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BIGGEST SHOCKS: the stories we DIDN’T quite predict from WorldSBK Round 1 in 2024

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship fired into life for the 37th season of racing and what a weekend it was to open. Seven different podium finishers across four manufacturers, from rookie stardom to established guard not as strong as we thought, what are the things that shocked us after Round 1?

REA’S YAMAHA DEBUT DISASTER: 0 points, two big crashes and a lot of head-scratching

It’s possible that we couldn’t have been more wrong for Jonathan Rea’s (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) first weekend in blue. After promising signs in testing, he ended up with no points in his first three races of 2024. Suffering with heavy rear chatter from testing on Tuesday at Phillip Island – which ultimately caused the crash at Turn 11 then – the problem persisted during the weekend. He would’ve had points in Race 1 but lost 22 seconds in the pits, putting him down in 17th. He fought into P10 for the Superpole Race but only the top nine get points there. Then, in Race 2, having run as high as fourth and just starting to get comfortable, he was bit again at Turn 11 with a huge highside, leaving him being declared unfit. A weekend to frankly forget, he’s never started four straight races and failed to achieve points in any (he didn’t score any points in his last Kawasaki race in 2023). There’s work to be done for him, crew chief Andrew Pitt and the rest of the team for Barcelona. The knock-on we didn’t expect is teammate Andrea Locatelli to be so clearly the best Yamaha so far.

BAUTISTA NOT WINNING AT PHILLIP ISLAND: 8 from 9 on Ducati but nothing in 3 of 2024

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) has always gone well at Phillip Island, even back in his Grand Prix career. He made an emphatic debut in 2019 at the track to cruise to a hat-trick and since being back at Ducati, he’d won five of six races – then 2024 happened. A crash whilst pushing through in Race 1, followed by being unable to get through on Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in the closing stages in the Superpole Race for a podium, Bautista did grow into the weekend. However, even the lightweight Spaniard, always easy on tyres, couldn’t resist Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the last lap of Race 2, with the #22 passing him around the outside at Turn 9 to double up on Sunday. Bautista not winning at Phillip Island could be influenced by the fact that he’d been injured throughout testing, the new rules or something else but for the #1 not to win something in Australia was a shock. Will normal service resume for Round 2?

LOWES DOUBLES UP: extraordinary performance to lead the Championship

Always fast at Phillip Island, Alex Lowes was exceptional in 2024. He had been fast throughout testing and inside the top three, something that transferred into the season-opening round too with a fourth in Race 1 before two wins on Sunday – the first dry wins for Kawasaki since 2022. Working with Pere Riba is obviously making a big impact from the start for the #22 but the way he approached, carried out and concluded the weekend was impressive. Did we see him doubling up on Sunday after Nicolo Bulega’s ( Racing – Ducati) domination on Saturday and Bautista’s rise on Sunday? Perhaps not but that goes to show that the step Lowes and Kawasaki have made is a real one.

ROOKIES AS STRONG AS EVER: Bulega winning, Iannone holeshotting and Sam Lowes in the mix

Pole and a win for Bulega on his debut as well as Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) grabbing the holeshot in Race 1 and the Superpole Race, leading the charge of the WorldSBK brigade in his maiden race and his first World Championship event in four years were amazing things to see. Bulega demonstrated his pace throughout testing but did we actually think he’d be Ducati’s only winner of the weekend in World Superbike? As for Iannone, regardless of how much talent he’s got, the testing he’s done or the track days he’s participated in, to come back in and straight away lead after four years away is arguably one of the most remarkable sights we’ve seen in WorldSBK. Add into the mix a solid debut from Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) who was a constant challenger for the top five, it’s fair to say that the rookies of 2024 won’t be disappointing. Let’s see if Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda) and teammate Adam Norrodin can climb the order too.

OTHER SHOCKS: a quick glance elsewhere

On Sunday, one of the biggest shocks was Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), who after finishing 15th in the Superpole Race was third in Race 2 – he was a big beneficiary of the red flag for Jonathan Rea’s crash, having originally started in P12 but going for P7 on the restart. With only the Phillip Island test on Tuesday in his pre-season, Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) quietly went about his business and despite a huge lack of testing, surprised us with three top ten finishes. In Race 2, like Petrucci, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) was sensational as he challenged for the lead in the early stages before finishing in sixth, having been 14th in Race 1.

Further down, there was big disappointment for Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW), who was the only BMW to not feature inside the top ten at all, with a best of P11 after a penalty for a pitlane intervention time infraction. With Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) bagging a semi-surprising podium, teammate Michael van der Mark taking a P7 and Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) likewise in the top ten, the #45 knows there’s work to do to reach BMW’s potential.

THE NEW ERA IS UNDERWAY: follow it all LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


DOSOLI DECLARES A NEW CHALLENGER: "Locatelli can be a title contender this season"

One of the hot topics leaving Phillip Island after Round 1 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was that Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) has made a clear step forward and is within striking distance of a first win. Perhaps when that first victory does come true, it’ll unlock the flood gates for ‘Loka’ and, in the eyes of Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha Motor Europe’s Road Racing Manager – could see him challenge for the title.

DOSOLI’S THOUGHTS: “Locatelli made a big step”

Two second places were achieved by Locatelli in Race 1 and the Superpole Race, seeing him right in the fight across both and really demonstrating the steps he’s made, as well a successful start with new crew chief Tom O’Kane. In Race 2, a story of what could have been as he put in two Superpole-style laps to catch right onto the back of race leaders Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), passing the Brit at Turn 4 on the last lap only to crash out of victory contention due to a false neutral. Nonetheless, the 27-year-old is third in the Championship and riding the best we’ve ever seen and it’s probably not just the Phillip Island effect either.

“It was clear to see that Andrea Locatelli made a big step,” began Dosoli, debriefing his way through the #55’s weekend. “Not only was this clear from his performance but for me, the biggest thing was his approach to the weekend. Before heading to Phillip Island, Andrea and his crew chief Tom O’Kane had a very clear target in mind – they wanted to win a race, and their performance on track shows they can achieve this.”

GOING FOR GOLD: “He’s thinking like a winner… can be a title contender this season”

Continuing on, Dosoli praised the mentality of the 2020 WorldSSP Champion who is now in his fourth season of WorldSBK action: “I think we can say that this weekend Andrea has shown a new level of maturity as throughout the weekend he displayed a winning mentality; he is thinking like a winner. This is a combination of the steps he has taken himself but also what he has learned from his new crew chief so I would like to congratulate both Andrea and his crew for this. It is just a matter of time before his first WorldSBK win now.

“In both the Superpole Race and Race 2 he was the quickest rider on the track making an impressive series of overtakes. It was only the unlucky false neutral on the last lap which prevented him winning in Race 2, I am 100% convinced he deserved the win in that race.  Of course, he’s disappointed with the result of the last race, but these things happen in racing – the most important thing is he showed his potential to fight at the front. Locatelli can be a title contender this season.”

O’KANE SPEAKS: “It’s fantastic to be working with Andrea; he was strong in every area”

Locatelli’s crew chief, Tom O’Kane, also added about his first weekend working with the Italian and the potential that he has for the year ahead: “It’s fantastic to be working with Andrea, he is an extremely focused and professional rider. His feedback is good and he understands a lot, it’s hard to single out particular strengths because from what we saw at Phillip Island, he was strong in every area. He rode incredibly well all weekend in Australia and there is no doubt he can be a contender for the title this year.”

THE NEW ERA IS UNDERWAY: follow it all LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


2024 Harley-Davidson Glide Models Review | First Ride

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide Street Glide
Road or Street, these are easily the most capable OE Harley-Davidson Glide models ever built. (Photos by Brian J. Nelon and Kevin Wing)

If you have only a minute, here’s what you need to know about the 2024 Harley‑Davidson Glide models: The new OE Road/Street Glides are basically last year’s CVOs but with 117ci engines instead of the VVT 121. There, now you can go back to fettling your Shovelhead. 

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide and Road Glide Review | First Ride

But, of course, there’s much more to the story about extensive revisions to America’s bestselling streetbikes. Take a ride with us from Lake Las Vegas into the surrounding remote areas.

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide Street Glide
Pricing for the Street Glide and Road Glide starts at $25,999 for Billiard Gray. Premium colors like those shown above cost extra.

Harley-Davidson Glide CVO to OE

This is the first major update to Harley’s Grand American Touring motorcycle portfolio since the Project Rushmore bikes debuted in 2013. Almost all the attributes we enjoyed about the thoroughly updated CVO Road Glide and Street Glide that debuted last summer are seen here in OE form: the same fairings, fuel tanks, and instrument panels. 

The biggest deviation from CVO to OE is found in their Milwaukee‑Eight powerplants. The 117ci engines seen here use the CVO’s liquid‑cooled cylinder heads but don’t have the variable valve timing of the 121 VVT. Other changes include a 50% larger air cleaner than the Heavy Breathers on the 107s and 114s, and the throttle body steps up from 55mm to 58mm (2.3 inches). Horsepower is bumped 3% to 105 hp at 4,600 rpm, while torque is lifted 4% to 130 lb‑ft at 3,250 rpm.

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide
The Road Glide and Street Glide are bagger icons, and they’ve been updated with fresh styling borrowed from H‑D’s CVO line.

Bodywork Work

Many graybeards turned up their noses when they first saw the fresh styling of the CVO Glides – it’s human nature to reject change. Seven months later, it seems as if the MoCo faithful are softening their harsh opinions, particularly for the elegant yet familiar Street Glide.  

2024 Harley-Davidson Icons and Enthusiast Collections Review | First Look

These new OE Harley-Davidson Glide models are basically identical to their CVO brethren, including the fuel tanks with chamfered upper edges that are 2 lb lighter than before but still hold 6 gallons. Further weight is trimmed by using a triple‑clamp fabricated by a liquid‑aluminum forging process, shaving off about 7 lb from this critical area. The new RG is purportedly 16 lb lighter than the previous RG Special; the SG has lost 18 lb relative to the old SG Special.

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Street Glide
The heat exchanger on the bike is located behind the front wheel, with airflow directed downward so a rider isn’t affected by the radiated warmth.



The upgrade riders will have their eyes on most is the stunning TFT instrument panel. At 12.3 inches, it’s diagonally 90% larger than the previous screen. It includes three display options: Cruise, which is a traditional layout; Sport, with a central tach/speedo, leaving more space on the sides for customizable widget displays; and Tour, with most of the screen occupied by maps and directions. 

It’s all managed by H‑D’s Skyline OS, and preferences can be set via the glove‑friendly touchscreen or the various handlebar buttons. Audio wattage has been doubled to 200 watts, sending tunes to two 5.25‑inch speakers in the fairings. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide Street Glide
The 12.3‑inch TFT display is gorgeous and can be configured to suit rider preferences. It might be the best and most effective instrument panel in the business.

Ride modes are part of the package. Owners tap into different combinations of power delivery, engine braking, cornering ABS, and traction‑control parameters by selecting from Road, Sport, Rain, or Custom. H‑D’s Rider Safety Enhancements electronics suite is standard equipment, monitoring the linked brakes, cornering ABS, Drag Torque Slip Control, and Vehicle Hold Control. 

Rather than the CVO’s inverted fork and radial‑mount Brembo calipers, the OE Glides make do with a retuned 49mm nonadjustable fork with 4.6 inches of travel, as well as the previous 4‑piston axial‑mount calipers. 

The rear suspension receives a welcome upgrade, with travel up 43% from a scant 2.1 inches to a more reasonable 3 inches. Dual Showa shocks replace the old bikes’ dampers, now using emulsion technology in both instead of just one, which is claimed to improve responsiveness.

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide Street Glide
New Showa shocks bump suspension travel by 43% to a more adequate 3 inches. The left damper has a hydraulic adjuster for fine tuning spring‑preload settings.

Harley-Davidson Glide Guide

For the few of you who are unaware, the Street Glide and the Road Glide are essentially the same motorcycle but with different fairings. The SG uses a version of the iconic batwing fairing that was originally introduced in 1969. Ten years later saw the arrival of Harley’s sharknose fairing on the FLT Tour Glide, which was followed in 1998 by the first official Road Glide. 

Like everything in life, there is a compromise to be made in choosing the Harley-Davidson Glide that works best for you. The RG’s frame‑mounted fairing offers more wind protection, while the SG’s handlebar‑mounted batwing is more svelte but contributes to slightly heavier steering and can be affected by gusty crosswinds. 

From behind the bars, the SG feels like a much smaller motorcycle than the RG with its gargantuan fairing. This makes the 838‑lb SG feel more adept during low‑speed maneuvering even though they have similar weights.

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide Street Glide
A 117ci Milwaukee‑Eight might seem familiar, but it’s now fitted with liquid‑cooled cylinder heads and a new intake system.

Glides Rides

I first hopped aboard a Road Glide in its Sharkskin Blue colorway, a “premium” color that carries an $850 upcharge over the standard Billiard Gray base version. The new instrument panel enhances the bike’s high‑end impression and clearly delivers info to a rider, including tire pressures. The upgraded switchgear also impresses with a higher‑quality tactileness. The RG’s cockpit includes a pair of storage compartments, and the bin on the right side is equipped with a USB‑C connector. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide
The Glides roll on aluminum wheels with machine‑cut highlights, with 130/60B‑19 and 180/55B‑18 Harley‑Davidson‑branded Dunlop tires. The Glides now have adjustable front brake levers…finally.

The new 117ci motor spits out stately levels of grunt at all points of its powerband. It’s only in comparison with the CVOs’ 121ci M‑8s that it comes up a bit short. Almost everyone will think it’s more than adequate. I dialed in the Road ride mode for the smooth throttle response I desired for this mostly casual ride.  

While I enjoyed the full roar emitted from the exhaust system, the output from the audio system gets overwhelmed by wind noise above 65 mph. Although rated at 200 watts, it puts out 50 watts per channel, with only two speakers – the extra 100 watts will only be heard after fitting a pair of saddlebag speakers. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Street Glide
LED taillights fit neatly between the fender and resculpted saddlebags that are slightly larger inside.

When I swapped over to a Street Glide, I enjoyed a more suitable riding position for my smaller physique. The SG’s lower handlebar feels more natural for my stature, while the RG’s bar places the grips just a few inches lower than my shoulders. The touchscreen display on the SG is also much closer to the rider than the RG’s, making it much more accessible. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Road Glide Street Glide
The cockpit of the Street Glide includes this handy pop‑out drawer with a USB‑C connection point for phones.

Both Glides have adjustable vanes on the sides of their fairings to redirect airflow, plus a vent at the center of the windscreens that can be adjusted to smooth the air that hits a rider’s helmet. Another much‑appreciated feature on the SG is its slide‑out storage tray directly below the instrument panel, which is super convenient for stashing any small items. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Glide models Street Glide
The Street Glide and Road Glide have top‑notch instrumentation, more power, and a more capable suspension.

The smooth Nevada roads we traveled didn’t challenge the suspension, but the few bumps we hit made me grateful for the additional travel provided by the new shocks. They provide a major upgrade in ride quality compared to the previous shorty shocks. The brakes are plenty capable but not to the high levels of power offered by the hardware on the CVOs.

The Verdict

New OE Harley-Davidson Glide gripes are few. The heavy clutch requires a strong pull, and the 6‑speed transmission swaps cogs with a clunkiness unbecoming of a modern gearbox. But the upgraded motor is very satisfying, and the additional rear suspension travel is a major improvement that allows the Glides to glide over bumps that previously would shock a rider’s spine. 

The only real impediment to pulling the trigger on a new Glide is their pricey MSRPs, starting at $25,999. Both bikes have chrome finishes as standard, while black finishes cost an extra $1,350. Color options beyond Billiard Gray add another $850. 

While that’s a significant chunk of change, it’s far less than the CVOs, which are priced above $40K. If you gotta roll in style on a Harley bagger, these new Glides are a substantial improvement over the older ones. Even the graybeards will have to agree.

Check out more new bikes in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

The post 2024 Harley-Davidson Glide Models Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.


10 Most Significant Motorcycles of the Last 50 Years

The following feature on the 10 most significant motorcycles of the last 50 years first appeared in the March issue of Rider as part of our new “Rider Rewind” feature, a monthly tribute to various aspects of either motorcycling history or the 50-year history of the magazine, which was founded in 1974.

During Rider’s 50‑year history, we’ve announced, featured, tested, and toured on thousands of motorcycles. We’ve covered a wide spectrum that includes pretty much anything with a license plate: cruisers, tourers (sport/luxury/traditional), sportbikes, standards, adventure bikes, dual‑sports, cafe racers, classics, scooters, trikes, electric bikes, and some that defy easy categorization. Here are 10 significant motorcycles that changed the course of two-wheeled history.

1. 1975 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 1975 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing

We’ve got a soft spot for the Gold Wing because it was introduced soon after Rider got started. With its driveshaft and liquid‑cooled engine, the Wing has evolved over the past 49 years from a naked high‑performance machine to a luxury tourer, from four cylinders to six, and from a displacement of 1,000cc to 1,833cc. Its first dresser version all but killed the aftermarket for fairings and saddlebags, and later versions introduced the first motorcycle airbag and were available with Honda’s automatic Dual Clutch Transmission.

Honda Gold Wing Timeline: 1972-2018

2. 1981 BMW R 80 G/S

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 1980 BMW R 80 GS

The R 80 G/S was the first motorcycle that delivered on‑road comfort and performance and genuine off‑road capability in equal measure, and its air‑cooled “boxer” flat‑Twin and driveshaft could be traced back to BMW’s first production motorcycle, the 1923
R 32. Between 1981 and 1985, the G/S (the slash was later dropped) notched four wins in the grueling Paris‑Dakar Rally. After launching the adventure bike revolution and becoming BMW’s bestselling model, the completely new R 1300 GS was unveiled on BMW Motorrad’s 100th anniversary.

2024 BMW R 1300 GS Review | First Ride

3. 1984 Harley‑Davidson FXST Softail

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 1984 Harley-Davidson FXST Softail

In 1983, Harley‑Davidson was in deep trouble. Its old Shovelhead motor had run its course, so the MoCo introduced a new 80ci Evolution motor, an air‑cooled, 45‑degree V‑Twin with aluminum heads and numerous improvements. It was offered in several ’84 models, including the new custom‑look Softail, which appeared to have a classic hardtail frame but concealed dual shock absorbers under its engine. That Evo motor helped save the company, and the Softail was a huge success, paving the way for the Harley‑Davidson juggernaut of the ’90s and beyond.

See all of Rider‘s Harley-Davidson coverage here.

4. 1986 Suzuki GSX‑R750

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750

Before the Gixxer appeared, a “sportbike” was a standard motorcycle to which the owner had added engine mods, a lower handlebar, and suspension and braking upgrades, all in an exhaustive and expensive effort to improve power and handling. With its oil‑cooled inline‑Four and aluminum frame, the lightweight GSX‑R750 was track‑ready right out of the box. The GSX‑R launched the sportbike wars among the Japanese Big Four, and 600cc, 750cc, and 1,000cc models sold like hotcakes and won numerous championships.

Suzuki GSX-R750: The First Generation 1986-1987

5. 1987 Kawasaki KLR650

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 1987 Kawasaki KLR650

When it punched its KLR600 dual‑sport out to 650cc for 1987, Kawasaki struck a near‑perfect balance between on‑road comfort and off‑road capability, and it went on to sell a boatload of KLR650s without making significant changes for decades. A true do‑it‑all, go‑anywhere machine that was both affordable and bulletproof, the KLR became a popular choice for round‑the‑world travelers and helped launch an ADV aftermarket cottage industry. It got its first major update in 2008, and fuel injection finally arrived in 2022.

Requiem for the Kawasaki KLR650 (1987-2018)

6. 1990 Honda ST1100

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 1990 Honda ST1100

By 1989, sport‑tourers were either a low‑buck Kawasaki Concours or a high‑dollar BMW, both of which had been adapted from other models. In 1990, Honda made the bold move of introducing a purpose‑built sport‑tourer with a full fairing, integrated bodywork, removable saddlebags, and shaft drive. Its liquid‑cooled, longitudinal V‑Four was designed specifically for this model, which was known for its plush suspension, comfortable seat, and huge 7.4‑gallon tank. The ST1100 was a big hit and helped establish the open‑class sport‑touring segment.

Retrospective: 1990-2002 Honda ST1100

7. 1993 Ducati M900 “Monster”

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 1993 Ducati M900 Monster

Known for exotic, sophisticated motorcycles that win races and steal hearts, one of Ducati’s most endearing and enduring models is the Monster. Embracing simplicity, designer Miguel Galluzzi said, “All you need is a saddle, tank, engine, two wheels, and handlebars.” The M900 (nicknamed “Monster”) had a steel trellis frame, an air‑cooled 904cc L‑Twin, a “bison‑back” gas tank, a tubular handlebar, and a round headlight. An instant hit, it spawned numerous Monster models and came to define what a naked bike should look like.

2023 Ducati Monster SP | First Look Review

8. 2001 Triumph Bonneville

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 2001 Triumph Bonneville

Few motorcycles are as iconic as the Triumph Bonneville. First introduced in 1959 and named after the famous Utah salt flats where Triumph set a world record, the Bonneville was advertised as “the fastest production motorcycle made” and became hugely popular in the U.K. and America. After Triumph went bankrupt in the early ’80s, the marque was resurrected by John Bloor and relaunched in the mid ’90s. But it wasn’t until 2001 that a modern Bonneville was born, offering a perfect blend of retro style and modern engineering.

2022 Triumph Bonneville Gold Line Editions | First Look Review

9. 2001 Yamaha FZ1

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 2006 Yamaha FZ1

The FZ1 offered liter‑class sportbike performance in a comfortable, street‑friendly package that could be used for commuting, canyon carving, sport‑touring, or trackdays. Derived from the mighty YZF‑R1, its 998cc inline‑Four was retuned for midrange torque but still made 120 hp at the rear wheel. The FZ1 paved the way for powerful, practical sit‑up sportbikes such as the Aprilia Tuono, BMW S 1000 RR, and KTM Super Duke. The 2006 FZ1 (pictured) was our Motorcycle of the Year, and its spirit lives on in Yamaha’s MT‑10.

2006 Yamaha FZ1 Road Test Review

10. 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure

10 Most Significant Motorcycles 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure

Derived from its Dakar Rally‑winning LC8 950R, KTM’s 950/990 Adventure models were the most dirt‑oriented big ADVs on the market from 2003‑2013. In 2014, KTM launched the 1190 Adventure, which offered sportbike levels of street performance while still being highly capable in the dirt. Its LC8 V‑Twin cranked out 150 hp, and its state‑of‑the‑art electronics included not only ride modes, traction control, and electronic suspension but also the world’s first cornering ABS system, ushering in the current era of high‑tech ADVs.

2014 KTM 1190 Adventure | Road Test Review

So do you agree? Or do you have other opinions on the most significant motorcycles of the past 50 years? Comment below or visit our Facebook or Instagram pages. We’re sure there will be some lively debate on this one.

