"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. Also... something to keep in mind... My language in the email subscription version may offend the meek. Subscribe at your own risk. The on-line version is a bit more... PC..

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 2008 Issue

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

Neo: Who are you?
Architect: I am the Architect. I created the Matrix. I've been waiting for you. You have many questions, and though the process has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human. Ergo some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant.
Neo: Why am I here?
Architect: Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the Matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which, despite my sincerest efforts, I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably... here.
Neo: You haven't answered my question.
Architect: Quite right. Interesting. That was quicker than the others.
Architect: The Matrix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case this is the 6th version.
Neo: There are only two possible explanations, either no one told me, or no one knows.
Architect: Precisely. As you are undoubtedly gathering, the anomaly is systemic - creating fluctuations in even the most simplistic equations.
Neo: Choice. The problem is choice.

Architect: The first Matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art - flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being. Thus, I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus the answer was stumbled upon in the Pirates Lair Newsletter - a cheesy newsletter, initially written to inform certain BMW riders of  what's happening in the K12 community and  how that relates to the human psyche.
Neo: That's some serious cheese.
Architect: As I was saying, the newsletter stumbled upon a solution whereby nearly 99% of all test subjects accepted riding problematic motorcycles, as long as they were given a choice, even if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level. While this answer functioned, it was obviously fundamentally flawed, thus creating the otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly, that if left unchecked might threaten the system itself. Ergo those that refused the new K bikes, while a minority, if unchecked, would  constitute an escalating probability of disaster.
Neo: This is about Bavaria.

Neo /  Keanu Reeves /    The Architect / Helmut Bakaitis...   The Matrix Reloaded.. (2003)

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

Picture Of The Month! Western Adventure! (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 July POTM was sent in by an anonymous customer. It's near Jackson Hole Wyoming, Tetons with the Grand Teton in the background.. Damn beautiful.

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 800x600 in size or larger and preferably A. Of a BMW K1200S, K1200RS, K1200R, R Sport, or any model year K1200GT and B. In focus.

Click For Larger Image If You Dare..
Click Image for a Larger View
Hi-Rez is fine just not "stupid-large." If you don't know how to reduce a photo from a gargantuan size.. buy a freakin' book or program and learn. Geezz. Along with the photo, provide your full name and a paragraph or two explaining when and where the shot was taken.. some minor details...whatever you want to add.. temp, camera, state of mind, etc, .. I'll evaluate all the photos I accumulate at the end of the month and pick one. No promises! If you beg me to post yours.. that will guarantee you that I won't. Savvy?

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Pirates Lair Adds New Product Line : The Sexy New Ducati 1098

Every once in a blue moon I add a new bike to our product line. As we are essentially a 2 man operation we can only handle so much product so we have to pick and choose judiciously. Now that I've spent a few weeks with my own new Ducati 1098.. I am as excited about it as I am our new product line for the sexy Italian beauty. Can you believe it? And after ragging sissy twin owners for years... now I am one. I finally "get it." This is one wonderful motorcycle.. and I honestly thought I'd never say that about a twin.

Currently our Ducati 1098 Product line is small, but we hope to add more products that I deem worthy over the next few months. On our new menu, so far we have the following.. Throttlemeister, Sato Rearsets, billet gas caps, camera mounts, wheel balance kits, license plate relocator, Tech Spec gripster kits, wheel socket tools, Pit Bull stands, Two Brothers Slip-on's, etc etc... Most of the products on the menu will fit the standard 1098, the 1098S, and the 1098R. Some products also crossover to the lil' sibling.. the Ducati 848. Stay tuned!

Show me more, Captain!

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Euro Carbon Fiber: Criminally Insane Pricing

When the discussion of Carbon Fiber crops up, there are usually 2 camps. Those that love it.. and those that think it's a foolish waste of good money. Personally.. I love the look of Carbon Fiber on a motorcycle as long as it's tastefully done. Like makeup on a beautiful woman.. too much just ruins the entire package. Just the right amount and you'll be buying her diamonds and proposing. I have no CF on my R1, a little (to add accent) on my K1200S, and a shitload on my Ducati.. Why? Because my inner demons tell me the bike "needs" it.

In case you haven't noticed, prices for European Carbon Fiber for our BMW's has gone through the roof in the last year or so as the Euro continues to kick the floundering US dollar's buttock. I have been watching this closely as we're one of the top suppliers of the stuff here in the US. As the Euro gets stronger, shipping charges keep going up (due to fuel costs,) and the actual cost of the parts going up.. out profit margin has vanished like tears in the rain.  Due to unalterable circumstances, I've made a business decision that will echo across the known universe.. or at least "the pond."

Rather than keep you on pins and needles.. I'll just spew... We're going to drop virtually the entire Pack Parts / Ilmberger Carbon Fiber Product Line from our menu.. Sucks, doncha think?

Just so you'll know where I'm coming from... some painful math from our last shipment..The total cost of the order to our door was just under $10,000.US..and that included $600 for shipping 2 coffin size boxes. If we sold every piece overnight we would make only $1238 profit BEFORE we box and ship each piece..and BEFORE we pay any customs duties at the end of the month. I'll prophesize that after all pieces are gone we will have just about broken even..or lost money.  Not good for a $10,000 investment....

While it looks good (on paper and on the www) that we are one of the few US companies supplying these parts to our quasi-esteemed K12 customers, IMHO.. our prices are already painfully out of line with what other companies sell CF for and I refuse to go higher even for those people insane enough (pic at right) to pay it. I have been buying lots of Carbon for my new Ducati from US companies and I've been paying less than 1/2-1/4th  what the German CF parts are going for...

Bottom line.. you have to draw a line somewhere... Unless something drastically changes, after our current stock and back-ordered pieces (K12 Huggers only) are gone.. we'll probably drop the entire Euro CF line from our menu. I NEVER say never, but it sure looks bleak at this point..FYI.. what we have left in stock is Here...

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Thousands of BMW Motorcycles Recalled: This Is Not A Drill!

BMW has issued recalls on several motorcycle models this week, some for problems that are potentially deadly. .. as in.. "get this fixed or you could die." No more birthdays. Saavy? All 2007 and 2008 F800S and F800ST BMW motorcycles have been recalled for problems with the fuel system, gas delivery, hoses, lines, piping and fittings. At high temperatures the fuel tank can actually deform, which could cause the bottom of the tank to rub against the rear wheel. It is possible that this could result in fire... Meaning even if your bike doesn't explode...you could catch fire and burn to death.. Not a peaceful way to go.

BMW has also recalled all 2008 K1200GT and K1200S model motorcycles for brake issues. The fasteners used to attach the front brake disc may be too short, which could cause it to loosen over time. A poorly mounted brake could increase the risk of a crash. .. and crashes are baaaad. The R1200GS and several other models of motorcycles have also been recalled by BMW this week. If you have a 2007 or a 2008 BWM motorcycle, call their hotline at 800-831-1117 for more information about these potentially life threatening recalls. FYI.. before you pop a Ritalin, while important, this fix is no biggie. They just replace the screws holding the brake rotors in place with slightly longer ones. Takes all of 10 minutes.

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BMW S1000RR Superbike Rider Signed : Ruben Xaus

BMW Motorrad Motorsport have announced that they have agreed to terms with Ruben Xaus and that he will ride their all-new BMW S1000RR in the Superbike World Championship in 2009. The contract between BMW Motorrad Motorsport and Ruben is for two years and is the first step in BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s entry into World Superbikes.

Ruben was born in Sant Cugat des Valles in Catalunya, Spain and now resides with his wife (Mariona) and daughter (Julia) in Andorra. He has been a WSBK regular since 1998 and has taken 34 podiums, including 10 victories. This guy is fast and has a lot of potential. BTW.. his last name is Spanish... and all the race announcers pronounce it "Zaus"... (like "house")...

Deep thoughts from Peter Mueller (Executive Vice President Development)... ""We know that the Superbike World Championship is a very hard and competitive series, but we are not entering it just to make up the numbers: we will be taking part because we want to win! Of course, we are starting with a brand new bike but, together with Ruben, we believe we can progress quickly and maybe surprise a few people along the way. Ruben is a strong and combative rider, full of enthusiasm and with a passion for racing. This fits our philosophy completely and together we will take on this new challenge."

Show me more, Captain!

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Yamaha FJR1300 Stealth Backrest : World Release!

After a full year of research & development, countless spent brain cells, and real-world testing the FJR13 Stealth Backrest, the last backrest I'll ever design,will be on the menu this week. As per the holy prophesies, it has turned out, if I say so myself, to be a thing of beauty, simplicity, and comfort and.. a worthy addition to the Pirates' Lair line of specialty motorcycle products.

The all stainless steel stealth bracket bolts directly to the rear 2006-08 factory rack via 3 furnished bolts and blends perfectly with the lines of the bike. Production versions are covered with rich Corinthian leath...er.. I mean a black Rhino coating (the same rubberized spray material seen in pick-up truck beds) that is both visually unobtrusive no matter what color your bike is, but also serves to protect the finish of the 2006-2008 factory FJR 13 rack.

The backrest's polished stainless steel slide bar slides on and off the bike in under 10 seconds and.. without tools. Install of the FJR13 stealth rack takes a luded' out chimp all of 5 minutes. Tamper-proof mounting screws will be included to deter walk-by thieving bastages. Our cover material matches the black FJR factory seat perfectly and if you have an aftermarket leather seat, we have a material to match that as well. Soft T-Bag luggage is also available for this and all our other backrests. Note: The FJ13 Stealth backrest will fit the 2006-2008 FJ1300 Only.

Show me more, Captain!

What's New In the K1200S / K1200GT / K1200R / K1200RS 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. Thousands of BMW Motorcycles Recalled: BMW has recalled all 2008 K1200GT and K1200S model motorcycles for brake issues. So much for "superior" German engineering. This recall is serious so don't f#@* around. Get 'r done. (see blurb in top section)

2. Speaking of "superior" German engineering and recalls.. Word from our Canadian friends is that there will also be a "technical campaign" (suit-speak for another recall) issued shortly that will address the worldwide EWS (Antennae Ring) issue so common on the new K bikes...This campaign will be performed through your authorized dealer and will cover a number of models each within a specific VIN.. This is NOT official yet.. most dealers don't even know about it yet... which isn't a surprise.. Will post follow-up info as it comes in...For now... this looks to be a bootleg list of bikes the not-yet-offcial recall will cover... Click Here..

3. Thinking about buying a motorcycle product but you'd like to hear what other people are saying before you plop down your hard earned doubloons? Of course you do... My good friend Wayne turned me on to www.webbikeworld.com/ which has thousands and thousands of motorcycle related product reviews.. Everything from helmets to jackets to cleaners and waxes to ear plugs to GPS's... All the latest products... written by fellow riders... A wealth of helpful information..

4. ZTechnik has dropped the pricing on their K1200S and K1200S Slip-On Exhausts by about $20 or so...That's the good news..

5. The bad news is ..ZTechnik has officially dropped their Full K1200RS Exhaust systems from their product line..I heard the reason was lack of sales..There are no more to be had.

6. and you K1200RS owners are not gonna believe this..Two Brothers Racing Exhausts has officially dropped their Full K1200RS Exhaust systems from their product line, too. The reason.. lack of parts. No more will be produced..

7. According to Motociclismo magazine in Spain, the Spanish Ducati superbike pilot Ruben Xaus will be switching over to BMW for the 2009 Superbike season riding the upcoming BMW S1000RR .

8. Looking for more wind/weather/nuclear blast protection on your new K1200GT and looks aren't hign on your list? Aeroflow has a couple of new windshields for the bike. Two versions, in fact. Standard Height AeroScreen: $369.95 Tall Height AeroScreen: $384.95

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. As per the blurb in the top section.. (you might want to re-read if you suffer from ADD)... Pirates Lair is going to drop the entire Pack Parts / Ilmberger Carbon Fiber product line from our menu after our current stock and backordered pieces are gone.. .. As the Euro gets stronger, shipping charges going up (due to fuel costs) and the actual cost of the parts going up.. out profit margin has vanished like tears in the rain.  IMHO, our prices are already painfully out of line with what other companies sell CF for. Bottom line.. I refuse to raise the prices any higher and now and then you have to draw your pistols or whistle dixie ...I'd suggest that if you have been wanting some Carbon Fiber for your K1200S, K1200R, or K1200GT... this may be the last chance you can get it from us... Consider yourself forewarned... No pressure..

There is good news....I am in talks with one US Carbon Fiber parts manufacturer about producing some of the same BMW pieces at lower cost. We have tentatively agreed on pricing on at least two items. I have requested samples of his work for evaluation...

2. WooHoo!! We just got a long awaited shipment of K1200GT Headlight Protectors from Australia. These will fit the 2006 and later models...Have you priced the cost of a replacement headlight on that bike?" The horror... the horror..".

3. Speaking of headlight protectors... We just started carrying the Cee Bailey K1200S Headlight Protectors which are made here in the good ol' USA. Priced a K1200S or GT headlight lately? Are you sitting down? Are you bent over with a bottle of AstroGlide handy? Call any dealer and you'll be quoted a criminally insane $474! and that doesn't include labor or foreplay.. Ouch!! The question is.. "Do you feel lucky? Well.. do ya punk?"

4. We now have Clear REAR Blinker Lenses from Clear Alternatives for the K1200S, K1200R, BMW R1200R, R1200GS, 2005 K1200RS/GT, 04-05 R1150R. and yes.. of course we will now offer a package deal on a front and rear kit...

5. We have dropped the pricing on the ZTechnik K1200S and K1200R Slip-On Exhausts by about $20 or so...That's the good news..

6. The bad news is ..ZTechnik has officially dropped the ZTechnik Full K1200RS Exhaust systems from our product line..

7. We've been selling CSC Linear Hyperpro Steering Dampers for the K1200RS, 03-05GT, and LT for a few years now..Well.. I have both lowered the price by a lofty $10 for the "linear" version (which we've been selling) and picked up their RSC "Progressive" Damping version as well.. mainly because we're going to be selling them to the Ducati guys and their needs are different than the BMW guys. The RSC version sells for $15 more.. If you're thinking about buying a damper and you're not sure which to choose.. Just ask and I can probably provide clue you in..

8. Yamaha FJR1300 Stealth Backrest Update: Drum Roll Please!! These should be on the menu this week. WooHoo! (see blurb in top section)

9. In last months cheesy newsletter we mentioned we had been having some serious problems with Paypal.... They seemed to have resolved all the issues and things are back to normal.. Again.. we're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused our quasi-esteemed customers... The carnage has now been cleared. Nothing to see here, folks.. Move along now..

10. Due to global warming and George Bush's failed domestic policies...we have been forced into raising the price on the GIVI Soft SaddleBags from $155- $170. Deal with it.

K12 Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2008

I-BMW.com Track Day Weekend! Aug 16th-17th, 2008 (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

Woohoo! The first ever BMW K12 track day weekend has been arranged by a member of www.I-BMW.com . The event is almost booked so act now or forever hold your piece... The weekend is confirmed and reserved. If you are a member of I-BMW.com or just a mere mortal and are interested in attending this event you should visit the site for full details.. Here's some basic info...

When: August 16 & 17, 2008 (Saturday & Sunday)
Where: Roebling Road Race Track (Savannah, GA area)
Cost: 1 instructional group with 10 people. Cost is $250.00 per day. $500 total. BOTH DAYS REQUIRED! 1 non-instructional with 20 people. Cost is $150.00 per day. $300 total. BOTH DAYS REQUIRED!

I'll be attending with at least 2 bikes. I think about 50% of the attendees will be on BMW's.. the other 50% on other brand bikes.. Ducati, MV Agusta, YamaHonSuzuSaki, etc. Hope to see you there.. in my mirrors.

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Sierra Goldrush K12 Rally: Sept 14th-18th, 2008 (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

Westward ho!! Looks like the very first west coast I-BMW.com K12 rally is booked and taking reservations...and it's about freakin' time! FYI... I will attend this one in all my aging glory. How could I miss it??

Dates: September 14th through 18th, 2008
Location: The Sonora Days Inn, Sonora, California
Reservations: 866-732-4010 or Email: info@sonoradaysinn.com

Here's the latest info from Charlie .. aka.. Kneedragger over at www.I-BMW.com: "OK I-BMW friends, it is finally time for you to confirm your plans to attend the first I-BMW rally in the western USA, the Sierra Gold Rush Rally!! I have reserved 30 rooms for us at the Sonora Days Inn in Sonora, California: The rally dates are September 14th through 18th. The Sonora Days Inn has agreed to hold 30 rooms until 30 days prior to the rally. They have two facilities that are adjacent to each other: there is the historic hotel, which is a very old hotel with rooms completely renovated. Behind the historic hotel is what they call the Annex, which is more conventional motel style. We have 15 rooms in each facility, with an even mix of king rooms and double queen rooms. The Days Inn has given us a substantial discount on the rooms. The critical component when you call for a reservation is to inform them that you are with the I-BMW group in order to receive our discount. Sonora is a very old, historic town from the gold rush era of California, and the town looks much the same today as it did 150 years ago. The hotel is right on Washington Street, the main street in town, and there are a variety of restaurants and saloons in close walking distance, several in the same block. Sonora is in a beautiful area of the Western Sierra foothills, and the gateway to Yosemite National Park and many spectacular Sierra passes. The riding and scenery are spectacular... don't miss it!!

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Deals Gap K12 Rally: Sept 25-28th, 2008 (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

Well.. the last K12 rally of the year will again be at the Tapoco Lodge at Deal's Gap. Dates are set for Thursday Sept 25th - Sunday 28th. It won't hold us all, so make plans now! Amber and I are already booked!! This'll be the last K12 Rally of 2008, 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..

Call NOW to reserve a room...!

Friday noon meal (12-1:00pm) will be at the Troll Restaurant in Helen, Ga (under the bridge)
Saturday noon meal (12-1:00 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, videos 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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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have 3 new contributions this month.. WooHoo!! ?? Check out # 134, 135, & 136 contributed by
Peter Warren of Orange County, CA .!!! Thx mate!!

Could these tips 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.

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

Our last contribution??
...contributed by Sir Rich Edwards.. He documented his '07 K1200GT Oil Change in pictures. It's the first listing on the page. Thx, Rich.

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