"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: May 2006 Issue

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

Hartigan walks into the smoke filled seedy bar. He thinks to himself.."Nancy wouldn't have anything to do with a pack of drunks and losers like this, but if there's anything to be found here, the faintest lead to wherever Nancy is or whoever kidnaped her or mutilated her this is the place."
Hartigan: Excuse me, miss. I'm wondering if you could help me. I'm looking for somebody.
Waitress: Well, a night like this, everybody's looking for somebody, stranger
Hartigan: It's not like that. Her name is Nancy
Waitress: Eyes to the stage, pilgrim. She's just warming up.

Hartigan looks up and can't believe what he sees. "Skinny little Nancy Callahan. She grew up ...She filled out. 18 year old Nancy Callahan.. and here I was expecting a skinny little bookworm. Maybe a bit too shy for her own good. How little she told me about herself in all her cheesy newsletters for all those years. How the hell did they find her? Then it hits me. They were bluffing. I've led them straight to her". He looks around and sees the yellow bastard who is stalking her."

He thinks to himself.. "She hasn't spotted you yet. Turn around and walk out the door. Lead the creep outside. Get that Baretta away from him somehow, and kill him. I'm just a horny ex-con watching an exotic dancer. Just a few seconds and she'll be safe. No, Nancy. Don't notice me Don't recognize me".
Too late.. she spots him and leaps off the stage into his arms.. lays a big wet kiss on him.

Hartigan: There's no time to explain. I've made a terrible mistake. I put you in terrible danger. We need to get out of here. Right this second.
Nancy: Whatever you say, Hartigan. Let me throw some clothes on And here I'd figured you'd forget all about me. Me and my dumb Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletters.
Hartigan: Kept me going. Kept me from killing myself .
Hartigan: Hurry up, will you? -Maybe I should drive.
Nancy: Not a chance Nobody but me can keep this heap running. Besides from the sounds of things, you might have to shoot somebody.
Hartigan: I don't have a gun.
Nancy: Under the seat. It's loaded and it works.
Hartigan: This'll do.

Detective Hartigan / Bruce Willis ... Nancy Callahan / Jessica Alba... Sin City / 2005

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

It's Time!! 2006 Blue Ridge Pkw K12 Rally!! This Is Not a Drill! (sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

We're just days away from the 2006 Blue Ridge Parkway K12 Rally! Ground zero will again be at the Peaks of Otter Lodge located on the Blue Ridge Pkwy mp 86, in Virginia May 4th thru 7th, 2006 (Thur – Sun) ! No idea if there are any rooms left but you procrastinators can try calling 540.586.1081 or .800.542.5927. Show up and you won't be disappointed.. Wonderful roads and spirited riding are a given. If you've never caught this rally you've really missed out. I should mention.. radar detectors are illegal in Virginia so either bring a cheap dummy (I mean a radar detector.. NOT your riding buddy) just in case you have to hand one over to a ranger or... hide it.

A special thx to www.I-BMW.com for making this rally a reality and best wishes for a good turnout. At this writing I still have no idea if I'll be able to attend due to our robbery last week. Currently working with the sucubus.. er.. I mean the insurance agent trying to recoup some $$ so I can replace all my riding gear which was pilfered along with the company truck and Pirates' Lair motorcycle trailer. Geezz.

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
The 2006 Hill Country K12 Rally!! Big Success! No Tickets!! No STDs!!

Speaking of rallies.... the 2006 Texas Hill Country Rally was da bomb! The weather was perfect.. no rain.. no sweltering heat.. no crashes and the icing on the cake... Officer Sanchez was amazingly a no-show.. Not one of the 60-70 attendees got a ticket which as far as I know is unprecedented for ANY K12 event. and it wasn't for lack of trying..!! . I had a blast and even got to visit the Alamo in San Antonio. We rode world class roads as varied as the twisties at Deals Gap to wide open triple digit straights. There were lots of "S" bikes this year.. perhaps 10 and one K1200R. It simply doesn't get any better. A special thanks to James Myrick and his posse who organized the event and my good buddy Randy Massey who hauled my bike there and back. lastly.. Best wishes for a fast recovery to DebS who's trip was sabotaged by her significant other... Doh!

If interested/bored/curious/bi, check out our Texas Hill Country Rally Photo Album. Thx to all who contributed photos to the album.. Tim and Susan Hudspeth, Ron Johnson, Robert Rehkopf, etc, etc..

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
Lock and Load! BMW K1200S Throttle Lock Shoot-out : Throttlemeister vs Wunderlich

The very first accessory I installed on my K1200S (after my Auto-Suck...er.. I mean V1) was a Throttlemeister. How anyone could live without one is a mystery to me. My hands go numb too easily with the slightly forward lean. Using the Throttlemeister alleviates that prob and makes ANY ride so much more comfortable. Next best thing to a real blow job..er...cruise control. Focus Jerry.. focus.
About a month ago I saw where Wunderlich of Germany has their own K1200S throttle-lock on the market which functions similarly but instead of the entire assembly tightening to lock the throttle, the Wunderlich version has a blue knurled wheel which tightens independently of the rest of the bar end. As I have been designated the "keymaster"... I thought a fair and balanced test was in order ..

Install: Both install in under 5 minutes so there is no winner or loser in this respect.

Appearance: The Throttlemeister is "visually" the winner here. The classy brushed metal finish is first rate and actually makes ANY bike look better. The Wunderlich unit has a cheesy anodized finish that doesn't match a thing on the K1200S and what makes it worse... the right side doesn't even match the left side... Very odd.. As if two different companies applied the finish.

Not sure if length matters to us confident heterosexuals, but the length of the Throttlemeister, even the shorter version, is 40% longer than the stubby Wunderlich. If you like the short look.. the Wunderlich is the one for you.

Function: Once you get them on and out on the road some differences quickly become evident. One is easier to use without gloves but what moron rides a motorcycle without gloves? The Wunderlich's blue wheel is at least 50% easier to use than twisting any Throttlmeister I've ever owned and unlike the Throttlemeister, locks the throttle clockwise. It takes only 2 fingers to tighten the lock and only one to unlock it. I have to use 3 fingers to lock my Throttlemeister into place. Very nice.
Ordinarily this would give the Wunderlich a clear win in function if it weren't for the length of the Wunderlich (or lack thereof) and the recessed nature of the blue wheel. As it is so short and stubby, actually finding the blue wheel isn't as easy as just reaching over and honking BoBo's nose on the longish Throttlemeister. The blue wheel is too recessed for me and too close to my outer glove surface which makes it hard to distinguish from your glove. I'm mystified that Wunderlich didn't choose to make their lock a full 1/2" longer which would make operation 100% better and clearly give it the distinction of being the best "functioning" throttle-lock available for the K1200S.

The venerable Throttlemeister, while slightly harder to engage and disengage and slightly more expensive, is actually easier to deal with. So it is written.. so let it be done.

Bottom line... I couldn't pick a winner.. I'd almost call it a draw. If you ride without gloves.. the Wunderlich is a clear winner and.. you are a moron. If you ride with gloves.. it's a toss up and.. you are a smart guy for protecting your only 2 hands. With that said... either brand will make riding your K1200S more enjoyable.
The Wunderlich Throttle Lock can be purchased from BMW of Santa Cruz which is the ONLY US source. The Throttlmeister can be purchased directly from the manufacturer or from the scantily clad Amber over at Pirates' Lair.

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------

K1200S Headlight Bulb Test: Factory H7 vs PIAA vs Sylvania SilverStar

I've owned a kajillion motorcycles through the years and one of the first things I replace has always been headlight bulbs. It's a safety issue. We all know that BMW is known for putting piss-poor bulbs in our bikes. The stock bulbs on a K1200RS or GTare so dim that they don't even attract moths forcing us to upgrade to expensive PIAA or Sylvania bulbs which usually do make a HUGE difference.

Well.. I bought my K1200S a few months ago and while it seems to have a beautiful headlight design with massive reflectors and THREE H7's blasting through the lens.. it doesn't seem that bright at night or in the many tunnels that we have here in the mountains of NC. So what to do? Yep.. you guessed it..

I just did my own unscientific test replacing the stock K1200S bulbs (whatever they are) with both PIAA H7's AND Sylvania SilverStar H7's and the results were...(I got's to say it...)..enlightening. (see pic).. I figured with those massive reflectors and new state of the art bulbs I'd be seen from Europa.. Wrong.. After swapping them in and out I could tell absolutely no difference which leads me to believe that for once the Germans stuck bulbs in the bike that are as good as the best aftermarket bulbs. Who'd a thunk it? The moral of the story is.. Don't waste your money on new bulbs. Germany got these right.

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. 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..

The ever innovative Hornig of Germany has some brake and clutch fluid reservoir covers for your K1200S/R/GS. They look like brushed metal in the pics and they stick-on.. not replace your current caps.... You can buy them here in the states from Eurotech Motorsports for $52

2. Speaking of Eurotech Motorsports they also offer a K&N Air Filter for your 98-04 K1200RS/LT Part Number:BM-1299 for $58.95

3. Ken Zeller, our good buddy over at Evoluzione Cyclesports has the all new Akrapovic Race Exhaust System with Carbon or Titanium Canister on his menu to fit both the K1200S and K1200R.. It's a spectacular looking system. He also offers their race airflow system to go with it.. Got wood?

4. We just got word from Shiva over at www.BMWK1200S.COM.. the alternative K12 Chat site that he's starting a next gen BMW K community called www.BMW-K.COM. Why BMW-K you may or may not ask him? "Because we are no longer just about the K1200S. I launched this site/forum in June of 2004, when the news of the K1200S first broke. Now almost 2 years later, we are covering 3 new and independent bikes from BMW's "K" group and hope to continue welcoming other future flagship BMW-K bikes as well."

5. You K1200S and R owners thinking about changing the fluids in your clutch reservoir. Remember that BMW uses mineral fluid for the clutch system - do not use brake fluid! The repair manual specifies Vitamol V10 whatever the hell that is..I think you can get that on planet Altair 4.

6. Pirates Lair is in need of a pic or two... preferably digital.. preferably in focus.. preferably with some gratuitous female nudity of the Clear Alternatives K1200S/R Clear Tail Light Housing with LED's. I need a single good shot for my website and so far.. I haven't seen one that is worthy.. yet I've sold a ton of these. Can anyone help a needy Pirate out??

7. Cee Baileys has a headlight protector for the K1200R... While I've never been a fan of the hard plastic covers.. this one looks very unobtrusive.

8. RIP 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 was killed in Texas while riding back home at night on a bike purchased in California. Hit a freakin' deer. Just goes to show that experience, safety-consciousness and gear sometimes aren't enough when your time is up. Godspeed, my friend. We fellow motorcyclists salute you. So very sad.

9. A buddy on mine just installed an HID Kit on his K1200S... Looks spectacular.. He got his at http://gethids.com/shop/hid_for_motor.asp for about $250

10. Got a new K1200S and wonder how much it would cost to replace your headlight should a rock/bird/Scud missile crash into it?? Be afraid.. Relax.. breath...An all-knowing customer of ours pointed us to a place called Australian Motorcycle Headlight Protectors @ www.amhp.com.au. The have headlight protectors for lots of bikes including the RS/GT and the new K1200S and K1200R.

Price for the K1200S version is around $64 Australian dollars and $48 for the K1200R version and that does NOT include shipping from down under. Price seems fair. They look very similar to the Cee Bailey protectors sold here in the US which attach via Velcro strips... NOT the prettiest method, but effective. Stay tuned.. I know somebody is is importing them....

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. We reported last month that due to the fact that Verholen can't get those Herculean magnets any more, we had been forced to discontinue our K1200RS/GT Cap Kits.. one of our biggest selling products. Before our weepy tears could dry we were contacted by representatives of Hornig of Germany to inform us about their version of lower frame caps and... we like them!!

Unlike the Verholen.. these do NOT attach via magnets, but instead have some rubber O-rings that lodge into the openting.. We should have them in stock any day. Woohoo!! Proof again that God rides an RS.

2. We just found out that the MV Agusta F4 Throttlemeister also works on the Brutale.

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare

3. Any day now we should receive our first shipment of K1200S Polished Instrument Panel Rings from Hornig of Germany.

4. We have been informed that Marc Parnes will be on vacation from April 30 until May 25. We advise that no orders for wheel balance kits be made during that time.

5. We have just received our first shipment in over 8 months of the K1200S Workshop Manual on CD-ROM. Get them while you can.

6. They rocked my world on my K1200RS and soon they'll be available for the K1200S. We are in talks with Multi-Vex to produce some of their waaay cool blind-spot eliminating mirrors for our bikes. These are the same mirrors used on Indy cars. Stay tuned.

7. We now carry both Silver and Black versions of the Evoluzione K1200S/R Peg Relocator Kit. Available in either black or clear anodized, these 6061-T6 billet aluminum brackets allow for a more comfortable riding position by moving the stock footpegs down approximately one inch. The easy to install kit comes complete with stainless steel mounting hardware. This US made lowering kit is a simple plug-n-play bolt on with no mods or weird issues allowing for a little more leg room. Unlike the more expensive Verholen kit, the Evoluzione kit is NOT adjustable. I have to admit... Ken over at Evoluzione is putting out some damn nice products..

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 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 2 new contributions this month.. . Thx guys/gals!!! Could these tips save your life? Dare you NOT look?
The first was contributed by Jen in Erie PA .. Check out # 105
and # 106 Contributed by Sir Ernest Kudron of Lochbuie, Colorado

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