Author Topic: Time for a long road trip  (Read 6169 times)

Online Vagrant

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2018, 09:12:56 AM »
Listen to Daniel and usedtobefast!
Go alone with two credit cards! Out of 50 so called riding buddies there might be one you will enjoy going the distance with.
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Online Sheepdog

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2018, 10:08:29 AM »
Any discomfort felt at 100 miles will become worse by an order of magnitude on day three. Careful ergonomic and service prep will make most any bike a good candidate for touring. As you prepare, remember that comfort, reliability, range, serviceability, and stability are the qualities you will appreciate down the road on a multi-day trip. Also bring along a large bottle of your favorite anti-inflammatory. Taking a couple two or three times a day will limit soreness and speed recovery. Finally, remember to bring at least a liter of water in the event of a breakdown...especia lly for out West. It's tough to make good decisions if you are dehydrated...
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Offline Tusayan

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2018, 02:39:25 PM »
Ducati ST3 looks like it may be the bike for me...

I took my first ST tour in 2002, several weeks on an ST2 rented in Milano.  I still remember the good feelings the bike gave me, exotic but practical is not a common combination, nor modern performance without a lot of widgets, and I loved it.  I've been riding them more or less ever since. 

If you go in the direction of an ST3, the following might be useful to factor in:  don't plan on a trip of more than 6,000 miles (10K Km), that's the valve check interval and it is not a 'stop briefly at a dealer' kind of thing, it's a multi day job.  If your itinerary is longer than that I'd preschedule the work with a known good shop and allow a two day break minimum. Similarly make sure the bike is fully up to speed before you leave on any trip, have the fairing off (a remarkably time consuming operation) and go through everything, leaving no stone unturned. I'd install a new AGM battery and a harness to charge the battery externally. Retorque the engine mounting boots. STs are reliable touring bikes but you do not want to be taking the fairing off for unscheduled issues in the middle of a trip.  Compared to a 916 for instance, I own and service both, the STs are much more time consuming for any job. 

Roadside oil changes are not a problem - that much was considered in the design and not a lot else is needed between major services (I change my oil at conservative 3,000 mile intervals)

The ST3 seat is good, better than an ST2 or 4, but you might consider different handlebars.  I have Helibars on my ST4 and like them. 

Make sure the chain in not too tight.  Sounds a bit basic, but the correct 32-mm slack on the center stand seems loose but when fully loaded you'll find all the slack is gone. You don't want to overstress the countershaft bearing on a long trip.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 03:18:55 PM by Tusayan »

Online Rough Edge racing

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2018, 03:24:01 PM »
 I'm familiar with Ducati two valve belt drive adjustments, the DOHC is just a lot  more of the same, LOL... My understanding is when ridden at more conservative touring speeds the valves stay in adjustment a lot longer...
 I have time to find a bike so my choice may change depending on what comes along...
 20 years ago I was involved in vintage Chevy PU trucks. I had a 37 PU  modified with a hot rodded vintage 302 GMC inline 6, different rear end gears and a 5 speed overdrive..The truck was lowered a few inches and had front disc brakes, but it was no cushy auto trans ,power steering AC equipped gold chain guy hot rod. It was hot ,cramped and very noisy inside..It could cruise at 75 MPH no problem but you had to pay attention and drive it. If it rained you got wet..I took it on several 1600 mile round trips with no stops other than fuel until I got to the destination .....A nice bike is probably much cushier than the truck....
I ride junk, some of it actually goes fast

Offline Tusayan

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2018, 03:27:54 PM »
I would plan on 3-4 times the labor hours to adjust the valves on an ST3 or ST4 when compared with a 2V Monster (which is the easiest of the bunch), 2-3 times for an ST2.

Offline Moto

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2018, 03:53:29 PM »
All of the above sounds good. Especially doing some 3-day trips first, and paring down what you take.

I recommend trips of a month or more, with no actual commitments to meet. Plans are OK, but not commitments.

My favorite trip was only 1000 miles, but it ran down the spine of Rockies and took a month. Camping, of course.

Also, bring a spit or skewer and make shish kabobs for dinner from steak, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Don't skimp on coffee preparations. Take a pint of hooch.

Talk to people you meet. Stay away from the crowded and/or violent parts of the country. Don't stay in cities.

Take a motorcycle you enjoy riding.

If the country were still the same as in 1974, the best guide would be The Complete Motorcycle Nomad, by the notorious and reviled Roger Lovin. Maybe you can get a copy and then ride those parts of the country where his advice is still applicable.

If possible, never come back. But then drop me a note explaining how you did it.

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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2018, 04:07:39 PM »
Quote
If possible, never come back. But then drop me a note explaining how you did it.

 :grin:
The rest of the information in this post is good, too..  :thumb:
Chuck in (Elwood) Indiana/sometimes SoCal

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Online Huzo

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2018, 04:19:58 PM »
In the immortal words of Kath and Kim, I've got two words for you Roughie..
Daniel Kalal
And
Johnin VT....
I think they must be mind readers, exactly what I would have said but they are more succinct.
I always take my Norge and previous to that, a Triumph Sprint ST 1050.  The 1200 GS BMW was soulless, but did the job in a plastic bucket/wooden spoon kind of way.
I venture to say you will bond with anything on your first trip, just like remembering your first....ummm...... .
Experience..!
You might not remember your second, but you will love your first regardless.
Those guys (and a few others) really nailed it IMO. I would take a Beetled, properly tuned Norge and just go out and make some "mistakes", it's not the possession of knowledge that is the hidden gem...
It's the pursuit...
Enjoy, and please keep the thread alive along with the dream.
Will be a good one to follow.
Huzo.

Offline pyoungbl

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2018, 07:06:08 PM »
No motorcycle is as visceral feeling as a Duck.  You will love it...until you don't.  The ST3 is probably the bastard of the bunch and combines the worst of either the ST2 or ST4.  Basically the 4 valve heads are so much harder to work on because you are dealing with so many small parts (that is after you get through the agony of taking off all that plastic) so the ST3 has that same small part problem due to the small exhaust valves.  I have talked to mechanics who thought that it was easier to simply take the heads off and do the valve check on the bench, rather than doing the job with the heads on the bike.  This can easily be an 8 hour job.
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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2018, 07:10:17 PM »
Quote
This can easily be an 8 hour job.

Yep, the two valve Duck is nothin in comparison. I have never seen a loaded down 4V on a trip. There might be a reason for that..  :smiley:
Chuck in (Elwood) Indiana/sometimes SoCal

02 Scura RC
87 AeroLario
79 G5
95 Skorpion tour
 
I think senility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me..

Offline kingoffleece

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2018, 07:14:50 PM »
Forget about the danger.  Just think of the fun!

Wait.  What was the question?
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Offline Tusayan

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2018, 07:22:22 PM »
Basically the 4 valve heads are so much harder to work on because you are dealing with so many small parts (that is after you get through the agony of taking off all that plastic) so the ST3 has that same small part problem due to the small exhaust valves.  I have talked to mechanics who thought that it was easier to simply take the heads off and do the valve check on the bench, rather than doing the job with the heads on the bike.  This can easily be an 8 hour job.

Speaking as somebody who just had thd heads off and back on his ST4 recently, including valve shimming, my advice would be that it takes a great deal longer to remove the heads, assuming you know the tricks for doing them in place.  Eight hours is fast for doing the job with heads on the bike, but possible if not too many need adjustment. To remove heads, shim valves and replace heads would be at least 16 or maybe 24 hours for me if I wanted to do it right and damage nothing  It may be worth doing once on an earlier bike, to upgrade the head gaskets to the later type.

Other 4V head Ducs are easier all around, either way. The ST4 frame makes it tough compared with the Superbike (916-style) frame, and in addition the Superbike bodywork flies off and on in the most amazingly quick and well developed way.  I did a (most of) a 916 yesterday.

PS Chuck, my ST4 did a fine job of carrying me, my wife, three bags and a tank bag recently on a 2000 mile loop. Average fuel consumption was about 54 mpg at 5000 ft ish, fuel light came in at 224 miles in Utah with a gallon still to go.  I noted an ST3 with Canadian plates parked in Jackson WY.  Another local ST4 is for sale with 120K miles on the clock.   Also, some might remember the guy who did well on Iron Butt rides with an ST4 similar to mine.  Gary something or other?  He had few problems in a gigantic mileage and rode it from San Francisco to NYC in 37 hrs.  Now in the Barber Museum.





« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 07:58:49 PM by Tusayan »

Offline john fish

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2018, 07:29:36 PM »
The obvious choice is the Norge. . .  but I'd take an EV Cali.  :)   Hell, I didn't like the styling either until I got one. Even then, the 'whale dong' tank takes a lot of getting used to.  Still, I did a few hundred miles today in the rain and my 2000 Jackal was a joy.  The 2V motor is anvil reliable with a broad spread of torque that makes it excellent on back roads, 4 lanes, and (today) a bit of gravel.  Honestly, the seating position was a tough sell for me with my history of Euro standard and sport bike ergos but now I'm quite used to it.

On top of all that, it's cheaper than any of your other options.
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Online Cam3512

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2018, 07:31:48 PM »
Good luck on your search.  I can�t past the fact that you�ve been riding for 43 years and never strayed more than 100 miles.  I rode that to eat a crappy breakfast the other day.   Guzzi smallblock is the answer.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 07:33:52 PM by Cam3512 »
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Offline jumpmaster

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2018, 10:30:37 PM »
- if you fancy an older Guzzi, and want to do some preparation, check out the Mille GT.

Get yourself out there - it really is an adventure & riding your bike day in day out is a special experience. A warning though - it is addictive.

My only advice on using a Mille GT would be to take spare cables, or change them before the trip just to be safe - that's been a weak spot on my Mille & I've heard of others having similar experiences.  With a Hepco-Becker rack & bags it can be a credible long distance ride.
JC
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Online usedtobefast

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2018, 12:01:22 AM »
On the Ducati, service it before the ride, sell it after.   :grin:

I had an ST4S and did a few 4 days rides on it.  It is fairly comfortable, but something about it makes you really tired at the end of the day.  Could be it begs to be ridden hard so you do ... and that takes more mental and physical effort. 

I've given up on the tent idea.  Gotta carry too much junk, and a lot of camping spots are way off a paved road, kind of a pain to get to on a loaded down street bike. 

Morning coffee?  In a diner.   :grin:
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Online Rough Edge racing

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2018, 05:33:15 AM »
  My plans change by the day so don't get too excited about me actually getting a ST3...My neighbor has a dealer's license and buys and sells auction bikes..Some great deals come along, bikes with cosmetic damage that get written off by insurance companies, a salvage title doesn't bother me if the bike is right....I could also fit a faring and bags on my 900 Ducati Monster and call it good. :thumb:  No small block Guzzi's, I prefer a faster bike..But the Norge will always be a consideration..
  No tent camping is planned..I always traveled light on the vintage truck road trips and never missed what I didn't pack...
I ride junk, some of it actually goes fast

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2018, 05:47:42 AM »
Quote
PS Chuck, my ST4 did a fine job of carrying me, my wife, three bags and a tank bag recently on a 2000 mile loop.

I won't argue that it can't be done, especially by an accomplished Ducati enthusiast.. but.. there is a good sized Ducati dealer in Indy. I've seen many of them around, but none doing that.
I'm *not* a Ducati basher.. far from it. I rode nothing else for years. My last was an ST2. It was a fast great handling Sport touring bike, but not my choice by far for a "long road trip."  Gimme a Guzzi.  :grin:
Chuck in (Elwood) Indiana/sometimes SoCal

02 Scura RC
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79 G5
95 Skorpion tour
 
I think senility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me..

Online Luap McKeever

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2018, 07:30:50 AM »
I got back from a 3,151 mile, 7 day trip a couple weeks ago. The only thing I wished for was more time.  I averaged 450 miles per day and the longest day I had in the saddle was 12 hours flat at 804 miles. That was way too much and exhausting.  Plus, I visited 3 sets of people for around 36 hours each too. I wish now that I could have stretched it out to 12 or 14 days and went to see the Grand Canyon while I was only 100 miles away from it.  The way I did this trip was not too much fun, but much needed "me time".

Advice: Take your time. Enjoy things. If you see a historical marker sign, check it out. I say this because I wish I had.

Next year, I'm gonna do another solo trip to the Southeastern states and take my time. I might even tame the dragon.
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Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2018, 09:14:23 AM »
I have been riding since 1975 and have never ventured more than 100 miles from home...So...me and a friend are discussing a bucket list trip, a long tour of the USA by bike....Try to ride on back roads as much as possible but there will be some Interstate riding.
 Ok, my 79 Triumph and Ducati Monster are not suited for this... Because I like two cylinder bikes, because I like lighter bikes,because I like European bike I believe the choice is going to be a BMW R or a Guzzi Norge (I dislike the Cali styling) or a Ducati ST2 type...I have maybe $4000-5000 to spend on a bike..I would even consider a air head BMW with carbs because of simplicity... I can do whatever maintenance is necessary in my home shop..I have no interest in  heavy Japanese  touring bikes
  So what's your experience?

Now that you have a lot of advise on what bike to tour on, how about thinking about what roads to ride and what sights to see.

I wish I would have found this website 6 years ago when I started touring the US in my quest to ride all the lower 48.  I was fortunate enough to get road ideas from forums and by talking with locals when stopped but now my goal is to hit all of these roads.  35 done so far.  http://www.motorcycleroads.com/best/?s=75

There are other sources for good roads out there if you google them.  motorcycleroads.com is also a good source for other roads in the state you are visiting.  You can plan your trip by stringing as many of these roads together as you can.

Also, there are sources for unique roadside attractions or historic markers, etc.  I've ridden to the gulf coast from home countless times and to keep it interesting I would put the location of a bunch of historic markers in my GPS and then tell it to create best route to hit all the markers and get to my destination.  Doing that is best suited for an adventure style bike because "ignore dirt roads" doesn't really work on any GPS I have owned.

Unique Roadside Attractions
https://www.roadsideamerica.com/

Historical Marker Database
https://www.hmdb.org/

I have travelled loaded down with work and vacation related gear, and I have travelled with just some soft saddlebags and one change of clothes.  It all depends on what your goals are.  Until the Chinese tariffs kick in you can buy underwear and T-shirts at Walmart for a couple dollars each.  You can really travel light or heavy.  It all depends on your idea of adventure.
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Online Rough Edge racing

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2018, 01:25:31 PM »
 My neighbor with the dealer's license has a lead on a BMW RT100 for short money...Has some sort it won't start issue  and has been sitting in a heated garage for a few years....
I ride junk, some of it actually goes fast

Offline PeteS

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2018, 01:33:30 PM »
If its a post '81, you buy it and it has no spark let me know. I have spare hall effect pickup. No need to buy a new canister.

Pete

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2018, 01:54:53 PM »
If its a post '81, you buy it and it has no spark let me know. I have spare hall effect pickup. No need to buy a new canister.

Pete
Good suggestion, Pete.  I took this approach.  My bean can began developing sticky advance mechanism so decided to upgrade from the older mechanical/electronic system to this unit from Motorrad Elektrik.

http://www.motoelekt.com/ignition.htm

I installed the model for 1981 - 1995 models in my 1991 R100GS approx 20,000 miles ago.  So far, so good
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Offline Tusayan

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2018, 02:25:47 PM »
My bean can began developing sticky advance mechanism so decided to upgrade from the older mechanical/electronic system to this unit from Motorrad Elektrik.

http://www.motoelekt.com/ignition.htm

I installed the model for 1981 - 1995 models in my 1991 R100GS approx 20,000 miles ago.  So far, so good

Thank you for that info... I've been unaware of this unit.  My R100GS is worked on by a BMW AG factory employee (in Germany) who has 30 years experience on the bikes but does not acknowledge the existence of anything he can't get from the factory owned dealer parts counter.  I'll just hand him the Motorrad Eleckrik unit and ask him to install it.  I think based on the evidence that will permanently resolve my sticky ignition advance issues.

Offline PeteS

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2018, 02:37:20 PM »
The canisters including the point type and hall effect both have conventional bob weights. The channels wear and the lugs get stuck in the groove. You can file the channels smooth and free them up for while. It should have no effect on full advance.
The first time my hall effect canister died I searched and searched for a Bosch Hall effect module. Couldn't find one so bought a new canister. Then by accident I was looking at a Honeywell catalog and saw the unit. Imagine Bosch using Honeywell components? I rebuilt it, modified for dual plugs and carried it with me. They would die out about every 50K miles and I would just swap them out and rebuild the one that failed. I posted the fix on the BMW forums decades ago.

https://sensing.honeywell.com/index.php?ci_id=50295&la_id=1

Pete
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 02:42:29 PM by PeteS »

Online Rough Edge racing

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2018, 03:53:03 PM »
 Ok, I look at the BMW tomorrow....There's mention of a fuel pump...did any airheads have fuel pumps or were injected? Oh dear, maybe it's a K model............
I ride junk, some of it actually goes fast

Offline Tusayan

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2018, 04:23:18 PM »
Ok, I look at the BMW tomorrow....There's mention of a fuel pump...did any airheads have fuel pumps or were injected? Oh dear, maybe it's a K model............

No, no R100 or earlier BMW had a fuel pump or fuel injection.  My R100GS has a little over 100K miles and has been very reliable and easy to maintain for going on 30 years.

Offline oilhed

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2018, 04:37:07 PM »
Ducati ST3 looks like it may be the bike for me...
I loved mine but don't listen to that evil voice in your head

You can't go into a curve THAT fast and brake THAT late
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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #58 on: September 24, 2018, 04:37:41 PM »
Ok, I look at the BMW tomorrow....There's mention of a fuel pump...did any airheads have fuel pumps or were injected? Oh dear, maybe it's a K model............

No, they are like a Guzzi only boring.  :evil:  :smiley:
Chuck in (Elwood) Indiana/sometimes SoCal

02 Scura RC
87 AeroLario
79 G5
95 Skorpion tour
 
I think senility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me..

Online malik

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Re: Time for a long road trip
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2018, 05:57:05 PM »
No camping? I think you're missing out, but that's me. However, I was very impressed when I chanced upon a GSXR 750 rider who so loved his new bike he took long service leave & started riding - full leathers with liner, a tank bra with 2 small pockets for a wallet & a phone. And that was it. He'd done 40,000 km in 3 months. I can see the attraction - no luggage, stay in pubs, wash the liner each night - just ride. Way to go.
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