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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys ... longtime lurker and now out of the closet.

I am going today to the guys at the local BMW shop and are selling a 2004 K1200GT with ~ 9k miles on it for $9000 ( linky )

I was wondering other than some oil changes what else is there to look for? I think the tires by 9k should need changing. Is there major maintenance coming up? any weak points to look out for?

oh and a more general question:


I was wondering first if this bike is ok for commuting (I live in Chicago and ride about 20mi round trip every day in traffic) and how much of a bear it is compared to my current bike a KLR650. I'l still have the KLR for commuting (which it rocks at by the way... all due respect to fine German engineering) but it will be far too tempting to not take the BMW out everyday. I'm not afraid that it is top-heavy (the KLR is) but i hear its a heavy mofo (my klr is like 460lbs i think), should that make me rethink my choice?

I have been riding for about 3.5 years and take the MSF BRT every year.

Thanks guys,

Eric
 

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I'd be surprised if a BMW dealer would leave anything obvious on a bike you could find, or else one small cheap thing so you don't look too hard at anything else (common sales ploy).

Seriously though, check out your dealers service reputation, if you lurk around the dealership you can usually get to talk to other riders who use them. Also ask to look around their workshop, if they are proud of it they will be very willing. Remember you aren't just buying a bike, but a relationship as these are quite complicated machines.

Get a worthwhile warranty. Whatever the condition and mileage you want some insurance against any big bills ahead. Only get the bike fully serviced. If it has already been done, ask to see the service history and check if any recalls are outstanding. It's low mileage for the year so see if it has been in the shop for service on a regular time basis or has it had none but the 6K?

See if they will let you trial it for a day, or at least a couple of hours. You need to know if it will fit you and looking over a hot engine after a ride can be more revealing than looking at it in the showroom on idle.

Older low mileage bikes can have problems - fluids have been hanging around, tires go hard, seals stiffen up.

Good luck with the bike.



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slappy00 said:
Hi guys ... longtime lurker and now out of the closet.

I am going today to the guys at the local BMW shop and are selling a 2004 K1200GT with ~ 9k miles on it for $9000 ( linky )

I was wondering other than some oil changes what else is there to look for? I think the tires by 9k should need changing. Is there major maintenance coming up? any weak points to look out for?


I was wondering first if this bike is ok for commuting (I live in Chicago and ride about 20mi round trip every day in traffic) and how much of a bear it is compared to my current bike a KLR650. I'l still have the KLR for commuting (which it rocks at by the way... all due respect to fine German engineering) but it will be far too tempting to not take the BMW out everyday. I'm not afraid that it is top-heavy (the KLR is) but i hear its a heavy mofo (my klr is like 460lbs i think), should that make me rethink my choice?



I have been riding for about 3.5 years and take the MSF BRT every year.

Thanks guys,
Eric
1st thing, do a KBB & NADA book price on it. And lead with your head on this thing, NOT that you GOTTA have it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After all, It's 7 yrs. old(8 yrs. in a couple months), out of production and a VERY respectable 9 G's!!

2) Well, the tires are shot from old age, let alone by mileage (also shot).

3) My own personal opinion(which ain't worth spit) is the bike has too few miles on it. I believe lo-miles contribute to trouble down the road. The bike lays for long periods, gets a lot of condensation in the crankcase, trans, and rear drive, etc.. Other things effected by lo mileage is, the seals dry out, are not exercised or lubed.

4) I mean we are talking about a bike that was run 1250mi. a year for maybe 7yrs. or a bike that was run 9K and left to lay for 6years. Which one???????

5) The GT weighs 660 wet, without options or accessories. See the attachment.
It ain't no ballerina in heavy traffic.

6) Oh, don't respect "fine German engineering" too much. They to have warts and an attitude also.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks!

It's a consignment bike.

Apparently it has been in two stables with guys who had too many bikes. The last guy only rode 1k on it. I agree that low mileage make me nervous, but it starts fine and looks ok (no drips or leaks).

The 12k service is no joke, and got quoted $700 if the valves need to be adjusted. The tires are new/different and the front brake has been replaced.

The bike starts fine and idles ok. Tomarrow I am going over there with a cashiers check in hand, but will take it for a test ride first. The sales guy allegedly took it for a trip last weekend (which makes sense as they updated the mileage on the bike recently). I don't see anything obviously crazy about it, but now im ind of :confused: with regards to the low mileage. I mean is that really a red flag or approach with caution?

Thanks guys I have always wanted a BMW and this bike is beautiful and has all that i want for speed, and comfort so I am drawn to it.

Best,

Eric
 

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That's what I meant by leading with your wallet, and not your heart.
Front brakes last 45K+ on these bikes. Why were they replaced?
Anyway, its your money.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Front brakes last 45K+ on these bikes. Why were they replaced?
Hopefully it was just the pads, however yeah.. wonder why they were replaced. I did some sleuthing on the interwebs and pad changes come anywhere between 10k and 25k miles for the front brake. Guess it wouldn't hurt to ask in any event.
 

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$9K for 9K miles is slightly under Kelly Blue Book's suggested retail of $9585 for the Chicago area. Given the mileage, and assuming the bike is, overall, in a condition appropriate for low miles, this is probably a decent price. Check the tire wear. Agreed that, if these are the original tires that came withe bike in '04, they should be replaced sooner than later. OTOH, at 9K, it's fairly likely these aren't the original tires - end of problem, one hopes. Brake wear... who knows, maybe the PO was hard on the brakes or let them drag a lot. I'd at least ask the dealer for any service history on the bike.

Check the seals in the drive shaft for obvious signs of oil spray or weeping. An oily film on the back of the housing for the drive shaft is Not A Good Sign. The problem can be corrected. I'd let the seller either pay to have it put right or take a hit on the price, equal to the cost of the repair.

Past that, there are the usual used bike issues (how's the battery - 7 years is just about the end of the road for a battery). There are smaller issues that should be looked into - for example, the quick disconnect fittings in the fuel lines at the fuel tank. BMW's original plastic fittings snap off sooner or later. When it happens, you won't be happy. Either the PO replaced the plastic bits with metal bits or you should do it (~$80 in parts).

Commuting on the KGT... sure, you can do it. You won't be maneuvering like a little Vespa, but the bike handles well enough in stop and go traffic. Remember, too, the bike is water cooled, so that when the weather's hot, and you're stuck in traffic, you don't have to worry about the engine cooking itself, as it would if it were air cooled. Two things I'd add to the bike, particularly for city and commuter riding: a plastic headlight protector from Cee Baily (1/8" polycarbonate shield that will stop rocks from trashing the headlight - $500+ for a replacement), and an oil cooler screen (try the one from Wunderlich), also to minimize thrown rock/debris damage.

Good luck with your KGT! :D
 

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slappy00 said:
Hopefully it was just the pads, however yeah.. wonder why they were replaced. I did some sleuthing on the interwebs and pad changes come anywhere between 10k and 25k miles for the front brake. Guess it wouldn't hurt to ask in any event.
I bet some pistons were siezed. There are 8 on the front so chances are high. Still, that means one less problem and at least you know the brake system was flushed. Just make sure the ABS modulator is included on their warranty!



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slappy00 said:
Thanks guys I have always wanted a BMW and this bike is beautiful and has all that i want for speed, and comfort so I am drawn to it.Eric
Eric

Don't be blinded by your enthusiasm. Be patient ad shop around. Chances are that bike will not fly off the shelf and even if it does, other bikes will become available. Take your time unless you are very certain.

$9K is a high-end price, while perhaps not unfair. I got my '03 RS with 15K miles last spring (in Florida) for $6k, and I have had many of the same reservations you have. So far, so good. A front tire and rear brake pads (all worn as to be expected).

There will be other deals, if you are unsure.
 

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I know the shop you are talking about. I've bought a few things from them over the years but never had any service done. I go to Chicago BMW. Moto has a very good shop. Other guys I have talked with have gotten good service there. They do a lot of older bike restorations. Usually there's some old R or 70's KZ sitting on the floor. The front 1/2 of the store and rear half are two different worlds. Yuppy scooters, Piaggio lids and hot chicks in front. Real bikes and grease monkeys in the back.
I guess another one of the reasons I don't shop there much is their pricing. Prices are a bit high every time I check in there. They quoted me +/- $500 for a set of new Avons for my K12. I just laughed. That was balanced but still.
The price of the bike is a bit high for my taste. I would haggle down a grand or so at least or walk. Consider calling Mike at Chicago BMW and see what he has. I know some guys don't like the place, it's a bit clicky. They are good guys and have always been good to me with bikes and parts. I always recommend them. No I have no interest in the place beyond being a customer.
I last thing, I use my K12RS as my primary bike. Blasting around the City is no problem. The power comes in handy. If parking downtown a lot I would suggest buying a topcase and leaving the side bags off.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the tips guys....

I decided to go with the bike and picked it up today. I might have gotten a better deal somewhere else but this bike had the right trim, color, and seemed in good shape. I know from past experience that the cheapest bike isnt always the bike you wanted and I'd rather pay an extra grand for a bike I wanted rather than save a grand and get a bike that is just "ok".

But lets just let bygones be bygones and leave it at I got the bike I wanted.

The guys in Motoworks are pretty good and friendly, and I noticed upon inspection that the bike had a strange idle so they are going to change the idle valve at no charge to me.

I think in the future I will take my bike to Cyclewerks in Barrington, I called service there and they knew their stuff and were very friendly and helpful. I think that most of you will agree that the BMW sales and service/parts departments are two different worlds in terms of personalities.

THe bike itself? Sexy as hell... its not heavy at all, and I have no problem doing low speed manuvers on it. plenty of power everywhere and oh man you van get in trouble fast with you are liberal with your wrist. Speaking of wrists.. I am used to a neutral sitting posture (KLR) and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to take the pressure off of my wrists?

the bike runs a bit hot in traffic, the fans kick in but it does get close to the hot area in the cooling gauge.

Finally although it is silky smooth when moving, at idle it rattles a bit, and the hydraulic clutch took about a 1/2 hour to et used to

Great bike... looking forward to many smiles over many miles :clap:
 

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Congratulations on the new ride! Agreed that a top box is a good idea for daily go-ferring. The left bag is a little short on space and a top case makes up for that nicely.

Sooner or later you'll meet [one] facet of life with BMW that isn't a lot of fun: the "we are BMW and this is how it will be" attitude. It's not just a bike thing, they do it with cars, too. It's just a fact of life and one that may leave you angry enough to shout "FIRE!" at the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Convention main meeting. Why BMW is so prone to this escapes me, but there it is. However, when things are going well, this is the greatest way to get around. Enjoy! :teeth
 

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Congratulations on the new bike. :clap:
You should love it. Get bike to get around on. You can order barbacks to help with the position. I think 30 mm is the longest without getting longer brake and clutch lines.
 

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Good luck with the bike! Take some time and get used to it before making any changes. I don't always love the seating and bar positions myself, but I find that the more I ride it the better (or more used to them ) I get. I've had 4 shoulder surgeries now and I can still get pretty comfortable on mine. Just get out there, ride it and enjoy it. Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the club!
 

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A big +1 to Firenailer's comments. Ride the bike, get to know it, and keep an open mind before cranking in the changes.

The first time I rode (what became my) KRS, I literally turned around after about 5 miles and handed it back to the dealer. After several years of riding behind full fairings, all that wind flying at me was "what the heck is this?!? Why am I doing this?" And then I went out a second time, with the intent of figuring out what the bike itself was all about. After all, windshields can be changed easily enough. Needless to say, I bought the bike. :teeth
 

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Great bike! But what color is it? Loved mine, finally traded in after 4 years and 60k miles.

Just a couple of things to watch out for....

Kickstand... On the slightest downhill the bike seems to roll off pretty easy. It also digs into asphalt easily.

Bar Backs... Try the bike for a thousand miles or so without. Read up on the correct seating position, etc. Then pull the trigger on the BB's.

Smoothness... Sorry, you're going to hear this a lot. "They all do that" at idle. Worse when you release the clutch lever.

Smoke Screen When Starting?.... Some of the bikes will billow smoke when they first start up. Has something to do with the rings. If you leave the bike on the center stand it shouldn't be a problem and will eventually go away all together.

Tires... About every 8k or so.

6k Service... Ran me about $300 locally, 12k was around $400.

Speed... This bike will seduce you into thinking that the posted speed limits are for mere mortals. The local LEO's have a different opinion though.

Shocks... When the shocks wear out you might want to look at OHLINS.

Fuel Range/Mileage... If I was easy on the throttle (rarely) I could get over 200 miles to a tank. More often it was around 160-180. Even less in stop and go. MPG was around 38.

Seat... Some people can't stand the seat. Like the Bar Backs give the seat a thousand miles or so and then decide on a replacement.

Clutch... If the clutch seems quirky at all get it to a shop. Clutch slaves are a known issue as well as final drive.

I had an '03 and purchased with about 1,024 miles when the bike was 3 years old. I remember putting a lot of miles on as well as tires and oil....
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Great bike! But what color is it? Loved mine, finally traded in after 4 years and 60k miles.

Dark Blue... The ladies love it... trust me on this

Just a couple of things to watch out for....

Kickstand... On the slightest downhill the bike seems to roll off pretty easy. It also digs into asphalt easily.

yeah i use the centerstand most of the time except concrete

Bar Backs... Try the bike for a thousand miles or so without. Read up on the correct seating position, etc. Then pull the trigger on the BB's.

Wrists do hurt a bit, and lower back (then again im used to a neutral posture)... but I am going to give ti a few hundred miles

Smoothness... Sorry, you're going to hear this a lot. "They all do that" at idle. Worse when you release the clutch lever.

Yeah very smooth at speed kinda jittery (but not that much) at idle. I am getting a idle valve changed at the dealer this week... It idles too low at startup (but not when warmed up)

Smoke Screen When Starting?.... Some of the bikes will billow smoke when they first start up. Has something to do with the rings. If you leave the bike on the center stand it shouldn't be a problem and will eventually go away all together.

I'm trying to keep it on the center stand as much as possible... Speaking of which whats the proper technique for doing this.... I go about it like the rider manual says but it's still a bit hard.. also I have a fear of balancing the bike perfectly when tilting it back on the stand (i dont want it tipping the other way)...

Tires... About every 8k or so.

Thanks!

6k Service... Ran me about $300 locally, 12k was around $400.

hrm ...12k: the local shop quoted me 600 without valve adjustment... 700 with valves... the dealer only quoted me 500 or so... hrm

Speed... This bike will seduce you into thinking that the posted speed limits are for mere mortals. The local LEO's have a different opinion though.

Yea I went to pass a semi and hit the gas like i would on my KLR... passed the truck, looked down and I was doing 120... Christ :boom:

Shocks... When the shocks wear out you might want to look at OHLINS.

how long do stockers last?

Fuel Range/Mileage... If I was easy on the throttle (rarely) I could get over 200 miles to a tank. More often it was around 160-180. Even less in stop and go. MPG was around 38.

sounds about right!

Seat... Some people can't stand the seat. Like the Bar Backs give the seat a thousand miles or so and then decide on a replacement.

Seat is awesome ... firm and comfy... just need to get used to the posture

Clutch... If the clutch seems quirky at all get it to a shop. Clutch slaves are a known issue as well as final drive.

Ok here is the important thing I was gonna ask. Sometimes.. not always, and only in fist gear. I release the clutch and get a small "clunk". Does this happen to you at all?

I had an '03 and purchased with about 1,024 miles when the bike was 3 years old. I remember putting a lot of miles on as well as tires and oil....

It's an awesome bike and I get tons of respect on the road (even from Harley guys) guess they know what they are messing with ...haha
 

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I've got the dark blue version as well. I call mine Blucifer because it seems demonically posessed as far as speed limits are concerned. It doesn't matter how many times you tell it to behave that damn bike just doesn't care about speed limits!
I keep mine on the center stand more often than not, as the side stands foot is so small it will dig into asphalt or dirt pretty easily. I haven't had any of the start up smoke people talk about. It might be a result of not leaving the bike leaned over?
As far as setting it up I just set the side stand, stand on the left side of the bike, keep the bars straight, hold the left grip with my left hand, grab the grab bar under the left side of the seat with my right hand, lower the center stand with my right foot until it touches the ground, straighten the bike up until you feel it rest evenly on both center stand feet and then press down my body weight on the stand foot lever while lifting and pulling rearward. Really not much lifting and pulling but it seems to all go together. I'm only 160 and it's really not too hard. Try it a few times in your garage to get used to it. The guy at the dealership was a bit heavier than me but he really just used his body weight and balanced the bike with his fingertips.
There was a recall on the O-rings on the quick disconnects of these bikes. Ask your dealer to check your VIN number to make sure your bike has been checked. Gas leaks and fire just aren't that much fun while riding bikes!
It's a great bike, get used to it, enjoy it and have fun.
 

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Awesome choice, great color, glad you made the choice to get what you wanted rather than settle. WE WILL GET PICTURES???? See my comments to yours in bold italics below

Great bike! But what color is it? Loved mine, finally traded in after 4 years and 60k miles.

Dark Blue... The ladies love it... trust me on this

Just a couple of things to watch out for....

Kickstand... On the slightest downhill the bike seems to roll off pretty easy. It also digs into asphalt easily.
On a slight forward downhill.. enough to run water or a marble, leave the bike in gear

yeah i use the centerstand most of the time except concrete

Bar Backs... Try the bike for a thousand miles or so without. Read up on the correct seating position, etc. Then pull the trigger on the BB's.

Wrists do hurt a bit, and lower back (then again im used to a neutral posture)... but I am going to give ti a few hundred miles

[B]I found the opposite. I have actually moved my forward, then got the lower mounts. I find a slight bend forward actually helps my back feel better. Esp after the torso and abs got use to carrying some of the load.[/B]


Smoothness... Sorry, you're going to hear this a lot. "They all do that" at idle. Worse when you release the clutch lever.

Yeah very smooth at speed kinda jittery (but not that much) at idle. I am getting a idle valve changed at the dealer this week... It idles too low at startup (but not when warmed up)

Smoke Screen When Starting?.... Some of the bikes will billow smoke when they first start up. Has something to do with the rings. If you leave the bike on the center stand it shouldn't be a problem and will eventually go away all together.

I'm trying to keep it on the center stand as much as possible... Speaking of which whats the proper technique for doing this.... I go about it like the rider manual says but it's still a bit hard.. also I have a fear of balancing the bike perfectly when tilting it back on the stand (i dont want it tipping the other way)...
My RS had set up for 4 yrs, only 900 miles during that time Yes it smoked at startup. Now it doesn't, Sometimes if it sits for a few days on the side stand it might for a moment. Even when it did, it never lowered the oil level. At 60k now, the site glass oil level only drops 1/8 over 10,000 miles between changes of syn oil. As for the stand. step down that is STEP not just push down on the stand. Use the ball of your foot, put your weight into it. Let that do the lifting. Like you I stand it up straight while doing this and you will feel the point where the stand is balancing it on both side.. then put your wt into your step, lift some on the handle on the frame and its done. If you lift more than step it is a bear to do . If you step and push hard with your foot and let your hand guide and lift a little it is much better.

Tires... About every 8k or so.

Thanks!

6k Service... Ran me about $300 locally, 12k was around $400.

hrm ...12k: the local shop quoted me 600 without valve adjustment... 700 with valves... the dealer only quoted me 500 or so... hrm
My independent guy does the annual and with other things to be done as well as they are discovered. it runs about 700, My annual is about 25-30k however.

Speed... This bike will seduce you into thinking that the posted speed limits are for mere mortals. The local LEO's have a different opinion though.

Yea I went to pass a semi and hit the gas like i would on my KLR... passed the truck, looked down and I was doing 120... Christ :boom:

Shocks... When the shocks wear out you might want to look at OHLINS.

how long do stockers last?
Some say less than 20K, mine I changed at 50k Money was tight at that moment and I put on a set of OEM ones off a wrecked bike with 6k. I talked with my wrench about when and he kept saying you will know when as you will start to feel a difference on rough stuff, and sudden pavement changes. Mine started to pick up a slight movement in turns when over dips where it had been solid. I also felt the shocks bottomed on on roads that in the past, same settings and load never noticed before. He was right. I am looking at Hyperpros this winter. The ones I put on now have total about 15K and aren't as solid as the originals at 30. So it depends.

Fuel Range/Mileage... If I was easy on the throttle (rarely) I could get over 200 miles to a tank. More often it was around 160-180. Even less in stop and go. MPG was around 38.

sounds about right!
[B]I get 37 day in day out. If I can run on cruise 70-85 for the whole tank I will get right at 40. Worst was 20 but that was over two days at the track.
[/B]
Seat... Some people can't stand the seat. Like the Bar Backs give the seat a thousand miles or so and then decide on a replacement.

Seat is awesome ... firm and comfy... just need to get used to the posture

Stock seat works for me.. Just replace original (badly cracked will get it recovered) with another OEM take off.

Clutch... If the clutch seems quirky at all get it to a shop. Clutch slaves are a known issue as well as final drive.


A point you mentioned earlier.. they do run hot when idling or stop and go traffic or when running with the revs high. They will go right up the red and the fans will take care of that. I worried about that for awhile and then trusted the engineering. I worried more when two track days this summer were 102 and 100 and I was running at redline in second and third most of the time and the needled stayed right at that point just below the red. Its the nature of the machine.


Ok here is the important thing I was gonna ask. Sometimes.. not always, and only in fist gear. I release the clutch and get a small "clunk". Does this happen to you at all?

Yes,, I am guessing you are hearing or feeling the drivetrain tighten up from any play it had. I can do that when I let it out quickly but just to the point of friction but not yet moving out. Or when in stop and go and it goes from coasting a moment at slow, almost walking speeds and let the engine put a quick very light load on it, but again not to start accelerate


I had an '03 and purchased with about 1,024 miles when the bike was 3 years old. I remember putting a lot of miles on as well as tires and oil....

It's an awesome bike and I get tons of respect on the road (even from Harley guys) guess they know what they are messing with ...haha
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well after doing a bit of sluthing... Turns out that my bike might have the infamous 166 ECU problem (low ide when cold, dies when bliped when cold). The wrench said its the idle control valve, but I have my doubts. The bike is goin in tomorrow (idle control should be in on Thursday) i'm thinking that if it isnt cured, and they don't want to pay for the 296 chip I can convince the shop to swap a major maintenance procedure ($700... mostly labor) for the chip (mostly parts).

In any event if they won't spring for the $800 chip ... I think I'll just put in a Rhinewest part $400 and call it a day.

Kind of sucks that I'll be taking my bike apart already, but I got fuel injection so I dont have to wait for it to warm up like my KLR.

oh well..... :dunno:
 
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