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Old February 10th, 2016, 10:00 PM   #1
Omarel
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Can 2007 Ninja 250 handle the highway?

I'm still new to riding. I ride around local roads mostly anywhere from 30-50 mph roads. I haven't gone on a major highway yet. And I'm a little nervous wondering if my bike can handle it.

When I drive on the highways there are some weird ups and downs a little bumpy, and they're far from a perfect straight road. I wonder what it would be like on my bike.

Anyone else have a similar lightweight bike. How does it handle the highway roads.
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Old February 10th, 2016, 10:02 PM   #2
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Just fine. Stay away from semis for a while, if you can, until you get used to the bike. They will blow you around a little bit.
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Old February 10th, 2016, 10:18 PM   #3
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Yes it can handle the highways. I took my little 2 fitty from New Jersey to Deal's Gap in No. Carolina. Took I-95, I-66 to Skyline Dr. in VA and leisurely rode to Robbinsville and spent a week touring around there. My Ninja can do 95+ mph, more going downhill. Have fun and ride safe.
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Old February 10th, 2016, 10:26 PM   #4
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Hey, I'm new to riding, too! I've had my Ninja250 up to 60mph, and husband has had her up to 70 or so on the freeway. I'm not up to freeways myself, yet, though I've gone through some mild canyons.

So far- just keep at it! We've been giving me one new thing at a time: gentle canyon, very slow. Then a bit more challenging curvy bits, and a downhill. Then wind. Yesterday was a bit more of a curvy road, plus some wind, a freeway-type merge, and traffic (but not an actual freeway). And we haven't taken my speed up too quickly.

Oh, and parking lots make great places to practice skills. Or deserted areas - like industrial areas on weekends when everybody's home.
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Old February 10th, 2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omarel View Post
.....And I'm a little nervous wondering if my bike can handle it.

Your bike is more than capable.
I keep my engine spinning at 10K rpm for hours without a problem.


When I drive on the highways there are some weird ups and downs a little bumpy, and they're far from a perfect straight road. I wonder what it would be like on my bike.

You can help the suspension if you put some weight on the footpegs while rolling over bumpy sections.
Always keep your feet supported on the ball of the foot, except when shifting gears and rear braking, keep your knees pressing the tank and keep a light grip on the handlebar with relaxed arms.
Very important: breath !!!
Keep your eyes on the traffic situation 12 seconds ahead of your bike, while scanning your surroundings with peripheral vision and quick glances to the mirrors.


Anyone else have a similar lightweight bike. How does it handle the highway roads.

Like a dream.
You can learn some tips for highways riding from the book "Proficient Motorcycling" (highly recommended), written by David L. Hough.
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Old February 10th, 2016, 11:33 PM   #6
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Another thing I've found helpful is the "Master Yoda" riding position- essentially kind of squatting on the bike, instead of a rounding-the-back-sit like you do in a regular chair.


Bend at the HIPS, not waist
Maintain a SLIGHT arch to the back, not allowing it ever to "curve"
Move the butt AFT so the weight is OVER YOUR FEET.
Apply pressure to the feet, using the THIGH muscles, so you are sitting "lightly"
ELBOWS BENT, now DROP the hands to the bars.

It's a post on a BMW sport-touring site, but it has helped me be more in control of the bike, even as a newb, and helps keep my back from hurting. It's really hard for me to keep the weight off my hands unless I do the Master Yoda.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 05:02 PM   #7
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It can handle the highways. Funny thing though is that at 70 mph on the highway during my commute to work my FZ8 gets about the same mileage as the little 250 due to the fact that the engine is wound up pretty good at that point.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 05:32 PM   #8
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The Ninjette is a fine highway bike. I have ridden mine even to my trip to North Carolina coast. With my weight of about 220lbs in gear, and the bike with a tank and tail bag it did just fine.

SERENITY is stock except the gearing which is +1/-2.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The Ninjette is a fine highway bike. I have ridden mine even to my trip to North Carolina coast. With my weight of about 220lbs in gear, and the bike with a tank and tail bag it did just fine.

SERENITY is stock except the gearing which is +1/-2.
Is Serenity like the one on Firefly? Good show. Too bad it was cut short.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 07:28 PM   #10
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the 250 can keep up with the highway but the biggest problem with them are the wind. The wind blows you around like nothing and you find yourself fighting with the wind at times. It's only on windy days though.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 07:31 PM   #11
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Is Serenity like the one on Firefly? Good show. Too bad it was cut short.
Exactly, and the movie was awesome too.

https://www.ninjette.org/forums/blog.php?b=8347
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Old February 14th, 2016, 08:33 PM   #12
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Seriously though... Google is your friend. Try it. There's probably 20 threads on just this forum asking if the ninjette is capable of highway travel.

The answer? Ride the darn thing yourself and find out. If it works for you, stick with it. If you find that you prefer not to ride highway, then find alternate routes. It's that simple. What does a bunch of random opinions on the internet mean on if your bike is okay on the highway?


But really. Google should always be your first step. 30 seconds goes a long way.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 08:41 PM   #13
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A lot of people say that it gets worse gas mileage on the highway but I still find it gets about 60 mpg, but I have a +1 sprocket in the front, which brings the RPM's down from 10k to a little over 8k.
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Old February 15th, 2016, 06:21 AM   #14
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The biggest challenge you face on the highway is your own nervousness.

The bike is fine on the superslab. I did a 2600 mile tour on mine a couple of months after buying it. No sweat. I learned a lot about ergonomics and comfort on that trip....

Yes, semis will cause the bike to move. It's a bike, after all. Relax. Stiff is bad, loose is good. Don't be tentative... if a big rig is slowing you down, pass assertively.

You'll find that with a low-powered bike like this, wind resistance is a bigger deal than it would be on a larger motorcycle. Get used to tucking (i.e. slide back in the seat, chest ON the tank), especially when passing.

The common misperception that the Ninjette can't handle the highway comes from the fact that it's low-powered. However, I've found that its performance is on par with a typical small car (It's about the same as my 2008 Honda Fit in terms of passing ability). My GSX-R, on the other hand, accelerates like a Ferrari.

It's a matter of expectations. On a big bike you say "make it so" and you're instantly in front of the car you're trying to pass. On a Ninjette, you plan just as you would if you were driving.

As others have said, wind it up. It's happy there.
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Old February 15th, 2016, 07:58 AM   #15
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Can an EX250 handle the highway????

I don't know, maybe we should ask Kurt Worden, Leon Begeman and Duke Dunsford.

Don't know who those guys are? They are three riders who've competed and completed the Iron Butt Rally riding the Kawasaki Ninja EX250.

Kurt Worden was the most recent finisher, completing the 2015 Iron Butt. He covered 8,768 miles during the 11 days of competition. He finished 37th out of 75 total finishers, the highest a Ninja 250 rider has ever placed.

Kurt's accomplishment in 2015 adds to the EX250's Iron Butt legacy of Leon Begeman (2003) and Duke Dunsford (2005).

Yeah, I think the EX250 can handle the highway. Question is, can you?
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Old February 15th, 2016, 10:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
The biggest challenge you face on the highway is your own nervousness.
I have to say that hits it perfectly.

I first was licensed to ride a motorcycle in 1986. Before I got back on bikes this past July my last bike was a 1997 CBR1100XX, I lived in the Australian Outback and we had no speed limits outside of town. So going fast on a bike was not an unfamiliar experience.

But 14 years without being on a bike and then hopping on a Vulcan 900 for a couple of days I wasn't prepared for riding my little Ninjette on the highway. Especially riding it naked without the fairing. The first time I took it out on the freeway was very white knuckled. The bike just seemed to be reving too hard to do 60 mph. After a few trips on the highway and getting used to the idea that yes the red line really is at 14K and reving it to 10k or 11k as you roll on the highway is not a problem.

I'm just saying, work your way up, have faith that your Ninjette can really handle the speeds just fine.
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Old February 19th, 2016, 09:05 PM   #17
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2003 ninja

I do it everyday 20k miles with no problem
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Old February 19th, 2016, 09:47 PM   #18
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SERENITY is stock except the gearing which is +1/-2.
I thought she had a taller windscreen, different mirrors, aton of lights, and some reflectors. Along with other comforts and farkles.
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Old February 20th, 2016, 07:13 AM   #19
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I thought she had a taller windscreen, different mirrors, aton of lights, and some reflectors. Along with other comforts and farkles.


I should clarify, mechanically engine wise, except for the CoPs modification.

I personally think the taller windscreen hurt my mpg a little.
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Old February 20th, 2016, 07:34 AM   #20
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Old February 25th, 2016, 06:44 AM   #21
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I'm also a noob rider and have only been on the highway once. Unfortunately, that was the first time I've put significant miles on the bike since I was riding it home from where I bought it. I love to ride the bike around town but I have to admit I'm not comfortable riding it at higher speeds yet. At an indicated 70 mph (which is actually a little over 60 as I learned from the friend following me), the engine was rapped out to nearly 9k. They say the engine will run at 9k for a long time with no problems but it gets a bit tiring for this old bastard at 43 years old in regard to vibration and noise. Mine does have an aftermarket exhaust on it so maybe it wouldn't be quite as tiring with the stock exhaust.

I recommend you try it for a few miles to see what you think. However, I'm reading some of these posts as a noob rider and all I can think is how my ride wasn't nearly as pleasant as some make it sound.

Now that I have more experience with the bike, I will try the highway again. I just need this winter to get over with!
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Old February 25th, 2016, 06:59 AM   #22
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I put the larger sprocket up front, which helped a bit, I typically cruised at an indicated 80-85 which put it up around 9000 ( i thought) are you sure you were in 6th??? lol
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Old February 25th, 2016, 07:05 AM   #23
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Haha yeah, I attempted to upshift a few times since I was surprised to see such high rpm's. This was last August so maybe it wasn't quite 9k. I posted about it on here so I'll look for that post later. I just remember my hands were numb from the vibration, after about 10 minutes haha. I might've had too much of a death grip though, since it was my first time over 45 mph.

I look forward to trying it again when it gets warmer. I feel much more confident on the bike now, so I'm hoping the highway will feel better. I'd like to ride it work (about 12 miles highway).

Edit: I read my initial post and it was 8k. C'monnnn Spring...
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Old February 25th, 2016, 07:25 AM   #24
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I ride my 04 Ninja 250 on some of the busiest highways in this nation, NJ/PA turnpike over 100 mile span, one way during my twice weekly commute between NYC and NE PA.
80+ mph, 11k rpm, not a problem. OEM sprockets, chain, just larger rear tire than OEM.

The wind/turbulence do effect the handling of lightweight vehicle such as the Ninja 250, but just like anything, practice, practice, practice.. eventually you will master/overcome the fear.
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Old February 25th, 2016, 07:26 AM   #25
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They say the engine will run at 9k for a long time with no problems but it gets a bit tiring for this old bastard at 43 years old in regard to vibration and noise. Mine does have an aftermarket exhaust on it so maybe it wouldn't be quite as tiring with the stock exhaust.
Earplugs. Transformational improvement on the highway for almost all motorcycles.
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Old February 25th, 2016, 07:30 AM   #26
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Earplugs. Transformational improvement on the highway for almost all motorcycles.
I'll try that, thanks.
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Old February 25th, 2016, 08:01 AM   #27
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Earplugs! Good ones! You won'r regret it.
I remember when I first merged on a major highway (I-287S in NJ) I was immediately passed by 3 semis at their highway speed. I remembered to lean a little, but the first one was "oh f***g S****t c****p M******r", the second one was like "oh f****k, again" and the third one was "it is not THAT bad". You get used to it
I will definitely go highway if need to, but would prefer back road when I can.
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Old February 25th, 2016, 08:02 AM   #28
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Haha yeah, I attempted to upshift a few times since I was surprised to see such high rpm's. This was last August so maybe it wasn't quite 9k. I posted about it on here so I'll look for that post later. I just remember my hands were numb from the vibration, after about 10 minutes haha. I might've had too much of a death grip though, since it was my first time over 45 mph.

I look forward to trying it again when it gets warmer. I feel much more confident on the bike now, so I'm hoping the highway will feel better. I'd like to ride it work (about 12 miles highway).

Edit: I read my initial post and it was 8k. C'monnnn Spring...
Go up one sprocket size in the front or down one size in the rear.
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Old February 25th, 2016, 10:37 AM   #29
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You can minimize bar buzz by relaxing your grip, installing better grips, and extra heavy bar ends
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Old February 25th, 2016, 12:13 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Go up one sprocket size in the front or down one size in the rear.
Ninja 250 is pretty easy on chain/sprockets.. I wore out the rear tire sooner than OEM sprockets.
When my rear tire got worn out, I just replaced with 130/90-16 rear tire that has a larger diameter profile than OEM rear tire.. that jacks up the rear end, make the front end more stable for higher speed, at the same time allow lower engine rpm at all speed.
Also makes it much easier to put the bike on centerstand.
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Old February 25th, 2016, 05:30 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Alex View Post
Earplugs. Transformational improvement on the highway for almost all motorcycles.
OMG this! You can still hear things around you. I can still hear google maps through my SENA with them in. I have never, and will never, ride without them. I want to be able to hear when I'm 60+ years old.
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Old February 25th, 2016, 05:48 PM   #32
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Changing the front sprocket is cheap and day enough to do. +1 seems to be the go to if you spend a lot of time on the hwy, but if most of the time is spent in town then keep the OEM set up.

The Ninjette loves to rev, it's built for it, hard to get use to if it's your first bike,
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Old February 25th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #33
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Changing the front sprocket is cheap and day enough to do. +1 seems to be the go to if you spend a lot of time on the hwy, but if most of the time is spent in town then keep the OEM set up.

The Ninjette loves to rev, it's built for it, hard to get use to if it's your first bike, one must forget their not in a cage.
My wife had this issue with her FZ6. It revs to something like 16K RPM's. On her first track day, she didn't take it much above 9K RPM until I taped her tach at 9K. I told her that if she can't see the tach needle either shift down or more throttle. She didn't like the sound it made winding out despite the fact that is where it's most happy.
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Old February 26th, 2016, 11:57 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by A";1085306]
The wind/turbulence do effect the handling of lightweight vehicle such as the Ninja 250, but just like anything, practice, practice, practice.. eventually you will master overcome the fear. [/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Purple
Nice looking bike! [/COLOR]

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The Ninjette loves to rev, it's built for it, hard to get use to if it's your first bike,
Yeah, I'm here. This is my first bike, first time really riding anything (minor experience with a dirtbike and a couple of minutes on a roadbike, but that hardly counts), and the higher speeds are a bit unnerving at first. I'm getting used to 60mph, and haven't really done freeways yet.

I know it likes to rev, but I'm used to the car, which shifts at 2500rpm. And now the ninjette wants to hit 10? And more? Wow.

So yeah, there's an adjustment. Working on it.
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Old February 26th, 2016, 12:25 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by CaliGrrl View Post
I know it likes to rev, but I'm used to the car, which shifts at 2500rpm. And now the ninjette wants to hit 10? And more? Wow.

So yeah, there's an adjustment. Working on it. [/COLOR]
Take a look at the tachometer..



REDline starts at about 13k rpm, that means anything below that is fair game.

You have to run the engine at least 60% of its rev range to get decent power output, which is about 7500 rpm... that's with OEM sprockets and rear tire diameter.
To me; anything between 70-90% (7-12k rpm) is happy zone.
Anything below 30% (4k rpm) is likely lugging the engine... not so good.
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Old February 26th, 2016, 03:46 PM   #36
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My 2001 ZZR250 will cruise at 80mph on the motorways & can do 200 miles on a tank full at that speed. So your bike will be fine YMMV
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Old February 26th, 2016, 07:40 PM   #37
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My red line starts at 14k.
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Old February 26th, 2016, 07:46 PM   #38
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14k up to 2004, 13k 2005 and up, makes little difference though, due to power peaks around 12,500(IIRC) and falls off so no need to go any higher.
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Old February 27th, 2016, 04:33 AM   #39
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Like many are saying, perception and familiarity count. First interstate ride felt like I was riding a wood chipper. Second felt like a weed whacker. Third felt like a 250. Good luck and keep your vision on most everything but the gauges. The engine sound is a bit unnerving at first but you get used to that too. Shoot, I drive a diesel Jetta that redlines at like 500 RPM. The bike runs at 10-13k RPM, sounds all wrong at first but meh, that's what they do. Just do all your pre-checks, trust your machine, and ride.
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Old February 27th, 2016, 09:32 AM   #40
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Yeah, I know, redline's at 13. It just feels so strange to rev it up!

Mental adjustment, getting used to how it feels. Working on it. Hopefully get to ride a few miles on Monday. Work, getting in the way of having fun. Pshaw.
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