"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. Also... something to keep in mind... My language in the email subscription version may offend the meek. Subscribe at your own risk. The on-line version is a bit more... PC..

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: Oct/Nov 2008 Issue

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

Federal agents, strategically hidden in the urban landscape lock up the area and set up surveillance on Agent Pamela Landy.. Their hopes are that she'll lead them to Jason Bourne. In Noah Vosen's SUV, his cell phone rings..

Vosen: Noah Vosen.
Bourne: This is Jason Bourne.
Vosen reels for a heartbeat. Then quickly scans the streets.. trying to see if he can spot Bourne.
Vosen: How did you get this number?
Bourne: You didn't actually think I was coming to the city, did you?
Vosen: No, I guess not. But if it's me you want to talk to maybe we can arrange a meet.
Bourne: Where are you right now?
Vosen: In my office.
Bourne: I doubt that.
Vosen: Why's that?
Bourne: If you were in your office we'd be having this conversation face-to-face.
Bourne hangs up then puts a portable dictaphone up to Vosen's safe and hits play:
Vosen: (TAPE V.O.) Noah Vosen.
The safe pops open--
Vosen stunned calls his second in command and demands he check his office..NOW! Bourne is there but wastes no time..
From the safe, Bourne brushes aside the "TREADSTONE: Blackbriar" folder and sees what he came for.. a copy of the latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter. He flips it open. He scans down the page. His eye stopping at the words "2009 Deals Gap K12 Rally." He scans the page for next years time and location. He  shoves the folders in his backpack and leaves.
Back in Vosen's SUV ..
Vosen: This is a code ten abort, I want everybody back in the vehicles... this is a code ten abort! Back to the vehicles immediately!

Jason Bourne / Matt Damon    Noah Vosen / David Strathairn ...   The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

I'm gonna attend in 2009!!!

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

Picture Of The Month! Golden Gate Bridge (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 Oct/Nov POTM is contributed by Mario Giacobbe. He says..The picture is taken at Fort Point at the entrance of the San Francisco Bay.  Taken just a couple of weekends ago, temp. was about 60 degrees at about noon. Just a nice saturday ride in S.F. across the bay from where I live.

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 800x600 in size or larger and preferably A. Of a BMW K1200S, K1200RS, K1200R, R Sport, or any model year K1200GT and B. In focus.

Hi-Rez is fine just not "stupid-large." If you don't know how to reduce a photo from a gargantuan size.. buy a freakin' book or program and learn. Geezz. Along with the photo, provide your full name and a paragraph or two explaining when and where the shot was taken.. some minor details...whatever you want to add.. temp, camera, state of mind, etc, .. I'll evaluate all the photos I accumulate at the end of the month and pick one. No promises! If you beg me to post yours.. that will guarantee you that I won't. Savvy?

Click For Larger Image If You Dare..
Click Image for a Larger View

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2008 I-BMW.com Sierra Goldrush K12 Rally: Smells Like A Success! (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

The very first west coast K12 rally ..aka. the 2008 I-BMW Sierra Goldrush K12 Rally was a roaring success. I recently flew out and attended the rally and had a damn wonderful time. If you missed it you should be kicking yourself in the cajones (not an easy thing to do) as it was most excellent..

Have to admit, going in I was wondering if the time and expense would be worth it.. After all.. I live around some of the best freakin' roads on the right coast, but California did not disappoint... and I quickly learned that the Ca. crowd have not been exaggerating. I was blown away by what I saw. Honestly (and I hate saying this)... the worst road I rode while in Kaleefornia was better than the best road around here. And it wasn't only the physical aspects of the roads.. The scenery was/is "Lord of the Rings" spectacular. It wouldn't have surprised me to see a wizard leading an elf, a dwarf, and a few hobbits through the tall evergreens. Scenic vistas, mountain lakes, gigantic trees.. and the wonderful smells of riding at high altitude.. Amazing.

Was also apprehensive about meeting a whole new group of people. Most of you know I'm kinda.. well.. painfully anti-social, but the California contingent was some of the nicest people I've met.. any time.. anywhere.. A great group and very good riders ..and all appeared to be heterosexual! Who'd a thunk it?

Thx to the effervescent Charlie W.. aka Kneedragger (over at I-BMW.com) for stepping up to the plate and making the event happen. I couldn't have asked for more. Thanks Macman and Lorna for keeping me from getting lost on the way back from Yosemite. and thx Douglas for the 5 star lunch in the park. Also, thanks to everyone else for making me feel welcome.. The bottle of rum was just icing on the cake. I will be putting it to good use. Was the trip worth it? Every freakin' doubloon. Will I attend next year? I hope so..

I've posted my rally pics in the Pirates Lair Photo Gallery. Look for the album cleverly titled.. the Sierra Gold Rush K12 Rally 2008 FYI.. most of the shots are mine.. Others I've plundered from here and there...

Show me more, Captain!

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2009 BMW K1300S Revealed!! 175HP! 502lbs!

Well.. I guess the rumors were true..

The only negatives for the rally weekend were the petrol problems (or lack thereof) in the surrounding areas, a few non-life threatening crashes, and a few "performance awards" achieved by those with an apparent total disregard for the local speeding statutes and/or little self control. I won't name names.. Yea yea... of course I got one. 77 in a 55. Woopdeedoo. Everyone knows I have a speeding problem.

For pics of the rally check out the Pirates Lair Photo Gallery . Look for the album cleverly titled.. Deals Gap 9 K12 Rally 2008 FYI.. most of the shots are mine.. Others I plundered from my buds over at www.I-BMW.com. A personal thanks to the behind the scenes organizers.. you know who you are and of course the guys at www.I-BMW.com for yet another kick-ass year.

You shoulda been there!!
Lastly.. The Tapoco Lodge is already taking reservations for 2009's rally. I strongly suggest you call and book NOW or be stuck out in Robbinsville with a 15 mile ride to the rally site like many attendees this year. Amber and I are already booked for the I-BMW event's 10th anniversary!!

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A Sign of the Apocalypse? BMW Steps Up To The Plate & Admits Quality Problems!
(as seen in Consumer News 01 September 2008)

Adrian Roderick, BMW's UK general manager recently stepped up to the plate and admitted the quality of BMW motorcycles has suffered due to a massive boost in sales. Geezz.. that's a shocker. Tell us something we consumers didn't already know. He says.. "The German motorcycle manufacturer, which has a strong reputation for reliability and quality, has failed to maintain standards while struggling to meet a rise in demand of over 40%.

Around 7,000 bikes have been sold to UK customers with potentially faulty immobilisers. Models across the range are affected by the fault, which could leave owners stranded by preventing them starting their bikes. BMW is also dealing with a second fault, affecting fuel pumps on R1200GSs. The fuel pump relay can fail, halting fuel supply to the engine, BMW said. 

Mr Roderick said the two faults were just the latest problems to arise following a sales boost. “They’re the two we’ve had to deal with most recently,” he said. In both cases BMW decided not to recall potentially affected bikes but to replace faulty components when they are next being serviced. Roderick goes on to blame problems on the BMW’s struggle to build 15-20% more bikes each year for four years to meet the surge in demand. “We were growing so fast we were sort of tripping over ourselves,” he said. ”We’re well over 40% up on four years ago. With any product, when you suddenly increase volumes quite quickly you are prone to things going adrift.”

He put the sales boost down to the shedding of BMW’s image as an “eccentric or quirky choice”, helped by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s use of BMWs in their TV adventure series Long Way Round and Long Way Down. Hendrik von Kuenheim, the head of BMW’s motorcycle division, said: “We’re selling a lot more bikes so there are bound to be some problems.” Von Kunheim said a trouble shooter had been appointed to report directly to him on quality to help resolve the issues.

Roderick claimed BMW is now getting a grip on the problem with the help of the new appointment. Yea.. talk to the hand. He said progress could be charted through warrantee costs. “As sales went up the warrantee cost per bike went up slightly,” he admitted. “Now it’s dropping back down again.” Little consolation to us paid customers who got the Abby Normal brain instead of Hans Delbrook's.

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Product Review: Griot's Garage 3" Random Orbital Polisher, Bag, & Accessory Kit!

I've been wanting some sort of polisher for a years.. Have always found a reason why NOT to buy one, but as I have a newly painted black motorcycle that scratches when the wind blows, last week I sucked it up and bought one. After the typical anal research and conversations with guys who use them at local body shops, I ended up buying the 3" Random Orbital Polisher Kit from Griot's Garage. If you are unfamiliar with Griots.. they are one of if not the premier high-end shops for expensive car care goodies. I've been buying waxes from them for years. As for the polisher, I will primarily use it on motorcycles, so there was no need to buy a 6" or larger size.

While I could have bought only the random Orbital polisher for $80, Griot's had a foofoo fancy kit offered for $134.99 with all the accessories I'd need to appease my inner demons. The kit includes a water resistant carry bag, the 3" Professional Random Orbital, 8 ounces of "Best of Show" Wax, Machine Polish Liquid #3, an orange polishing pad, red waxing pad, plus (3) micro fiber polish removal cloths and wax removal cloths. Basically everything you need for minor scratch removal and/or polishing.

After reading the short manual and watching Griots on-line videos showing how to polish... and how NOT to polish I sucked it up, did a painless test run on some helmet scratches, then dove in on my first scratch removal on the new Duc hoping I wouldn't screw up like I did that day over Macho Grande. One of my friends (I won't name names) inadvertently drug his boot across my newly painted tail section causing a 3" shallow scratch. Deeper than the typical paint swirls but only in the clear coat. Geezz.. The perfect candidate for experimentation... The scratch.. not my friend.... although..

Griot's offers 4 different polish liquids numbered 1 thru 4 (only # 3 is included in the kits) with #1 being the most gritty and # 4 being nothing more than polish for an already perfect finish. I started with #3 and while it took out virtually all the swirls near the aforementioned scratch and made the surrounding area look great.. it's didn't eliminate the offensive scratch. So I ordered polish #2 (at $12.99) and gave that a shot. That did the trick. It was super easy if you follow the chimp-like instructions and lose your fear of screwing up your paint. I actually feel like a pro already.

One thing I did learn was that you should cover everything up with towels or a sheet that you aren't polishing .. and I mean everything... as the 3" Orbital polisher throws s#@*% everywhere.. Little specs of polish and/or wax fly off the little pad for a distance of oh.. about about 3 miles!. Overall.. I'm very happy with this little investment. BTW.. I asked Griots Garage what kind of warranty comes on the little 3" orbital and after a moment of silence the rep just said.." well.. If it stops working.. we'll replace it".. I asked for how long and he said matter of factly..."Forever".. .. Damn!

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Product Review: Dunlop Qualifier Performance Radials

I admit, I'm a Pirelli fan. I use them on all my bikes. They are predictable, confidence inspiring, neutral at any angle, reasonably priced, and allow me to humiliate my friends on the street and/or track with gleeful abandon. These days there are lots of good tires on the market and we, as Americans, should try different things no matter how deviant or perverted so we don't get stuck in a freakin' rut. If you ask any 7 riders what's their favorite tire.. you'll probably get 7 different answers for 7 different reasons.

Recently I purchased a second set of wheels for my track bike and on one of the wheels was a brand, spanking new rear 190 x 55/17 Dunlop Qualifier. Rather than sell it on eBay, I bought a front tire to go with it and decided to mount and evaluate on my 2006 K1200S. Seemed prudent.

I'll not go into all the technical aspects of the manufacturing process (as honestly I don't know or care) but rather .. only my real world impressions after a thousand miles. For the first few hundred miles.. I didn't like them. Too much turn-in due to the "peaked" profile. This might be a great attribute on some track bikes but I don't like it on the street, but you get used to it after a while and like a cockroach... you adapt. Warm up time is as good as the Pirellis and while I only rode in the rain once.. grip was not an issue. In the dry, the Qualifiers held every bit as well as the Pirelli Corsa 3's which kinda surprised me. Wear after 1000 miles seemed as good or better than Pirelli Corsa 3s. I fully expect to get at least 2500 miles out of these.

So how are the Dunlops in the twisties? Well... on the BMW K1200S... pretty damn good. I'd still prefer the Pirellis due to their "neutral" characteristics, but otherwise.. the Qualifiers are a worthy option for the sport bike aficionado, IMHO.. Motorcycle-Superstore seems to have some of the best pricing on them if interested.

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Company Review Conclusion: JC Motors Motorcycle Transport: The Agony and the Ecstasy / Part 2

In our September Cheesy Newsletter, I detailed the harrowing saga of transporting my 2006 K1200S from Asheville, NC to Sacramento, Ca and back so I could attend the Sierra Gold Rush rally. It began when I had contracted JC Motors Motorcycle Transport. Things didn't go too smoothly at the beginning and honestly.. this Pirate was paranoid about the safety of Excalibur. Here's part two of the story.


On September 12th, after 5 hours in the air (courtesy of Delta airlines) and a $60 cab ride with Sahib the non-English speaking, hygienically challenged Indonesian, I arrived at JC Motors Motorcycle Transport's warehouse in Sacramento to pick up my bike for the California rally. Cleverly, instead of trusting the airlines with my gear and clothes, I FedEx'ed all my stuff directly to the Sonora Days Inn so all I carried with me on the plane was my backpack, my helmet, my riding boots, my leather jacket, and a tin of Mango flavored Altoids.

Weeks of fears quickly disappeared as soon as they rolled out my bike. After a quick inspection... there wasn't a scratch on it..Woohoo! I signed the appropriate paperwork, suited up for the 98 mile ride, and quickly discovered my battery was nearly dead. Damn! This was a result of a month of NOT riding the bike prior to the JC Motors pick-up because of the ball joint problems AND 3 dormant weeks in their possession.. Nobody's fault.. Fortunately, after asking the company dispatcher for a jump, they had me up and running in less than 15 minutes and on my way to Sonora for the first annual Sierra Goldrush K12 Rally.. For the Exciting Conclusion Click Here...

Don't scratch me, please!

What's New In the K1200S / K1200GT / K1200R / K1200RS No-Spin Zone

I should note that as the RS and first generation GT has 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 chat sites..

1. I reported recently that there were now only two exhaust systems still on the market for the venerable BMW K1200RS.. The Staintune and the Remus... Well this news just in from MaxMoto.. the lone importer of Remus. From now on, they will NOT be keeping these in stock or bringing any into the US unless there is an order...which basically means.. it's a special order item. If you want one..you have to pre-order it and wait... He said shipping time is about 6 weeks as they'll be coming in via ship... Ain't dat a pisser?

2. Gizmo Mill, makers of those waaaaaay cool Brake LED Tail light kits for the K1200RS has just changed their name as well as their location..Here's the info we just received....
Gizmo Mill Inc. has changed its name as a result of corporate restructuring. Please update your records. Road Rocketeer Products Inc. 10-3318 Oak Street Victoria BC V8X 1R1
Canada Contacts: Timea Meszaros, timea@roadrocketeer.com Kevin Demers, kevin@roadrocketeer.com ph: 877.388.0820 fax: 877.388.0835 web: www.roadrocketeer.com

3. I'm sorry to report that Richard Catey, the owner of Catey Enterprises ( the maker of BOMS AWAY metal polish) has passed away. His product has been around for over 20 years and was one of the best on the market. He was based out of Elizabethton, TN. Heartfelt condolences to his widow. We were told that after their current supply is sold, there will be no more produced....

4. Spiegler Performance Parts has just announced a rare price reduction...They told us their steel braided clutch line for the old BMW K1200RS has been reduced from $120ea to $75 ea..

5. R&G Racing has just started selling upper frame crash protectors specifically for the new BMW K1200GT. Check out the installation instructions. I'm not a big fan of the wedge shaped bobbins, but at least the kit is bike specific..

6. Just got word that Yoshimura is making a K1200S exhaust and/or slip-on. ... or are they? Check out this video on Youtube It looks and sounds dead sexy. Not sure if it's legit.

7. Rumors are still circulating about a K1300S and/or GT as an upgrade in 2009 or 2010..and some pics are circulating to back it up. Here is the latest.. Posted by my good buddy Locus of Borg over at www.I-BMW.com Honestly.. I'm surprised. BMW usually does things in longer cycles unlike the Japanese. They haven't even worked out all the gremlins in the current K1200S and GT and they are coming out with all new bikes? What the @%*? ... Will report as news comes in..

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. O, Canada....Et tu, Brute?...With the risk of pissing off our Canuck customers by lumping you all into the same freeloading primordial ooze... in the last week alone, we received no less than 7 notices from FedEx that 7 of our Canadian customers were refusing to pay their customs/duties fees on orders they received from us. When this happens, those fees get kicked back on us and that does NOT make for a happy plunderer. When this happens Amber has to track these customers down and scold them into paying the Canadian fees however outrageous they may be. Most usually, reluctantly comply. As all our Canadian customers know, these fees are NOT included in our pricing and are told as much prior to us shipping.

However.. out of these 7.. a few are actually refusing to pay even though they know we'll be liable.. Can you believe that?? What assholes. So here's what's gonna happen... A. We're gonna give them 2 weeks to pay their fees . If they don't we're gonna post their names, address, and email address in an upcoming newsletter. B. Then we're gonna stop ALL shipping to Canada and when fellow Canadians ask why.. we're gonna provide the apathetic customer's name(s) and email address(s) and explain that because those individuals represent the country of Canada.. Until they resolve the issues, no more shipments will go north of the US border. Perhaps a few fellow Canadians can convince them to suck it up and do the right thing. Is this extreme? You bet your Canadian ass. I'm Pirate and I have approved this message.

BTW... I hate to pile it on but FedEx just raised their ground shipping rates to Canada. Ground rates have increased by an anal busting .. are you sitting... 100% virtually overnight due to the price of oil and transportation. Last week a 2lb package would have generally cost about $18-$20US to ship to most cities in Canada via their ground service.. This week it's at least $40.. Shaka! We had ZERO warning of the increase and as most of you know..we ship ONLY via FedEx. Cost is generally 4-6 times higher than US Mail but orders can be both insured and tracked and if lost, FedEx pays for a new product and shipping within 24 hours..

2. As per the aforementioned blurb.. R&G Racing has just started selling upper frame crash protectors specifically for the new BMW K1200GT.  Check out the installation instructions. Unlike the round bobbins that we sell for the other K12's.. the GT kit will come with tear-drop shaped bobbins... or as they call them..Aero bobbins.. We should have those in stock within the next week or 2.

3. Due to the aforementioned sudden death of the company owner, we'll get one last shipment of Boms Away Metal Polish ...

4. As reported in last months cheesy newsletter.. Recently we commissioned Evoluzione to produce some BMW K1200S and K1200R Peg Lowering kits for us. Those are now complete and shipment is imminent. There will be 2 versions.. Black and Silver. Cost will be around $100 delivered. Watch the website ..Should have them within a week.

5. I recently mentioned we were discontinuing all imported Ilmberger and Pack Parts Carbon Fiber for the BMW K1200S and R and R Sport... Well.. we're getting down to the bare bones so if you've been procrastinating.. you might want to get it in gear soon ... 90% of our supply is already gone.. Last warning.

6. If you are one of the scores of customers who have been waiting for a back-ordered Pirates Lair helmet lock for your beemer.. Here's the dope. Looks like the wait is gonna be a little longer. The problem is.. We get the locking mechanisms from BMW in Germany to include with our mounting hardware. BMW initially only manufactured these in small quantities so if somebody's top box broke they could sell the customer a new lock. They never anticipated Pirates Lair buying and selling (100) a month... Basically.. we've been selling them faster than they can make them. FYI.. Amber is staying in touch with the head guy but he's still not giving us a delivery date.. so we wait.. and you wait ..However, I feel your pain.. if you have paid for a helmet lock and are tired of wiating..and I would NOT blame you, just let us know and I'll refund your hard earned doubloons. Very sorry about the situation.. Like congressional spending...100% out of my control..

K12 Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2009

The 10th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally: Sept 24-27th, 2009 (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

Well.. the last K12 rally of 2009 will again be at the Tapoco Lodge at Deals Gap and this'll be the 10th anniversary of the gathering. Dates are set for Thursday Sept 24th - Sunday 27th. It won't hold us all, so make plans now! Amber and I are already booked!! This'll be the last K12 Rally of 2009, my friends. Be there or forever regret it like the time you blew that chance with those twins because you misread the subtle signals they were giving you..

Details to come

Alternate Lodging in Robbinsville, NC. Microtel Motel.
Closest dealer (err, one in Knoxville yet?) Touring Sport BMW Greenville, SC

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How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

Our last 3 contributions were from
Peter Warren of Orange County, CA .!!! Thx mate!!

Could these tips save your life? Dare you NOT look?

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.

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-thousand 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

Our last contribution was my own...
Check out my How-To Install a Nautilus Air Horn on Ducati 1098. It's the first listing on the page.

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

Click For Larger Image.. If You Want a Chub..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues