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Honda CBF250

Honda CBF250

4.4 from 26 reviews

Great for P's, Avoid freeway

07 model, purchased 2nd hand. Having never ridden before, i found the Honda 125's on the L's test to be easy enough to get around on but fairly underpowered. The 250 has just the right amount of power for a newbie, and so easy to pass the P's test (You really want something small and nimble). It is now proving to be underpowered nearing my full license. I would avoid freeways.

Date PurchasedJul 2017

The ''on road'' XR.

Just enough power for the road. Will sit on 100 km easy. Tolerates high revs with minimal vibration. Economical and cheap to insure. Well built (Taiwan??) no frills machine. Easiest bike to ride. Best fuel economy ever. Upright riding position. Heard clutch is vulnerable - haven't had any problems. Simple maintenance if you know the basics. Low service cost. No center stand - big deal. Light and quiet. Some vibration at 7000 rpms - of course. Pulls more with the revs. Handles like a CT110. Impressive for a single. Bought it cause I'm an old mug and I can't do anything stupid. Parts are cheap. Looks OK for what it is. Great electronics. Can't actually fault it except no kick start. Blue, red or black - they all look good. A street XR.

Date PurchasedJun 2011

Perfect learner bike

I love this bike its my first ever road bike and I have to say its great.
It has enough power to get you out of trouble and just to crusie alone.
It sits on 100km just fine.
Really great seat and dont get a sore back.
Would highly recommended this the a Learner rider starting out.

Date PurchasedApr 2016

Perfect commuting bike!

Bought a 2008 with 8,000km in 2017. Very nice to ride to work (20km each way including M1 and M2). The secret for performance is high revs to get maximum power. And she loves high revs (7,000 rpm when going around 80km/h). Super economical and cheap to run. Tried pillion passenger 2 in the city only and surprised with the power even going up hills around East suburbs. With a pillion it only struggles a bit to take off from traffic lights if very steep hill. All in all very happy with it. Want to try a day trip soon with pillion to see how it goes.

Date PurchasedMar 2017

Little Soldier

These little bikes are quite well built, and do what they are designed to do well. They are pretty gutless, but then a single cylinder 250 always will be, especially if it's been designed to last a long time, which these have. I've had mine for a bit over 8 years, and only paid $2k with 12,500klms on it, when 3 years old. Since then it has been ridden quite hard at times, and used on dirt roads, sandy tracks, town commute, carried a pillion (overloaded), and has seen plenty of highway work. For most of its life it was stored in a leaky carport, so it got wet every time it rained. I out grew it pretty soon after getting my licence, and as such it copped a flogging on a regular basis, as i really needed something bigger. I now live in a city, and for the first tie in its life i't actually being used for its intended purpose, but she's definitely starting to show her age. Since i've owned it i've serviced it every 5-6k, had to replace a clutch cable, and many years later the clutch plates. There is an air leak somewhere in the carbie and it leans itself out when cruising on the highway, but as the choke on these bikes is an enriching needle and not a butterfly, one simply enriches the mix while on the highway. It's worth next to nothing, cheap to run, and it doesn't matter if its left out in the weather all day. It now has over 50k on it, and seems to be going better than ever, as it gets used a lot more in the city. I would definitely recommend over a CB125, as the 250 will happily sit on 110-120 all day, where the 125 will struggle. I weigh 90kgs and it shifts me fairly well. They are NOT a sport bike however, and if you expect a powerhouse, look elsewhere, but they do go for a long time, and for commuting or learning, they are pretty good machines.

Update: after a couple more years of doing the daily commute, the old girl is still going strong, albeit a little tired. It has now done over 75000 klms, and in the past 12 month or so has been hit by two cars (rear end at traffic light, and t boned on roundabout) but refuses to die. There has been some cosmetic damage obviously, but mechanically it is still performing well. There is a slight knock that i suspect is the cam chain tension-er getting a bit crook, but it hasn't been to the point that I've needed to address.
One noteworthy thing about these bikes is that they can be had for relatively little money, so once they get a few k's on them and if they get a bit tatty, they are really worth nothing. Because of this, it's not worth me selling, and I plan to run it into the ground. That being said, they are quite capable of going the distance (I have heard of one with 120000klms) with pretty basic maintenance, so if you can find a good one and don't abuse it too much, it should serve you for a very long time.

Date PurchasedJan 2009

Three and a half years and 35,000kms - for a small rider a fabulously versatile machine

This was my first review after a year's riding:
For 95% of what riders love about motorcycles this no-frills machine does the job very well indeed. No it doesn't make an aggressive noise. And it doesn't accelerate like something jet-propelled. And it doesn't look like it was designed for a racetrack or the Paris-Dakar or a cruiser Chrome Extravaganza. But it is more efficient and more versatile and more durable than just about anything lined up on show outside the local cafe. If you want a bike that functions really well you can brag about this one. First, it is so cheap to run and maintain. Second it can tour, it can go off-road, it can fly along tight winding roads and it is brilliant in the city. Third it is comfortable (I'm 70 kg and 180 cm tall) and can take a pillion painlessly. Fourth is has an outstanding headlight. Fifth you can go 400-500 km on a tankfull (16 litres). All this for under $4000 secondhand. Frugal, eco-friendly and very pleasurable, it's my thirteenth motorcycle in more than thirty years' riding and there's not another bike on the market that suits my all-round needs better.

Then my second: Still an "exceptional all-rounder" after another 20,000 kms.
Further to my earlier review, I've had eighteen months on this bike and have no wish to buy anything else. I've ridden half a million kays on various motorbikes and this is such a well designed, well built machine I'm grinning ear-to-ear. I've toured to Queensland, I've been on quite challenging stand-on-the-pegs bush tracks, and I've carried my wife on trips of a couple of hours, ditto my daughter, without any of the familiar pillion complaints. Everything I think I might change about the bike I realise is best left as is because that way it does everything acceptably well. But it's a simple, even primitive, bike. The suspension isn't adjustable but for this 70kg rider it's fine - it doesn't "iron out" the bumps like a heavy bike does but I've never "bottomed" it. Being simple there's so little to go wrong. Servicing is so straightforward I'm not shy to do services myself every 4000 km. It's easy to clean. You can elastic-strap camping gear or whatever on the back and it doesn't move.
It's power is what you use all the time: the peak is at 8000 revs and that's 118 km/hr. From there you can overtake and run to 130 (but you are absolutely flogging the little engine by this point). On a group ride with bigger bikes it stays with the pack no worries, only falling back when there's a rush away from an intersection (then you catch up anyway).
The gearbox is so slick it must sound like an automatic. And I love the engine braking on a tight winding road - with quick down-changes you hardly touch the brakes at all.
Big-bike riders struggle to comprehend why anyone would actually CHOOSE to ride a small-capacity bike, but it's a state of mind: all the high-power hype says nothing about frugality (I'm averaging 3.3 l/100 km), go-anywhere capability, durability, and the purist joy of a bare-bones-basic machine where it's entirely up to the rider to make all those subtle inputs that keep it all flowing.
I've just put on a new chain and sprockets after 25,000 kms. Otherwise no repairs at all.
So still five stars.

Another year later - bike now nudging 40,000 kms
My only moderation of anything said in my earlier reviews is that if you were buying a bike for freeway/motorway riding yes you'd best buy something bigger than a CBF250. The Sydney-Newcastle Pacific Motorway has occasions when everyone seems to travel at 125 km/hr and that's just too wearing on a little engine like the CBF250's. So I favour taking a tour via the back roads where the CBF absolutely shines and there's very little traffic.
If you are on a budget and can avoid 125 km/hr traffic I maintain this bike is an outstanding all-rounder - an 'adventure bike' so easy to handle even off-road, so light and manoevrable, loadable with campgear, etc. and with excellent ergonomics for the rider of smaller stature.
One failure not worth fixing: the digital tripmeter and clock have died.
All the rest is alive and well and feels good for a whole lot more trouble-free riding.
These bikes can now be had for under $3000. Lightweight riders, this is a heavyweight bargain!

Not a bad little bike

My review is of my 2006 CBF250. I bought it in 2015 for $1700, a bit of a bargain.
I have 40,000km on the odometer at the time of writing. I change the oil every 5,000km and do a major service (valve adjustment check, fuel filter, air filter and oil filter) every 10,000km.
I bought it as a transition bike while I wait until I upgrade to a full licence and The Man lets me ride a real bike. It's been a good little scoot, costs me very little in fuel to run around town, ride to work and back and go on longer rides (more on that later). I weigh 125kg and I'm 6'4", so I spend a fair bit of time at full throttle. Even so, I get around 3-4L per 100km. Very few problems, except the starting problems that a lot of reviewers have mentioned already. A blame the problem on it being a single cylinder, and the factory lean jetting, which is actually adjustable for idle without removing the carb. I also found the build quality not really up to scratch, you can grab the tank and rock it side to side, because it's only held on by one bolt and two rubber mounts.
In saying that though, I've beaten the hell out of it on the highway, almost full throttle for hours on end, wrung it's neck and beaten the suspension along country roads, and nothing has ever broken or fallen apart.
The seat is only comfortable for about an hour, then you start squirming. I've done painful 5 hour days on it, left me regretting that decision but got to where I needed to go nonetheless.
Brakes are absolute garbage.
In summary, not a bad bike. Would definitely suit a learner or new rider because it's very forgiving, feels like riding a pushbike with a motor on it. Way more rideable than my GSX750F around corners and roundabouts. Real light clutch feel and gear engagement and low seat height. A decent, cheap, no dramas bike.

1 comment
Update: 43,000 km on odometer, gearbox broke and is now stuck in 3rd gear. Sold to wreckers. Not worth repairing.

Excellent Fun!!

Recently purchased the CBF250 and just love it. I bought second hand with 1800km on it, so still basically like new. I keep catching myself thinking about the next ride. I use it mainly for commuting, and with excellent fuel economy, it's perfect. I love the upright riding position as well. Such a good bike that I intend to keep the bike once I get my Ps simply because it's so useful and cheap to run.
Upright position, cheap on fuel, looks good with clean lines, absolute hoot to ride and great to learn on.
Choke is a minor pain, but I start Nike and go get riding gear on and by time I'm back it's sweet to go.

Honda CBF250

Bought one 2nd hand a couple of years ago. Had about 34000 klms on it. Very cheap to run, a fantastic bike for around the town/city type commuting, but severly limited for any highway work or mountain touring stuff, would not recommend going 2 up on one of these unless you were only doing suburban commuting. Cheap to maintain overall and handled reasonably well.
cheap to run
lacks any oomph, a plain bike


Great bike!!!! The best 250cc motorcycle that I've ever owned.
It's reliable with just enough performance to have fun.
A perfect bike for the first timer or a daily commuter for the more experienced riders among us
*Extremely economical - between 360-500kms to a tank
*Reliability - over 20,000kms in around 12months with no probs
*Capable of touring I recently returned from a 1,700km round trip from Syd to Melb.
*Servicability - This bike is easy to service & any spares are readily available & reasonably priced
*sometimes it can be a little difficult to find neutral
*Exhaust is too quiet, heavy & restrictive
*The standard indicators are too nig & dorky.
*Takes a little while to warm up on a cold morning
*Resale could be a little better


Good to ride, bit gutless on the open road. Has a good riding position and easy ro ride for learners.
This bike is easy to ride and comfortable for a 500 kilometre day if you fit an air hawk seat cover.
There are several exspensive problems this model has one is a leak from the gear change lever, two is the notchy gear change, but the exspensive fault lies with the clutch that self destructs every 24,000 klm. This costs about $1000 to fix if it does not damage anything else when the clutch basket goes to lunch.

Take my advice avoid like the palgue or be prepared to pay for regular clutch rebuilds even on well maintained bikes.

1 comment
Which year model?


Overall my experience with this bike has been pleasant. Bought it as my first bike on my L's and nearly wrote it off first major intersection. That was my bad, not the bikes. In saying that, for my first bike I didn't exactly know what I was looking for. Had some problems with it buying from a dealership. 3 month warranty ran out and BAM. $1000 later on clutch cable and gearbox rebuild. I advise getting a certified bike mechanic to give it a once over if your a noob like I was. I was recommended to buy a naked bike so I did. A honda VTR250 would probably have been better. In saying all that, the Honda CBF250 is a very forgiving bike. I've locked the brakes up whilst not paying attention, I've over balance and been able to hold it off the floor. If the VTR250 is out of your price range I would definately recommend this. Especially if you need to do an upright course for your P's (A U-turn on a CBR250 or Ninja 250 is fairly difficult).
Cheap purchase of about $2800 - $3500 (AUD) second hand. Comfortable seating position. Economical fuel efficiency (350km/$15 tank). Light weight so handy for L platers that tend to over balance occasionally. Digital dashboard is fun with a fuel gauge (most bikes lack this).
Power. Lacks major power. Sounds like a small lawnmower. Has a manual choke which makes it annoying at times, particularly first thing in the mornings. Neutral is hard to locate sometimes. Sore on your tush if you plan on riding for over an hour. No temperature gauge.

1 comment
I am happy with this bike, I have had it for about three years and am looking to sell it now so I can choose what to buy next. Very reliable and never had a problem a small oil leak has just started which could be a gasket. Nothing else bad to report. Love it as a simple get around bike, over 110kmh starts to work but it is a 250 so of course this would be the case eh!


(this must be taken in context and compared with other 4 stroke 250 bikes!) Honda has been making similar 250 engines for over 10 years and they have always dominated the 250 market until now with the new GTR250 which is all looks. Air cooled engine is very reliable - take a look at CB250's from last decade, they outrun the odo's before the engine will die. Buy this over any Hyosung 250 for reliability. Way more comfortable than the 250Ninja, the hyosungGTR250, GPX250, and don't even think about the CBR125 or the Scorpion230 - they are too gutless for around the same price and you will always be flogging the engine to keep up with traffic. The services are cheap, about $150-$160 every 6000k's. Comes with Pirelli tyres. Bike is great on highway. I take 4.5hour trips sometimes at night and have no problem sticking to 100 or 120kph. The head light is much brighter than other 250s. Overtaking is not a drama. Fuel economy is not compromised at high speeds. Bike does not slip sideways in high wind areas. Capable of 150kph.
Great fuel economy even for riders with bent wrist and also for highway trips @ 120kph+. Comfortable touring seat. Good pillion passenger comfort. Overtake on the highway no worries. Handling so good you can turn corners with legs only, tail does not lighten up. Brakes transfer weight to front effectively. Friends comment on goods looks. LCD screen easy to see. Tie down bars for suitcase. Low vibration. Very smooth ride. Honda reliability. High resale value. Only $6000 ride away new with a free $300 jacket from Honda!
Little bit slow off the lights... Warranty is only one year (not that you will need it)


The thing with this bike is to understand you are getting a 250. So Obviously, it isn't going to have the grunt of a 650. So do not try to ride it like a 650, ride it like a 250, and you will be happy.

I ride mine to work, daily. A mix of city and highway and it does me nicely. I comfortably sit in the slow lane doing the speed limit while everyone else blows by in the fast lane - speeding. And I have no dramas. I am not out to impress anyone with jackrabbit take offs from lights. I ride at my own pace - I've been riding since 1978 - and this bike is ideal.

People I work with who ride more powerful bikes ask when I'm going to get a Bigger bike. Why should I? Just to be like them? So they won't feel so bad about paying three times the money? Nah, the bike was not bought to Impress others. It was bought for my purposes and it fulfills those admirably.

Before buying this I also test rode a Yamaha Virago. For my size I was too cramped, my back started to ache because you cannot take any bumps by bracing your legs (remember taking the bumps with your legs on a push bike?) plus the pegs started vibrating at 80km. 20 minutes of that and you'd have numb feet. Not good. No such vibration with the CBF, nor any handlebar vibration either. And if the bumps are too severe I can always take some of the shock with my legs, but so far haven't needed to as the suspension takes the bumps well.

I added a Seat Bag which doubles as my work bag. Put my stuff in the bag, attach it to the tie-down points on the side of pillion seat and off I go. When I arrive at work I disconnect the bag and take it in with me. And the bag doesn't seem to add any drag that I can tell. Have considered Throw-Over Panniers but haven't needed them as the seat bag takes care of my needs in that regard.

For the money this bike cannot be beat. Great for learners. Great for a first bike - and for your only bike if you're old enough not to want to Zoom Zoom Zoom everywhere at a million miles an hour.

Top boxes and throw over panniers and cargo nets and dust covers are all available After Market. So those bases are covered.

Whether you want to negotiate the city traffic at 60, or do a 100 down the highway, this bike will take it in its stride. Your legs don't feel too spread apart as the small indents in the tank let your knees come closer together. And as yet I have not had any numb bum syndrome - even after a 2 hour ride following a 1.5 hour ride with only ten minutes between the two rides.

If you're tossing up between this and a Yamaha Scorpio or Virago, get this. Of course, if you're short you might need the lower seat height of the cruiser. But otherwise, you won't go wrong with the 13+ litre tank and great rider feedback displays (speedo, tacho, LCD readouts) of the CBF.

The horn, indicators, headlight and highbeam flash controls are easily access with your left hand. The throttle responds well. And once you've set up the mirrors correctly, you have great vision (the mirrors do not vibrate either).

And if it got sucked up into the air in a freak twister never to be seen again, I would definitely get another one. Two thumbs up.
Frugal on go-go juice with a large tank too, comfortable for my 6'2" frame, handles the bends nicely - you feel as-one with the bike. It responds to your actions instantly. Breaks great, turns on a dime. And is light as well - but doesn't see you get blown around in the wind. Plus, it's cheap. A fantastic commuter and weekender in one.
There is nothing I dislike


This was my first bike after 30 years. This must be the easiest bike to either learn on or come back to biking. Not a lot of grunt but enough as a commuter or for medium length trips. Highways will always be a problem with no faring and you will have to slump forward onto the petrol tank to maintain 110 kph. Fully recommend it.
Cheap price, easy to ride, good ground clearance, light
Not easy to do simple maintenance (tank off to change spark plug), no centre stand (bought it as a $300 option), effective front mud-guard(lets all water past),some problems finding neutral when warm(as mentioned by other reviewers)


My model is a 2008 model, bought with 5100ks on the clock. At 100kph, it is doing 7000 revs. This produces a tingling through the seat and bars which seems to settle after a while. Either side of this ( 9-, 110) it is very smooth. I'm thinking of seeing if a lower tooth sprocket on the back is avalible to gear it up a little and drop the revs slightly at 100k's. At 120kph it is doing just over 8000 revs and is smoother than at 100.
I have just replaced the original Perelli MT75 on the back. These MT75 tyres are fitted in Brazil, and not listed as avalible here in NZ. I fitted a Shinko ( standard on The HYOSUNG)and it has improved the tracking. Will look at fitting other mirrors. The originals dont vibrate but dont show anything behind either. Will also look at an after market exhaust, as the original seems to stifile he engine below 4ooo revs.
This is not a sportsbike. As a 250 single, it will run all day , but buy something with more cylinders if racing is your thing.
Superb economy, I'm getting about 32k/litre. That's with mixing my speed a bit. Very light clutch, I'm 90t kgs, and I find i quite comfortable. Super smooth at 90kph, and at 110ks. Tingles at the speed limit slightly. Good handle bar position. Easy controls. Brilliant light, I use mine at night a lot.
At 100ks it is doing 7000 revs. This seems to produce a slight vibration at the bars, 10kph either side and it is very smooth for a single. Neutral is quite hard to find when coming to a stop. It's easier to stop the engine and lightly tap the gearshift down from 2nd. My right hand starts to feel a wee bit numb after about 40minutes,


Have owned this little Honda since June 2007. I just cannot fault it.
It is the ideal commuter.
Fuel consumption is great - am getting between 25-30km per litre depending on how I ride.
Acceleration is not mind blowing but that is to be expected for a 250cc. Easily out-drags most cars from the lights if needed.
Top speed is about 150km/h if I tuck in and there is a tailwind ;) A more realistic top end is about 135km/h, but at that speed my bike is sucking a lot more petrol. As an example - at 100km/h I am getting about 3.1 litres per 100km, at 120km/h it climbs to 4.2 litres per 100km.
Longest continuous ride I’ve done on it was about 200km, I must say I was happy to climb off at the end. It sits quite happily at 110km/h but my right hand was a bit numb by the end of the ride.
I have owned a lot of bikes in my life, and I have to say that this little Honda has been the one that has won my heart...
I recently decided to trade it in for a CBR600RR as I wanted to relive my younger (wilder?) days anddo some track days. But when the time came to do the purchase, I just could not let go of the CBR250. So I didn't get the CBR600RR 
- Cheap to buy
- Cheap to own (service, petrol, parts, insurance, tax)
- Fast enough (just) for Highways
- Comfortable riding position (my gf prefers riding pillion on this little Honda rather than my previous Yamaha R6)
- Excellent headlight
- Good instrumentation
- Official Honda accessories are expensive (topbox, bracket, centre-stand, fly-screen)
- Standard Pirelli rear tyre wore out after 12000km (not sure if that is good or bad but the cost of new one was rather hurtful on the wallet). Front is still going strong (now on 17000km)
- Occassionally when I start the bike up and it doesn't start cleanly and cuts out again, the clocks and my trip meter reset (thankfully not the odometer though). That is rather annoying.

A great learner bike...

Bought this bike as my learner and it was cheap and economical and services were not ridiculously quoted either.
The bike is light enough to learn on and allows for some learner errors in turning etc. It will keep you upright.
I am 6.2ft and felt it is a little small for me and gives me a lower back ache from time to time.
Can feel the wind resistance on highways or in windy areas - especially if you are of the taller variety!
Easy to learn on, very forgiving, economical and cheap to repair.
Raspy exhaust note, doesn't like going over 100km per hour, a little small for me.


This bike has been a great starter bike for me but i can't wait to upgrade to a bigger bike, because i have ridden this bike it has made me appreciate the naked style bikes for me they are a lot more fun than the sport style bikes.
The fuel efficientcy of this bike is good for a carbureted bike i get about 340kms off a tank on long commutes, it is also a great learner bike ive had it for 2 years now and i found it easier to ride then my instructors scorpio it has the turning circle of a flea and can crack 100km/h easily, the price was also pretty reasonable i paid $5500 brand new from the dealer.
Needs to be choked in the morning and needs a couple of minutes to warm up as it really lacks power, when trying to overtake cars on a single lane road it doesn't have to power to get around, overall it lacks power compared to other 250cc bikes but has enough power for a relaxed rider.


Im so happy with my first bike - having been on ducati monsters, ninjas, R1's etc as a pillion, then getting my own bike, I can appreciate its handling, its styling and its efficiency and performance as a well built, great looking, high quality stock standard motorbike.
Economy: Just fantastic - bought this bike as an alternative to my car - now I spend less than $20 a MONTH on petrol to get to work and back (20km one way ride), plus all the weekend/other riding. I weigh 50kgs, so this bike flies for me! The paintwork is great, and the naked road bike look is just what I like. Suspension is great, even for my 85kg partner. I've taken it on all-day tours and it was really enjoyable and responsive on the curves. Its narrow too, which helps with parking, and fitting through any gaps between cars, in carparks, etc. It has a helmet lock too - not a big Pro per-se but very handy. I find the brakes fantastic - ive had to do quite a few hard stoppies from about 40-50kms, and if you are balanced, the bike makes it as easy as can be in that situation.
I dont find it hard to find neutral at all unlike other reviewers - the only con I find is that it does rev hard when you are going over 110kms - I can get my bike to 130kms max. It is a 250 though, so no surprises there...

The biggest con is that it can be a theif target - mine has had three attempts on it. It looks great and is light enough to pick up and put in a ute, i suppose....so my advice is to splash out on a disc lock and a chain/lock to attach to a carport etc if you dont have a garage.

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Questions & Answers

does the 2008 CBF250 have a transponder key?
No answers

My bike wont start the lights and indicators still work but when i try to start it only the light goes dim and nothing else. Please advise?
2 answers
By the sounds of it you've checked the petrol and oil so you're convinced it's an electrical problem. If you're hearing a ticking sound then it probably is. The light goes dim cause it demands more power. Make sure your battery is good If it's not - it can show a full charge while actually weak.When it was running before did the lights go brighter when the motor was revved? If they did it could be your alternator isn't charging the battery. It could simply be the spark plug, worn wiring or an ignition problem, like the coil or solenoid. Either way the motor's not getting any power. Time to visit a Honda dealership get the right diagnosis and sort it professionally. They have their own towing service as well or you could try a Mobile Motorcycle Mechanic who'll visit your home. Great bike. Love Honda singles.Had electrical problems checked and fixed but still won't start

Can u get a carry rack for gearsack for the cbf250...?
1 answer
I had one on my CBF250. It was the Ventura brand. Any MC parts shop or honda dealer should be able to help you out.

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