Review by Denis Rouse
[This Pirates’ Lair Stealth Motorcycle Backrest Review was originally published in the May 2010 issue of Rider magazine]
You have to wonder about a company named after a den of thieves, but then maybe they’re just being honest, and isn’t that refreshing these mendacious days? The Pirates’ Lair Stealth Backrest caught my eye because at least two important women in my life have expressed concern that riding two-up on my BMW R 1200 GS gives them the feeling they need more security, like the back support they used to get riding with me on my Honda Gold Wing. I tried to tell them the Beemer is German and German women require no back support, but that putatively sexist observation, of course, didn’t cut it. So, I contacted Pirates’ Lair, purchased the R 1200 GS backrest for $365, and hoped—given some unpleasantness I’ve experienced with some aftermarket products in the dim past—it wasn’t a mistake.
It wasn’t. Turns out these are the kind of pirates who watch your back. This is an extremely tidy product that fits the GS like it’s from the Bayerische Motoren Werke factory in Spandau instead of from an aftermarket company in Fairview, North Carolina. Even so, I recommend you boot up the company’s website and observe the stainless-steel hardware, the silver powdercoated mounting plate that perfectly matches the stock BMW luggage rack, the backrest pad that likewise matches the stock seat fabric, the fact that the backrest removes in seconds for solo rides, the easy installation instructions, the laminated vinyl strips that protect the finish of the stock luggage rack, their honest admission that “gravitationally challenged” (obese) riders and passengers might want to give this product a pass…and then seal your fate with an order. Note also that the Stealth Backrest is available for Yamaha FJR1300, Honda ST1300 and Suzuki V-Strom machines as well. As a very dear friend of mine used to say, “$365? Hey, think of it as only 3.6 good dinners.” Now doesn’t that make you feel better?
Pirates’ Lair Motorcycle Accessories, 1279 Charlotte Highway, Fairview, North Carolina 28730; (828) 628-7093; Pirates’ Lair