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.

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: January / February 2019 Issue

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

Suddenly, The sound of a man clearing his throat. Everyone turns to the door behind them. Mr. Kobayashi a tall, slim, well groomed man stands in the hall. He has a briefcase in his hand. He smiles politely.

Kobayashi: Mr. Keaton?
Keaton stands back and lets him in. Kobayashi looks at them showing no emotion....
Kobayashi: I am Mr. Kobayashi. I've been asked by my employer to bring a proposal to you gentlemen. That must be Mr. Hockney. I recognize Mr. Fenster from his mug shot, as well as Mr. McManus. I can only assume that you are Mr. Kint. I believe you were the one who disposed of Saul. My employer sends his gratitude. A most unexpected benefit.
Everyone looks at one another in shock that he would know this.
Keaton: What can we do for you?
Kobayashi: My employer requires your services. One job.. One day's work. Very dangerous. I don't expect all of you to live, but those who do will have ninety-one million dollars to divide any way they see fit plus a lifetime subscription to the Pirates' Lair Cheesy Newsletter..
Keaton: That's a lot of cheese.. Who's your boss?
Kobayashi: My employer wishes to remain anonymous.
Keaton: Don't jerk me off. We all know what this is. We don't consider this without knowing who we're really working for. Now let's cut the shit. Who's the man?
Kobayashi: I work for Keyser Soze.

Keaton / Gabriel Byrnel Kobayashi / Pete Postlethwaite... The Usual Suspects / 1995

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

Picture Of The Month! Oregon Coast Solitude (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 Daryl Horniack of Victoria BC Canada and it is one wonderful shot. He says of the photo..."Taking a break at Cape Sebastian along the Oregon coast, on a chill, misty morning. Only a rare car on the road, which is a welcome change. Prohibitively early for most travelers I suppose. With an abundance of miles ahead, one can't waste time on luxuries like sleeping in. California awaits, and the road to SGR is simply too sublime. This picture was taken with a Sony SLT-A33 @ 1/80 sec. f/5 40mm"

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 any late model BMW .. B. In focus... C. No GSs for God's sake.

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

Pirates Lair Celebrates Our 20th Year Anniversary! Past, Present, Future..

Yes, my friends... 2019 will mark our 20th anniversary. Can you freaking believe it? I actually had to check my math a couple of times before the reality of this epiphany set in. My how things have changed.. Both in this business, the country, the world, and my scalp. We should celebrate, ... but first lets travel back in time to when it all began.

The year was 1999 .. Bill Clinton's impeachment trial had just ended (for doing cigar tricks in the oval office)..""The Sopranos"" debuted on HBO.. The "Yankee Clipper" Joe DiMaggio joined the Field of Dreams team. "The Matrix" was rocking the box office.. Gas was $1.17 a gallon. I had hair. The internet was new with less than 50% of the country being online and that was via dial-up screeching modems. There was no Amazon.. No Google.. No Paypal.. No eBay. No YouTube. No ZuZu's petals. "Social media" was standing on your front porch and yelling at a neighbor. A simpler time, indeed.

I was still working in the printing/publishing industry and operating "Pirates Lair Motorcycle Detailing Service" on the side. I had developed some cool items for my then new 98 K1200RS and posted a few pics on the also new I-BMW.com. I got immediate responses from fellow RS owners asking where they could buy my creations. Hmm.. Never one to pass up a business opportunity, I turned to my good buddy Wayne Avant (the quintessential computer guru) and persuaded him to help me build a website to sell my wares and teach me HTML code. All he asked for in return was undying loyalty, some genetic material from Amber should cloning ever become legalized, and all the beer he could drink. I gladly obliged. The rest is history.

When my original website went live that year, I had 8 products on our website, perhaps 4 web pages total, and a working budget of around $700. Everything centered around one bike.. The K1200RS. The next few years are a blur as I proceeded to learn website design, a modicum of people skills, and a smidgen of business acumen. At times, I was blindly fumbling my way forward not unlike my first sexual experience. Slowly but surely I learned what to do and what not to do when running an internet business. Mistakes? Arrrrg... er I mean.. you betcha, but generally a warm wind was always at our back.

Fast forward 20 years.. Today we have over 300 pages on our vast website selling over 1000 products for 32 different motorcycles from BMW, Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, MV Agusta, and Kawasaki. At our peak (in 2007) we were closing in on our first million dollar year. Today, after a recent 8 year decline in sales, we're admittedly diminished, but still afloat and cautiously optimistic for a return to greatness.

That being said.. I'm well aware of the existential challenges we're facing in this era of online sales and instant information. It's much harder to compete with the big boys like Revzilla, EBay, or Amazon these days with their "large volume" shipping discount deals with the USPS, UPS, or FedEx. Also, price comparison shopping takes only seconds on any smart phone. I get that. That being the case, we small vendors have to offer services that the big companies can't.. One-on-one advice and guidance, exclusive products, installation tips, cheesy un-PC newsletters, and occasionally even gratuitous nudity...

Even getting the word out.. aka.. advertising is tougher. Printed magazines are going the way of the Betamax. For years we spent around $600 a month on magazine advertisements in 4 different rags. Today we don't advertise in ANY magazine. The new generation of riders simply don't buy them. Today we rely on clever meta tags (which search engines hunt for) and word of mouth. Fortunately we have a good reputation, a loyal customer base, and dealers all over the world refer their customers our way.

So.. what's in the future for Pirates Lair? Geezz.. I wish I had a crystal ball. I'm thinking I'll be captain of this ship for maybe 8 more years. I'd hoped to turn the helm over to one of my grandsons, but neither have shown any interest. As for myself.. I'm still enjoying being a part of this industry. I still love what I do and never forget just how lucky I am. That being said... Amber and I would like to thank you all for supporting Pirates Lair for all these 20 years. It's been one helluva ride.. Most of it speeding.. ;-)

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

New for 2019: ESA Shock Rebuilding / Refurbishing Service by EPM Performance

OK.. You've reached the point where your oem ESA shocks are weeping, worn out, or just lifeless. Your dealer has told you they are non-rebuildable. Your dealer is wrong. Sure you can take out a second mortgage and replace them, but I'd recommend bringing your shocks back to life by having them rebuilt by EPM Performance. Pirates Lair is now working with EPM (based in NJ) for their complete factory-trained rebuild and refurbishing service for all late model motorcycles with ESA shocks by a factory trained technician. This service applies to all ESA shocks manufactured by SHOWA, WP, Marzocchi, and SACHS for BMW, Triumph, Yamaha, KTM or other bike models. Upon request, they can also shorten OEM ESA shocks for a lower ride height and can supply new springs (Hyperpro progressive springs) for the OEM ESA shocks.

So.. how does the service work? Full details here.. In a nutshell.. you remove your shocks, clean them externally if they are nasty, download and/ or print out this return form , then ship them your shocks. EPM will inspect, rebuild, and return them directly to you when they are done. If there are any issues or problems during or after inspection, they'll contact you and let you know your options. It really is a turn-key operation. and BTW.. Pirates Lair has been doing business with them for over 15 years so we trust them explicitly.

For the bi-curious.. Pirates Lair does NOT accept payment from our customers for this service. We serve only as a referral service and they give us a few shillings on the backside for the referral. Expect 3-4 weeks from the day your shocks arrive at their facility. Once complete, your newly rebuilt ESA shocks will be drop shipped directly to your door at a fraction of the cost of a new pair..

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

New for 2019: ZTechnik VStream Windshields for the BMW R1250GS & R1200GS LC

Pirates Lair just added the entire ZTechnik line of "Vstream" windshields for the all new BMW R1250GS and the 2013-2108 R1200GS LC. Their advanced "V" shape design pushes the wind out and away from the rider's helmet resulting in a peaceful, quiet, dare I say.. "Zen-like" environment. They claim the improvement is notable for the passenger as well.

ZTechnik's VStream Windscreens for the BMW R1250 & R1200GS LC come in three sizes. The Z2485 Dark Tint and Z2486 Clear Sport screens are about 1" taller and somewhat wider than the OEM windscreen. The Z2487 Touring VStream is 5" taller and somewhat wider than stock for superb touring performance. The Z2488 Touring Deluxe shield is a full 7.5" taller and also wider than the oem for maximum wind protection for the serious long distance rider. Check out our ZTechnik GS Windshield page here..

Quantum hardcoated polycarbonate gives these VStream windscreens superior scratch resistance, outstanding clarity, and strength characteristics unmatched by any windscreen maker worldwide. They are 30X more resistant to abrasion than acrylic materials, and have 20X greater crack and impact resistance.

As are all ZTechnik windshields, these are covered by a 3-Year Warranty against breakage. Cool beans.

Show Me More, El Capitan!

What's New In the No-Spin Zone

1. After freakin' decades of starts and stops, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has finally opened the last (middle) section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland, TN and Wears Valley, TN. In this short video, listen to some excerpts from Superintendent Cassius Cash's comments at the ribbon cutting event and enjoy some warm cuddly moments from Community Day, a special event which allowed pedestrians to enjoy the "Missing Link" portion of parkway before it opened to vehicle traffic. I can't wait to ride the new section which is just a few minutes from the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap.. A good way to start the new year, indeed.

2. Registration for the 2019 Georgia Mountain Rally at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds between Friday May 3rd and Sunday May 5th, 2019 is now open. Registration includes lakeside tent camping sites, regular rally attractions and major prize draws. There are improved lots onsite for tents and RVs available, and a wide range of local motel and cabin rental options, for those wanting more refined accommodations. Register before April 15th for $55 per person and save a $15 on the normal $70 rate.


3. Bad news from Remus USA... On Nov 5th, 2018.. the EPA came in and informed them that the can no longer sell exhausts for the BMW K1200S/R/GT as well as the K1300S due to recently passed Kaleefornia "feel good" green legislation . They also banned headers for the K1600 series. The EPA's threat of fines and imprisonment does NOT affect the K1600's slip-ons. The good news is.. Pirates Lair has sources outside the US that can and will ship Remus exhausts into the USA.. Including the verboten K1600 headers... This Pirate says.."Arrrrg."

4. But wait.. there's more!... Going forth, REMUS USA is now forced to increase prices January 1st 2019 by 5% across the board. Perhaps due to the massive loss of revenue they'll now incur due to the aforementioned new "feel good" legislation forced upon them ...Cause and effect, my friends.

5. Good news for those looking at the all new 2019 R1250GS.. We just got confirmation that the Pirates Lair BMW R1200GS LC Stealth Backrest will fit the R1250GS LC. Woohoo! The kit will include a padded backrest and an aluminum mounting plate that bolts directly to the oem rack. Install is under 5 minutes with standard tools. The backrest's polished stainless steel slide bar slides on and off the bike in under 15 seconds. No modifications necessary. The backrest will NOT fit the Adventure.

6. BMW Motorrad is very quietly teasing a new motorcycle platform, one that is centered around an 1,800cc boxer design. Fake news? Only time will tell...

7. Some good news to start the year. There's a new BMW dealership in St. Charles, Illinois. Windy City Triumph has expanded there dealership to include BMWs! Their website us being upgraded as we speak..

8. This last year or so we've been hearing from many K1200RS owners saying their seats are cracking and starting to look like dog shite after years of use... Rather than buy a new seat, HT Moto has a wonderful seat recovering service with a 2 week turn around. Here's an example of their work... I see lots of BMW's listed. Costs start at only $80 and go waaay past $250 and they have multiple patterns and colors to choose from.

Shoe me more, El Capitan!

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. New S1000XR Product: New to our menu is the SSR Billet Aluminum Race Gas Cap Made in the USA. We hear more complaints about the factory gas caps on the S1000XR than any other single item. What up wit dat? Apparently the German designers missed the mark on the design. Not to worry.. Pirates Lair has your back. Sleek, attractive, and functional. This is a direct replacement for your factory fuel filler cap and includes stainless steel fasteners and new O-rings. Easy on/easy off without a key. Choose from Silver or Black.

2. As per the blurb above .. Due to new "green" Kaleefornia regulations, Remus can no longer sell exhausts for the BMW K1200S/R/GT as well as K1300S or K1300R inside the USA. The good news is.. Pirates Lair has sources outside the US that can and will ship Remus exhausts into the USA including headers for the K1600GT, GTL, and Bagger... " Law don't go around here. Savvy?".. Ike Clanton

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

3. New for 2019! We now have Marc Parnes Wheel Balance Kits for the K1600GTL / GT. Why pay the local extortionist.. er.. dealer $60 a pop to mount, scratch, and balance your tires when you can mount, scratch, and balance your own! This is the kit I own and use. The MP kit comes complete with everything you need to balance front and rear tires. User supplies two support stands of equal heights to support the balancer and wheel. Any milk crates, cylinder blocks, or jack-stands work perfectly. Factory rear wheel adapter is NOT needed with this kit. Stick-On weights included!

4. New for 2019! As of this last week we've gone live with a K1600 GTL & GT Wilbers Shocks page for the non-ESA bikes .. BMW didn't make many of them, but they are out there both here in the US and around the world. We're told most of those non-ESA bikes were produced in 2011/12.. A small market yes, but we're not going to neglect them just because they are in the minority. We should have a Wilbers page up in a week or so for those looking for new shocks for the ESA equipped K16's .

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

5. New Product Alert! Weiser UltraBrights Extreme LED Turn Signal Inserts We've been selling the Weiser Ultrabrights turn signal inserts for about 6 months. Up until this week we only sold the standard inserts to give the customer LED blinkers. Due to customer requests, we added the versions which offer 2 in 1 amber running lights / turn signals, or 2 in 1 brake lights / turn signals. While expensive, the Weiser are the brightest, most attractive turn signal upgrades you can buy. Install is truly plug-n-play. Basically, pop old reflectors out of housing, plug the circuit board into the existing wiring, and put the lens cover back on. Done. They are 100% CanBus compatible .

6. We discontinued our ST1300 Stealth Backrests and BMW R1150R Stealth Backrests a few years ago. It's just not cost effective to keep producing them. We still get a request or two a month. While visiting our machinist a few weeks ago he mentioned he still had a few parts left over from that project and wanted to know what to do with them. I asked if he could assemble them to produce any full kits.. He came up with a handful of ST1300 kits and (1) R1150R kit.. That being said.. if you know anyone who has an ST1300 or R1150R backrests... these will be the last kits we'll produce and they'll sell faster than opioids in Ohio on a Friday night.

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare!

7. New for 2019! Good news for those looking at the all new 2019 R1250GS.. We just got confirmation that our BMW R1200GS LC Stealth Backrest will fit the R1250GS LC. Woohoo! Our kit will include a padded backrest and an aluminum mounting plate that bolts directly to the top of your oem rack. Install is under 5 minutes with standard tools. The backrest's polished stainless steel slide bar slides on and off the bike in under 15 seconds. No modifications necessary. Just bolt it on and give your passenger piece of mind. Our first class upholstery is done by world renowned custom seat and backrest maker ... Sargent Cycle Products. Semi-soft luggage is available. Manufactured in the USA for Pirates' Lair. Our backrest will NOT fit the Adventure.

8. New for 2019! We now have ZTechnik Headlight Guards for the all new BMW R1250GS & Adventure as well as all the other late model GSs.

9. New for 2019! We now have ZTechnik VStream Windshields for the all new BMW R1250GS & Adventure as well as all the 2013-2018 R1200GS & Adventure.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2019 ( Dates Coming Soon! )
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."


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 cunnilingus so the opinions within the archives are only my own. Saavy?

BMW How-To Section

We have no new contributions this issue. Our last contribution was from "Voxmagna" (a regular poster over at I-BMW.com ) who resides in London, England. I'll wager that his tip might just be a godsend to many K1200RS owners... K1200RS Blinker Pods: 'Fixed' Forever! Thanks, Vox. Well done..

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues