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 / June 2015 Issue

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

Shane slowly walks into the bar off from the General store and eyes the leather-clad gunslinger ominously sitting over in the dark corner. Joey and his dog have ringside seats from under the saloon door. The forces of good and evil are about to collide..Only one man will walk away ......

Shane (to Ryker): (referring to Wilson) We haven't heard from your friend here.
Wilson: I wouldn't push too far if I were you. (Wilson stands and approaches, while the saloon dog slinks out and a card player departs.) My fight ain't with you.
Shane: It ain't with me, Wilson?
Wilson: No it ain't, Shane.
Ryker: I wouldn't pull on Wilson, Shane. Will, you're a witness to this.
Shane: So you're Jack Wilson.
* long pause...
Jack Wilson: What's that mean to you, Shane?
Shane: I've heard about you.
Jack Wilson: What have you heard, Shane?
* long pause.. Shane turns to face Wilson....Wilson stands.. faces Shane...
Shane: I've heard that you're a low-down, dirty, Cheesy Newsletter readin,' Yankee liar.
Jack Wilson: Prove it.

Shane...Alan Ladd / Jack Wilson ..Jack Palance / Shane 1953

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

Picture Of The Month! Norwegian Rest Stop! (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 Eldor Gemst of Montreal, Canada. Eldor is a regular poster over at I-BMW.com He says of the shot.. "This was the first thing I saw as I opened the door of my motel room at the Hotel Georges de Charlevoix, in Baie-Saint-Paul Québec. It was early in the morning (about 7 am) and it was going to be a glorious day to ride. I'd ridden in from Montreal the day before and I was on a multi-day trip along the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River. My next destination was Tadoussac, via whatever twisties I could find. This was a 3-shot HDR, taken with a relatively simple Canon Powershot G11 camera. I didn't have a tripod along with me so I simply braced the camera against the door jamb in order to keep it from moving for the 3 shots. I then blended the images together in PhotoShop to get this result. ."

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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BMW Recalls Nearly 49,000 Motorcycles: Heads Up!

BMW is recalling nearly 49,000 motorcycles in the U.S. and Canada because flanges that hold the rear caliper on your bike can crack if bolts are too tight. Yikes! The part looks like this..

The recall covers multiple models including certain 2005-2010 R1200GS and R1200RT motorcycles, as well as the 2006-2010 R1200GS Adventure and the 2007-2010 R1200R, 2007 R1200S and K1200R Sport. Also included are the 2005-2007 R1200ST, the 2008-2009 HP2 Megamoto, the 2006 HP2 Enduro, the 2008-2010 HP2 Sport, and the 2005-2008 K1200S, 2006-2008 K1200R and K1200GT. The recall also covers the 2009-2011 K1300S, 2010-2011 K1300R, and the 2009-2010 K1300GT.

BMW says if bolts that hold the rear caliper to a flange are over-tightened, the flange can crack. If that happens, the bolts can loosen and the wheel may not stay secured to the bike. The problem was discovered after a 2004 motorcycle crashed in Spain last August. BMW says the rider and passenger were bruised and scraped. They were lucky.

The Fix.. The recall is expected to begin April 21. Dealers will replace the aluminum flange with a steel one at no cost to owners. If you own one of these bikes (as I do) you should be receiving a notice from Starfleet Command shortly. You can see the official recall notice by clicking here.

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I-BMW Celebrates 17th Anniversary!!! Woohoo!!

My hardy congratulations and sincere thank you goes out to VicS and I-BMW.com who just celebrated their 17th Anniversary! My God... has it been that many years? Pirates Lair began just shortly after I-BMW went live to the world and I attribute much of our success to Vic's efforts. While it's been years since I've seen the elusive VicS, he's still working diligently behind the scenes with a team of moderators to keep the site up and running.

While I've known the media shy Vic for over 15 years, attended multiple rallies with him, and even ridden with him on an occasion or two, .. I have few pics of him. In fact I have more pics of giant squids, Bigfoots, and coelacanths in their natural habitats than of Vic. He's a man of mystery. However... looking through my vast archives I found this early shot of him from the second I-BMW Deals Gap rally. Behold...the ayatollah of rock and rolla!

For those who've been living on Ceti Alpha V for the last 17 years, the I-BMW chat site is a breath of fresh air in a cyber world stymied with political correctness. Those who frequent the site are as diverse as planet earth itself. Truly a cut above. Even after all these years, it's still my favorite hang-out and #1 source of late model BMW information. Best wishes from both Amber and myself for their continued success. Here is some wordage recently posted by Vic on the momentous occasion...

Welcome to year 17!!

I don't recall the exact date however it was Patriot's Day weekend, Concord Ma, in 1998 that a server with Lotus Domino code (slightly modified and heisted from my team) married a cable modem within a cold garage. Within that garage was a 10 mile old Marrakesh KRS.

I recall interviewing @ Netscape earlier that year, meeting Andreesen in Mountain View and thinking, eh' can't see this WWW thing taking off () - anyway.....
That particular database in addition to another at the hands of an unfortunate/ short lived 'collaborative' experiment with 2 idiots posing as enthusiasts are long gone and now we reside, as every other silly forum does on a 'canned' software interface anyone can purchase & host requiring minimal brain activity, BUT irrespective of all that...

Thanks for being here everybody - ( and a special thanks to the admins and moderators for their tireless support ) you are the life blood of I-BMW.com - VicS

17 Years!!! Dayum!

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Product Review: Scorpion Commander II Jacket

A friend of mine is into motorcycle gear like Sara Jessica Parker is into shoes. He's always buying gloves, helmets, jackets, etc.. whether he needs them or not. While I've never owned anything by Scorpion (and honestly they've never even been on my radar), he swears by them and I value his opinion. Unlike him, I usually go through weeks or months of my prerequisite obsessive/compulsive research followed by many sleepless nights before choosing my motorcycle gear with the goal being that it'll last until I give up riding or die. Whichever comes first. Hell.. I've put more thought into choosing a leather jacket than I have choosing a few of my wives. I currently have two Vanson leather jackets (one perfed, one not) that are years old and I have no doubt they'll be passed on to my grandsons at some point. Leather lasts. Leather is timeless. Leather is "cool." With that said.. while I'm not a big fan of textile motorcycle clothing, I understand the attraction all to well. I've had a Firstgear Kilimanjaro jacket in my closet for the last 8 years. It's my "go-to" jacket when it's cold or wet or when I'm gonna be traveling. It does everything without fanfare or complaint. I don't wear it very often as I just prefer the look and feel of leather, but it's always there if needed like a faithful companion.

A couple of years ago, due no doubt to the fact that I seem to be aging at an exponential rate, I started noticing that my legendary motorcycling cognitive skills which have kept me accident free for over 1/2 million street miles, seemed to be slipping a little. Reflexes off just a hair. Focus not exactly laser. An inevitable fact of life it would seem. To compensate for this earthy devaluation, I added more lights to my bike (as to make me more visible) and I started reevaluating my riding gear. As virtually all my gear (other than my bandanas) is either black or gray, I decided I should make a lifestyle change and add some eye catching color to my wardrobe.

I started paying attention to the latest offerings from all the manufacturers, cross-referenced prices, read reviews, and then 2 weeks ago I got an email flyer from Motorcycle-Superstore about a close-out sale they were having on the Scorpion Commander II Jacket. I'd seen this jacket before and liked the look, but wasn't prepared to pay full retail which was around $380 or so.. Here's a YouTube Video of the jacket... Motorcycle-Superstore's close-out price was a drastically reduced to $189.95 delivered. Almost 1/2 price. Bam... Bought it and had it in my hands in 4 days.

Click For Larger Image

Every review I read prior to ordering said that the sizing runs small so I ordered one size larger than I usually wear and it fit me like a glove. Even with BOTH liners in place I could zip it up, move, and breath easily even when leaning over riding. While the Scorpion Commander II jacket is 100% water-proof, it also comes with a zip out rain liner and a thin thermal liner.. You can zip BOTH in at the same time if you wish. This jacket is advertised as a 4 season jacket, but IMHO.. it would be a little warm in temps above 75 degrees even without the liners. Without the liners it felt perfect in the mid to high 60's with just a long sleeve shirt underneath. With the rain liner in place I was sweating in temps over 70 degrees. IMHO this is a 3 season jacket.. Spring, Fall, and Winter.

Fit: The fit and cut is very comfortable right out of the box. Amber says it makes me look thinner which is a plus in my book. There are three synching velcro straps on each arm so you can tighten or loosen the sleeves to adjust to whatever you are wearing underneath.. Nice. There are two more velcro straps at the waist. Pockets abound.. (9) total including one in the rear like a fanny pack. All are water-proof. There are zippered vents both front and back, but I'd have preferred more. You'll find padding/armour at the elbows, shoulders, and even a meager, removable back protector. I had read some complaints about the tall collar being stiff, but I thought it felt just fine and unobtrusive.

Visibility: This jacket comes in two colors..."run-over-me black" or "you may want to cover your eyes neon." As my goal was to make myself more visible to texting soccer moms and/or aliens scanning the universe for life in nearby galaxies, I opted for the neon. The jacket is so bright that I wonder if it could trigger epileptic seizures. There are some well placed reflective strips around the jacket for nighttime visibility, too. It's so bright that I kinda feel a little selfconscious after 40 years of wearing only black. Can you imagine Johnny Cash or Joey Ramone wearing a neon jacket?? Me either. It will take me a while to get used to it.

Pros: The jacket has lots of nice features.. Most I've already mentioned. 1. In the pic (upper right) you'll see the 2 black lower snap buttons. What you don't see is the 4 snap magnet buttons above those that automatically close when you zip the jacket up.. I'd never seen these type before. Me likey. 2. At go to jail speeds there were no issues. It just feels good. 3. While testing, I had 3 non-riders come up to me and tell me it looked nice. One of them was blind. As I said.. it's bright. All asked me who made it and how much it cost. In 45+ years of riding, I can't remember any non-riders coming up to me to compliment my apparel..

The eathling has a nice jacket...

Cons: 1. There is more right with this jacket than not, but I do have some minor complaints. While they designed the sleeve cuffs to open and close with a zipper and then a velcro strap to synch it down once zipped, I think it was a better idea on paper than in execution. The jacket material is substantial. Add the zipper and the colored piping around it and it is almost too much material for the little velcro strap to compress and get tight. And the futher muckers put only about 1" of velcro in that spot. WTF!? It works, but I would have preferred the cuffs NOT have the zipper or at least a lot more velcro on the strap. 2. The main front zipper isn't as substantial as other similar jackets. It works fine, but I wonder if it'll stand up to years of use like the big-ass zipper and pull on my Kilimanjaro. While the rain liner is very nice, the thermal liner seems to have been added as an afterthought. It's thin and doesn't add much warmth. Why bother? Lastly.... I'm not a fan of the big Z on the collar or shoulders, but that's a subjective complaint. I would have preferred an actual scorpion as the logo rather than the cheesy, General Zod "Z". Just sayin.

The Verdict: I can't say I "love" the Scorpion Commander II jacket, but I really like it allot. I generally use the term "love" judiciously. For high-end riding gear, Italian motorcycles, and for my wife when she surprises me wearing Chopard Cashmere perfume, white fishnet stockings, stiletto heels, and nothing else. The Scorpion Commander II is easily comparable to other mid-priced jackets ($250-350) like the aforementioned Firstgear Kilimanjaro, AGV Sport Telluride jacket, or the TourMaster Transition 3 jacket. The Scorpion Commander II is a comfortable, well made, versatile, mid-level jacket, and exactly what I was looking for. A worthy investment. The fact that it's being sold at almost 1/2 price at Motorcycle-Superstore was just icing on the cake for this cheap bastage. I am 100% more visible while wearing this jacket.. Both in this galaxy and probably the next...

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Hues of my Vision: A Coffee Table Book by World Traveler Ara Gureghian

I just got the following information from my good friend and riding buddy, Ara Gureghian. Thought I'd pass it along to my readers. I think most will appreciate his two-wheel, dog and his man, lifestyle. Besides living for years on the road on his motorcycle, Ara is also one spanktacular photographer. IMHO his new book would make a great gift for just about anyone.. Motorcyclists or otherwise. .. Christmas, birthday, graduation, etc... Check out his video for an idea of what you get in his new book...

Good day all...
One thing is for certain.. I am not is a "marketer" and not in the habit of using your email to do such, but here we are. I wanted to let you know that our "Photo Coffee Table Book" is done. It's called "Hues of My Vision." When I realized the retail price would be $90 + tax and shipping [a crazy price!] I found out that by pre-ordering 1000 copies it could be sold for $40 including tax and shipping to your door. Much savings.

I started a 30 day Kickstarter campaign to do so. To try to have their minimum order fulfilled. 1000 copies. This is the link with a video and all the information. It complements our previous book (Freedom On Both Ends Of The Leash) with 61 photos, maps where taken, and 61 quotes, all in a 10 x 13 size. I must say it has turned out beautiful. I hope my reaching out is proper and you would enjoy the photo book also sharing this link with your friends spreading the word. 27 days left! Thank you very much and I apologize for the intrusion especially if you have already ordered a copy.

Be Safe and well. Peace, Love, Courage ... - Ara & Spirit ... www.theoasisofmysoul.com

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Pirates Lair Vacation Notice: Amber and I haven't taken many vacations since the Obama regime took over.. "We used to travel extensively" he said with a heavy sigh... While money is still tight sometimes you just have to suck it up and do the right thing.. A few weeks ago my daughter called and invited Amber and myself to spend a week with them in Costa Rica to celebrate the graduation of my youngest grandson. As this may be the last chance I ever get to travel with my daughter or my grandson... we are taking them up on the offer. With that said.. Pirates Lair will be closed on June 21st-29th, 2015. We hope the strain isn't too much to bear. Order accordingly...

2. Now that the Honda ST1300 has been discontinued in the USA, we're not sure if we're going to produce any more ST13 Stealth backrests for the bike. If there is enough interest, we might make one more production run.

3. Wilbers' Shocks Spring Sale Notice!: We just got word that Wilbers (for a limited time) is having a spring sale on all their BMW shocks. This is the first sale I've seen from them in all my years selling them.. For a limited time they are offering $70 off every shock. Meaning if you purchase one of our combo (front and rear) package deals you'll get $140 off retail. Click here for the K1200RS / K1200GT page, K1200LT page, or the K1300S / K1200S page. The sale ends on the first day of summer...

4. New Product Alert: We are now carrying the Signal Dynamics Single Row LED Frame. The Signal Dynamics frame is Luddite-simple to install (on any motorcycle) with only 3 sturdy little wires protruding.. A black ground wire, a red brake light wire, and a white tail light wire. That's it.. Even a 'luded out chimp could install this in 1/2 hour. Took me an hour as I'm borderline obsessive compulsive. And yes... it's CanBus compatible.

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare

5. New Product Alert: We sell a lot of lighting products at Pirates Lair, but honestly ...the Blinker Genie (by CustomLED) is hands down my favorite. It's such a great idea, they are dirt cheap, and the install is relatively easy.. Why didn't I think of this!! Last summer I installed them on both the front and rear of my BMW K1200S and the effect is outstanding. Basically, the "Blinker Genie" is designed to allow single filament light bulbs, single intensity LED assemblies, or any two-wire indicators to function as both running lights AND blinkers - at full brightness! I love these things and at under $40 delivered.. you will too... Trust me..

6. Just in time for spring... our R1200GSW Stealth Backrest is finally in stock. Honestly... it's the sleekest, one of the best looking designs you'll ever see. Easy 5 minute install. Available in Black or Silver. With or without BMW logo. No mods necessary. When you do NOT want the backrest on your bike, it slides off in seconds. Worried about protecting the finish of your oem rack from our stealth metal bracket? No worries... The aluminum bracket never touches your bike, but instead is suspended over the oem rack via (4) magic aluminum spacers. Bam.. FYI.. we're having professional pics made as we speak so you'll be seeing them in a variety of magazines soon.

7. Sale Notice!: We are having a rare spring sale on our WhiteLights Smoke LED Tail Lights for the BMW K1200RS / 02-05 K1200GT / R1150R & Rockster. Sale price is $150 or $170 depending on the model year bike.... Smoke that ass....

8. New Product Alert! We now have Synto levers for the new water-cooled R1200GSW and Adventure. Fully adjustable 6 positions so getting the ergos right on your bike has never been easier. 6 colors to choose from for levers and adjusting wheel. Mix and match! Silver, Gold, Blue, Black, Red, & Titanium. If you've got small hands... these will rock your world...

 Page.. If You Dare

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2015
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."

I-BMW SSR Rally: June 18th - June 21st, 2015

Where: GoldenEagle Resort
Location: 511 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT, 05672
When: Arrive on Thursday June 18th leave Sunday June 21st
Reservations: 844-802-6358

Rate 1 person in the room-$133.10 includes all taxes and full breakfast per night.
Rate 2 people in the room-$144.10 includes all taxes and full breakfast per night.

Rooms are located close together. Will hold the block until 5/21/15.

The Golden Eagle is located across the street from several restaurants and a short 2 minute ride for beer and gas.. CANCELLATION-100% refund before 7 days-7 days of less 1 night. 1 night deposit required to hold the room. Reference i-BMW group when calling - ask for Andrew or Suzanne.

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The 3rd Annual I-BMW Rocky Mountain Rally: July 19 through July 22, 2015

Where: Quality Inn of Gunnison
Nearest town: Gunnison, Colorado
When: July 19 through July 22, 2015
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.

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2015 I-BMW Kentucky Hill Country Rally: Aug. 6-9th, 2015

Where: Blue Licks Battlefield State Park
Address: 10299 Maysville Rd, Carlisle, KY 40311
Nearest town: Maysville, Ky
When: Aug. 6,7,8, and 9 (Arrive on Thur, play Fri and Sat and depart Sun )
Reservations: 800 443-7008

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 16th Annual I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: October 1-4th, 2015 Venue Change Notice!!

Where: Tapoco Lodge
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: October 1st-4th, 2015 [Thur-Sunday]
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

The Tapoco Lodge (near Robbinsville,) site of our first 9 or so DGR's re-opened just recently under new (motorcycle friendly) management and members at I-BMW.com have voted overwhelmingly to change venues this year from the Fontana back to the Tapoco. The newly renovated, upscale Tapoco has reserved (20) cabins for our motley group. All cabins are $189 a night. As of this writing, there are few cabins left. Reservations at the discounted rally rate will end May 1st and then go full metal jacket retail which is $249 a night so book NOW or feel the burn of paying full retail during peak season. Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Amber and I will be there. Neither of us will be wearing panties.

Alternate Lodging in Robbinsville, NC. Microtel Motel or Fontana Village Resort
Closest BMW dealer: Eurosport of Asheville, NC

...and don't forget... Pirates Lair will be offering your choice of either 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.

We're baaaaaack!

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have no new contributions this month. Our last Tip # 164 was sent in by Mark Baldyga of Peabody, Mass! 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 a new contribution this month.. Check out K1300S ROWE PDM60 Install
contributed by K13Mike from Calgary, Alberta., Canada . Mike is a regular over at I-BMW.com . Thx, buddy.

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues