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post #1 of 33 Old May 30th, 2014, 11:38 am Thread Starter
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Looking for Aux Lights advice

I'm not completely sold on the single HID low beam on my GTL, at least as far as driving amongst the "forest rats" and such on moonless nights. Just a few days ago a car just a ways in front of me hit a bear (killed the bear, wrecked the car), that wouldn't be fun!

Long ago I added a pair of PIAA HID 600 series lights (no longer made) on a light bar for my GS-A, and it works great. Always on, increases my ability to be seen, and works great as driving lights, as they have a flat top beam, that doesn't seem to bother anyone. I've only been flashed once that I can remember, running across I-80 in Western Iowa, and that was my own fault (heavy luggage load, didn't set the shock up to compensate (this push button adjustments on the suspension really spoils one quickly), so the nose was in the air. As soon as I realized the problem, stopped and cranked up the rear shock knob, and all was well for the rest of that trip.

I'm looking to mount some under mirror lights on the GTL that can serve the same purpose. If I go with the current PIAA HID, I'd have to make an under mirror mount that would stick out farther than I'd like, to get the proper use of the designed beam spread. LED lighting, like offered by Clearwater and others look nice, price is right, but I'm concerned about the beam shape. Any LED's I've seen so far have no beam control, just blast out a lot of light. I do like that Clearwater offers a pre-made mount for under mirror mounting of their Krista and Erica lights, but sometimes easy isn't always best in the long term.

Anyone got any input for me, especially Iron Butt riders, or anyone who does a lot of night riding.

Summertime riding in Florida is much nicer than daytime to minimize sun exposure, and the summer rains usually taper off in the early evening. I'd like to be able to take either bike when I want to go for an evening ride. I don't do much long distance riding anymore, due to job and family time constraints, but I'm seriously thinking my GTL needs to head North for some mountain riding someday (sort of) soon.

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post #2 of 33 Old May 30th, 2014, 3:46 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Go to MAX BMW or A&S cycles or Sierra BMW websites and you'll see several examples of driving lights and mounts.

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post #3 of 33 Old May 30th, 2014, 7:35 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

I know that you mention the low beam, but have you tried the high beam at night. I have found that running at night with the high beam, even at 80, I'm able to stop inside of the light.

Dano
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post #4 of 33 Old May 31st, 2014, 7:34 am
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The link below is for the 90mm HID Driving lights . These lights are a Taiwan not a crappy Chinese copy of the famous PHID 4'S. I have the original PHID 4's and they will shoot down the road 1/4 mile and light up the side of the road as well.


http://www.futurevisionhid.com/produ...ng-lights.html

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post #5 of 33 Old May 31st, 2014, 9:44 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Originally Posted by DanDiver View Post
I know that you mention the low beam, but have you tried the high beam at night. I have found that running at night with the high beam, even at 80, I'm able to stop inside of the light.
I was thinking the same thing. I always run high beam at night unless a car is coming. Which is all to often, but at least I can use high beam much of the time particularly in the words deer areas.

Having said that, I put PIAAs under the cowl of my LT and aimed them to the side of the road. This really lights up the areas where the deer come from and help reduce the risk of a critter catching me unawares.

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post #6 of 33 Old May 31st, 2014, 4:48 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Originally Posted by murray View Post
The link below is for the 90mm HID Driving lights . These lights are a Taiwan not a crappy Chinese copy of the famous PHID 4'S. I have the original PHID 4's and they will shoot down the road 1/4 mile and light up the side of the road as well.


http://www.futurevisionhid.com/produ...ng-lights.html
Must be like aircraft landing lights! I bet they light up the road..

Dano
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post #7 of 33 Old May 31st, 2014, 6:53 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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The link below is for the 90mm HID Driving lights . These lights are a Taiwan not a crappy Chinese copy of the famous PHID 4'S. I have the original PHID 4's and they will shoot down the road 1/4 mile and light up the side of the road as well.


http://www.futurevisionhid.com/produ...ng-lights.html
These look nice, but given the current state of LEDs, my future lights will be LED. Instant on, very efficient and almost infinite life with proper design (heat and current management).

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post #8 of 33 Old Jun 1st, 2014, 5:45 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Originally Posted by murray View Post
The link below is for the 90mm HID Driving lights . These lights are a Taiwan not a crappy Chinese copy of the famous PHID 4'S. I have the original PHID 4's and they will shoot down the road 1/4 mile and light up the side of the road as well.

http://www.futurevisionhid.com/produ...ng-lights.html
Those look good, not showing any reviews though, and currently out of stock. Price is sure right. I "suspect" they would have the flat top beam pattern that I'm looking for too, if I don't find anything else, I may just have to wait until they're back in stock. Thanks for the link.

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post #9 of 33 Old Jun 1st, 2014, 5:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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I know that you mention the low beam, but have you tried the high beam at night. I have found that running at night with the high beam, even at 80, I'm able to stop inside of the light.
Yup, the high beams are decent. During the day, if I run the high beams, I'm content with my visibility to other traffic, but I do get flashed a fair amount, even in daytime. I have no idea why people object to high beams during the day, they are way dimmer than the ambient sunshine light level.

The problem is nighttime, the LED's are almost useless, compared to by other bike, and the single HID low beam just doesn't cut it. There's so much traffic down here, I can't use high beam much at night.

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post #10 of 33 Old Jun 1st, 2014, 5:53 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Must be like aircraft landing lights! I bet they light up the road..
I "think" they are very much like a slightly smaller version of my PIAA 600's that I have on my GSA. Yes, those really light up the road, and don't seem to bother oncoming traffic at all, at least when properly aimed.

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post #11 of 33 Old Jun 1st, 2014, 5:59 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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These look nice, but given the current state of LEDs, my future lights will be LED. Instant on, very efficient and almost infinite life with proper design (heat and current management).
I agree, except for beam control. If I can find an LED light that has decent beam control, I'd grab it. So far, what I've seen, have to be aimed way low to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. That results in a LOT of light close by, but makes picking out anything at a distance even harder than usual.

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Last edited by Ruben; Jun 1st, 2014 at 6:09 am.
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post #12 of 33 Old Jun 1st, 2014, 6:38 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Those look good, not showing any reviews though, and currently out of stock. Price is sure right. I "suspect" they would have the flat top beam pattern that I'm looking for too, if I don't find anything else, I may just have to wait until they're back in stock. Thanks for the link.
Ruben do give them a call. Customer service is very good. LED has improved but still not close to these.

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post #13 of 33 Old Jun 1st, 2014, 6:44 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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These look nice, but given the current state of LEDs, my future lights will be LED. Instant on, very efficient and almost infinite life with proper design (heat and current management).
Agree the current stat of LEDs is good however not on par with these. My PHID 4s have a very slight delay to initial full power after that they snap back on without delay.

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post #14 of 33 Old Jun 1st, 2014, 6:52 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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I agree, except for beam control. If I can find an LED light that has decent beam control, I'd grab it. So far, what I've seen, have to be aimed way low to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. That results in a LOT of light close by, but makes picking out anything at a distance even harder than usual.
True driving lights will fry all oncoming traffic or another drive in front of you. Driving lights are designed to perform like Hi beams and beyond. The BMW LEDs only fill in the low beam and make you more visable to other traffic IMO.

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post #15 of 33 Old Jun 4th, 2014, 2:38 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Clearwater Lights. I installed a pair of under-mirror 3-bulb (LEDs) with on-off switch on left panel wall plus rheostat control on L handlebar. When I turn on high beams the extra lights also light up. Rough on oncoming cars but lights up roadway like night baseball game, well worth the price. BTW, Clearwater also has 5-bulb lights, even brighter.
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post #16 of 33 Old Jun 4th, 2014, 3:18 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Clearwater Lights. I installed a pair of under-mirror 3-bulb (LEDs) with on-off switch on left panel wall plus rheostat control on L handlebar. When I turn on high beams the extra lights also light up. Rough on oncoming cars but lights up roadway like night baseball game, well worth the price. BTW, Clearwater also has 5-bulb lights, even brighter.
They also have the Krista's which have 7 LED's! I have them mounted just below the mirrors and man they are BRIGHT!

When you hit the brights, they all light up at full strength and when you hit the horn they will flash on high.

Rhoestat is also on the left bar; I keep mine dialed all the way down in the daytime as they are bright, the on/off swith is just above the "mode" buttons and all of that on the left side in front of your knee.

They are expensive but I feel that even with the adaptive headlighting system and the LED fog/running lights they are worth it; can't wait to test them at night!

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post #17 of 33 Old Jun 4th, 2014, 6:57 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Check here, motolight.com

There is also some very insightful information on why motorbikes are hard to see in traffic.


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post #18 of 33 Old Jun 5th, 2014, 7:32 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Must be like aircraft landing lights! I bet they light up the road..
Yes Dan, rather nice and helps one relax due to the increased vision.

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post #19 of 33 Old Jun 7th, 2014, 6:13 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Yes Dan, rather nice and helps one relax due to the increased vision.
I can see where that would be helpful in PA.

I can remember quite a few years ago running across the state and seeing literally, large herds of deer, the size of big dogs along the interstate. I was surrounded by metal at the time and felt safe. I would have been alarmed on a bike.

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post #20 of 33 Old Jun 7th, 2014, 8:33 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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I can see where that would be helpful in PA.

I can remember quite a few years ago running across the state and seeing literally, large herds of deer, the size of big dogs along the interstate. I was surrounded by metal at the time and felt safe. I would have been alarmed on a bike.
I've lived in PA pretty much my entire life and you get used to the deer after awhile. I have been fortunate and have connected with a deer only once in my nearly 40 years of driving. And that one time was 36 years ago and the deer ran into the side of my VW beetle. I guess he liked the fire engine green color. Yes, literally, it was painted by a painter who worked at American LaFrance! Looked right on a Beetle.

The key is to understand a little about deer and the times of year they go crazy. And realize that deer often travel together. I see many people slow for a deer that crosses in front of them and then immediately accelerate. Often they get deer #2 or #3. If one crosses in front of you, proceed very carefully for at least a 1/4 mile before resuming speed.

And aim your auxiliary lights well to the side. My PIAAs are probably aimed 15-20 degrees to the side and light up the fields well on both sides. It is seldom a deer in front of you that you hit, it is one coming full tilt from the side having been spooked by something. That is the one scenario that can be nearly impossible to handle. Particularly, if there is brush on the roadside that limits vision. It is pure luck you depend on then.

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post #21 of 33 Old Jun 7th, 2014, 11:04 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Hi Ruben;

Thanks again for letting me try out the seat stuff.

Did you have the engine guards on your GTL? If so I think the driving lights work well down low on the crash bars.

Off topic, but I also put LT horns on my GTL. That horn will wake up the lane changers in a hurry.

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post #22 of 33 Old Jun 8th, 2014, 7:02 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

In reference to lights for increased visibility (so others might see you)..... On a 400 mile ride yesterday, two things happened that were new to me...

A car with very loud pipes came up beside me, in my blind spot and even with my earplugs in and my C-3 Helmet on, listening to music, I heard him before I saw him. I've never been a proponent of loud pipes, but, maybe I'll change my opinion....

In a different situation, I was riding by a car, slow passing and looked over to see him start to turn his wheel in my direction. I happened to notice his hands moving before I noticed his wheels moving and was able to avoid getting hit. This happened quickly and I just accelerated out of the way.. My horn would not have made much of a difference...

Anyway..... Back to lights for seeing ahead...

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post #23 of 33 Old Jun 8th, 2014, 9:29 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Pisa under LT cowl. They are aimed slightly out.

HID high and low. High is a pencil beam that shoots WAY down the road, but little side...Piaa fill that in.

Moto lights on brakes with 55w amber MR16. I like the amber beam for better contrast, and if am the only amber lights in the road. Funny, on the interstate, I have found cars pull over to let me by...guess they think I'm a cop or something.... Or maybe it's 2-HID, 2-Piaa, and 2- amber Motolights hitting them in the mirror!

Bad thing... While riding Deals Gap at night, all this light attracted every big bug in the county. The LT was covered in guts.

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post #24 of 33 Old Jun 9th, 2014, 8:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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Clearwater Lights. I installed a pair of under-mirror 3-bulb (LEDs) with on-off switch on left panel wall plus rheostat control on L handlebar. When I turn on high beams the extra lights also light up. Rough on oncoming cars but lights up roadway like night baseball game, well worth the price. BTW, Clearwater also has 5-bulb lights, even brighter.
The bolded part (rough on oncoming cars) is something that I really want to avoid.

Thanks ALL for the input, but it sounds like HID is still my best bet for what I want to do.

Maybe HID for full time (I know from experience that drivers don't seem to mind that, when aimed properly), and then Clearwater Krista or Erica for "middle of nowhere" high beam assist, although I really have no complaint about the OEM high beams.

The low beam in daytime, however is almost invisible to oncoming traffic, and not all that great for nighttime either. I wish BMW had went with dual HID low beams, fixed, instead of the smoke and mirror nonsense we have.

Ruben

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post #25 of 33 Old Jul 22nd, 2014, 11:56 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

I took a piece of 1" flat bar and bent it to conform to the curve in my windshield and mounted two Denali LED spots on it. I can use the windshield to set the spot about 20 feet in front of me when shield is full up or all the way to the horizon with the shield full down. I used the two lower fasteners to hold the mount, bent it at home with a little heat and some pliers and had it powder coated.
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post #26 of 33 Old Jul 24th, 2014, 11:05 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but can you guys give me some info on how the optional BMW LED driving lights mount to the bike? Is the metal bracket attached to the engine in some way behind the bodywork?

I don't have a GTL available to look at.

Thanks
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post #27 of 33 Old Jul 24th, 2014, 11:58 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Hey George, good to hear from you.

The 2012 bikes used a pipe bracket mounted to the engine (same place as the tip over bars) that sticks out from behind the bodywork.





In mid-2013, that changed to a bracket that bolts to the same place on the engine, but goes through the bodywork.





The newer brackets have to be removed to get the lower body panels off, but other than that, they pretty much work the same.

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post #28 of 33 Old Jul 25th, 2014, 2:33 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Thanks Ken, that helps.

GB

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post #29 of 33 Old Aug 1st, 2014, 3:30 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

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They also have the Krista's which have 7 LED's! I have them mounted just below the mirrors and man they are BRIGHT!

When you hit the brights, they all light up at full strength and when you hit the horn they will flash on high.

Rhoestat is also on the left bar; I keep mine dialed all the way down in the daytime as they are bright, the on/off swith is just above the "mode" buttons and all of that on the left side in front of your knee.

They are expensive but I feel that even with the adaptive headlighting system and the LED fog/running lights they are worth it; can't wait to test them at night!
+ 1 here. My under mirror Erica Lights from Clearwater are great. Excellent quality bright, light up the road, have easily regulated intensity and are installed in mounts that look like OEM and come in an all you need to install kit.
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post #30 of 33 Old Aug 6th, 2014, 8:58 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Where is the best place to purchase Motolights for the LT's these days?

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post #31 of 33 Old Aug 6th, 2014, 9:22 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Motolight.com perhaps! Eh?


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post #32 of 33 Old Aug 6th, 2014, 9:27 pm
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

I was just looking for anyone with deals on them. But thanks

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post #33 of 33 Old Aug 7th, 2014, 5:33 am
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Re: Looking for Aux Lights advice

Here is the deal that you seek. Your life is worth at least retail price eh? So purchase the lights for your ride that you so desire, should you put off your safety until tomorrow all to save a few $. Tomorrow will come, will you be on this side too live it.
Buy now and save tomorrow.
God bless quality and the USA!


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Rueda Grande is offline  
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