Customer Comments for the Pirates' Lair BMW R1200GS Stealth Backrest

First, thank you for sending this to me on the day before you went on vacation! The backrest was delivered three days later and was waiting on the front steps of the house just after my favorite passenger arrived home after a day long ride. Great time to be able to say "look, here is the fix to make you more comfortable next time out." The product quality and assembly instructions are superb (including the port and starboard color markings on the peel n stick tape). It took just a few minutes to mount on my GS. Then, with memories of the recent ride still fresh, my passenger mounted the bike, leaned back, and....the fix was not what was hoped for. My passenger is of slight build and 5'7" tall. The back rest only supports her bum, but is not high enough to support the small of her back, which is what she wants. With all due respect, for your excellent craftsmanship, I took the unit apart, drilled and tapped some new holes and glued, screwed and reassembled everything so the back is just about 1-1/2 inch higher. We are now both very pleased with the result.
1.  Overall design is excellent.
2.  Finish and texture are a close match to OEM seats and paint.
3.  Easy to follow instructions
4.  Angle is ok
5.  Would like to have had the back rest position higher (about 2" would have been ideal for my passenger)
6.  Don't think I will use the second hole (maybe it will come in handy when I load the bike with gear for solo riding)
Willem Kogeler / 2009 R1200GS

Follow-Up Response from Pirate: During the initial design of our GS backrest, we had half a dozen backrests in the field for weeks finding out what our customers and their passengers wanted. Angle is always very important, but height is as well. We settled on the current height by unanimous decision by all our testers even though we did try a taller version at one point. The reason the testers chose the shorter height (which is the same height as Corbin, BTW) is because they found it harder to mount and dismount the bike when the backrest was stuck further up in the air. I admit.. we can't please everybody... although we try.

I purchased The R1200GS Stealth Backrest from you during this past winter. After looking for literally a year i finally saw your product and it was by far the best product i had seen. After receiving the backrest and actually seeing it first hand i was correct you do have the best backrest on the market. The design is great, Instructions anyone could follow, and it looks like a factory part. As to using the backrest we have not had an opportunity to get on the bike due to 3-4 feet of snow outside the garage. We have sat on the bike and imagined we were ridding along on a hot summer day here in Durango and the backrest works fine!! Thanks for the R and D.
Jerry Pope / 2009 R1200GS
/ Durango, Tx!

After riding two up with my wife Carol using the Stealth backrest we are ready to make our observations. First of all let me say it is a breeze to install. It just couldn't get any simpler. The powder coating of the backrest base plate blends well with the silver color of the tail rack. I particularly like the quick off/on installation of the backrest into the support plate. The material on the backrest matches the OEM seat perfectly. It looks like an OEM backrest.

Once the backrest is installed I can swing my leg over the seat and not hit the backrest with my foot. Then my wife mounts left foot on peg and steps through to put her foot on the other peg. The backrest reaches about midway up the back, which is comfortable and gives her a sense of security.
The angle of the backrest seems to fit her perfectly sitting in an upright posture. To sum it up, I am pleased with the way the backrest looks when mounted on the bike. It doesn't take anything away from the clean sporty look of the motorcycle and the matching material is spot on. The true test comes from the one who sits in the passenger seat. My wife prefers not to ride without a backrest. Previously we rode a BMW K1200 LTE where the backseat is practically a living room recliner. Since Carol was spoiled in the comfort of the LT she was expected to be a stern critic of the GS Stealth backrest. After riding with the Stealth backrest she concluded the comfort of the backrest was very good and had absolutely no complaints as you can see with the big smile on her face.(see attached pics) I think you will do well with this product.
Thanks for this opportunity, it has been fun testing this new product. I could really get into testing and reviewing products for motorcycles. :)
Jeff D. Anderson .. BMWMOA, BMWMOGA Vice President / R1200GS / Cumming, GA

I had the top case on the bike, but I prefer your backrest. I would be interested in the carbon fiber cover. I really like this GS Stealth! I thought the fabric was fine. The angle and size are correct. A GS bike is not great for 2 up riding. Your Stealth backrest makes it at least tolerable. I'll just use it on the bike when my wife goes with me on weekends. I will keep using it and keep you updated. Send me an address and I will get a check out to you. I want to keep the prototype. Thanks again.
Billy Turner / R1200GS / Chandler, AZ
I received the backrest promptly after delivery address confirmation. It was delivered with everything I needed to perform the simple installation. Regarding installation… it was completely intuitive and I spent more time searching thru my tool collection for the correct size hex wrench and open end wrench needed to secure the backrest bracket to the factory luggage rack. Once installation of the bracket was completed I slipped the backrest into its mounting point on the bracket and secured it with the handy knob provided. The completed installation looks OEM, and only until you are right up on it do you begin to suspect that it’s not OEM. The fit and finish are beyond reproach (especially considering that I’m sporting a prototype unit). The vinyl material on the backrest is a perfect match to the vinyl on my seats, and the paint matched the factory color perfect as well.

The only reason for me to buy this backrest was to pacify my wife if/when the odd moment came around for her to want a ride. I was able to persuade her to “mount up” and go for a test ride and she liked the fit/feel of the backrest as well as she liked the one on the previous bike (R1200CLC). That being said, I have to proclaim this product “money well spent” and completely satisfying my requirement. With the backrest removed from its bracket and riding solo (which is most of the time) you really can’t tell there’s been anything added on to the rear rack so the OEM look is maintained. I’m totally satisfied with this product from the pirate and would strongly recommend it to anyone with a R1200GS that needs to provide some rear passenger comfort and added feeling of security (even thought I’m to old to be poppin wheelies with the “old lady” on the back). Well done Jerry! I want to keep the prototype backrest as it will serve my purposes perfectly.
Ross Livingston / R1200GS / Montgomery, AL

Only one ride with the back rest so far but my wife likes it and has not complaints. I love the quickness with the way it is removed so I can ride solo. Keep the two holes in the slide bar. I put it on in a matter of just a few minutes, it tool longer to find the tools (in my mess) than to install the back rest.
Robbie Huntoon / R1200GS
/ Truckee, CA
Very nice piece, and as can be seen in the images, it looks stock, matching the stock saddle well. I have some pictures posted HERE...1, 2, 3 Also worked well with some gear tied to the rack and the rest. Definitely a much better solution than the woeful BMW topcase. Not only does it fall off, but the pad is considered weak. Since I like to ride solo without the pillion seat and rack, I'm thinking that I can access the center bolt without having to remove the seat mount from the rack ... which would be another very nice plus (try THAT with the BMW topcase, ain't happenin'). Thanks again.
Matthew Staller / R1200GS / Secaucus, NJ
Jerry & Amber...your backrest for my GS12 is great..My wife loves it as it hits her in just the right spot for comfort and good support...
Randall Nentrup / / R1200GS / Bakersville, NC
My better half reports your GS Stealth backrest is Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chris Gordon / R1200GS / Arvada CO
I just wanted to drop a note and tell you I like the your backrest for the R12GS. One should include allen wrenches with the package. Other than that, it looks great and works great. I'll likely have it recovered in leather. I'm glad I was in on the first round of is my girlfriend. Thanks...
Lawrence Schatz / R1200GS / New York, NY
The Stealth Backrest for my R12GS was delivered today and I installed it this evening. My initial impressions are quite positive... The fit and finish appear to be excellent. The mounting bracket and backrest itself match very well the color and texture of the luggage rack and seat, respectively. Although rain precluded a proper evaluation of comfort, my wife thought it seemed promising based on a few minutes on the bike in the garage. Weather permitting, my wife and I will check it out on the road tomorrow and will do a couple of hundred miles this weekend. I will follow this with better informed comments and a few pictures at that time. Sincerely..
G. W. Coppenger / R1200GS / Tallahassee, Florida
Just received my R1200GS Stealth Backrest and couldn't be happier with it. Excellent fit and wonderful craftsmanship.
Dan Alexander / R1200GS
How can I describe the quality of this back rest but in a common industry term... "FANF!$#INGTABULOUS" .. I can't wait for the girlfriend to backmeat all pressed again it.. She will be all over it like a hobo on a ham sandwich... again thank you...
Loftus Hitchens III / R1200GS / Norfolk, VA
This is my second backrest from you. The first was for my K1200GT 2004 which I ride in Venezuela and it is wonderful. In the US I just upgraded from my cramped R1150R to this beautiful R1200GS and my wife immediately wanted the same superb backrest….well…. you've done it again. Absolutely perfect. The riding angle, the matching upholstery, the easy of removing and super easy to install. The most difficult part was perforating the plastic strip that adheres to the bottom to avoid scratching!! In a few weeks I will let you know if the second hole is useful. I presume that if I had a kid occasionally ride with me I would like to have it.
Gilbert Minionis / BMW R1200GS / Caracas, Venezuela
My girlfriend Denise and my 96 yr old grandfather both give the backrest very high marks. They say the angle is perfect and they like that it has a bit of flex. They say they don't get tired now and could ride all day. My grandpa has wanted to go on longer trips but couldn't handle very much mileage in a day until now.
I love the design of the backrest; it looks almost factory. It was super simple to install and I love that I can remove and install the backrest without removing the rear seat. I know the instructions say to remove the seat, but on my bike I have about 1/2" of clearance between the bar and the seat as I'm sliding it in and out so it isn't necessary. I even like the backrest for solo trips. I move it forward and thus have two sided support and more room for my Ortlieb waterproof bag. I then strap my backpack (I always have this with me and usually wear it while on the bike) to the backrest while it is sitting upright on the seat which gives me quick access to my essentials at stops.
You wanted ALL feedback, so here are my negatives:
1.It is very expensive, although the price seems to be in the ballpark of the other backrests available. I found one for around $200 but liked the Stealth design much better, so I splurged.
2.*The bolt holes through the rack are not perpendicular to the top and bottom and thus the allen bolt heads do not sit flush on top of the base plate when it is mounted.I don't know how this could be solved, but the mounting is not as "clean looking" as I would like because of this. (*Note from Pirate: This prob has been solved since this post.)
3. The color of the base plate does not match the factory rack color closely enough in my opinion. I will paint mine flat black which will tie in with all the other black parts; my beak, tank gripper panels, etc... Overall, I am very happy with the Stealth backrest. Thanks Jerry.
Scott E. Kerbs / R1200GS / Redding, CA
Hey Jerry, received my GS Stealth Backrest on the 25th Jan. Very pleased with the fit and finish. The smile on my wifes' face was well worth the coin. She's looking forward to riding in the spring. The speed of the transaction start to finish was a welcome bonus. Thanks kindley..
Dr. Ernie Schroeder/ R1200GS / Ontario, Canada

Ahoy, Captain. I received your R 1200 GS Stealth Backrest Thursday. Here's some feedback. The quality appears to be top-notch. I agree that the cover is a perfect match to my stock seat.
1: My opinion on the design: It's very nice: simple in form and function.
2. I like the textured finish. It matches the rack nicely, and looks great on my 07 GS.
3. The instructions are very simple and easy to understand, although they didn't address the adhesive tape that appears to have been intended to protect the rack from scratches. I discovered the tape in the box after installing the rack.
4. My passenger has not had a chance to ride with the Stealth Backrest in place yet. I have tried the backrest with the bike on the center stand and it feels like a good angle and height that provides nice lumbar support. My passenger is delighted with the backrest, and is confident that it will make her feel more safe, comfortable and secure on my bike. Win-win.
5. Changes I'd like to see: Flush bolt heads might improve the look.
6. Regarding the second hole in the slide-bar: I appreciate the option. I don't know if I will be transporting any children, but my girlfriend sports an exceptionally petite posterior(it's good to be me) that might just warrant that setting!

Overall, the GS Stealth Backrest impresses me as a great product, and I give it a 9.9 on a perfectionist's ten-scale. I'll send digital photos when it warms back up here in Michigan. Thanks.
PS... Added Bonus: Using the 1/4" securing screw, It works perfectly with my Kahedo-Touratech rear rack bag.
Jack Smith / R1200GS / Michigan

Just got the backrest in and quickly installed it.  Very easy to install and the quality is very good.  Best looking backrest for the R1200GS in my opinion.  Ok here is the the only negative I have and you are going to roll your eyes and say Blah Blah Blah but you asked so here goes.  I wish that you could order the backrest in GRAY!!  I either need to have the seats recovered or the backrest but I will only use it if my wife is with me or traveling with a t-bag which in either case you will not be able to see the backrest well.  All in all it is a very good design and my wife likes the way it feels over the GIVI box.  Thanks for the fast and free shipping.
Reply from Pirate: ... there's only one reason we don't offer the covers in gray... Sargent seats (which supplies our covers) couldn't find a material to match the factory gray anywhere in the world..
Robert Arledge / R1200GS / Hot Springs, AR
First and foremost I am very pleased with the R1200GS Stealth Backrest thus far. My passengers no longer ride in fear and are comfortable as well. Installation was a snap and clearly documented. I do like the textured finish and color of the mount. I would have liked to see flush mount carriage bolts rather then the 8 x 30's and I may modify that myself in the very near future. I am in favor of the two settings on  the slide bar and have used them both already.I appreciate your request for feedback (good or bad) and loved your comment in the disclaimer about the dieting!! Thank you for a producing a quality product for the GS'rs of the world.
Scott Walter / 2008 R1200GS
Bought the back rest 2 weeks ago and lo and behold installed it without even so much as a Sw...word, normally my modus operandi whenever trying to do something more technically challenging than changing a light bulb. I like the design as it does not take away from the bike! The finish is to my liking as well as chromed would not look good on a GS. As mentioned above the instructions are easy to follow. (providing you read them!) At this point I see no necessary changes. My passenger really like the size of the back rest! I do not see the necessity of the second hole and don't expect I'd ever use it! As to a picture I have not gotten around to taking one! Last not least the delivery service was great! Just 3 days to Tucson AZ!
Scott Walter / 2008 R1200GS
/ Tucson Az
I ride year round, but yesterday it was in the upper 40's so my girlfriend bundled up and I took her for about a 1.5 hour ride to test the new back rest. She loves it. She said if she had 10 thumbs, she'd give it 10 thumbs up for comfort. Thanks again for making this possible.
Howard Edwards / 2009 R1200GS
Ayyy! Received the Stealth in time for our trip and it is a beautiful piece of engineering! (Wifey is only 105 lbs so no worries there) ....and she loves it. Thanks again and I really appreciate you guys gettin it out so quick. Pass it on to Amber too. Oh yes, brother just put his Corbin on his Victory yesterday ...... It only took a whole 6 weeks and three phone calls to get it! Argh
Brian Goetz / 2012 R1200GS / Cameron Park, Ca
The R1200GS Stealth Backrest arrived today, and it is a top-quality piece of kit. Looks great on the GS, and my wife is extremely pleased with the assurance she won't fall off the back. You know the old saying (especially when there are two BMWs and a Ducati in the garage): "happy wife, happy life" Thanks for the great product and service!
John Green / 2012 R1200GS / Raeford, NC