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Motorcycling - Current Chinese Shite v. Older Japanese Shite

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The attraction (to some) of Chinese bikes is price, and price alone. They don't look at things like suspension units, chain width, quality of plastics and decals, and build quality, they see the price and that there is a warranty. Sadly some of the warranty conditions are very vague (Lexmoto's website says "up to 2 years warranty". Up to? How stupid). Can't remember which company it is, but they want their bikes serviced every 160 (one hundred and sixty) miles before they will honour their warranty.

 

I'd like a 250 for back road stuff, so looks like the Honley will figure in my reckoning

 

Might be worth considering the 250cc version of the Pulse/Lexmoto Adrenaline/Sinnis Apache?

 

I'd only consider a Chinese bike based on both price and reliability.

 

I honestly find the current pricing of small capacity bikes to be absolutely ridiculous, even the Chinese offerings are way over-priced in many instances.

 

Further research shows that Zontes is a brand which has good QC and level of finish. Conversely, I looked at a Zontes Monster a few months back - it was a 62 plate and could not believe how much the owner had destroyed it in that time.... It was honestly only worth about £50 max but the asking price was £300.

 

By the time you replaced all the damaged parts you could have sourced a bike in perfect condition...I just shook my head and wandered off.

 

Looking at the UK prices of Honda SS50's these might be of interest:

 

T1_L5fFsxeXXXXXXXX_!!0-item_pic.jpg_400x

 

TB1caVQGpXXXXXbXpXXXXXXXXXX_!!0-item_pic

 

Around £320 new direct from China, probably need to buy a container load to make it worthwhile - group buy anybody?

 

Link to Product;

 

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.24.nK1rHu&id=41465766834&ns=1&abbucket=19#detail

 

There are lots of bikes coming in using UK/Euro brand names but they are simply a rebadge of a Chinese OEM (Zontes is the same).

 

20131111164531303.jpg

 

This Shineray is also sold as a Mash (French) and looks quite decent - based on an Honda designed engine as well:

 

http://www.chinamotorworld.com/index.php?c=news&a=view&id=1849

 

http://www.f2motorcycles.ltd.uk/mashmotorcycles.html

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I had the use of a Chinese built Honley Venturer 250 last year, and I rode it around Devon for the weekend

 

attachicon.gifpost-19526-0-82920500-1432059947.jpg

 

 

I'm heading off to Turkey next week and thinking about getting a lightweight bike for running around (if the drivers are not too bad that is!)

 

Anyway I was on the Mondial website looking at bikes the other week and thought the Honley looked familiar..they are £2,607.94 in Turkey with ridiculous import and luxury taxes.

 

http://www.mondialmotor.com.tr/model/enduro/rx3i-evo

 

mondial-250-enduro-rx3i-evo-360-4.png

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I'm thinking about picking one of these up;

 

http://www.mondialmotor.com.tr/model/touring/150-mr-vulture-500

 

150-mr-vulture_99158900.jpg

 

It's the same bike that is sold as a Zontes Tiger 125cc in the UK http://www.zontes.co.uk/index.php/tiger but this one has a big bore kit taking it up to 162cc but it's quite a bit cheaper at £931.41 than the UK price of £1400

 

Might be wondering why I don't get something bigger...well the official speed limit for a motorcycle in Turkey is a whopping 47MPH!!!

 

tiger.jpg

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The Chinese have used that 'based on a (insert Japanese engine)...' for years now, and I can tell you it's make no difference to the 'quality' whatsoever. For instance, some of them may have looked like a CG125 engine, but Honda didn't make their motors out of recycled tin foil and elastic bands.

 

 

Ps: if those SS50 replicas are £320 to your door, I'll defo give one a try.

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I'm heading off to Turkey next week and thinking about getting a lightweight bike for running around (if the drivers are not too bad that is!)

 

Anyway I was on the Mondial website looking at bikes the other week and thought the Honley looked familiar..they are £2,607.94 in Turkey with ridiculous import and luxury taxes.

 

http://www.mondialmotor.com.tr/model/enduro/rx3i-evo

 

mondial-250-enduro-rx3i-evo-360-4.png

I'm leaving turkey this evening, been here a week. From what I see the larger the vehicle the more rights you have (taxi drivers excluded,they don't give a shit) right of way on islands is non existent, waiting at junctions also doesn't happen. Seems like you just hit the horn and go. Sat in cafe earlier and watched a transit pull out of a junction without stopping causing car behind to hammer brakes on,car behind was a cop car dacia and he then just pulled out and overtook him with an oncoming bike coming other way. Bike went up kerb and down pavement past us then pulled onto road in front of a coach who then overtook bike while a car was coming out of the junction that the transit did!

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The Chinese have used that 'based on a (insert Japanese engine)...' for years now, and I can tell you it's make no difference to the 'quality' whatsoever. For instance, some of them may have looked like a CG125 engine, but Honda didn't make their motors out of recycled tin foil and elastic bands.

 

Apart from the Lifan 110 currently powering my C50 hack all the Chinese motors that have passed through my hands have been made of cheese. That has survived 9000 miles of hammering so far, and shows no signs of impending demise yet!

 

All this stuff about a new dawn for the Chinese bike industry is a red herring IMO. Truth is, the Chinese are no better or worse than anyone else at making bikes - like everyone they build stuff to a price.

 

They make perfectly acceptable machines for Yamaha and Peugeot (amongst others), even so-called 'premium' brands like Victory are assembled there. I think some BMW stuff is too? Those are built in factories with western QC and priced accordingly, however. Those £320 SS50 copies will be total crap knocked out primarily for the domestic market, but what else can you expect at that price? When you subtract all the overheads, wages, shipping, duties etc. there's going to be very little left for the actual materials the bike is made from. So you get castings that crack, Wensleydale bearings, rubber parts that harden and disintegrate, paint and chrome that falls off and rust. Lots and lots of rust. I've seen all this first hand, unfortunately.

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I'm leaving turkey this evening, been here a week. From what I see the larger the vehicle the more rights you have (taxi drivers excluded,they don't give a shit) right of way on islands is non existent, waiting at junctions also doesn't happen. Seems like you just hit the horn and go. Sat in cafe earlier and watched a transit pull out of a junction without stopping causing car behind to hammer brakes on,car behind was a cop car dacia and he then just pulled out and overtook him with an oncoming bike coming other way. Bike went up kerb and down pavement past us then pulled onto road in front of a coach who then overtook bike while a car was coming out of the junction that the transit did!

 

Yeah that's my concern too.

 

I spent most of last year in Saudi, a place that really would not be a sensible place to ride a motorcycle at all. I'll need to wait until I get there to fully understand the local conditions.

 

I've driven in Turkey previously but don't remember it being too bad at all.

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The Chinese have used that 'based on a (insert Japanese engine)...' for years now, and I can tell you it's make no difference to the 'quality' whatsoever. For instance, some of them may have looked like a CG125 engine, but Honda didn't make their motors out of recycled tin foil and elastic bands.

 

 

Ps: if those SS50 replicas are £320 to your door, I'll defo give one a try.

 

That's true but I wouldn't consider just any old machine, I'd certainly consider one that has decent reviews.

 

The Suzuki based engine in the Pulse Adrenaline is meant to be very decent and not give much trouble. The original manufacturer of the Pulse is supposedly the OEM for Suzuki and produced the DR125. It sounds like the Pulse is basically a cheaper version of the DR125

 

Unfortunately, those little replicas are only that price from the factory or supplier. Would need a container load full of them to make it economically viable.

 

Looks like you can buy one (Jialing 70 Vintage)

and get it shipped as a small package ;)

 

http://www.cart100.com/Product/41465766834/

 

&

 

http://www.aweldaw.com/p-36595291759.html

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Apart from the Lifan 110 currently powering my C50 hack all the Chinese motors that have passed through my hands have been made of cheese. That has survived 9000 miles of hammering so far, and shows no signs of impending demise yet!

 

All this stuff about a new dawn for the Chinese bike industry is a red herring IMO. Truth is, the Chinese are no better or worse than anyone else at making bikes - like everyone they build stuff to a price.

 

They make perfectly acceptable machines for Yamaha and Peugeot (amongst others), even so-called 'premium' brands like Victory are assembled there. I think some BMW stuff is too? Those are built in factories with western QC and priced accordingly, however. Those £320 SS50 copies will be total crap knocked out primarily for the domestic market, but what else can you expect at that price? When you subtract all the overheads, wages, shipping, duties etc. there's going to be very little left for the actual materials the bike is made from. So you get castings that crack, Wensleydale bearings, rubber parts that harden and disintegrate, paint and chrome that falls off and rust. Lots and lots of rust. I've seen all this first hand, unfortunately.

 

I tend to have the same opinion but I'm not convinced with your thoughts that a £320 small bike must be total crap (it may well be true of course). I know for a fact that the Riders Super Cub was available for only £200 each, if purchased in quantities of 25+ That bike then sells for £1100~1200 in the UK.

 

It seems to be mad that you can put together a bike for that kind of money when you break down the cost of all the parts. The trouble is that we are comparing this wholesale price to the UK retail price and the retail price of the Japanese competition.

 

Don't forget in other markets, i.e. India, many  small capacity bikes are very cheap and only cost around £500 or less. That's with a Japanese name on it as well. In the UK the price for small capacity bike is ridiculous (in my opinion) and I think even the Chinese prices are way above what they should be selling for but if people want to pay around twice the price of what it should really cost (in my opinion), then fair play to the importers

 

I've mentioned this before but the Dacia Logan was estimated to only cost around £650 to build, according to Deutsche Bank.

 

If you can build a car for £650 in Europe you can easily build a motorcycle for a fraction of that cost in China.

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What you have to remember is,like the food,there is good Chinese and bad Chinese.Honda and doubtless thousands of other companies have stuff made there,but still made to their standards,likewise,there's a lot of shit made from recycled shit.

 

That's certainly true, I'm currently in South Korea, another country that produced cheap automotive tat for many decades.

 

Not all of it was bad but it had a poor image, I suspect that's the case with many Chinese machines, you just have to be selective about what you buy. It took a very long time for the "Korean crap" perception to wear off - in fact I'm sure a good number of people still feel the same way.

 

Even their electronics were not particularly popular in the early days.

 

Now look at their Car and Electronics industry.....

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It's certainly interesting looking at Chinese stuff, I'm currently waiting for replies ref. some cheap cycles I've been eyeing up. I'd defo import a motorbike or 'ped if the price was cheap enough.

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I tend to have the same opinion but I'm not convinced with your thoughts that a £320 small bike must be total crap (it may well be true of course). I know for a fact that the Riders Super Cub was available for only £200 each, if purchased in quantities of 25+ That bike then sells for £1100~1200 in the UK.

 

 

I think that pricing is more to do with the importers charging what they thought they could get away with, rather than any calculated margin though. I looked into buying one a while back, but reading about them on the cub forums it appears that for every satisfied customer, there was another one with a bike that didn't run properly from the off. I even recall one that was supplied with a fire damaged wiring loom. Those are domestic market stuff that should have retailed at about £600 IMO. Either way, they're too much of a lottery for me.

 

Then there's the spares supply issue you inevitably get with CDM stuff imported by the containerload - IIRC Riders stopped selling those bikes & were clearing their inventory of spares, which might make things interesting as, amongst other things, the front brake isn't the same as the Honda.

 

Regarding the title of this thread, I do like my Lifan, but overall I cast my vote for older Japanese shite :-D

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^^ I think your first sentence sums it up - unfortunately the importers will always charge as much as they think the market will wear, not what it's worth thus the prices for all bikes but most notably (when you compare with other markets) with small ones. If they did the pile-em-high-sell-em-cheap then they'd probably sell greater volumes of machines with lower profit on each but greater profit overall.

 

Likewise - my money would be on an older Jap bike.

The only trouble can be actually finding something you want to own! I tried to get hold of a cheap-ish (under £500) CG or GS125 or CB175 as a back up for my winter car and found nothing that wasn't a box of bits or a hilarious 'Barn-Find' (I kid you not) CG that was an utter wreck for £600 starting price!!

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 I looked into buying one a while back, but reading about them on the cub forums it appears that for every satisfied customer, there was another one with a bike that didn't run properly from the off. I even recall one that was supplied with a fire damaged wiring loom. Those are domestic market stuff that should have retailed at about £600 IMO. Either way, they're too much of a lottery for me.

 

I'm on the C90club site and can't say there's much negativity that I can recall about the Super Cub. Seems to be pretty well regarded overall?

 

From the guys that post there regularly in this section 

Other Hondas/Other Marques

 

Riders Super Cub thread here: http://www.c90club.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=18314

 

There doesn't seem to be anything that's overly negative - especially given the bargain basement nature of the bikes.

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Likewise - my money would be on an older Jap bike.

The only trouble can be actually finding something you want to own! I tried to get hold of a cheap-ish (under £500) CG or GS125 or CB175 as a back up for my winter car and found nothing that wasn't a box of bits or a hilarious 'Barn-Find' (I kid you not) CG that was an utter wreck for £600 starting price!!

The price of used pieces of two wheeled junk is madness now.

 

You know there is something seriously wrong when a used basic 125 can command more money than a larger capacity bike...

 

Seems that anything Japanese is considered to be worth massive amounts of money, even in dire condition.

 

My basic outlook now is that I'd rather take a chance on a cheaper (small capacity) Chinese bike than pay over the odds for something Japanese. I'm very happy to buy a Japanese bike, generally speaking (they would be my number one choice actually) but I'm not going to pay over the odds for one.

