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: June 2004 Issue

Fellow esteemed and quasi-esteemed K12 Riders.... ..A famous (and slightly edited) movie moment...

The family room lights are off now. The TV is still on. The SOUND IS MUTED. Disturbing silent images of alien craft hovering over the world's cities fill the small screen. There are a couple glasses of Bo's water on the television. Morgan is asleep on Graham's lap. Bo is asleep on Merrill's shoulder.
Merrill (whispers) Some people are probably thinking this is the end of the world. Graham turns his sleepy eyes away from the screen to Merrill.
Graham (whispers) That's true.
Merrill (whispers) Do you think it's a possibility?
(whispers) Yes.
Merrill (whispers) How can you say that?
Graham (whispers) That wasn't the answer you wanted?
Merrill (whispers) Can you at least pretend to be like you used to be? Give me some comfort? Graham thinks it over.
Graham (whispers) ... There are all different ways you can tell that there's someone really there watching out for us. You see signs. Sometimes they're little ones. You think of someone. The phone rings. They're on the phone... You turn on your computer. Check your e-mail. There's the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter. Sometimes they're big, like fourteen lights hovering over Mexico City. Sure, there are a lot of people watching this who think this could be a bad thing. But there are a lot of people watching this, who think it's a miracle. A sign of God's existence. It's all in how you look at things Merrill. What you have to decide is what kind of person you are? Are you the type who believes in miracles and looks for signs or are you the kind who believes, things just happen by chance?
Merrill (whispers) I was at this party once. I'm on a couch with Sara Mckinney. She was just sitting there, looking beautiful and staring at me. I go to lean in and kiss her and I realize I have gum in my mouth. I turn and take out the gum. Stuff it in my paper cup next to the sofa and turn around. Sara Mckinney throws up all over herself. I knew the second it happened. It was a miracle. I could have been kissing her when she threw up. That would have scarred me for life. I may never have recovered. Merrill looks at the TV screen.
Merrill I'm a miracle man. Those lights are a miracle.
Graham (whispers) There you go.

Graham Hess / Mel Gibson - - Merrill Hess/ Joaquin Phoenix Signs / 2002

Yes, it's time again. Time to invade your limited personal space and clutter your in-box along with all the P#n-s Enlargement ads, but with the quasi-noble intent of informing you of what's new in the BMW K1200RS/GT community and... at Pirates' Lair.
Ronald Reagan's Legacy: Our Motorcycle World....Contributed by fellow K12'er Stu Segal
In all the media coverage of the life of Ronald Reagan, a small incident goes unmentioned. I guess, when you consider the man who said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”, and “I will not, for political purposes, exploit the youth and inexperience of my opponent”, it’s understandable that many of the hundreds of smaller deeds and incidents go unremembered.

But let’s not forget that it was President Reagan whose actions saved the motorcycle industry in America; and it was not just Harley-Davidson, but the entire industry. On April 1, 1983 the President approved the ITC’s recommendations to place tariffs on imported bikes greater than 700cc, due to the massive buildup of Japanese inventories in the US ­ and it was a huge tariff of 45%. Of course, the Japanese manufacturers reacted immediately to minimize the impact, by resizing many engines to 699cc, and (Honda and Kawasaki) opening assembly plants in the US ­ all to get around the tariff.

The actual tariff never had the effect that was anticipated, but it did cause the Japanese manufacturers to liquidate their massive inventories, build US plants, re-engineer their products - giving Harley-Davidson the time they desperately needed to improve quality to acceptable levels.

The rest of the Harley story is, as they say, history. Harley, to everyone’s surprise, requested the tariffs be lifted a year early. The public had learned that quality machines were once again rolling out of Milwaukee. Harley sales soared, as did performance of Harley stock (which had become one of Wall Streets darlings). Everybody wanted a Harley in their garage - it was a lifestyle, a fashion statement, it was simply the thing to do.

But let’s not forget to connect the dots. Harley’s success in the heavyweight category created a demand that couldn't be met by the manufacturer, and this spawned the Japanese “clones”, the German “cruisers” and the small independent V-twin manufacturers. The “trickle down” effect is in fact the success of the motorcycle industry in America today. It might be tough for the Japanese manufacturers to admit, but Reagan’s tariff created the environment of success we in the industry all enjoy today.

The way I see it - Ronald Reagan was key in saving Harley-Davidson, and may well be responsible for the success of the entire motorcycle industry in America.
Godspeed, RR.

News From the Front:
This just in from Steve Kane, big cheese at RAD (Riders Accessory Distributing in Freedom, California)

Dear RAD Customers,
RAD has proudly provided BMW dealers (and Pirates' Lair) with high quality aftermarket accessories at wholesale prices for the past few years. However, wholesale distribution of RAD/Wunderlich items will soon end. Riders' Accessory Distributing (RAD) has been sold to BMW of Santa Cruz County (BMWSC) as of Friday, June 11, 2004. After that date, the sole importer and distributor of Wunderlich products will be BMWSC, who will be focusing on retail sales exclusively.

Regards... Steve Kane

The First Designated K1200S Site?
This just in from fellow K12'er and contributor for BMWON magazine....Shahram Shiva

Dear European Motorcycle Enthusiasts:
On Saturday, June 5, I launched a web site celebrating BMW's awesome new Superbike the K1200S at www.BMWK1200S.COM. For those of you who have been following the "News" thread on my other BMW site K12RS.COM, you'd know that I have been supporting such a move for a few years. I consider the new KS bike the missing link. It's becoming obvious that the halo effect of this new machine will benefit the BMW motorcycles for the next few years. Certainly it has the potential of becoming the darling of the global Press. Kudos to David Robb and BMW 's very competent team of designers and engineers.. Drop by the site to say hi .

Best,... Shahram Shiva


What's new in the K1200RS/GT News...aka.. the No Wheel-Spin Zone (A slow month....)

1. In case you have missed the recent posts at the Greatest K1200RS Chat Site on Earth.. http://www.i-bmw.com/ , pictures and information on the all new K1200S are finally filtering out of the motherland.. I have some of the latest photos posted in our photo gallery . From the pics you can clearly see many all new BMW features including fairing mounted mirrors with integrated blinkers, the all new front end, and the obvious angular styling, unlike the current KRS and GT's Marilyn Monroe-esque curves. .. I wish BMW had seen fit to offer a centerstand but you can't have everything. Check out a short film of it being run around the Nurburging in Germany. Markus Barth (the pilot) did a very good job here. I've been told the fastest time at this track by bike was 7:48. And he did 7:57. An average driver will take 9:00 to 10:00. (Thanks, A)

Here is some of the latest dope on the S bike..
1. Price posted in Germany for the new bike are 14,850.00 Euro = $18,152 US Dollar
2. The bike will come with an optional navigation system.
3. Wet weight will be 561 lbs.. about the same as a Hayabusa
4. Aluminum chassis
5. Engine will be small.. comparable to a 600cc Jap bike and only 2" wider than a Ducati twin engine.
6. The oil filler cap is located UNDER the seat with the sight TUBE running down the right side.
7. 11,000 RPM redline
8. Standard alarm system (bout freakin' time!!)
9. Electronically adjustable suspension... no more getting down on your creaking, aging knees... yes.. you!
10. Your dealer will be just as uninformed about this bike as your current KRS or GT and will deem any and all accessories.. JuJu. ( I threw this one in )

2. Two Brothers Racing has held their pricing for 3 years now... but as of 5/18/04 they added a slight $$ increase to every exhaust system they produce.. Increase averages about $45... FYI, these still produce the biggest HP increase amongst the 5 offerings....

3. Santa Cruz Country BMW or 866.268. 9311 now has a 3-piece Carbon Fiber Fuel Cap Cover for the K1200RS/GT. Cost is $50.... Hadn't seen that before...

4. This just in on the previously mentioned Hardware Kit for installing an Ohlin Steering Damper to any K1200RS/GT/LT. Just heard from the designer and the kits are complete and available. Cost for a complete bolt-on system with Ohlin Steering Damper and mounting hardware is $450.US delivered. I thought that sounded kinda steep until I spoke with some friends who have similar kits on their non-BMW's and they paid MORE. Okeedohkee...I have pics if anyone is interested..Like shocks... the factory dampener is good for about 20-25K then it's landfill material... Like all Ohlin components, the damper is adjustable and re-buildable and only needs to be serviced every 20-50K You deserve the best? or do you...? Here it is...

5. Good news... There is a US made Short Shift Kit on the market or will be shortly. Cost will be $160 with no core charges or modifications necessary. Just bolt on and shift like the best Japanese bikes. .. Much less than what www.Verholen.de charges. There will be two versions.. One for the 97-2001 models and the other for the 2002+ models. If you have one of these kits on your bike (like I do) you know how big a difference it makes..My K12 now shifts quicker than my MV Agusta F4! Details to come..

6. We mentioned the all new Metzeler zero-degree belt Roadtec Z6 tire being on the market in the last issue. Here's a little more info..They will be offering a "B" version rear any day now which will offer a little more "beef" for our heavier bikes. The B spec Roadtec Z6 180/55ZR17. As per the Metz website, this tire is for the following motorcycles. Yamaha FJR1300, BMW K1200GT, BMW K1200RS These motorcycles will use the standard front 120/70ZR17 Roadtec and should be fitted with the new B spec rear for longer mileage. Verbiage sounds impressive when compared to the old MEZ4's. . 30% better in the rain, 20% better handing over-all, 20% better grip at 30% lean angle (comparable with the Sportec M-1's), firm pouting young breasts (just seeing if you are paying attention), and up to 8000 miles estimated mileage. Have gotten a lot of feedback since last newsletter.. about 95% of it positive...

7. While we first thought it was an impossibility... like a random sighting of Bigfoot or a Beastie Boy's Reunion tour..we just had confirmation that there is an Austrian made Carbon Fiber Front Fender for the BMW K1200RS/GT on the market . We've got a sample in transit for evaluation. Interested to see if the pattern matches the Pyramid Hugger from the UK...stay tuned.. same Bat time.. same Bat channel.

What's new at Pirates' Lair?

We have been selling the EZ Mount PIAA light Mount Kits for the last 2 years allowing our quasi-respected customers to buy his or her lights wherever they wanted and then the mounts from us... Because I love you (in a non-homosexual way, of course.. not that there's anything wrong with that... ) we are about to start carrying complete PIAA Sport Touring Light Kits featuring the 1100X PIAA Powersports Lamps (these are the round ones..) and all mounting hardware for your RS or GT. Just waiting for product.

2. We have pulled the K1200RS'GT Staintune Exhausts from our product line due to price gouging from the lone importer, CBT Imports. They claim that the new pricing is due to the strong Euro, but we believe this is b%#@*t.. We called Staintune directly and asked about the increase and they admitted the problem was solely CBT and they were NOT happy at all. We returned ALL the 'tunes we had in stock to CBT.. and believe me..they were NOT happy...I believe they have Gordon Gekko working for them..and contrary to what he may say... Greed is NOT good.

3. Those front Clear Lenses for your 97-2001 K1200RS are slowly starting to arrive and prepaid-orders are being filled! Web page is up at We offer them with or without Sylvania SilverStar version 1156A ST bulbs. The SilverStar have a silver/clear/bluish appearance when off and an amber color when illuminated. Production is VERY slow on them taking a week to produce 10 pair... If you pre-pay, expect between 3-4 week wait...Surprisingly, the Germans and Japenese are buying these up like Pink Floyd tickets... go figure...

4. Our new Classifieds Section is up!!..Use it well, my fellow plundering mates.. Buy/Sell/Trade to your hearts content. ..and we expect nothing in return.. except perhaps just a little freakin' respect and/or gratuitous photo's featuring bikes and nude women....or just the women. Very sorry it took us so long to get another up after our previous version was disconnected without notice by the rat bastages at Everyone.Net

5. We are now carrying the Radar Screamer It enhances the feeble audio warning signal produced by your V1 or Passport 8500 radar detectors so that you are better able to hear the warning while at speed. No earphones and no helmet wiring is required as God/Allah/Crom intended. I've just installed mine.. evaluation to come soon at http://www.i-bmw.com/

6. Finally got the web page up for the KRS/GT Passenger Footrest Lowering Kit from Wunderlich of Germany. If your passenger has been whining about bad ergos.. rather than bitch-slap them and risk the possibility of a short stint in a small urine stained cell with a big tattooed guy named BoBo..or losing everything you've earned in a newsworthy divorce case against Mark Geragos, you might have an alternative...

7. We are now offering some NEW Custom Touring Pegs for the RS and GT's of the world. When you get to the page... Just scroll down a bit.. The K1200RS / GT Touring Footpeg Kit is similar to our custom peg kits we've had on the market for over a year, but these are wider and slightly longer. If you purchased our other custom kits, the good news is that these pegs will bolt directly to those carriers. We will be selling these as complete kits or pegs only for those who already have the other custom pegs and just want to try something different. I have these on MY 98 and love them...

8. Due to the aforementioned closing of RAD (Riders Accessory Distributing), when our current supplies of Wunderlich Daytona Hubcaps and Wunderlich Passenger Peg Lowering Kits are sold out.. there will be no more... They were the ONLY wholesale source for them. If you are thinking about either.... now might be a good time to buy. 100% up to you, Kemosabi.

9. The artwork for our new Pirates' Lair Hats is just about complete... Look for them in about 4 weeks.. no pre-orders or autographs please..


Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2004 /

The BMW Rally planned at the Biltmore Estate located here in Asheville, NC is back on, and it is a designated "BMW" rally.. Mark your calendars for June 25–27, 2004

Biltmore Estate hosts the first Ride the Ridge Rally featuring BMW motorcycles, June 25–27. The event provides a chance to meet new friends, ride Western North Carolina’s curvy mountain roads with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, check out BMW’s all-new R 1200 GS and K 1200 LT, talk to BMW product specialists, and enjoy BMW’s Mobile Tradition Exhibition that celebrates 80 years of BMW motorcycling history.

Rally admission is $49.95 per person and includes:
• Daytime admission to Biltmore House, Gardens, and Winery and Farm Village for June 25–27
• Rally admission for June 25–27
• Mountain buffet breakfast at Biltmore Estate on Saturday, June 26

Other rally activities available at an additional cost include:
• Rafting at Biltmore Estate, Nantahala Outdoor Center, and Wildwater, Ltd.
• Dinner at Taylor Ranch on Friday, June 25

Register for Ride the Ridge Rally online or by calling 800-413-9793..it will be an ANNUAL EVENT.

The 2004 Ride to Read Rally from fellow K12'er and organizer, Jerome Eberharter... Mark your calendars now for June 12, 2004, when riders embark on an all-day adventure from Boise, Id. to Stanley and back to raise money for literacy programs in our region. This year plan on more people, more prizes, and more fun, with Team registration discounts (groups of 3 or more riders) and prizes for the biggest teams, the most creative team names, and the team raising the most money.
Sign up today for upcoming Rally News by visiting http://www.whitecloudcoffee.com/ and clicking through the Ride to Read links. Help them reach their goal of 200 riders this year!

The 5th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally will again be at the Tapoco Lodge on Sep 30th - Oct 3rd, 2004. As we did in 2003, Fontana Village and the Microtel Inn will be able to handle overflow. When contacting Tapoco about lodging mention K12RS BMW, or they may say they are full when actually it's reserved for "us". 828.498.2435 or 800.822.5083. Also.. you can try the San Ran Motel in Robbinsville at 828.479.3256. It's a mom & pop operation right next door to the Wendys. Clean and bike friendly. This will be the last K12 Rally of the year and probably the biggest... be there or have a damn good excuse!!

The 2005 Hill Country Rally has already been scheduled for the following dates... April 7-10 No other information is available at this time, but I would surmise that it will be in the aging...er.. skillful hands of fellow K12'er and former concierge for Kobe Bryant, Barry Gibbs. Stay tuned..

How to Survive On Your Motorcycle Tips
We have a new safety tip contributed by the quasi-esteemed Flyin' Joe McCarthy on our How To Survive on a Motorcycle Page Will it save your life? or make you safer? or get you laid? Look and see.. it's # 68

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive.. First... check out the tips we already have and if you have something new... just send to me and I'll add it on.. Remember.. we're all in this together.. so use deodorant.

New How To:
We have a new one contributed by the inestimatable Rod Neff .. His How To Key A BMW Lock may be helpful to some...Check it out on our web page or visit Rod's Home Site and be amazed..

Guess that smells like the end... Take care.. ride safe...best wishes for a cool summer...see you in my mirrors..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues