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Author Topic: Ethanol Fuel (any type) bad for motorcycles Back to Topics
blckwolf

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North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2013 4:03:49 PM

I am a member of the AMA (American Motorcycle Assoc.), and one of the topics that comes up regularly, is that any variety of Ethanol based fuel is bad for motorcycle engines (for that matter, all small engines). While most motorcycles can handle E90 with only minor issues, anything greater than that, can cause engine overheating, seal and tank deterioration, and a myriad of other problems. This has to do with the fact that motorcycle engines are of course, smaller than regular car/truck engines, and that they operate usually without the benefit of a radiator cooling system (most motorcycle engines are air-cooled).

On top of this, there was an attempt by lawmakers to force people to fill up with at least five gallons or more of fuel when they get gas - supposedly in the name of "improving fuel economy". Most motorcycles don't hold more than 4.5 or 5 gallons period (and if they're the "crotch-rockets" that some people ride, even less) - so it's impossible to put more than a couple of gallons in a tank if you don't run it down to empty...

Thoughts?
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borsht
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: May 4, 2013 7:01:24 PM

SilverStreaker ;I really thought you knew the answer to that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embraer_EMB_202_Ipanema#Development
This is the result of 50 years of pushing sugar cain for fuel in Brazil.

It's market they thought you could burn ethanol Crop dusters. Range is not that bid of a deal. Let's try to see them sell ethanol propulsion to the airlines. They Would be killed on range.

This plane was design for agriculture so they could get next to free fuel.
So obviously for agriculture it is cheap fuel, thus lower operating costs.

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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: May 4, 2013 6:04:10 PM

borsht, please explain the relationship between motorcycles and AOPA and/or the FAA. Also, explain why they have built the Embraer EMB 202 Ipanemas model EMB-202A with a "320 HP Lycoming engine, using ethanol fuel and a propeller with better performance, lower maintenance and lower operational costs"?
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borsht
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: May 4, 2013 3:36:02 PM

FAA requires Type certification for aircraft to use E10.Rhetorically, and facetiously, How dumb can they be, since according to the Ethanol producers it is better than non-ethanol gasoline?

http://www.energy-consumers-edge.com/faa-ethanol-safety.html

Automobile gasoline containing alcohol is not allowed to be used in aircraft for the following reasons:
• The addition of alcohol to automobile gasoline adversely affects the volatility of the fuel, which could cause vapor lock.
• Alcohol present in automobile gasoline is corrosive and not compatible with the rubber seals and other materials used in aircraft, which could lead to fuel system deterioration and malfunction.
• Alcohol present in automobile gasoline is subject to phase separation, which happens when the fuel is cooled as a result of the aircraft’s climbing to higher altitude. When the alcohol separates from the gasoline, it may carry water that has been held in solution and that cannot be handled by the sediment bowl. 2
• Alcohol present in automobile gasoline reduces the energy content of the fuel. Methanol has approximately 55 percent of the energy content of gasoline, and ethanol has approximately 73 percent of the energy content of automobile gasoline. The greater the amount of alcohol in the automobile gasoline, the greater the reduction in the aircraft’s range.
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borsht
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: May 4, 2013 3:30:54 PM



AOPA isn't pushing for Ethanol and has been warning about absolute conversion of all gasoline to Ethanol lends.
http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/region/2007/071129or.html

AOPA doesn’t want Ethanol in AV gas.
Ethanol not a good additive for aviation fuel, AOPA says

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tropicalmn
Veteran Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: May 3, 2013 6:31:38 PM

In early Feb.2013 the EPA agreed to change the four gallon minimum rule, which required motorists to purchase at least four gallons of fuel from any dispenser that has a single hose and nozzle for E15 and E10 or straight gas. The new rule from EPA requires retailers selling E15 from blender pumps with single hoses to have a separate pump for straight gas or E10. That way motorcyclists or consumers seeking gas for other small engines, such as lawnmowers, can purchase gas that won’t inadvertently contain more than 10 percent ethanol.
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krzysiek_ck
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: May 3, 2013 8:27:28 AM

Jayburt wrote: "Since real world non biased studies have shown ethanol in its current form (15% and how it is currently made) affects engine wear and leads to loss of performance I wouldn't use it in my bikes if I could avoid it."

Please provide the link to this study. My real world experience does not agree with your opinion.

[Edited by: krzysiek_ck at 5/3/2013 8:28:39 AM EST]
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tdioiler
All-Star Author Detroit

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Message Posted: May 2, 2013 11:37:22 PM

Oh yeah, listen to Daurel and Darrel. If you can handle the chaffing, he usually has some pretty good thoughts. Some of the logic behind the numbers are off (like Indiana having E10 for 30 years? In What 2 pumps statewide?) but there are some bits of knowledge.

Did you know HD had issues with E10 a few years back? I'm sure they have made it over the hump, but many of their owners were spending bucks to have the bikes repaired. If you reset your carb to improve, great. But many others didn't know.
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Jayburt
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: May 2, 2013 4:30:20 PM

Since real world non biased studies have shown ethanol in its current form (15% and how it is currently made) affects engine wear and leads to loss of performance I wouldn't use it in my bikes if I could avoid it. Hopefully they improve the process of making it and adding it so it becomes a positive instead of how it is now.
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Daurel
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: May 1, 2013 10:29:55 PM

smugutu1234

Try using more than one braincell in your reply even blckwolf composed a argument, you however did not.
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Daurel
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: May 1, 2013 10:24:56 PM

fuel has a tendency to absorb water and separate from the gasoline (a process known as phase separation), sinking to the bottom of the gas tank where it quickly degrades and creates gum, varnish and other insoluble debris that can plug fuel flow passages and negatively affect engine performance. When this water mixture is pulled into the engine.There I took your words and removed ethanol from the "statement" this is FACT and it has happened in the past. The "gum" that you claim is caused by ethanol is actually water combining with benzene the main component of gas as benzene is a petrochemical the varnish and "gum" are when water and said chemical separate from fuel.Next why don't you you use real world actions to solve problems if there is that much water in your fuel you have a BIGGER problem!!!!

Fact also water in the fuel system causes your engine to DIE until you REMOVE SAID WATER FROM SYSTEM and in some cases RUINS fuel injectors!!
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iRevealSecrets
Rookie Author Birmingham

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Message Posted: Apr 24, 2013 5:25:48 PM

Ethanol in fuel has a tendency to absorb water and separate from the gasoline (a process known as phase separation), sinking to the bottom of the gas tank where it quickly degrades and creates gum, varnish and other insoluble debris that can plug fuel flow passages and negatively affect engine performance. When this ethanol/water mixture is pulled into the engine, it creates a lean burn situation that increases combustion chamber temperatures and can lead to engine damage.

Motorcycle Dealerships and Repair Shops love people that use Ethanol.:)
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smugutu1234
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 10:11:55 AM

It's bad period!
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jacksfan
Champion Author Lincoln

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Message Posted: Mar 28, 2013 9:55:54 AM

Let's see, blckwolf, you admit you're not all that up on fuels, that you misspoke and miss-quoted information, and that you got some facts wrong. And now you feel belittled?

I believe you've pretty much made your own bed ...
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Daurel
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 28, 2013 9:44:05 AM

Ever hear of H&H Racing gas?
Dr Hill, chemical engineer Professor Rose Hulman.
Founder of H&H.
Me just a dumb student but very interested in racing fuels, cars, dragsters.
I do not think I know about fuel mixes.
Oh yea E Stock National record holder NHRA.
National champions Mechanic IKF 5 times.
National champions Mechanic WKA 20 and More.
Engine Mechanic Jolly Rancher TFC.
I have certs in fuel systems.
MSSC certs.
I do not know everything but know enough to separate the chaff.

The other part is according to AMA here in Indiana motorcycles should be littering the roadside and filling up the repair shops NEITHER is the case.
Trust me there are a lot of 70's era on the road.
Indiana has had ethanol in there gas for over 30years I have been dealing with it for over 40years.

Again do the research on "regular" gas and see what you see I bet you would be surprised!!!!!!!
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 8:50:49 PM

You know what, I'm sick of you two belittling me, instead of trying to be helpful - esp. to someone who isn't all that UP on fuels like you two apparently think you are. I realize I may have mispoke/misquoted and gotten some facts wrong, but personal attacks and inuendo just show exactly what sort of people you are. If you have an issue with the way I posted something, then you'd get a lot further if you explained it to this NEWB in a nice way, rather than got all huffy. If you don't think you were insulting from the start, maybe you need to relook at your posts. Otherwise, have a nice day, and don't bother replying.
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Daurel
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 10:09:02 AM

Now you post do you think ethanol causes seal damage ! Why don't you deal with facts?
It has been posted the amount of xylene, benzene, acetone, in regular gas will do damage to modern fuel systems these are FACTS! Do some fact finding find out how much is in gas! I have done EPA certs for Japanese Co and most all of there engineers can NOT believe the CRAP WE PUT IN OUR FUEL!! and guess what ethanol is not one of them!
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 3:23:25 AM

"Additionally, it seems that MOST manufacturers also had an issue with this bill, because E15 and above, supposedly causes cracking and drying of seals, and the retention of water in the fuel system. Whether that's true or not, I don't know."

Since E100 does not cause this problem, why would e15? It is pretty much a moot issue since e15 is not mandated anywhere.
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 26, 2013 9:45:40 PM

Ok, I will admit, I'm not the BIGGEST fan of the AMA, however, that being said, I realize that I misquoted what the AMA was saying. E10 is the standard fuel used in the USA at most Gas stations. Some, offer E15, and some offer pure gas.

Based on what I have been reading, E10 is OK for motorcycles.

Now, a few months ago, the US Congress was trying to pass a law, based on EPA recommendations, that 1) all gas stations be required (aka: forced) to install mixer pumps, to give consumers more "choice" in ethanol blends, and 2) that if you were going to pump gas from one of these pumps you would be "required" by law, to put a minimum of four gallons of NON-E15 gas in your tank. That bill was killed. I was not aware that it had been killed, but I was aware that the AMA was completely opposed to it as I had been receiving their e-mails on this topic (of course, they were trying to get me to send in money to support their cause).

Additionally, it seems that MOST manufacturers also had an issue with this bill, because E15 and above, supposedly causes cracking and drying of seals, and the retention of water in the fuel system. Whether that's true or not, I don't know.

Here's the QUESTION that I've been driving at, but haven't been able to "phrase" quite right:

Do you think, that E15 can or does cause damage to motorcycle engines/fuel systems.

Daurel: I think I already know that you obviously don't think so.
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Daurel
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2013 1:33:46 PM

Rude! I'm not the one coming on here saying the sky is falling.I have been dealing with Ethanol Methanol for over 40 years in fact in your state racing is almost all methanol powered with about 20% being ethanol fuel 100% in the tanks.
Furthermore the AMA did not even know what a fuel meeter was until Don Genere and Lyn Haddock showed them how to use one!

Silverstreaker you can get 97.9% ethanol in 55 gallon drums for racing only you have to have a hazmat license. Also it has the additive that makes it toxic and just plain nasty to drink.
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SilverStreaker
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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 10:59:18 PM

blckwolf, I believe the issue you are trying to expain is when blender pumps are used. When fuel is dispensed, a certain amount is left in the hose. If E85 was dispensed, then enough fuel should be dispensed from the next batch to dilute the 85% ethanol down to near E10 (10% ethanol).

If you don't like Wiki to learn about ethanol blends, do some research. E90 (90% ethanol) does not exist in the US. Again, if you are not dispensing from one of the rare blender pumps, you have nothing to worry about.
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 10:23:14 PM

Silverstreaker: I realize that the Wikipedia is saying one thing, and that I understood it to be something else. No need to be rude. Daurel: Did you bother to look at the links I posted? Maybe your bike is running fine. I don't know and I don't really care. There was no need to be rude. I am merely trying to gather information about YOUR thoughts on this topic, which the AMA is saying is an issue! I won't even dignify what I think of these posts since I was not rude, merely misunderstood what was being said. E85 is what I was given to understand was 85% gas. It would make no sense in my mind that E90 would be fine for motorcycles if it has a higher ethanol content, since the AMA was saying that E85 ruins seals because of it's higher ethanol content, when E90 is not ruining seals. Since apparently I am mistaken in what E85 and E90 are, maybe I misunderstood what the AMA was saying? In any case, since you've clearly made YOUR opinion apparent, and think E85 and E90 are fine for motorcycles, that's all you needed to state, AFTER politely correcting my misconception about the two blends.
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 6:43:53 PM

blckwolf, please educate yourself on ethanol blends before you embarrass yourself further. While you are at it, listen to those who have ethanol experience with their motorcycles, like Daurel and Rumbleseat.
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Daurel
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 12:45:22 PM

Really it is a 2003 and is running fine How the HE77 would it damage a seal?? You just don't get IN has had ethanol for years according to you bikes would be littering the road which they are NOT. Get a life.
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 12:39:58 PM

Silverstreaker: E90 = 10% Ethanol, 90% gasoline. E85 = 15% Ethanol, 85% Gasoline. Not confused. E90 is fine for the most part in motorcycles (though, there is some argument that all ethanol based fuel is bad for all vehicles because the alcohol retains water, causes rust in metal parts, and causes seal & gasket deterioration.) There may be other issues I'm not aware of. E85 is even worse, and many motorcycle manufacturers state that using E85 will void your warranty. My concern, is that the EPA and Federal Government are trying to regulate what and how much we put in our vehicles. I don't think that I should be told I must put a minimum of anything, be it E90, E85, or any other blend in my tank. I also don't think the government should force stations to have blending pumps if they choose not to. There have been attempts to do this. I also think the manufacturers should honor engine warranties on vehicles, regardless of blend of gasoline, so long as it's an accepted fuel.

[Edited by: blckwolf at 3/24/2013 12:41:23 PM EST]
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 12:04:16 AM

blckwolf, when you first wrote E90, I thought that you mis-typed E10 (10% ethanol gasoline). Currently, the highest blend of ethanol that you can buy at US gas stations is E85 (85% ethanol). Are you confusing the octane labels on gas pumps with ethanol blends?

Unless you are pumping gas from an ethanol blending pump (which are fairly rare), you don't need to worry.
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 9:58:02 PM

SilverStreaker: I agree, and I won't, but right now, the USG wants to make it mandatory that ALL fuel pumps capable of pumping E85 (through expensive "mixers" that will add the additional alcohol to the fuel as it's being pumped). If that happens, then the EPA's answer, is to force all drivers to pump a minimum of four gallons of their preferred gas if they are not going to use E85, because otherwise, you won't get enough of the "higher grade gas" - ie. E90. Since many bikes don't even have 4 gallon tanks, and we certainly don't ride till the tank is "dry", it is impossible for the EPA to mandate a law saying that all motorists must pump at least 4 gallons of gas if they are using E90, because then they are forcing motorcyclists into a catch 22: Ride my bike and break the law when I have to fill up AND run the risk of damaging my bike's engine because I got to much E85 from what was left in the hose from the previous driver, or don't ride. Government needs to quit poking its nose into everything. Every time the government makes a law, they screw it up!
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 6:45:22 PM

blckwolf, just don't put greater than E90 in your motorcycle ;-)
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 2:44:43 PM

If this is a BS issue, then why is the AMA making hay about it?

OceanArcher: it was not local, it was national.

You want links, well here you go:

https://cnsnews.com/news/article/epa-sets-4-gallon-minimum-motorists-buying-gas-ethanol-15-pumps

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/09/19/the-epas-4-gallon-minimum-fuel-requirement/

and if you only read one, then read this one:

http://www.jsonline.com/business/4gallon-gas-rule-sparks-debate-b86tmno-170272246.html

goldseeker: did you bother to read my post? I do stand corrected in that it's not 5, but is instead 4 gallons of gas that they want to force us to purchase at a minimum, and there are lots of bikes that only have 2-3 gallon tanks (mainly the crotch rockets). I said most motorcycles handle E90 fine. It's the E85 that they can't handle, and IN FACT it will VOID your warranty if you run it on most machines!

Daurel, you might want to check your warranty requirements. Your bike might run just fine, but you may be doing damage to seals and gaskets that you are not aware of, and will be in for a hefty repair bill later if you are.
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OceanArcher
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 11:11:22 AM

Haven't seen where the lawmakers in this area (Mississippi) are pushing for a minimum purchase at the gas station -- must be a local issue in NC
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 4:54:00 AM

This is nothing but a BS thread. Look Minnesota has been pumping E10 for over 10 years. Do you suppose they have any motorcycles up there?
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Daurel
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 9:57:24 AM

I have a V-Star that runs just fine on E-10 E-15 and has for years. When changing air filter setup re-jetting make this a moot subject
And the BS meeter is also off the charts you make clams with no links and claim facts.
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blckwolf
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 8:50:52 AM

cricket cricket...
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