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: October 2003 Issue

Fellow esteemed and quasi-esteemed K12 Riders.... .Riding.. the final frontier.. These are the musings of an aging motorcyclist..Pirate.. My on going mission... To seek out new roads.. new curves.. to boldly lean where no knee has dragged before.....! Yes....It's time for yet another cheesy K12 newsletter.... My quasi-humble attempt to inform you of what's new in the BMW K1200RS/GT community and... at Pirates' Lair.

Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2004 /

Next year's 2004 K12 Hill Country Rally is already in the works for April 8-11, 2004 in Kerrville, Tx. Barry Gibbs, the "seasoned" rally organizer (and former lounge lizard) speaks... "I have already reserved a block of rooms at Inn of the Hills in Kerrville, TX and made arrangements for the Friday night dinner at the hotel. I will update the Rally website later this summer and start taking reservations in the Fall. So mark those dates on your calendar right now. The Hill Country Rally is one of the best K1200RS rallies to be held anywhere. Great roads, no traffic and Texas hospitality. Go to www.nine-eleven.com/rally and check the photos of the 2003 Rally."

The 2004 K12 Blue Ridge Parkway Rally has been planned for May 6-9, 2004 and will be held at the Inn at Afton in Charlottesville, VA at http://www.theinnatafton.com/index1.html-ssi or (800) 860-8559.) Rally planners have locked in 108 rooms / Rate = $50 a night. Reference "BMW" when calling. You will probably be assigned a room number. King or Double rooms, smoking or non, if guarantee needed after 6 be sure to request. Fri Sat Sun breakfast buffet available. Saturday evening buffet in planning (meal at the Inn means no night driving a.k.a... 2 wheeled deer tag, rain, drinks not a problem, etc. Register at www.abrahamson.net/brpr2004/index.htm I'll be there...

Yes.. the rubber from our tires is still warm and balled up on the edges from the recent Deals Gap Rally, but.. the 5th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally is already scheduled!! Tapoco Lodge is reserved for Sep 30th - Oct 3rd, 2004. Uncharacteristically... our planners are using foresight that would make Nostradamous envious....I'm impressed. 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 Tell them you are with the BMW K12 group.
Info as we get it as it comes in.

News from the Front:

Congrats to our good friends Stefan Verholen (of www.verholen.de) and Karen Anderson who were married in sunny California this last weekend. Good people and best wishes. One less babe on the buffet.. Way ta go, Stefan.

Our Pre-DGR Party was a success in spite of hurricane Isabel.. About 35 people turned out in the spectacular weather. and of course, most have heard by now that the 4th Annual Deals Gap Rally was incredible... perfect roads.. perfect weather.. no tickets in our group.. no crashes... and no restraining orders violated... Pinch me.. I must be dreaming.. Check out our photo's at http://community.webshots.com/user/pirate0007 Click on the Pirates' Lair Pre DGR4 Party: 9/18/03 and/or Deals Gap 4 Rally 9/19/03
Also.. while perusing the photo album, you may notice a new album consisting of Visitors to Pirates' Lair it's small now but growing quickly as it seems we've become the local port 'o call for weary, thirsty travelers since we moved here to the mountains.

Cold Star Problems? Misfiring under load? A manufacturer has approached us with a couple of cases of some gas/fuel additive that he'd like tested. The additive is a Techron like formula. It is mostly sold direct to fleet operators such as taxi & police, etc. and it seems to work well at removing intake valve deposits and injector probs.

as per the rep (and fellow K12'er) .. "If you were to segregate the recipients to people with cold start drive away problems or warmed-up misfire under load, that should work. Suggest that they not overdose this stuff (or any additive) since its like OD'ing on aspirin.. not a good thing. overdoses will not clean things up much faster. The best candidates are those who have a bike with known good plugs, wires, O2 sensor and all else is operating per BMW spec."

If anyone is interested in testing this product.. I'd be glad to either enclose a free bottle with any order.. or you can paypal $6 to us (to cover shipping) directly from www.paypal.com and we'll get one out to you.. Call before you send any $$ to make sure we haven't given it all away. All the manufacturer expects is honest feedback and all the green M & M's removed from the bowl..er.. wait.. that was somebody else... Van Halen flashback, I guess.

A fellow K12er has a problem ....wonders if it's shared...
I told you about a problem I'm having with my bike and you said you'd put a mention in your newsletter to see if anyone else has had this problem. I am in contact with a few other riders from around the country who are having this problem and I am trying to build support so I can get BMW to deal with this (so far they are not being responsive at all) I am putting my whole story here for you so you better understand what I'm going thru. I know it's long and you're busy, but I really need some help here. Here's the whole dreadful story:

I bought my 2003 K1200RS last spring. For the first few thousand miles it ran great. It rode like it was on rails. Around 5,000 miles I started to notice a "shimmy" or "swerving" effect when riding on the highway. As the next 2 weeks or so went by it got worse. I even filmed it and you can plainly see that at 85 - 90 mph the handle bars were moving back and forth constantly, sometimes more, sometimes less but always moving. My dealer here in ATL - who by the way have been most supportive and helpful) tried the following things to fix it: changing tires, changing wheels, adjusting the shocks, changing the steering damper, tightening the rear paralever bearings and finally replacing the ball joints in the steering.
After they replaced the ball joints the swerving almost went away, but not completely. It handles well in the mountains and surface streets, but not on highways. It is not back to where it was when I got it. The swerving now shows itself on the highway if I'm anywhere near a truck or even a van or SUV. I can be as far away as 1/4 mile from a truck and start getting severe swerving/wobbling effects as if the "rail" this bike used to ride is now curvey. I took out one of the dealers floor models a couple of days ago and rode it for 45 minutes up the highway and put myself right in the wake of trucks and yes, I did get blown around alot, but never did the handlebars move side to side. It definitely rode as I remember mine doing.

The service manager at at the local BMW dealer has ridden it and only said it felt "light" in the front. He cannot confirm what I've been thru even tho it seems very obvious to me and I can even film it. Of course I am small and only weigh 120 pounds. But it did at one time handle perfectly.

If you could help me it would be most grateful. I would hate to have to sell this thing. I wish I could get back to how it rode when I first got it. Any respondents can just email or call me ( Bill Whedbe) at : hume@mindspring.com or 770-279-1227

What's new in the K1200RS News...?

1. It's old news now that the ONLY changes to the 2004 KRS or GT's will be new paint ...however... .the 2005 successor to the K1200RS looks like nothing I've ever seen before.. under the plastic... Pics and some info can be seen at www.galnedansken.com/ny_sida_25.htm Apparently, the new K will feature an in-line, four-cylinder engine with east-west installation (Transverse, similar to the Japanese in-line fours) -and a claimed 160hp- a departure from the traditional K layout. Perhaps, more interesting, is the implementation of a Hossack front suspension system. The product of the mind of a Scottish inventor named Norman Hossack, it utilizes a double wishbone (similar to the automobile suspension system) and a single shock absorber. This system can result in suspension movement while maintaining constant wheelbase, constant trail and constant head angle. Additionally, the designer claims a dramatic reduction in weight versus a conventional telescopic fork front-end, and added stiffness. Looks very close to a showroom ready next generation K-Bike.. and it looks... I hate to say this.... Japanese. BMWNA are denying the existence of the new bike.. probably as not to lose sales of the 2004's, IMHO.

2. The saga continues...The latest incarnation of the Carbon Fiber Fender Project is dead again. This is the 3rd... (or is it 4th?) company that has attempted the project. This latest manufacturer furnished us with a piece and it was simply not up to our standards. He informed us that it was the best they could do.. blah.. blah... so I politely told them no thanks. Quality was simply not up to either the British made Pyramid Huggers or the German made Mad Mix Huggers we sell.... This is it for us.. I gave it my best shot... never again. Sorry guys. Shaka.. when the walls fell.

3. Handling problems on some of the new GT's? Could this be true? Been hearing a few reports... If so.. spew your info to fellow K'12er Bill Whedbe at : hume@mindspring.com or 770-279-1227

4. Looks like there is finally a front wheel stand on the market for the KRS and GT's... BMW part # 99 99 0 005 289 Cost from your dealer is a lofty $199 retail... but would you expect anything else? The part is so new that it's not in the micro-fish or company literature.
These are produced by Pit Bull at http://www.pit-bull.com/ Coincidentally, I recently purchased one of their stands for my MV Agusta and it's first class all the way...Called and spoke with the owner of Pit Bull and got this response...(pasted)

"We contracted with BMW to make a front stand (and rear) for the R1100S Boxer Cup bikes. The front is similar to our forklift front but tailored to the BMW (three significant changes). It is available only through BMW, part number 99 99 0 005 28. I have not fit-checked it to the K1200 but BMW surely has by now and can give you a good answer. Thanks again."
Charlie VanValkenburgh
Pit Bull

Note: I spoke with my contact at BMW of Santa Cruz who has one of these stands in stock and they say that yes.. it will fit on all the K12's.

5. Have heard some great stuff in the last few days about the Verholen Short Shifter. It's a little item that shortens the "throw" of the KRS/GT shifter by a full 1". My friend told me that his K now shifts as quickly as a GSXR... Guess I could add them to the menu...

.What's new at Pirates' Lair?

1. Ever stopped and opened one of your hardbags for an Altoid and your Glock/Bong/Liza Cd falls out onto the ground right in front of the state trooper/priest/boss? Embarrassing, huh? We've all been there. We have a new item on the menu that should stop these potentially red faced situations.. Check out our Cee Bailey's Hard Bag Liners

2. We now have Staintune Exhaust Systems in stock. We also carry a cleaner to keep your pipe looking new.

3. You're old now, but things were not always so... When was the last time you felt "cool" on a cellular level? When Miami Vice ruled TV? Futher back?.. the Mod Squad? futher still??... Geez..... Surfside Six? Cough up the "bling bling" and feel young again in our all new Marrakech Red version Pirates' Lair K1200RS Tees. Plenty in stock. Now if you can just find that un-structured robin's egg blue jacket, even Sonny Crockett would be envious.

4. Suburban GT Barbacks were in stock but we sold out quicker than a Pink Floyd tour. Like the American Machine RS barbacks, they change the grip angle by 10 degrees. As per the prophesy..Customer comments have started to trickle in and I have posted them at http://piratesk12site.net/SuburbanGTCC.htm We should have more within the next week or so.

5. The redesigned version #2 of the Avant Guard Radar Mounts are in stock. They are stronger, come with metal mounting hardware, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. and to answer your next question...as far as I know, the designer is not swapping old ones for new versions as there was essentially nothing wrong with the old versions. He/we got feedback after a few months of them out on the road and decided to make them a little stronger by adding a support bar underneath via some epoxy and adding metal hardware, which, btw.. is not interchangeable with the plastic mounting hardware. The situation was.... a few unfortunates that live in areas with pathetic roads.. NYC, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago said that when they hit potholes they noticed the mount flexing... well, duh!..er.. I mean...which is understandable.. A few people mentioned their plastic screws backing out which is remedied by a drop of fingernail polish on the threads. Otherwise.. no real problems worth trading in for.

6. The new MV Agusta F4 section of our site is slowly coming on-line. As you may or may not know.. the MV F4 is to motorcycling what the Sistine Chapel is to art... and according to most magazines, it's arguably the finest handling motorcycle ever built.. As you may have surmised...we are already working on a few exclusive accessories for the bike which will make it better, in my eyes, anyway... Currently, we are working with Throttlemeister to produce.. yes, Kojak.. an MV Throttlemeister. Why somebody else never did this is a mystery to me. Also working with a company to produce a rear camera/with on dash video monitor as the stock mirror's are as worthless as tit's on a boar..and with Oberon Engineering in the UK on a custom footpeg kit... and with Hyper-Lites towards a rear lighting kit.. also ProMach (in the UK) for some juicy rearsets, MadMix in Germany is making us some Silver Carbon bits. Geeezz.. and I bought the bike stupidly thinking I wouldn't change anything... must be a disease...Will I make any money off this endeavor?... probably not... but it's not about money.. it's about passion.

7. Our K1200RS/GT Custom Footpeg Kits are in finally stock. Amber and I both prefer these to the factory pegs and allow for more ground clearance over the factory pegs. an optional racing peg is in the works.

8. The MotorCycle Cruise Controls are again in stock for the 98-01 K1200RS

9. Our Honda ST1300 Stealth Backrest project is complete... They'll be hitting the streets this week. Ahhhh. Already in pre-production is (by request) an R1100S Stealth.

10. No word yet on the Luggage Rack we have posted on our website... spoke to the designer briefly and have gotten few details on his piece. He's a retired engineer and is remodeling his house.. He says when he's done he'll make us a few... Patiently waiting...

11. Now we come to the fender elimination kit project. Need some input. Have spoken in depth with one of the two potential designers. Most of what he tells me goes over my head like Steven Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" but I have absorbed a little... Here's the deal.. A fender elimination kit is not a problem, but if we are to go further into the breach with the ultimate goal being an underseat exhaust we may have to make some concessions... and as this is an expensive project, I'd like some feedback from the masses. According to Her Doktor, while we can pancake some pipes (make them thin with a small diameter in order to clear the tire under severe travel) there will be a heat problem under the seat unless we can create some room in there. Apparently, in order for heat to dissipate there must be air flowing over and around the the canisters...of which currently there's simply not enough space. How do we get space? By widening the body work at the rear which would mean trashing the system case hardware... Now it is MY opinion that most would not purchase an underseat exhaust kit if they were asked to give up their luggage carrying capacity.. As much as I want an underseat set-up... this would be a deal breaker for even me... If it meant giving up your hardbags.. whould you still want the kit?

Have not spoken to the other designer but I will this week.. Will post what he says...

12. Our new Pirates' Lair K1200RS/GT Hats are in stock... .. We have them both for the RS and the GT brethren in both Bad Boy Black and Not-So-Badboy Khaki

How to Survive Tips
I just added some new tips at http://piratesk12site.net/SAFETY~1.htm These were contributed by Mark P, a police officer from the southern US.

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.

Guess that kinda wraps this one up.
Take care.. Ride fast... brake hard.. see you .. in my mirrors.

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues