"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: September 2008 Issue

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

The train ride to Montenegro has just gotten interesting. 007 studies the dark haired beauty sitting in front of him in the dinner car.  The banter with this new operative has been sharp and he likes it... she questions his motives and methods.. He smiles..After explaining his ideas on taking down their target, Le Chiffre in a high stakes poker game she balks...

Bond:... one might surmise you aren't overwhelmingly supportive of this plan of action.
Vesper: So there is a plan? I got the impression that we were risking ten million dollars and hundreds of peoples lives on a game of luck What else can I surmise?
Bond: About you? (He studies her.. he's enjoying this...) Well... Your beauty is a problem. You worry that you won't be taken seriously.
Vesper: Which one can say of any attractive woman with two brain cells.
Bond: True, but this one overcompensates by wearing slightly masculine clothing and being more aggressive than her male colleagues, which gives her a somewhat prickly demeanor and, ironically, makes her less likely to be accepted and promoted by her superiors, who mistake her insecurity for arrogance .I would normally have said "only child" butt by the way you ignored my quip about your name and your parents earlier.. I would go with .. orphan.
Vesper pretends not to be stung and impressed. Bond pretends to gloat.. She sizes him up...
Vesper: .. All right... By the cut of your suit you went to Oxford or wherever and actually think human beings dress like that. But you wear it with such disdain that my guess is you didn't come from money and all your school chums rubbed that in your face every day, which means you were at school by the grace of someone else's charity, hence the chip on your shoulder. And since your first thought abut me ran to orphan, that's what I'd say you are. She see's a slight reaction and continues..
Vesper: O..., you are..  this poker thing makes perfect sense, since MI6 looks for maladjusted young men who'd give little thought to sacrificing others in order to protect queen and country. You know.. former SAS types with easy smiles and expensive watches....
Vesper: Looking at his.. Rolex?
Bond: Omega.
Vesper:.. beautiful. Now having just met you I wouldn't go as far as calling you a cold hearted bastard...
Bond: Of course not...
Vesper: .. but it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that you think of motorcycles as disposable pleasures rather than meaningful transportation, so as charming as you are, I will be keeping my eye on our governments money and off your perfectly written Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletter.
Bond: You noticed..
Vesper: Even accountants want to be informed on the latest BMW news..... How was your lamb?
Bond: Skewered... One sympathizes.

James Bond / Daniel Craig    Vesper / Eva Green...   Casino Royale (2007)

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

Picture Of The Month! Kaleefornia Dreamin' (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 Sept POTM is contributed by Pat DeVincent.. aka Muddy1, (one of the usual suspects over at www.I-BMW.com) One of many taken on her recent 7000 mile 2-wheeled tour de force. This shot ...a chilly afternoon on California's Hwy 1.

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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You're Not Gonna Believe This!! More BMW Motorcycles Recalled

BMW NA has issued yet another recall. Like last month's recall, the problem is potentially deadly. as in.. "get this fixed or you could die." No more birthdays. Saavy? The latest is NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V342000 and concerns the steering damper on most of the 2007 bikes. Honestly.. I'm not surprised as I'd been hearing people complaining for months. All 2007 F800 S, F800 ST, K1200 GT, K1200 R, K1200 R Sport, K1200 S, R1200 R motorcycles need to go in for replacement. For Full Details Click Here

Apparently, it is possible for the coating to separate from the inside of the steering damper housing. If this happens, the coating can/and will clog the oil bores within the damper causing the damper to stiffen increasing the risk of a crash.

Should be blame the Germans for this latest problem? Maybe.. maybe not. IMHO.. for what we pay for these high end bikes, we should have Ohlin quality shocks and dampers instead of the crap they stick us with, but.. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and just blame whoever they sub contracted these cheapie units out to. Afterall..this isn't a design flaw.

However, before I let the Germans off the hook.. I've also been hearing numerous reports of ball joints going bad on the new K12s. Mine did and I just had them replaced on my 2006 K1200S with only 10K on her. I've spoken to at least 2 dozen other K12 owners that have had them replaced or are experiencing problems indicative of bad ball joints. This would be a design and/or a manufacturing problem. We'll see if the numbers start increasing on this issue. Trust me.. BMW is watching this. .. Could another recall be in our future? Do men prefer a shaved bush?

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First Annual I-BMW.com Track Day Weekend! A Smokin' Success!

What a great weekend. A big heterosexual hug to Steve Wilson (aka steveK1200s over at www.I-BMW.com) for enduring (and surviving) the process of organizing something as complicated as a track day weekend. The event came off without a hitch more or less. Three attendees went down, including yours truly but nothing serious. Thx Steve (and Zombie) for taking the time to show me the lines.. Next year should be even more fun.. Lets just think about planning it later in the year when temps are lower..Feel me?

Speaking of weather.. my biggest fear was the weather forecast .. Before leaving weather.com just said.. "90's with thick juicy humidity".. As it turned out, not too bad. Both days overcast with a coolish breeze. Amazing.

For youz guyz/galz that bailed or didn't make it, besides the riding we ate some great food.. Our motley group of misfits hit a local steakhouse the first night and a famous seafood place. Loves... the second. Best stuffed flounder and frog legs I'd had in years..

Show me more pictures, Captain!

Ahhh.. but not all was wine and roses, my friends. As I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago..I had a close encounter of the pavement kind..Yes.. it's true. I low sided on the particularly unusual decreasing radius turn #5. Rider error. I went in too hot and missed my line. When I realized I couldn't make the turn (I was on un-heated new tires and wasn't sure I could trust them with more lean) I decided to stand it up and ride it off the track ..Simple solution in theory. The execution of said move didn't go off as planned. Doh!

I went down in a heartbeat when my front tire washed out in the SAND ...I was doing about 40-50mph at impact. I hit the ground hard (on my head and left shoulder)...but my R & G sliders (and helmet) did what they were supposed to do and protected all the vitals.. Besides plastic and ego.. no damage. Woohoo! Long time comin'. Just wish I had of gotten it on tape. The bike has already been repaired to all it's former glory. My ego is still on the mend.

Response to this years event was so positive that I hear a 2009 track day weekend is already in the works. ..And lest I forget to acknowledge everyone at I-BMW.com for providing the venue that allows us like minded speed junkies a place to hook up..

If anyone is interested, I've posted my photos in the Pirates' Lair Photo Gallery. Look for the cleverly titled album called... I-BMW Track Day Event: Roebling Road 2008 I'll be adding to it as people send me photos. I'll try to add names to the faces when I get time..

PS.. Best wishes to my buddy Brian L for a fast recovery.. .

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Product Review: 2009 HJC CL-15 Cyclone Helmet

In the holy scriptures (our June 2008 Cheesy Newsletter,) I did a brief review of the 2008 HJC CL-15 Orbit Helmet. A nice, inexpensive piece of shiny brain protector equipment. As I recently went down in said helmet (and lived to tell the tale)..I replaced it with the 2009 CL-15 Cyclone Helmet .Thought I'd spew a few words on it's behalf. Unlike most of my peers, I don't think the price of a helmet has any correlation whatsoever as to how safe it is or how desirable. Does this make me a moron? Perhaps, but in my skewered way of thinking, all helmets sold in the US have to pass the same rigorous tests. And Snell and/or DOT tests are better than any European tests so when its time to buy a helmet I just look at what appeals to the demons my head then figure out where I'll procure it..

The CL-15 Cyclone Helmet has a very similar fit as the 2008 version Orbit, but its a little different inside.. material, cut, and design. Nicer in fact. Again I got mine from NewEnough.com for a paltry $93.US + shipping. A killer price and I had it in my hands in 3 days. Geez those guys offer great service. While the Cyclone and the aforementioned CL-15 Orbit are obviously not in the same league as an Arai... the most comfortable helmets on earth (and some of the most expensive,) I am thoroughly impressed with this inexpensive line of HJC helmets.

The graphics on the Cyclone are (like the Orbit) as good as any I've seen. It has the standard features.... side and rear vents that don't do much... removable/washable cheek pads and inner liner... tool-less shield install and removal... and even a slide locking mechanism to keep the shield locked down for track riding. Is it luxurious? No.. Is it comfy? Very.. On a scale from 1-10 on the "how quiet is it" scale.. I'd give the HJC CL-15 Cyclone a solid 7.5. On the "how comfortable is it" scale.. I'd give it a 7.5. On the value scale... I'd give it a 10. For under $100 this helmet is a killer deal. And yes.like most helmets these days, it comes with it's own carrying/storage bag.

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Company Review : JC Motors Motorcycle Transport: The Agony and the Ecstasy / Part 1

If you've been looking for a company to transport your motorcycle from one state to another or even from coast to coast you might find this verbal tidbit of cheese interesting and/or informative. FYI ...I'm halfway through the process of having my BMW K1200S hauled out to Kaleefornia. Thought I'd share. Here's part one with the (hopefully) happy ending coming in October's cheesy newsletter..


