Safest scooter?
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Member
Joined: 13 Oct 2019
Posts: 8

Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:03 pm quote
Hi everyone I'm new here.
I'm from the outer Islands of Scotland 32 years old and a new scooter rider.
My question is what is the safest scooter? ( I crashed and broke my leg on the first day) I have heard that 3 wheeled ones are stable and possibly 4 wheeled ones are even better.
Could someone please advise me on this matter?
Thanks.
Molto Verboso
2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
Joined: 22 Dec 2012
Posts: 1287
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:11 pm quote
Re: Safest scooter?
spellburg wrote:
Hi everyone I'm new here.
I'm from the outer Islands of Scotland 32 years old and a new scooter rider.
My question is what is the safest scooter? ( I crashed and broke my leg on the first day) I have heard that 3 wheeled ones are stable and possibly 4 wheeled ones are even better.
Could someone please advise me on this matter?
Thanks.
Wow! Sorry to read of such a terrible accident. Did your take any defensive riding course? I’m not sure that a “safe” scooter really exists. Some have better tech and stability than others. In the end, it really comes down to riding defensively and experience, in my opinion.
Member
Joined: 13 Oct 2019
Posts: 8

Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:16 pm quote
Oh thanks I actually had the accident turning to go downhill and for some reason instead of going down I went straight and into a ditch with a barbed wire fence and the bike landed on top of me.
Molto Verboso
2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
Joined: 22 Dec 2012
Posts: 1287
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:29 pm quote
spellburg wrote:
Oh thanks I actually had the accident turning to go downhill and for some reason instead of going down I went straight and into a ditch with a barbed wire fence and the bike landed on top of me.
Holee mother of pearl!!! So glad you’re ok.
Enthusiast
2018 Piaggio BV 350
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:45 pm quote
Ibid
I agree; take a defensive rider course. Was that your first time riding? It might be helpful to assess whether it was rider error or mechanical failure. Definitely take the course, read up a lot on it. It’s your life out there. Take care of it.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:52 pm quote
The safest scooter is one you can ride comfortably, and confidently.
Barring these, there is no safe scooter.
Actually, there is no safe scooter, period.
But it's a lot of fun, and I hope you are able to get back on it after what you have been through.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:01 pm quote
The safest scooter is one with 4 wheels, a roof, a steering wheel, seatbelts and airbags. This is often referred to as a car.
Hooked
2019 Piaggio Liberty 150
Joined: 20 Feb 2019
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:16 pm quote
I have both 2 wheel scooters and a trike, so this is my break-down of them. The 50cc has a very low seat height and only does 35mph. Super easy to ride. My runner is a 150cc big wheel scooter. Very stable and has modern features like ABS in the front. Does everything I need it to do speed wise. The trike is a 600cc. I dont really care for it myself but my wife likes it. So start small (50cc) and build your way up. Take some safety courses to. No one is more safe than the other in our case, we just worked our way up.
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:19 pm quote
Rider education is key. Then, lots of practice. Realistically (and not intended to dissuade anyone from trying life on two wheels), not everyone should be riding a scooter. Some people are "accident prone"... that isn't a put down. For those that do ride, it seems natural and simple. There are plenty of people out there who have been in multiple car accidents, and often think they played no part in it.

As a retired boat captain, I am aware that in the case of an accident on the water, the Coast Guard will assign blame... and if you weren't able to avoid the accident, some portion of the blame will likely be yours.

Have you tripped on your own feet? Bumped your head on something low hanging? Find yourself saying, "How did that happen?" You're probably not a good candidate for riding.

The "for some reason the scooter went straight" when you were planning to turn is pretty revealing: time for rider training (when your leg heals) or looking for a different way to get around.

Sending good vibes your way for a fast and full healing. Good luck moving forward.
Molto Verboso
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:35 pm quote
Sorry about your crash, glad you’re on the mend...
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:40 pm quote
Learn to countersteer.

My first day on my 3-wheel scooter I turned to go around a corner and instead the scooter went straight and crashed into the curb.

I only sprained my ankle, though.

Then I read "Proficient Motorcycling" and spent three weeks thinking about it before being able to ride again. I also started wearing more and better safety gear.

It's not the scooter, it's the rider.
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:05 pm quote
mpfrank wrote:
Learn to countersteer.

My first day on my 3-wheel scooter I turned to go around a corner and instead the scooter went straight and crashed into the curb.

I only sprained my ankle, though.

Then I read "Proficient Motorcycling" and spent three weeks thinking about it before being able to ride again. I also started wearing more and better safety gear.

It's not the scooter, it's the rider.
THIS. SO VERY MUCH THIS.

"... turning to go downhill and for some reason instead of going down I went straight..." is a textbook example of what happens when not countersteering.
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:29 pm quote
Safest scooter for spellburg is probably a 4 wheel mobility scooter.

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Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:56 pm quote
I can't believe all this nonsense.

Defensive driving course. There is no evidence he/she was anywhere near anyone else. Good luck finding any kind of riding course in the Scottish isles. Maybe some Lifeboat training?

Counter steering. We don't even know how fast he/she was going.
still i suppose he/she could have pushed down on the bar at low speed and the bike went the opposite way!

Just an unfortunate result from the first accident caused by inexperience. In a different life there would have been no broken bones. He/she just needs more time in the saddle and more practise.

Roads won't be super busy where he/she is so lots of time for lots of practice.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:10 pm quote
I’m still confused about what these 4 wheeled scooters are.
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Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:08 pm quote
Re: Safest scooter?
spellburg wrote:
Hi everyone I'm new here.
I'm from the outer Islands of Scotland 32 years old and a new scooter rider.
My question is what is the safest scooter? ( I crashed and broke my leg on the first day) I have heard that 3 wheeled ones are stable and possibly 4 wheeled ones are even better.
Could someone please advise me on this matter?
Thanks.
What were you riding then?
Member
Joined: 13 Oct 2019
Posts: 8

Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:13 am quote
Wow guys/ladies? thanks for all your replies I was riding a kymco 2010 50cc I can think that these possible faults of mine were responsible for the crash.

1) going to slow
2) not turning enough or turning to much
3) no counter steering
4) bad balance/ bad riding position.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
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Location: Starfleet Command, South Eastern UK HQ
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:42 am quote
Yes, it's all of those things. Experience, practice, and training is the answer.

For our American cousins, every moped and motorcycle rider without the proper bike licence must take compulsory rider training before being allowed to ride unaccompanied on the roads of the UK. It dramatically reduced the number of road traffic incidences and injuries and death on our roads when this scheme was introduced.

Note: we don't recognise road traffic accidents as accidents in the UK. Someone is always to blame, even if it's a mechanical failure of some kind. It can 99.99% of the time be traced back to some individual or process somewhere. We treat most road "accidents" like aviation "accidents" in as much as there is no such thing as an accident. We therefore call them Road Traffic Incidents (RTI).

I'm guessing it's just your inexperience that led you to fall off the bike, so it would go down as your fault. It's not an accident. 51% of all RTI's in the UK don't involve any other rider or vehicle/s. It's down to the riders poor judgement or inexperience. Hope you heal fast or have already healed.

All scooters are safe, it's just the way they are ridden that makes them unsafe or not! Safety is almost completely in your hands if you ride as though you are invisible and ride defensively. Whether you have two wheels or more makes little difference in my book. I've known people to just fall off an MP3 bike whilst doing 40mph. There are videos on line showing this happening. It happened due to the riders inexperience at riding that bike. The four wheel jobbies are not in my mind proper bikes although I haven't ridden one yet. But they do have their own niche market.

Good luck and let us know how you get on with scooter choice.

Last edited by Stromrider on Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:56 am; edited 3 times in total
Hooked
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:52 am quote
Safest
The safest scooter is the one parked in the garage with the wheels off. Once you are riding on the street, there is nothing safe about them. That's almost entirely up to the operator. I'm curious if the OP ever rode a bicycle. Other than the weight, most of the other dynamics are the same. The inability to assess a cause for the wreck is worrisome.

I'd say take a specific scooter course. It will teach you vehicle handling and dynamics, as well as suggestions for defensive driving strategies. It will also give the instructor(s) the opportunity to assess whether you have the mental and physical capability to ride safely.

An elderly neighbor saw me riding my scooters and motorcycles, and thought he'd like to give it a try. I've seen him drive, and he is an extremely poor driver, with very slow reflexes, poor situational awareness, and sloppy car control. We were talking one day about him getting a scooter. I knew he was a very poor candidate for two-wheeling. So I suggested he take a scooter course at the local safety council, and the instructor, the first day, told him he was not ever going to be able to ride safely. Which I pretty much knew, but I did not want to be the bad guy, and perhaps the neighbor would have ignored my advice anyway.

Riding safely is a SKILL that takes considerable time and effort to develop, and constant attention to perform. Driving a car is not really comparable in most respects. And the consequences of failure are far more severe on a scooter. The 3-wheeled scooters are slightly more stable, but will not compensate for rider error.

Get some outside intruction and evaluation. And be honest with yourself as to your capabilities.
Member
Joined: 13 Oct 2019
Posts: 8

Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:01 am quote
Thanks for all your help. I agree with the USA members here it was totally my fault I bit off more than I could chew and was overconfident in my ability. I have ridden a bike no problem but a bike and scooter are 2 seperate things. I'll definitely be taking a CBT before I go on the roads again.
Hooked
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:50 am quote
When we were invulnerable teenagers (1960s) we always used to say you don't know how fast you can go round a corner until you know how fast you can't! Seriously though, was there perhaps use of the front brake involved? Sure-fire method of going straight on when taking a downhill corner. Take your CBT, get back on the roads and practise! Welcome to the fold, you'll never regret learning to ride.
Member
Joined: 13 Oct 2019
Posts: 8

Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:03 am quote
No I didn't use the brakes so that's not a factor in the crash.
Oh well a fool and his bike are soon parted
Molto Verboso
2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:17 am quote
spellburg wrote:
No I didn't use the brakes so that's not a factor in the crash.
Oh well a fool and his bike are soon parted
I apologize (so Canadian), for those making you feel as though this is entirely your fault, and some are even somewhat snarky about that.

Perhaps if you could provide more specific details of the incident? Time of days; road surface; weather conditions; temperature?

While riding a Vespa on the Amalfi coast last month, Was mostly using my rear brake in turns - specifically downhill. This was to ensure that the front wheel would not both lose traction or lock up. This is not always obvious to the new rider, which was why I was recommending the riding course. If you don't have access to one, perhaps a friend with riding experience could train you too.

Just some thoughts. Don't give up! Many people have had spills and some equally as bad as yours too. The trick is to "get back on the horse".

Best of luck and speedy recovery
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:32 am quote
[quote="Soul Surfer"]
I apologize (so Canadian), for those making you feel as though this is entirely your fault, and some are even somewhat snarky about that.
/quote]

Please explain who else is to blame! The fact he or she is inexperienced is neither here nor there. It happened with no other person or vehicle involved from what we are told. It just appears to be a fact he or she had the accident due to inexperience. There is no one else to blame. Just the same as when I was 17 I used too much throttle to move off with on my Triumph 500 which promptly dumped me on the very wet and muddy road. I was inexperienced, it was my fault! I learned like the OP will/has.

No one is being nasty about it. It just has to be told like it is rather than skirting around it which might mislead someone.
Hooked
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:34 am quote
Safer Scoot
Tip the scales in your favor and be sure the scoot you choose has:
ABS- anti-lock braking
ASC-anti-skid control
no shift- twist and go

These features combined with a safety course [that you can find on-line] will work to your advantage.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:07 am quote
Wow active topic. Not much add really as it has all been said. Riding courses will do you SO much good. My god if you crashed a 50CC scoot you need the training or at the very least lots of parking lot time. I have taken a number of advanced courses but can tell you that even the basic course will teach you so much and can almost guarantee the accident would not have happened.

Glad your OK now and lesson learned. Riding is a dangerous activity but well worth doing as the freedom and joy it brings is incredible. Not to mention it’s quicker to get around town and park etc on a bike rather than a car.
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:51 am quote
Stromrider wrote:
Soul Surfer wrote:
I apologize (so Canadian), for those making you feel as though this is entirely your fault, and some are even somewhat snarky about that.
Please explain who else is to blame! The fact he or she is inexperienced is neither here nor there. It happened with no other person or vehicle involved from what we are told. It just appears to be a fact he or she had the accident due to inexperience. There is no one else to blame. Just the same as when I was 17 I used too much throttle to move off with on my Triumph 500 which promptly dumped me on the very wet and muddy road. I was inexperienced, it was my fault! I learned like the OP will/has.

No one is being nasty about it. It just has to be told like it is rather than skirting around it which might mislead someone.
I agree, Stromrider. After my first crash, which was entirely my fault, I knew I had to figure out what I had done wrong and correct it. So I did.

My second crash (I was left-turned) was, according to the cop at the scene and my insurance company, "100 percent not my fault".

I still evaluated my part in it and decided that I had been complacent (I haven't been hit yet, so I won't be hit) and could have positioned myself better approaching the intersection. I also thought that there was something odd about how the left turner was behaving (he was just sitting at a green light with plenty of time to turn before I got there) and I didn't pay attention to that.

Sometimes we can do everything right and still get dinged, and we often get away with things as well. But riding is an inherently dangerous activity that benefits from our full and constant awareness and preparation.

To spellburg: Absolutely get a copy of "Proficient Motorcycling" and read it before you ride again.

Last edited by mpfrank on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:09 am; edited 2 times in total
Ossessionato
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:58 am quote
Harbinger wrote:
I have taken a number of advanced courses but can tell you that even the basic course will teach you so much and can almost guarantee the accident would not have happened.
I had just finished the Basic Rider Course two days before my first crash. I was a bit arrogant and didn't really get what they were telling us about "push right to go right", AKA countersteering. Too simplistic for my science nerdy brain, I guess.

The crash was a well-needed, well-deserved lesson in humility.

I have since learned to approach new things with a "beginner's mind" and it has served me well in many areas of my life.
Molto Verboso
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:00 am quote
Dear spellburg, let me tell you my story ... you will need it
In 1987 I had a bad accident with a Vespa PX 125 (not my fault); I lost my job and my woman go away left me seeing an invalid in me.
A year later I was diagnosed with an advanced pancreatic tumor, operated on me and became even more disabled, losing half of my vision.
Meanwhile four years had passed, I had free time and here in my area it is hot most of the year and my passion for two-wheeled vehicles was not over; so I bought an old motor bike and started, over time, to still live ...
My friend, do not regret having fallen ... you will get up and still go with your scooter and you will enjoy doing it.
Good road to you

PS: WOW! Dear scooter colleagues, your stories linked to your impressions make me shiver every time; they should make a movie or a television series about us ... we're so cool!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:42 am quote
Assuming that's scooter is properly maintained any scooter is as safe or unsafe as the rider. Take your CBT as they call it in the UK or as we close it in the US Basic Riders Course. Then it is a matter of practice. While there aredifferences to riding a pedal bicycle there are also differences as you found out due to the weight and power

Which islands? We've been watchinga TV series on Amazon Prime about the Scottish Islands.
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:51 am quote
Stromrider wrote:
Yes, it's all of those things. Experience, practice, and training is the answer.

For our American cousins, every moped and motorcycle rider without the proper bike licence must take compulsory rider training before being allowed to ride unaccompanied on the roads of the UK. It dramatically reduced the number of road traffic incidences and injuries and death on our roads when this scheme was introduced.
Well not exactly. I rode 50cc bikes with no L plates and no CBT without any bike license. Depends on when you got your car license. But In OP's case they definitely need to do the CBT to be legal.
Hooked
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:48 am quote
Different
Someone posted about not using the front brake going downhill. Certainly you should not lock the front wheel, but as the front brake is far more effective than the back, you may need to use it some, and perhaps heavily, depending on your situation. Generally there's a pretty wide margin between braking reasonably hard and locking up the front wheel. And you will find that as you brake hard, and weight is transferred to the front wheel, you actually gain traction, at least on clean dry pavement. Given a choice of hitting something hard or going off the road, and perhaps dropping the bike due to overuse of the front brake, I'll take the brake option, thanks. At least the accident will happen at a much lower speed.

Generally any time I get a new bike or scooter, I find a nice clean deserted parking lot, and get familiar with the front brake. Get up to 30 MPH or so and brake as hard as I think I can. Usually the first three or four tries are less than the bike is capable of. Of course, with an ABS bike, the task is easier. For contrast, you can try using only the back brake to stop. That should convince you that using the front is crucial.
Molto Verboso
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:32 pm quote
Re: Different
Jimding wrote:
Someone posted about not using the front brake going downhill. Certainly you should not lock the front wheel, but as the front brake is far more effective than the back, you may need to use it some, and perhaps heavily, depending on your situation. Generally there's a pretty wide margin between braking reasonably hard and locking up the front wheel. And you will find that as you brake hard, and weight is transferred to the front wheel, you actually gain traction, at least on clean dry pavement. Given a choice of hitting something hard or going off the road, and perhaps dropping the bike due to overuse of the front brake, I'll take the brake option, thanks. At least the accident will happen at a much lower speed.

Generally any time I get a new bike or scooter, I find a nice clean deserted parking lot, and get familiar with the front brake. Get up to 30 MPH or so and brake as hard as I think I can. Usually the first three or four tries are less than the bike is capable of. Of course, with an ABS bike, the task is easier. For contrast, you can try using only the back brake to stop. That should convince you that using the front is crucial.
That was me, and only from experience while riding in Italy recently. And to the rest of the folks, the OP knows it that he is the only person controlling the scootert. We just don't need to make him feel worse over it.
Hooked
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:09 pm quote
Spellburg I am so sorry to hear of your accident and your broken leg. What a drag! Not the way to celebrate your new scooter, didn't anyone tell you?

I will join the others in recommending the rider training course. I owned a 150cc scooter about 15 years ago and rode it all over at speeds up to I think 60mph for several years before it was stolen. I just got myself a new vespa after many years without a scooter, and since I had moved in the interim i had to get my motorcycle license all over again. I took the basic rider course (I'm in the US) which is not mandatory here but which does enable you to take your tests immediately after instruction rather than having to schedule for some other time at the motor vehicle offices. I found that even as an experienced rider there were several things I could learn. It's really a worthwhile expenditure of time and money as these are skills that could save your life.

In fact, now that I've got the Vespa, i think I'm going to go back and take their intermediate and advanced rider courses.

Michele
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:15 pm quote
Ask
There's no such thing as a safe scooter.

Learn to ride properly from from professionals, that's my advice.

Bill x
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:41 pm quote
johnymoore wrote:
Stromrider wrote:
Yes, it's all of those things. Experience, practice, and training is the answer.

For our American cousins, every moped and motorcycle rider without the proper bike licence must take compulsory rider training before being allowed to ride unaccompanied on the roads of the UK. It dramatically reduced the number of road traffic incidences and injuries and death on our roads when this scheme was introduced.
Well not exactly. I rode 50cc bikes with no L plates and no CBT without any bike license. Depends on when you got your car license. But In OP's case they definitely need to do the CBT to be legal.
Yeah, as I said in my post, every rider WITHOUT the proper bike licence has to take CBT training. You had the proper bike licence for the category of bike that you were riding.
Molto Verboso
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Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:12 pm quote
Regarding three-wheel vehicles, they are not at all easier to manage / drive because their frontal bulk is greater and dodging obstacles is more complicated; they are more stable on rough roads and in the event of braking, but they are also heavier ... obviously.
I affirm that they are suitable for those who have more experience and not the other way around; those with little experience must start with high-wheeled vehicles (such as Beverly or Medley or SH) and with a displacement of no more than 150 cc, possibly with disc brakes with ABS that helps a lot.
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Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:29 am quote
Nice used Miata cabrio. Plus you get heat on your feet on Oct days like this!
O.S.
Molto Verboso
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Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:40 am quote
Rallies Europe 2016   vespa scooterwest scooter west Motorsport Scooters   AF1 Racing Vespa Austin
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