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Thread: Advice wanted: $5K to spend on bike & Gear

  1. #1
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    27th December 2017 - 18:23
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    Advice wanted: $5K to spend on bike & Gear

    So my Credit has finally recovered enough and today I got approved for a $5000 loan for a bike & all the gear, so now I'm looking for a bunch of advice.



    First question is, how much practice time would you recommend to pass the BHST?
    I've not ridden a bike as anything but a pillion before. I've been driving cars for over 15 years now & currently have a manual so listening to an engine and road rules are not a problem. I do have experience with 4-wheelers about a 10-15 years ago, so I'm familiar with the gear change but probably need some practice, but I pick up physical skills pretty fast and don't seem to forget them ever (didn't drive a manual for 10 years, but was like I never stopped first time I got back in one).

    Second question, suggestions for bikes that would be good or bikes I should avoid? Also what size engine should I go for?
    I'm female, 170cm tall and weight around 95-100Kg in street clothes. I've also got a messed up back that means I have to have a forward leaning riding position with my heels under or slightly behind my hip, even just sitting on a bike without that for a few minutes I can feel my back starting to ache & cramp up, I also won't be able to ride with more than a really light backpack, like wallet, phone, e-cig, light jersey and maybe a drink bottle is the max I could do. I'm in Kaiapoi and studying in town, 40-50Km round trip each time, I can do up to 300Km a week when I'm busy. I want something for commuting, day trips around Canterbury with my step-Dad and trips to my Grandma's in Golden Bay every few months with a reasonable amount of gear.
    Bike HAS to have the forward leaning riding position, have some way to attach a 17" laptop size backpack and still have at least a little bit more go left at when keeping up with open road traffic. I'd prefer a half or fully faired bike that I can get paniers/top box/pack rack/etc for at a reasonable price.

    I've got a bunch of bikes on my TM watchlist & am heading round the Christchurch bike shops on Friday with my step-Dad. He's had a bike as long as I've been alive (or possibly longer), so great for helping with gear and making sure I don't buy a lemon, but he only changed bike when the one I remember from when I was a kid got written of by a moron driver a couple of years ago, so he's not so up to date on current bikes.

    Third question, which insurance company has the best rates and service for bikes?

    Fourth question, What's a good amount to reserve for gear? Any recommendations?
    I've been eyeing the two piece suits from Curvento in Wellington. Has anyone dealt with them? what where they like & what's their gear like? Recommendations for boots, helmet & gloves? Especially any that come in colours other than black? any tips on from other ladies on finding gear to fit large bust & hips with small waist.

    Last question, who do you recommend for maintenance & WOF in Christchurch or Kaiapoi/Rangiora Area?
    Would be great if they where wiling to teach me to do it myself for the stuff that's not to complex or need to many tools. Failing that, anyone in Canterbury willing to teach me about motorbike maintenance?

    TIA

  2. #2
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    27th March 2017 - 11:33
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    I was in a similar place to you but had been on a bike for 5 minutes as a pillion before (accidentally) sitting my BSH. I passed.

    No suggestions on bike models but most LAMS bikes should be a good height. You can get the suspension lowered on many of them. I knew I'd be doing 350-500kms a week as I commute between Auckland and Hamilton so I went for the biggest capacity... Nothing like having to crank the throttle in top gear to stay at 90-95 in a headwind, haha. I bought an SV650 as I loved the feel when I sat on it. I had two of those then changed to an MT-09 which I absolutely adore (both are naked and quite upright so probably not for you).
    I stuck a 40L Givi top box on the first bike which has done something like 50,000kms and still looks as good as new. It fits an incredible amount of stuff in it. If I have more stuff, I use bungees to attach a gym bag to the frame for the top box, on top of the pillion seat and in front of the box. Never any issues. I can't be bothered with a backpack for ergo/weight or lack of waterproofing (yes, some backpacks are better, like Ogio, but I wasn't about to risk a laptop in a 2-hour downpour).

    I bought new helmet and gloves and shopped around for second hand jacket & pants to start. I lucked out with a perfectly fitting set of leathers on trademe for a great price. I'd recommend going new on some decent boots. For that kind of mileage, I would not want to faff about with oversuits and leaking gear... Just get good gear first up, you'll thank yourself for it! However, I do have an oversuit ($10, thanks trademe) that I use in the worst weather.
    I shopped around and purchased Goretex overseas for approx. 1/2 the price. If you can be bothered trawling trademe, good deals do sometimes come up (people start things at $1 and no one gets into a bidding war, etc).

    Kiwibike are brokers and will give you options for cover/price. Just check the policies carefully for what is/isn't included. Ride Forever courses are great for training - some insurers will cover the cost or part of the cost (which is already quite low), sometimes companies like ProRider do promos for free courses. Some insurers give you reduced excess if you've done a RF course, tell them, and then have a claim.

  3. #3
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    24th November 2015 - 11:20
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    Bike-wise You could do far worse than to get a Suzuki Bandit 650. The 'S' model has a half fairing and has a slightly leaned forward riding position. If you Google it you'll get a better idea as to what they are like. I'm 183cm tall and it fits me so at 170cm it would suit you very well.

    I bought a 2007-model with 28000 km on it earlier this year (It now has about 30500 Km) in good condition for $4500 from Trademe. It'd do any distance commute you'd like and has enough power to keep you entertained for years to come. There are plenty of spares available and they are fairly easy to look after too.

    PM me if you're interested in purchasing mine (I bought it for my brother to use this Xmas when he visited from the UK but COVID put paid to that).

    As for your other queries - I've found Kiwibike good for bike insurance.

    Gear-wise Trademe is a good place to look though there's not substitute for finding a shop where you can try things on.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!
    Navy Boy

  4. #4
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    13th July 2008 - 20:48
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    It kind of depends on what you fancy. Some folk are set on a cruiser, some on an ADV, some on a sports bike. I'm a sports-tourer fan. The cruiser tends to be set back, the sports set forward, and the ADV and ST tend to be more upright. I like the ST riding position. It's probably a reflection of my age. Cruisers normally have lower seats, as your footpegs are forward. An ADV or sports bike tend to have the footpegs fairly vertical to the seat, the sports bikes tend to have the pegs further back than the seat. All to match the expected riding position.

    Once you decide what you want to be seen riding, then look for a model that suits.

    What I've normally said to people is analyze what your needs are, then find a bike that suits those needs. Then walk past it, and buy the one that your hearts says "Hell yeah".

    Every day you spend on a bike you don't love is a day you'll spend wishing you had one you did.

  5. #5
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    16th December 2006 - 11:22
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    I'm trying to think of a forward leaning, learner legal bike under 5k, but I'm struggling. The only thing that is reasonably new that immediately comes to mind is an RC390. A CBR250RR also comes to mind, but they're ancient now and a lot of them have been thrashed to near death. I guess you could always look at putting some rearsets (and possibly some lower bars) on another bike to make the riding position more forward leaning and more comfortable for your back. That's all an added expense though and until you do it it's hard to know how well it would work.

    One thing you could try is finding a bike that is comfortable for you, and then use the cycle ergo website to see if there are any bikes with similar riding positions.

    My main advice would be to get your gear first and then see how much cash you have left over for the bike. I'd budget at least $1500 for a complete set of decent gear, so you could be looking at a bike in the $3-3500 range.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    15th October 2009 - 17:33
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    Surprised no-one has mentioned the good ol’ Kawasaki GPZ 250 or Ninja 250/300 parallel twins, must be lots of them around, bit of a fairing and will happily do motorway speeds, a bit lighter than the bigger LAMS bikes so easier to learn on and might have a riding position close to what you’re looking for.
    Moe: Well, I'm better than dirt. Well, most kinds of dirt. I mean not that fancy store bought dirt. That stuffs loaded with nutrients. I...I can't compete with that stuff.
    - The Simpsons

  7. #7
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    27th December 2017 - 18:23
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    Thanks for your advice everyone, most of it matches my thinking, so good to know I'm on the right track.

    Quote Originally Posted by rastuscat View Post
    What I've normally said to people is analyze what your needs are, then find a bike that suits those needs. Then walk past it, and buy the one that your hearts says "Hell yeah".
    I resemble this comment :P

    I've done a bunch of looking around online, this is the gear I'm favouring at the moment, any thoughts on my preferences? Also, have I left anything out that I absolutely should get?
    Jacket/Pants: Oscar Ladies Motorbike Leather Suit from Curvento, might be a bit more than I really need, but custom fit it to my back and body shape is too tempting
    Gloves: RevIt Neutron 3 or Rev'it Bastille Ladies
    Boots: Oxford Valkyrie
    Helmet: No clue, I'm thinking the $200-400 range, is that reasonable?

    Comes to around $900 without the helmet, so around the $1500 nerrrd suggested. I'm going to try a bunch on today, so should have a better idea soon. As an aside, is there any reason I can't use vinyl wrap or something like it to decorate a helmet? Then I can just get whatever colour even if I hate it, also the only helmets I like the colour/graphics are close to $1k.

    On the other end of the spectrum, it looks like I could get all the gear I'd need from 1Tonne for around $650, that seems to be about the absolute lowest for new gear, I've seen. What's their gear like, is it absolute crap & I shouldn't touch it with a 10ft pole, or would it do for a while as I saved to get better gear so I could spend more on the bike?

    Navy Boy unfortunately the bandits don't seem to be LAMS approved, otherwise I'd be seriously interested.

  8. #8
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    7th January 2014 - 14:45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
    First question is, how much practice time would you recommend to pass the BHST?
    I did a couple of weeks on a Mates bike ages ago, however a lot of places that run the BHST will also do a 1day course where they take you through what needs to be done and you take the test at the end (for an additional fee), if you are worried - I'd look at options that offer the course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
    Second question, suggestions for bikes that would be good or bikes I should avoid? Also what size engine should I go for?
    Pretty much any of the LAMS bikes that are 'popular' - the LAMS variant of the Bandit as already mentioned, some of the 400cc LAMS bikes etc. - as a general rule, I'd either stay away from a Faired bike (you will drop it) or make sure you invest in some Frame sliders. I managed to sweet talk a set of frame-sliders, fitted onto a couple of bikes I bought from reputable dealers.

    Add to that a Packrack is Love, a Packrack is life. Get a Packrack (also managed to get it fitted on one bike).

    Quote Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
    Fourth question, What's a good amount to reserve for gear? Any recommendations?
    As much as you can spare. You don't want to be sliding down the road and have the seems on your gear split open, becoming as useless as tits on a bull. I'd personally rate it the following:

    Helmet - Spend the most you can here, why? It's your Brain it protects. Limbs break or even get amputated and replaced - no one (despite a few people on KB making a convincing case to the contrary) has had a successful brain transplant.

    Gloves - Fingers are small, delicate and love to break - plus survival reaction of putting your hand out to stop yourself.

    Jacket - I crashed once with a full set of gear on, the Trousers were good for round 2, the Jacket was trashed, I walked away.

    Boots/Pants - These are at about the same level of importance (still important), a good entry level set from a reputable brand should be more than sufficient.
    Physics; Thou art a cruel, heartless Bitch-of-a-Mistress

  9. #9
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    23rd July 2014 - 12:08
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
    Thanks for your advice everyone, most of it matches my thinking, so good to know I'm on the right track.



    I resemble this comment :P

    I've done a bunch of looking around online, this is the gear I'm favouring at the moment, any thoughts on my preferences? Also, have I left anything out that I absolutely should get?
    Jacket/Pants: Oscar Ladies Motorbike Leather Suit from Curvento, might be a bit more than I really need, but custom fit it to my back and body shape is too tempting
    Gloves: RevIt Neutron 3 or Rev'it Bastille Ladies
    Boots: Oxford Valkyrie
    Helmet: No clue, I'm thinking the $200-400 range, is that reasonable?

    Comes to around $900 without the helmet, so around the $1500 nerrrd suggested. I'm going to try a bunch on today, so should have a better idea soon. As an aside, is there any reason I can't use vinyl wrap or something like it to decorate a helmet? Then I can just get whatever colour even if I hate it, also the only helmets I like the colour/graphics are close to $1k.

    On the other end of the spectrum, it looks like I could get all the gear I'd need from 1Tonne for around $650, that seems to be about the absolute lowest for new gear, I've seen. What's their gear like, is it absolute crap & I shouldn't touch it with a 10ft pole, or would it do for a while as I saved to get better gear so I could spend more on the bike?

    Navy Boy unfortunately the bandits don't seem to be LAMS approved, otherwise I'd be seriously interested.
    I have no experience with Curvento, but given how much that suit looks like a knock off of dainese (see the thigh logo), I would be very hesitant to buy from them without first inspecting the seams, checking the leather thickness and grade, checking the protectors etc.

    Actually, here is the official verion: https://www.motomail.co.nz/estore/st...wpladyi96.aspx it costs two to three times as much. Yeah some of that will be actual branding + having a proper store + arse end of the world surcharge + New Zealand shops ripping us off but also a lot of it will be down to quality control, using the right materials in the right places, not taking the cheap options (maybe they put in a single piece rather than stretch zones, maybe they use more scrap pieces, who knows. My personal suggestion for gear would be to get a matching textile jacket and pants setup that zip together. They won't be as flash but are more likely to be waterproof (at least initially) and then save the cash for a sweet leather jacket later once you have more of an idea of how you fit on your bikes (ie do you need a bit more of a precurve to the arm etc.) A set of textile gear would cost you about $400 if you go for the cheapest options at a place like Motomail (one of the local stores will stock the same brands etc, you can be cheeky and try them on there and buy them cheaper online at Motomail, or your favoured retailer will probably have something similar at an equivalent price).

    You also said that curvento were Wellington based, I had a look through their site and facebook page. I don't think that is the case, I think they are an offshore based drop shipper, with access to a factory in South East Asia. They might even be the same factories that the big brands use, but the quality assurance won't be the same. You could have good results going through a company like this, but it also could go all to shit and that type of company is not known for standing behind their products (or making them to measure that well).

  10. #10
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    24th September 2004 - 06:46
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    Both suites are probably made in the same factory and one just has the Dianese logo on it..

    Just saying...

  11. #11
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    3rd October 2006 - 21:21
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    Go to this website, http://cycle-ergo.com/ . Enter in your height etc and then add bikes, incl the ones you have ridden. You can quickly change between them to give you a very reasonable idea of what you want vs what you are used to. Very handy.
    Only a Rat can win a Rat Race!

  12. #12
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    23rd July 2014 - 12:08
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonez View Post
    Both suites are probably made in the same factory and one just has the Dianese logo on it..

    Just saying...
    Or rather it has more Dianese logos on it, I think the knee sliders still had them, the thigh as I mentioned, probably else where as well. The biggest difference at the end of the day will probably be do you have an inperson store you can go bitch to if it doesn't fit properly. And is that worth $500-$1000. (Also you may get stung for GST + clothing import duties despite it being motorcycle safety gear)

  13. #13
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    19th January 2013 - 16:56
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    A few thoughts...

    1. Textile gear is 4-seasons easily, especially if you get something with vents for summer and sleeved liner for winter. Plus you can augment the liner with a polar-fleece when necessary. Textile pants are the same, getting somewhere on a winter's morning with warm legs is really nice, also means the legs work properly... Okay, if you have an off the textile gear may need to be replaced but some insurance policies will give you a contribution to replacement gear.

    2. Helmet - ideally white or hi-vis as more likely to be seen than black. However, if you want multi-coloured go for colours that contrast to what is the environment, A good website to check helmet safety - https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/. Plus read what Ride4Ever suggests: https://www.rideforever.co.nz/buying-gear/

    3. As Laava says, the motorcycle ergonomics site is worth checking.

    4. 1Tonne - do a search on here for what others say about their gear.

    5. Can't remember where I either read or heard this... "motorcycle gear is not about being fashionable, it's about giving you the best protection you can afford".

    Enjoy the motorcycling adventure.

  14. #14
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    27th December 2017 - 18:23
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    I ended up writing a ton so the TL;DR version: FML, I wish my body was normal. Tried on a bunch of stuff, barely anything fit. To large in some parts and too small in others or just too small. Everything is going to be a hassle to find gear that fits, except gloves gloves where easy thank gods. Saw a few bikes I loved and a lot I liked, But I can't afford most of them.



    So only made it to 3 stores today, about 4-5 hours of trying things on. One only had a handful of items that weren't for MX/dirt bikes, others were Norjo & Avon City Motorcycles. Pretty much the only item I didn't have trouble with was gloves. I tried about a dozen jackets, almost 2 dozen boots & half a dozen helmets, pretty much anything in stock that had a chance of fitting (Norjo was out off quite a lot of the larger sizes though). Found bugger all that fit well, I'm listing the problems in the hopes that others might have had the same and can direct me to options that might work. (Please bear in mind that I'd really like to keep the budget for gear around $1500 or so & I've only got $5K for everything including the bike, so no $1000 gear ) it also makes sure it's written down somewhere I can't lose it so I don't have to go through this all again *when* I forget and maybe (hopefully) someone else might find it useful in the future.



    Jackets -
    My back curves back at the shoulders and forward at the waist in an S-shape (Scheuermann's Disease so my vertebra are slightly mis-shaped, not just bad posture. No options to fix it unfortunately), the shoulder curve makes a lot of things bind across the shoulders and upper back. I'm also a little wider across the shoulders than normal for a women of my size which doesn't help. Large bust and hip with small waist (25-30cm difference in Waist-Bust or Waist-Hip measurements).

    Dri-rider all current new women's styles - XXL was binding across the shoulders and upper biceps and no room for more than a long sleeve tight fitting shirt under. No 3XL in stock at the places I visited today.
    Dri-rider all current new men's styles - if it fit my hips & bust it was way to big in the shoulders, like the jacket was around the length of my hand to each side of my shoulders or if it fit my shoulders I couldn't do it up, 10-15cm gap at the bottom of the zip. Also massive amount of excess fabric above my bust that was pushing up almost to my chin, that's more just annoying than a deal-breaker like the rest though. Did fit through the upper arm though.
    Dri-rider Jewel - tried on my Mum's jacket and that fit's well, so that may be an option if I can find one second hand and gives hope that a women's 3XL in the current styles might fit.

    Oxford Harringtonmen's- This was the one that would work in a pinch, I could do it up & wasn't swimming in the shoulders, but I couldn't fit much more than a light jersey under it & the next size up will probably be to large in the shoulders. Also bomber jackets tend to ride up really high on me all around as I move and it's only got a zip to attach to pants on part of the back.

    Alpine star women's - XXL fits comfortably over long sleeve tight shirt, no room for any extra layers under, XXL is their largest size.
    Alpine star Men - 3XXL binds a little across the shoulders, and inhibits turning to look to the side back




    Helmets -
    My head seems to be narrower at the back than the front.

    All Bell that I tried on -
    Med adds enough pressure to soft point back and up from temples to give me migraines and loose at the back lower half (base of skull above back of neck) so moves a bit. Lg was barely any pressure in the same spot and moved too much because of it. Strap/buckle on both also pressed against top of my windpipe hard enough to mild to moderately constrict my breathing.
    All Shoei that I tried on- Med was too small. Lg was the same problems as Bell
    Scorpion ADX - Med fit well, it had very little movement or pressure on my windpipe.




    Boots -
    I don't remember all the ones I tried on, but my main problems are high arches and insteps, I couldn't even get any of the women's boots in my size on, the top of my foot where it meets my ankle is just to high to get through the ankle of them. Quite large calves makes things even worse, if it fit my foot it wouldn't fit my calf and vis versa. I couldn't get anything with a zipper to do up much more than halfway, all of them where mid-calf height. Had some success with the roller-skate type ratchet system on MX style boots, even knee high ones although the Velcro tabs generally only overlapped about halfway, they still did up securely and protected everything that needed to be, they where quite stiff through the ankle though so I think I'd have some trouble with gear changes.

    Alpine stare Belize Drystar -
    The one pair that where great. It comes just an inch or 2 above the top of the ankle bone. It's laced over the foot, with a tongue that continues to the top of the boot. Then has a nice wide strap, that's attached on one side and velcroed on the other, with velcro only on the end of the strap. The strap length and width makes it so easy and fast to get them on and off, and get a comfortable fit, unlike all the rest.




    Gloves -
    No problems here for once, didn't try winter gloves cause had to leave.

    Alpine star women's summer gloves XL
    Alpine star men's summer gloves S




    Pants -
    It was to hot in Norjo's to try on helmets today or the one pair of pants that might have fit me, I'll go back another time when it's cooler. I didn't even bother trying the alpine star pants, I already know men's pants wont fit me at all, there's to much reduction between hips and waist, and anything that would fit my hips will be to long so protection won't be where it should and since the women's jackets where fairly snug around the hips there was very little chance that I'd even be able to get them over my hips. I expect finding pant's that fit is going to be even more of a problem than I've already had with the jackets.




    I expected it to be a bit of a hassle to find gear that fit, since I know I have a weirdly shaped body and had a good idea of the state of things for female bikers. But HELL I didn't expect it to be this bad. I'll try some other stores tomorrow and hopefully have some better luck.

    The one thing I've learned is I am absolutely not buying anything except gloves online unless I've tried on that exact product first and even gloves I want to have tried on the brand at least.




    Bikes -
    So far, the only new bikes I could ride in a comfortable position and are within my price range I've seen down here are the Suzuki GSX 150. the Aprilia ETX 150 or the Keeway RKS/RKF 125 (can't remember which). Out of my price range, unless I can find a really good deal on TM for gear is the GTX 250, which was a bit more comfortable for me than the 150. Completely out of my price range but I probably my favourite was the BWM G310GS, man that was a nice riding position for me.

  15. #15
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    15th February 2017 - 13:17
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    Are you in Auckland? Try Motomail. Very helpful and knowledgeable people, in my experience.

    Sent from my SM-N986B using Tapatalk

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