Take me home, El Capitan!

"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 2007 Issue

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

Hadden: Aboard Haddens plane.. "Dr. Arroway, I presume. "
Ellie: Mr. Hadden.
Hadden: I''ve had my eye on you a long time. I consider you one of my most valuable long term investments, and when it comes to my investments, I always do my homework. He starts up a video sequence on a wall monitor.
Hadden: Eleanor Ann Arroway, born 25th August 1964 in DePere, Wisconsin. Mother, Joanna, died from complications during child birth. Early testing indicated high pre-disposition towards science and mathematics. Father, Theodore, advised to provide enrichment activities along these lines, did so conscientiously until his death by myocardial infarction November 10, 1974. You graduated from high school in 1979, almost two full years early. Rewarded full scholarship, MIT, graduated magna cum lauda. Doctoral work, Cal-Tech, where you did breakthrough work on the lansamine built ruby maser, dramatically increasing the sensitivity of radio telescopes. Subsequently, offered a teaching position at Harvard University, which you turned down, to pursue SETI work at the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico. Changes in NSF policy gave rise to certain funding problems, at which point you came to my attention.

Ellie: You compromised our security codes.
Hadden Once upon a time, I was a hell of an engineer, please sit Doctor. I have visitors so rarely, it's important to me that they feel welcome in my home.
Ellie: You live here?
Hadden: I find it convenient to keep my interests mobile. Anyway, I've had my fill of life on the ground.
Ellie: Well, I guess I should thank you for bailing me out all that time.
Hadden: I know a good bet when I see one. (hands her a tea) Earl Grey, no sugar, no milk, I believe.
Ellie: What am I doing here?
Hadden: (laughs) The powers that be have been very busy lately, clawing over each other to position themselves for the game of the millennium. Maybe I can help deal you back in.
Ellie: I didn't realize that I was out.
Hadden: Well, maybe not out, but certainly being handed your hat. I've had a long time to make enemies, doctor. So many governments, business interests, even religious leaders that would like to see me depart this Earth. I'll grant them their wish soon enough, but before I do, I wish to make a small contribution, a final gesture of good will to the people of this little planet who have given me... from whom I have taken so much.
Ellie: You discovered the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter?
Hadden: Clever girl.

Dr. Ellie Arroway ..Jodie Foster / S.R. Hadden.. John Hurt .... Contact 1998

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

Pirates Lair K12 Party Planned During BMWRA Rally: Friday June 8th, 2007... You Are Invited!!!!
("It's my happening and it freaks me out!!")

Where: Chimney Rock Park, Just southeast of Asheville, North Carolina (on Hwy 74A East)
When: June 8th, 2007 .. Noon-2pm EST We'll hang around until 4PM
Cost: FREE between noon-2PM Free Food and drinks will be served from 12 Noon-2PM only or until it runs out. Admission into Chimney Rock Park is included with the
Party Pass. Click the link to print one or more out.. You'll need (1) per attendee.
Why: Because we love you!

As a way of saying thanks/danke schön to our quasi-esteemed friends and customers during the upcoming BMWRA Rally being held here in Asheville, Amber and I are throwing a customer appreciation K12 party at the nearby, scenic Chimney Rock Park. Admission to the park is usually $14pp as it is a big local tourist attraction, but Amber and I have rented the park for the day so our guests will get free admission and full run of the park until closing time if they print out and bring this Party Pass. We hope to provide a customer list to the ticket counter and if you're on it.. you might still get in but we highly suggest you take the 30 seconds to print the Party Pass and take it with you.

Food (burgers, hot dogs, grilled badger) will be served from noon-2PM or until it's all gone.. If you are a vegetarian or Vegan we suggest you start eating meat like a "real" American, however Amber plans on having "alternative" food for you freaks. Potato salad, pasta, sticks, twigs, etc.. Get there late and don't expect to come away with a full belly. Savvy? We'll have enough "real" food for at least 100 earthlings.. maybe more.

You may be asking, how the f#*k do I get to Chimney Rock? Relax, Magelland... it doesn't get much easier.. Take Interstate 40 EAST and get off at EXIT 53A (Bat Cave and Hwy 74A East). From the exit ramp go right, stay on 74A east for 20 miles and the park entrance will be on the right in the small town of Chimney Rock. Stevie Wonder could find this place in the dark. Please note 7 miles down this hwy the road turns to 2 lanes then another 3 miles it turns into a corner carver's heaven rivaling the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap. How curvy is it? Here's what just a small section looks like on my GPS..Click Here. Trust me.. you'll enjoy the ride in. More complete directions, details, and GPS coordinates are on the flyer, which again I suggest you print out. Hope to see you there!and did I mention it's all FREE??!! Non-BMW K12 riders will be tolerated and welcome.

For Full Party Details: Times, FAQ's, Directions, Downloadable Party Pass Click Here

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The 2007 Blue Ridge Parkway K12 Rally a Sweet Success!!

Thanks to all involved, Tim & Susan, Randy, and of course the great crew at www.I-BMW.com, for making this years event yet another success. Last I heard there were around 70 bikes in attendance. About a 50/50 split on the old RS and the new K12's!

The pre-rally weather forecast sucked as the predicted warm weather was not to be found. Instead a cold front pushing a late evening rain storm caught many attendees off guard Thursday night, but... being the manly men that we are.. we persevered and a good time was had by all for the rest of the rally...even the few that crashed on the post-rain gravel. DOH!! Many of the original www.I-BMW.com members showed including site guru... the man, the myth, the legend... Vic Salemme, himself! I have posted as many rally pics as I could plunder..er.. accumulate from the I-BMW site in our Pirates Lair Photo Album . It's the first album cleverly entitled.. Blue Ridge Parkway K12 Rally 2007 Enjoy! See ya next year. Details in Rally section below.

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Follow-up: Banned For Life from the Yamaha R1 Chat Site: Fffffffffffffffff

I thought I'd make a brief follow-up to last months cheesy newsletter story of how the Yamaha R1 site moderators over at www.R1-forum.com/ banned me for life from their corporate sponsored website...

Apparently, quite a few people over there noticed my article as I got flooded with emails from site members... surprisingly... all supportive!! Can you believe it?? Honestly I had expected a lot of "F#** you's!" and "Blow me, you old bastage!" but instead I got nothing but kind words and apologies. But what did NOT surprise me was that at least 2 responders told me that they posted about my article and within minutes their posts were pulled and they were privately warned and scolded by site moderators to cease and desist.. Basically.. told to shut their f#&*in' mouths or suffer the same fate as yours truly. George Orwell would be proud.

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Product Review: PsycleSkins Undersuit

I recently got to try a pair of the PsycleSkins sold by SportBikeTrackGear and while initially skeptical.. I was damn impressed. The one-piece gray and black suit, which retails for about $89 is meant to go under your leathers, similar to UnderArmour or SilverEagle products which I reviewed in our Feb 2007 Cheesy Newsletter . The suit makes for both a cooler ride when it's warm and a warmer ride when it's cool not to mention the fact that your leathers will slide right off no matter how hot and sweaty you get.

Unlike the UnderArmour shirts, the PsycleSkin doesn't compress your body like a girdle, but rather fits like a nice pair of long underwear except the suit has a silky, smooth feel kinda like Angelina Jolie's panties. Also, unlike the UnderArmour you don't have to be an athlete to wear it. It feels quasi-expensive, but in reality.. isn't. While the PsycleSuit isn't as sexy as the more expensive UnderArmour.. I actually prefer the PsycleSkins due to the comfort it affords us mortals who aren't blessed with the abs (and personal trainer) of a Matthew McConaughey.

Here's some wordage from the SportBikeTrackGear website.... "When it's hot, PsycleSkins' special moisture wicking fabric, works to keep you cool and dry. When it's cold, PsycleSkins work to keep you warm and dry. Our wicking fabric pulls moisture away from your body keeping you dry. This transfer of moisture to the outer layer of the fabric which allows you to be comfortable regardless of the weather. This movement of moisture also allows the fabric to dry 50% faster than cotton fabrics that swell and hold moisture. Another strength of our fabric is the smooth texture. This allows you to easily put your leathers on during the hottest days and protects the leather from being attacked by the salt in your perspiration. Our PsycleSkin does not need elastic or stretch panels because the suit moves with your body. We know the last thing you need is to be restricted in movement going around a aggressive turn or have elastic bound wrist or ankle cuff slide up while racing! Sizing is based on U.S. leather suit sizing system. Choose the same size as your leathers. PsycleSkins are made with pride in the U.S.A and Canada!"

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Product Review: Wunderlich 'Vario' Adjustable Lever Set

I suffer from small digits. Fortunately they are confined to my hands. Yes... I have short fingers and from the day I bought my 06 K1200S I have been silently complaining about both the strong clutch pull and long distance from the factory levers to grips. Had considered the Evoluzione Clutch Slave Cylinder Kit to lessen the pull until I saw the waaay trick looking 'Vario' Adjustable Lever Set offered exclusively from BMW of Santa Cruz. In theory they could possibly solve my problem and add a little bling to my bike. Worth a shot.

Just before the BRPR, I ordered, received, and installed the high priced Vario levers on my K1200S. First impressions?..The workmanship is better than most aftermarket levers. Install was relatively painless taking all of about 1/2 hour with simple tools and chimp-like abilities. The instructions are surprisingly good. The Varios come in a head-spinning variety of color combinations. For adjustments..the end of each lever is adjustable in and out. You also have the adjustable Vario spin wheel as well as the factory adjustment screw (which switches over to the Varios) for an infinite amount of adjustment possibilities. I would theorize that any human could come up with multiple positions that would be better than factory. FYI.. I was VERY leery of the purchase due to the high price (about $200 for the pair) but now that I've had a chance to use them.. I'm blown away. How do they compare to stock? I knew you'd ask so I did before and after measurements and came up with this..

Clutch Side: Before.. 55mm at closest point / After.. 40mm

Brake Side: Before.. 47mm at closest point / After..40mm

That's a substantial difference, IMHO The smoothness of the factory levers vs the feel of the sculpted grip of the Varios was a non-issue for me.. I'm 100% happy with mine and yes.. they solved my short fingers problem. For what it's worth, I think they are worth every freakin' penny. My 2 doubloons.

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

I should note that as the RS and first generation GT has been discontinued, I receive less and less news of any new products for them.. I mention this as a few semi-loyal subscribers have accused me of abandoning our roots.. Not true.. I only report what's going on.. Don't shoot the messenger.. I will NEVER abandon the K1200RS crowd. It appears that the times.. they are a changin.' Deal with it. Also.. a special thx to www.I-BMW.com, www.K-Bikes.com , and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these chat sites..

1. You can buy a billet gas cap for virtually any sport bike out there.. I have one on both my Yamaha and MV.. but as far as I know, nobody makes one for BMWs. I wonder why? Whatever.. That's about to change. I spoke to one of our suppliers in the UK a couple of weeks ago and he's going to produce one for our beloved bikes. They are working on them as we speak. It'll look like this... pic at right. Is that beeeautiful or what?? Click Here for a Larger Image. I'll get first shot at them and I've already placed a pre-order for a quantity. I think price will be about $85... Stay tuned..I'm pretty sure these will fit the K1200S, K1200R, K1200R Sport, K1200RS, early K1200GT and probably a few more BMW's..

2. If you've been looking for a rear luggage rack for your K1200S and have found yourself virtually"vomitus" from the fugly options on the market.. here's one that doesn't quite suck..or at least.. sucks to a lessor degree. It's made by Krauser of Germany. Thx for the tip Locus of Borg.

3. Just a heads up that the lucky bastage Marc Parnes (Marc Parnes Wheel Balance Kits) will be in Europe this year from June 30 returning July 24 meaning no orders will ship during that time.

4. We've had one unconfirmed report that the German-made Bags Connection "Engage" Quick-Lock Tankbag is not compatible with the 2006+ K1200GT with Heli-Bars.

5. We get a lot of requests from our Euro customers asking which K1200S exhausts will pass EU standards...This just in from Remus..."Yes we have EU compliant exhausts. We refer to them as street cans or Revolution. We will also provide documentation in paper format for the registration checkup. "

6. Do you own a K1200RS or first generation GT with a Two Bros Exhaust with the C-5 canister ?? Is it just a tad too loud? We just found out that their new large M5 end caps are a direct replacement for the old-style C-5 end cap.. What difference does this make, you ask? Well.. the M-5 has an optional silencer. The old C-5 did not.Your neighbors will love you for it...

7. Spoke with a Pirelli rep yesterday regarding their Diablo Corsa III's.. They highly recommend 32psi front and 36 rear for optimum grip and longevity on the K1200S.. FYI

8. ZTechnik just lowered their prices on virtually all their Carbon Fiber Tank Protectors..and while we're on the subject..we just found out that their K1200R ZTechnik Carbon Fiber Tank Protector will also fit the K1200R Sport..

9. Wanna see something sweet, sexy, and inviting without having Chris Hansen appear with his camera crew? Of course you do. Look no further than to the right of this text at the 4 into 4 Full K1200S Exhaust System from HPE of Germany. We hear it is a plug and play system although the install isn't "caveman" easy. For a sound clip.. Click Here. Damn!!

So how much is this eye candy?? Are you sitting? Is your life insurance paid up? If not.. please do so as this'll kill you... Price in Germany is $2550E.. that translates to a sphincter violating $3500US. If that doesn't kill your erection.. nothing will.

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. WOOHOO!! Check out what we just got...A.M.H.P K1200GT Headlight Covers While the 06+ K1200GT headlight is a thing of beauty, can you imagine what it would cost to replace one? Be afraid! Call any dealer and you'll be quoted a criminally insane $474! and that doesn't include labor or foreplay.. Ouch!! Hedge your bets against the randomness of nature with these aircraft quality grade acrylic covers.

These are designed to withstand the impact of most road debris without shattering AND allows most nicks and scratches to be wiped out. They install easily and securely with the 3M Dual-Lok fasteners. Easy on/off for cleaning. Protect yourself.. or not.. The question is.. "Do you feel lucky? Well.. do ya punk?" Fits the 06+K1200GT

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

2. As of May 15th, 2007 we no longer give dealer discounts on any of our Stealth Backrests. Why? Simple.. the cost of stainless steel has gone through the roof and we refuse to raise the price of our backrests any higher to accommodate dealers while raping our retail customers. Not gonna happen. From this day forward they can only be purchased at our standard, exorbitant retail prices. So it is written.. so let it be done..You dealers can start slamming us now...

3. We just got word from Suburban Machine that they would NOT be producing any more 2002-2005 K1200GT Bar Risers. As we can't keep these in stock.. I was kinda mystified when they told us..Anyway.. we have another source of GT bar risers and we're trying to work out terms with them...Relax.. We should have a new supply with a similar product within the next 2 months.

4. In last months cheesy newsletter I mentioned that Amber and I were going to throw a K12 Party during the 2007 RA International Rally which is being held here in Asheville, NC on June 7th-10th, 2007. FREE with FREE food... burgers, hot dogs, grilled badger, etc... to anyone with a K12 and ..er.. lessor motorcycles....Well.. it's on..!!
For Full Party Details: Times, FAQ's, Directions, Downloadable Party Pass Click Here

5. In Stock!! We're getting good feedback from this new product! According to ZTechnik, their new K1200GT VStream Windshield revolutionizes windscreen performance. While creating a comfortable ride for the BMW sport touring rider, ZTechnik introduces QUIET into the equation. To create COMFORT, other manufacturers will offer taller windshields and spoiler tops to lift the air stream. ZTechnik designed, for the first time ever, a windshield with airflow calculated and adjusted to quiet the rider's environment. In addition, according to their own verbiage, the VStream windshield is designed with an unprecedented area of protection and an outstanding level of DURABILITY and OPTICAL CLARITY that is only available through the use of Quantum coated Lexan polycarbonate. Sounds good to me.

6. In case you are wondering how our R1200RT Stealth Backrest Project is coming.. Here's the big skinny.. Just a few days ago I picked up the 4 test prototypes. The brackets look perfect but I'm pretty sure the intellectual microbes working at our machine shop bent the slide bars to the wrong angle. Geeezz.. Will check those on a friends RT this week. If they are wrong I'll have to have them re-bent which will take 2-4 days. In the mean time I'll have the (4) test units powder coated which should take about a week. Once I have the bars back and the brackets powder coated I'll contact (4) lucky test volunteers to make sure they are still able and willing to test them for a week or 2. This is our standard operating procedure to make sure we haven't missed anything. I'll put those 4 in the field as our last step before production.

Once we get the feedback from those 4 testers..good and/or bad... we'll evaluate to see if we need to make any changes and if not..we'll order a production run. and NO.. at this point we have ZERO idea how much they will cost...

7. We just found out that the K1200R ZTechnik Carbon Fiber Tank Protector will also fit the K1200R Sport.. and the good news is.. (as mentioned in blurb above)... ZTechnik just lowered their prices on them from $80-$65...

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

35th Annual BMW RA International Rally: June 7th-10th, 2007

The 2007 RA International Rally will be held here in Asheville, North Carolina on June 7-10th. The location is set for the Biltmore Estate so you know it ain't gonna be cheap, but the area is to die for. This should be interesting and fun. See you at the beer tent. Also..If you are gonna be in town for the RA Rally we'd be quasi-honored if you'd come to the Pirates Lair K12 Party. Click the link (see above) for details.

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

Tapoco Lodge at Deal's Gap again for 2007, Sept 27th - 29th. It won't hold us all, so make plans now! Amber and I are already booked!!
No sign-up sheet . Just reserve a room and be there! If you were there this year and didn't sign up for 2007, call Tapoco NOW before someone else gets your room. Most of us from this year already have a room reserved, so it's not too soon to plan.

Friday noon meal (at 1:00pm) will be at the Troll Restaurant in Helen, Ga (under the bridge)
Saturday noon meal (at 1;00 pm) will be at the Bistro, Telico Plains, Tennessee (western end of the Cherohala)

As usual, Fri and Sat evening will consist of tall tales, video worthy of Americas Most Wan.. er Funniest, and food in the Lodge. No set times.

Alternate Lodging in Robbinsville, NC. Microtel Motel.
Closest dealer (err, one in Knoxville yet?) Touring Sport BMW Greenville, SC

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

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

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

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

No new contributions this month so I'll just leave last months contributions in place...!!! Check out # 118 contributed by man about town Bill Whit of scenic Ontario, Canada!!! and #'s 119, 120, and 121 contributed by Sir Brian Mehosky of scenic Cleveland, Ohio. and that's not all ffffolks... Check out #'s 122, 123, & 124 contributed by sad old git, Anthony Collin from the UK and if you can squeeze one more bit of valuable knowledge into that head of yours... #125 contributed by Sir Matt Pinto of Sparta, NJ and #126 contributed by Link Shadleyold Army Corpsman and revived biker. Thx guys!!

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.

BMW How-To Section

Nothing new this month..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues