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: May 2004 Issue

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

Praetorian: Gladiator, the Emperor has asked for you.
Maximus: I'm at the Emperor's service.
[Commodus enters the arena. Maximus eyes an arrow in the dirt amongst the bloodied debris and kneels to pick it up. The gladiators follow Maximus' action and also kneel as Commodus approaches, instructing the gladiators to "Rise, rise." Lucius enters behind Commodus and Maximus looks disappointed. He does not want to attempt an attack on Commodus with the boy so close.]
Commodus: Your fame is well deserved, Spaniard. I don't think there has ever been a gladiator to match you. As for this young man [Commodus cradling Lucius in front of him], he insists you are Hector reborn, or was it Hercules. Why doesn't the hero reveal himself and tell us all your real name. You do have a name...?
Maximus: My name is gladiator.
[Maximus slowly turns away from Commodus and begins to walk back to the other gladiators.]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me. SLAVE! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name... [The Praetorian take a ready-stand, and the gladiators, without weapons, move forward ready to fight with Maximus. Maximus stops, takes a deep breath, removes his helmet, and turns to face Commodus.]
Maximus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the armies of the North, general of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor Marcus Aurelius, subscriber to the Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter, father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance in this life or the next.

Maximus: Russell Crowe / Commodus: Joaquin Phoenix / Gladiator 2000

First Things First: Here Ye.. Here Ye...
Pirates' Lair will be closed (as in completely shut down) from May 19th - May 25th while Amber and I visit warmer climates in celebration of our 2 year (or is it 3 year?) anniversary.

Let's Get Reeaaady To Rumble: Product Pilfering? or a case of Innocent Plundering?
From Ted Barnes, owner of Dallas Motorcycle Accessories...

"We have two patent pending cases on file with the US Patent and Trademark Office. NPI (RAM Products) is now offering for sale an unauthorized reproduction of our Gadget Mount design, designated the RAM-B-309-1, 2 & 3 series of motorcycle bases. They were officially notified by letter from our patent attorney about 24 hours before they started blasting out their advertisements. Apparently NPI thinks they are too big to have to pay attention to other people's intellectual property rights.
My attorney just advised me we can start notifying all RAM's customers any way possible. Mention in your newsletter would be nice."

To be fair, we contacted RAM for their response and received nothing but a serene silence..

Word Up: Potential New K Bike Problem...Fuel Map Problems?
This just in from a customer...and FYI.. This is the first I've heard of this so take it for what it's worth..

"Jerry... thought Id give you a shout and let you know of a new K Bike problem. It seems there where some faulty fuel maps in the late 03's. The mechanic thought it was a bad throttle body potentiomiter and put a new one on and it didn't fix the problem. It had a dead spot down about 1800 RPM. Then he called the tech rep and he told him to order a new computer. This didn't fix the problem either. It seems there have been several problems so far but no service bulletin as of yet. Just thought you might want know. "

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

1. The Blue Ridge Parkway Rally was excellent this year. Perfect weather.. perfect roads, beautiful scenery. I had a great time. My pics (and a few donated by attendees) are HERE . it's the album entitled Blue Ridge Pky K12 Rally 2004. A special thanks to all involved in arranging it...VicS, Tim, etc.. I think there were only a couple of crashes this year.. about normal for these gatherings.. no serious injuries. Only a handful of "velocity awards" were received and they were a bit north on Skyline Drive. I believe Tim (CBNFVR) is already in the planning stages for the 2005 Rally.

2. Been speeding lately? While I would never break traffic laws..( that would be WRONG), I know many of you do on a regular basis .Here's some good news for those smart enough to arm themselves with protection... There's a new upgraded version of the venerable Passport 8500 The new version is called the 8500 X50 which supposedly offers up to 50% more range an ALL important K and Ka bands, better laser warning, and better POP protection, whatever the hell that is.. The new version even comes with optional BLUE lighting.
What might be of special interest to some.. including me... When I purchased mine (I also own a V1), I bought the optional 3 Year Free Upgrade Package which is offered for about $35 with every purchase. which means I can send mine in and have it upgraded for no additional charge. They will start providing this service in September.
Very curious as to how the new version tests. Like similar discussions as to which is best... Hendrix vs Eddie Van Helen, Beatles vs Stones, Skippy vs Peter Pan... depending on who you talk to, either the 8500 or the V1 are always rated the best in the world. As I own both the current version 8500 and a Valentine One and consider them about dead-even in detecting with everything factored in.. could this new X50 be the definitive BEST ON THE MARKET? We shall see....FYI. this is the first upgrade to the 8500 since it was introduced about 3 years ago...

3. Got Carbon Fiber? While it's not everyone's cup 'o swill... check out this new offering from Boxer Design in Germany. www.boxer-design.de/en/tankrucksack.htm It covers the entire top section of the tank. A bit pricey at 198 Euro (about $240US), but looks interesting.. If any one buys one.. send me feedback..

4. No word yet on the upcoming Hardware Kit for installing an Ohlin Damper to the K1200RS/GT/LT.

5. Good news...or just another tease?. There will be a US made Short Shift Kit on the market within the next 6 weeks or so we are told. Cost will be an estimated $150-$175.. Half what www.Verholen.de charges. Looks like it may ONLY be 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.. Details to come..

6. The June issue of Motorcyclist has the new 170hp BMW Sportbike in it.. with some very interesting info... According to the article, BMW will NOT discontinue the KRS or GT, but will simply add the new "S" bike to the line up.. designated the K40.. Amongst the blurbs....
* the new bike will weigh 110lbs less than the KRS with such cool weight saving ideas as hollow camshafts
* much better front-end feel due to the Hossack design front suspension.
* shorter wheelbase
* the aforementioned 170hp
* aluminum or magnesium wheels

Ride the new bike around the Nuerburgring track by clicking HERE Markus Barth did a very good job. 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)

7. Metzeler has just released it's new zero-degree belt Roadtec Z6 tire on the market. I think it's meant to replace the aging MEZ4. Verbiage sounds impressive. 30% better in the rain, 20% better handing over-all, 20% better grip at 30% lean angle (comparable with the Sportec M-1's), and up to 8000 miles estimated mileage. Might be worth a try. I should mention, and this is only my omnipotent opinion.... There are a lot of tires on the market, so we have a plethora of ways to spend our hard earned, dollars, Euro's, Peso's, Dracma's so keep this in mind... Metezeler is the ONLY company out there that produces ONLY motorcycle tires. They cater to us...IMHO, we should support them if they have a comparable product.. I for one always give them preferential consideration when I'm thinking about buying tires...Lastly.. if anyone has feedback on these tires, I'd like to hear it.. About to replace my M-1's (got only 2800 miles) and am considering the new Z6..

What's new at Pirates' Lair?

Those front Clear Lenses for your 97-2001 K1200RS are slowly starting to arrive!Web page is up HERE. We will 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. You can purchase the bulbs in some auto parts places for $25 a pair. They look great behind the clear lenses and only appear amber/orange when used. Production is VERY slow on these taking a week to produce 10 pair... We are currently filling back-orders but have a few in stock.... but there's more.. We were just notified by the manufacturer that due to the higher than anticipated scrap rate for casting the part, they are going to bump the price by $5 per set in order to make the project financially viable. With that said.. as of June 1st expect a $5 per pair increase to $77US... Of course, that's still cheaper then the $100 per pair BMW charges for their late model clear lenses..

2. In last months newsletter, I mentioned some custom torque arms a metal "artist" had fabricated for us, complete with the Pirates' Lair logo.. He recently sent us 12 arms and they sold like crack in Harlem, but he's agreed to produce a few more.. . I have a few photo's posted in the Photo Album called K1200RS/GT Custom Torque Arm Project If you are interested in one of the last beauties.. e-mail me or forever hold your piece. (yes.. I meant to spell it that way.. ;-)

3. 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. The problem is, CBT has a contract for exclusivity in importing the Staintunes to the US.... but not for much longer... Things are about to change as Staintune is trying to get out of the contract (or it's about to expire) and are looking for a handful of vendors to retail them in the US.... IMHO.. you'd have to be insane to pay literally double for the Staintunes when they offer the least amount of HP of any aftermarket exhaust no matter how good they look and sound... Not gonna be a part of it.. FYI.. 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.

4. Our new Classifieds Section is up as of 5/15/04! ..Use it well, my fellow scurvy 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..!

5. Remember that beeeutiful rear rack that we had pictured on our product page under Projects In The Works? Last month we reported that we had purchased the plans and production was imminent.. well.. As Paul Harvey would say.. and now.... "the rest of the story.". Apparently the guy that sold us the plans didn't actually OWN the plans as we found out when the disgruntled original designer contacted us wanting to know what's up.. ! Geeez.. I explained the situation to him and fortunately, I had all the e-mails to back up my assertions that the deal with the "middle man" was legit with no backdoor shenanigans going on (not that there's anything wrong with that.) I was assured the plans were his. I explained to the designer that due to the "middle man" , I now had semi-serious money invested already in machinist fees, CNC plans, materials, time, etc and even offered a deal where he produces them and I sell them for him.. This way I could at least recoup my money in the long run... He basically told me to go f*#@ myself. Such empathy and understanding from a fellow designer is heartwarming... Best wishes for this designer to retail them to the K12 world without us....

6. Some of you may have noticed the Pirate Logo has changed on our index pages... http://piratesk12site.net/ & http://www.pirateslair.net/ Yes.. the legal eagles at The Walt Disney Company finally came down on us about the Pirates' of the Caribbean emblem that I....er.. one of our parrots blatantly stole ..er. procured from their movie website. I honestly believed that they'd never notice the tiny indiscretion from such a small fish in the large www ocean... Guess I was wrong for the first time in my life. Of course.. we could have been ratted out by some disgruntled individual... we'll never know. Of course.. Stealing is WRONG and we appreciate the Disney Company taking the time to remind us.
The replacement logo we've put up is nowhere as cool as the pilfered...er... previous version and we'd like to change it to something ..well... cool. If anyone has a suggestion, or pics (preferably not copywrited by Disney).. please send them to us. If we select your submission, we will offer ANY single item on our menu AT COST. If someone has the ability and or actual talent to come up with a custom logo for us... we'll be glad to compensate... and we have open (albeit warped) minds. The ONLY requirement as that it have a BLACK back ground.

7. The era of Two Scoops on the 98-2001 K12RS's is about over. Our last Scoop Kit sits on a lonely shelf awaiting a buyer and I have no plans to produce more.. If you missed out, you may now be officially SOL..

8. Speaking of discontinued products..Our Solo Seat Cowling has gone the way of MC Hammer's career. We have 2 left in stock and a list of about 5 people who want them.. We will NOT be producing any more. The labor, material, and time involved in producing them was extensive involving 10 different vendors... They just "look" simple. If you missed out... you only have your wife to blame.

9. We are now offering some NEW Custom Touring Pegs for the RS and GT's of the world. 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.


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 2527, 2004

Biltmore Estate hosts the first Ride the Ridge Rally featuring BMW motorcycles, June 2527. The event provides a chance to meet new friends, ride Western North Carolinas curvy mountain roads with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, check out BMWs all-new R 1200 GS and K 1200 LT, talk to BMW product specialists, and enjoy BMWs 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 2527
Rally admission for June 2527
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 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!!

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 Abu Ghraib prison guard, Barry Gibbs. Stay tuned..

How to Survive On Your Motorcycle Tips

We have a new safety tip contributed by the quasi-esteemed Jack Connolly on our How To Survive on a Motorcycle Page Will it save your life? Look and see.. it's # 67

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.

Guess that smells like the end... Take care.. ride safe...best wishes for an early spring...see you in my mirrors..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues