Prescription Motorcycle Glasses and Goggles Buyers Guide

Are you trying to figure out how to purchase prescription motorcycle glasses and goggles online? Here are some common questions:

“How do I purchase prescription motorcycle glasses and goggles online?”
“What lens options should I choose?”
“What motorcycle sunglass frames will fit my prescripton?”
“How do I know which sunglass frames will fit my head?”
“Where can I purchase Rx biker riding glasses?”

If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will explain the steps needed to purchase prescription motorcycle glasses and goggles.  We’ll explain all Rx lens options, and provide an easy way to pick the right frames that will fit your head. 

STEP 1: Prescription Motorcycle Glasses – Have Your Prescription Ready!

If your eyeglass prescription is older than 2 years, it’s time to get a new one.  Call your optometrist to set up an appointment. Here’s a nice directory of optometrists around the United States.  One of the places we’ve found that has really inexpensive eye exams is America’s Best. They also offer an Eyewear Club for $99 which gives you eye exams for the next 3 years.

Reading your prescription can be confusing.   However, you don’t need to know what each section means.  But if you are curious, here is a diagram which explains how to read your prescription:

Bikershades: How to read an eye prescription from the doctors office.
All prescriptions follow the same basic format. When you order online, it will be easy for you to input the numbers in your order.

You Will Need Your Pupilar Distance or PD to make Prescription Motorcycle Glasses:

You will need to have your “PD” or Pupilary Distance for all single vision, bifocal and progressive lenses orders. If you do not have your PD, please call your optometrist or whomever made your glasses last. You can also easily measure the PD with a partner or by yourself.   Here’s how to measure your PD:

a. Put on your daily eyeglasses. Look at a partner eye to eye.

b. Using a permanent marker such as a Sharpie or a dry erase marker, have your partner dot each eyeglass lenses directly where the center of your pupils are. If you do not have a partner, you can look into the mirror with your glasses on (stand about 1 to 2 feet from the mirror) and dot each lens yourself. Do this for both the left and right lenses. Try to keep the dots fairly small. For accuracy, do not rush through this step. Remove Sharpie ink with tissue and rubbing alcohol.

c. Set a ruler on a table and position the left dot of the left lens on 0 mm. Measure the distance between the left and the right dot in millimeters. It should be a number between 55 and 70 mm.

Bikeshades: How to measure pupilar distance with a ruler and a sharpie marker
Measuring your PD is simple if you have a ruler, a sharpie and a mirror.

STEP 2: Choose the Right Prescription Motorcycle Glasses for Riding

Wearing casual eyeglasses or sunglasses on a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous. Casual glasses do not seal out wind or debris and can easily fly off when you turn your head. If you wear a full-face helmet, then you probably don’t need sunglasses with foam padding. If you wear a half helmet or no helmet, then you should definitely consider sunglasses with foam cushion. The foam cushion helps seal out wind, dust and debris. Choose a frame that wraps around your face, provides 180 degree protection and can withstand flying projectiles or debris.  All WileyX, BikerArmour and 7eye motorcycle prescription motorcycle glasses are specifically designed for motorcycle riding.

You can chooose frames which have removeable or permanent foam cushion. Wiley X and 7eye frames have removable foam. BikerArmour frames can vary. However, most bikers never remove the foam because they wear these glasses for riding only.

Step 3: Prescription Motorcycle Glasses: Choose a frame that fits your head

Prescription Motorcycle Glasses are different than your every day casual glasses. The biggest difference is base curve, which measures the degree of curvature of the lenses. Everyday casual glasses usually has a base curve between 1 and 2.   Motorcycle sunglasses have a base curve between 6 and a maximum of 8.  Because of base curves, motorcycle glasses don’t use the same measurements for fitting as casual glasses.

Base curve of casual glasses vs wrap motorcycle glasses at Bikershades
Base curve of casual glasses vs wrap motorcycle glasses.



Casual glasses fit by measuring the width of the frame, the length of the arms or temples, and the width of the nose bridge. Fit for Motorcycle glasses, on the other hand, is mostly determined by the size of your head.  So, there are frames that fit smaller heads and frames that fit bigger heads.   But the question we often get is, “How do I know my headsize?” Headsize is determined by your helmet size or your hat size. 

Most people can figure out their own head size subjectively.  Is your head bigger or smaller than your friends?  Have people commented on your head size before?  Do you have a difficult time fitting sunglasses because your head is too big or too small?  Do most hats fit you, or do you have to find special hat sizes that fit you?  Based on the answers to these questions, you can determine if you have a small, medium, large, or x-large head.

Bikershades has designed an easy to use ‘Shop by Headsize’ page to help you find a BikerArmour sunglass frames that fit you.  Our Shop By Headsize Tool helps you determine your headsize by your helmet size or your hat size.   Once you determine your headsize, simply click on the corresponding head size image.  You will be linked to all the sunglasses that will fit your headsize.  Now that’s revolutionary!

Shop motorcycle sunglasses based on your head and helmet size.
Bikershades.com makes it easy to find the motorcycle sunglasses that fit you.



If you are still unsure which frames will fit, we can also send you 5 – 10 frames to try on with our  Try Before You Buy Program.   Frames are sent to you within 48 hours via FedEx 2 Guaranteed Service.

Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses: Try Before You Buy

With our Try Before you Buy program, you simply answer a few questions online and pay a deposit for the frames.  We’ll personally select 5 to 10 frames which are most likely to fit you.  You don’t have to pick the frames.  You will receive your frames 3 to 4 days via FedEx.   Once you receive the frames, pick the pair that fits best.  Then click the orange link contained in your confirmation email, and complete your order online.  Use the enclosed FedEx return label and send ALL the frames back to us.  We’ll have your prescription motorcycle glasses complete in 10 to 15 business days. Our lab is still recovering from Covid, so it’s taking a bit longer than usual.  

Over 90% of our customers who participate in our Try Before You Buy program find a sunglass frame or goggles that fit them.  However, if none of our sunglasses satisfy your fancy simply send the frames back to us with the enclosed return shipping label. 

We prepare everything, and all you pay for is a portion of our overnight FedEx shipping charges. Imagine the time and money you save rather than driving all over town trying to find some biker sunglass frames to try on!  Nothing beats our Try Before You Program.

STEP 4: Choose Lens Type for your Prescription Motorcycle Glasses and Goggles

Your prescription will either be for single vision or for bifocal/progressive lenses.  Single Vision Lenses have the same vision correction over the entire lens. Bifocal and Progressive lenses have a magnified area at the bottom of the lens used for reading.  You will know if you need a reading power if you have an “Add” power written on your prescription.   However, keep in mind that you are NOT required to include the reading power if you won’t be using your prescription motorcycle glasses for reading small print.  So, you can get single vision lenses even if you have an “Add” power on your prescription.  

There are two types of single vision lenses, Traditional and Digital: 

Digital Free Form Prescription Lenses Provide a larger field of vision and less fish bowl effect.

Traditional Single Vision Lenses:

Traditional Lenses are primarily used for casual frames with flatter lenses. Bikershades always recommends digital free form lenses for best optics.  However, traditional lenses are acceptable for Sphere powers less than +/- 1.75.  If you have a Sphere stronger than +/- 1.75, we recommend you upgrade to Premium Digital Free Form Lenses.  

Premium Digital Free Form Single Vision Lenses, (Biker Recommended):

Also known as High Definition or Free Form Lenses, Digital Lenses are specifically designed for base 6 to 8 curvature lenses. This is common for high wrap motorcycle sunglasses frames.  Digital lenses take into consideration how the frames are actually shaped and how they fit on your face.  Unlike “casual” frames, high wrap frames possess the following three differences: a more aggressive frame wrap, higher degree of frame tilt, and a shorter distance from the eye to the lens. Without compensating for these three differences, the Rx lens may result in unwanted astigmatism.  This results in blurry vision, dizziness, and loss of peripheral vision.

Digital lenses are optimized with computer-controlled surfacing equipment that are more precise than conventional tools. Digital lenses are surfaced in power increments of 0.01 diopter (D), compared with 0.125 to 0.25  increments with conventional tooling. So, digital lenses deliver superior clarity for each unique prescription for exceptional performance. This article from Columbia Eye Clinic explains a little more about the advantages of Digital Lenses. 

Digital Free Form Progressive Lenses:

Bikershades only offers premium DIGITAL progressive lenses.  Bikershades does not sell Traditional progressive lenses, which is a good thing.   If you are shopping around, make sure to ask if the lenses are digital before you purchase! If you are currently wearing bifocals, have difficulty reading small print, or have an “Add Power” listed on your prescription, you may need progressive lenses. Please note that you are not required to wear progressives or bifocals if you only want single vision lenses. Unlike bifocals, progressives offer an even transition from distance to near vision (without any visible lines on the lens).  This allows the wearer to view objects at short, intermediate and far distances. Progressives restore clear and accurate vision at all distances, without the need to change glasses constantly.

Digital SPORT Progressive Lenses (Biker Recommended)

Daily Progressive Lenses (which include digital and traditional) are designed to see far and to read small print close up.  These lenses are designed for casual wearers and office workers.

Digital Sport Progressive lenses are designed for cyclists, bikers and golfers who are more concerned with seeing 3ft to 16 feet in front of them, as well as long distances. This area, also known as the Safety Zone, is critical for reacting to fast motions and identify obstacles quicker. You can also see very close distances (less than 3 feet) to read at the very bottom of the lens, but this viewing area is smaller compared to regular Digital Progressives.

Digital Sport Progressives, compared to digital progressives, also have a wider field of vision for better peripheral vision.

DIGIthinRx Lens Thinning Technology for Powers Stronger than +/- 3.50

Thinning (Lenticular) technology combines lens thinning with Digital Free Form Technology to minimize the thickness and weight of a prescription lens by more than 25%. It also thins the area outside of the 50 mm optimal viewing area. Since wrap lenses are more curved and thicker towards the outer edges, DIGIthinRx removes the a portion of the area which causes images to bend. A minor drawback is some peripheral vision may be lost, but a 50mm viewable area is more than enough where patients will not notice the difference. Bikershades does not recommend DIGIthinRx technology for all prescriptions. Frame design, lens thickness and prescription are all important factors. Make sure to speak to one of our Rx Specialists at (877) BIKER-21.

DIGIthinRx™ technology thins out the edges of stronger prescriptions to help accommodate high wrap frames inherent with motorcycle sunglasses.
DIGIthinRx™ technology thins out the edges of stronger prescriptions to help accommodate high wrap frames inherent with motorcycle sunglasses.
Bikershades Lenticular Lenses reduces the weight and thickness of the lenses on the edges.
DIGIthinRx technology reduces the weight of the lens by thinning the area outside of the optimal viewing zone. DIGIthinRx also helps reduce the fish bowl effect by eliminating the more curved areas towards the edge of the lens.

FT 28 Bifocals:

Unlike progressives, Bifocal lenses have a noticeable line that separates the top area for distance vision, and the bottom area for reading. The “28” refers to the width (in millimeters) of the bifocal area, and is the most common size compared to FT 35. You are not required to wear bifocals even if your prescription has an ‘ADD’ power. Also, if you are less than 40 years old, chances are you do not need bifocals or progressives (yet.)

Bifocal Lenses vs Progressive Lenses Comparison.   Progressives do not have a visible line.
BIfocals have a visible line that separates far and near vision. Progressives have three zones and do not have any visible lines.

Out of the Box Bifocal Motorcycle Glasses

If you have perfect 20/20 vision when you see far away, but need help reading or seeing items close up, you may be able wear precut Bifocal Motorcycle Glasses straight from Bikershades.com. You won’t need a prescription.  All you will need to know is your bifocal power.  Bikershades carries bifocals with dark tinted lenses, yellow lenses, clear lenses, and copper HD lenses. Plus these bifocals are designed for motorcycle riding & are equipped with foam cushion and polycarbonate lenses.  Visit the Bifocal Sunglasses section on Bikershades.com for a wide variety of styles!

The New Horsepower Bifocal Motorcycle Sunglasses feature a foam cushion and polycarbonate lenses. Less than $20!

STEP 5: Choosing Your Lens Material for your Prescription Motorcycle Glasses:

Like casual prescription eyeglasses, you will also have to choose your lens material for your motorcycle riding or sports glasses.  For eye safety, prescription motorcycle glasses require impact resistant lenses made of polycarbonate or trivex. Plastic is definitely not recommended because plastic can easily shatter.

Polycarbonate (Biker Recommended):

Polycarbonate is a tough, versatile polymer used for bulletproof windows, helmet visors and compact discs (CDs). If you have ever tried to break a CD, you know how tough polycarbonate can be! Normally polycarbonate is a a lens upgrade, but Bikershades includes polycarbonate without additional charge.  The advantages of polycarbonate include:

  • Polycarbonate offers 100% UV protection, plastic lenses do not.
  • Highly impact-resistant combined with light weight.
  • Polycarbonate lenses are about 10 percent thinner than Trivex and plastic, both due to a higher index of refraction.
  • Excellent transparency and high refractive index (it can bend light to a higher degree than glass or plastic of equal thickness).

Trivex (Biker Recommended):

Trivex lenses offer superior optics and impact resistance compared to any other lens material. As far as clarity goes, they are the closest alternative to glass, which is the clearest medium on the planet.  Advantages of Trivex include:

  • Trivex offers 100% UV protection, plastic lenses do not.
  • Trivex is the most impact resistant material available. See video below.
  • Trivex is the closest in clarity to glass – the clearest medium on earth.
  • Higher Optical Clarity (center): Trivex lenses have less internal stress which results in sharper central vision than polycarbonate lenses.
  • Trivex lenses are about 10 percent lighter than polycarbonate lenses.
  • Compared to polycarbonate lenses, Trivex lenses offers clearer and crisper optics.

The videos above shows the results of a 500 g missle with a 1mm point drop tested on  Spectralite Plastic Lenses, 1.60, Polycarbonate, and Trivex Trilogy lenses.  This test was conducted by Younger Optics.  The plastic lenses were tested from a drop height of 50 inches, while the Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses were tested from a drop height of 75 inches.  You will see that plastic lenses can shatter quite easily and not recommended for motorcycle glasses.  Polycarbonate and Trivex, on the other hand did not shatter.  You can imagine the damage a rock or projectile at high speeds can cause to plastic lenses. 

Trivex retains its clarity when exposed to acetone.
CR-39 Plastic, Polycarbonate and Trivex Lenses immersed in Acetone for 10 minutes.  Notice how Trivex retains its clarity compared to plastic and polycarbonate.

STEP 6: Choose Transitions, Polarized or Solid Tints:

Choose your type of lenses depending on the time of day you ride the most. If you ride both in the day and the night, choose genuine Transitions™ brand lenses.  If you purchase Prescription Motorcycle Glasses, you will only need one pair of glasses to wear in the day and at night.  How convenient!   If you ride only in the day, we recommend polarized lenses to filter out the most light and blinding glare.

Transitions™️ Signature Generation 8: 

The Transitions™ Signature Generation 8 are the most common Transitions™ for casual wear glasses. It is perfect for those who spend more time indoors than outdoors with their glasses. These are the most responsive Transitions™ lens, so they change much faster when lighting conditions change.  The lenses will change color when you are walking in and out of buildings or when the sun begins to set.

Transitions™ XtrActives (Biker Recommended for Prescription Transition™ Motorcycle Sunglasses):

Xtractives are the latest Transitions™ Lenses that gets darker than any Transitions™ lens on the market.  If you ride your motorcycle in the day, you will enjoy the benefits of Transistions™ XtrActives.   These lenses get as dark as your regular sunglasses.   We always hear from our customers that they spend hundreds of dollars on photochromic lenses that don’t get dark enough.   If you are looking the absolute best prescription Transition motorcycle sunglasses, choose no other than XtrActives. 

Advantages include:

Comparison of  Xtractive and Signature Generation 8:

Transitions Signature Lenses

NEW! Transitions® XtrActive™ Revolutionary Lenses with variable polarization: 

Transitions™ XtrActive Polarized eliminates glare from shiny surfaces.

The latest technology  in the Transitions family, XtrActive Polarized lenses actually polarize as they darken in the sun!  You will experience sharper vision and reduced glare even the brightest outdoor conditions.   If you enjoy fishing or watersports, you will enjoy using XtrActive Transitions Polarized lenses.    

Transitions Lens Chart
Chart compares different types of Transition lenses available.

Visit the Transitions™ Comparison Chart to help choose the best Transition lenses for you.  Bikershades currently offers Transitions™ Signature, Transitions™ XtrActive and XtrActive Polarized Lenses.   Transitions™ Drivewear lenses are mostly used for driving.  To learn more about photochromic technology for motorcycle goggles and sunglasses, click here. 

Prescription Motorcycle Glasses with Polarized Lenses:

Polarized lenses eliminate glare from shiny surfaces such as chrome, water, mirrors, etc. Polarized lenses clarifies and sharpens vision. Once popular only with fishermen, polarized lenses also benefit bikers, golfers, and drivers. Polarized lenses offer clearer vision by reducing glare from reflective surfaces such as the lake or the hood of a car.  Compared to drivers, bikers are surrounded by glare coming from all directions.  Polarized lenses are an excellent choice for prescription motorcycle glasses and prescription goggles.  

Polarized lenses reduce glare from water while you are fishing.
You can use your prescription motorcycle sunglasses for fishing and watersports also. Polarized lenses cuts blinding glare allowing you to see under the water.
Polarized lenses reduce glare
Polarized lenses sharpens vision and reduces blinding glare off shiny surfaces such as mirrors, chrome bumpers and water.

As sunlight bounces off a horizontal surface such as the road or hood of car, the reflected light travels in a horizontal direction rather than scattered. Sunlight bouncing off a horizontal surface creates an annoying and dangerous intensity of light, which is referred to as glare. Polarized lenses contain microscopic vertical stripes on the surface of the lens which filters out horizontal rays that cause glare.

Prescription Motorcycle Glasses with Solid Tints (for Sunny Conditions:)

If you prefer a standard single color lens for your prescription motorcycle glasses, Bikershades offers a wide variety of colors.  All lens tints including clear offer 100% UV protection, even clear lenses.  Choose from the following:

Dark Smoke: Good for general purpose use. They are dark enough to provide overall protection with true color perception, and also reduce glare, especially off water. Good for driving, baseball, tennis, football, soccer, water sports, and all other outdoor activities. Great variable weather tint for sunny or overcast days.

Dark Brown: Improves contrast and contains a red element to enhance depth perception. Excellent for golf, tennis, high-altitude sports, fishing, boating/sailing, or any sport where distance needs to be judged. Can be used for partly cloudy to sunny conditions.

G-15 Smoke/Green: Emphasizes colors our eyes see most easily (green and yellow) and de-emphasizes less noticeable colors (red and blue). The G-15 lens absorbs 85% of visible light, and transmits only 15%. The G-15 lens results in more natural vision – true colors that are easy on the eye.

Copper HD: Improves contrast and contains a red element to enhance depth perception. Good for golf, tennis, high-altitude sports, fishing, boating/sailing, or any sport where distance needs to be judged. Can be used for partly cloudy to sunny conditions

Green: Transmits all colors evenly, good for general purpose use, dims glare while brightening shadows. It is good for all outdoor activities and can be used rain or shine.

Prescription Motorcycle Glasses with Solid Tints (for Low Light & Night:)

Yellow: Provides greater clarity in fog, haze, and other low-light conditions and filters out blue light that can make focusing difficult. Good for skiing, mountain biking, hunting, aviation, tennis, and target shooting. Good for dawn and dusk. Also good in foggy or hazy conditions.

Clear: Great for night riding. When combined with an anti-reflective coating offers the ultimate night riding experience by drastically reducing the halo effect around lights at night.

Blue: Fashionable and cosmetically appealing. Reduces glare, helps to see contours, and improves color perception. Can be used for spectator sports and golf. Good in misty, foggy and snowy conditions

Rose: Enhances visual depth and provides good road visibility. Helps adjust contrast, comforting the eyes, so it reduces eye strain. Can be used for cycling and racing. Good in most weather conditions, especially in snow

Select Your Prescription Lens Coatings:

Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating – AR coatings block reflected light, which results in a reduction in glare, annoying reflections and halos around lights at night. They reduce the glare that you see as well as the glare that others can see on your lenses.  AR Coatings prevent reflections from your lenses so your eyes are more visible to others.

Benefits of Anti Reflective Coatings for Bikers
Anti-reflective coatings include scratch resistant coatings, hydrophobic & oleophobic coatings.

Choose from THREE types:

a) CLASSIC A/R Includes:

  • Anti-Reflective Coat
  • Standard scratch coat (One year warranty under normal wear)
  • Hyrdrophobic Coat (water resistant) & Oleophobic (oil resistant) Coat

b) ELITE A/R includes:

  • Anti-Reflective Coat
  • Premium Front and back side dipped scratch coat (2 year warranty under normal wear)
  • Superior Hydrophobic Coat and Oleophobic Coat requires less lens cleaning.
  • Anti-static coating repels dust and dirt

C) ELITE A/R with Anti Fog: Our Elite A/R with Anti Fog includes all the features of ELITE A/R with an added permanent Anti-Fog coating.

Anti-Fog Coating: Our Anti-fog technology is guaranteed to prevent blinding fog on lenses, making it much safer to ride. The permanent Anti-fog is thermally baked on the surface of the lens. Our latest technology does not require activation cloths or solutions; the anti-fog works 24/7 by itself. Anti-fog is incredibly helpful in cold winters; especially when you are stopped at a red light or stop sign. The Anti-fog is applied to inside of the lens, not the outside of the lens.

Anti-fog is recommend when riding a motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle without anti-fog can be very dangerous, especially if it is cold outside.

Anti Scratch Coating

Anti Scratch Coatings provides additional scratch protection for your lenses. Add on scratch coats are double dipped & thermally cured. Anti Scratch Coatings are not necessary if you purchase an Anti-reflective coating.  

Mirror Lens Coating

Mirror Coating: Highly reflective coatings applied to the front surface of lenses to reduce an additional 10% – 60% of light entering the eye.  Bikers who purchase Mirror Coating on their prescription motorcycle glasses describe the color as soothing and comfortable.   The additional protection from light makes them especially beneficial for activities in very bright conditions. Bikershades’ Mirror coatings also include anti-scratch coatings, so there’s no need to purchase additional scratch coatings. Solid mirrors not recommended with Transitions; flash mirrors are fine.

Flash Mirror vs Solid Mirrors: Your eyes will still be visible with Flash Mirror Lenses. Solid Mirror Lenses are reflective, and your eyes will not be visible behind the lenses.

MIrror colors for prescription motorcycle sunglasses.  Enjoy red, rose gold, pink, blue, cobalt and green mirrors.
Vivid mirror colors offered by Bikershades.com. Solid mirrors: friends can’t see your eyes. Flash mirrors: friends can see the outlines of your eyes. Solid mirrors are brighter and much more noticeable.

NEW TRANSITIONS XTRACTIVES WITH STYLE MIRRORS

Bikershades now offers Transitions XtrActives with Flash Mirrors. Flash Mirrors are not a solid mirror. Your friends can still see the outline of your eyes. The darker the lenses get, the more noticeable the flash mirror becomes. The flash mirror also filters out more sunlight compared to Transition XtrActive lenses without style mirrors. There are 6 Style Mirror Colors available: Silver Shadow, Blue, Gold, Green, Red & Pink.

Mirror
Color
LIGHT CONDITIONSVISUAL COLOR
(Solid adds more hue
than Flash)
GoldBikershades Transitions XtrActive Gold Flash Style Mirrors for Motorcycle SunglassePartly Sunny, Low Light Adds slight blue hue
CobaltCloudy, Partly CloudyAdds slight pink hue
GreenBikershades Transitions XtrActive Green Style Mirrors for Motorcycle SunglassesPartly CloudyAdds slight pink hue
PinkBikershades Transitions XtrActive Pink Style Mirrors for Motorcycle SunglassesPartly Sunny, Low LightAdds slight greenish/blue hue
BlueBikershades Transitions XtrActive Blue Style Mirrors for Motorcycle SunglassesBright, Water SportsAdds slight yellow hue
SilverBikershades Transitions XtrActive Silver Style Mirrors for Motorcycle SunglassesSunny, Non CloudyAdds slight grey hue
OrangeBright Sun ConditionsAdds slight blue hue
RedBikershades Transitions XtrActive Red Style Mirrors for Motorcycle SunglassesExtremely SunnyAdds slight blue hue
Bikershades offers Transitions Style Mirrors for Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

So, now you are fully equipped to make the best decisions when purchasing prescription motorcycle glasses.  Visit the Prescription category at Bikershades.com to purchase a pair today.  Or you can call (877) BIKER-21 to speak to one our Rx Specialists.

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