"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: July 2007 Issue

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

During the early morning poker game in the smoke filled room, mobster Tommy Devito finishes telling a story about robbing a bank in Secaucus. Everyone around the table laughs heartily more out of fear of the known psychotic killer with hair-trigger temper than due to the humorous account. Henry opens his mouth and then immediately regrets it...

Henry: Funny. You're really funny.
Tommy: What do you mean?
Henry: It's funny, you know. It's a good story. You're a funny guy.
Tommy: You mean the way I talk? What?
Henry: It's just, you know. You're just funny. You know, the way you tell the story.
Tommy: Funny how? What's funny about it?
Jimmy: You got it all wrong.
Tommy: He's a big boy. He knows what he said. Funny, how?
Henry: Just, you know. You're funny.
Tommy: Let me understand this. Maybe I'm a little fucked up. But... I'm funny how? Funny like a clown? Funny like a Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter? I amuse you? I'm here to fucking amuse you?
Tommy: What do you mean, funny? How am I funny?
Henry: You know, how you tell a story.
Tommy: I don't know. You said it. You said I'm funny.
Tommy: How am I funny? What the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me what's funny.
Everyone around the table are ready for anything to happen... Tommy is scared but tries not to show it..
Henry: Get the fuck outta here, Tommy.
Tommy: Motherfucker! I almost had him. (Laughs and relief all around..)

Henry ..Ray Liotta / Tommy.. Joe Pesci / Jimmy.. Robert DeNiro .... Goodfellas 1990

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

Pirates Lair Chimney Rock Party El Grande Success! Gracias To All Who Attended!

Nothing like planning a party and having good weather and lots of friends and guests show up to make a pirate and his 1st mate feel all warm and squishy inside. Our Pirates Lair Chimney Rock Party held on Friday the 12th was all we had hoped for and more with 216 attendees rolling in on almost 200 bikes. The turnout was about double my sub-Dionne Warwick prediction but fortunately, the prophetic Amber prepared food for over 200 so no one went home hungry..or angry. Even the Lake Lure mayor dropped in to say hello.

A special thanks to all those that attended our little swaree in spite of the hellish temps as well as a big hug and pat on the back to those who helped us setup and tear down. Especially the effervescent, Lurking Charlie Hughes. The staff at Chimney Rock were without a doubt some of the best people to deal with we've seen. They went out of their way to be helpful. I have to add.. they said our BMW crowd (their first) was by far the most considerate and well behaved group they had seen in the history of the park.

They told us the Harley guys are the worst and added.."they refuse to park anywhere except on perfectly flat ground with no gravel." Pussies. Lastly but not leastly (I proclaim that a new word..).. If anyone wants to thank the person responsible.. that would be Amber at piratesmate@acelink.net.. It was her show from day one and she pulled it off with flying (pirate) colors. It wouldn't have happened without her..

Anyway..as Conan would say.. "Enough talk!" Pics of the event can be found in the Pirates Lair Photo Album. It's the first album cleverly titled.. The Pirates Lair Chimney Rock Party . Enjoy

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BMWRA Rally at the Biltmore: It Was the Best of Times.. It Was the Worst of Times

I think almost everybody was skeptical going in as to if the "stodgy" Bilmore people could pull off a large motorcycle rally after the debacle a couple of years ago. Apparently they learned their lesson and actually listened to past complaints as last weeks BMW RA was a roaring success.

While the weather was brutally hot the first day or two it got a little better towards the last 2 days when some wind provided a little relief. Rally organizers, including our good bud Bert Brumfield, brought it all together with only a few glitches. Very impressive. As a non-camper, I honestly can't think of a single thing I'd have done differently. However...not all was wine and roses. I heard complaints of long bathroom and/or shower lines at all hours of the day. Of course, in my line of thinking.. that's why God created motel rooms, but.. I digress. There was one other thing worth complaining about and I believe any and all hostile verbiage should be aimed squarely at the ears of the Biltmore people.. NOT the rally organizers.

While the Biltmore picked the perfect spot on the estate grounds for the thousands of incoming motorcycle campers and the 2 dozen or so vendors... alongside the river... they did NOT prepare the area like they do for ALL equestrian events as if we motorcyclists don't deserve the same courtesy or as if we aren't as important or as if we wouldn't bring in as much money for their coiffeurs. What I'm talking about is the site condition which consisted of mostly dirt .. NOT grass. I heard one lame excuse that they weren't watering because of the local drought, but.. that turned out to be a lie. (see postcript below)

As a Biltmore season pass holder who visits the estate grounds on a weekly basis, most visitors don't know this little tidbit of info... A month before virtually every equestrian event, they start watering the fields NIGHTLY by pumping thousands and thousands of gallons out of the river onto the property.. the same property all the RA campers were on.. At the end of the month on the day of the equestrian event they have lush, green fields.. No dirt.. no dust..

For whatever reason, the estate didn't think we BMW riders were worthy as what little grass that was to be seen in the camping area was brown and dying. The dust and blowing dirt was so bad that on the last full day.. the day of the closing ceremonies and photo shoot (pic above lower), I came early.. spent about 15 minutes walking amongst the mortals and could simply not deal with the flying debris. In less than 10 minutes my bike had a layer of dirt on it so thick you could plant shrubbery. I got dust/dirt in BOTH eyes and could barely ride home. It took HOURS for me to clear my eyes which meant I couldn't attend the closing ceremonies. How bad were the conditions? I heard that some Fremen from Arrakis showed up (in their stillsuits) and even they said conditions were too harsh for them.

Whining aside... It was a very successful event in spite of the less than ideal site condition. I had a good time in spite of the wind blown micro-boulders impaled in my retinas. The rally broke all attendance records for BMWRA with 2964 paid attendees, and over 3000 total. About 40% female.
Postscript: The day after the rally was over and all the bikes had gone, the Biltmore started watering the grounds for an upcoming equestrian event. Ain't that a pisser?

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Product Review: Dainese Laguna Seca Pro Suit

May 28th was my 5 year anniversary. As usual, my one of a kind wife Amber came through with yet another waaay cool gift. ...a fully perfed Dainese Laguna Seca Pro Suit.. Is she a great wife or what? FYI.. I have been wearing a non-perfed Alpinestar suit for track days and Deals Gap duty for the last 2 years, but that sucker gets down right steamy when the temps soar into the 90's tempting me to wear less protective gear in order to stay cool. I'd been looking for and trying on various brand perfed suits for the last 8 months with no luck whatsoever when we ran across the new Laguna Seca Pro Suit. (pic at right) We did some quick price shopping and found this suit at www.Cyclegear.com for a cool $999.

I wear a size 52Euro/42US in the Alpinestar brand and the Dainese (pronounced.. Dain-EZ) has virtually the same sizing chart so we ordered the same size and amazingly it fit me like a glove. In case you've never purchased a high-end one-piece racing suit the first thing you realize is that they are NOT meant to stand around in.. If the fit is "perfect" you should NOT be able to stand fully erect and if you do the crotch will be painfully tight on the "nads." Most suits are cut and sewn in a crouch position so when you sit on the bike, the suit fits THAT position perfectly. Get off the bike and you should be slightly leaned over like a Cro-Magnon man with osteoporosis. This is the case with both the Dainese and the Alpinestar. While the cut is sleek and trim, the Dainese cut allows just enough room in the back for virtually any brand back-protector. A nice touch.

While the Dainese is NOT as well made as my $1700 Alpinestar (and it shouldn't be for $700 less) it's still a wonderful, comfortable suit with lots of cool features. For instance... the lower legs not only have a standard zipper, but each leg has a second zipper allowing extra room should the rider have Arnold Swartzeneeger-ish calves or just to make getting the suit off easier. The lining is removable for washing. Knee pucks come standard. There is a good size inner pocket for carrying a wallet. The neck has elastic on the backside which is a nice touch. Virtually all the areas you see pictured in black are a heavy duty spandex-type material which allows the rider lots of movement and very little restrictivness. The suit comes with it's own zip-up carry/storage bag which is where mine will reside in the winter months. The suit even comes with a leather cleaner/preservative kit. The main benefit of the Laguna Seca Pro Suit is the chest, leg, rear hump perforations which allow lots of cool, life giving air to move in and out. I'd guess it's about 60% cooler than my non-perfed suit. I couldn't have asked for more.. Lastly.. I would suggest to anyone buying a leather suit to avoid WHITE leather, which is what I got. I can already tell it's gonna be a beeatch to keep clean.

I must add.. I was blown away by the helpfulness of the staff working at www.Cyclegear.com. Honestly, the most pleasant buying experience in years. Good people who understand how hard it is to find leathers that fit and strive to make that happen. Those slackers at Vanson should take note. Worthy of support. My personal thumbs up.

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Knee Dragging Epiphany: Why Can't I Get Me Knee Down? Help Me Mr. Wizard!

I do regular track days with a few friends. All are taller than me. I'm 5' 7" with a 28" inseam and the others range from 5"10" to 6ft+. with 32-36" inseams. We all ride at about the same skill level.. Our hang-off techniques are similar. We've all had Keith Code or similar training. All ride similar sport bikes. All ride our tires to the very edge. More often than not, I'm as fast or faster than the others, yet the other guys regularly are dragging their knees and I don't.. Why? How can this be?

On any given trackday weekend I may touch my knee down once or twice but only when I'm at extreme angles. In most track or Deals Gap photos I see of myself, my knees are about 1-2" off the tarmac at full lean. On the other side of that coin, my tall friend's knees look like pterodactyl wings when he extends them (similar to the freak in pic at right) and he drags them easily. My 5"10 buddy touches down less often but me... my pucks are almost virgin and I catch a lot of flack about it.

So what, if anything have I been doing wrong, Mr Wizard? The answer may be instantly apparent to some of you, but my Homer Simpson intellect didn't figure it out until just recently in one of those moments of supreme clarity. The kind of clarity that usually accompanies the use of high end acid.. but not this time. This time it came right out of the blue at about 3am in the morning... a rare epiphany! I ran my theory by the guys at 3 motorcycle publications including Motorcyclist and to my ego's relief.. all backed me up. WooHoo!! I am NOT flawed.. I am not a "bad machine".. I just have short legs which put my knees further from the pavement. Apparently, a person with a 30" inseam would have to have his bike leaned over 1"+ or so further to touch down than his buddy with the longer legs and 32" inseam.

So what have we learned today, Tooter Turtle?...Yes.. that a rider with longer legs, (pro or squid) will drag his knees easier than a vertically challenged rider. The blame for your puck not being scuffed can, for all intents and purposes, be blamed directly on your parents. I sleep better these days... "Drizzle, drazzle, dradle, drone.. Time for this one to come home."

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

I should note that as the RS and first generation 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. Looks like there's another company making windshields for the second generation K1200GTs. California Scientific offers 3 different heights for the new bike. No idea how well they work as of yet or how they compare to ZTechnik VStream, but they look pretty good.. as tall windshields go.

2. Anyone looking for lightweight aftermarket wheels for their BMW can look no further than OPP Racing . Check out their BST Carbon Fiber Wheels These allow faster acceleration, greater deceleration, and a higher degree of maneuverability. Price is a lofty $3795 but the quality is second to none.. BST wheels are 40-60% lighter than stock. The question is.. what's in your wallet?

3. The coolest license plate frame I can remember belonged to a female friend of ours who's R1150R's plate frame said... "The louder the pipes.. the smaller the dick." Out of the mouth of babes... If you want to make your own prophetic statement with your license plate frame.. check this out. You can have virtually any message you want engraved on a CNC'd billet license plate frame at BilletFrames.com Lots of fonts and colors to choose from. Price looks to be a reasonable $25.95 + shipping.

4. Need a little more braking power on your K1200S, R, R Sport or new GT? Got a thick wallet? Sure you do. Check out these waaaay cool German made Wave Rotors being sold through Pack Parts of Germany. Price is a lofty 268 EUR for one disk. That translates out to 360.ea.. and you need 3!! Yikes. The inner carrier (which is red in the pic comes in a few color variations including gold and black. You have to admit.. they be wood-worthy. I can furnish a pic or two of the other colors if you are interested. .Just email me.

5. Recently the BMW CD Rom shop manual for the new K12's was discontinued in favor of a DVD. The good news is... the BMW Motorrad RepROM K Models K4x 4th Edition DVD Manual is finally out. It's $135.00 from your local extortionist ..er.. dealer. Part number 01 79 7 706 289... No wiring diagrams for your money as BMW doesn't think you are worthy/capable of working on your own motorcycle .. Somehow that doesn't surprise me. To be sure, it is very concise- not alot of detail, but it does show breakdown and procedural info, with specs. Personally.. I'd prefer a good old fashioned book.

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. News Flash!!: We now have BMW billet gas caps in stock! For whatever reason, you can buy one for just about any bike in the universe except for.. yep.. you guessed it... a BMW. No idea why.. Are we not worthy? I have one on both my Yamaha and MV, but as far as I know, nobody makes one for BMWs. Until now! Out first shipment arrived from Oberon Machine (in the UK) a few days ago.

Is this beeeautiful or what?? Click here for another view. . And in case you are wondering.. No.. they don't lock.. and neither do the gas caps on any 4-wheeled vehicle you own or your ATV, lawn mower, Jet Ski, or Hoyt Clagwell so for gods sake..unless you live in an area with roving bands of petrol thieves..willing to risk 2 years in jail for $9 worth of gas...Relax and fagetaboutit. These are designed to mimic a race bike's gas cap. Easy on/easy off without a key. I'm pretty sure these will fit virtually every BMW ever made including the K1200S, K1200R, K1200R Sport, K1200RS, early and late K1200GT.. Web page is up HERE.

2. We now have Verholen Bar Riser Kits for the 2007 K1200S. FYI.. BMW changed the swithc housing position or something s#@ like that which means the standard 05-06 kit will not work. The 2007 kit requires a longer brake line (geezz) which our kit includes...and of course... the price is $100 higher. Ouch!

3. Speaking of Staintune. Here's some good news from the boyz down under. About 3 weeks ago they had a massive price increase which raised the prices of some full systems almost $400 ea!!! Not sure if it was my complaining, a guilty conscious, the fluctuating Aussie dollar, or a loss of sales but apparently they have rethought the huge increase and actually lowered most prices back down a bit. FYI.. we used to sell the K1200RS Staintune for about $1600.. then it jumped a sphincter busting $1900 .. now it's back down to a still lofty, but less anally intrusive $1700.

4. We just got our first shipment of the all new American Machine 2002-2005 K1200GT Bar Risers. As you'll recall in last months action packed cheesy newsletter... Suburban Machine, in spite of a viable demand, had decided to discontinue their 02-05 GT version risers. How does the AmMa version compare? They LOOK a little different but appear to work exactly the same. Same angles, same dimensions, same panty size, more or less. We'll start selling these as soon as we deplete our supply of the Suburban version.

5. If you were lucky enough to partake of last months cheesy newsletter we mentioned that we were about to start road testing the prototypes of our upcoming R1200RT Stealth Backrest.. As of today, the 4 test prototypes are in the hands of"worthy" testers and all feedback seems to be good.. This is our standard operating procedure to make sure we haven't missed anything.
The bad news is, I spoke with our machinists this week and without the benefit of tranquilizers and/or Astroglide, they informed me that cost on these will be more than double what they charge us for any other of the backrests we produce. That's obviously not good for the customer or for us. I am scheduled for a meeting with the head guy next week to see if we can come to terms on better pricing. I just hope oral sex doesn't figure in to lower pricing.

6. We just learned that the Verholen Mini-Tankbag we sell will NOT work on the new BMW HP2 Dual Sport.. Apparently it's the only BMW on earth that these bags will not work on..FYI..

7. We now have the K1200R / K1200R Sport version Tech Spec Gripster Kits in stock from TechSpec-USA. If you want grip AND protection.. you'll love these kits. By gripping the tank with your legs, a rider can improve the overall control of a motorcycle, control of their body weight, a more positive seat position, as well as longer lasting erections

Improved control of the riders body weight will help improve overall handling. Increased control equals less fatigue. Perfect for aggressive, higher skilled, track day riders. Each (3) piece kit includes R & L Tank Grip Skins and one Tank Protector.The K1200R kit will also fit the K1200R Sport.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2007/2008

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

Well.. the last K12 rally of the year is upcoming, friends. Again it'll be at the 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!! This'll be the last K12 Rally of the year, my friends. Be there or forever regret it like the time you blew that chance with those twins because you misread the subtle signals they were giving you..

No sign-up sheet . Just reserve a room if there are any left...!

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 Wanted, 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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New!! Blue Ridge K12 Rally: May 15th - 18th, 2008 (Contributed by our good buddy, Sir Tim Hudspeth aka CBNFVR over at www.I-BMW.com )

Seems as if the Snowshoe people have decided to let our bunch of miscreants inhabit the Inn at Snowshoe for BRR 2008 (BRR = Blue Ridge Rally). This is a confirmed event. I'm already booked.

Location: Inn at Snowshoe , Snowshoe, West Virginia
Reservations: 1 877 441-4386 , Mention "BMW Motorcycle Group - 5071OE" 40 rooms are held for us until 4-11-2008. After that any remaining rooms are available to the general public. The rate is 79 per night (plus taxes).
Amenities: Bar, jacuzzi, walk to beverage store, walk to gas or groceries, restaurant on site, pool. Each room has a TV and phone. Some have a fridge.
Sat Lunch: River Place, downtown Marlinton
Fri-Sat evening meals At the Inn or walk to the Deli a few hundred feet away! No riding required. (Note: There is no organized meal. (i.e. Pay as you go. Go when you wish.)
Links: http://www.pocahontas.org/

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have one new contribution this month.! Check out # 127 contributed by Mountain Mike in the Trinity Alps CA.!!! Thx dude!!

Could this tip 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