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: March / April 2020 Issue

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

The solid city gates slowly open. Hector takes one last glance at Helen's unearthly beauty, turns, dons his helmet, and walks towards Achilles. Everything is quiet. The people on the high wall are hushed. Even the birds seem reverent.

Achilles stands motionless. The gates behind Hector close. The two warriors are now alone on the vast field.. Hector stops 20 ft from Achilles.

Hector: I have seen this moment in the cheesy Pirates' Lair Newsletter.
Achilles , expressionless, stares at the prince.
Hector: I'll make a pact with you with the gods as our witnesses. Let us pledge that the winner will allow the loser all the proper funeral rituals.
Achilles: There are no packs between lions and men.
Achilles removes then tosses aside his helmet. An insulting gesture, impugning Hector's combat skills.
Achilles: Now you know who you're fighting.
Hector hesitates... then removes and tosses his own helmet to the ground.
Hector: I thought it was YOU I was fighting yesterday. I wish it had been you. But I gave the dead boy the honor he...
Achilles: You gave him the honor of your sword...
Achilles: You won't have eyes tonight. You won't have ears, or a tongue. You'll wonder the underworld, blind deaf, and dumb. And all the dead will know... This is Hector.. the fool who thought he killed Achilles.

Achilles ...Brad Pitt / Hector ... Eric Bana / Troy 2004

News and Feltercarb From The Two-Wheeled World

Picture Of The Month! Port City of Catania, Italy.. (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 Mar / April POTM was contributed by Massimiliano Mandra who lives in Catania, Italy. He says of the photo.. "This is my k1200s, the photo I took on 11/30/2019 at the port of Catania Sicily. From there you can see the Etna volcano. The colors of my bmw k1200s are customized, as well as Akrapovic, the gel saddle, the steering k1200r, Powder coated icerchioni. Catania is my hometown had a sunny day of 19 degrees. I took this shot with my Xiaomi p9lite cell phone."

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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Paypal.. : Bend Over Loyal Customers..

Capitalism helped make this country great. It's not perfect, but it allows everyone a fair shot at success and financial security. Unfortunately, to some in the business community, greed is good and the "bottom line" is all that matters. To some, running roughshod over those around them just to accrue one more dollar is an accepted, even encouraged practice. I personally find that mindset repugnant. The dark side of capitalism. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi.

As anyone who has a computer knows.. Paypal has been around since Al Gore invented the internet. They started out as an idea and now rule the world in cyber-commerce. They also own eBay. When I started Pirates Lair over 20 years ago, we set up our entire website to work exclusively though Paypal and that decision has served us well. While we've all heard good and bad stories about dealing with PayPal, our experience with them has been almost problem free since day one. We've processed thousands and thousands of transactions with them with only a handful of problems. All were eventually solved to our satisfaction. Through the years I've been one of their most vocal advocates.

That being said... these days, their transaction fees are closing in on those of most credit cards. I guess, as a business beholden to stock holders, rising rates are inevitable, but apparently that isn't enough for them. In December we got word that they were implementing a new policy that really gets my panties in a wad and leaves a bad taste in this vendors mouth.

As of Jan 1st 2020, Paypal will no longer refund paypal transaction fees imposed on refunds or order cancellations.. meaning.. they get their cut of the pie no matter what. Hypothetically.. today you order a steering damper for your bike off our website (cost $365). Paypal takes their cut of the payment (in this case $10.80) and gives us the balance and we process the order. Then 24 hours later you change your mind or total your bike or your wife gets wind of it. The first thing you do is call us to cancel the order before it even ships.. In the past, we'd refund your full payment and Paypal would refund the initial transaction fee back to us. Bam. Done. Everyone happy. No longer...

With the new policy... Paypal will keep that original "fee".. ($10.80) and only refund the difference ... ie $354.20 leaving the vendor short. Not cool. So should the vendor refund that $10.80 out of his own pocket for taking and then canceling an order? Or pass the fee on to the customer who changed his mind or just decided to cancel?.. Unfortunately... in virtually 97% of these situations, it'll be the latter. Over a year's time the new policy would cost us (and every other vendor) a few thousand dollars.

Therefore, as much as we hate doing this... starting Jan 1st, 2020.. Pirates Lair will NO LONGER refund Paypal transaction fees for order cancellations or returns unless the item received was damaged or problematic. The greedy bastards at Paypal are hitting all their US customers with this new policy. Their Brunello Cucinelli loafers are on our collective necks and there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

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NBC Inks Multi-year Deal With MotoGP! Woohoo!
Spotted over at advrider.com

Watching MotoGP in the USA may have just gotten easier.  NBC Sports has just signed a multi-year media rights deal with Dorna.  NBC’s coverage of the sport should give MotoGP newfound exposure in the USA. As most of us race fans are well aware, MotoGP has been largely ignored by broadcasters in the USA.  In the just inked deal, NBC will air the 20-race MotoGP premier class on a mixture of NBCSN and NBC.

The network will also partner with MotoGP on an over the top (OTT) product (i.e. streaming) which includes coverage of both the Moto2 and Moto3 racing classes.  It will also host ancillary content like news conferences and special features.  Whether practice sessions will also receive coverage is not yet clear.

NBC has been chasing MotoGP broadcast rights for 3 years. Jon Miller, NBC Sports’ President of Programming said: “We like to think of ourselves as the home of motorsport … and MotoGP was one of the few missing pieces out there. It’s a global sport, very young, very exciting, the folks at MotoGP have done an amazing job building it to where they’re currently at without the benefit of national exposure and marketing in the U.S..”

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The Wussification of America.. Are We a Dying Breed?

Most of my suspiciously twisted yet loyal readers have probably noticed my reportage of all the printed motorcycle magazines that have recently closed their doors after decades on US newsstands.. Motorcycle Consumer News, BMW Magazine, Motorcyclist, Cycle World, Hot Bike, etc.. It's been heartbreaking.

Of course the advent of the internet and free, instant information helped drive the stake into the hearts of these publications, but that's not the full story.. Another contributor to the demise of printed motorcycle magazines is the fact that the youth of today simply isn't interested in motorcycles. Either reading about them or riding them like most of us "boomers." How the fuck did this happen?! Apparently, we are a dying breed. I found the following article in Moto eMag shedding some light on this situation.. -----

The US motorcycle market is very different from all other markets in the world. In India for example they sell 17M bikes a year. It's no wonder European brands are flocking there. We are a country of 320M and last year we purchased 17M new cars, SUVs and pickups. However, in the same year we bought only 470K motorcycles, including scooters and three-wheel vehicles (down from over a million units in '07). The US moto market has contracted or shrunk by about 60% in 10 years.

The US moto market is shrinking and with new generations showing little interest in anything other than gadgets, eating Tide pods, and video games it wouldn't take Nostradamus to see where our future is heading. In a previous article on MOTO eMAG, Bless the Boomers, I explained that the boomer generation is responsible for creating a massive outdoors-loving industry, such as riding, flying, boating, fishing and classic cars. With the boomers retiring and gradually passing on, all these markets will weaken a great deal in the US. Read the full article in Moto eMag here...

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New At Pirates Lair: R1250RS, R1200RS. R1200R Carbon Fiber!

My guess is I'm not the only one who has noticed the obvious division in our country and it seems like no matter how much time, energy, and clever insults you put into your side of the argument.. you'll never persuade the other team to cross over. No.. I'm not talking about politics... I'm talking about carbon fiber on a motorcycle.

I've discovered over the 20 years I've been in this business that there are two mind sets on motorcycle carbon fiber.. Those that would rather set their money on fire rather than waste it on carbon... and those that simply can't get enough. I'm kinda right in the middle of those philosophies. I generally put some carbon on every bike I own as a way to accentuate the visuals. To me, it has nothing to do with weight loss. As I've said for years.. putting carbon fiber on a motorcycle is like putting makeup on a woman.. Too much and they look like a whore.. too little or none and they look Jane Hathaway.. Just the right amount and they are stunning.. Think Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.

I just went live with a new carbon fiber menu ..BMW R1250RS / 2015+ R12o0RS Carbon Fiber. On the new page we offer carbon from Bestem, Ilmberger, and ZTechnik. You want your bike to stand out? Are we not men? I'll add new pieces as they become available...

Click Here To See More... If You Dare
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What's New In the No-Spin Zone

1.OK I admit it.. I'm a huge fan of Easy Rider... While it's somewhat dated in some scenes... it still holds up today. The music.. the imagery... the message. I'm sure it had some sort of impact on my early psyche. To what extent.. I have no idea.. And while I've never owned a Harley, I've always loved to look at them. Here's a very cool article about the two bikes featured in the 1969 iconic film.. Behind The Motorcycles In 'Easy Rider,' A Long-Obscured Story.

2. Like "Generalissimo Francisco Franco".. I-BMW is still dead. Thus far I still haven't taken all the links to them off our website.. I guess I should ..

3. Here's a fun article I saw at AdventureRider... Worth a read.. Don’t Do the Top Gear Vietnam Thing: Part 1 and Don't Do the Top Gear Vietnam Thing (Part 2)

4. We just got this from ZTechnik .. "We are excited to announce the release of the VStream Windscreens for the 2020+ R1250R model! This release completes the offering of VStream experience for the "R" model family. Email me for pricing and details if interested..

5. As most of you know by now.. last month we lost one of the greatest rock drummers of all time.. Neil Peart (of Rush).. What many don't know is that he was an avid BMW rider, world traveler, and writer. Here's a nice article about Neil and his motorcycling life from CycleWorld.com... A Hundred Miles Before Breakfast - The Beautiful Life Of Rush Drummer And Motorcyclist Neil Peart. And another write up by Rolling Stone.. Neil Peart, Rush Drummer Who Set a New Standard for Rock Virtuosity A life well lived..

6. The wait is over.... 2020 MotoGP Calendar Officially Confirmed

7. Another one bites the dust.... Motorcycle Consumer News Shuts the Garage... I grew up using this magazine as my moto-bible.. While I haven't bought one in years, it was comforting just knowing they were there. Here's a good write up from the guys at AdventureRider.com The mag’s Facebook page simply says “MCN is no more. Thanks for riding with us for the last 50 years! Visit MCNews.com for more info. Keep the shiny side up.“ Sad...

8. Remus has stopped making their K1300S Titanium slip-on kit.. My guess is... they'll discontinue the other versions as soon as they are out of stock... If you have a K1300S and have been thinking about a Remus for it... now would NOT be the time to procrastinate.. I have access to a few kits and I suspect they'll go fast. MaxMoto (the official US importer) can't get them to to their green laws..

9. Woohoo!. An accessory "barn find." For our BMW K1200RS riders out there. I just found what is absolutely, positively the last ZTechnik Carbon Fiber Instrument Panel Kit on earth. New and unopened.. One of my vendors found it in a store room. We used to sell the shit out of these kits and for reasons unknown, ZTechnik discontinued them years ago.. This is the last one, my friends...

What's New at Pirates' Lair?

1. Paypal Returns or Cancellations: As per the justified rant in top section, as of Jan 1st 2020, Pirates Lair will not refund paypal transaction fees on refunds, order cancellations, or on some returns. The greedy bastards are hitting all their US customers with this new policy so we have no choice, but to pass it on. So sorry. This was NOT our idea nor do we like it. The amounts are generally small, but it still pisses me off... Of course.. we still take credit cards over the phone like our forefathers..

2. Bad news for 98-2000 BMW K1200RS owners.. Your choice of replacement windshields just got smaller... Got a call from ZTecnik just now informing me that their Z2211 Tall Light Tint windshield has been discontinued.. Damn! It was my all time favorite shield for that bike... Sign of the times as these bikes grow older..

3. We now have ZTechnik VStream Windshields for the 2020 BMW R1250GS & Adventure as well as the 2013-2018 R1200GS & Adventure.

4. Sliding forward when coming to a stop? Scuffing up your gas tank with your knees and jacket? Wife sliding off the bike during late night garage sex? If you want grip AND protection for your brand spanking new 2020 S1000RR.. we now have TechSpec Gripster Kits for them on our website. Each (3) piece kit includes R & L Grip Skins and a tank protector for the front of the tank. We have kits for the aforementioned 2020 model as well as the 2009-2019 BMW S1000RR & S1000R .

5. New Product Alert! We now have the ZTechnik R1250 Engine Guards for the 2019+ BMW R1250RT, GS, RS, R

6. Price Reduction Notice: I'm not sure why and I didn't ask, but Bestem has lowered the prices on most of their K1300S / K1200S Carbon Fiber Parts.. Could be because these bikes are aging.. could be over-stocked.. could be some altruistic reason. If you've been wanting to give your ride a Carbon Fiber facelift for 2020.. now would be the time...

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

7. Since MaxMoto stopped importing Remus BMW K1600 headers (due to Kaleefornia's Orwellian "green" laws)... they have become our biggest selling product here in North Carolina. We're getting shipments direct from Europe every 10 days. . If you know anyone looking.. send them our way. Be all you can be..

8. We now Pyramid Plastics Frame Cap Kits for the R1250RS / R1250R & 2015+ R1200RS LC / R1200R.

9. We just got confirmation that our BMW R1200GS LC Stealth Backrest will fit the R1250GS LC. Woohoo! Our kit includes a padded backrest and an aluminum mounting plate that bolts directly to the top of your oem rack. Install is under 5 minutes with standard tools. The backrest slides on and off the bike in under 15 seconds. No modifications necessary. Our backrest will NOT fit the Adventure.

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

10. New At Pirates Lair: R1200RT LC & R1250RT Menu! After a few years of profound procrastination, we recently went live with a new menu for the BMW R1200RT LC / R1250RT. Yea yea.. It's taken me a while to get around to it, but I finally got 'er done. Getting chastised almost weekly by RT owners looking for swag was admittedly.. highly motivational. While the 'pickin's on the new RT menu are somewhat limited at the moment, over the next few months I'll attempt to bring this new section up to Pirates Lair standards with all kinds of mouthwatering, wallet emptying goodies.

11. A customer of ours just pointed out to me that Pirates Lair Motorcycle Accessories has a 5 star rating on Google .. Well what do you know! I could revel in my own cyber magnificence, but I can just hear my late father sayin.. "Don't get cocky, son.".. That being said.. I'd like to thank all the little people... ;-)

12. Remus has stopped making their K1300S Titanium slip-on kit.. My guess is... they'll discontinue the other versions as soon as they are out of stock... If you have a K1300S and have been thinking about a Remus for it... now would NOT be the time to procrastinate..

13. New Product Alert! We now have the inView Wireless Helmet Brake and Turn Signal System. The technology is finally there. No on/off switch – you don’t have to remember to turn it on or off. Easily transferable between helmets (2 sets of mounts included) Passive braking (ex. downshifting) detection that illuminates both helmet and motorcycle brake light. Automatic diagnostics that test battery condition and communication. Available in Clear or Red Lenses. Reviews have been off-the-charts positive. The inView even won the prestigious “Best Safety Product AIMExpo” in 2o19!

14. Back from the dead... our R1200RS/ R1250RS Stealth backrest project is back on track and in the works. I hope to see production kits within the next few weeks. If interested in being on our notification list.. email me.

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

I-BMW / Theriderspace.com Rally Event News : 2020
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."

2020 Texas Hill Country Rally: April 4th-19th

For those that want to join in the fun, the 2020 THCR is on!

When: Arrive April 15, Depart April 19
Where: Bandera, TX
Location: The River Front Motel
Contact: Mary Jane  (830) 328-5110

There was a limited number of cabins left last we checked.. If interested in attending I suggest you either book now or have them out your name on a waiting list...

2020 Blue Ridge Parkway Rally: May 28th-31st New Date!

Where: Wattstull Inn, just north of Buchanan, Virginia
When: Arrive Thursday May 28th - Depart Sunday May 31st

Call 540-254-1551 for reservations. / Mention: i-bmw group
SPECIFY ROOM TYPE - single, double, king.. / Rooms are $75 per night plus tax

this year we're trying a different weekend, May 28-31. Apologies to those who wanted the traditional, but this date was selected by climatological science, scouring local college graduation dates, avoiding Memorial Day, and getting it in before schools in Virginia get out.

Ann gave us a discounted room rate of $75 a night plus tax, which works out to $84.26. With a roommate that costs you a whopping $42.13 a night. Normal rate would be $94.46. She's blocked off the whole place, 26 rooms and will hold until April 1. She said that one night would be placed on your card as a hold. Informally she sounded pretty flexible on cancellations, but remember this is a family business that treats us well so do your best not to jerk them around.

Blue Ridge Parkway info and maps can be found here and here

Alternate Lodging (info only) : Super 8 – Bedford or Days Inn – Bedford or Peaks of Otter Lodge


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

BMW How-To Section

We have no new contributions this issue.

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

Pirates Lair Cheesy Newsletters .. Past Issues