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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Feb 4th, 2009 2:19 pm
starvingdrummer
Re: Road King to an LT

Go with the LT; there's really not too much of a comparison. As you can see from my list of past loves, I've tried a few Gnarly Harley's and moved on. I found the hype to be a 'meeee toooo' thing; getting caught up with pressure from my friends and family.

I truly felt that 'buying American' was the right thing to do, but as I learned the hard ($) way; German ingenuity and over-engineering is a force to be reckoned with!
Feb 1st, 2009 1:21 pm
browad
Re: Road King to an LT

First, you should look at two comparable bikes. The Road King is, depending on your model, a few rungs below the LT/FLHTC level. No cruise, tunes, luggage is an add-on (again, all depending on your model). So you experience will be a jump up when/if you make a change. I'd highly suggest grabbing a demo ride from your local BMW dealer, and one from your HD if you can.

I've always thought that the 4 major touring platforms (Harley FLHTC/R, BMW LT/RT, Honda GW, and Victory Vision) are all very similar in what they offer. The ability to go long distances with the crap that you need/want.

Now, your comfort level, bike performance, etc will all vary widely, but there are trade-offs to be made. The largest one that springs to mind is dealer network. Let's face it, you can't throw a rock without hitting a HD dealer, and you can't throw a rock twice without hitting a Honda dealer. BMW and Victory, not so much. HD won't offer as much performance as a BMW LT (what is it, like 60-70% less HP?), and much less than an RT, or even a Wing. But I'll move on to my experience.

In 2006 I moved from my beloved 03 Fat Boy to an 05 LT. The main reasons I moved over was for a more touring orientated bike and passenger comfort. The price point was comparable with the HD FLHTC bikes, and I liked the demo ride on the LT. Bit the bullet and rode it home. I've had issues with the bike, and instead of going over them here (there are some other threads where I talk about them, and you can PM me fore more info), I'll say this: if I had to do it again, I would have kept my Fat Boy and upgraded later to either another HD, BMW RT/GS, or ST1300.

Cheers,
Feb 1st, 2009 11:49 am
dannyjvl
Re: Road King to an LT

Here is my idea for a "Must Have" option for any LT. Let's admit it. The stock seat sucks. Got a Rick Meyer seat. Unbelievable! Now I can do some serious riding without squirming after 100 miles or so.
Jan 31st, 2009 11:38 am
Road_King
Re: Road King to an LT

...if you can afford it, keep both. I would never give up my RK. The LT is great 2up touring bike. I ride both regularly but the RK is a totally solo bike.

When I have the need for speed and comfort, I ride the LT. When I want to ride a motor-cycle, I ride the RK. As the prior posts stated: It's got soul and it's Americana. Can't beat that!

I ride both bikes long distances, however, you can't beat the comfort of the LT. They are totally different rides for different purposes.

Good Luck! Ride safe.
Jan 31st, 2009 9:35 am
gbob
Re: Road King to an LT

All motorcycles are good

The BMW and HD are two different tools ,designed from the start for two different tasks / markets and they both excel !
HD design criteria = HD look and HD sound first
BMW = pragmatic function looks be dammed
At this time the LT gives me what I desire from a bike = a bike that my wife will ride in comfort and much more.She now wants arm rests as she is afraid of falling asleep and falling off ! The bike before the LT was FJ1100 , the wife said never again would she ride on "That Bike" the Hp was quite intoxicating .

So throw a leg over it and if it makes you smile ,ride the wheels off of it !
until another (bike) catches your eye .
It is cheeper and a lot more fun to trade bikes than the wife

Bob G
Jan 31st, 2009 8:42 am
Silverhair
Re: Road King to an LT

The Road King and K1200LT are two great, yet distinctly different motorcycles.

I just love the Road King Classic. To me, it the most beautiful motorcycle in production today. It's image (and sounds and smells) should be what you see under the Wikipedia definition of a motorcycle. Americana! Give me an '09 with the all-new frame, 6 gallon tank, tourpak & cruise control and I'd be happy boy indeed (though I'll pass on the "pirate" wardrobe). I like how they ride. They have character. They have soul. Someday, in the very distant future I'll have one.

But I'll also have a BMW in the garage too.
Jan 31st, 2009 12:58 am
mljmd7
Re: Road King to an LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctrayder
Well, I have owned several Harley's over the past 17 years and just recently bought a LT. For the past 5 years I have taken rentals for a week trip for 1500-1800 miles on Harely's, so I have been able to see the improvements made each year as a fair test. I found myself wanting more out of the bike than Harley had to offer, the improvements have been minor, the major improvement has been the anti-lock brakes which are much stronger and certainly needed to stop a big bike, loaded with 2-up,-- so I bought a 2nd bike, pre-owned 08 LT. There is no comparison, the LT has superior passing power, better handling, superior brakes , better balance, it is far more superior in engineering. As far as the low speed handling, I think the LT gets the nod there, lighter steering and better balanced feel, sure it is top heavey, but the Harley with that heavy fairing mounted on the handle bars is a burden at low speeds. My significant other, first ride was over whelmed with the smoothe ride.
The Harley Electra Glide has served me well, we have done a lot long days in the saddle, and have seen 3 foriegn countries, and 32 states, I have no regrets and hope the LT can do the same. I am a happy camper with LT.
You said it all.
Jan 30th, 2009 11:56 pm
ctrayder
Re: Road King to an LT

Well, I have owned several Harley's over the past 17 years and just recently bought a LT. For the past 5 years I have taken rentals for a week trip for 1500-1800 miles on Harely's, so I have been able to see the improvements made each year as a fair test. I found myself wanting more out of the bike than Harley had to offer, the improvements have been minor, the major improvement has been the anti-lock brakes which are much stronger and certainly needed to stop a big bike, loaded with 2-up,-- so I bought a 2nd bike, pre-owned 08 LT. There is no comparison, the LT has superior passing power, better handling, superior brakes , better balance, it is far more superior in engineering. As far as the low speed handling, I think the LT gets the nod there, lighter steering and better balanced feel, sure it is top heavey, but the Harley with that heavy fairing mounted on the handle bars is a burden at low speeds. My significant other, first ride was over whelmed with the smoothe ride.
The Harley Electra Glide has served me well, we have done a lot long days in the saddle, and have seen 3 foriegn countries, and 32 states, I have no regrets and hope the LT can do the same. I am a happy camper with LT.
May 28th, 2008 2:51 pm
HippieDave
Re: Road King to an LT

Hello: I'm jumping in here for the first time, since I have been lurking for a while and finally found this thread. Hope it is not too late.

I am in the same position of considering a switch from a road king to the 1200RT. My main concern w/ the HD is noise. My main concern about the RT is comfort of riding position and the lack of serious ability to customize it. While it is true that HD has yet to make a decent stock seat (w/ the possible exception of the new Ultras) there are many very comfortable after market options. Same w/ bars, hwpegs etc. The way I have finally got my RK set up, I can ride all day w/ complete comfort and enjoyment. But it is noisy. Does anyone know how to compare stock decibel levels of the two across a reasonable rpm range?

[sorry, when I realized this was an Lt thread, and not an RT thread, I tried to delete. But can't. Anyway, maybe some will have some useful info anyway. Thanks.]
Apr 24th, 2008 1:35 pm
GolfGuy
Re: Road King to an LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyjvl
Absolutely no doubt HD makes more comfortable seats.
I'd still take the LT if the seat was made of wood.
I have owned more Harleys than I care to count...I'll tell you now...THEY have never made a stock seat that was half as good as the LT's! Not saying the LT seat is great but...I have ridden it a lot of miles with no need to get off every 60 miles because my Butt is asleep!
Apr 24th, 2008 12:26 pm
Reid
Re: Road King to an LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idofotos
"I am always reminded that once it starts over, you're not going to stop it"

any tricks on how to regain the upright position after a fall? I could get mine part way up to my hip but it would start rolling & I was afraid that if I went to high it might go over the other direction, got a neighbor to help,
There's a procedure or two...one (or more) with a video showing showing it. Use the search engine on this site and you'll find them...if you hang with the LT you'll be using that search tool a lot!
Apr 24th, 2008 11:00 am
dannyjvl
Re: Road King to an LT

Absolutely no doubt HD makes more comfortable seats.
I'd still take the LT if the seat was made of wood.
Apr 23rd, 2008 10:47 pm
Balance
Re: Road King to an LT

Thanks again to all for the insight(s). I have purchased my Lt and will be getting to know her next week by riding from New Hampshire to LA. Have 2 weeks and springtime nationwide. Should be a fun "honeymoon". Giving up a track day at home, but really excited as I have wanted to do a cross country trip for nigh on 30 years+. Dakota, I have tried to add the photo as requested, but keep getting a dropped server message. Will try again later.
Apr 23rd, 2008 8:13 pm
DakotaDude
Re: Road King to an LT

Any chance of you posting a photo of your Brutale?
Apr 23rd, 2008 6:24 pm
Idofotos
Re: Road King to an LT

"I am always reminded that once it starts over, you're not going to stop it"

any tricks on how to regain the upright position after a fall? I could get mine part way up to my hip but it would start rolling & I was afraid that if I went to high it might go over the other direction, got a neighbor to help,
Apr 23rd, 2008 6:06 pm
hunter
Re: Road King to an LT

I grew up (sort of) riding HD. From Sportsters in the sixties through all manner of knuckles, pans, shovels and evos. Even a hardtail once. I don't know how or why anyone would want one of those. Bought a 2005 LT the same day that I test rode one. . I am still delighted almost every time I get on the LT. If there is a weak point to this bike, it has to be riding it in the city/ traffic. The LT is a terrible low speed bike. Top heavy doesn't adequately describe this machine. I know everyone says you get used to it but after 3 years I still find it a handful. I am always reminded that once it starts over, you're not going to stop it. Everything else about this bike is beyond compare. The brakes, the power, the comfort all top notch. Like to cruise at 90? not a problem. Want to ride 900 mile days, no problem. Every Harley guy at every gas stop will marvel at your hydraulic center stand (and insist you do it again when his buddies get back). Having said all that, I still keep 2 Harleys around because I enjoy riding them for short distances. Currently looking at a 2008 Road Glide, but the Lt is a permanent fixture in my garage until they come out with the mystery 6 cylinder. Also, there is at least 1 Harley dealer every 30 miles or every exit, whichever is closer. Not so with BMW. If you need parts or a tire while on the road, be prepared for motel time.
Apr 23rd, 2008 5:49 pm
hifiman
Re: Road King to an LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiman
Im also glad you tried the LT. Not for everyone though. I loved my Fatboy but I didnt love all the add on money spent and my tingling sore butt after 50 miles. Washing all that chrome took hours. Now with the LT maybe an hour. Leaves more time to ride. I also get more looks and interest in the LT than I did my HD. There so many HD riders now which are mostly sunny day, warm, once or twice a month type riders. I use to love my HD because at the time I was in to flash and ego but with the LT it is now the bike that is different and I can ride for hours. I can treat it like a big touring bike or ride it like a sport bike. Its great on the twisties and has all the comforts. Its hard for me to imagine anyone being more comfy on a HD than on a LT. Nicest thing once again is except for a couple of Motolites, brake flashers, and maybe a custom seat you are ready to go. On a HD you can spend thousands on chrome and add ons and it still looks just like another HD.
Nothing wrong with HD. Loved mine but love the LT much more.
NOTE- Speaking of custom seats I just lowered the price on my Low Corbin. Check classifieds.
Apr 23rd, 2008 5:41 pm
hifiman
Re: Road King to an LT

Im also glad you tried the LT. Not for everyone though. I loved my Fatboy but I didnt love all the add on money spent and my tingling sore butt after 50 miles. Washing all that chrome took hours. Now with the LT maybe an hour. Leaves more time to ride. I also get more looks and interest in the LT than I did my HD. There so many HD riders now which are mostly sunny day, warm, once or twice a month type riders. I use to love my HD because at the time I was in to flash and ego but with the LT it is now the bike that is different and I can ride for hours. I can treat it like a big touring bike or ride it like a sport bike. Its great on the twisties and has all the comforts. Its hard for me to imagine anyone being more comfy on a HD than on a LT. Nicest thing once again is except for a couple of Motolites, brake flashers, and maybe a custom seat you are ready to go. On a HD you can spend thousands on chrome and add ons and it still looks just like another HD.
Nothing wrong with HD. Loved mine but love the LT much more.
Apr 23rd, 2008 5:15 pm
dwfindley
Re: Road King to an LT

I just jumped from a Screaming Eagle Ultra to a 08 LT just months ago. I would agree with most of what wb4eje reports.

I disagree with the seat as this is the major reason for changing over to LT. The mirrors are horrible in terms of position and seeing anything behind you.

The engine is the best. I cannot remember being on a faster get and go bike than BMW. The acceleration is incredible

The BMW communication package is from the dark ages. As you know HD has it totally integrated (radio/CB/XM/Weather/AUX/CD) in one package for both external speakers and earphones. The only thing missing from HD is Doppler Weather Radar (Smile). Don't ask how BMW does it. Yikes it is a patch work with optional usage very limited.

Yes the bike is top heavy and at low speeds it is a challenge to maneuver in tight places. And yes I dropped my on the very first day. And no, I had no (zero NADA) chance to even stop it. I will conquer this in time.

I find the wind gusts an issue. This forum says in time I will lick this also and it will sore above the bat-mobile handling in wind. At the moment I am still learning how to achieve this delight.

I tried the foot peg design. I could not take it anymore and found a local guy who has an incredible foot boards that works so much better.

I love the brakes.

And then there is the wash time. I can wash the LT, dry it and store it in about 10 mins. We all know that is not possible with an Ultra HD.

I am going to stay with the LT for now and give it a good review in the fall. I am looking forward to the longer rides with less butt pain and frankly I am currently pleased with the stock seat. Maybe Americade will convince me to step up.

Oh, I had to sell my Open Worthington Trailer (this forum hates trailers so shhhh) b/c the ride up the ramp with this top heavy bike terrified me. I am jumping over to a Baxley Trailer with a pricey low loading process. Don't tell anyone or I will take a lot of heat for trailering my bike. I have not yet been trained to ride in rain, sleet, snow, etc as we from the HD world know the BMW rider is the world's best at this type of riding.

Now be careful. This is my humble opinion with only 4 months of riding 1500 miles. I get a lot of great advice from this forum. Good luck. If I were you I would take the jump and try the LT.
Apr 23rd, 2008 2:00 pm
Idofotos
Re: Road King to an LT

I just sold a n 05 Road king in Feb. been looking at the LT's every since, Last week I took the plunge, found an 05 LT graphite color pretty much what I wanted, it had 12500 miles on it, flew to Little rock picked it up and rode it home to central Nebraska, I loved my Harley it had 25,000 miles on it when I sold it. Here are some of the things that stand out to me, Im pretty short for the LT, 5'6 on a good day, 53 yrs old, this bike is heavy & a little awkward at slow speeds, but on the road its pure performance, running 75 or 80 & need to pass a truck, just open up and she responds, amazing power, quiet, I put in 400 mi the first day getting to KS to visit a relative, a little sore but had a long winter with no riding so will need to break in the butt again. I didnt find the seat all that uncomfortable, I have the Jpegs but find them a little uncomfortable, again the height thing. Day 1 was pretty warm day 2 was cloudy cool and overcast I
found I was keeping the window up and enjoying the heated seats & grips,
Only complaint is loud squeeky rear brakes, seems to be a common problem
I wish I was about 2 " taller & a little younger, Im simply amazed by the power. love the trip computer & having the radio, I had a really nice Harley & do miss it wish I could keep both, the last 2 years I have rode to Tacoma/Seattle area in June & july, first time 2 weeks second time out and back in 1 week, It was pretty easy on the HD but look forward to doing it on the BMW, I dont think I could go back to the Harley, I really like this bike, It is the ultimate driving machine, Yea it is heavy 3rd day I dropped it in my drivewy turning around, no damage other than my ego, but I couldnt get it up by myself, could get it about 3/4 of the way then it would start to roll and the brakes wont work with engine off, neighbor came over and helped , I was worried If I did get it up that it might go over the other way, no damage to the bike just a bruised ego. I would definatly try the LT you can always go back
Apr 23rd, 2008 12:55 pm
cfell
Re: Road King to an LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by wb4eje
I'm new to the LT, ....
That's my two cents worth. I know that I take a bunch of crap for the negative view of the LT, so be it.....
Glad you gave the LT a chance... enjoy your HD.
Apr 23rd, 2008 12:50 pm
wb4eje
Re: Road King to an LT

I'm new to the LT, only a thousand miles and 5 weeks, but I've sold the LT and gone back to the FLHTC/U. There are some issues with the BMW that I just couldn't get past.

The seat is too soft, you will have to get a new seat to get any ability to do long days in the saddle. Even with a new seat the Jpeg highway pegs are totally useless, way to far out to the side to ever be comfortable. Being able to move around is important to long distance rides, and it is very limited on the LT.

The anti-lock brakes are wonderful, but the linked (front and rear brakes linked together) makes for some scary low speed braking characteristics. A lot of guys report dropping LT's in their early experience with the bikes and I would be willing to bet that the brakes have a lot to do with it. (I never dropped mine, but I came close a couple of times) The LT is very top heavy compared to the Harley, the two are close to the same weight but the CG is much lower on the Harley which makes the weight much more manageable. The rear brake squeaked so bad, as one writer noted, "I can't even sneak up on a Harley." It apparently is the rear rotor and needs to be replaced with an aftermarket unit. Mine was really loud. I would come to a stop and people in cars would turn around to see what the heck that noise was!

The engine in the LT is wonderful but it really likes RPM to make any power. The Harley's low RPM torque makes it much easier to ride. Yes, the LT is faster, but the Harley will get you a ticket too. I found the drive train on the LT to be very noisy. And finally, it's just hard to beat the sound of a Harley-Davidson. The only thing that can beat the sound of that engine is a Rolls-Royce Merlin!!

One thing that surprised me was that at road speed (55-65 MPH) the mirrors on the LT were buzzing so badly that you really couldn't see much out of them. Now, I'll be the first to admit that a H-D shakes worse than a coon dog crapping a peach seed at idle, but on the Electra Glide once you get over 2000 RPM the rubber mounts smooth out the vibrations quite well, to the point that the mirrors are quite still on the road.

I also found that there are relatively few aftermarket parts for the LT. For the Harley there are thousands of parts and hundreds of vendors. That's just the way it works when you sell that many bikes!

As for the "poser" aspect and the marketed lifestyle of the H-D, forget that, ride the bike that works for you.

We own two BMW automobiles and they are absolutely terrific! That's what made me look at the LT to replace my Electra Glide. But it just didn't work out. I can ride the H-D much further, with more comfort.

That's my two cents worth. I know that I take a bunch of crap for the negative view of the LT, so be it.....
Apr 21st, 2008 11:18 am
Reid
Re: Road King to an LT

I had a 2000 RK hardbagger. I loved it. However, after it and a median met, it was no more. After three Harleys I went to the LT and this is my third riding season with the LT. From my perspective only...

ROADKING
  • with different seat & backrest, pullback bars, and footpegs it was more comfortable than the stock LT
  • maintenance was far easier
  • good resale value
  • loved the sound with Vance & Hines pipes
  • liked the ability to customize the look
  • took forever to polish all that chrome!
  • Lots of wind noise
  • No tunes
LT
  • with custom seat, backrest and MoPegs it approaches the comfort level of the RK, but don't like handlebar position and wish they were 2 inches longer
  • Has tunes!
  • engine loves to be revved and bike handles very well (especially with Ft. Worth rack instead of the trunk)
  • Maintenance considerably more difficult and can be more expensive (but this forum is a lifesaver!)
  • Cooler when sitting in traffic
  • has reverse, but no big deal unless you need it, which isn't often for me
  • Considerably heavier (not fun to drop...so I hear )
All-in-all, I'd give the LT thumbs up over the RK because of handling, tunes, smoothness, and it sure grabs peoples' attention!
Apr 21st, 2008 9:26 am
cfell
Re: Road King to an LT

Rode HD's from 12-50 years of age... that works out to abut 38 years...

I "miss" some things....cleaning my garage floor of oil... rattling, de-chroming Chinese bits and flakes....etc.

I do NOT miss things like the "marketed lifestyle"...

The BMW is a bit more expensive than the HD in that you will lose the "inflated value" like the HD's have. ... Also, parts seem to be even more outrageously priced...maybe because they have to import parts to Germany then EXPORT to US...

The HD's are great "tractors"... the BMW is an "airplane"...

I'll never... NEVER own another HD.
Apr 21st, 2008 9:11 am
deputy5211
Re: Road King to an LT

As I have posted before, the Road Kind and the LT are different vehicles for diffferent missions. I am on my 3rd LT and al hsve a '99 RK Classic. I ride my LT much more than the HD, but that is largely due to injuries sustained in a crash about a year ago. The Harley is more shorter rides for me, and the LT goes everywyhere else.
Apr 21st, 2008 9:11 am
ibbones
Re: Road King to an LT

I had an Ultra and now the LT. NOOO looking back. The only thing I miss is the low seat for my wife to get on.
Apr 21st, 2008 7:44 am
UltraLT
Re: Road King to an LT

I went from an 01 Ultra to a 05 LT. I have only owned the big HD touring models my whole life. For me, it was a big change and the first 6 months were horrible for me. I dropped the bike 4 times and was sick about it. But then, I finally learned how not to drop it and how to ride it. After 34K miles on the LT and only 2K on the Ultra in the same time, I sold the Ultra.

I think you may have to get accustomed to the top heavy charactaristics of the LT. I imagine the difference between the RK and the LT are even more pronounced than between an Ultra and a LT. This site can be very helpful I wish I had discovered it before I bought mine.

Anyway, once you learn to ride it well, you will not go back. I still ride with my HD friends and take a good deal of ribbing, even when I out run them on the twisties. Perfect strangers roll down their windows in their cars and ask you, "is that thing running?" I just laugh. They know not what they are missing.

Ultra LT
Apr 20th, 2008 10:05 pm
usmctpdog
Re: Road King to an LT

Coming from a HD to the LT is making the jump to a real motorcycle from the poser ranks... I did HD for 30 years off and on and was never happy with the performance and Handling of my HD's nor the growing ranks of little Pirates concerned more with lifestyle and hanging out at the HD dealer rather than riders wanting to leave their own zip code..
Most HD folks today are OWNERS rather than riders...

ALot of us here HAD or still own HD's as an endearing piece of nostaligia
Apr 20th, 2008 9:36 pm
jwimberley
Re: Road King to an LT

I had a K100RS rode it for 60,000 miles. Bought and sold an Electra Glide Classic and bought and sold KTM 640 Adventure. I have about 45000 miles on the K1200LT. The BMW bikes seem to keep my interest the longest. I have added an Air Hawk seat cushion, JPEGs and an XM radio to my LT which means I can ride in a comfortable manner from Oklahoma to Colorado in the summer. I ride almost every weekend but nothing near what I ride on vacation and I am planning my next vacation right now. I think my goal is to drive as many miles as possible on my LT. My HD was nice but wasn't fuel injected so I found it a little underpowered in the mountains of Colorado. I hope you enjoy riding your bike.
Apr 20th, 2008 9:07 pm
MikeERideWNC
Re: Road King to an LT

Wasn't this a post from last month?

Do a search... There was an identicle thread.
The guy is now a proud LT owner and has no regrets.

There is no comparison between the LT and Road King.
You can't go wrong with the LT.

Just remember:
Harley Davidson is the best way to turn gasoline in to noise without making horsepower.
Apr 20th, 2008 9:05 pm
Balance
Re: Road King to an LT

Thanks Bob,
We have ridden the LT and are definitely making the change. However, the change is not due to disliking the RK, I just can't afford both (and my sport bikes). My question is probably a bit rhetorical and already answered. Maybe just a way to introduce myself to the group.
Thanks again.
Apr 20th, 2008 8:59 pm
BecketMa
Re: Road King to an LT

You and your wife can go to your local BMW dealer and test ride the LT.

Then decide which one suits your needs the best.

Enjoy whatever you ride.
Bob
Apr 20th, 2008 8:51 pm
Balance
Road King to an LT

I am about to make the jump and buy an LT. It will require that I sell my 06 Road King. The primary purpose of both bikes is motel touring (1 week at a time) with my wife. I've done my research and am pretty sure I will never look back. I know many on this site have owned or still own HD bikes. Does anyone think I will regret this?
You can PM me on the NO answers as I don't want this to stir up a hornet's nest. At the same time, any YES answers from current or past HD owners citing specifics would be great.
Thanks and look forward to meeting you folks down the road.
Chuck

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