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 a new 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. Basically.. "enter at ye own peril.."

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 or Russian hackers.

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: July / August 2017 Issue

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

The solid city gates of Troy slowly open. Hector takes one last glance at Helen's unearthly beauty, turns, dons his helmet, and walks towards Achilles. Everything is quiet. The people on the high wall are hushed. Even the birds seem reverent. Achilles stands motionless. The gates behind Hector close. The two warriors are now alone on the vast field.. Hector stops 20 ft from Achilles.

Hector: I have seen this moment in the Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter...
Achilles , expressionless, stares at the prince.
Hector: I'll make a pact with you with the gods as our witnesses. Let us pledge that the winner will allow the loser all the proper funeral rituals.
Achilles: There are no packs between lions and men.
Achilles removes then tosses aside his helmet. An insulting gesture, impugning Hector's combat skills.
Achilles: Now you know who you're fighting.
Hector hesitates... then removes and tosses his own helmet to the ground.
Hector: I thought it was YOU I was fighting yesterday. I wish it had been you. But I gave the dead boy the honor he...
Achilles: You gave him the honor of your sword...
Achilles: You won't have eyes tonight. You won't have ears, or a tongue. You'll wonder the underworld, blind deaf, and dumb. And all the dead will know... This is Hector.. the fool who thought he killed Achilles.

Achilles / Brad Pitt / Hector / Eric Bana / Troy 2004

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

Picture Of The Month! Virginia Is For Lovers and BMWs! (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 / Aug POTM was contributed by Jon Burgess of Felton, Delaware. He says of the photo..."During a recent trip to central Virginia, my wife and i decided to take some twisty back roads into West Virginia. Along US 39, we saw this old barn along the road and just had to take a picture with my K1600GT. This ride was in mid May with beautiful riding conditions, weather was mid 70's with plenty of sun. The history is plentiful in this area with many battlefields and historic places to visit along the way. Picture was taken with my Samsung Galaxy S7 "

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 GS's for Gods sake.

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The I-BMW 2017 Texas Hill Country Rally! It Was a Good Year!

We hear the 2017 Texas Hill Country Rally was yet another successful, incident-free event and we've got the pics to prove it! From the reports I've read, the weather was absolutely typical Texas.. Sun, rain, sun, rain with a smidgen of flooding. There was plenty of great food.. old friends.. spanktacular roads... and the hookers were noticeably better looking than last years. Isn't that what it's all about? A few trip reports are posted over at the quasi-sponsoring website... www.I-BMW.com We heard one unconfirmed rumor that not a single "velocity award" was achieved during the event...!!?? Can that be right?? Have we evolved into a bunch of underachievers? Say it ain't so!!

A special thanks to James Myrick and his posse who helped organize the event and all the guys at www.I-BMW.com for putting together yet another successful gathering. Wish I could have been there. Hopefully I can some time in the near future. It's all about the finances these days.

If interested/bored/bi-curious.. check out our Texas Hill Country Rally 2017 Photo Album. Thx to all the I-BMW.com miscreants who selflessly (and in some cases.. unknowingly) contributed photos to this year's photo album.. Tim & Susan, Lee & Debbie, and McFly in particular. Long live Texas!!

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Importing a Canadian Motorcycle Into the USA
Contributed by Larry Barasch BMWMOA Member #130636

In case you've been wondering how easy or difficult it might be to import a Canadian bike into the US, here's an excellent article from someone who went through and then documented the process.. As one might expect.. there are some hoops you have to jump through.. Some foreseen.. some not so much. Enjoy... ----

I don't know if the impetus for pursuing this bike started by just the sheer desire to own one of the rarest modern-day BMW motorcycles, or from many who said it couldn't be done. I'd like to think it was the former, but it ended up being a combination of both. What started off quite casually, ended up being a tremendous amount of work, education, stress, disappointments, obsession and ultimately success. A true labor of love.

Sunday, August 14, 2016, started off like any other day, until I received a Google search notification for a bike that came up for sale in a suburb of Toronto. It was for a 2005 BMW Montauk. I presently own three BMWs; a 2002 R 1200 C Montana, a 2004 Montauk and a 2009 R 1200 RT. Being one of the Moderators of Chromeheads.org1, I eat, sleep and drink cruisers. About 44,000 cruisers were reportedly built between 1998 and 2004, with not too much data available with respect to exactly how many of each model were actually built. However, I did know that to memorialize the end of the cruiser line, BMW had manufactured 350 limited edition commemorative Montauks in a unique Piedmont Red and Silver color combination, with lots of extra chrome bits. I also knew that out of the total 350 produced, only six made it to North America. Those that did all ended up in Canada. Read the full BMWMOA.org article here.

Read more here...

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Akrapovic Exhausts: Back On The Pirates Lair Menu!

A few years ago we at Pirates Lair sold Akrapovic exhausts. At the time I was very excited to offer the legendary brand thinking they'd be a welcome "anchor" product like Sears or JCPennys usually is at any mall. As it turns out... they didn't sell well. Could be due due to their high prices. Could be because Remus, Two Brothers, and Staintunes were generally selling at 1/2 the price. The recently crashed economy didn't help either. We sold 1 in the first year. After that lackluster showing, we dropped them, but I still get requests for them from time to time and more so as of late.

A few weeks ago I called Kriega to place an order for some backpacks and was told that they had turned over the distributorship to a company called Upshift. Hmm. Never heard of them. I contacted Upshift, signed all the vendor paperwork for them to be our new Kriega supplier and set up an account with them. I casually asked what else they carry and amongst other things.. they also have the contract for Akrapovic. They told me the terms, set me up, and voilà.. Pirates Lair is once again carrying the entire line of Akrapovic exhausts. Sweet.. I'm hoping that when the economy turns around (and it will when the upcoming tax reform bill is passed) we'll start seeing a lot of new sales. Economy 101.. When cash is freed up .. customers will spend. BTW.. I didn't know this (and I'll bet you didn't either), but Akropovic is based in Slovenia and have their own titanium mine. Yes.. the titanium they use in their exhausts comes from their own mines.. Interesting, huh?

Anyway.. I've been burning up brain cells over the last few weeks designing new web pages for the re-introduction of Akrapovic to our various menus. I'll be adding more in the weeks ahead.. If you have been wanting an Akra system and have a thicker wallet than my own.. please give us a shout. We've been given permission to match anyone's posted prices. Currently we have pages up for the following bikes.. BMW K1600GT/GTL, K1300S, K1200S, S1000R, S1000XR, K300GT, and slip-on kits for the S1000RR. I'll have RR full systems page up soon.. They offer a shitload of options for the RR. Some insanely pricey.. others reasonable.

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Staintune Exhausts: Back On The Pirates Lair Menu!

In our May 2016 Cheesy Newsletter I was lamenting the loss of Staintune from our product line. Well.. actually I think I was weeping like John Boehner at an Irish wake. We're still not sure what prompted the Aussies to pull their product from us, but that's in the past and I hold no grudges. The good news is... I heard from the owners this week and guess what.. Staintune is back on our menu and we're again taking orders.! Woohoo!! For how long? Your guess is as good as mine...

Over the last week I've been gleefully updating our Staintune product line page to show their new offerings, marking the discontinued kits, and making price changes if applicable. I have most of the links back up and operating on our multi-hundred page website.. Good to go..

The bad news is.. Staintune is for sale. The notice is on their website. While they are looking for a buyer, the current owners will continue to manufacture kits and fill orders. We're hoping whoever the new buyer is will continue Staintune's long tradition of excellence and allow Pirates Lair to carry them here in the US. I absolutely love Staintunes. Hands down the best quality exhausts we've ever seen.

That being said...we need a favor.. It took Amber and I months to get the word out that we were no longer selling the Australian Exhausts. Now, obviously, we need to reverse that and get the word out that we're back in the game. At least while the party lasts. If you hear of anyone looking for a Staintune exhaust for their bike.. please point them our way.. Help us spread the word..

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Michelin Power RS: First Impressions .... A New Generation in Tires

A couple of weeks ago I noticed counter steering on my K1200S was taking more effort than usual. A quick check and sure enough another Michelin Pilot Power 3 front tire (my 3rd) was toast. Called a good buddy of mine who goes through Michelins faster than Congress goes through tax dollars and asked if the French company had a new version on the market yet. I always check before I buy. I'd been using the PP3's for a few years now (and love them) and I've been expecting an upgraded version.. Sure enough, a new Michelin is just now hitting the streets as a replacement for the aforementioned Pilot Power 3s ... it's called the Michelin Power RS.

I immediately got on-line and read a few reviews coming out of Europe and they sounded almost too good to be true. One professional tester said that after timing multiple laps on Pilot Power 3's, (on a 1.2 km track in Fontanges, France on a BMW S1000RR) they switched tires over to the new Pilot Power RS and immediately started turning laps 3.5 full seconds faster. That's a difference of over the length of a football field! Per lap! Those results are so impressive that Michelin is using the quote in their advertising. OK.. Easily swayed by what I read on the internet, I ordered off Amazon and 4 days later the Michelin RS was on my bike. My first impressions after 200+ miles running at 34 psi.?....

I'm still trying to get my head around what the Power RS brings to my two-wheeled world. This tire is not what I was expecting. I had expected a slightly improved version of the venerable Pilot Power 3. It's not. In fact it feels little like the Pilot Power 3 or any other tire I've ever ridden on and according to the published specs and tech-speak from Michelin, the tire isn't like any other tire.

The first couple of times I ventured into the twisties I found myself missing my lines.. Old lines.. Familiar lines. Both entering and exiting curves.. WTF?! Had I installed it with the arrow going the wrong way? Was the air pressure off? Had I smoked one bowl too many last night? Then I realized the bad lines were due to pilot error. My fault. I had been steering and counter steering with the same tecnique and pressure I'd been using for years on the PP3s (and every other brand) which is waaay too much. The Power RS requires less effort, but a little more precision. It's disconcerting at first (at least it was for me,) but once you mentally dial in the amount of input needed... you can actually ride faster and in my case.. with more confidence.

I attribute this to Michelin’s revolutionary new Adaptive Casing Technology or ACT. This new manufacturing process uses a single ply carcass at an angle close to 90° to reduce rigidity and increase grip at the crown of the tire, yet folds that single ply over on itself on each sidewall to stiffen it, resulting in less sidewall flex and better tracking through corners. Ingenious.

Unlike the PP3 it replaces, the RS doesn't really fall into curves. It's very neutral similar to a Pirelli Corsa or SuperCorsa. Whether in a straight line or in the curves, the tire is as precise and accurate as the rider's inputs. You bend it into the curve with only a touch of effort and it goes EXACTLY where you want it. Precisely. Changing lines is effortless and drama-less no matter what lean angle. If you over-shoot your line, just re-direct and like a machine it corrects without pause. With the PP3s leaned over I always knew where the slide-out point was. It was very predictable and you could feel the loss of traction coming. Not so with the Power RS.. In fact, this is the first tire (street or track) I've ever ridden that made me feel like I actually have MORE rubber on the ground at full lean than when riding straight up. This sensation gives the rider Marquez-like confidence with less anxiety and/or seat pinching. I'm hoping this extra confidence doesn't get me into trouble at some point.. I have no doubt that on the track these tires (and the faith they instill) would translate into faster laps.. No doubt. On the street however where I already ride too fast, restraint (which I'm in short supply of) will be required. I've already caught myself entering familiar corners about 5-10mph faster than I usually do.

Not sure if it's due to the new design, but the Power RS feels like it's a softer tire than the PP3. It's not as harsh over bumps. It's a very smooth riding tire. Are they really a softer tire? or does the new construction just make it feel that way? I have no freakin' idea.. Longevity is an unknown. While the tire has no rain grooves of any sort (see pic above).. Michelin says they are good in the rain. I never tested that claim. Rather than take my rabid enthusiasm at heart.. check out this performance spec chart comparing the new Power RS to the Pilot Power 3. It's pretty freakin' impressive..

Follow-Up 10/5/17: Now after months of diligent testing under both legal and quasi-legal conditions, my opinion hasn't changed much from my initial review although I have discovered an interesting "Gremlin" with these tires. While at our recent year end I-BMW Deals Gap Rally a group of us were riding through Townsend, Tn when the back end of my K1200S started feeling squirrelly as if I had a low tire.. Not quite a flat. Just low. The movement was bad enough that I chose to stop the group and check it. The tire pressure was perfect.. WTF?!. I spoke to two buddies riding behind me and both said that they also noticed a high crown in the road and some irregularities in the pavement, but the problem did NOT manifest itself on their bikes like the Power RSs did on mine... ie... feeling like riding on marbles.

We got back on the road and once we hit another type pavement.. the problem vanished. Once more on this trip I experienced the same problem, but only for a few seconds on another road which also had an irregular surface. I'm convinced that this "issue" is due to Michelin's new Adaptive Casing Technology. Did it freak me out? A little.. yes.

That being said... at least for my riding style, even with this issue which lasted less than 30 seconds, they appear to be the closest I've ever come to the"perfect" street tire. Michelin's Adaptive Casing Technology seems to have elevated tire technology into the stratosphere. With the risk of resorting to hyperbole.. this tire, IMHO is an industry game changer. You almost have to experience it to comprehend how good it is. For now I'll end this mini-review with only this.. I'm a veteran rider on both street and track and the new Pilot Power RS is the best motorcycle street tire I've ever ridden. Period. Michelin is calling it a ‘watershed moment’ for motorcycle tires – one as significant as when it launched the first motorcycle radial tire in the 1980s. That’s quite a statement. Having tried them.. I'm a believer. My guess is.. you will be, too. Here are a few more reviews of the new Michelin RS.. Motorcycle.com, VisorDown.com, & Motorcyclistonline.com

What's New In the No-Spin Zone

1. I usually only mention I-BMW rallies (rally section below) because A.. I've been a member of I-BMW since day one so I'm admittedly biased.. B. Most "official" BMW rallies are no more than twin-fests attended by old farts in tents.. (not that there's anything wrong with that), and C. I-BMW events are what I consider anti-motorcycle rallies. Free and with no rules or by-laws or whatever other crap the big groups insist upon. People show up.. they ride..they drink.. they talk.. they eat.. No schedules. That being said, I just got a very nice request from a fellow rider asking us to mention their upcoming BMW event.. Thought I'd share as some of the proceeds go to charity. (pasted)

" My name is Heidi Goehring and I was wondering if you might add the "Rally for a Reason" that I'm chairing with MOA Ambassador Brian Manke. It's the 47th Annual Wisconsin Dells BMW Rally being held at Easter Seals Camp Wawbeek, 1450 State Hwy. 13, Wisconsin Dells, WI, September 8-10, 2017 (early arrivals welcome). The camp is 400 acres of pristine woodland -- it's like a state park!

The rally benefits Easter Seals (ES) in that $10 of every rally fee goes to ES. ES also offers bunk rentals (for those not wishing to camp) and an on-site breakfast (Saturday) for additional small fees. On Friday our rally features hot dogs and chili until gone with live music by grammy nominees Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys with special guest (also grammy nominated) Westside Andy.

Saturday features one of the best darn pig roasts you've ever tasted followed by the awards ceremony and national touring band Mostly Water. The local Lions Club manages our beer tent and sells grilled food for those wanting lunch onsite or a late night bite. " Mark it on your calendar, friends and help out Easter Seals..

2. For those thinking about riding north on the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer... here's some trip-squashing news from the Roanoke Times.... Sections of Blue Ridge Parkway to be Paved Starting July 5.. Looks like a 3 month project...

3. Picked this up at I-BMW.com - BMW Motorrad Calls all R1200GS and GSA Owners for Safety Check. Almost a recall for the 2013 GS / GSA and up- If I had a GS, this is something I'd check after every ride. AdvRider has recorded a few instances where the fork completely separates. Not good. On the street the risk of failure is likely near zero but still ....... Feelin' lucky?

4. Looking for LED Turn Signals for your late and some early model BMWs? We're hearing good things about the kits being sold by weisertechnik.com. A customer just told me his are super bright, Can-Bus compatible, and the install... direct plug-in. no splicing.. Chimp-easy taking only 5 minutes per side. At $85 for a pair... look no further..

5. We just got notice from Hornig of Germany that they have some exhaust protectors for the 2014+ R1200RT on their menu.They are made of high-quality aluminum, fit perfectly to the design of the BMW R1200RT LC (2014-, ) and are sold as a set (left and right)... I like these. Sleek... Well made..Unobtrusive.. and the cover up a bit of the ugliness of those exposed, discolored header pipes. Cost looks to be around $100US or so.. You can buy direct from them or Pirates Lair gets regular shipments from Hornig if you'd rather go through us..

Show me more, El Capitan!

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Product Alert: As per the blurb above... Staintune Exhausts are back on the Pirates Lair menu. For how long? Your guess is as good as mine.. Apparently Staintune is up for sale, but will continue producing kits in the interim. The following wordage is on their website. (Pasted below). We're hoping the future owner will allow us to continue to sell this magnificent product. I absolutely love Staintunes. Lets pray the brand (and the quality) continues for years to come and doesn't die off due to "feel-good" government regulations down under. We're wishing the current owners the best during the months ahead..

May 30, 2017- BUSINESS FOR SALE. RARE OPPORTUNITY- Iconic Australian Motorcycle Exhaust Manufacture of over 30 years. This is the first time Staintune has been offered for sale. Company will remain fully operational during this period. Staintune Aust Pty Ltd. We are currently open to written expressions of interest. Initial contact must be in writing. Please post written inquiry to the attention of: Adam Greenwood Po Box 106 Bellingen 2454 NSW. Thank You.

2. New Product Alert: Priced a replacement brake rotor from your local dealer lately? Yikes!! They generally run over $400 (when all the bits are added in.. ie. new bolts, wave washers, Astroglide, etc) and that doesn't include dinner afterwards or a reach-around. Rather than decimate your wallet, Pirates Lair is now offering an alternative. German-made ABM Brake Rotors. Each ABM rotor uses a new proprietary blend of stainless steel that performs as well as iron with all the benefits of stainless. Couple this with an all new ultra lightweight design carrier and you have a new benchmark in motorcycle braking performance. ABM rotors offer an ideal combination of value, durability, and performance for an oem replacement. We carry these for many late model BMWs, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, etc.. If you don't see what you need.. email me and I'll check on availability...

3. New Product Alert: As per the blurb above.. Pirates Lair is once again carrying the entire line of Akrapovic exhausts. Currently we have pages up for the following bikes.. BMW K1600GT/GTL, K1300S, K1200S, S1000R, S1000XR, K300GT, and slip-on kits for the S1000RR. I'll have RR full systems page up soon. Working on it as we speak. We've been given permission to price match with any price posted in the US..

4. Got a call a few minutes ago from one of our suppliers about a new product they are offering.. I have ZERO idea if there is any market for it, but I thought I'd ask.. Anyone have any interest in Scottoiler Automatic Chain Lube Systems? Check out their video here.. Honestly, I don't think I've ever had a single request for one, but I learned a long time ago.. never assume. Ask. Kits are just under $100.US Email me if you think I should add them to our website...

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

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2017
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."

SSR / Summer Solstice I-BMW Rally: June 29- July 2nd, 2017

Where: The Colonial House Inn and Motel in Weston VT on Rt 100
When: June 29- July 2nd, 2017 - Arrive Thursday depart Sunday May 21st.

Call (802) 824-6286 ask for Jeff or Kim and say you're with the I-BMW group.

There are 14 rooms of different bed and bath arrangements - BOOK EARLY
Cancellation policy is two weeks notice. They will invoice you through SQUARE.
There can be a BBQ if we give notice, Jeff does a mean Pulled Pork BBQ. Or if there is interest he will come up with a dinner menu but the restaurant isn't normally open for dinner.

10th Annual I-BMW Sierra Gold Rush Rally & Pre-Rally: Sept 8th-Sept 12th, 2017

Where: Creekside Lodge
Nearest town: Markleeville, Ca.
When: Check in Friday, September 8th… check out date is estimated to be Tuesday, September 12th
Reservations: Please call Jeannie or Todd at the Creekside Lodge, 530 694-2511

In 2017, we will return to the Riverside Inn in Downieville for the pre-rally. We will check in at the Riverside Inn on Tuesday, September 5th, and check out on Friday, September 8th for our ride to Markleeville. Please call Mike or Nancy at 888-883-5100 or 530-289-1000 for your individual reservation, and you MUST identify yourself as part of the I-BMW group!! There will be overflow lodging available at both venues… in Downieville there is the Carriage House, right across the river from the Riverside Inn, 530-289-3573. And in Markleeville there is the Toll Station, which a few of you seem to prefer, 530-694-2507.

Lodging, as always, is very limited, and no advance arrangements have been made for our group for overflow lodging at either venue. If you are not absolutely certain that you will be joining us, please wait to make your reservation until you are committed. However, if you definitely plan to attend, you should make your reservations immediately.

The 18th Annual I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: Sept 28-30th, 2017 New Date!

Where: Tapoco Lodge
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: Sept 28-30th, 2017 [Thur-Sat] Check out Sunday
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

The Tapoco Lodge (near Robbinsville) site of our first 9 or so DGR's will again host the 2017 event. Hopefully without any hurricanes spoiling the fun. The newly renovated, upscale Tapoco has reserved all their cabins for our motley group. Woohoo!! All cabins for 2017 range from $129-229 a night. Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Amber and I will be there. Neither of us will be wearing panties. They are taking reservations now!

Alternate Lodging in Robbinsville, NC. Microtel Motel or Fontana Village Resort
Closest BMW dealer: Eurosport of Asheville, NC

Cancellation Policy: In the event of cancellation 30 days prior to the event, guest will be charged for one night. If the cancellation is outside of the 30 days, there will be no charge. This policy will be strictly enforced in 2017 and is nonnegotiable. Savvy?

We're baaaaaack!


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

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 month. Check out our last two at
Denali Split Soundbomb Installation on 2015 GS Adventure contributed by our good friend Mike (aka Cousi) over at I-BMW.com. and Stebel Nautilus Horn Installation on Kawasaki Concours 14 contributed by Studio711.com

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues