Take me home, El Capitan!

"Gather 'round, lads.... gather 'round"...
Burt Lancaster / The Crimson Pirate (1952)

Each month or so, when I deem you are worthy, we put out our cheesy K12 newsletter to inform the masses as to what's happening in the BMW K12RS/GT 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 90% of it here. Why only 90%? Because I tend to tell the brutal truth as I see it on many issues/products and while I don't mind spewing "my opinion" into your home, office or cell .. I have no desire to slam, insult, or malign any company, individual, competitor in public.. unless they blatantly deserve it.
While I do try to add a little humor in every newsletter, some of my language may offend the mild mannered or meek, amongst us. If you are offended easily I suggest you look elsewhere for your written info-tainment.
So it is written.. so let it be done....

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: Sept 2004 Issue

Fellow esteemed and quasi-esteemed K12 Riders.... ..A famous (and slightly edited) movie moment to start the day......

Suddenly, The sound of a man clearing his throat. Everyone turns to the door behind them. Mr. Kobayashi a tall, slim, well groomed man stands in the hall. He has a briefcase in his hand. He smiles politely.

Kobayashi: Mr. Keaton?
Keaton stands back and lets him in. Kobayashi looks at them showing no emotion....
Kobayashi: I am Mr. Kobayashi. I've been asked by my employer to bring a proposal to you gentlemen. That must be Mr. Hockney. I recognize Mr. Fenster from his mug shot, as well as Mr. McManus. I can only assume that you are Mr. Kint. I believe you were the one who disposed of Saul. My employer sends his gratitude. A most unexpected benefit.
Everyone looks at one another in shock that he would know this.
Keaton: What can we do for you?
Kobayashi: My employer requires your services. One job.. One day's work. Very dangerous. I don't expect all of you to live, but those who do will have ninety-one million dollars to divide any way they see fit plus a lifetime subscription to the Pirates' Lair Cheesy Newsletter..
Keaton: Who's your boss?
Kobayashi: My employer wishes to remain anonymous.
Keaton: Don't jerk me off. We all know what this is. You don't work with me if I work with you without knowing who I'm working for. Now let's cut the shit. Who's the man?
Kobayashi: I work for Keyser Soze.

Keaton / Gabriel Byrnel Kobayashi / Pete Postlethwaite The Usual Suspects / 1995

Yes, it's time again you, the huddled masses.. Time to invade your personal space and clutter your in-box, but with the quasi-noble intent of informing you of what's new in the BMW K1200RS/GT community and... at Pirates' Lair.

News From The Front... Deals Gap Rally 2004!!

The 5th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally is upon us, my brethren.. This year it'll be back at the Tapoco Lodge on Sep 30th - Oct 3rd, 2004 at 828.498.2435 or 800.822.5083 As we did in 2003, Fontana Village and the Microtel Inn will be able to handle overflow. The Fontana Resort has plenty of rooms as of this week. It's the closest motel to the rally at only a few minutes and some world-class curves away... Not sure if the Microtel has any rooms or not. Also.. you can try the San Ran Motel in Robbinsville at 828.479.3256. It's a mom & pop operation right next door to the Wendys. Clean and bike friendly. There is another motel across the street from the Microtel.The name escapes me... it's old, cheap, but clean.
Not the type of fancy place a New York cleaning service would maintain but still a decent place to stay for a few days.

If you are coming from up north via the Blue Ridge Pky, be forewarned... Due to Hurricane Francis parts of the parkway are closed so minor detours will be in your future... Road closures are as follows: Milepost 317 near Linville Falls to mile 325, from Milepost 344 at NC 80 near Marion to Milepost 355 at Mt. Mitchell State Park, and from Milepost 412 at US 276 south of Mt. Pisgah to Milepost 443 at US 23/74 near Waynesville

This will be the last K12 Rally of the year and probably the biggest... be there!! Amber and I will. Also...Not that it will matter to anyone, but we are told that a few K12'ers (including myself) will be bringing their "other" bike as well. We have heard that one Duc, one or two Aprilia's, and possibly 4 MV Agusta F4's will be in attendance.

BTW.. As we did at the last Texas Hill Country Rally... Pirates Lair will bestow a FREE Pirates' Lair Hat to anyone who receives a speeding ticket while attending the rally or on the way to the rally....Why? Because we're Pirates!...and in our world.. some bad behavior is rewarded.. Arrrrrrgg


Tail of the Dragon Warriors, Lend Me Your Gears

I'm working on a new page for my website called How To Survive the Tail of the Dragon .

As I'm lucky enough to live in the Deals Gap area and now consider myself a veteran of the Dragon, I thought I'd share some of my own tips to the newbies/pros/motards amongst us (and rally attendees) who may be facing it for the first time.. or the hundredth time. I'd like to ask for other tips/contributions/epiphanies from any other "Tail of the Dragon" veterans... Just look over my tips and if you have something worth contributing or some gratuitous nude photo's, e-mail it directly to me and I'll add it with full credit going to you.


Latest on the K1200S

A few weeks ago, BMW introduced the new K1200S to designated BMW dealers from around the world in Germany and allowed them 3 days to use and abuse the fleet of test bikes. Two of my friends, David Bloodworth of Bloodworth Motorsports of Nashville and Michael Cohen of BMWON magazine were amongst them. A few tidbits of info he spewed seems to echo at least 4 other reviews I have read including Michael's review in the Sept issue of BMWON. and BTW.. Michael currently owns a 2000 model K1200RS.

The Good: It's fast, it feels MUCH lighter than the RS, the electronic suspension works as promised. Pricing will start at $15K in the US and a non-ABS version will be optional.. Yeeessss!!
The Bad: Engine stumbling due to poor fuel injection(?), handlebar vibration throughout the rev range but worst at or below 4000rpm where most of us live and ride..and best of all.. drum-roll please..... .. the "S" bike still retains the Box-O-Rocks sound that we K12RS riders have grown to love!

For what''s it's worth.. Like Michael, I do NOT understand why BMW would put the bike in the hands of testers and journalists with these glaring problems. I know the Japanese wouldn't.. Perhaps they will "tweak" the bike before it hits showroom floors.. One can only hope. I have heard from a few sources that a memo from BMW has been circulating to US dealers stating that production of the K12S has been delayed to early 2005, and they likely won't see any customer bikes until Spring. Seems the commonly reported problems have put the kabosh on their production schedule. Sounds to me like the "uber-brains" in the motherland may have wised up and are listening to the less-than-positive test reports that are showing up in US and Brit magazines.

Other wet and juicy tidbits on the K1200S that I didn't know.
1. In the large headlight there will be one low beam and two high beam bulbs.. all H7.. all easy access from behind the fairing... sounds illuminating.
2. The battery is accessed on TOP of the gas tank. There is a plastic panel just in front of the fuel cap, that pops off and the battery is right there. In theory.. it should make wiring your GPS, V1, PIAA's, and trusty Auto-Suk much easier.
3. A centerstand will be an option but much more expensive that I thought... over $200.. This sucks, IMHO. I would urge any potential buyers to raise hell about this. At the very least, I would demand the stand at DEALER COST when buying the bike. How many BMW riders do YOU think will buy the bike without a centerstand? perhaps 10%?
4. While lighter than the K1200RS.. the wheelbase is LONGER by almost an inch... That's not good news for those thinking this will be a flickable bike.. Michael says in his review that in spite of the longer wheelbase, the "S" bike did NOT seem to have the same straight line stability of the standard RS.
5. After fuel drops to reserve, a dash display will inform the rider of remaining mileage calculated on fuel left in the tank.. a VERY cool feature, me thinks.
6. Handlebars are non-adjustable.. if you don't like the ergo's.. there's not a damn thing you're gonna do about it, bucko.. for at least a year until the aftermarket adjusts.
7. There will be TWO air filters.. one on each side of the air-box.


What's new in the K1200RS/GT News...aka.. the No Wheel-Spin Zone

1. While the mirrors on most K bikes are much better than those on most sport bikes .. better mirrors are always preferable.. There's a new product in town....MultiVex Mirrors Their print ad sounds impressive. Used standard on many Indy-type race cars including the Penski Cars which won Indy in 1st and Second place..! These are said to eliminate the blind spot... and they do! I just evaluated a pair on my Verholen aftermarket, fairing mounted mirrors and surprisingly... I'm impressed. They offer a pair at $60 for the 5" x 3.1" shape mirrors that come on some R1100S and K1200RS/GT's (which is also the same size as the Verholen fairing mounted mirrors) I don't see one for the Mickey-mouse round shape that some of you are burdened with. I posted a Full Review HERE. Will we carry these from our website? No...While they do work as advertised with MY mirrors, I have heard from a friend with a K12RS with standard mirrors and his didn't fit at all. Also... I do NOT like the quasi-funhouse visual effect..(unless it's due to some very tasty 'urb) and expect a few people may not like it either even if they do fit.. However.. I am keeping my pair for further evaluation..

2. There's a NEW #1 Radar Detector on the market according to http://www.radartest.com/ Once there, click on Shootout! BEL v Escort v Valentine.. and it's not who you think it is... Can't wait to see what other publications say...

3. Recently I was raving .. actually drooling about a new helmet about to appear on the market.. the Reevu with the rear view mirror designed right into the helmet with in-visor display... well.. here's the update on that... I spoke with 3 people that actually tested them in Europe and all 3 said that they'd pass on them..While they did say they were quiet and comfy, they also said the mirror viewing area was tiny.. about 1" across and said that your head had to be in the EXACT position to actually view what's behind you... (which was my main concern). Pass..

I also had a run-in with the manufacturer.. We had words.. long story. First they said we'd be on a short list to import them.. then they said they couldn't even send us samples (at full retail) and then they got pissed that one of their Swiss distributors said they WOULD send us samples... Geezz. I told them to come back when they got their s$@* together... As far as I know.. they are NOT in Euro stores yet...or could just start arriving.

While I think that it's a GREAT idea and could revolutionize the entire industry.. this first version obviously needs to be tweaked..

4. We've been told that the new LED brake light kits sold at http://www.homebody-design.com/ ROCK! These go INSIDE the K1200RS or GT brake light housing without any cutting or permanent modifications to your bike. It simply plugs into the existing light bulb socket for an ultra-clean look. Price looks to be $120..I have a sample on the way and it should be on my bike at Deals Gap at the end of the month.

5. We recently heard from ONE fellow K12'er that the BB Chip coming out of Germany works very well with the Staintune Exhaust.. You can check out the BB Chip at http://www.bbpower.de/ So far he's the only person we have spoken to that has tried this combination. If anyone else has tried this combo.. would love to hear opinions.

6. Verholen of Germany has a new windshield air deflector available on their website. It's adjustable to 115MM in height.. Looks like it attaches to the end of almost ANY windshield and slides up or down.... Doesn't look as "bodacious" as you might think... Once you get to their site.. click on the British flag, them click on K1200RS.. it's one of the first items on the page... If anyone actually orders one of these.. Would love to hear comments/opinions..

7. The Legal Speeding Sport Bike Radar Detector Mount is an excellent radar mount option for these bikes. Should be perfect for cordless detectors.. IMHO. It secures the radar detector to the underside of the windshield, where it is out of the way of the rider, tank bag, and handlebars, but it is in a location that is very easy for the rider to see even when he is tucked down. The anodized aluminum bracket has a Velcro strap and buckle, so it will fit detectors of any size. The only downside... Drilling is involved...

8. A good friend of mine, David Ashi has just launched a site, http://www.ant-racing.com/ as a distributor of clothing and accessories. This site actually will help support his primary product, a rear view camera system for motorcycles that can also be found through the same url, or directly at http://www.ant-systems.net/ It looks to be the best rear view camera system on the market... Check it out...

9. Attention storage hungry GT owners.. A fellow inventor has developed some lockable fairing storage compartments for the GT. Cost is about $150-180 a pair. I have not seen them up close but will e-mail pics if anyone is interested or you can see them for yourself by going to www.eBay.com and type in item # 2489257990. He has asked if we'd be interested in selling these... I'll wait for feedback first.... Opinions?

What's new at Pirates' Lair?

Remember those Short Shift Kits and Ohlin Steering Damper Kits I was planning on offering???.. BOTH items are off the menu.. I decided to NOT carry them when the guy we were dealing with disrespected my wife and self imploded on the phone.... Rather than deal with them, we have canceled all orders with them, refunded all pre-paid orders, removed them from our Christmas list, and will be removing the "I love Short Shifts" tattoos Amber and I recently had put on our butts.. You have to draw the line somewhere, pilgrims.. no matter how much $$ is involved.

2. The Carbon Fiber Front Fenders have just started to trickle in. We're only getting a handful at a time for whatever reason. The Austrian import has a perfect pattern match for the Pyramid Huggers we import from the UK which is cool, although the quality is not quite as good as the British huggers. As this is the only game in town... it should do for most. Even me with my anal standards. Weighing in at just a few ounces, these are as light as mountain air and a perfect fit for every model year K1200RS, the K1200GT, and the R1150R. We think these are being shipped via the Jamaican rowing team..

3. Our new Pirates' Lair K12RS/GT Headlight Protector Kits are now available. Have you ever priced a K12 headlight? Be afraid. Unlike the other kits on the market that are hard plastic attached via Velcro, our kit is an adhesive backed vinyl with a laminated acrylic coating. We are assured that it will withstand a pellet rifle shot from 20 feet with absolutely no damage to the lens! However, I will NOT be testing this advertised claim unless I can stretch one across Chris Heilman's face.... Our kit is optically clear, treated not to yellow, and pre-cut to fit your K12RS or GT. Spray positioning liquid is included. Absolutely invisible when on the bike.. Claude Rains would approve.. So far.. these are selling faster than pin-joints at the last Phish concert..

4. Our latest offering...the Marc Parnes K12RS/GT Wheel Balance Kit Some of us choose to mount and balance our own tires.. Why? Because we hate to pay the local extortionist.. er.. dealer $60a tire to mount, scratch, and balance our tires when we can mount, scratch, and balance our own tires. Of all the balance kits on the market, this is the one I own and use. Become one with your bike.. Ahhhummmmmm..

5. If you've ever wanted to shoot video's and/or still pics from your K12 but couldn't figure out how to mount the camera..... we've got you covered.. We just made a deal with http://www.sportbikecam.com/ to sell their waay cool camera/video mounts for the KRS & GT and/or the MV F4. Looks very simple.. Light, convenient and easy to use...reasonably priced..The Sportbikecam camera mounting system appears to be perfect for professional quality action footage or home video garage porn.

6. The new Pirates' Lair Hats are In Stock!... Wearing one of the new hats will guarantee that you will have longer, spine tingling sex, and.. increase size by at least 2 inches (this applies to men only.. Doh!) or your money back...Note: Guarantee does not apply to married men.

7. While a shift lever lowering block is included with every peg lowering kit we sell, now and then we get requests for them from people with canoes for feet. For years we simply referred people to Bob's BMW, but in yet another purely capitalistic effort to pad our coiffures even further...we have decided to carry these as well.. it's a simple bolt on item that lowers the shift lever pedal exactly 1" http://pirateslair.net/Peg.htm See.. we're looking out for your needs...


Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2005 /

The 2005 Hill Country Rally has already been scheduled for the following dates... April 7-10 No other information is available at this time, but I would surmise that it will be in the aging...er.. skillful hands of our friend and former fashion consultant to Bjork.. Barry Gibbs. Stay tuned..


How-To Section at http://pirateslair.net/Howto.htm
I just posted my own How To Survive the "Tail of the Dragon" at Deals Gap

How To Survive on a Motorcycle at http://pirateslair.net/SAFETY~1.htm
We have a new contribution from the quasi-esteemed Rick Ramsey in MA. .. It's specific to New England.. Check it out ... #74

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.. so use deodorant.

Guess that smells like the end... Take care.. ride safe...best wishes for a cool summer...see you in my mirrors..

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues