I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)...... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 12:55 pm Thread Starter
 
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I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

and am trying to research and absorb all the info I can before I make a decision.

First off...Hello! from a noob. I found this site by accident today and so, far it's been great. I already have it bookmarked. I also troll around on the ADVRider and DIxieDualSport sites having come from an offroad background.

My quest to find a big bike (I'm currently riding a Suzuki DR-Z 400S) has led me to the R1200GSA (my choice), and because my wife has expressed an interest in riding with me as we will have more time in a couple of years when the last young'n leaves. I'm also looking at the R1200RT and the K1200LT (more practical choices perhaps).

-I love the utilitarian looks and off-road aspects of the R12GSA as well as the R engine. It's still a good 2up bike.
-The R12-RT seems to be a good choice also for 2up riding. It has the R engine and decent comfort for my wife. It'd be a trade off with no off-road use for sure.
-Then, there is the K12LT. A beautiful bike and plenty of comfort for both passengers. But, man is that a big bike! Over 700 lbs. I don't know how much long distance touring we'll do and it seems like a lot of bike for the twisties and even around town on a daily basis. I do see weekend trips or long day trips for sure.

My question is are my perceptions accurate since I've never ridden any of them, yet?
We could afford any of them so that is not a factor. I know some bikes while big may actually "ride smaller" than they are due to suspension set-up and weight distribution.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or insights you more experienced riders/owners may have and help find the right bike (I don't think I could do wrong with any of them actually).

I appreciate your help and thank you.
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post #2 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 1:17 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Ride all three and your head will tell you which one is right.

If you still want to get dirty, then the GSA is the only choice.

I have an LT and a Harley V-Rod in the garage... I can tell you my next stable addition will be the GSA. You will find that the LT rides like a much smaller, sportier bike above 10 miles per hour. Under that it's wrestling a gorilla and requires some practice - but by no means unmanageable.

I have only ridden an RT as a demo ride when the LT has been in the shop - much sportier but less comfortable for a pillion and/or for a long ride.

If money is truly no object, add on another garage bay and get all three. In essence that's my plan

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2001 K1200LT-C that's been to the Alaskan Arctic Circle and back
2008 VRSCAWA H-D V-Rod with a few goodies
2005 VRSCA H-D V-Rod
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post #3 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 1:17 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

I would test ride all 3 with your wife. That's what my dealer encouraged me to do.

I've never ridden a R12GSA but test rode a used R1200CLC (no longer produced), a new R1200RT and a used K1200LT before purchasing my K1200LT. But I'll only give you my thoughts on the ones you mentioned and that I rode.

My wife and I were stepping up to a touring bike from a mid-sized cruiser and wanted to start taking trips on the touring bike.

We made sure and test rode an R1200RT with a 49 liter top case on it since most of our riding would be 2 up and with the case. The case as well as the side cases are removable on the RT. I really liked the RT alot, especially for the fun factor. I forgot to play with the ESA and on the RT had no intention of getting the radio. This bike ran like a top. Even around town it showed the "sport" part of sport touring. However, my wife said she felt like she was sliding forward on the seat but did say it seemed comfortable on our 45 minute test ride. She just didn't like the feeling that she was sliding forward. Even with the lower seat I could not flat foot the bike as I'm "inseam challenged". But because of its weight and balance, I was very comfortable and confident coming to a nice stop and while stopped. It never felt like it was going to fall over. This bike is made to tour on the twisties.

We had also ridden a K1200LT for about an hour. We actually rode the used one we ended up buying. I was on the fence between the RT and LT and was leaning towards the RT. BUT and literally butt, my wife was much more comfortable on the LT with it's bigger and different shaped seat. Once again I was unable to flat foot both feet even with a lower aftermarket seat on it. But again it was a nicely balanced bike. The LT because of the kind of bike it is had more creature comforts than the RT did. The LT can be (but doesn't mean is) a handful at parking lot speeds until you get used to it. She'll feel top heavy at low speed. But as soon as she moves at about 5 mph that top heavy feel goes away. You'll find that this bike too will carve some twisty roads also and make you proud doing it. On a twisty road, keep the revs up and the LT will amaze you.

Do I regret buying the LT over the RT? Not for a minute. Do I still look longingly when I see an RT? You bet I do.

You and your wife will just have to test ride all 3 and decide which one is best for you and the kind of riding you want to do.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #4 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 3:11 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

By the way, your assumptions are correct. All 3 bikes are great bikes and they all handle 2-up riding well. Trust me, the BMW boxer is a phenomenal motor! They continue to make it for a reason. Don't let the size of the LT fool you. Once you get comfortable with the weight, you will find that it is very much an every day bike. It's extremely nimble!
I currently have both a LT and a GT and I am looking to sell my GT for a GS. The GS stands alone. Hmm...maybe I'll be content for a while!
The misses loves the comfort of the LT, but I need to play every now and then! Good luck with your decision!

-----------------------------------
03' K1200RS(past)
07" K1200GT(present)
04 K1200LT(present)
0? R1200GS(future)

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post #5 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 3:29 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Thanks for all the advice so far.
I may look a little more seriously at the LT and keep my dual sport bike to play with.
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post #6 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 4:28 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Quote:

Thanks for all the advice so far.
I may look a little more seriously at the LT and keep my dual sport bike to play with.

Now you're catching on... See my sig..

John

Live and direct from the new earthquake capitol of the U.S. Jones, Oklahoma
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post #7 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 4:29 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

I'd still test ride your 3 choices. It won't cost you anything and it sounds like you'll be buying one from them anyway. You just want to decide which one is all.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #8 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 4:46 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Welcome, I did a lot of dirt riding on my younger days and worked my way up to the LT, which I had for 2 1/2 years, great for two up and long distance riding, very comfortable for both and surprisingly agile on twisties, but for everyday riding at least for me it was just too big and heavy, so I traded it for an RT, LOVE IT, light, enough power, extremelly maneuvarable, good ergonomics and me and the wife just finished a 2300 mile trip thru the Blue Ridge including the Dragon, it all depends what you want to do with the bike, dual purpose, the GS, long distance, the LT, everyday with an occasional long trip, the RT, ideally if I had the money it would be both the LT and the GS, good luck and enjoy the fun of choosing
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post #9 of 27 Old Aug 4th, 2009, 5:49 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

My choice was easy. I wanted a new bike but would of kept the old one except my wife sat on an LT with me in the show room and said "You can get one of these".

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post #10 of 27 Old Aug 5th, 2009, 7:53 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

...my wife sat on an LT with me in the show room and said "You can get one of these".

That may be exactly what it boils down to!
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post #11 of 27 Old Aug 5th, 2009, 9:05 am
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Another vote for test riding all 3 bikes. It is too bad you live in Florida where there are no mountains and not a lot of twisties. I would want to test ride each of these bikes in all terrain. Good luck with your decision and have fun going thru the process.

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post #12 of 27 Old Aug 5th, 2009, 9:45 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Florida aka....Allflatandstraightistan.
It's just big sand bar afterall.
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post #13 of 27 Old Aug 5th, 2009, 1:40 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

My solution to your problem is, and was for me as well; K1200LT for when we take 2 up day rides and longer trips, R1150GS for when I'm solo and want to go play. Would have liked a 1300GS but, unlike our friend Obama, my funds are not unlimited. I shopped around and found a good deal on the '01 GS and have no regrets.

Good luck with your decision.

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'01 R1150 GS- totaled
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post #14 of 27 Old Aug 5th, 2009, 3:03 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

I only have the LT and I loved it up until this past weekend when my wife and I went on a 1200 mile trip with 3 other couples (2 old wings and a Honda ST 1300). It really challenged me everytime they pulled off to the side of the road, into a gravel parking lot, or into a very busy gas station that was often uphill, full of potholes and/or other obstacles. A few times I almost dropped the bike and a few times it took me a long time to get manouvered into position to make an exit onto the highway again. I was also pulling a trailer, but so were 2 of the others. Only advantage I had was reverse. I love this bike on the road and when it is moving it isn't a problem, but I was so frustrated every time we stopped that I was about ready to sell or trade the bike on the spot. In town and in stop and go traffic I don't have a problem with the bike, but in places that I am not familiar with or getting into and out of areas that have a lot of traffic and the surface area is either covered in sand/gravel, or is rutted with potholes I hate the top heavy hard to handle characteristics of this bike. I don't know if I will be looking for another bike as my wife loves the comfort of this one, but I really don't know if I can handle the stress once I am ready to pull over somewhere and wonder if I am going to end up trying to get it on its wheels again. I am going to test drive a few other kinds and see what is out there, but based on how the wings performed in these same areas that I was having problems, I am tempted to go that route.
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post #15 of 27 Old Aug 6th, 2009, 8:25 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Thanks again to evryone for all the insight.

I gotta be honest, Skydiver's comments really mirror my biggest reservation about the LT.
A bike has got to be fun or it's going to sit in the garage.

But, like I said earlier, if Mrs. JustPlainDave likes the LT then, I guess my only decision will be color (assuming I'll be allowed to make that decision).
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post #16 of 27 Old Aug 6th, 2009, 8:32 am
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

If you want a new 2009 LT then you can pick any color you want. So long as it's black. If you look for a used one your color choices are much greater.

Chris Ehlbeck
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2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #17 of 27 Old Aug 6th, 2009, 9:06 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

I guess I should have worded it..."assuming SHE will allow me to make the color decision".
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post #18 of 27 Old Aug 6th, 2009, 10:07 am
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Having the joy of owning the RT, LT. and a '94 GSPD I can say you would love any one of the three. The decision is basically what style of riding do you prefer or do the most of. The LT wins hands down for the mileage junky and it handles better than you would expect in the twisties, the RT is wonderful around town or other sporty riding, and the GS is just plain fun. If in doubt, just get the one that makes you smile the most. They all handle well, eat the miles, and offer miles of pure pleasure.

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post #19 of 27 Old Aug 6th, 2009, 10:15 am
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

I guess I'm not really understanding what skydiver's beef really is. Two up, luggage loaded and pulling a trailer... Exactly which bike do you think won't be a handful in that situation? The only one I can come up with has three wheels, two of them car tires. Not much of a motorcycle left there.

If you're heavy and pulling a trailer you need to constantly be planning ahead for the gas stops, pull offs etc and have a strategy in that situation. There is NO two wheeled vehicle that is going to be graceful.

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blog that chronicled our trip to Alaska and back.


<- The Boy
The Toys

2001 K1200LT-C that's been to the Alaskan Arctic Circle and back
2008 VRSCAWA H-D V-Rod with a few goodies
2005 VRSCA H-D V-Rod
1981 Mooney M20J

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post #20 of 27 Old Aug 6th, 2009, 12:36 pm
 
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Wink Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Don't underestimate yourself Dave, or your ability to learn. Managing any of these big bikes is all about skill not strength or height, and skill can be acquired. Look at the guys who handle big horses. Most of them are small, skinny fellas, quitely spoken and calm.

I've got an FJR and am thinking of changing 'up ' to an LT. If you had said to me two years ago that I'd be thinking of such an apparently huge monster I'd have said you were crazy... but the FJR seemed heavy at first, now its easy.

The thing is not to panic, but just give yourself time to get used to it. After the first 6000 miles you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. Can't wait to get mine!

Hedgehog UK

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post #21 of 27 Old Aug 6th, 2009, 1:14 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Thanks for the supportive words Hedgehog.
Aquiring the skills is part of the fun for me. My first car was a Triumph Spitfire and I remember practicing my heel and toe technique because I just loved the feeling of a perfect downshift just before carving through a corner. I still even practice my tight turning techniques on my bike in a near by parking lot.

I guess my LT-phobia comes also from spending all that money on a bike and not being totally happy with it. A test drive isn't a good indication on how you'll end up liking the bike.
Especially, if you test drive without some skills you'll have to develop in order to co-exist with the bike.

Although, I tend to buy over my head and get equipment better (racing bicycles, kayaks, etc) than my skills and grow into them. My daughters boyfriend just bought his first bike and I told him (others as well) that a small beginners bike will soon grow old as his skills will get better quickly and he'll wish he bought a bigger bike. Which he did.

OK, I'll say it before any of you do.....maybe I should take my own advice.
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post #22 of 27 Old Aug 8th, 2009, 10:45 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

JustPlainDave - TurboDave here - a moniker from my auto-life.

I just made this call yesterday morning. I've only had a baby F650GS the past couple of years, but at one time had an '86 K100RT. I've been wanting a bigger bike again, and was thinking of a different car as well. My wife suggested a bike - who was I to argue?

I considered many bikes in the 1,000 to 1,200cc range, with three BMWs as the leading candidates - the RT, GS and K-GT - based in part on my wife's specifications that she have a backrest and we be able to travel (she used to ride her own GS500E, but is now content to hold down the backseat). For fun, I had been thinking about just the R1200R - but making a solid two-up bike with passenger comfort really ruled that out.

We came home with the R1200RT. I took a solo run today - man, what handling!! I really value the twisties and handling, and I prefer less weight. We didn't consider the LT. I also get a kick out of my little GS getting 65 MPG (take that, Vespa!), so I like that the R bikes will go farther on a gallon than K bikes or most similar sized competitors.

I sure didn't miss those two extra cylinders today!! You really can't go wrong, though. But, I think the RT has it all.....

Humbly submitted,
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post #23 of 27 Old Aug 9th, 2009, 9:57 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Thanks TurboDave,
I just happened to be at my local Honda/Triumph/BMW dealership yesterday as my daughter was looking for a cruiser. I, of course, had to wander into the back corner of the showroom where the German bikes are. They had an LT which I took a closer look at. It's a great bike but, not for me I think. Just way too much for what I'll be doing with it most of the time.
So, that narrows it down to the GS/A or the RT. They did have a GSA and even a special edition GS (very nice in white). Only two of those in the state from what they said.
No RT's though. But, I'll have to keep my eyes open for one of those.
Thanks again for eveyone's input. It's much appreciated.
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post #24 of 27 Old Aug 9th, 2009, 11:22 am
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

You'll notice that I bought a used '06 RT. It has 11K with the 12K service already done, and it is impeccable. I saw a used '09 with 3K on it yesterday at the other BMW dealer in the area, and you'd swear it was the '06 and mine the '09. This one ran about $ 8-9K under new, and $ 5K under the used '09 that wasn't cared for nearly as well. I guess the guy who traded in this one also traded in a 1200GS that was just as clean - in favor of a new K1300GT.

I like the graphite gray metallic of mine better than silver or black - though those are great choices (my "F" bike is black; my car is Flint Gray, somewhere between silver and graphite - a shades of gray theme ).

I was very tempted by the GS as well - a nice blend of capabilities, and a little less money than the RT. They both have decent passenger accommodations and a wealth of farkle opportunities to tailor them to your wishes. My decision had something to do with the stickiness of the RT in corners, having pure street tires. I ran it on my favorite back road of some 30+ years, on which I have ridden several bikes and driven some sporty cars. It was amazing - I ran as fast, and more smoothly, than I've run it before - without trying. I used to have a K100RT which was a lot of work to ride fast on that road - this one pivots and sticks at a whole other level.

Enjoy!!


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post #25 of 27 Old Aug 9th, 2009, 5:54 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Hopefully, I'll "Enjoy" soon.
Coming from a dirt background, I'm a little conflicted with buying a bike you can only ride on the road. It limits my possibilities.

BMW has a riding school at their So Carolina plant and they offer a guided 3-day trip though that region as well with the GS (on and off road). I may think seriously about that before I buy one.
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post #26 of 27 Old Aug 9th, 2009, 9:04 pm
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustPlainDave
Hopefully, I'll "Enjoy" soon.
Coming from a dirt background, I'm a little conflicted with buying a bike you can only ride on the road. It limits my possibilities.

BMW has a riding school at their So Carolina plant and they offer a guided 3-day trip though that region as well with the GS (on and off road). I may think seriously about that before I buy one.
Now your talking, a little R&D, nevah hoit nobody. well cept the body... ZBut ya got legs for it , and I will be inquiring about how the classes were so I can formulate a quest that way-utilize the Gs I have with the very few miles on her...thats the idea-


Don't be afraid to say what you feel, as those that matter DOnt mind and those that mind Dont matter.
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post #27 of 27 Old Aug 10th, 2009, 6:32 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: I've narrowed it down to 3 bikes (all BMW's!)......

A little pricey the classes are.
If I remember correctly the one day school is about 400 and just around 800 for two days.
The 3 day tour is all inclusive and runs about 2000. It's only about 400 less if you use your own bike.
They also have a full range of car classes (even for teens) at the test track too.
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