"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: March 2006 Issue

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

He is a figure of intense dignity in his impressive otherworld tunic. He stares with even defiance at the armed soldiers, as though holding them off by sheer weight of his personality. He turns to look out at the audience, which is held spellbound. Gort stands just to his right and behind him. After a breathless moment, he speaks.

Klaatu: (straightforwardly, with stern authority) I am leaving soon and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. (he pauses, studying the faces) The Universe grows smaller every day -- and the threat of aggression by any group -- anywhere -- can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all -- or no one is secure... This does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly.. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves -- and hired policemen to enforce them. We of the other planets have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets -- and for the complete elimination of aggression. A sort of United Nations on the Planetary level... The test of any such higher authority, of course, is the police force that supports it. For our policemen, we created a race of robots-- (He nods his head towards his towering robot, Gort) Their function is to patrol the planets -- in space ships like this one -- and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression we have given them absolute power over us.
Klaatu continues: At the first sign of violence they act automatically against the aggressor. And the penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk. The result is that we live in peace, without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war -- free to ride our motorcycles. (after a pause) We do not pretend to have achieved perfection -- but we do have a system -- and it works. (with straightforward candor) I came here to give you the facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet -- but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned- out cinder. Your choice is simple. Sign up for the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletter..or pursue your present course -- and face obliteration. (after a pause) We will be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.

Klaatu / Michael Rennie .. / The Day the Earth Stood Still / 1951

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

Product Review: MRA Windshields for K1200S

The first thing I noticed when I got my 2006 "S" (besides the butt-ugly taillight) was the poor aerodynamics of the factory windshield. I'm 5' 7 1/2", BTW.. The factory shield put the air/turbulence dead center of my faceshield so no amount of ducking down or raising up would alleviate the problem of noise and buffeting. I was afraid I'd just have to live with it until we got some evaluation units of the MRA windshields from Germany. All 3 versions supposedly offer better protection than stock so in theory.. how can you go wrong..?? While I have not yet tried the adjustable MRA Vario version, I have tried both the Touring version and the double-bubble Race version.

The MRA Touring version, which is 3 5/8" taller than the factory shield is my favorite of the two, although their wind cutting characteristics are very similar. Out on the road the difference is like night and day over the stock shield. The wind now hits at the very TOP of my helmet and just sails over. Noise has been reduced by at least 80% and begs you to ask the question... "Why on earth can't the Germans figure this out?" . As for looks, I think the touring version looks very nice on the K1200S.. not quite as sporty, but with the dark tint.. sporty enough for me...

The MRA Race version, which is designated a double-bubble design (a misnomer, IMHO), also offers an almost noise-free ride with a little less wind protection than the Touring version and.. a sleeker, sexier look. The wind protection is still MUCH better than the factory shield and it should be as the race version is 2 1/8" taller. Bottom line.. either shield is better than that piece of crap the Germans stuck us with. I plan on using the Race version through the summer and switch to the Touring version in spring and fall.. or.. perhaps the adjustable Vario version, which I suspect would work best for riders over 6'. I'll report on the Vario once I've tried it. Stay tuned.
FYI.. You can buy MRA shields from either the good people at Twisted Throttle or from a scantily clad Amber at Pirates' Lair..

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Follow Up Product Review: Corbin K1200S Seat and Smuggler.. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Truth

Within hours of my diatribe in last months newsletter against the powers that be at Corbin, I actually received BOTH pieces of the K1200S Corbin seat that I had returned 7 weeks earlier for problem solving. As you may recall... I had originally ordered my Corbin seat to be 1" lower than the factory seat (it arrived at the same height as the TALL factory seat) and the second problem was that the rear section wouldn't lock onto the bike at all.
Upon receiving the new parts on Feb 1st.. rather than rush to my shop to see how my new goodies would look/fit.. I kinda avoided the box all day.. I was actually afraid to open it. Afraid after all this time that my hopes would again be dashed on the jagged rocks of disappointment. My expectations were NOT high after being dicked around thus far and as it turned out.. my Pavlavian response was warranted.
First problem.. The latest seat was actually TALLER by a FULL 1" than the first one that was 1" too tall. Muther#@%(s!!!

Second problem... the new rear section still wouldn't lock down. I checked to see if Corbin had actually modified the latch but instead they had installed 4 cents worth of spacers.. which I had initially tried WEEKS ago.. and the seat still would not lock down. After another hour in the shop I had produced a few more spacers and could actually lock it into place, although with LOTS of effort. I can say this for sure... The thought of removing the rear section will now make me salivate with anxiety.. It is NOT easy to get on OR off.. Job well done, Corbin. Odd that Sargent doesn't have this problem.

I called Corbin with the weepy news and again got no apologies.. They again refused to express ship it back to them for swap.. At about this same time I emailed Mike Corbin directly as well as 3 or 4 other "suits" with a link to my seat review as well as the news of the current screw up and amazingly I got ZERO initial response from Mike or his staff... Nothing... nada.. zip.. (insert the sound of crickets here....)

However.. apparently my well aimed negative blog must have drawn blood as 2 days later on Feb 3rd, I received a $60 credit to our credit card (for the shipping losses I incurred returning product) AND an email from a Corbin mouthpiece named Polo. The email contained no text, only 4 pictures. (see above right) The pictures were taken deep in the corridors of the Corbin shop showing a K1200S seat being modified, and lowered, and... a finished covered seat. The height showed just under 32" which is what I had originally ordered all those many months ago. I got a follow up call saying they would send a call tag for the second bad seat and they would go ahead and ship the 3rd seat which was already complete and boxed. Stupidly I thought that as the seat was now completed.. it would ship immediately. I would have guessed that after this nightmare and the verbal public flagellation I purposely subjected them to in last months newsletter, they would. A. Express ship it back to me and B. Offer some sort of apology... I got neither. On the 13th I still had not seen my seat that was complete and sitting in their shop on the 3rd so I made yet another call and found out they had waited until the 10th to ship it.. via GROUND.. Geezzus.. On the 20th, a full 17 days after it was completed in their shop I called and discovered that they had shipped it to the wrong CITY. Took a few days to get it re-routed to our correct address and it finally showed up on Feb 23rd.. EXACTLY 7 days shy of 4 MONTHS. Absolutely the worst customer service I have seen from ANY vendor.. any where. "Shaka..When the walls fell."

A few days after the seat arrived they did call me to make sure I did receive it and to ask if all was well.. A nice gesture but about 3 months too late.

So.. You are wondering how the seat actually performs? Pretty damn good. The lowered height is perfect for my 31" inseam. I can almost stand flatfoot. While all Corbin seats are very firm initially and take a while to break in, mine is very comfortable. For my fellow corner carvers out there, don't let the look of the deep pocket fool you..You are mostly sitting forward of that if positioned properly. It's very easy to slide from side to side and/or hang off. Surprisingly.. I really like both the feel and the look. The seat is waaaay too heavy, but otherwise... it's a keeper. Compared to a Sargent seat which uses state of the art lightweight plastics for their molded seat pans, Corbin must be using IRON or concrete as it would break your foot should you drop it.

Would I ever buy another Corbin seat?? Sure.. just after Norwegian monkeys fly out my ass. Not that my opinion means anything but.. me thinks Corbin should spend a little more time and effort on making customers happy rather than wasting it on the 1/2" thick book of Mike Corbin's life which is enclosed with EVERY order (I have 3 now) and/or their cheesy TV shows which amount to nothing more than a 30 minute advertisement for their products. Have had a dozen people check in after last months newsletter telling me they had similar problems with them. Geezz.. Rant over.. Lets go riding.

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

I should note that as the RS and GT have 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.

As reported in last months newsletter, www.I-BMW.com helmed by the Lord Humungus himself.. Vic Salemme is back up and operating on all 4 cylinders. WooHoo!! The site has the support of former administrators & moderators (all fresh out of rehab) who are back onboard to ensure success , patronage, and assimilation. Stop in and join the party at www.I-BMW.com

2. Break Like the Wind: We just got word that Cee Baileys just came out with 3 different size windshields in three different styles for the K1200R.at

3. Verholen of Germany has some Halogen / Fog Auxiliary Running Lights on their website for the K1200S

4. SW MOTECH of Germany has some very attractive hard bags available for the K1200S... I'll bet they are cheaper than those foofoo optional factory bags and probably hold more... and did I mention they are LARGE? Yikes!! For those times when you absolutely, positively have to carry all your shit..

5. According to the official BMW website.. the new K1200GT will be available April 2006.. http://bmwmotorcycles.com/bikes/bike.jsp?b=k1200gt

6. If you want to see some really exotic parts coming out of Germany for your K1200S or R.. Check out the new Wunderlich catalog (11.2Mb .PDF file)
Contributed by our good bud, Locus of Borg. While this PDF is in German you can still see the offerings which include wave rotors, adjustable clutch/shift levers, Rizoma rear-sets, solo seat cowlings, torque arms, and a heart for the cowardly lion.. etc.. Very nice.

7. Speaking of Wunderlich, the lone US distributor of their products, BMW of Santa Cruz County already has a few of the new Wunderlich products on their website including the adjustable clutch and brake levers at http://www.bmwsantacruz.com/Merchant2/index.html Cost is $230.

8. If you think the Germans are the only ones showing some creative thinking, you are probably German.. If you are looking for a rear wheel stand for your K1200S and you want something a little different and functional... look no further than Anderson Bike Stands in Australia. They offer a Single Side Swingarm Space Saver Rear Stand for both the K1200S and the MV Agusta. The difference of their stand and most others is theirs has 3 castors on it allowing the user to lift the bike then move it around in the shop. Very cool . BMW K1200S Product number AS3108BM Thx Alan

9. Have you done an oil change on your K1200S yet? Me neither, but I will soon and I do NOT.. no.. I will NOT pay my dealer $60 for their "special" oil filter wrench tool. Contrary to what she says... my momma didn't raise no fool..So what are our alternatives? I've been told that you will need oil filter pliers and not a band locking clamp as it's very hard or impossible to get the band around the filter as the shifter and side stand are in the way. One option is going to your nearest auto parts/tool store and purchase a $8 pair of 12" oil filter pliers or you can see what they look like and/or purchase one directly from https://www.northerntool.com/ and search for item 158845. For a direct to product link.. Click Here. Cost.. a paltry $5.99

10. This just in from Steven Bertone at Wilbers, USA (owners of Run-N-Lites) Their Lite-Buddys kit for the K1200S/K1200R is now on the market and it will also fit the R1200GS. Part #'s are #54011(Rear) and #54012 (Front) Visually there are 4 amber burning LED's in each rear housing. On the front they have yellow LED's for running lights. .

11. FYI.. If Carbon Fiber is in your future, rest easy in the knowledge that the CF patterns of ZTechnik , Pack Parts, and Ilmberger are an exact match so there is no issue with mixing and matching. Proof that there is a God and she rides a motorcycle.

12. Clear Alternatives seems to be on top of things and we're glad. Last month they released their clear and smoked front blinker lenses for the K1200S and now they have a clear tail light that fits both the K1200S and K1200R. One version has LED's in it! Part# CTL-0087 $64.99 retail and $94.99 LED Version

13. Legal Speeding Enterprises makers of the H.A.R.D. Radar detector units has some new goodies in the works including a WATERPROOF version of their HARD units AND a waaaay cool thermo-formed plastic rain cover (pic at right for larger image) that fits over your Escort 8500 X50 (8500, 7500s, & 7500) It snaps together and provides room for the power and audio jacks. The top two programming buttons are even accessible. I have one in my hands for evaluation and unlike other radar detector covers I've seen which are huge, black, and fugly as hell.. this one is all clear and is perfectly molded to the exact shape of the Passport 8500. Will post a review in next months newsletter. They tell me that a second version is in the works for the Valentine One.

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Getting enough Carbon Fiber in your K1200S diet? We got your back.. and your ass.. (in a non-Brokeback Mountain way)... Check out our Pack Parts K1200S Carbon Fiber page. We have so much it makes me dizzy... or could that be the drugs??... No matter.... We have full lower K1200S belly pans (two brands.. one centerstand compatible), full 4 piece CF gas tank covers, huggers are on the way, front fenders are in stock, clutch covers, battery covers, fairing inner wings, and a heart for the Tin Man. The question is.. "What's in your wallet?"

2. From all the harassing I've been getting lately about discontinuing our K1200RS/GT Lower Cowling Protectors you'd have thought I had drawn some bad cartoon featuring Mohammed being abused in Abu Ghraib prison.. I had planned on NEVER producing them again as frankly.. I HATE making them, but... I've caved to the torch-bearing masses and will produce one last run of them.. in SILVER only. Expect to see them in about 3 weeks.. after these are gone... you'll be SOL..

3. Hallelujah!! Praise Crom !! We now have the long awaited Brake LED Kits for the K1200S and K1200R In Stock at http://pirateslair.net/LED1.htm If you've ever seen the RS version kits you'll probably agree that they are simply the best, brightest, and sleekest way to light up your tailend of any accessory on the market. This little unit goes INSIDE of your factory tail light. Plug-N-Play. Pictures and video to come.

4. Do you want to see something truly beautiful?? Check out the first look at the prototype Pirates' Lair K1200S Torque Arm We didn't like the logo on it so that's been tweaked.. but the arm is a beautiful thing and a limited run is already in production. Stay tuned..

5. While I haven't committed any still functioning brain cells yet, our next Stealth backrest project looks to be for the new R1200RT. I have already invested the $500 for the factory rear rack. S far I'm not feeling creative but... will ponder it on the tree of woe...

6. We have removed the K1200S Workshop Manual on CD-ROM from our menu and refunded all pre-paid orders due to the fact that the Germans can't supply a product. We've been waiting 5 months and you have to draw the line somewhere..I'm mad as hell and not gonna take it any more...

7. I have discontinued our K1200RS Stainless Steel Fastener Kits. Why? Because no one will be expecting it...

8. We also have a large shipment of Carbon Fiber coming from Ilmberger Carbonparts of Germany including a complete K1200S tail section (that surrounds the tail light) and some lower cowlings that ARE centerstand compatible. Expect those in about 2 weeks.

9. My first in-house design project for the K1200S/R is complete and In Stock. The Pirates' Lair "Stealth Radar Detector Mount is even sleeker than the ZTechnik TechMount that we also sell although mine is not adjustable. The all aluminum stealth mount fits the K1200S, K1200R, R1200GS, and R1200ST. My mount slides over and locks down onto the left side clutch reservoir cap via two set screws. The powder coated black mount installs in under 2 minutes offering a perfect, level platform for virtually any radar detector on the market including your V1, Passport, or Bel. Once installed, your detector will NOT block any gauges yet will be perfectly visible from the saddle. Have you noticed that your brake reservoir cover is a full 1" higher than the clutch reservoir? Once my mount is in place with a radar detector installed, visually things now balance out the handlebar area...Price is a very wallet friendly $45 delivered.. Insert gushing accolades here, please. I'm still hoping some K1200R owners will send me a pic or two of our mount on that bike.

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2006

The 2006 Hill Country K12 Rally !! !
The official 2006 Texas Hill Country K12 Rally web site is up at http://www.tbmwsr.com/ Show up and you won't be disappointed.. I've been to them all and this one is my favorite..Wonderful roads, great food, and the always jovial Officer Sanchez to welcome you to the area. I'll see you there!! Look for me.. I'll be wearing white.

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 Blue Ridge Parkway Rally (Contributed by man about town, Tim (CBNFVR) Hudspeth over at www.K-Bikes.com )
Where: Peaks of Otter Lodge, Blue Ridge Pkwy mp 86, Virginia
When: May 4th thru 7th, 2006 (Thur – Sun)
Call Peaks of Otter Lodge for reservations. 1.540.586.1081 • 1.800.542.5927 • Fax 1.540.586.4420
Note: Specify one bed or two. !! Last year some found out that a few KING size beds are available. Blue Ridge Parkway info and maps can be found here and here Don’t know what BRPR is? It is us. All of these IDs and passwords transformed into real people, riding and laughing for three days. Rain or shine. If you don’t have a good time, sell the bike.
Alternate Lodging (info only) :
Super 8 – Bedford
Days Inn – Bedford

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 a new contribution this month.. and it's a good one.. Check out # 94. from the quasi-esteemed neurosurgeon, David Hunt from Hoboken, NJ .. Could it 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