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, 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 2021 Issue

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

A clearing by creek with a cluster of small oaks. Ringo leans against a tree, sipping a hip flask, smoking a slim cheroot. We hear chiming spurs approaching. Ringo looks up as the tall silhouette of his enemy emerges from the shadows.

Ringo: Well, ....didn't think you had it in ya.
* smiles, sets himself...
Doc: I'm your huckleberry.
*Ringo stiffens as the silhouette steps into the waning light. It's Doc, pale and drawn, looking like death itself, but awake and ready just the same..
Doc: Why Johnny Ringo... You look like somebody just took your Cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter...
Ringo: My fight's not with you, Holiday.
Doc: I beg to differ. We started a fight we never got to finish. Play for blood.. remember?
Ringo: I was kidding about that.
* a cheshire grin comes over Doc's face...
Doc: I wasn't...(Doc pulls back his coat revealing Wyatt's badge).. and this time it's legal...
Ringo: All right lunger. Let's do it...
Doc: Say when.

Doc Holiday .. Val Kilmer / Ringo.. Michael Biehn / Tombstone 1993

News and Feltercarb From The Two-Wheeled World

Picture Of The Month! Col de la Bonette, French Alps.. (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 Fabrizio Falzoi who lives in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. He says of the photo.. "This photo was taken in France at the "Col de la Bonette", a mountain pass in the Alps (el. 2,715 meters (8,907 ft)). I was traveling alone in the summer because in the winter the pass is closed due to too much snow.

The place is truly magnificent and is one of the mythical places for all European motorcyclists. I'll put you the link to wikipedia. For some it is considered the highest road in Europe. The photo I took with my iPhone 11 smartphone. I took this tour of the Alps in August 2020 immediately after the first COVID emergency ended and as soon as it was possible to travel between the various countries. Perfect weather conditions, maybe too hot for the altitude but that's the problem of global warming ;)"

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 or send me a link if you've already uploaded them somewhere. 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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Best Sport Motorcycle Boots?...
(As seen at MCGearhub.com)

Sport motorcycle boots are tall riding boots designed to yield plenty of flex and tactility while simultaneously providing ample foot and ankle protection against impacts, abrasion and crushing derived from venturing into a slide-and-glide escapade across asphalt (i.e. a motorcycle crash or gravity attack).

Crushing injuries to the feet and ankles are exceptionally common, which is why investing in a good pair of motorcycle boots (sport-oriented or otherwise) is always a good idea. Ergo, sport motorcycle boots resemble their racing-boot brethren as far as armored protection and chassis dexterity is concerned. By the same token, sport motorcycle boots do not go all in with their protective components so as to make this sport-oriented footwear one that’s comfortable to wear for long rides.

Sport motorcycle boots need to offer enough riding comfort so as to allow any motorcyclist to spend a whole Saturday carving canyons on a Yamaha R1 sportbike or touring two-up on a BMW R 1250 GS dual-sport motorcycle. Read the full article here..

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Hell Has Frozen Over: The Dominator K1200RS / K1200GT Exhaust System

I would have bet a BJ from Amber that there would never be another exhaust system produced for the venerable 98-2004 BMW K1200RS / K1200GT if you'd asked me a few weeks ago. It's been a decade since they were discontinued by Staintune, Remus, Two Brothers, and ZTechnic. Who'd a thunk another manufacturer would step up to the plate this late in the game with a new exhaust for these bikes? Enter Dominator. The Polish exhaust company.

I'd never even heard of them until a week or so ago when a customer of mine sent pictures of his newly installed system.. I have to admit.. It looks fooking beautiful. I grilled him for details. He said the install was problem-free.. The quality appears as good as a Remus he used to have. He says it sounds damn good, although sound is always subjective. The pièce de résistance is the price. They are over $1000 less than their former competitors. Too good to be true? Apparently not.

I contacted Dominator and they informed me that they've been selling exhausts for over 10 years and actually produce them for over 100 bikes and are sold almost exclusively in Europe and Japan. They simply don't advertise in the US nor do they have a US distributor. Interesting. I checked and reviews of their products seem as good as anyone elses. I asked if I could sell them here in the US and they simply said "sure". No forms to fill out.. No minimum order requirements. No oaths of fealty. Just sure. I like these guys already.

Dominator offers two options of canisters. A stainless steel with carbon end cap (pic at left) or an ultra sexy round canister that looks like a replica of the Staintune. Each kit includes a full header system, canister with removable insert baffle, all mounting hardware, and a 5 year warranty. Expect a 2 week delivery time to your door.. We have them here...

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Another Friend Takes the Long Ride.. RIP Rocky Mayer

I just got word from a friend of mine, Jacob Mayer that his brother Bill "Rocky" Mayer (of Bill Mayer Saddles) passed on July 16th. It was sudden an unexpected. He told me..
"He was still working the saddle business. He borrowed my GT to hit the MOA National in June. He was making seats in Paonia and had been driving back to his hotel. He was on the phone with his wife when he said “just a sec” gasped, and the line went dead. Truck went off the road at low speed into a chain link fence and came to a stop. Folks responded immediately and the state troopers were on scene in minutes. He was already gone."
Probably a heart attack.

His niece Maycie Liampetchakul told me (with permission to share)..
"With my dad, I got to say goodbye. We knew the end was coming quick. But this. This was so sudden. Yes. Rocky was “old” but fuck. It hurts so differently. I truly believe uncle Rocky went out the way he was so supposed to. On the road. Doing what he loved, making custom motorcycle seats, being at a motorcycle rally and on the phone with my mom telling her about how great of a day he had at the rally in Colorado."

While I'd known Rocky for years, I didn't know much about his personal life. I think he was Buddhist. He seemed to be at peace with himself. The last time I saw him was at the National Rally in 2009. Like most riding buddies, we'd usually just talk about the industry, bikes, our adventures, and our next destination. This is so sad. My condolences go out to his wife Julie, Maycie, and family. Dammit.... He was one of the good guys and he will be missed by many.

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I-BMW Reunion Party Cancelled!

Friends and fellow riders.. It's with a heavy (and apparently clogged) heart that Amber and I are cancelling our October I-BMW Reunion Party.

As some of you may or may not know, I had a heart attack Sunday Sept 12th. After a couple of subsequent ER and hospital visits, some painfully expensive tests, and multiple doctor consultations, they determined that I have some serious blockage. The kind that stents won't fix. The existential kind. So on October 25th I'll undergo quadruple by-pass open heart surgery. It's not gonna be fun, but they say I can not put it off. Dang. I'd rather party.

We were really hoping to see everyone, but it's not gonna happen this year. We'll try again in late 2022. We are truly sorry for the cancellation. There were many former I-BMW members from as far back as 20 years and as far distant as Kaleefornia who had planned on attending. And I was worried about the weather. I'll post the date of our rescheduled 2022 party sometime after the first of the year..

A pirate's regards.

You can find chat about the party here... theRiderspace chat site..

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Paradise Ridge Campground: Right Off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Amber and I bought 6 acres of mountain property just east of Asheville, NC a dozen or so years ago. We chose this location, just 8 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, as it's my favorite place to ride. We've slowly been making improvements to the property in preparation for inviting friends and family over and eventually building our retirement home on it.

A couple of years ago Amber had an idea to recoup some of our monthly expenses by allowing campers to pitch their tents on our beautiful plot of paradise. Asheville is a huge tourist destination. Wish I had thought of it!.. Anyway, this last fall we started taking reservations via the HipCamp.com website. So far we've had dozens of campers stay with us and we're getting rave reviews. Now that we've worked through the learning curve of discerning what campers need and/or want, we're ready to spread the word, allow booking direct, and offer invites to our quasi-esteemed newsletter readers. Keep in mind, this is a working farm so expect horses and free range chickens at times.

You can get most of the booking information and directions off the (admittedly lacking) Hipcamp website or call Amber direct at 828-707-7607 EST . We offer a few wooded camping spots plus a wide open grassy pasture for parking RVs, vans, campers, trailers, or buses. We are (of course) motorcycle friendly. We offer fire-wood for our fire pit, bottled water, a picnic table, a natural water shower, outhouse, and a covered gazebo with seasonal fireplace. Pets are welcome. No honey badgers.

What's New In the No-Spin Zone

1. As I reported in our action packed May / June newsletter... MaxMoto.. aka Remus USA is no longer the designated importer of Remus Exhaust systems. Since that last report, we now have a new US importer... Turn14 Distribution. Yea.. I've never heard of them either. They're a big company with multiple locations around the US. They sell mostly auto parts as best as I can tell. Pirates Lair has already been approved to be a US vendor.

2. Motorcyclists vs Big Brother: Mark my words... what's happening in Europe is coming to our shores.. Thousands of German Motorcyclists Demonstrate Against Riding Bans.. Imagine going for a ride on your favorite twist road only to get there and motorcycles have been banned or the speed limits for bikes only have been dropped to near crawling speeds... It's happening...

3. Spy photos give us a further hints towards BMW’s ADV future. For a while now, we’ve known that BMW has something up its sleeve, an ADV lineup overhaul. Back in the fall of 2019, we saw our first hints of this, when the company registered regulatory paperwork for a new M1300 GS model. Now, we see spy photos of a machine that could be that new bike undergoing testing. Full details here...

4. Here's the coolest trailer tie-down invention I've seen in years... If you have a single sided swingarm like the K13s, K1200S, R1250RS, etc etc... check this out... Acebikes CapStrap - BMW open axle tie-down system. Very cool.. Wish I'd thought of this..

5. Stuck with a flat battery in your BMW Motorrad keyless remote? Here's a simple tip that may save yourself a walk home!

6. Check out the world's fastest electric motorcycle...The WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator is more than two years in the making and heralds a new chapter in the evolution of motorcycle technical development. It is the result of a determination to turn an inspired vision for vastly reducing aerodynamic drag into reality, having won support and recognition from all corners of Britain’s fertile motorsport engineering industry. The prototype motorcycle, which is capable of speeds exceeding 250mph, features three market-disruptive technologies including WMC’s ultra-low drag system called V-Air. My guess is.. this bike figures prominently in our 2-wheeled future.. Here's the full write up..

7. In case you've been wondering... Top 10 Fastest Motorcycles In The World (with Top Speed)

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. As I reported in our action packed May / June newsletter... Pirates Lair is now buying Remus exhausts from the new US distributor.. Turn 14 Distribution... Yea.. I've never heard of them either. The shitload of paperwork was OKd.. Oaths were taken. A pledge of fealty offered. They apparently deemed us worthy. We've already sold quite a few kits through them and so far, they seem to be easy to deal with. Woohoo! Looking for a Remus for your bike? Email me and I can provide a quote and general delivery times.

2. New Product Alert! Need to lower your shift lever, but the oem adjustment screw simply isn't doing it for you? Check out the Pirates Lair Adjustable Shift Lever Rod Extension. This little device may be what you've been looking for. Developed and manufactured for Pirates Lair here in the USA, our adjustable shift lever rod extension drops your shift lever down as much as 1". To date, we've learned that our little device fits the BMW K1300S, K1300R, K1200R, K1200S, K1600GT, K1600GTL, Grand America, and Bagger. We're assuming it'll fit many other BMW's. We simply don't have access to other BMWs to find out. Install takes about 20 minutes. Adjustments will take some trial and error, but the difference is worth it. You're welcome.

3. The Pirates Lair email address of 20 years will be changing from pirate@acelink.net to pirateslair@gmail.com effective Sept 30th. The new address is already in service. You can go ahead and use the new address if you like.

4.Wanna see something pretty?... Check out the all new Akrapovic Black Titanium Slip-On Exhaust System for the K16 Bagger / Grand America. It was developed for riders who want to make a change to the bike's look and sound with minimum modification. Ride in style with the Akrapovič Black Ti Slip-On exhaust system for the world's top-of-the-line BMW touring motorcycle. You will love its unique design, which is outstandingly executed using top-quality titanium canisters and carbon fiber outlet caps. Like every aftermarket exhaust available for the K1600 series, your O2 sensors remains plugged into your factory header. How does it sound? Fucking awesome.

5. Need brake pads for your BMW S1000RR or S1000R? Checked the prices on them lately?..Geezus H! They're double what almost every other bike's cost. I recently asked my Carbone Lorraine rep why the sky-high pricing and was told that each caliper on these bikes has (4) pads rather than the standard 2. WTF?!.. I've never heard of such a thing, but he confirmed.. Cost to do both front calipers is $182.90 delivered and we have them here... What's in your wallet?

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

I-BMW / Theriderspace.com Rally Event News : 2021
NOTE: Pirates Lair 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 Reunion.. Pirates Lair Is Throwing Another Party! Oct 16th, 2021

Where: 122 Flat Top Mountain Rd, Fairview, NC 28730
Remember, when you Google directions to our property to make sure you put in the zip code as there are TWO 122 Flat Top Mountain Rds in North Carolina. We don't want you getting lost or showing up at the wrong one.. Awkward.
GPS Coordinates: N 35 degrees, W 082 degrees
When: Sat October 16th- Noon-Until....
Contact : 828-628-7093 or Pirateslair@gmail.com
Nearby Motel: Ramada by Wyndham Asheville Southeast

Amber and I will be hosting this one-day event (our first since 2007) for former I-BMW members, posters, or lurkers. Guests are welcome. This will be held on our mountain property (Paradise Ridge Permaculture Campground) just a few miles east of Asheville and 5 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
If all goes as planned we'll have food @ noon, non-alcoholic drinks, campfires, outdoor toilets, scantily clad jugglers, annoying mimes, maybe even live music around 5pm. Keep in mind, we do NOT have electricity on site.

Note: This will NOT be a "rain or shine" event. If it's gonna be wet or rainy.. we will cancel. Check with us a week prior to the event to make sure we're still a go.

We don't care if you ride or drive. There will be plenty of parking although most of it will be in a grassy pasture. There are motels nearby if attendees want to overnight in the area, but you'll need to book in advance as this is near the peak leaf-peeping season. Limited on-site camping will be available. Bring your own intoxicants. Email me for EXACT DIRECTIONS.


How-To-Survive On A Motorcycle

We have no new contributions this month.

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 rolling joints, pissing people off on Facebook, and cunnilingus so the opinions within the archives are only my own. Saavy?

BMW How-To Section

Our last contribution was
.. How to replace the spark plugs on a Bmw k1300s. It's apparently easier than you think.

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues