Radar Detector?

Discussion in '1994 - 1995 Specific Tech' started by viperos, Oct 20, 2003.


  1. Kdizzite

    Kdizzite New Member

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    I have a cobra radar detector and it is terrible. I got it last summer and it worked good up until like 2 months ago. I dont think it even works anymore, sometimes instead of radar alerts when police are by me it tells me there is a train. I havent heard it go off for a normal alert in a while. I have the one that talks, you think they could have made a nicer voice (its like a manly women voice and it gets on my nerves). Im getting a V1 soon, all my friends have them and they are great, only thing is that i dont like all the blinking lights on it.
    #41
  2. viperos

    viperos New Member

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    ok, but back to the origonal question... with the V1 detect a laser gun ahead of me, before it is one me?? so, that ricer .5 miles ahead, gets nabed, and not me :D
    #42
  3. mo_dingo

    mo_dingo Well-Known Member

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    Why do you say that radartest.com is so bad? If you have some technical articles, I would love to see them. But if you can just spit out your own personal opinion, then just ignore me!

    Flaming is FUN!!!
    Scott
    #43
  4. hankd

    hankd Founding Member

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    It CAN, but it would be a freak thing. No detector is worth a damn against laser. You need a laser diffuser for laser...

    Well, I am going to give my opinion because it's blatantly obvious that there are many problems with radartest.com. Somewhat of a "technical opinion" :D Craig Peterson, who runs radartest.com, is a longtime Valentine hater. It's well documented, and Valentine himself addresses Peterson on the V1 site. It's obvious if you actually READ the "great detector shootout" or whatever they call it on radartest.com, that it's completely biased.

    As for MY opinion and my breakdown of their testing and their report in general, here ya go!!

    ---------------

    Let me breakdown some of the problems from his test starting with the "Product Specs and Features" chart:

    1. V1 doesn't get credit for being fully programmable when in fact, it is: http://www.valentineone.com/lab/MikesLabRpt3.asp

    2. V1 gets no credit for having the capability to defeat radar bands (see #1)

    3. V1 gets no credit for "Digital Signal Strength" With no description of what this means, I'll assume it means a "hit" strength indicator. The V1's strength indicator is very clear and easy to understand.

    4. V1 gets no credit for "Multi-step Dim / Dark Mode" even though it does this automatically!! Peterson even says so in his summary, "A photoelectric cell automatically dims the displays but there's no provision to darken them or tailor the brightness to personal preference." So I can't manually dim it myself...why would I want to if it does it automatically?

    Update: Update: 2003 detector review shows “1-step auto-dimming” as a feature:
    http://www.radartest.com/article.asp?articleid=1027
    How can it be 1-step? That would mean it only has ONE level of brightness...

    5. The categories in his "specs" table are selected to the Passport and Bel's advantage. He doesn't have a category for the following, all of which would ONLY be featured on the V1:
    *Metal case instead of plastic
    *Directional arrows to point out the hits (this is THE feature that completely separates the V1 from all other detectors, yet Peterson tries to downplay the functionality and effectivity in the text of his summary)
    *Front and rear radar and laser antennas
    *Bogey counter

    Update: 2003 detector review shows “Bogey Counter (tracks up to 9 simultaneous threats)” & “Directional Arrows (indicates direction of the threat)” as features. Why weren’t they included in the original test???

    6. Other categories such as: Text Display, Voice Alert, and Tutorial Mode are features that are useless and/or annoying or distracting to the user (IMO). I don't want to be reading my detector while driving down the road and I surely don't want it talking to me.

    Now on to the text of his "radartest" summary:
    1. "the Valentine uses a single rotary switch with concentric ring to control on/off, audio level, mute level and two "logic" modes that filter X band. We feel that's about four functions too many. So do the competition, all of whom allocate these key functions to separate switches for faster, simpler operation."

    As a mechanical engineer, we're taught to SIMPLIFY by combining many functions into as few components as possible. That's exactly what the V1 does. Operation of the V1 couldn't be any simpler, yet Peterson tries to make the opposite seem true.

    2. "One unique V1 feature is the Radar Locator, claimed to pinpoint the direction of incoming radar beams. Under optimal conditions--detector mounted high on the windshield with a panoramic view and with a relatively strong signal on a steady bearing--we found the directional arrows generally accurate"

    Words like "claimed" "optimal" and "generally" are there to downplay this feature. The arrows work exactly as claimed even if the surroundings aren't "optimal" as Peterson says...

    3. "But we quickly learned to distrust the bogey counter's truthfulness. For example, in Bucolic Campo, CO...."

    The 3 threats in that story could've been caused by MANY things. It sounds like Mr Peterson wasn't running in Advanced Logic mode if he's picking up 3 junk X-band hits at once, of course, he doesn't even mention that. He just tells the story as if the hits are due to something that the V1 lacks, instead of something he lacks.

    4. "In larger metropolitan areas we noticed this Chicken Little behavior even more, often being bombarded by alerts for eight or nine simultaneous threats while sitting gridlocked in traffic, a major nuisance. Truth is, radar to the side poses no threat at all and radar from behind is scarcely worthy of more attention"

    Again, he's not running AL mode!!! The V1 only tracks up to 8 hits, so I'm not sure how he saw 9!! (**COUGH** LIAR **COUGH**) I've yet to see 8 hits on the bogey counter in 4 years of owning mine. As far as radar to the side, he's 100% correct. You can't get clocked directly from the side. However, the side arrows do a couple things for you. When you pass a threat, the arrows light-up ahead, then side, then behind, which obviously tells you that you've passed the threat. They can also warn you of a possible threat by picking up a solid band hit from the side before the threat even has a chance to clock you from the front or back, essentially pointing out the threat (possibly on a sidestreet or coming from the opposite direction as you both approach a 90* turn) before it IS a threat. He fails to see (or at least point out) these benefits.

    5. "On Ka band it belatedly issued an alert only a few feet before the radar locked-on to our speed. It did somewhat better against lasers, weighing in with a first-place finish in field of view and third place in maximum range, within a few feet of the Escort and BEL"

    I have picked up Ka band right here in the DFW area at 3.5 miles over hills. I've picked up instant-on Ka blips at about 1.5 miles. I can't imagine needing anything that picks up from a greater distance. "A few feet?" What is he talking about???

    6. "If this were 1991, with X and K-band radar the primary threats, the Valentine One would have fared much better in this shootout...Still capable of putting up a good show against X and K-band radar and lasers, with its stratospheric price tag, minimal features and quirky ergonomics the V1 is an also-ran compared to modern detectors. Celebrating its tenth birthday next year, making it the oldest model on the market, the V1 is clearly showing its age."

    Saying that the V1 can't at least hang in the Ka band department (although other tests have shown the V1 well ahead in this category) is absurd. He gives it credit for X and K band which are dying breeds as everyone knows. He wants people to think that the V1 is old technology just because the case has not been changed much for many years, when in fact, it's on top.

    Stratospheric? $100 more than the Passport...25% more. Not to mention that that price includes a hardwiring kit, which is $30 extra on the Passport.

    Minimal Features - I think I've addressed this point already

    Quirky Ergonomics – again, what’s “quirkly” about having ONE knob instead of several buttons? Simpler is better…

    Old - there is a new version out (late 2001) that's a little smaller than the previous, but there are few other changes (not needed).

    Scoring System
    "Ergonomic/Features" - V1 loses 9 points due in part to 2 things. One is the fact that he doesn't give the V1 credit for some of it's features and doesn't list the others since it's the only one with those features. #2, one of his main points against the V1 is the size and "look" of the detector. Talking about the appearance of a radar detector is a sure sign that he's reaching to find things. Compare the size/weight of a v1.8 V1 to a Passport 8500 and you'd be surprised. The V1 looks bigger due to the square aft end.

    "Selectivity" - loses 3 pts, not even sure what "selectivity" is. He doesn't explain.

    "City Mode" - loses 2 pts, for what reason I'm not sure. Instead of having a city/hwy mode, the V1 has 3 levels of filtering. No filter, Logic, and Advanced Logic. I run mine in AL at all times, as do most users. "city" and "hwy" modes are pointless. In AL mode, the V1 WILL NOT filter out a true hit, so why run it in anything else??

    Update: 2003 detector review shows “3-step city/highway mode” as a feature:
    http://www.radartest.com/article.asp?articleid=1027
    Why wasn't this included in the original test?? Hmmm...

    "Sound Level" - loses 2 pts. http://www.radartest.com/images/graphs/4highend/max_aud_vol.gif
    My V1 is never past 1/2 volume. Full volume is unbearable even with the radio up and windows down. All of the detectors are between 83 and 87 decibels on avg. Is that difference even worth mentioning, let alone taking off full points for? I don't think so...

    Given the fact that Peterson can't get the features right, I can't see giving his radar test results any credit. The V1, Bel, and Passport will all detect similarly.

    Update: The summary of the break-down of the points and how they’re distributed has been removed from radartest.com (4-7-03)

    Radartest.com has been one of the biggest jokes throughout the automotive community on the internet since it went online. Mike Valentine (creator of the Valentine 1) and Craig Peterson have a "past" and Peterson has made it a point to bash the V1 whenever he gets the opportunity. Valentine always publically addresses Peterson's shots, either on the V1 site or in his magazine ads. His challenge to the public is to buy both and send back the loser within 30 days. http://www.valentineone.com/lab/detectortests.asp Notice the Car&Driver results from February, as well as the past 10 years. C&D features ads for the Passport, Bel, Uniden, and V1 in every issue.

    Most car enthusiasts agree that the V1 is the best detector you can buy, but there will always be a few doubters or people that refuse to drop $400 on a detector.


    I emailed Peterson not long ago regarding some of his practices. He had no defense for why some items were not included in the score of the V1. His reply was "get a life"... :D

    Bottom line: believe who you want to believe, but ask around in the automotive community and you'll find that there are people that swear by the V1, people that swear by the passport, and people that swear by a Bel (or anything else). Ask somebody that's used all of them and they'll usually stick with the V1. Some people buy the 8500 or Bel because it's cheaper. That's fine, but don't talk about the V1 unless you've used one. Money shouldn't be a sticking point if you can take the $400 hit right now because the V1's resale value is better than anything else. You'll end up spending about the same $$ / yr to use the V1 vs the other top detectors...

    ------------------------------

    So yea, I'm not just spouting off when I say that radartest.com is crap... :D

    www.speedzones.com is a good site. They report FACTS and don't really tell you which is the best...it's up to you to decide...

    Ask the question on half a dozen automotive message boards and the best should be obvious though...
    #44
  5. gcomfx.com

    gcomfx.com Founding Member

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    I sure hope you don't use Math as a source of income. So what you are saying is that your detector IF it cost $400 and you have it 4 years, it is cheap as it only cost $100 a year... right? If you do that to one part of the equation you MUST do it to the other part to be equal.... right? With me so far? I spent $50 divide THAT by 4 years and you have $12.50 a year. :rolleyes: I'll admit that a Valentine is a hell of a detector... what I said was it BETTER BE at that price! You are saying how much better it is than a Cobra... never said what model of course that your mom has but you use the high end price in your example... so be it. I'm here to tell you that you CAN'T compare the two... one cost a fraction of the price the other one does.



    No you said "junk"... sorry for that. You are right... there is a HUGE difference between "junk" and "crap". :rolleyes:

    :scratch: What a statement! You're a real whiz kid aren't you....

    Cost per year is the same???? I've seen some fuzzy math in my time, but you take the cake. One thing cost $50 the other cost $300-$400... yup that divides the same. :bs: But if you think so, I'll gladly send you $12.50 a year to buy your Valentine on a payment plan... it should be paid for in 4 years right?

    :puke: You just summed up your character right there.... I know when posts are hopeless for some people. Have a nice day!

    ---------------------------
    For everyone else....

    MY cobra detector was a steal on ebay for $50 and while it may not work like a Valentine... it sure as hell didn't cost like one either. Instead of going without a detector for a couple of years til you can see dumping $400 on a Valentine... drop the $50 now and at least have SOMETHING in your car until you can afford your V-1... then give your Cobra to your little sister.
    #45
  6. hankd

    hankd Founding Member

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    Simply amazing…you’re completely lost bro. I’ll break it down for you even more since you’re not following. There’s 2 ways to buy a V1 from Valentine. Brand new, or a 30 day return. I’ll give you both scenerio’s…

    New V1 - $407 shipped for a brand new unit
    Use it for 3 yrs, sell on Ebay for $360
    You spent $16 / yr to use it ($47 lost over 3 yrs)

    Now let’s say you’re REALLY smart and you get a 30 day return unit…$367 shipped
    Use it for 3 yrs, sell on Ebay for $360
    You spent about $3 / yr to use it ($7 lost over 3 yrs)

    Where exactly did I lose you on the cost of owning a V1??

    Let’s say you buy a new $180 Cobra (I’m not saying you did, just making a comparison and showing WHY it’s not worth it in the long run to buy something on the cheaper end of the scale)

    Use it for 3 yrs, sell it on Ebay for $50
    You spent about $43 / yr ($130 lost over 3 yrs) to use a MUCH less effective unit. How smart is that??? Paying more for an inferior product…hmmmmmmm….

    In your case, you bought a used Cobra for $50. Will it be worth anything at all in 3 yrs??? Let’s just say you sell it for $25. That means you lost $25 over 3 yrs…or about $8 / yr. Now look back the cost / yr numbers for the V1…DOH!!!

    I use math daily as a mechanical engineer. What do YOU do!!???

    Common sense isn’t so common…
    #46
  7. gcomfx.com

    gcomfx.com Founding Member

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    Fine we will use YOUR example....

    ----------------------
    "Let’s say you buy a new $180 Cobra (I’m not saying you did, just making a comparison and showing WHY it’s not worth it in the long run to buy something on the cheaper end of the scale)

    Use it for 3 yrs, sell it on Ebay for $50
    You spent about $43 / yr ($130 lost over 3 yrs) to use a MUCH less effective unit. How smart is that??? Paying more for less…hmmmmmmm…."
    ----------------------
    Well, I already told you I bought a brand new in the package detector for $50... so now MINE is FREE! And your is $16 a year. Whatever floats your little boat.

    Nice that you didn't comment on your OTHER comments. :rolleyes:

    For your information... I am an Art Director and work in the marketing world... so I would be the one at Valentine that convinced you of your reasoning and made you buy my product. :D

    Peace out....
    #47
  8. hankd

    hankd Founding Member

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    Just admit that you were completely missing the point and that there just might be something to what I'm saying here...good grief!! Your case isn't a typical case either...you bought a used unit and they were nice enough to replace it with a newer one.

    The only comment I didn't address was the difference between Crap and Junk. Please find where I said that everything but the V1 is junk / crap. I said that Cobras are junk. The Passport 8500 and hi end Bels are good, but they still don't give the info that a V1 does. So you're not good at math or reading...damn...

    The rest of your comments were related to your mass confusion on the cost stuff...sorry I didn't address each one by one :rolleyes:

    And I don't give 2 $hits about marketing...I bought my first V1 based on OPINIONS of other people from various automotive forums. REAL WORLD info from people like myself...
    #48
  9. gcomfx.com

    gcomfx.com Founding Member

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    Look you started making statments based on your IDEAL situation... so I played your game. Bottom line is this... I bought a BRAND NEW detector... so it got upgrade for Free... that had nothing to do with it. The price didn't change for me. It just didn't "leak" anymore it was the same detector except it had an extra Radar channel.

    I shopped long and hard for a detector. I went the Valentine Ebay route a couple years ago... what I found was this: People hocking off their Valentines on ebay because a new one was out and it cost too much to upgrade the units.

    When we get down to the facts of life.... EVERYONE has to pay the initial cost. Plain and simple. Yes, I see your point... and yes I've seen it all along. The problem is your explaining and your "assumptions".

    You "assume" that anyone that buys a detector will sell it. I don't have any reason to sell mine. So $50 is what it costs.... you "assume" you can get the same money for your detector that the same person can buy for the same price straight from Valentine. That's a big assumption... maybe you can show me where someone has done that.... FINE. I can show you were a dumbass on ebay bought something above retail too.

    Here's the deal. Not everyone is rich... not everyone can justify dropping $400 on a detector. I don't "run balls to the wall" all the time... but I occassionally speed. I can say that my $50 "maybe" has saved me $50 worth of speeding tickets... but since I've only had one speeding ticket my whole life (knock on cyber wood) I can't say that it would have been worth $400.

    What you are arguing is the same basis INSURANCE exists. IF this and IF that... YES it pays! But if it PAID for "everyone" Insurance companies would be broke... not profitable. Sorry if that's a stretch... I just hate Insurance Companies.

    I apologize for the job insult and for riding you so hard.... please remember there are MANY people on here that can't afford the initial investment and DO NOT need the extra security or "sometimes false security" that can be giving by a radar detector. You can call them what you want... but it's the majority of how the world is.

    Most people take offense when you say they were stupid for doing something or for spending there hard earned money on something. I know I took it personal. I compared and "thrift" shopped the hell out of detectors. Read MANY reviews - not some of the ones posted on here that I agree are biased. Consumer Report is one I did use... could be biased, but I read them quite a bit and find they are more level headed than most.

    If you think I'm stupid for buying my Cobra, fine. I don't plan to sell my detector.... just like I don't plan to sell my stang. If I was worried about resell value and not initial cost... I would have a Ferrari in my driveway, not a stang.

    Can we be friends now? :cheers:
    #49
  10. Vegitalv12

    Vegitalv12 Founding Member

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    What info does the V1 give that the passport doesnt? I did extesive research when I purchased my detector, and pretty much the only things that separated the V1 from the escort 8500 is the arrows, and a full strength rear radar (where the V1 actually needs the rear radar for the arrows work properly). But what if youre driving in the city, and as the radar wave probagates, it bounces off objects, that would make the direction arrows totally worthless. As far as Ka and Laser detection goes, the passport 8500 is SUPERIOR to the V1 (not by much though). It really doesnt matter though, because once you read laser, and youre speeding, you might as well pull over and get out your license. The 8500 can track mutiple sources as well, and I have read numerous reviews (by V1 and 8500 users) that state that with even 'advanced logic' enabled, the V1 still ends up being nothing more than a 'wal-mart detector' in the city.
    #50
  11. MysticKeith50

    MysticKeith50 New Member

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    :rlaugh: I have a cheap a$$ cobra radar detector that works great. Got it for like $99. It lets me know well in advance. I use mine for one reason only...Most cops just ride around like idiots with there radar on. I pick it up at least a mile away and I am usually cool by then. :shrug:
    #51
  12. hankd

    hankd Founding Member

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    Why not... :D

    Of course everything I've said only goes IF you can afford the $400 up front...

    Yes, the arrows / counter combo with the most dangerous threat flashing. The arrows are THE difference between the V1 and the Passport & Bel's. It's really hard to understand how much they help unless you physically use a V1...

    I've never had a problem like this...not sure where you read / heard that...

    How can something be "superior" but "not by much"???? :shrug: Please provide links to something other than radartest.com. They're pretty much even as far as range goes. And yes, there's really no point in talking about laser.

    I've picked up Ka at over 3 miles and instant-on Ka at 2 miles, so range is really a non-issue in my experien...that's plenty of warning. For me, it's about knowing where the are, how many there are, and knowing quickly (ie, easy to "read" and understand what it's telling me).

    The V1 is "nothing more than a wal-mart detector in the city"... :rlaugh: Who did you hear this from?? :bs:

    Yes, I'm aware that the Passport can track multiple sources, but it's limited to 2 K, 2 Ka, and 4 X at at any one time. Under most circumstances, that's not a big deal, but it's still limited and my V1 has saved me at least once when a Passport would not have. My V1 was showing 2 Ka hits on the hwy...slow down...spot the cops on the opposite shoulder. They're both out of their cars helping a trucker that was broken down. No threat, so I speed back up as soon as I go by. As I pass them, the arrows point to the side, so I know that those 2 cars account for both hits. After I pass them, the V1 shows 2 Ka hits behind me (arrows are the key!). I speed back up and just before I top the next hill, Ka hit #3 shows up AHEAD (again, arrows!). Slow down, pass him by. With the 8500, I would've still only showed 2 Ka hits when the 3rd hit showed up, but I wouldn't have known that it was in front while the other 2 non-threats were behind.

    BUSTED

    A few more quick examples of situations where the arrows are nice to have. Cop enters the hwy behind me but out of site. I know where he is...you don't...I speed up to get away from him...you slow down and then get stuck driving behind him when he catches up to you. A cop enters the hwy ahead of me but out of site. I know where he is...you're stuck looking around trying to figure out if he's in front, behind, about to pass you, etc. Cop behind me is gaining on me (signal getting stronger). I know this, you don't. Cop behind is losing ground to me. I know this, you don't. I pass a threat (or a junk hit)...I know this, you don't.
    #52
  13. viperos

    viperos New Member

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    well, this is all very helpful for a poor state, but here... all the highway patrol cops use laser, and so do all the local cops... so either I need a laser defuser, and they still come after me... or I get something that isn't going to help, or I just obey evey one of the 10 billion dumb laws in my city...
    #53
  14. hankd

    hankd Founding Member

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    A poor state??? I'm in Tx...I don't think it's poor???

    Get a diffuser...if they do still come after you, what are they going to get you for?? They're not illegal...
    #54
  15. viperos

    viperos New Member

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    are you sure they are not illegal? in Washington that is... (didn't mean any offense, "poor state"... I just mean we have some of the newest gadgets here... very irritating...) anyway,

    -if they don't get me with the laser, they will see 000 on their gun, and come after me anyway, and give me a ticket for a dim taillight, too tinted windows, low tire pressure, garbage in my ash tray... ect... every little thing they can, except speeding...

    -just annoying, back in the day, there were 10% the cops there are today...

    -off rant.....
    #55
  16. hankd

    hankd Founding Member

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    I'm pretty sure that they're legal, even in Washington DC. Check to be sure though...
    #56
  17. viperos

    viperos New Member

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    how would I find out? pull up to a cop at a stop light, and ask him? "hey, are laser defusers illegal in this state?" --> :D even if they aren't, I bet he'd pull me over :D
    #57
  18. Jarhed

    Jarhed New Member

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    Hey Mystic,

    I too have a "cheap-o" Cobra ESD-9110 that I got for under a $100 at Best Buy. I was looking at the reviews for my model and was surprised to see that it's not too bad (I expected it to do worse). It has saved my azz many times. http://www.radartest.com/article.asp?articleid=1025

    [​IMG]

    Ratings

    Features (4 Stars)
    Ka Radar Sensitivity (2-1/2 Stars)
    Laser Sensitivity (4 Stars)
    False alarms (5 Stars)
    Audio level (3 Stars)

    :nice:
    #58
  19. 94GTLaserRC

    94GTLaserRC Squint as you approach, lest you be blinded by my

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    Ernan Says "here it comes... dushbag"
    i Dont Speed!!
    #59
  20. cmozez

    cmozez Member

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    K-40 all the way. Been using them for years and never had a ticket while using them. As with any detector, if you don't know how to use it, you will get a ticket. You can't just stick it in the window and think you are invenciable. BUT, don't jump in your beater and haul a$$ forgeting it doesn't have any protection like I did tonight,,,, 85 in a 70 :bang:
    #60

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