And now that you’ve taken this blast down memory lane of our choices of the 10 most significant motorcycles, be sure to check out Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide for some newer bike choices.

The post 10 Most Significant Motorcycles of the Last 50 Years appeared first on Rider Magazine.


Rider Magazine Revamps Touring Webpage

Rider magazine touring website

You may have noticed some changes to the Rider website the past couple months. Some of these changes are more subtle. For example, gone are the page numbers when you scroll down on each page, replaced by “Load more” for a more seamless navigation experience. We’ve also changed the size of the featured photo frames to capture more of the stunning main photos that accompany each story — including more bike details of course.

“At Rider, we know that most readers come to us for our First Look, First Ride, and Road Test reviews of new bikes,” said Rider magazine EIC Greg Drevenstedt, “but once you’ve got that new bike, you’re going to want to have somewhere to take it.”

Enter the Rider Touring page of the website, where we’ve made more significant changes to help you find the perfect ride, regardless of where you live.

If you’re looking for a shorter trip, the Touring dropdown menu still includes our “Favorite Rides” features, but we’ve also narrowed down the previous lengthy list of U.S. regions to the more recognizable Midwest, Northeast, South, and West, as well as International rides and tour reviews.

Rider magazine touring website

If you don’t want to limit yourself to a particular region, on the main “Touring” page, you can hover over any state and click on it for stories that take riders through that state. Or click on the globe for stories that detail international riding.

Rider magazine touring website

All rides include a route map, and rides since 2021 include a link to online REVER routes with downloadable GPX files.

We hope you find these new changes to the website helpful in finding your next great adventure.

The post Rider Magazine Revamps Touring Webpage appeared first on Rider Magazine.


2024 Harley-Davidson Icons and Enthusiast Collections Review | First Look

2024 Harley-Davidson Icons Hydra-Glide Revival
2024 Harley-Davidson Icons Hydra-Glide Revival

Harley-Davidson has announced the latest additions to its limited-edition Harley-Davidson Icons Motorcycle Collection and the limited-run Enthusiast Motorcycle Collection, showcasing premium factory-direct custom paint and graphic treatments and paint application technology. Both collections are available now at authorized Harley-Davidson dealers, and for those heading to Daytona Bike Week, March 2-9, the bikes will also be displayed there at the Harley-Davidson Event Display Area at Daytona International Speedway.  

Related: 2024 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Lineup Review | First Look 

The Harley-Davidson Icons Motorcycle Collection is an annual program for the limited release of a new model that offers a fresh interpretation of an iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Each model is individually numbered and produced only once. 

The Enthusiast Motorcycle Collection models celebrate Harley-Davidson riders and are inspired by their stories and legacies. This collection of Harley-Davidson motorcycles is available in limited quantities – no more than 2,000 per model – across a curated selection of three motorcycle models.  

2024 Harley-Davidson Enthusiast collection
The 2024 Harley-Davidson Enthusiast collection

Harley-Davidson Icons Motorcycle Collection: Hydra-Glide Revival Model 

The 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival model, the fourth installment in the Harley-Davidson Icons Motorcycle Collection, celebrates the 75th anniversary of the 1949 introduction of the Hydra-Glide telescopic front suspension for Harley-Davidson E and F models. The 2024 Icons model is inspired by the look of the motorcycles ridden in era of the upcoming film The Bikeriders, which follows the rise of a Midwestern motorcycle club as seen through the lives of its members. The film is scheduled to be released theatrically in the United States on June 21, 2024. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Icons Hydra-Glide Revival

When Hydra-Glide equipped models were introduced, the saddle of a smooth-riding Harley-Davidson FL motorcycle was an exciting way for many Americans to explore the country on the new network of interstate highways. 

The 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival model is finished in custom Redline Red paint with a Birch White panel on fuel tank sides, the same design featured on 1956 models. Details include chrome “Harley-Davidson V” tank badges inspired by 1955-56 tank badges and “Hydra-Glide” script badges located on the front fender skirt. The serialized “Hydra-Glide Revival” insert on the handlebar riser cap and Icons Motorcycle Collection graphic on the rear fender identify this limited-production model. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Icons Hydra-Glide Revival

Additional styling features include instrument graphics inspired by those on the 1954-55 speedometer. The two-tone 21-inch detachable windshield features a color-matched lower portion in Redline Red. A chrome round air cleaner cover and chrome steel laced wheels add to the nostalgic look. Front and rear fender trim, engine guard, fork covers, powertrain, and exhaust are finished in brilliant chrome. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Icons Hydra-Glide Revival

A solo saddle is finished with a fringed and decorated leather valance, white seam piping and red contrast stitching, and a chrome rail for a nostalgic look. A matching black leather tank strap is embellished with studs and a concho. Leather and vinyl saddlebags are detailed with chrome conchos with acrylic red centers, chrome studs and leather fringe, white seam piping, and red contrast stitching. The saddlebags are water-resistant and have keyed locks for security, as well as a rigid liner so they will hold their shape season after season. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Icons Hydra-Glide Revival

The bike features a counter-balanced Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin tuned with a Screamin’ Eagle High-Flow air cleaner. For the rider focused on performance, this engine accepts all applicable Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Stage Upgrade kits. 

The Softail chassis hides adjustable mono-shock rear suspension below the seat. The bike also features electronic cruise control, an LED headlamp and auxiliary lamps, and standard ABS.  

Global production of the Hydra-Glide Revival model will not exceed 1,750 units, and pricing starts at $24,999. 

Harley-Davidson Tobacco Fade Enthusiast Motorcycle Collection 

2024 Harley-Davidson Enthusiast collection

Featuring a paint and graphics scheme inspired by the classic sunburst wood finish first seen on rock and roll guitars, bass, and drums of the 1960s, the 2024 Harley-Davidson Tobacco Fade Enthusiast Motorcycle Collection celebrates the burst of collective energy released by live music at the corner tavern, at a motorcycle rally, or the live stage at the Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival. Comprising the Low Rider ST, Ultra Limited, and Tri Glide Ultra models, the Enthusiast collection of bikes is perfect for any music lover. 

The Tobacco Fade paint treatment is applied by Harley-Davidson using state-of-the art precision paint tools designed to execute faded panel detailing. A rich caramel-colored pinstripe accents the tone of the metallic gold panel floating just outside the sunburst fade.

2024 Harley-Davidson Enthusiast collection

The fuel tank medallion is inspired by the shape and grooves of a vinyl record, while a graphic on the front fender shaped like a guitar pick, inspired by rock band and instrument logos, speaks directly to the details in the tank medallion. Finally, the bikes have an Enthusiast Collection branded logo on top of the Tour-Pak luggage carrier or rear fender. 

2024 Harley-Davidson Enthusiast collection

Beyond the Enthusiast Motorcycle Collection special styling features, each model is mechanically identical to its 2024 lineup counterpart. Adding the Enthusiast paint and graphics scheme tacks on $1,900 to the Low Rider ST for a starting price of $25,299; $2,900 to the Ultra Limited ($35,399); and $4,000 to the Tri Glide Ultra ($41,999). 

For more information, visit the Harley-Davidson website. 

Check out more new bikes in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide 

The post 2024 Harley-Davidson Icons and Enthusiast Collections Review | First Look appeared first on Rider Magazine.


WHAT WE LEARNT: debriefing Round 1 and predicting what’s to come in WorldSBK 2024

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is going to be a blockbuster, of that there is no doubt. However, the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round was something quite spectacular, as new names emerged whilst others sunk despite pre-season hype. So, what did we learn? Nothing. That’s the short answer; it was a weekend that we’ve left with more questions than answers and more uncertainties than many other seasons. In any case, we put the small findings below!

BULEGA IS THE REAL DEAL: full gas for ‘Bulegas’ in 2024 after maiden win

Reigning WorldSSP Champion Nicolo Bulega rewrote history on Saturday as he strolled to victory from pole, perhaps one of the biggest shocks – even if he did look fast in testing. Racing is a different kettle of fish but Bulega, whilst with many things still to learn, was absolutely phenomenal on Saturday and had he not over-conserved on tyres in Race 2 on Sunday, could have been a podium man again. We know he’s going to be fast going forward and Barcelona could be a circuit where he challenges teammate Alvaro Bautista – something nobody’s done whilst the Spaniard’s been on Ducati at the track.

LOWES AND LOCATELLI RISE TO SHINE: the ex-number 2s come good

Having been fast throughout testing, there was an element of surprise that Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) converted into meaningful race-pace and a Sunday double in Australia. He had some serious pace in the Free Practice sessions too and with the modifications to the engine for Kawasaki, the ZX-10RR held its own in a straight line too. With a Kawasaki leading the Championship for the first time since 2022, let’s turn to Yamaha and Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), who out-shone new recruit Jonathan Rea no end. Two P2s and what could’ve been a race win in Race 2 but for a last lap crash in battle, ‘Loka’ was riding exceptionally well and has clearly gelled instantly with new crew chief Tom O’Kane. Let’s see if it continues in Barcelona, not necessarily a track that Lowes nor Locatelli have shone at before. They have strong pace and you’d have got good odds on both being inside the top three overall after Round 1.


With Jonathan Rea leaving Australia with precisely 0 points and Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in contention but lacking rear tyre at the end of races – as well as the engine blow-up he suffered in Race 2 – only Alvaro Bautista featured as a real race threat in Australia. The #1, reigning double Champion, was right in contention despite languishing on row three in Superpole. He got himself into contention in Race 1 before Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) ran him wide at Turn 9 and then, when fighting back through, crashed at Turn 10. The Superpole Race saw him strong but he went back at the end and was, ironically, unable to draft by Toprak on the Gardner straight, whilst he was mugged in a final lap classic in Race 2. He didn’t win at Phillip Island and whilst he’s down on meaningful testing, there’s work to do for the #1 going forward.

ROOKIES ARE FAST: a new guard and generation enter contention

We’ve already spoken of Bulega but Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) and Sam Lowes had strong races too. Iannone qualified on the front row, grabbed the holeshot in both Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race and walked off with a podium and a taste of ‘what could’ve been’ on Sunday morning had it not been for a handlebar grip coming off. For Lowes, a pit-stop drama in Race 1 pushed him outside the top ten but he featured in the leading group throughout the weekend, not easy with him and the team being new to WorldSBK. ‘The Maniac’ was close to a second podium in Race 2 whilst Lowes took a solid P7; Barcelona will be very interesting to keep an eye on those two.

BMW REALLY HAVE MADE A STEP: and not just with Stoprak

Toprak Razgatlioglu may have stormed to an impressive podium in the Superpole Race to end BMW’s year-and-a-half wait for a podium (in just his second race) but there’s a big picture for the German manufacturer. Toprak wasn’t the only BMW looking strong; teammate Michael van der Mark blasted up the order after a P16 Superpole result to take P7 in Race 1, whilst it was another top ten in Race 2 in P9. Then, Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW), whilst not featuring as high up as he’d have liked, took P9 and P8 in a solid first weekend of the year and because of that, those three BMWs are in the top ten – don’t ask the last time we saw that. The only one that did struggle consistently through the weekend was Gerloff’s teammate Scott Redding: a P11 the only thing to write home about. As BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers said, they can leave “satisfied”.

WorldSBK IS BACK: 7 podium finishers, 4 manufacturers in contention and unpredictability

Social media was alive with reaction on Saturday and Sunday to the new era of World Superbike and we got the start we wanted and somewhat deserved. The new rules have clearly worked and the shake-up on the grid has really jumbled up the order. Those who struggled will come good, those who were strong Down Under will come undone at some point. We really are in for a vintage year of racing but we knew that anyway. Perhaps that’s the only thing we really can learn from Phillip Island: that in racing, it’s going to be as wild as we all hoped.

THE NEW ERA IS UNDERWAY: follow it all LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


Asphalt Heaven: Riding West Virginia Backroads

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams Seneca Rocks
Fog was stubborn this morning at Seneca Rocks, but it couldn’t dampen my admiration for West Virginia backroads.

What I like most about motorcycles is that they lean, a trait I describe to nonriders as “dancing with a machine.” A motorcyclist can select a dance partner ranging from a svelte sportbike to a big‑­boned tourer, but how well that partner performs depends on the quality of the dance floor: the road. 

My favorite motorcycle dance floors are smooth asphalt ribbons that snake over mountains and along waterways, and some of the best I’ve found anywhere are West Virginia backroads. Appropriately called the Mountain State, it’s where the Allegheny, Blue Ridge, and Appalachian mountain ranges converge. With the highest average elevation of any state east of the Mississippi River, the roads curve over and around a rugged, varied landscape. The quality of road surfaces in West Virginia is generally superb (see sidebar at end of article). For riders who love to lean, it’s idyllic.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams

Scan QR codes above or click “Day 1,” “Day 2,” or “Day 3” to view routes on REVER

As I made my way south into West Virginia on these great winding roads, a familiar anthem played in my head, albeit somewhat revised: Asphalt heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shanandoah River…

No disrespect to John Denver, but your humble scribe gives top billing to the West Virginia backroads. I was headed to Elkins, a small city at the edge of the Monongahela National Forest in the heart of Randolph County where a group of riders had bivouacked at the Holiday Inn Express. This location offered easy access to the region’s fantastic roads and a short walk downtown to multiple options for post‑­ride dinner and libations.

See all of Rider‘s West Virginia touring stories here

Next morning, I mounted my BMW R 1200 RT and joined routemeister Ed Conde for a well-planned 245‑­mile loop through the Allegheny Highlands. In morning fog, our group rode south on U.S. Route 250, then turned north on State Route 28 at Thornwood. The road was fantastically curvy, though a low‑­pressure warning for my rear tire was a cause for concern. After turning east on U.S. 33 at Judy Gap, we stopped at the Germany Valley scenic overlook, which was fogged in but had room for several bikes to safely pull off the road. I discovered a screw in the center of my tread, but the right tools – and folks willing to help – made for a quick repair.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams Spruce Knob
Stiff winds atop Spruce Knob forced these evergreens to grow leeward.

At Franklin, we turned north on U.S. 220. Just past Upper Tract, we continued north on Smoke Hole Road. This very narrow, winding two‑­way road has continuous blind corners, elevation changes, and no center line, with several curves signposted at 5 mph. In one curvy section, we had to get past a farmer whose tractor was pulling a trailer with implements sticking out the side. He pulled as far over as he could, and we squeezed by and acknowledged his effort. The pavement was not as smooth as most roads that day, but the adrenaline meter was pegged. Smoke Hole Road isn’t for the faint of heart.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams
Located on U.S. 33 on the way to Franklin, this convenience store looked at home in West Virginia.

We rejoined SR‑­28 near Cabins and wound our way south along the North Fork South Branch Potomac River to Seneca Rocks, where ragged rock ridges reach skyward 900 feet. During World War II, American soldiers trained on these cliffs, and many applied the skills they learned to scale the cliffs of Normandy on D‑­Day. These days, the rocks are popular with climbers and photographers.

Our ride had been largely within the Monongahela National Forest, and we were back in the heart of it. We rode west on U.S. 33, north on SR‑­32, north on SR‑­72 (Dry Fork Road, another winding, single‑­lane gem), and east on U.S. 48, part of the Seneca Trail, to the hip little town of Thomas in Tucker County. At The Purple Fiddle, where “Live Music Lives,” our lunch break included a performance by a physician-musician who sang about a strained relationship with his one‑­eyed grandmother: “We don’t see eye‑­to‑­eye.”

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams Spruce Knob
David Somers of Northfield, New Jersey, motored toward the summit of Spruce Knob along NF 104.

Lunch cravings satisfied, we rode north through Silver Lake and Aurora, over to Macomber, and down to Parsons. A growing part of West Virginia’s energy industry is powered by wind, and we encountered giant turbines spinning atop ridgelines. Later, riding south on deliciously winding U.S. 219, a wide‑­load pilot vehicle stopped all traffic so a tractor‑­trailer hauling a giant windmill blade could get through a section of tight turns. The impressive rig rolled by as we waited. The long blade had wheel‑­trucks attached directly to it, turning the blade into a trailer transporting itself. As the afternoon sunshine grew warmer, we eased back to Elkins.

Out of several local restaurants near the hotel, I picked C. J. Maggie’s and joined other riders for supper at the bar. Later, as we socialized on the hotel’s back patio, the mayor of Elkins, Jerry Marco, paid us a visit. Hizzoner was gracious and welcoming, genuinely pleased to have dozens of motorcyclists staying in his city.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams Elkins
Truth in advertising.

In the morning, I hit the road early and solo, with more twisties and high elevations being my key goals. As I pulled my bike up off the sidestand, I felt some soreness across my chest. Rowing the handlebars of a 630‑­lb sport‑­tourer at a quick pace over hundreds of miles of tight curves had proved a workout.

Aiming the RT east along winding U.S. 33, I made rapid progress toward Alpena, Harman, and Onego. Asphalt heaven, West Virginia repeated in my head as smooth, curvy blacktop unfolded like a roller coaster. It was worth the 600‑­mile ride from my home in western Massachusetts to ride these roads. And here’s some down‑­home irony: The primary author of John Denver’s hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is Bill Danoff, who revealed in an interview that the song was inspired by his upbringing…in western Massachusetts! Danoff felt the word “Massachusetts” didn’t sound musical, so he wrote the song about West Virginia.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams
A lay-by along NF 112 offered this midmorning vista toward Circleville.

I turned north on SR‑­28 for a view of Seneca Rocks, then back south to U.S. 33 and Briery Gap Road, where a right turn revealed a view of wickedly serpentine asphalt ahead. Time to apply those trackday lessons on body position.

Farther on, a right onto National Forest 112 took me through a tunnel of trees. This road was fairly smooth, suitable for a spirited but reasonable pace. Sight distances were short, and at the crest of a blind rise, an oncoming car reminded me to be wary of oncoming traffic.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams
Zipping along NF 112 felt like being in a tunnel of trees.

A few switchbacks added excitement, but it was repeated deer sightings that quickened my pulse. A doe suddenly appeared in the road ahead, and I hit the binders. She trained her big ears on me and then looked behind. Moments later, a wobbly, spotted fawn appeared at her side. It was captivating to see two beautiful road hazards step effortlessly up a steep incline and vanish into the woods.

Turning right onto NF 104 took me to the summit of Spruce Knob. At 4,863 feet, it’s the highest ridge in the Allegheny Mountains and the highest point in West Virginia. On this clear day, the view from Spruce Knob was spectacular.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams Spruce Knob
Spectacular view from Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.

Reversing course, I again savored those wicked twisties descending Briery Gap Road. My ears popped as I reached U.S. 33, now 3,000 feet below the summit. I stopped again at Germany Valley, this time enjoying a fog‑­free view and no flat tire, then rode all the way to Brandywine in Pendleton County. I turned south on County Road 21 and rode past Sugar Grove Station, a National Security Agency communications site that reportedly intercepts all international communications entering the eastern U.S. Since I wasn’t expecting any illicit communiques that morning, I turned west to enjoy curvy Moyers Gap Road.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams Germany VAlley
With no fog and no flat tire, the view of Germany Valley was beautiful.

At U.S. 220, I turned south and briefly entered Virginia (what a young boy there called “regular Virginia”). At U.S. 250, I cut right and stopped in Monterey for a late lunch at High’s Restaurant. This venerable eatery now holds the distinction of serving me the best fish sandwich I’ve ever had: rainbow trout, sourced from a local creek, fileted and grilled to perfection, and piled on a brioche bun. “Delicious” can’t do it justice.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams
High’s Restaurant in Monterey, Virginia, is a great spot for lunch.

As I continued north and east on U.S. 250, I rode up and down ridges and leaning through a succession of tight curves that had me laughing inside my helmet. And it was clear the instant I crossed the state border and entered Pocahontas County: Virginia’s road surfaces are good, but West Virginia’s are superb. 

From Thornwood, the ride back to Elkins reversed the beginning of the previous day’s route. A fun road in the opposite direction was its own fun ride. Back at the hotel, I connected with other riders and walked downtown to another local eatery, Mama Mia Pie & Pasta. Over Italian entrees and local craft beers, we compared notes from our day’s riding.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams Spruce Knob
David Somers (foreground) and Mitch Pivor of Dover, New Hampshire, motored down from the summit of Spruce Knob along NF 104.

Morning presented another opportunity to ride glorious West Virginia asphalt, this time with my long‑­time riding partner Steve Efthyvoulou. Temps started cool, and the previous day’s crystal blue sky was now tarnished gray with smoke from massive wildfires in Canada. We went south on U.S. 250, a now‑­familiar route out of Elkins. Turning south on SR‑­28, we saw signs for the Green Bank Observatory, home of the world’s largest steerable radio telescope. Astronomy nerds will want to stop, but today we were observing asphalt, laid out before us in smooth, banked curves.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams
The view over Hightown, Virginia, from a lay-by along U.S. 250. Steve and I rode through that farm a few minutes later.

At SR‑­66 we turned west toward Snowshoe, one of West Virginia’s premier ski resorts. It was June, so the slopes were green, and we stopped for lunch at Kickin’ Chicken. Loaded with protein, we paralleled the Tygart Valley River on U.S. 219 north to Valley Head, where a left onto SR‑­15 set us up for an afternoon twist fest. The road presented often tricky curves to Webster Springs, where we picked up SR‑­20 for more fantastic curves. Flat light due to the wildfire haze softened the contrast between sun and shadow, improving visibility on these technically challenging roads.

Asphalt Heaven West Virginia backroads Scott A. Williams
Some roads just sound enticing. This one is off U.S. 33 near Oak Flat.

Near the West Virginia State Wildlife Center, we turned right onto Alexander Road. This narrow, curvy two‑­lane is full of tight corners and elevation changes, all the way to U.S. 250, where we turned north on a familiar route back to Elkins. Another amazing day was in the books. Though I had previously ridden through West Virginia several times on the way to other riding destinations, this was my first dedicated trip to ride the Mountain State – and I just scratched the surface. Without a doubt, there’s asphalt heaven on West Virginia backroads.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here

West Virginia Backroads Resources

Sidebar: Why are West Virginia Backroads So Good?

Randy Damron, a liaison between West Virginia’s departments of Transportation and Tourism, clued me in. Damron rides a Honda Gold Wing and a Kawasaki KLR, so he understands the motorcycling community. He explained that the improved quality of the state’s roads in recent years owes much to “Roads to Prosperity,” a road construction and maintenance initiative to support West Virginia residents, industry, and tourism.

Transportation and Tourism partnered to create four West Virginia Mountain Rides (with more on the way) that are in excellent condition, have good shoulders and guardrails, and run through beautiful scenery. The Seneca Skyway, for example, is a signposted 300-mile loop that includes several roads covered in this story. Go to the West Virginia Department of Tourism website and click on “Road Trips” to learn more.

And check out Episode 150 of the West Virginia on the DOT podcast, where Damron and co-host Jennifer Dooley had me on the show. Visit the West Virginia Department of Transportation website to listen.

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