 

As I mentioned before, I wouldn't take just any Chinese bike, just as I wouldn't take just any Japanese bike because some do have a lot of known faults and problems

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About the only reason I can think of that explains why this is so is lack of supply. Up to the 90's, people bought new/used small Jap bikes to ride about on and then do their test and sell on/move on to bigger things. So there were loads of cheapo 80-125's kicking about for a few hundred notes that still had life in them.

From the late 90's onwards, people tend to more often go and do a course which supplies everything, they get their ticket without going down the small bike route, they go and buy a middleweight and get on with it.

This means there's a serious lack of stock as few bikes are bought new so fewer still reach cheapo hack status, (plus I reckon alot are kept in the back of garages as spare transport) thus the prices are high for those that are available.

 

I thought it would be fairly easy to score a cheap(<£500) Jap 125-200cc bike for the winter as backup to my hack 406 (not needed as it happened) as my milage is low and I'm close to work but even with my experience (& record of success) in buying - I faIled totally, there really was nothing out there sub-£500. Haven't looked recently to see if things have improved.

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There doesn't seem to be anything that's overly negative - especially given the bargain basement nature of the bikes.

 

There was more than one thread on them when I visited. There were two long term threads in projects, where both of the OPs stopped posting. Rightly or wrongly I took this as a bad sign, people are always happy to tell you how good something they've bought is, but not so much if it turns out to be a dud. IIRC it was once of those that was delivered with burnt wiring. It was that latter one that made me wonder if the importers were playing with an entirely straight bat too. There was another one that had fuelling problems, and although I did read of another one that worked on a general bike forum I decided not to pursue it. If it had cost in the low hundreds maybe, but not at over a grand.

 

Mind you, it's not just the Chinese importers  who know how to overprice stuff. I've been reading on another forum about the new Honda Forza125, which will retail at four grand...

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I thought it would be fairly easy to score a cheap(<£500) Jap 125-200cc bike for the winter as backup to my hack 406 (not needed as it happened) as my milage is low and I'm close to work but even with my experience (& record of success) in buying - I faIled totally, there really was nothing out there sub-£500. Haven't looked recently to see if things have improved.

 

If you're prepared to look at scooters the 250 Piaggio Hexagon quite regularly turns up in this price range? They're Honda powered, and don't have the electrical hassles of some Piaggio products. Ideal for winter riding!

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^^ Not really a scooter bloke, don't like the small wheels esp. with our crap roads, I prefer a conventional bike layout that's why I didn't consider them. I've been told - don't know how true it is - that the spares prices are really steep for Vespa/Piaggio kit over 125 so this has put me off also.

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^^ Not really a scooter bloke, don't like the small wheels esp. with our crap roads, I prefer a conventional bike layout that's why I didn't consider them. I've been told - don't know how true it is - that the spares prices are really steep for Vespa/Piaggio kit over 125 so this has put me off also.

 

Ah, fair enough. Piaggio spares actually aren't bad TBH (I'm currently running an Xevo 400), I have always found Suzuki to be the dearest.

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About the only reason I can think of that explains why this is so is lack of supply. Up to the 90's, people bought new/used small Jap bikes to ride about on and then do their test and sell on/move on to bigger things. So there were loads of cheapo 80-125's kicking about for a few hundred notes that still had life in them.

From the late 90's onwards, people tend to more often go and do a course which supplies everything, they get their ticket without going down the small bike route, they go and buy a middleweight and get on with it.

This means there's a serious lack of stock as few bikes are bought new so fewer still reach cheapo hack status, (plus I reckon alot are kept in the back of garages as spare transport) thus the prices are high for those that are available.

 

I thought it would be fairly easy to score a cheap(<£500) Jap 125-200cc bike for the winter as backup to my hack 406 (not needed as it happened) as my milage is low and I'm close to work but even with my experience (& record of success) in buying - I faIled totally, there really was nothing out there sub-£500. Haven't looked recently to see if things have improved.

 

Call me mad of course, but I'd honestly rather try something like this Huoniao 125cc (@ £700) rather than spend £500 on a totally shagged out Japanese bike that needs lots of work doing to it.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2015-HUONIAO-HN125-8-BLACK-125cc-CUSTOM-CRUISER-MOTORBIKE-LEARNER-LEGAL-/251149553912?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3a79ae10f8

 

The logic behind this is because for the sake of an additional £200 you get 3 years without an MoT requirement and you can ride the thing from day one. There's more than £200 of value in that for me at this point in my life.

 

There's quite a few reviews of these bikes online that show that many people have had positive results. I think the price is very reasonable too. Pity it wasn't an exact replica of the CM125 that it's based on with a proper twin cylinder engine. Perhaps it interests me more because I actually liked the look of the CM 125 when I was running around on my Suzuki GP100

HN125-8_2.jpg

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What you have to remember is,like the food,there is good Chinese and bad Chinese.Honda and doubtless thousands of other companies have stuff made there,but still made to their standards,likewise,there's a lot of shit made from recycled shit.

 

That's certainly true, I'm currently in South Korea, another country that produced cheap automotive tat for many decades.

 

Not all of it was bad but it had a poor image, I suspect that's the case with many Chinese machines, you just have to be selective about what you buy. It took a very long time for the "Korean crap" perception to wear off - in fact I'm sure a good number of people still feel the same way.

 

Even their electronics were not particularly popular in the early days.

 

Now look at their Car and Electronics industry.....

 

Both very good points. The Chinese bike industry can make good bikes if they put their mind to it. Apparently it was a conscious decision at WK to make a "quality" product rather than a "cheap" one. And the press reviews etc have shown that they have succeeded. And it's only taken five years. As mentioned above it took the Koreans (and Japanese) decades to realise that their long term future lies in "quality" not "cheap".

 

 

At the moment it looks like the start of the Jap vs. Brit debacle - we know how that ended. And unless the Europeans and Japanese start reading their history books soon it will happen again.

 

 

PS "quality" not "cheap" refers to materials, design etc not just price.

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It's certainly interesting looking at Chinese stuff, I'm currently waiting for replies ref. some cheap cycles I've been eyeing up. I'd defo import a motorbike or 'ped if the price was cheap enough.

 

What sort of stuff are you looking at?

 

If you had space and could import a few containers of bikes - I'm sure there could be a very decent margin in it, while not asking high prices. Looks like general UK margin includes for the cost of a spare machine, if anything needs replaced during any warranty period.

 

I'd think there could be a good little earner just bringing the kits in and selling them on for people to build up at home.

 

If you look at the most popular model - the Pulse Adrenaline - they seem to go for around £1300~1600. I'd imagine that the factory cost will be somewhere around £600.

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Well my Super Cub is now over 1400kms on the clock.

 

The only problems I've had are as follows:

 

Fuel sender float has a leak - I've replaced it with a wine bottle cork as a temporary measure ;)

 

One of the screws that hold on the exhaust trim rattled out - I've removed it until I get the correct replacement screw.

 

That's all that gone wrong so far - gave the bike an oil change earlier this week (2nd one) and all appears to be A-OK.

 

Gets at least 120MPG and it will go off the clock (60MPH) down a bit of a hill...

 

The funny thing is that the bike gets so many looks as I drive by!

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That may take some time, I only use it for bimbling around the back roads mainly.

 

But I'll certainly post any updates as the mileage increases.

 

I was away for 3 months during the winter and the cub fired up no problem at despite sitting in a cold damp shed with a 2 year old OEM Chinese battery :)

 

 

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Well last week I took the Super Cub out for a 70+ mile bimble around the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.

 

Starting off in the back garden

 

20160509_100649_zpscmbi8r1g.jpg

 

Took the back road between Caddonfoot and Selkirk and stopped at the Bernat Klein - Borders Design Studio

20160509_104600_zpsfgr28tjn.jpg

 

Then headed on down the road to St Mary's Loch:

FB_IMG_1462789182933_zpspsfw4sks.jpg

 

Across into Dumfries & Galloway:

20160509_113220_zpsvv5totof.jpg

 

Stopped off at the Grey Mare's Tail

20160509_113727_zpso8ildans.jpg

 

Headed into and then North from Moffat

FB_IMG_1462792293420_zps2iuvslx2.jpg

 

Headed East again via Stobo Castle towards Peebles

20160509_125031_zpsxadcjbmw.jpg

 

Time to stop for a spot of lunch after Innerleithen near the golf course

FB_IMG_1462796352660_zpsqxhkqz8w.jpg

 

Nice bit of helmet hair

20160509_132929_zpsjtagoyzh.jpg

 

Took the back road to Stow via Windydoors

20160509_140304_zpsnxh3zl1l.jpg

 

After setting off from taking the photo at the very large yellow gorse bush I had to scratch my brow and was immediately stung by a wasp or bee - fucking ouch!

20160509_141240_zps3rrfwgdx.jpg

 

Back in the garden once more and time for a cup of tea!

20160509_142634_zpsrykl1clk.jpg

 

That's all folks! :)

 

20160509_134242_zpspgulkjb7.jpg

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