address: 10299 Maysville Rd, Carlisle, KY 40311
Nearest town: Maysville, Ky
When: Aug. 7, 8, 9 and 10 (Arrive on Thur, play Fri and Sat and depart Sun)
Reservations: 800 443-7008

The room rates for the I-BMW Kentucky Hill Country Rally are 69.95 Thursday and 89.95 Fri and Sat. For reservations call 800 443-7008. There is a resturant on the grounds. The rooms will be held until July 7. The site is roughly 15 miles South of Maysville Ky on us 68. It is 42 miles North of Lexington Ky on us 68. It is 78 miles East of Cincinnati Ohio. 114 miles East of Louisville Ky and 104 miles West of Huntington W.Va. Ridge land abounds with nice roadways and long views.

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The 15th Annual I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: October 2-5th, 2014 NEW!

Where: Fontana Village Resort
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: October 2nd-5th, 2014 [Thur-Sunday]
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

Geezz. Have we been doing this for 14 years? I've had marriages that didn't last that long. I have negotiated the same room prices for 2014 as last year. Rooms w/ 2 queen beds/ns: $85+tax - 6 2br cabins with 1 queen and 2 twin beds/kitchen/ns: $159+tax. Call 800-849-2258 option 1. (If you are booking a room, remember to request the main lodge.) Cabins will be Azalea cabins. Reservations for blocked out rooms will end 45 days prior. Saavy? Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Amber and I will be there. Neither of us will be wearing panties.

...and don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a "velocity award" while in transit to or from or at the rally itself.. If we don't reward bad behavior... who else will?? Arrrrrrg.

Be there!!!

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have no new contributions this month. Our last safe riding tip # 163 was sent in by Dwight Manuel of Asheville, NC!
Thx, bro. Could his tip save your life? Dare you not look?.

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle, How to Survive Deals Gap, or any How-To link.. First... check out the tips we already have and if you have something new... just send to me and if it's worthy... I'll add it.

Pirates Lair Sacred Archives

We get a lot of requests for specific articles and/or reviews I've written in the past. Rather than fry my aging brain trying to remember where they are on our multi-hundred page website, I have decided to list the "worthy" ones here. Most of the links are to past newsletters.. Some are to full web articles. Remember, I'm no expert on anything except perhaps cunnilingus so the opinions within the archives are only my own. Saavy?

BMW How-To Section

We have a no new contributions this month.. Our last was
How -To Shorten the K1300S Oem Exhaust Canister into a Shortie contributed by Bernardo from Las Varillas, Argentina.

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