When you need to transport your bike across country.. who do you call? You call professionals! As I intend on attending the I-BMW.com 2008 Sierra Gold Rush Rally near Sonora in September and I don't have the time (or cajones) to actually ride my bike the 3000+ miles.. what to do? Of course!!.. Fly and ride... After the usual prerequisite (read: anal) research, I heard about JC Motors Motorcycle Transport and signed them up to transport my 2006 K1200S from Asheville, NC to Sacramento, Ca and back so I can attend the rally.  It's the very first left coast K12 rally so how could I miss it?! JC Motors got a great write up in the Jan 2008 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine  and at least 2 other people in the know mentioned them. Good enough for me. As for the actual execution of said transport... I was/am in personal uncharted territories. I will admit.. trusting complete strangers with my perfectly maintained toys isn't something that comes easily for me. 

Company rep, Harry quoted me $1495 R/T which seemed reasonable and that includes a free cover for each way of transport and $20,000 worth of insurance. I paid extra for that. I think the usual coverage is about $8,000 or so. I called to make the arrangements on August 12th and Harry walked me though all the issues .. calming my paranoias ..squelching my phobias... lightening my wallet. He said they had transported over 10,000 motorcycles with only a 2% damage rate. Sounds impressive if true. I explained that my bike needed to be in California and ready for me to pick up on Sept 12th.  The plan was for them to simply drop it off at their hub in Sacramento, I'd fly in, take a cab from the airport to their hub, ride the bike to the rally, and then return a week later for the return transport home. What could be easier?... For the Full Story 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. Just when you thought it was safe to ride again... BMW puts out yet another recall: BMW has recalled all 2007 F800 S, F800 ST, K1200 GT, K1200 R, K1200 R Sport, K1200 S, R1200 R motorcycles for steering damper issues. So much for "superior" German engineering. This recall is serious so don't f#@* around. Get 'r done. (see blurb in top section)

2. We just got word from Klaus at Run-N-Lites (aka.. EPM Performance Imports) that their planned K1200S FRONT Lite Buddy Kit has been cancelled. No explanation was given. I'll venture a guess it had something to do with the bikes unnecessary and obligatory complexity...

3. They (and you know who they are) just announced the 2009 BMWMOA Intl Rally will be held in Johnson City, TN next July (Actually in Gray, TN at the Appalachian Fairgrounds off I-26) Been there. Not far from Pirates Lair..

4. There's a pretty thorough XM and Heated Seat Installation on BMW K1200S here...

5. Interested on the latest news on the upcoming BMW Superbike...the S1000RR!? Are we not men? Of course you are.. - The French website Motomag.com just published some new juicy pics of their testing the S1000RR at the Magny Cours track. Looks sweet..All the text is in French. Good luck wit dat. Parlez vous français?

6. Are your spare motorcycle or car wheels and/or tires laying around your shop/garage collecting dust. Do you carry spare wheels and tires to your track day events? Do you usually toss them in the back of your car hoping you don't get dirt/grease on everything near them? And isn't it a bitch trying to carry them from your trailer to the tire mount guy? Here's a cool product I bought and evaluated recently. The Seasonal Tire Tote from the the www.TireRack.com. Basically.. these are wrap-around tire covers (they adjust to the size of the tire with velcro straps) with a handle. A super way to keep your stuff clean and make the tires and wheels easy to carry. These are designed for car tires and wheels but they work perfectly for motorcycle tires. I bought a pair and was very surprised at how nice they are... and the kicker is.. they sell them for only $20 a pair. and BTW.. I've been buying car and truck tires from them for years..Super prices and service.

7. Rumors are circulating about a K1300S and/or GT as an upgrade in 2009 or 2010..and some spy pics are circulating to back it up. Some were recently posted at the Italian website.. Motociclismo 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. Freakish Storm Hits the 'Lair. A couple of weeks ago we had some sort of electric storm hit our area and it wrecked havoc on the prehistoric electrical wiring in our humble establishment. While the power outage lasted on a few minutes, we suffered one unusual computer hit and to this day I still don't understand how or exactly what happened. Amazingly ...every email that has come in in the last 6 months just vanished... and ONLY the ones from the last 6 months.. ??! All emails up to Novemeber 2007 are still in our database. It's as if somebody magically came in.. highlighted only those months and made them dissapear from my hard drive. *poof*

Why am I even mentioning this? Because many of our customers email me asking for order status or call referencing some past correspondence, ect etc and I usually go back and re-read the past emails to know what the f#@* they are talking about.. Obviously.. I won't be able to do that for a while. So... if I have forgotten something I was supposed to do, or if you feel short-changed from some well deserved attention.. Please remind me and I'll try to make amends.

2. Due to George Bush's failed economic and foreign policies, we've just had to raise the pricing on our Verholen Barbacks for the K1200RS by a whopping $10 a kit.... Yes.. it's so.

3. For our quasi-esteemed Ducati 1098 customers.. We now have a web page up for Pit Bull Stands to fit those bikes.

4. I while back we started carrying American Machine Peg Lowering Kits for the K1200S, K1200R, and R Sport.. About a dozen kits initially went out but we quickly learned that on some bikes with aftermarket exhausts.. there was install issues. We quickly pulled them from our product line, refunded some $ to those with the problems and have been waiting for a new improved version ever since. As it's been months now with no new kits in site.. we've decided to go in another direction. We have commissioned Evoluzione to produce some kits for us and that is in the works. There will be 2 versions.. Black and Silver. Cost will be around $100 delivered. Watch the website ..These should be about 4 weeks out. Coming Soon..

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. We just got our first shipment of Ducati 1098 Front and Rear Wheel Nut Socket Wrench Tools from Oberon in the UK. This one socket tool can handle removal of both the small front and large rear wheel nuts ...

7. We've just got our first shipment of RSC Linear Hyperpro Steering Dampers for the K1200RS, 03-05GT, and LT and kits for the Ducati 1098....We have the ever popular black version as well as Gunmetal and a wood inspiring Silver.. If you're thinking about buying a damper and you're not sure which to choose.. Just ask and I can probably clue you in..

K12 Rally News/Info: Down The Road: 2008

Sierra Goldrush K12 Rally: Sept 14th-18th, 2008 (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

Westward ho!! This will be the very first west coast I-BMW.com K12 rally...and it's about freakin' time! FYI... I'll be arriving early and leaving late. As ground zero is just a few miles from Yosemite Nat Park and some of the best roads in the USA.. How could I not linger a few extra days enjoying what the area has to offer? Hope to see you there.. in my mirrors..

Dates: September 14th through 18th, 2008
Location: The Sonora Days Inn, Sonora, California
Reservations: 866-732-4010 or Email: info@sonoradaysinn.com

Here's the latest info from Charlie .. aka.. Kneedragger over at www.I-BMW.com: "OK I-BMW friends, it is finally time for you to confirm your plans to attend the first I-BMW rally in the western USA, the Sierra Gold Rush Rally!! I have reserved 30 rooms for us at the Sonora Days Inn in Sonora, California: The rally dates are September 14th through 18th. The Sonora Days Inn has agreed to hold 30 rooms until 30 days prior to the rally. They have two facilities that are adjacent to each other: there is the historic hotel, which is a very old hotel with rooms completely renovated. Behind the historic hotel is what they call the Annex, which is more conventional motel style. We have 15 rooms in each facility, with an even mix of king rooms and double queen rooms. The Days Inn has given us a substantial discount on the rooms. The critical component when you call for a reservation is to inform them that you are with the I-BMW group in order to receive our discount. Sonora is a very old, historic town from the gold rush era of California, and the town looks much the same today as it did 150 years ago. The hotel is right on Washington Street, the main street in town, and there are a variety of restaurants and saloons in close walking distance, several in the same block. Sonora is in a beautiful area of the Western Sierra foothills, and the gateway to Yosemite National Park and many spectacular Sierra passes. The riding and scenery are spectacular... don't miss it!!

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The 8th Annual Deals Gap K12 Rally: Sept 25-28th, 2008 (Sponsored by www.I-BMW.com )

Well.. the last K12 rally of the year will again be at the Tapoco Lodge at Deals Gap. Dates are set for Thursday Sept 25th - Sunday 28th. It won't hold us all, so make plans now! Amber and I are already booked!! This'll be the last K12 Rally of 2008, 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..

Thursday noon meal - Smoky's Sports Pub and Grub ,1151 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN 37738. Phone 865 436-4220. Foothills Parkway, or try NC28 to US19 to US441 north thru Newfound Gap.
Friday noon meal (12-1:00pm) will be at the Troll Restaurant in Helen, Ga (under the bridge) Take US441 to 197 to Helen. Or better yet, NC28 to Highlands NC, then south to Warwoman Road to Clayton GA, then south on US441, and right toward "Tiger".
Saturday noon meal (12-1:00 pm) will be at the Bistro, Telico Plains, Tennessee (western end of the Cherohala)
.. if it's open.. If it isn't, look for BMWs parked nearby at "that other place" just a stone's throw away.

As usual, Fri and Sat evening will consist of tall tales, videos worthy of "Americas Most Wanted", and food in the Lodge. No set times.

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

I have a contribution of my own this month ..Woohoo
!! 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