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. Your name and email address will be safe with us into infinity and beyond.

Prepare to be boarded!

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: May / June 2014 Issue

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

Doctor Hall: [Bond enters the interrogation room to take his psychological test, looking toward the one way mirror. M and Mallory stand on the other side. "I'd like to start with some simple word associations. Just tell me the first word that pops into your head. For example, I say, "Day" and you might say...

James Bond: Wasted.
Doctor Hall: [sighs] All right. [pause]
Doctor Hall:Gun.
James Bond:Shot.
Doctor Hall: Agent.
James Bond:Provocateur.
Doctor Hall:Woman?
James Bond:Provocatrix.
Doctor Hall: Heart.
James Bond: Target.
Doctor Hall: Pirates Lair Newsletter.
James Bond: Cheese.
Doctor Hall: M.
James Bond: Bitch. [M sighs from the other side of the interrogation room]
Doctor Hall: Sunlight
James Bond: Swim
Doctor Hall: Moonlight
James Bond:Dance
Doctor Hall: Murder.
James Bond: Employment.
Doctor Hall: Country.
James Bond: England.
Doctor Hall: Skyfall. [Bond pauses]
Doctor Hall:Skyfall.[Continued pause]
James Bond:Done.[Bond walks out ]
Gareth Mallory: Hmm, this is going well.

James Bond .. Daniel Craig / Skyfall 2012

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

Picture Of The Month! Cherry Blossoms on the Izu Skyline, Japan! (Click Image for a Larger View)

Every month customers send us killer photos and I see no reason to keep them to myself so what better way to say thanks for sharing than to post them in this Picture of the Month spot..

Our May/June POTM was contributed by Yuuki Oshima of Kawasaki City, Japan. He says of the shot... "Izu Skyline a 41 kilometer long toll road cutting down through Izu Pelinsula longitudinally basically along ridge line of the peninsula, and is known as one of the best touring courses in Kanto area (areas around Tokyo) for its beautiful command of view and good high speed straights and windings, but it is also well known for sudden dense fog and west to east strong winds across the ridge line. Izu Peninsula is about 100 to 130 kilometers away from Tokyo to south west, 80 km away from Mt. Fuji to south east. The picture is taken 4:25 PM 13th April near southern end of Izu Skyline. Camera is my iPhone 5. Weather is rather cloudy. I stopped my bike for the picture and cigarette. This touring is for visiting my parents living in Ito city on the east coast of Izu Peninsula. "

If you would like to contribute your own"worthy" shot for our newsletter, here's what I'll need. First.. just email me 1 or 2 of your best digital shots. It'll need to be at least 1024x768 in size or larger and preferably A. Of a BMW K1200S, K1300S, K1200RS, K1200R, R Sport, S1000RR, K1600GT, GTL, or any model year K1200GT or K1300GT and B. In focus. C. No GS's for Gods sake.

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The 2014 Blue Ridge Parkway K12 / K13 Rally: Has it Been 14 Years?!!

Thanks to the great crew at www.I-BMW.com, for making this years event yet another success, albeit a smaller one than in past years. We issued a few complimentary Pirates Lair tees to those who received "velocity awards."... Obviously we can't let bad deeds go unrewarded. Otherwise.. it sounds like everyone had a good time according to the rally reports coming in over at www.I-BMW.com

The rally weather forecast was suspect from the get go, but in the end it turned out to be a non-issue. There was some rain... sun.. fog.. clouds.. spotty showers. About what you'd expect for this rally. I'd wager a guess that everyone is already thinking about the 2015 event. We'll have details soon in our upcoming rallies section...

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 in the BRPW section cleverly entitled.. BRPW 2014 Enjoy!

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Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash: A Dog, His Man, Their Journey: A book by Ara Gureghian

I met Ara Gureghian at the Georgia Mountain BMW rally years ago. I'm sure many of our readers know him. He's one of those people you never forget. Smart, witty, knowledgeable, and opinionated. A citizen of the universe. The last I heard, the 60+ year old youngster has been on the road close to 7 years. He and his trusty companion Pit Bull, Spirit roam the world on his BMW R1100GS and side car rig. Life plays by his rules rather than the other way around. Google "motorcyclist" and I'll imagine his picture will come up. If it doesn't.. it should.

Besides being a serious motorcyclist, world-class photographer, trained professional chef, and world traveler, apparently he's also a writer as Ara just published a book of his life on and off the road. It's called.. "Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash". I recently asked him about the book and he sent the following....

"There really was no beginning as there will be no end. It is all in the imagination. Human made concept to make us believe so. This book has no chapters, it is a continuous real life story. Chapters are only moments put together back to back creating these illusions we have been so programmed with. The reality of Life is in the Heart. Timeless. There is however within all of us, a first breath and a last one. I witnessed both with my son Lance. It has almost been ten years now, and what can I say, think, feel, shout and murmur I have not yet. Eight years ago I sold, or gave away, what little I had, rescued Spirit, Spirit rescued me. I attached a sidecar to my getting old motorcycle, a 1996 BMW R1100GS, collected some camping gear and as simple as that, without ever turning back physically or mentally, we left. This book are those years on the road"

“Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash” is now available at Ara's website autographed for $24.99 [$19.99 + $5 S&H, Continental 48 States] or by clicking the photo at right. It is also available through Amazon in soft cover or as an electronic download. I haven't received my copy of the book as of this writing, but I expect it'll be very entertaining.. Best wishes with it's success, Ara.. Ride safe, my friend..

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Mini-Review: Stop & Go Portable Mini-Air Compressor!

If you've been riding motorcycles long enough.. sooner or later you're gonna have a flat. It's as inevitable as a swollen prostate and every bit as fun to deal with. Fortuitously, in over 500,000 miles I've only had 3 flats. Yes.. I'm lucky. One roadside experience I documented in Good Day Gone Bad: Karma Gone Amuck .. A Ride Tale. After that day I started carrying a tire repair kit. And just this last week I started carrying the Stop & Go Portable Mini-Air Compressor.

Years ago I carried a CyclePump mini-air compressor (sold by BestRest,) but it had some serious drawbacks. It was kinda bulky... as loud as a wood-chipper on Sunday morning.. and when in use got as hot as the sun. Yes.. it was competent and worked as promised, but I always looked for excuses why not to carry it defeating the purpose of owning it. I ended up selling it.

Recently I spoke with Bill Merriman (CEO of Stop & Go International) and he suggested I try their Portable Mini-Air Compressor. A week later my evaluation began. I took it out of the very sleek carrying case and the first thing you notice is..this thing is tiny... fitting in the palm of my Lilliputian hands.. 4 x 2 x 6"to be precise. Unlike the competition, their unit has a built in air-gauge that goes up to 50psi. The only switch on it is off/on so even I could figure it out. Another cool feature is the LED power-light which does double duty as a small flashlight should you need to add air or repair a flat at night. You can actually see how to attach the air hose to the tire in the dark. Is that cool? or what? It's the little things in life..

The Stop & Go unit comes with a 66" power cord that you can plug directly into your Battery Tender wire (if you have one) or you can use one of the 2 furnished power cord extensions.. One plugs into any auto lighter socket... the other runs straight to your battery with alligator clips. I checked and the furnished power cord is plenty long for virtually any motorcycle. If you'd like to be able to plug the Mini-Air Compressor into your BMW accessory port...the good people at Powerlet make an adapter. As my K1200S has easy access to the battery, I see no need to spend the extra $$ for the Powerlet adapter.

Ready to rock and roll, I let the air out of my 20/70ZR-17 front Michelin Pilot Power 3, screwed the too short air hose onto my valve stem, and turned the little pump on. Once fired up it isn't nearly as loud as the aforementioned CyclePump, but it isn't quiet. The air hose on the little pump is only 4" long, which IMHO is about 6" too short, but it works just fine. I asked about this "shortcoming" and was told the short hose means less chance that it would get kinked. Makes since, I guess. They offer 10" extensions, but I'm not gonna carry them. Anyway... they advertise that the little compressor will fill a tire in 10 minutes.. It took me 8.5 and the compressor never got hot. Convinced, I added them to our menu here..

While I've been blessed with more than my fair share of good Karma through the years... I like to be prepared. It helps me relax. Of course, carrying a tire repair kit and the Stop & Go Portable Mini-Air Compressor almost guarantees that I'll never have another flat.. That's how the universe works, yet that will not deter me from carrying them. Perhaps, just perhaps I'll be able to help out some less fortunate rider. Is there anything more satisfying than doing a good, selfless deed? Again.. it's a "karma" thang. Louis Pasteur once said, "chance favors the prepared mind." You just never know what to expect when traveling via two wheels. You can choose to be prepared... or not.

What's New In the BMW No-Spin Zone

I should note that as the K1200RS and first generation K1200GT 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.I-BMW.com, www.K-Bikes.com , and www.BMWK1200S.com for the information & pictures I regularly pilfer from these sites..

1. Have you been wanting frame sliders for your K1300S but cringe at the thought of drilling those big holes in the fairings??? Here's something new from French company.. TBR.. aka.. Top Block Racing. As I've forgotten all the French I learned in high school.. I can't gleam too much info from their website, but it's obvious these are very nice to look at and probably easier to install... I'm guessing they wouldn't protect the bike as much as "real" frame sliders.. To me these look for like they were designed for simple tip-overs, but I admit I'm only speculating.. I did my Jethro Bodine cypherin' and came up with a US dollar price of $377+ shipping. Ouch... er I mean...sacré bleu!

2. Can you hear me now??? There's a great article in the latest Motorcyclistonline called Hearing Protection: Listen Up. Please take the time and read it if you are not currently wearing ear protection when you ride.... Learn from other's mistakes.. Learn from my mistakes.

Top Block Racing K1300S Sliders

3. Pit Bull (and Pirates Lair) have been selling their Forklift Front Wheel Stand for the K1300S, K1200S, K1200R, and GT for years.. I have one in my shop. This wonderful stand makes it easy to lift, change the front tire, and/or for cleaning. Well.. new for 2014 is an optional removable handle for an extra $10. If you choose the removable handle option, you can even select a longer removable handle (3" longer) for another $5 which will increase your leverage considerably. This removable handle can be removed while the bike is up on the lift so you won't trip over it while walking around the bike or working on it.. Do I think a longer or removable handle are necessary? Not really, but it shows Pit Bull isn't just sitting on their collective asses resting on their laurels... Nice.

4. Many of us have been anxious for info on the upcoming S1000F. I was hoping and praying it would be a sport tourer... possibly to replace the discontinued K1300S... The bad news is (according to the July issue of Motorcyclist magazine)..it's gonna be yet another "adventure" tourer meant to compete head to head with the Multistrada. We're hearing from Australia that it'll be called the S1000XR. Yes.. I'm disappointed, but I'm sure it'll be a very competent bike It's not as ugly as a GS, but not as good looking as a Multistroodle either...but Drat. Not a peep in the article as to what "sport tourer" will replace the K13S.... Guess I'll hang on to my K1200S for a little longer... The S1000F or XR will be in showrooms by mid-late summer.....

5. There are a few supposed miracle devices on the market that are helpful in smoothing out the inherent low-end stumble, bad idle, and other low-end issues many seem to experience on the BMW K1200S/ K1300S. I guess BMW didn't have the time to sort out these poor running issues before taking our money...but I digress. I recently did a review of my own install and positive experience with the Booster Plug (from the Netherlands.) Another product being sold by Beemer Boneyard is the BMW AF-XIED O2 Sensor Manipulator. One of the posters over at I-BMW.com did a very nice How-To Install on the device. It's worth a look.... Thx, Kev.

6. 2014 BMW R1200RT Recalled | Motorcycle News / Press Release- As of today, BMW Motorrad is notifying all owners of the current R 1200 RT, model year 2014, fitted with the Dynamic ESA option that there is a potential defect in the rear spring strut. At the present time it cannot be ruled out that the piston rod of the rear spring strut in connection with the Dynamic ESA option could potentially break. For this reason, customers are requested not to ride their motorcycle until further notice. This is a precautionary measure which BMW Motorrad is taking in the interests of customer safety based on a supplier report. To date there have been no injuries related to this issue. Approximately 8,000 vehicles are affected by this measure worldwide.

7. Want to eliminate your catalytic converter on your 2010-2011 S1000RR without changing your exhaust system? Check out Danmoto's BMW S1000RR 2010-2011 Cat Eliminator Pipe The piece is meant to replace the stock catalytic converter to increase the flow through the exhaust system, which increases the engine performance. Another benefit (according to Danmoto) is it will reduce the weight of your bike and reduce the engine running temperature. The Danmoto catalytic converter eliminators reassemble the outer shape of the stock catalytic converter to assure they can be used with aftermarket and/or oem exhausts. Installation requires to cut the OEM exhaust system, at the cat. If anyone out there tries this.. let me know what you think...

Danmoto's BMW S1000RR 2010-2011 Cat Eliminator Pipe

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. As per last month's cheese-filled newsletter... German-made Wilbers Shocks are back on the menu.... We already have pages up for the 1998-2004 BMW K1200RS and 2002-2004 K1200GT and 1999 and later K1200LT and the 2005-2008 BMW K1200S, K1200R/ K1200R Sport, and 2009+ K1300S / K1300R. Remember.. if your oem shocks have 35-40K+ on them, they are toast. As useless as Joe Biden at a Mensa conference. Is your bike feeling kinda old and lazy in the turns? Are you blowing lines that you remember effortlessly nailing in the past? We feel your pain.. Time for new shocks. Period. And we're here for you with full packages and support..

2. You thought Rhinewest Performance Chips were expensive before?.. The price on all of them just went up.. I'm guessing that they figured "why not" now that they've basically discontinued them and are just selling what few parts they have left in stock. We can still get them (while they last) but the price for the K1200RS and K1200LT chips went from $400 to $490 and the R1150R chip went from $355-$450.

3. One of the products that put Pirates Lair on the intergalactic map... our K1200RS Stealth Backrest will soon be discontinued. Sales have slowed to a trickle and our original mold, like Keith Richard's spleen, is simply worn out. To produce another one simply isn't financially feasible.. This week I ordered our last batch. An end of an era, indeed.

4. One of our customers, Steven Brunelle, who regularly beats out Hugh Jackman and Ryan Gosling on Mr Blackwell's top 10 best dressed list, sent us the waaay cool picture sporting his new Pirates Lair tee from Fenway Park. Play ball! Thx, S..

5. As per the blurb above... we are now selling the Stop & Go Portable Mini-Air Compressor. Air when you or your buds need it and it fits in the palm of your hand. Never be stranded again....

6. Speaking of exhausts.. we just got notification from Remus that we can start taking orders for their 2014 BMW RNineT exhausts. They are in stock! The waaaay cool looking Hypercone canisters are available in Stainless/Black or Titanium with Carbon Ends in either slip-on or full systems. Here's a sound clip. Email me here for pricing and details. Click for larger image at right..

7. We just started carrying Easy Helmet Locks for the K1600GTL, K1600GT, and the GT Sport. The furnished lock and mechanism in this kit are made by BMW. The powder coated mounting bracket is produced here in the US by a fellow rider. Take the new lock to any BMW dealer and they can key it to your ignition key or you can do it yourself with our furnished instructions. We package the bracket and BMW lock together and sell it as an easy install kit. Install time is about 10 minutes . You ask.. we deliver. You're welcome.

Click for larger image

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2014
NOTE: I-bmw.com is not an "official" sponsor of any of the following posted events. Event participation is the sole responsibility of the attendee. Motorcycle riding is potentially dangerous and can result in personal injury or death or lots of velocity awards.. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. Ride within your own ability. It's called.. "personal responsibility."

The 2nd Annual I-BMW Rocky Mountain Rally: July 20 through July 23, 2014

Where: Quality Inn of Gunnison
Nearest town: Gunnison, Colorado
When: July 20 through July 23, 2013
Reservations: 970-641-1237

Our base of operations will again be the Quality Inn of Gunnison, which is located at 400 E. Tomichi Ave (also known as U.S. 50) in Gunnison. They are currently taking reservations for a block of rooms that are reserved for us. I encourage you to make you reservations early (like now), and to mention that you are with the BMW Motorcycle Group in order to get the rate of $95 plus tax per night (down from their advertised $119 + tax). Most of the rooms have two queen-sized beds, but there are also some available with one king or one queen. A hot breakfast is included. Here is a link to the motel's website

Cancellation Policy: If you call as late as the day before (24 hours) you are supposed to arrive, they will not charge your card. Also, in case of a family emergency or hospitalization, you could call the day you're due to arrive and they would also not charge your card. And I also confirmed with them that if you make the reservation and tell them that you want to arrive earlier or stay later than the Sunday to Wednesday time frame, they will give you the $95 rate for all the days that you are there.

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2014 I-BMW KHCR: Aug. 7-10th, 2014

Where: Blue Licks Battlefield State Park
Address: 10299 Maysville Rd, Carlisle, KY 40311
Nearest town: Maysville, Ky
When: Aug. 7, 8, 9 and 10 (Arrive on Thur, play Fri and Sat and depart Sun)
Reservations: 800 443-7008

The room rates for the I-BMW Kentucky Hill Country Rally are 69.95 Thursday and 89.95 Fri and Sat. For reservations call 800 443-7008. There is a restaurant on the grounds. The rooms will be held until July 7. The site is roughly 15 miles South of Maysville Ky on us 68. It is 42 miles North of Lexington Ky on us 68. It is 78 miles East of Cincinnati Ohio. 114 miles East of Louisville Ky and 104 miles West of Huntington W.Va. Ridge land abounds with nice roadways and long views.

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The 15th Annual I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: October 2-5th, 2014

Where: Fontana Village Resort
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: October 2nd-5th, 2014 [Thur-Sunday]
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

Geezz. Have we been doing this for 14 years? I've had marriages that didn't last that long. I have negotiated the same room prices for 2014 as last year. Rooms w/ 2 queen beds/ns: $85+tax - 6 2br cabins with 1 queen and 2 twin beds/kitchen/ns: $159+tax. Call 800-849-2258 option 1. (If you are booking a room, remember to request the main lodge.) Cabins will be Azalea cabins. Reservations for blocked out rooms will end 45 days prior. Saavy? Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Amber and I will be there. Neither of us will be wearing panties.

...and don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either Pirates Lair Plundering hats, Pirates Lair tees, or $25 gift cards to anyone who achieves a "velocity award" while in transit to or from or at the rally itself.. If we don't reward bad behavior... who else will?? Arrrrrrg.

Be there!!!

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have no new contributions this month. Our last safe riding tip # 163 was sent in by Dwight Manuel of Asheville, NC!
Thx, bro. Could his tip save your life? Dare you not look?.

If you'd like to help others by contributing a How-To-Survive On A 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.

Pirates Lair Sacred Archives

We get a lot of requests for specific articles and/or reviews I've written in the past. Rather than fry my aging brain trying to remember where they are on our multi-hundred page website, I have decided to list the "worthy" ones here. Most of the links are to past newsletters.. Some are to full web articles. Remember, I'm no expert on anything except perhaps cunnilingus so the opinions within the archives are only my own. Saavy?

BMW How-To Section

We have 2 new contributions this month.. Check out
How-To Install BMW AF-XIED O2 Sensor Manipulator contributed by Kevin McMullen (a regular poster over at I-BMW.com) and our second contribution from RandomWalker (another regular poster over at I-BMW.com).. Pazzo Clutch and Brake Lever Install on 2014 K1300S Thx, boyz.

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss, Jr. / Model: Ms Melissa Haro

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues