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 a new 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. Basically.. "enter at ye own peril.."

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 or Russian hackers.

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: Sept / October 2017 Issue

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

Harry and A.J. have successfully wired the nuclear device. It's ready for the detonation that should, in theory save the earth. AJ has drawn the short straw..meaning he'll have to remain behind on the asteroid to manually detonate the bomb. When the two reach the air lock door....With one hand, Harry stabs the door, and then with a small pipe clamp, rips A.J.'s air tubes....

Harry: It's my hole, I drilled it, and I'm staying with it till the end. Harry grabs him, throws his kicking, screaming body into the airlock. A.J. is choking.
Harry: She's always going to be my little girl. The door shuts automatically. Harry is now alone.
AJ: Goddamn it, Harry....! A.J. lunges for the airlock. Sharp grabs A.J. with his good arm... holding him back.

Sharp: This guy really is a hero....
Skip: Director? It's Mr. Stamper. He wants to talk to his daughter.
A N.A.S.A. Tech hands Grace a mike and exits. She stares at the static on the monitor. Harry's face fades in and out. Grace knows something is very wrong from her father's strained, tired face. She forces a smile.
Grace: Daddy.
Harry: Grace. I...(sighs) This is so hard for me. I don't have.... Tears start to well up in her eyes.
Harry: ...I just....want you to know how much I love you.
Grace: I'm so proud of you, Daddy. She wipes a tear from her face.
Harry: (looking at Earth) It's so beautiful up here. So pure. (swallows hard) I remember something I read once in the Pirates' Lair Cheesy Newsletter..."The world is a fine place...and worth fighting for." (He looks at Earth, smiles) Gracie, I'm just an iron-ass-warrior doin' what's best. Take care of A.J. I'll look in on you from time to time....

Harry Stamper: Bruce Willis / AJ: Ben Affleck / Grace: Liv Tyler Armageddon (1998)

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

Picture Of The Month! Rocky Mountain High! (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 / Oct POTM was contributed by my good friend Charlie Wickliffe aka Kneedragger (a regular poster at I-BMW.com) . He says of the photo..."I took the photo on 6-12-17 on Dallas Divide, on Colorado Highway 62, elevation 8983', about 12 miles west of Ridgway, Colorado. Bikes shown are Victory Bell's K1200S and my R1200RS. Weather was clear, breezy, mid-70's, photo taken with my Samsung Galaxy 7 phone. Snow-capped peaks shown are 13,800'+ to 14,000'+ Arrggg... "

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 any late model BMW .. B. In focus... C. No GS's for God's sake.

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The 2017 I-BMW Kentucky Hill Country Rally (KHCR): One For The Books!

We hear the 2017 I-BMW KHCR was yet another successful, incident-free event and we've got the pics to prove it! From the reports I've read, the weather was as good as it gets. There was plenty of great food.. old friends.. spanktacular roads... and the hookers were noticeably better looking than last years. Isn't that what it's all about? A few trip reports are posted over at the quasi-sponsoring website... www.I-BMW.com We heard one unconfirmed rumor that not a single "velocity award" was achieved during the event...!!?? Can that be right?? Have we evolved into a bunch of underachievers? Say it ain't so!!

A special thanks to Tim and Susan Hudspeth who helped organize the event and all the guys at www.I-BMW.com for putting together yet another successful gathering. Wish I could have been there. Hopefully I can some time in the near future. It's all about the finances these days.

If interested/bored/bi-curious.. check out our Kentucky Hill Country Rally 2017 Photo Album. Thx to all the I-BMW.com miscreants who selflessly (and in some cases.. unknowingly) contributed photos to this year's photo album.. Tim & Susan, Lee & Debbie, and McFly in particular. Long live Texas!!

If you'd like your I-BMW event mentioned in this most holy of newsletters, please email me with details and I'll add the info to our next issue. If the organizers of these events don't let me know... I can't let YOU know.. Just sayin.

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Extinct?! But I Still Want One, Dammit! A Method To My Madness

A few days ago I got a call from an angry "potential" customer who wanted to know why I have many discontinued products still listed on our website he could no longer purchase from us... "Why show us what we can't have?" he said.. The fact that on those pages I have the item(s) listed as "Discontinued" in bold, red, italic text made no dent in this guy's anger. In all fairness, he's not the first to ask that question so in the name of full disclosure I feel like I should 'splain to those similarly befuddled. There is, you see, a method to my madness.

Through the years we've manufactured many products for late model motorcycles. Mostly BMWs. As demand dwindles on an item... we discontinue. Specialty parts like our K1200RS Protector Screens, K1200RS Scoop Kits, K1200RS Stealth Backrest, K1200RS Solo Seat Cowling, or our Pirates Lair Torque Arms had their blazing run in the sun then faded like Philip Michael Thomas's career. On certain aftermarket items we've sold like the K1200RS Staintune Exhaust, Rhinewest Chip or the American Machine Barbacks those manufacturers chose to discontinue for similar reasons. That being said.. what do customers do when new parts are no longer available? Yep.. They start searching for used parts on eBay, web forum classifieds, swap meets, psychic hotlines, etc.. Sometimes they get lucky, but have no idea how much the used part is worth, what parts are supposed to come with the item, how do they install, what are the specs, etc.. so they call me to fill in all the blanks. While anyone who knows me will tell you I don't mind helping out a fellow rider with advice... answering numerous questions about parts we no longer produce or sell is time consuming. So what to do? I think you see where this is going...

I put a lot of time and brain cells into each web page on our multi-hundred page site describing products as best as I can. I always provide plenty of pretty pictures, how-to install links, info as to what comes with each item, cost, colors, origin, etc.. By leaving those old pages up showing discontinued items, I can simply provide a link to the "seeker of extinct swag" who (in theory) can get all the info he or she needs before making their pre-owned purchase decisions. This saves me all kinds of questions and more importantly.. time, of which I'm always in short supply. Consider those old pages my own altruistic way of saying.. "here ya go... hope this helps". No need to thank me...

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Water- Cooled R1200GS / GSA Tech Campaign Now A Full Blown Official Recall!

BMW's recent tech campaign on the liquid-cooled R1200GS and GS Adventure (according to the BMWMOA newsletter) has just taken on new life. In mid-July, BMW issued a "stop sale" order, saying that no GS/GSA bikes currently in dealer's hands could be sold without having a suspect fork issue addressed; BMW followed that order up soon after with an official worldwide recall for all R1200GS and GS Adventure motorcycles built between November 2013 and June 2017.

BMW's field tests determined that the fork tubes could suffer damage under excessively hard-riding conditions, such as hitting a pothole or object in the road or a crash. They determined that an extreme impact could cause a total front end failure, which could obviously result in severe injury or even death for the rider. Probably not a good thing.

BMW continues to insist that no reports of such an incident have been made, at least in the UK, but here's a YouTube Video of a guy that claims it happened to him. Other anecdotal stories (and photographs) floating around the internet would seem to contradict their claim as well. Shotcallers at BMW's Off Road Skill Center in Wales (UK) have been checking their bikes' forks every night and say they have experienced "no fork separation issues," though they have seen some stanchion movement on some of their bikes

To address the problem going forward, BMW updated the design of the forks starting in mid-June 2017, no doubt coinciding with the release of the original tech campaign.

As with all vehicle recalls in the United States, registered owners of affected motorcycles will receive a letter in the mail with instructions on what to do. Owners can also call their local dealer for more information. While BMW has not issued a "stop ride" order like they did with the rear suspension issue on the R1200RT in 2014, it would make sense for any rider concerned with possible fork failure on their affected motorcycle to park the bike and contact their dealer. Just sayin.

What's New In the No-Spin Zone

1. Here's some tasty information from the motherland... Check out this waaay cool video from BMW of the 2018 New Colors and Models. I usually yawn at the German's ideas of "new," but this is actually pretty impressive. They are definitely upping their game. Still no replacement for the mighty K1300S....

2. BMW Motorrad reports best-ever June! BMW Motorrad achieved its best-ever June with a total of 17,260 motorcycles and maxi-scooters delivered to customers, an increase of 15.1% on the same month last year. Those figures helped BMW Motorrad achieve a record first half-year with sales totaling 88,389 in the first six months of the year, up 9.5% on the same period last year.

3. Found a set of highway pegs for the BMW K1200GT / K1300GT made by Estrada Design Ventures called Roto-Pegs. They are a little pricey, but they do the job of stretching out your legs so you don't get cramps. There is about a 10" difference in peg position which is very significant. The vendor recommends not standing on the pegs because of the way they rotate, but we hear they are more than sturdy enough for riding.

4. Are you sweating your ass off on scorching summer rides? Find out if LD Comfort's Base Layer Undergarments beat the heat... LD Comfort Base Layer Undergarments Review - Moto Mouth Moshe #35 Thanks again, Moshe for another waaay cool video..

5. We used to sell Carbon Fiber Heel Guards for the BMW K1200S & K1300S then for some reason they simply weren't around. My guess is the price was too brutal. I think they were around $180 or so for the 2 stick-on covers. Today while researching some for a customer I found two places that still sell a kit made by Ilmberger.. the GEG Shop in the Netherlands... and Hornig of Germany has a kit. The price is even higher than they used to be. Worth it? Only to the truly insane...

6. Speaking of BMW recalls (mentioned earlier..).. Here's another from Asphalt & Rubber.com... .. BMW Motorrad continues to have recall trouble during the 2017 riding season. This time the German brand is recalling 29,281 units from various models, for an issue with the optional aluminum luggage cases, which may block the view of the bikes’ rear reflectors. The recall affects seven models in total: 2013-2017 BMW R1200GS, F800R, and F800GT motorcycles; 2014-2017 R1200GS Adventure motorcycles; 2016-2017 S1000XR motorcycles; and 2015-2017 R1200R and R1200RS motorcycles. Can you see me now?

7. Here's a nice YouTube video you GS-philes should find tasty... ..2018 BMW R1200GS Adventure Studio Details & Photos!

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. New Product Alert: Want to use your Techmount Center Mount specifically for your IPhone? Many do.. If that's the case you might want to consider the Techmount 4-21009TGRIP Techgripper Mount for your K1300GT or 2006 -08 K1200GT. It's the same mount as our Techmount Aluminum Center Mount, but instead of the round platform it comes with the patented Techgripper Universal Smartphone and GPS Holder. The Techgripper Mount is the most secure and attractive mounting system you'll find for your cell phone, GPS, MP3 player or any other personal device. Gripping Power is 18 pounds per square inch and the claws spread as apart as far as 4.3 inches, enabling you to mount all models of cell phones and/or smartphones (including the Samsung Note and iPhone 6) while even in a case. It's UV Proof, heat resistant, and waterproof..

2. We've just found out that while full K1200RS Staintune exhaust systems are no longer available, replacement canisters are. If you've damaged yours due to a crash or drop, we can special order the oval canisters from the Australians. Email me for pricing and/or availability.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare!

3. We're now carrying the all new Remus 8 Slip-On Exhaust Systems for the 2013+ BMW R1200GS LC. The multi-pass interior design of the innovative "8" muffler offers a big expansion volume to enable an increase of engine power and torque in combination with the well-known REMUS sound. Remus 8 slip-on exhausts are available in matte stainless steel or black stainless steel. Both choices come with a carbon fiber end cap, connecting tube, and a carbon fiber heat shield which, IMHO, is the reason for the high price.

4. Got a call a few minutes ago from one of our suppliers about a new product they are offering.. I have ZERO idea if there is any market for it, but I thought I'd ask.. Does anyone have any interest in Scottoiler Automatic Chain Lube Systems? Keeps chains clean and lubed-chains last longer and wheels stay cleaner. Honestly, I don't think I've ever had a single request for one, but I learned a long time ago.. never assume. Kits are just under $100.US Email me if you think I should add them to our website or have any interest in one...

5. Pirates Lair Shutdown Notice: No.. it's not what you think. We survived the last president (just barely) and business is actually much better now. No... I just want to make our readers aware that this aging pirate may have a knee replacement done sometime before Christmas and we'll have to shut down until I'm able to make it back into the office and/or shop. I've been needing a knee replacement for over 40 years, but have put it off until the procedure wasn't a total horror show. That time apparently has come. The technology of the procedure has progressed by leaps and bounds over the last 5 years. It's much "less-traumatic" with shorter recovery times. I'll be up and walking in 2 weeks time.. or so they tell me. I heard my doctor tell his colleague... " We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make him better than he was before. Better... stronger... faster." We shall see. I'm shooting for December 1st so I can enjoy the fall riding season in October/November before parking the bike for a long winter. If all the planets align and the doctor signs off on it, Pirates Lair will be closed for at least 2-3 weeks leading into the holiday season. Fingers crossed. Wish me luck.
6. We've been selling a locally made K1200RS Brake Pedal Extension and a BMW Shift Lever Extension for over 12 years now.. We must have sold a few thousand of them.. Just last week I heard from my good buddy David Swisher..(a member of the elite million mile club which is different than the mile high club) who makes these for us in his shop. He's decided to stop making parts, retire, and ride off into the sunset. A worthy goal indeed. Yippee ki-yay, my friend. - That being said, while the last of his brake pedal extensions have already sold out, we still have his last production run of shift lever extensions in stock. We're going to have (with Dave's blessing) our machinist produce them now that Dave's no longer in the game. We hope to have those by early October.

7. New Product Alert: Our friends at Hornig of Germany deliver another impressive product with their Hornig S1000R Handlebar Risers These bar risers will allow you to raise the oem handlebars on your S1000R a full 20mm (approximately 3/4 inches) for a slightly more relaxed seating position. Less lean. The adjustment range of the handlebar angle is also increased, which further adds to rider comfort. Chimp easy install taking only minutes with no mods or cables or alcohol required. We suggest you try these before investing in a more expensive riser kit. Sometimes a small change makes all the difference...

8. As per our last issue's blurb... Staintune Exhausts are back on the Pirates Lair menu. For how long? Your guess is as good as mine.. Apparently Staintune is up for sale, but will continue producing kits in the interim. We're getting shipments like clockwork from the Aussies.. If you are interested in one.. Now would not be the time to procrastinate.

Click Here To See More... If You Dare

I-BMW Rally Event News : 2017 / 2018
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."

10th Annual I-BMW Sierra Gold Rush Rally & Pre-Rally: Sept 8th-Sept 12th, 2017

Where: Creekside Lodge
Nearest town: Markleeville, Ca.
When: Check in Friday, September 8th… check out date is estimated to be Tuesday, September 12th
Reservations: Please call Jeannie or Todd at the Creekside Lodge, 530 694-2511

In 2017, we will return to the Riverside Inn in Downieville for the pre-rally. We will check in at the Riverside Inn on Tuesday, September 5th, and check out on Friday, September 8th for our ride to Markleeville. Please call Mike or Nancy at 888-883-5100 or 530-289-1000 for your individual reservation, and you MUST identify yourself as part of the I-BMW group!! There will be overflow lodging available at both venues… in Downieville there is the Carriage House, right across the river from the Riverside Inn, 530-289-3573. And in Markleeville there is the Toll Station, which a few of you seem to prefer, 530-694-2507.

Lodging, as always, is very limited, and no advance arrangements have been made for our group for overflow lodging at either venue. If you are not absolutely certain that you will be joining us, please wait to make your reservation until you are committed. However, if you definitely plan to attend, you should make your reservations immediately.

The 18th Annual I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: Sept 28-30th, 2017 New Date!

Where: Tapoco Lodge
Nearest town: Robbinsville, NC
When: Sept 28-30th, 2017 [Thur-Sat] Check out Sunday
Reservations: Direct 800.849.2258

The Tapoco Lodge (near Robbinsville) site of our first 9 or so DGR's will again host the 2017 event. Hopefully without any hurricanes spoiling the fun. The newly renovated, upscale Tapoco has reserved all their cabins for our motley group. Woohoo!! All cabins for 2017 range from $129-229 a night. Be sure to mention i-bmw group when booking. Amber and I will be there. Neither of us will be wearing panties. They are taking reservations now!

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

Cancellation Policy: In the event of cancellation 30 days prior to the event, guest will be charged for one night. If the cancellation is outside of the 30 days, there will be no charge. This policy will be strictly enforced in 2017 and is nonnegotiable. Savvy?

We're baaaaaack!

Australian I-BMW Rally: March 2-6th March 2018 New!

Currently all details including detailed maps showing the daily routes, lodging, etc... can be found at I-BMW.com

Basically.. starting in the town of Tumut, NSW, Australia on the Thursday 1st March afternoon/night.. Why those dates? Victoria Labor Day Weekend is the following weekend and is a bike and hotrod show in Bright, and the World Superbikes is scheduled for the previous weekend. This should give us the same riding as last year which was clear roads with the minimum of “fuzz/Leos” about. Starting and finishing the rally in Tumut may present an opportunity to unload some gear for a few days for some long distance riders, and will also work for anyone that wants to “trailer” their bike to the rally. The weather…… could be cold mornings and warm afternoons like our previous rallies, could be 36 degrees every day like the 2016 Rally. More importantly we hope it doesn't rain..

Motorcycle rentals are available out of Sydney and Melbourne with quite a few BMW's on the menu. Costs are about $200-300+ a day plus insurance, deposit etc. Be a part of (hopefully) a new tradition.. and watch out for the 'roos.


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have a new contribution this month from Paul Andry of Highlands, North Carolina . Check out #166. 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 from Joey Ahrens of Reston, VA . Check out his
BoosterPlug Install Pictures On K1200S This should prove helpful for anyone doing that install.. Thanks, Joey

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues