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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning - my reviews are detailed and tend to be a long read! For those that don't like reading let me sum it up for you: Great seat, buy it.

For the rest of you, grab the libation of your choice (better make it a few), strap in and let's go!

I recently traded in my 2013 Candy Orange RGC for a 2013 RGC CVO, the one in Roman Gold/Burnt Emerald. It's a great bike and we love just about everything about it! I stripped off all the stuff I could from my old bike to use on the new bike or sell the items I could/would not. The stock CVO seat(s) are surprisingly decent for what they are. They look great and considering their relatively small size and thinness they provide a fair amount of comfort for short rides. Combined with the HD short backrest I think this combination is a great looking seat.

But I'm a big guy running around 250 at barely 5'8". At that weight the stock seat starts to get uncomfortable about the half-hour mark. My wife, although only weighing in at a buck-ten (110), has bad hips from a lifetime as a ballet dancer/teacher so we needed a better seating option. After purchasing the first RGC we quickly swapped out the stock seat for a Harley Hammock and the tall HD backrest and along with a much-needed Mustang rider's backrest it served us fine for the two years we had that bike. It was very comfortable for her and it was good for me for about an hour and a half at which time we both need to get off the bike for a good stretch and rest. Neither of us are really long riders anyway.

After getting the CVO though the Hammock just was not cutting it. The CVO is such a gorgeous bike that I wanted something that provided at least as much time and comfort in the saddle as the Hammock (and hopefully more) but with a much better look and higher quality. I started my research in earnest online. I had owned many of the usual suspects before - Mustang, Corbin, etc. I liked the Mustang I had and it's a well-made, decent looking seat that provided good comfort. I had a Corbin on a BMW two bikes ago and while it was a good looking seat, the comfort was not that great and I remember always trying different things to make it comfortable for longer trips - beads, sheepskin, Air Hawk. Another thing that soured me on even trying a Corbin on the CVO is the many negative reviews of their customer service here and, seemingly, everywhere! I'm big on customer service.

Enter Le Pera. I was not familiar with their products having only heard the name a few times. I went to their excellent web site and fell in love with the look of their seats, especially the Maverick stitched models. I checked out everything I could online but there were some missing pieces to the puzzle. Mostly, there just wasn't enough information and more importantly enough real-people reviews here. I even posted a thread in this section of the forum asking for owners to chime in with their thoughts on my questions but I didn't get much in the way of response.

Le Pera is a small company in California that makes seats for Harley's and only Harley's. Started by a single man, Bob Le Pera, who has since passed on it's still a small company run by his son and daughter. The make high quality seats that try to meld form and function into a great seat. Their quality is great especially when compared to Harley's offerings.

A good example of this is the Harley seat's underside. They have plastic pans that don't provide the greatest support - especially if you're a big guy like me. The hole where the metal 'tongue' on the bike seats into the front of the seat's slot is plastic. This slot (because it's plastic) over time wears and the seat will then move from side to side a bit. This movement provides a less than secure feeling when riding and also causes 'rub lines' or scuffs on your tank's paint! No bueno.

The foam in HD seats is pretty soft and while it feels great the first time you sit on it, it doesn't provide a lot of support over the long term. Even the quality of the vinyl on HD seats seems on the thin side, at least when compared to a higher end seat like a Le Pera. Look at the bottom of an HD seat and you'll see this vinyl is generally poorly cut and stapled haphazardly to the bottom. For the premium price that HD get's for their seats, they do not have a premium quality build. I should say here that I paid less for my Le Pera than I did for my HD Hammock.

The Le Pera's on the other hand exude quality, even in the place no one but you ever sees - the bottom. The 'pan' or seat base on the bottom that is the foundation of the seat is made of steel, not plastic. The steel base is then powder coated and is then edged with a metal reinforced vinyl protectant. Already you're impressed with the quality, right? There's more - they then add a layer of carpet like material to help protect any contact areas with the fender or other things that reside underneath. The premium naugahyde or leather is stretched tight and trimmed so only a perfect, even and minimum material is left. This material is then riveted (with aluminum rivets that won't rust) to securely hold the seat's material in place. Attention to detail like this in a place you don't even see is a good sign, in my experience!

