Take me home, El Capitan!

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

Around every other month, when I deem you are worthy, we post our cheesy newsletter to inform the masses as to what's happening in the BMW world and of course... Pirates' Lair. How else are you going to find out?

Warning: While I do try to add a little humor in every newsletter, some of my language may offend the mild mannered, politically correct, liberal, or meek amongst us. If you are offended easily I suggest you stop reading here and look elsewhere for your written info-tainment.

FYI.. If you'd like to be notified when each new newsletter is posted, just email me with your request and I'll make that happen. Our email database is 100% secure. Stored in a lock box formerly owned by Al Gore. Never shared or sold to third parties. Never perused by the NSA.

The Latest Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter: September / October 2018 Issue

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

In the interrogation room.....

Dr. Silberman: Why didn't you bring any weapons, something more advanced? Don't you have, uh, ray guns? Show me a piece of future technology.
Kyle Reese:
You go naked. Something about the field generated by a living organism. Nothing dead will go.
Dr. Silberman:
Kyle Reese:
I didn't build the f#*king thing!
Dr. Silberman:
Okay, okay. But this cyborg, if it's metal...
Kyle Reese:
Surrounded by living tissue!
Dr. Silberman:
Right. Now, why were the other two women killed?
Kyle Reese:
Most of the Cheesy Pirates Lair Newsletters were lost in the war. Skynet knew almost nothing about Connor's mother. Her full name, where she lives, where she bought her BMW accessories. They just knew the city. The Terminator was just being systematic.
Dr. Silberman:
Uh-huh. Okay, now let's get back to...
Kyle Reese:
[interrupts] Look! You've heard enough! I have answered your questions! Now I have to see Sarah Connor!
Dr. Silberman:
I'm afraid that's not up to me.
Kyle Reese:
Then why am I talking to you? Who is an authority here?
Kyle Reese: You still don't get it, do you? He'll find her! That's what he does! It's *all* he does! You can't stop him! He'll wait for you! He'll reach down her throat and tear her f#*kin' heart out!

Kyle Reese / Michael Biehn .. Dr Peter Silberman / Earl Boen ....The Terminator (1984)

Sarah Connor?

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

Picture Of The Month! Looking Glass Hill, Montana (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 / October POTM was contributed by Robin Ramjohn and it is one wonderful shot. He says of the photo..."This shot was taken on our Mermaids and Mannequins Tour The total mileage for the weekend trip was 2270 KMs (1410 Miles) The picture is from Highway 49 in Montana (just off HWY 89). Looking Glass Hill. This was taken with my Nexus5 phone. The riding weather was clear and warm. The road is closed in winter, so it's curvy and fantastic. I also highly recommend the Sip and Dip Lounge in Great Falls. Mermaids.. as far as the eye can see. Also the adult stores with the extremely well endowed mannequins."

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 GSs for God's sake.

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My Own Personal Everest

By now, most of you know that I had full knee replacement surgery last year. In preparation I had researched the procedure diligently and narrowed it down to two of the best surgeons in the country. Both offer revolutionary new surgical techniques featuring super-fast recovery times of only 8-10 weeks and very little pain. I liked the idea of very little pain. After a quick call I discovered that my first choice (Dr. Steve Nguyen in Orlando) was booked a full 2 years in advance and didn't accept my insurance anyway so my second choice (Dr Thomas Gautsch @ the Southern Sports Medicine Institute in Nashville) was easy. Bam.. done..   I booked it... Drove to Nashville on November 31st and had the procedure done on December 1st. While the procedure came off without a hitch... history will record that my recovery has been nothing short of FUBAR. (Google it...)  As it turns out.. my leg (ie muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc) was in much worse shape than anyone had imagined from my original injury almost 50 years ago. Lucky me.

I had originally planned on writing a full report on my foretold fast, Wolverine-like recovery for this newsletter, but reality shot that idea all to hell. That being said, I see no reason to share a tale of woe, junkie drugs, debilitating depression, and pain so epic that Ivar Lothbrok would cringe. Like a bad marriage or the Obama presidency.. I just want to forget it ever happened. Instead, I'd like to share some advice I accrued over the last few months for anyone contemplating knee replacement or similar procedure.

Obviously a good surgeon is your first priority, but the real key to getting your life back after a full knee replacement is the rehab. My least favorite lesson learned from this whole ordeal is that everyone recovers at a different rate. Just because your best friend and/or your mother-in-law who is 150lbs over-weight and 10 years older had the same surgery by the same surgeon and recovered fully and was back to work in 8 weeks doesn't mean you will too. This is not a perfect world, my friends and no two bodies are alike. Karma may also figure into the equation, but that's just speculation on my part.

There are two main considerations to ponder for your post surgical adventure. Of course mentally preparing yourself for a 110% personal effort is a given, but every bit as important is who you hire as your rehab therapist. Like any other profession, there are good therapists ... bad therapists.. and also those that could have served humanity better as a carnival barker or taking movie tickets at the local multiplex. I spent time with 5 rehab therapists at 3 different facilities during my lengthy recovery. The first 4 therapists ranged from a Caligula protégé, to an apathetic bully, to a clueless hottie, to a Debbie Downer. I did everything they told me (and more) and made little or no progress. They blamed me and even shamed me for not meeting "their" expectations. After being summarily bruised and battered (both physically and emotionally) by the relentless negativity, I was ready to give up. I relegated myself to believing I'd never ride my bike again. Then in my darkest hour... I found my "Tenzig Norgay"

.Most people (I'd like to think..) know that Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Mt Everest.. What many don't know is that Hillary admitted afterwards that he'd never have achieved his lifelong goal of reaching the summit without the wisdom and guidance of the Sherpa...Tenzig Norgay. I can relate.

Once I got back to Asheville (after an entire month in Nashville,) we sought out a local rehab facility and after some research we ended up at Avora Health where I met Krista Connelly, DPT.. (ie.. Doctor of Physical Therapy.) (Pic at right). I told her my history, what I had been through up to that point, and my goals.. She was shocked at how the other therapists had treated me and simply said.. "We're going to approach this differently. It'll take a while, but we'll get you there.."  That's all I needed to hear. She would be my Sherpa. I would be her Sir Edmund Hillary..

Fast forward 8 months to today: Woohoo!  The summit is within my grasp. My final rehab visit was last week. As of this writing, I'm about 97% recovered and the new vibranium knee is functioning as promised.  I'm walking normally, hiking again, and most importantly.. I'm back on my bike. With her guidance, patience, humor, and Yoda-like wisdom, Krista ..er.. Ms Connelly helped me achieve the goals I had set for myself and with the regimen she has laid out for me, I am confident that I can achieve that last 3% on my own. Life is good and getting better every day thanks to a rehab therapist that was a cut above.

My advice?.. Do research. Interview a few therapists before deciding. Don't just sign up with the first rehab center you find in the phone book or on-line. Tell them your expectations and goals and "listen" to their responses. Make sure you're on the same page. Don't settle. Seek out your own Tenzig Norgay.. Thank you, Krista.

Me and My Sherpa.. Krista Connelly

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New Product: DMAC K1600 Short Throw Shift Kit : Tired Of Sloppy Seconds?

One of the coolest products we ever sold here at the 'Lair was the Verholen Short Shift Kit for the venerable BMW K1200RS... It transformed that bike. We sold a lot of them in spite of a painfully high price, but as the years past and demand dwindled, they were discontinued. Since then I've always wondered why Verholen or anyone else didn't pick up the torch and produce more short shift kits for the current crop of BMW's which, almost without exception, shift just as poorly as the old RS.

Just this week I was pointed to a US company that has picked up that torch.. DMAC Machining (in Colorado) has just introduced their K1600 Short Throw Shifter Kit to the masses and we have them. There aren't many inherent faults with the mighty BMW K1600. It truly is a great motorcycle. However, most know by now that the shift throw is overly long causing missed shifts, sloppiness, and clunkiness. It's a common problem that the Germans should have solved at the factory.

The DMAC kit shortens the overly long gear shift throw of any 2010-2017 K1600GT or K1600GTL substantially making shifting quicker, easier, crisper, and dare I say it... almost as good as any Japanese bike. I'm told their kits will NOT fit the 2018 models as those have a different transmission due to the "reverse" option. Install, while detailed, is very straight forward using basic tools. Trust me.. short shift kits make all the difference in the world. Cost delivered inside the US.. a paltry $180... Well played, DMAC.. Well played.

Show me more...

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Farewell To a Friend!

I (and the motorcycling community) lost a friend last week. I didn't know Becky (Nadine) Settles as well as I'd like, but I knew her well enough to get a big hug, beautiful smile, and kind words every time I ran into her at the various I-BMW Rallies. She was one of the sweetest people I've ever met. My heartfelt condolences go out her family and especially to my friend and her riding (and life) partner, Eddie. As I'm having a hard time coming up with the words to mark her passing, instead.. I've always liked this poem by Henry Scott Holland. I think she would, too. Vaya con dios, my dear friend... You will be missed.

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

What's New In the No-Spin Zone

1. A local dealer owner had recently been to a BMW Head Office presentation on what bikes would be coming out over the next months and years. There was no K1300S replacement anywhere on the radar and the BMW HO people confirmed that - It seems they regard the K1600GT as taking up the reins for those who are more into the touring thing and the R1200RS or S1000XR for those who are more into the sport thing. As we feared.... Looks like BMW won't be getting any of my hard earned doubloons any time soon. None of the current bikes appeal to me..

So there we have it. Kawasaki, Honda, and Yamaha are the only manufacturers now offering a big capacity sport touring bike. I for one think the Germans have dropped the proverbial ball as is evidenced by the fact that the local dealer has a waiting list of people wanting a K1300S. If one comes in, it is sold at the asking price without ever being advertised.

2. Here's an interesting read for those in our area.. Tail of the Dragon History. I've ridden the Dragon a few hundred times and I still think it's the most challenging road in the country.. Period..

3. BMW Motorrad USA has announced the opening of BMW Motorcycles of Tyrone, operating out of Kissell Motorsports in its new location at 5165 E Pleasant Valley Boulevard in Tyrone, PA.The 3,000-square-foot BMW dealership offers a complete line of new and pre-owned BMW motorcycles, parts, accessories, apparel and service capabilities within a unique 12,000-square-foot, multi-tier building.

4. Deer are responsible for more death and injury than any other animal in the U.S.A. Crossing paths with one is my greatest fear while riding here in the mountains of North Carolina. In certain areas of some states, your odds of having a deer/vehicle accident may be less than 1 in 3 within a year, with average vehicle damage exceeding $2,800, plus risk of personal injury. So how do you protect yourself? Here's one solution.. or so they claim.. Check out the Hornet Electronic Deer Whistle ... Here's a video of how it works... Does it really work? I have no fucking idea, but we are planning a follow-up soon.. Prices range from $80- $300...

5. Thinking about a new summer weather riding jacket, but don't want to look like a ricky racer or Judge Dredd? I feel your pain. Being a big fan of Vanson gear, I thought I'd share a notice I just received from them about their new Baja Jacket. It's a classic motorcyclist look and having owned 4-5 Vanson jackets, I have no doubt it's top quality. This is the kinda jacket I'd buy...

6. 10 Most Valuable Vintage Motorcycles according to Forbes... What's in your barn?..

7. Here's some rare good news for Harley Davidson.. and Women. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – In a bit more than a month since women in Saudi Arabia won the historic right to drive, a group of them is headed out on the road on not four wheels, but two... Saudi women, free to drive, kickstart Harley-Davidson bike chapter..

8. MV Agusta returns to Grand Prix racing. The Italian brand teams up with Forward Racing to race in the Moto2 World Championship.

9. Bad news for venerable K1200RS owners looking for an aftermarket exhaust... Just got word today (8/14/18) that Remus has produced their last exhaust system for the bike. They are all sold out. Remus was the last manufacturer producing a K1200RS kit. I've been predicting this.. Hoping I was wrong.

10. Hawaii Approves Shoulder Surfing.. Some places allow lane splitting, riding between lanes of slow moving traffic, and others allow lane filtering where riders can filter through traffic at stop lights and proceed ahead of other vehicles when it turns green, but as an alternative Hawaii will now allow motorcycles to ride on the shoulder of the roadway. What could go wrong there?! Authorities have been debating allowing riders to practice lane filtering, as opposed to lane splitting, but after much deliberation Hawaiian riders will get neither, and instead will be the first state to get shoulder surfing: House Bill 2589 will allow two-wheel motorcycles to travel on the shoulder in designated areas of state roads, when there is congestion. Mahalo.

11. We've been hearing about a lot of K1200RS and GT seats cracking and starting to look like dog shite after years of use... Rather than buy a new seat, HT Moto has a wonderful seat recovering service with a 2 week turn around. Here's an example of their work... Cost is around $250 delivered and they have multiple patterns to choose from.

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Our BMW R1200RS Stealth Backrest Project is finally happening. They are officially in production. Took us a while to get rolling, but this ship is at full sail and we should have production pieces in hand within the next 4 weeks or so...The only difference the production pieces will have from the prototype pic at right is the color.. Instead of the gunmetal... they will be black to match the oem rear rack and rails.

2. Bad news for K1200RS owners looking for an aftermarket exhaust... Just got word today (8/14/18) that Remus has produced their last BMW K1200RS system for the bike. In fact.. we just sold it and I've already marked them as discontinued on our website. Remus was the last manufacturer producing kits for the RS. Sorry my friends.. I've been warning for months this day would come.. OBTW.. I was also told that there was only (1) Remus K1200LT system left then they're all gone, too....

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

3. Good news for S1000XR & R1200RS owners.. I reported in the last epic issue of the Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletter that our Jiayou LED H7 Headlight Bulbs would not fit those bikes due to space limitations. Since then, 3 customers of ours figured it out and volunteered the following: "Basically, I removed the oem plastic cover and bought one of these from Amazon... TOMALL 70mm 2.5" Rubber Seal Dustproof Covers for HID LED Headlight Conversion Kit It's a friction fit. They're made of a soft flexible rubber. I have a cable tie over and around it just for my comfort. It's seems pretty secure with about 70 miles of riding today. Works like a charm.. Cost is as low as $9.99"

4. As per the blurb above... DMAC Machining (in Colorado) has just introduced their K1600 Short Throw Shifter Kit to the masses and we have them.. Their kit shortens the overly long gear shift throw of any model year K1600GT or K1600GTL thru 2017 substantially making shifting quicker, easier, crisper, and dare I say it... as good as any Japanese bike. These do NOT work on the 2018+ bikes.

5. New Product Alert! Weiser UltraBrights Extreme LED Turn Signal Inserts The ultimate LED turn signal solution. Weiser Ultrabrights are simply the brightest, most attractive range of turn signal upgrades you can buy. Install is truly plug-n-play. Basically, pop old reflectors out of housing, plug the circuit board into the existing wiring, and put the lens cover back on. Done. Sold in pairs only. We have these for almost every BMW made since 1995. They are 100% CanBus compatible and made in the UK. Full 2 year warranty. Plug-N-Play rear visibility..

6. We discontinued our ST1300 Stealth Backrests a few years ago when Honda stopped selling the bike in the US. For a while that was our biggest seller, but when the demand is gone.. it's just not cost effective to keep producing them. We still get a request or two a month. While visiting our machinist a few weeks ago he mentioned he still had a few parts left over from that project and wanted to know what to do with them. I asked if he could assemble them to produce any full kits.. Today I stopped by and he had (4) ST1300 Backrests kits complete.. That being said.. if you know anyone who has an ST1300 and is looking for a backrest.... these will be the last kits we'll produce and they'll sell faster than opiods in Ohio on a Friday night.

Click Here for Full Web Page.. If You Dare!

I-BMW Rally Event News : 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."

I-BMW Deals Gap Rally: Revived! Sept 13-16th, 2018

Where: Creekside Lodge
Nearest town: Maggie Valley, NC
When: Starts Thursday, September 13th and check out is Sunday, September 16th.
Reservations: 800-621-1260

This year the event will be held in Maggie Valley, NC at the Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge. Rooms are $99 plus tax per night for the Standard room with two queens or $109 plus tax per night for the Creekside Room with two queens. This is for 2 adults. Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge 2716 Soco Road Maggie Valley, NC 28751. We have blocked 16 rooms out of 40 total rooms so call and make your reservations! You can always cancel.

Making discounted reservations are good until August 13th and then special pricing is no longer available. Cancellation is good with a weeks notice, anything less than a week, they charge you for a night. The hotel has some other restrictions that will be passed along at the time you make your reservations (no pets, charges for stealing TV remotes, no smoking in rooms, etc.) There are a few secluded areas to smoke, if you know what I mean. Full details are here...

I-BMW AHR Rally: Oct 17th-21st, 2018

When: Arrive October 17, Depart October 21
Where: Jasper, AR
Command Central: The palatial Gordon Motel
Reservations: (870) 446-5252; tell Mrs. Gordon you're with the BMW group
Cancellation Policy: No refunds after 7 days prior to your arrival date

Single/Double (2 beds) - $50.00/night
Luxury Suites (3 beds) - $60.00/night

It's time to make your way back to Jasper! And for those who have never attended, you don't need some special "by invitation only", secret password or pass any kind of test. All that's required is to have a generous party attitude, a low threshold of self control & no fear of cheap motel accommodations. And last but not least, should you choose to attend the rally, please be aware that mature, adult behavior in any shape, manner or form is strongly frowned upon and will not be tolerated.

Hopefully, the weather gods will smile on us again this year & we'll have great autumn weather with warm days, cool nights & beautiful fall colors all around us. As usual, the fire pit stands ready & there will be parking lot blankets a plenty for the fashion conscious ladies. And don't forget, Jasper's in a dry county so bring your own hooch or get it in Harrison, 20 miles north of Jasper.


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have no new contributions this month. Our last was 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 no new contributions this issue. Our last contribution was from "Voxmagna" (a regular poster over at I-BMW.com ) who resides in London, England
. I'll wager that his tip might just be a godsend to many K1200RS owners... K1200RS Blinker Pods: 'Fixed' Forever! Thanks, Vox. Well done..

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues