"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: June 2006 Issue

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

Capt. Jack Aubrey: Right lads, now, I know there's not a faint heart among you, and I know you're as anxious as I am to get into close action. But we must bring them right up beside us before we spring this trap. That will test our nerve, and discipline will count just as much as courage. The Acheron is a tough nut to crack... more than twice our guns, more than twice our numbers, and they will sell their lives dearly. Topmen, your handling of the sheets to be lubberly and un-navy like.
Capt. Jack Aubrey (continuing..) Until the signal calls, you're to spill the wind from our sails, this will bring us almost to a complete stop. Gun crews, you must run out and tie down in double quick time. With the rear wheels removed, you've gained elevation. and without recoil, there'll be no chance for re-load, so gun captains, that gives you one shot from the lardboard battery... one shot only. You'll fire for her mainmast. Much will depend on your accuracy... however... even crippled, she will still be dangerous, like a wounded beast. Captain Howard and the marines will sweep their weather deck with swivel gun and musket fire from the tops. They'll try and even the odds for us before we board. They mean to take us as a prize.
[all chuckling]
Capt. Jack Aubrey: And we are worth more to them undamaged. Their greed... will be their downfall. England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship, is England. So it's every hand to his rope or gun, quick's the word and sharp's the action. After all... surprise is on our side.
Crew: Huzzah, huzzah!
Capt. Jack Aubrey: For England, for home, and for the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter!!

Capt. Jack Aubrey / Russell Crowe / Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

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

Pirates' Lair Robbed !! : "Infidel Defilers. They shall all drown in lakes of blood. "

A few weeks ago while returning from the Texas Hill Country K12 Rally, I stopped in at Touring Sport BMW in Greenville, SC to have a software upgrade done on my K1200S. I parked my truck in front of the store, rolled the bike off our custom trailer, then waited inside the store for about an hour while they did the upgrade. When I went out to load the bike back on to the trailer I discovered our Ford Explorer, the Pirates Lair motorcycle trailer, and about $4000 worth of riding gear (inside the Explorer) was gone! Taken by some sorry thieving bastage. This was a major financial hit to Amber and myself. After Satan...er.. I mean the insurance company paid off last week we were still out a lofty $14,000.. Ouch..

Initially, I had intended to use this most holy of forums to flame the insurance company for bending us over and giving it to us hard and dry, but... I won't. I had planned on flaming the Greenville police dept for not being able to spot a 10ft motorcycle trailer at rush hour with 8 ft skull and crossbones graphics all over it.... but.. I won't. I had also planned on flaming the useless "bags of mostly water" that stole from us... but I won't. I've spent the last few weeks trying to "purge" the anger and move on, which I would assume is the mentally healthy thing to do. . After all... It could have been worse.. They didn't get my bike and everything else was just replaceable "stuff." I am of the belief that what comes around goes around. He/she/they will face retribution if not in this life... in the next.. Hopefully something fitting involving lots of pain, blood, lit cigarettes, and smashed testicles.. but I digress.

I would like to thank the good people at Touring Sport BMW of Greenville for their help and support since the theft. They ended up replacing 80% of the stolen gear at dealer cost without me having to ask them. Good people. I'd also like to thank Sir Chris Heilman at www.hotglassheilman.com for auctioning off one of his pieces d' art and then contributing (against our will) the proceeds in the form of a multi-hundred dollar gift certificate from AeroStitch Rider Warehouse.

As for the bastages who ripped Amber and I .. Your payback will come..You had better pray to your respective god that its not at the edge of my rusty blade..

"Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you! "

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Shaka.. When the Walls Fell: Nationwide BMW Recall!

It's official.. There is a nationwide recall on certain new BMW's due to a problem with the can-bus / servo assisted ABS system. Apparently under extreme conditions .. rapid and/or frequent use of the brakes.. the ABS may stop functioning or some such shite. Models affected... 2005-2006 K1200S and R's, 2005-2006 R1200GS, and 2006 R1200RT... but don't take my word for it.. you can find the pdf notice from the Dept of Transportation at

The recall has already begun. If you are one of the lucky ones... you can either call your quasi-respected extortionist...er.. dealer for details, BMWNA at 800-831-1117, or the NHTSA hotline at 888.327-4236 or just wait and you'll receive a notice in the mail.
Bottom line.. the problem is rare and minor... the fix is simple. Some may get new rotors!! Woohoo!.. No big deal. That's what warranties are for... While you're in ask for the software upgrade which is also free..and a free hat for your trouble. .. Dare them to refuse.

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Follow Up!! Larry Grodsky vs Destiny

In last months newsletter I mentioned the death of Larry Grodsky ...founder of Stayin' Safe Motorcycle Tours freelance author of safe riding articles for Rider, and world renowned teacher of on-road rider education classes. He was killed in Texas while riding back home at night on a bike purchased in California. Hit a freakin' deer. Many have asked the circumstances as Larry was one of the best riders out there... Here's the rest of the story contributed by our good pal, Ken Bowen who visited the crash site.

" As reported by the AP, Larry was traveling north on US 385, between Marathon and Ft. Stockton, TX, on Saturday, April 8th. He was about 30 miles from either of these two towns, or literally in the middle of no where. Supposedly his intentions were to spend the night in Ft. Stockton. The report states that the incident occurred around 8 PM. This would have been just at dusk. Not yet dark, but almost. Just the time when the deer become active for the evening.

We rode south from Ft. Stockton, five days after LG's deer encounter, and riding opposite of Larry's direction of travel, the area was quite desolate…not exactly where you find deer. As we approached the roadside park from the north, the area became more dense with a growth of scrub brush. This was looking more like deer country now.

About a mile south of the roadside park, we found the crash scene. The road was marked by the TX DPS investigators, as well as skid marks from where the bike slid o the tarmac after the fall. Our measurements indicated the bike skidded about 280 feet from the point of impact (marked with an "X") until it came to rest (marked with oil and a bike outline). There was no indication of actual tire skid marks.

The carcass of the dead deer was also still at the scene, off the roadway by the fence. It was a very young deer, what was left of it. It was not the mule deer we had previously thought, which is more common (and much larger) in this part of Texas. With just the right type of impact and speed, it's possible to survive a collision with an animal of this size. (I am of the opinion that more speed is better than low or decreasing speed.)

The point of impact was about two feet to the right of the center line, which was marked by the DPS investigators. It appeared that he was riding in the proper lane position, especially for riding where the possibility of encounters with animals increases. He probably never moved...again pure speculation.

Most of us are just average riders when it comes to safety. Some of you are maybe above average. Larry, well he was the expert. For such an incident to happen to someone like Larry just scares me to death, being one of those average motorcycle riders.

We have to create something positive from this tragic loss. LG's death should sound the warning bell to all of us regarding wildlife encounters and the dangers they present. It certainly increased our awareness for the entire trip. The trick is to perpetuate that awareness and concern so as to carry over into future rides…

Ken Bowen

From Amber and myself.... Our heartfelt condolences to Larry's girlfriend and the Grodsky family.. Vaya con Dios, my friend..

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

I should note that as the RS and 02-05 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.K-Bikes.com , www.I-BMW.com, and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these chat sites..

Thinking about buying a GPS.. Check out this waaay cool information site at http://gpsinformation.net/ Thx Locus of Borg.

2. Just talked to the people at Zero Gravity Windscreens They are about to release 2 versions of windshields for the K1200S. I've seen pics... While they aren't very pretty, they are taller than the tall MRA.. The tint isn't as dark either. Looks like the best bet when you only care about the most protection you can get...Looks be damned.

3. Unless you are a stripper you probably rarely have enough light focused on your ass.. Here's a very cool solution from Kissan, the makers of those flashing headlight kits.. The LC-16 LED License plate frame should put enough attention on any BMW's rear end... The LC-16 seems to be a head above the rest with it's 3 in 1 approach... Sequential Turn Signal, Brake Light Modulator, and Running Lights. According to their verbiage... "Draws very little current (3/10th of an AMP), so it does not interfere with integrated ABS or EVO brake systems. Requires connecting to the turn signal and brake wires. You do not have to cut any wires, if you use the Scotchlok (T-Tap) connectors, which are also supplied." The ONLY thing I don't like about it... it comes ONLY in chrome. If anyone tries one of these.. let me know what you think... Looks like a great new product.

4. Well.. It's about f#@*in time.. Clymer is about to release a shop manual for the K1200RS!! and for 1/2 what the local extortionist ..er. dealer is charging for the factory version. Look for it or pre-order from them directly. The manual will cover not only the 98-2005 RS, but the GT and the LT are featured in the same copy!! and for only $50... Woohoo!!

5. Any day now Clear Alternatives will start carrying Clear Front Blinker Lenses for the early K1200RS. . Very nice.

6. Accessories for the new K1200GT should start appearing rather quickly now that the bike is hitting showrooms...One of the first is a GPS/Radar detector mount from www.Legal Speding.Com

7. If you own a new 2006 K1200R and have been thinking about adding the Verholen K1200S Bar Risers.. you may have a problem or two. This just in from the quasi-esteemed Anton Steely..
"I am in the process of installing the handlebar riser kit I bought (arrived really quickly, thank you) and feel that I must give you a heads up on some changes. I have an ’06 model K1200R and there are some changes to the brake lines that are very important. The line is a one piece line specially made with an integral T fitting where (apparently) the 05 model had a junction block and the kit supplied brake line is useless. In fact at this time I would suggest that you only sell the K1200S kit to people who own the ‘06s because I was (barely) able to adjust the brake and clutch lines so that I did not have to change either out. I also think that the fact that kit is shorter by 5mm will help. I am still in the process of attempting to change out the throttle cable. I will send a detailed report on what I went thru and will try to include pictures of the problem areas as well as the changed parts that I have mentioned".
I also want to report for individuals attempting this that I am not sure about BMW’s quality anymore. Part of the problem that I am having is that the metal that makes up the handlebar center section and the bolts are soft and rather cheap. I had 2 bolts literally strip their threads out as they came out. I will have to Helicoil the handlebar center section and use a die (6mmX1) to clean the metal off of the threads before I can reassemble the bars. Hope this helps.

We hear Verholen is on top of this has has the new lines in stock for the 2006 R bikes...

8. Parla vous Francais? Me neither, but if you want to listen in to what the French are saying about their K1200S or R... Check out the #1 K12 Chat site in France Ciao!

9. We just learned that you can install K1200R bars on a K1200S... it's NOT as simple as just bolting them on and it ain't cheap. A few minor mods need to be made but nothing requiring brain damage to figure out. The factory "R" center piece is $300 and each bar side is $75 so you are looking at a lofty $450 right out of the gate. The good news is you'll NOT have any cable problems. I sat on an S that has this mod and it looked and felt pretty damn good. Flatter... up about 1-1.5"..an expensive alternative to aftermarket bar risers.

10. Wondering how your K1200R would do in a drag race against the "other" fastest production sport bikes ?? GSX-R1300 Hayabusas, GSX 1000s, Kawasaki ZX-12Rs and ZX-9Rs; Yamaha R1s, and Honda's X11 and Blackbird models. You may just be surprised.. At the yearly Bandon Drag Race 2006 held in Ireland the mighty K1200R ruled.. beating ALL the aforementioned sissy bikes.

11. Looks like the good people at Cee Baileys are waaay ahead of the game.. They already have 4 different windshields available for the new K1200GT...

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. You knew it was a matter of time and like a $1000 a night ho, I hate to disappoint... Our new K1200GT Product Page is up. This is our newest section and it's dedicated to the second generation BMW K1200GT. We realize that you have a new bike and you are wanting to waste your wifes' shoe money on accessories, but also realize that it'll take a few months before products become available from the various manufacturers.
For now, we're keeping our eyes open for products we deem "worthy" of our website and will add them as soon as they become available. Be patient.. We've got your back.. Just check in from time to time as we hope to add about one new product every week or so. If YOU see something new on the market.. please let us know!. Just e-mail us with a link and we'll see what we can do.

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare
2. Just added to our menu... Clear Front Blinker Lenses for the early K1200RS. As you may recall, we had a company producing them for us but our most holy mold went bad and we were unwilling to invest multi-thousands to have a new one made. Just when we were about to slit our wrists we got a call from Clear Alternatives who has decided to produce them.. WooHoo!! Our first shipment is In Stock . We also have Sylvania SilverStar bulbs which are clear looking/ amber burning as an option..

3. We now have the AMHP BMW K1200S Headlight Protector In Stock. Priced a K1200S headlight lately? Are you sitting down? Are you bent over with a bottle of AstroGlide handy? Who's your daddy??!!....er... where was I???... O, yea... Call any dealer and you'll be quoted a criminally insane $474! and that doesn't include labor or dinner afterwards.. Ouch!!

4. We have decided to discontinue selling the Verholen K1200R Riser kit. Why? Because there are cable issues (see blurb above) which lead to inventory issues on our end. We'd simply rather not f#@* with them. Here's the deal. The 2006 front K1200R brake line is different than the 2005 R brake line.. The bottom end of the 2006 brake line has a T-fitting where the 2005 did not. As there are no where near as many R's in the US as the S bike, it's simply not feasible for us to try to keep inventory of two different types of lines. If you have a K1200R and would like one of the Verholen Riser kits, I suggest you order directly from Verholen at their web site at www.Verholen.de Make sure you click on the English flag for the English translation.

5. We are in talks with Clymer about retailing their upcoming shop manual for the K1200RS! Cost will be 1/2 of what the BMW dealer is selling theirs for. The manual will cover not only the 98-2005 RS, but the GT and the LT in the same copy!! and for only $50... Woohoo!! .

6. Somebody alert the media... as per the prophesy.. our next Stealth Backrest will be for the new R1200RT. Design plans are already in the hands of my miscreant machinists. Stay tuned.

7. A fellow rider has come up with one uniqueHelmet Lock for the new K1200GT unlike anything I have seen on the market. We're thinking about carrying them in our product line. While I think these are simply too big for most bikes.. it looks just about perfect for the new GT... I'd like opinions? Click HERE for a picture of one on the new GT..(or the image at right) and/or check out their website at http://www.helmetholder.com/ These will NOT be on the market for a few more weeks but I'd love some input from you new GT owners... Yea? or Nay?

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2006

2006 BMW MOA International Rally News: Look Out Vermont
It's about time BMW MOA staff chose a rally site worth actually riding to..Many probably remember me ranting about the choice of the last site... Hell..er.. I mean Ohio.. Geezz.. That was like choosing Lake Michigan for a premier surfing event. What were they thinking? Check out the 2006 BMW MOA International Rally Website which will be in scenic Vermont (a worthy destination) for info as to lodging, etc or get the inside scoop from our peers as to who's going, what to bring, where to stay, etc..

I'd suggest you register and book a room or campsite for the rally as soon as you can. Pre-registration is from April 1 - June 30, 2006. On-line registration will start on April 1, 2006.
Pre-Registration / $30 U.S Adults and/or $5 U.S Children
At the Gate / $35 U.S Adults and/or $10 U.S. Children
Note: There will be NO day passes.

The 7th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally ...(sponsored by www.I-BMW.com) is already scheduled and will again be held at the Tapoco Lodge at the end of September 2006. ... Sept 28-30th to be precise. This year every room was booked so I suggest you make reservations NOW just to make sure. You can always cancel if you can't make it. Be there!! Simply the best time of year to be in the mountains. Virtually perfect weather the last 5 years.

How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have 1 new contributions this month.. . Thx guys/gals!!! Could these tips save your life? Dare you NOT look?
Check out # 109 Contributed by Jim Homan, Richland, WA

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