If you think the bottom is great looking and premium quality, you should see the top! One of things Le Pera strives for is making a premium seat whose lines flow very well to compliment the bike's lines. This was what got me well-before I got to anything else with Le Pera's seats - the look. Le Pera makes usually 10 or more different model seats for each class of Harley model. There is literally something for everyone. And don't even get me started on the custom options you can order from the factory - more on that later! Of the Touring models offered, I fell in love with the look of the Maverick. It seemed to offer the best look vs. comfort level for the type of riding we do. Easy, right? Nope.

Within each model there is usually a couple versions. In this case there's the standard Maverick, the Daddy Longlegs version for you tall guys and the Up-Front version for us shorter guys. Then they also offer a 'stitched' or 'smooth' model. I preferred the look of the stitched seat over the smooth. This was my first challenge. My next challenge was deciding between the standard or Up-Front. I'm only just barely 5'8" and actually now probably just under as I shrink with age. The Up-Front model offered a very tall back 'cut' area that would provide a lot of lower back support which I need. The Hammock while comfortable did not provide any back support and I quickly found I needed a driver's backrest or my lower back would ache after riding.

But the Up-Front model looked like it would push me too far forward. In the end I compared the excellent photos on the Le Pera website that show multiple views to determine that the standard would work for me. I did this by comparing approximately where I sat on the Hammock with backrest to side photos of the various Le Pera models. Simple right? Nope. Now I had to decide whether to get the model with the built-in backrest or the one without. Even the Standard Maverick has a fairly deep cut and will allow for some lower back support. While I love the support a driver's backrest gives, I'm not a fan of the look. And then there's the extra price. Getting a seat with the driver's backrest ups the price a good chunk. Still, I would have gotten the one with the drivers backrest if I could have which is where I ran into probably the one single problem I had with Le Pera on this journey - AVAILABILITY!

There are only a few retailers that sell Le Pera seats and most have a fair selection. The problem I ran into is for the Maverick, most retailers had only the standard model in the Stitched pattern which I wanted. If I wanted the one with the driver's backrest then I'd have to settle for the smooth model. You can order direct from the company (for a higher price) but there is a 4-week average wait since each seat is built from scratch for each order. I typically don't wait very well! In the end, I gambled and just ordered the standard Maverick stitched model from Revzilla. The price was good, shipping was free and fast which I knew from having ordered new helmets from them in the recent past. It was my hope that the deep-ish cut of the back of the drivers area would provide enough support that I wouldn't need the backrest.


(Intermission: At this stage in our program we provide a brief intermission so you might go to the bathroom and replenish your libation of choice - queue cheesy intermission muzak...)


Welcome back!

I need to note here that at this point after a long and hard search of the internet for a standard Maverick stitched model with backrest and coming up empty I actually called Le Pera. A person answered the phone and said her name was Christine. I told her my dilemma and she apologized and said she wished her distributors did a better job carrying more models. She said if I ended up wanting to order one direct to give her a call back and she would do her best to expedite the process since she had 'some pull' in the company. I thanked her and joked that their seats looked great and were obviously popular and she should tell management to hire some more people! She chuckled and said they just had but it was difficult to find qualified people since it's quite a skill set needed to build such a high-quality seat.

An interesting and humorous sidebar to that story is that shortly after I received my Le Pera I emailed the company because I could not find any care instructions with the seat or even on the web site. I was almost immediately emailed back and asked to call them which I did and spoke to another very nice and knowledgeable woman who answered all my questions. When I relayed my story about my first call and my funny comment about hiring more people she asked for the name of the woman I was talking to and when I told her it was Christine she laughed and said, "Yes, that was Christine Le Pera! You were not only talking to management - you were talking to the owner!" So the owner actually get's her hands dirty and answers phones there!

Back to the seat. I you still with me? I told you it was long! The seat arrived fast, as expected. Coming out of the box the seat is beautiful. It's heavy and obviously well-made. The naugahyde material is so thick it actually seemed like it was a high-grade leather and I wondered if Revzilla had made a mistake. Installation was simple as with all HD seats and took a few minutes. Then I sat on it. Ewww. I had just gotten home from work and it was after midnight. The first thing I noticed was just how firm the seat felt (which I expected) but then the next thing was that the deep 'cut' in the back of the seat seemed to dig into my lower back. This cut area is almost vertical and the sensation was not pleasant.

Le Pera uses a propriety "specially poured high density 'Marathon' molded foam" for their seats which provides a very firm feel. This combined with the thick naugahyde is about as far opposite a feel from the well-worn Hammock seat I was used to. The next day I took the bike out for a ride. I got about a mile down the road and turned back and swapped out the Le Pera for the stock seat as I was heading out for a couple hours of errands and didn't want my first trip with the Le Pera to be a bad one. Of course two hours on the stock seat and I was wishing I had left the Le Pera on! Each of the following days I road with the Le Pera a little more and a little farther. The stiff naugahyde cover and foam is giving a little and I've found the sweet spot for sitting.

I've taken the wife out a couple times and she feels the same way. Each time we ride it gets a little better. Part of this is us getting used to a radically different approach to seat making (firm vs soft) and also a little bit of the seat breaking in a little bit. The last trip I took was about two hours. My butt was ready to get off but I was not sore at all, just tired. More importantly, I felt like I could have ridden farther and felt like I could get right back on with minimal rest time. Regardless of how comfortable a seat might be, I need to get off/up and stretch. Whether it's a motorcycle, car or just sitting at my computer or on the couch. I need to move after a couple hours.

Each time I get on the Le Pera it feels more 'at home' and comfortable. The cut doesn't bother me anymore but rather feels supportive. I'm happy to report that my lower back has not bothered me at all so it looks like I didn't need the drivers backrest after all, which is great because this seat looks SO great on the bike. Another of Le Pera's goals is creating seats that look as good as they feel. Here is a statement straight from their website: "Even our touring based seats are an exercise in style, form and function. Both the Maverick and the new Sorrento are intentionally designed to compliment, not overpower the lines of the bike. Their relative low profile and non-confining contours contrast the traditional, bulky "road couches" available elsewhere."

Le Pera has another new seat in the Touring line, the Rt 66. It's a great looking seat as well and was considered along with the Maverick. It has a wider and slightly thicker seating area over the Maverick. The Maverick is 15"/14" (driver/passenger widths) with the Rt 66 being 17"/16". While it's still a decent looking seat the Maverick is a little better looking and certainly sleeker. The Rt 66 starts to get away from the sleek look and into the Touring seat end of things. So as long as the Maverick continues to improve we'll stick with that. If I find that it does not than I might call Le Pera direct and order a Rt 66 with a backrest just so I have it.

It should be noted that along with the standard offerings, Le Pera offers a wide variety of custom options on all their seats when you order direct from the factory. The number of stitching patterns, materials, and colors is impressive. You can also order each seat in vinyl (naugahyde) partial leather (seating area only) or full leather. You can also order them with 'riders gel' in them. They say this makes the seat feel firmer than it already is but provides long distance riders with even more comfort for the long haul. I can easily see a day down the road when I call the factory and order a custom seat in all leather with a cool stitch pattern and an elegant color inlay to compliment further my CVO's beautiful paint.

As you will see in the photos in the next few replies below, Le Pera did exactly what they set out to do. The Maverick stitched seat is a beautiful seat whose lines seem to flow perfectly with my 2013 Road Glide Custom CVO. We use the HD high backrest for my wife and even with that on it looks great. The HD low backrest was too low and didn't look good at all so that just got sold. I took these photos yesterday while my son and I were out looking at Jeeps for him. At one point he looked over at my bike and said, "Man, dad - that's a great looking bike! I'm surrounded by my dream vehicles and I keep looking over at your bike!!" Hi praise from a young guy that rides a Ducati!

Well, that's about it for now. You still here? Glad you made it until the end! I'm going to post a few of those photos I took yesterday at the Jeep dealership shortly. I will check in from time to time with updates with anything worth sharing, good or bad. I like to write detailed reviews so the next guy looking for information (like I was) can find it. If you've made it this far and have any more questions for me, don't hesitate to ask them by replying here or sending me a private message. Thanks for hanging in to the end!
 

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I really don't think you got to the root of how you feel about the Maverick, perhaps you should elaborate :D

Great review...Thanks...been wanting to purchase this seat for a while now...I just have to decide which variation Maverick..standard or the the one with the backrest minus the backrest (if that makes any sense). The seat with the backrest has a lower profile at the tail bone section of the rider and can be ordered without the backrest. I hate these types of decisions :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really don't think you got to the root of how you feel about the Maverick, perhaps you should elaborate :D

Great review...Thanks...been wanting to purchase this seat for a while now...I just have to decide which variation Maverick..standard or the the one with the backrest minus the backrest (if that makes any sense). The seat with the backrest has a lower profile at the tail bone section of the rider and can be ordered without the backrest. I hate these types of decisions :rolleyes:
Interesting... I was not aware of this. The funny thing is, if you look at the photos, the tailbone area or 'cut' as I kept calling if for want of a better term, looks deeper on the plain Maverick over the Maverick with the backrest and it looks even more pronounced on the Up-Front model. There was distinct visual differences in this back area as well as the thickness of the passenger area depending on which model you look at. I'm not sure if this is just because of the differences in angles or bikes used in the photos but they always did seem to try to take the photos at very similar angles - something I liked for comparison purposes.

I can say that on the seat I ordered there is no pressure on the tailbone area, which is something I'm quite sensitive to. Not so much from a pain perspective but seats with that do put pressure in this area cause mine to quickly go numb and then get painful later. I have not noticed any numbness in the Le Pera Maverick but I did get it on the stock seat within a half hour.

And yes, my reviews are always... 'thorough'!
 

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I bought a LePera Maverick for my 2003 Sportster 1200S, it turned it into a solo rider for 50 miles or 50 minutes, to a bike my wife and I enjoyed every weekend for several years. One day, I went 300+ miles on a solo trip and never squirmed once! Great seat, great people, great style! PS. I got the gel insert, for me it was worth it.

I've got a Corbin on my Road Glide Ultra, and love that too. I can ride it all day without any problems.

Scoop.
 

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I bought the Maverick a month ago for my 2015 RG. Initially, I thought the seat was NOT firm. It was actually a lot more cushy than I was expecting. I was expecting something like my old Corbin. That was a rock, but comfortable over the long haul. After putting some miles on the seat I think I would prefer the backrest. I'm installing some Spooky Fast handlebars this week. We'll see how that affects my back. Bottom line, no more hot spots and I'm not thinking about my seat, just the ride. If I am being bothered by something on the bike while I am riding it either needs to change or be modified. It's a good seat. I am satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's funny how perceptions can be - coming from a Corbin I would agree that one might not think of the Le Pera as 'firm'. The Corbin on my BMW was also rock hard but unlike 2bazookas I did not find it comfortable at all, especially for long hauls. But he's right, compared to the Corbin the Le Pera is not nearly as firm. Now, compared to the Hammock (which is down right pillow-like) the Le Pera is much firmer.

Everytime I get on the bike now I am tickled pink because I sink down just a little bit with a medium-firm pushback. I feel no pressure points and no hot spots. I expect when I drop the 30 pounds I put on over the winter due to being injured and couldn't play my sports, it will only feel better and better.

Like 2bazookas, I don't even think about the seat anymore other than to occasionally wonder at how great if feels. Le Pera seems to provide it's own feel, somewhere between the rock hard of a Corbin and the much softer stock Harley offerings. And the look is just beautiful.

Needless to say, I'm still digging the seat. Also, my back feels great so no need for a backrest although if I ever do order another one direct from Le Pera I would likely get the backrest model (just to have it) and also go full leather with custom stitching and colored inlay. But since that would end up likely being about a $1,500 seat I have no plans of doing that any time soon!

I bought the Maverick a month ago for my 2015 RG. Initially, I thought the seat was NOT firm. It was actually a lot more cushy than I was expecting. I was expecting something like my old Corbin. That was a rock, but comfortable over the long haul. After putting some miles on the seat I think I would prefer the backrest. I'm installing some Spooky Fast handlebars this week. We'll see how that affects my back. Bottom line, no more hot spots and I'm not thinking about my seat, just the ride. If I am being bothered by something on the bike while I am riding it either needs to change or be modified. It's a good seat. I am satisfied.
 

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Excellent write up, thank you for sharing this information. I'm still debating between the Maverick Daddy Long Legs and the Mustang Sport Touring seat. I had the chance to set on the Mustang and it felt great and set me back and down just a touch which is what I'm looking for. I just don't like the look of the Mustang as much as the Maverick DLL.
 

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Wow Methos, great detailed review and pics, thanks very much. The seat looks great, as does your bike. The seat really compliments it!

I've always liked the stitched Maverick like yours, and I too am looking to replace my HD Hammock on my 2009 SERG.

I've been debating between the Maverick or the Mustang one-piece touring seat (Model 76033), but, especially after reading your thoughts, I'm leaning towards the Le Pera.

Couple questions though-

1) Does the Maverick lock you in one position, or can you adjust yourself fore and aft a bit? It looks like you can....on the Mustang, it looks like your locked into one position.

2) It also looks like the Maverick has the passenger seat slanted back a bit. This is of course a positive point, because my passenger has complained on other seats that she slides forward.

Thanks again.
 

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I just placed my order for the Lepera Maverick from Direct Cycle Parts- best price as always.

I will be sure to give it lots of riding time to form an opinion. I've been through so many seats and sometimes I think I was too quick to decide I didn't like them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Couple questions though-

1) Does the Maverick lock you in one position, or can you adjust yourself fore and aft a bit? It looks like you can....on the Mustang, it looks like your locked into one position.

2) It also looks like the Maverick has the passenger seat slanted back a bit. This is of course a positive point, because my passenger has complained on other seats that she slides forward.

Thanks again.
Thanks for the kind words on the write up. I see you have already ordered the seat but I'll answer your questions anyway since they are good ones and that way others doing research will know when they find this thread!

The Maverick does not lock you into position necessarily but I found what works best for me is finding that one position and staying in it. The seat covering is not 'slippery' so moving around is not easy - it takes a little effort. It tends to grab you and keep in one position but more from the material standpoint than the shape of the seat, which is what I think you meant.. This might change as the seat breaks in if the naugahyde material gets more slick. Also, although the seat looks like there is a lot of room, I find that there is not. In fact, I was quite surprised to find that even though I went with the regular Maverick (as opposed to the Up-front model I was also considering) the seat actually pushes me forward considerably compared to the Hammock. Had I gone with the Up-Front, I would have been in trouble. I would suggest to people that the Up-Front model is really only good for very short people or women under 5'4".

With the Hammock I needed the backrest to push me up close enough to reach the bars comfortably. Without the backrest the muscles between my shoulder blades would knot up after a half hour or so and then my lower back would ache. The deep bucket, or 'cut' as I called it in the review, causes you to sit up and forward quite a bit as compared to the Hammock. At first I didn't like the feel of this bucket cut area as it felt like it dug into my back. But after a few days riding I realized that if I sat up in a much straighter position (with basically much better posture) then the bucket area conforms nicely to my back and feels perfect. The added bonus of this is the better posture, no back ache and it sits me closer to the bars. The deep cut also insures that there is NO pressure on your tailbone - another bonus.

Basically, with the Le Pera, you don't HAVE to move around much like with the Hammock. The only area right now that I'm finding discomfort with is the back of my thighs. They tend to get sore after about an hour and a half in the saddle. A good part of this is due to the excess weight I'm carrying right now which adds downward pressure and of course my chubby thighs! I'm going to try wearing some bicycle shorts underneath on longer rides and see if that makes a difference. Of course losing the 30 pounds I put on over the winter from being injured would also likely be a big help.

As for the passenger, the seat really doesn't slope back so much as it has a nice concave surface. I just asked my wife and she was surprised as she thought about it that she really doesn't move much anymore. I remember with the Hammock she would always move around and push herself back every once in a while but now on the Le Pera she does not. So it would seem that this actually is the case.

I still like the seat although I am seriously considering ordering a Rt 66 in full leather from Le Pera. The reason for this being I think the extra couple of inches for both of us would be welcome and the full leather would be great as it doesn't get hot in the sun and breathes much better than the naugahyde. I would also order the one with the backrest as then I would have it for any very long rides where it would come in handy but then not need it for everyday normal rides. But I'm still just thinking about it.

I'm looking forward to you posting your thoughts. Definitely give the seat a couple of weeks of riding. Every time I get on the seat now I just love the amount of push-back I get from the seat for support. I'll report later on how the bicycle shorts work for the thigh issue.
 

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If I thought you were considering selling the Maverick, I would have held off buying new. It's hard to find a used one- what few there are seem to be the Daddy Long Leg versions. Rarely have I had to buy a new seat, as these forums have numerous brand seats for sale at any given time.

It sits further forward than the Hammock? Hopefully not by much, since the Hammock seems like it's far forward enough. I have Paul Yaffee 10" Monkey Bars slanted slightly off center towards me, and with the Hammock I have a slight bend to my elbows. On my C&C Fastback, my solo seat, my arms are straight since that seat moves you back a bit.

Yes, bicycle shorts, aka compression shorts are good for long days in the saddle. Not sure if it will help your thighs, but I'm like you that an hour and half of sitting anywhere in one position means it's time to stretch anyhow.

Stick to Under Armor or a brand name pair- like anything, you get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't think it actually sits you much farther forward but rather it just feels that way since it causes you to sit at a much straighter upward angle. The position is pretty much identical to where I was with the Hammock when I was using the Mustang backrest.

I tried the bicycle shorts yesterday and they did not help - in fact, they seemed to make things worse. We took two rides yesterday and the first one with the bike shorts my thighs and butt area got warm and uncomfortable much more quickly. The second ride I went back to my plain cotton boxer/briefs and things were better, or at least back to normal.

I'll try just some basic moisture-wicking underwear like UnderArmor so something similar as see how that goes.

I have no plans to sell the Maverick any time soon. Like I said, IF I decide to get the Rt 66 it would be a custom order with a minimum 4-week wait time. Still on the fence at this point and will likely not make that decision any time soon anyway.
 

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So, I got mine a few days ago. First impressions- excellent build quality and sexy looks- best looking 2 up seat, IMO. I like the stitch pattern, and yes, the vinyl is of such good quality it looks like leather. Fits perfect with no issues.

So far, I think the foam is perfect- not Corbin hard, not OEM soft- probably right in the middle. The foam feels springy, and is almost like memory foam- if you push your finger in it you'll see the indent, then it goes away as the foam springs back up. I suspect Le Pera softened their foam formula over the years, because I used to hear many complaints in the past about it being like sitting on a brick, but that is not the case at all- it's not even close to being Corbin hard.

The riding position is good for me- sits a bit more forward then my C&C Fastback. Also, I was so glad that it didn't have a weird seating position like the Danny Gray I owned for half a day- that thing felt like I was sitting in a big "C" shape, like one would sit in a hammock (like the one between two trees, not the hammock seat).

So far the most I've been on it was for an hour, and I had no complaints which is a good sign. Haven't had my BSR on it yet, but she's not too picky, and like me, doesn't like too hard or too soft, so I'm thinking she will like this.

Like Methos said, the "cut" part of the seat can dig into your lower back a bit, but when you sit upright more, it's fine. Actually after about 3 days on it, I didn't notice it much even when sitting back a bit.

I completely agree with everything Methos said in his review, and echo his thoughts so far. We must have the same taste in seats.

Fingers crossed, this one could be a keeper. I hope so, because like I said, it looks AWESOME!!
 
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