First Official Pictures Of The New 2009 Indian Motorcycle Chief

After my visit to new Indian Motorcycle headquarters I told you here that the Stellican company has a very qualitative approach and that they would not announce a launch before being 100% ready with a 100% reliable motorcycle. Chairman Stephen Julius also wrote in my Blog the very legitimate reasons why his company remained silent. But when I was with the executive staff in Kings Point, NC I had the opportunity to observe the effervescence of the pre-launch, see the assembly line being in place, watch ultimate tests being done on engines and transmissions, see the all-new components Powerplus 105” being assembled by their engine builders… and touch the new Indian Chief. No official launch date is communicated to me, but now I am authorized to publish the 1st official pictures of what will be the 2009 Chief in its “Standard” configuration (I remind you that there are 4 models: “Standard”, “Deluxe”, “Roadmaster” & “Vintage”). Price is now set at $30,999 for the Standard Chief. Should I tell you that this Indian Chief will be introduced in time to be stuffed into some very, very large Christmas stockings? Or maybe much sooner? Hum, not yet. But today, Indian Motorcycle advised me that they just updated their site with pictures, specifications and prices for each Chief model. Just go to Indian Motorcycle Models.

59 Responses to “First Official Pictures Of The New 2009 Indian Motorcycle Chief”

  1. 1 Mike Liguori May 7th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Wow! Welcome back Indian. I don’t know if you did it on purpose Cyril. but it’s very cool to see the 1906 Indian picture in an article just below the post of the 2009 chief. Emotional reaction.

  2. 2 Bruce May 7th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    so, it’s for real! awesome.

  3. 3 Paul Christ May 7th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    The Skeptics Indian Society was wrong. Indian is back. Cyril was right. ..

  4. 4 Sam May 7th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    $30,000.00 ! Are you kidding me? It’s a pretty bike, but I’ll be waiting at the NEXT auction.

  5. 5 jspfc May 7th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I agree Sam, over $30K??? Does Indian not realize how soft the motorcycle market is right now? For that much why not go to your local builder and get exactly what you want built instead of an assembly line bike?

  6. 6 Jason May 7th, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I disagree. No custom builder can you give you as much for 30K. Look at the Indian Replica of Kiwi Indian. $45K to 65K!!! And don’t you think that an Indian title is worth much more than a replica title? And the warranty?

  7. 7 Brett May 7th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I don’t agree at all & if Indian is going to put that kind of price on heir bike, they are going to fail yet again.

    $30,999 for what is basically a Fatboy. This basic model doesn’t even come with bags or windshield. They always tried to market the Chief as a bagger type bike. This one looks more like a Scout. Last time I looked, a Fatboy in Wisconsin off the floor is $18,999. I’d buy one of those 1st. At least you know Harley isn’t going out of business in 3 years.

    As far as Kiwi & their price, well Kiwi is making replicas of the real original Indian. Sorry, this bike is just like Titan or Big Dog, they just bought the Indian name. It isn’t the REAL Indian & will never be until they last for 100 years of being in business. They 1st thing they should do is consider knocking close to $10 K off that price if they want a chance of being around for 100 years.

    People are struggling with their jobs, making mortgage payments & gas is closing in on $4 a gallon. People don’t have disposable cash to pay an extra $10 K for a Harley rip off with a different name.

  8. 8 Evo May 7th, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    but it’s still the same ol S&S poweplant. OK, with round barrels and a left side manifold makes it a PowerPlus or whatever, still a Evo motor. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I love Evos!!! This thing looks the same, has the same parts…. what is different? I didn’t buy one when they were 15K, I sure as hell won’t at 30K.
    Sorry, it’s just another clone again and this time, a clone of a clone. What’s next… a HD Dealer buying American Ironhorse and putting out what’s left under their name…. oh wait, that is already happening.

    Good luck Indian III or IV or whatever version this is…. you are going to need it!

  9. 9 Paul Muller May 7th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Maybe a lot of people can’t no more pay 30K, but I think a lot still can. If the objective is 750 units a year, well, i am sure there are more than 750 guys who are interested and willing to pay for one. Mr. Evo, where did you read that it’s an S&S engine. It’s not. Not at all.

  10. 10 Dave B. May 7th, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Well, I’m glad to see the old girl getting back on the street. And yes, $31,000 is a lot of money but if you really want an Indian, you will come up with the cash. These bikes are obviously not intended for everyone, I think that is part of the allure the Stellican company is shooting for, much the same way exotic foreign cars are not for everyone.
    And while I don’t plan to run out and get one, I will smile when one rolls up beside me at a stop light… I guess I just can’t help cheering for the underdog.

  11. 11 Dr. Mark May 7th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I can see that a lot of the audience is missing the point.

    Indian is shooting for a production number of 750.
    That’s all.
    Unlike Harley or Honda, they don’t have to produce a couple hundred thousand bikes just to break even. This company is privately held. This is THEIR OWN MONEY they are playing with. These guys have some pretty good experience at reviving dormant, upscale brands…they’ve done it with Chris Craft, and with the Italian yacht company.
    Their intent from the beginning was to produce a bike that was not for everyone.
    Indian, once upon a time, was the ‘it’ motorcycle. The rule of thumb was, the top-of-the-line Indian cost 150% of whatever the top-of-the-line Harley cost. THAT is what they are shooting for.

    And their target market is NOT the folks who are struggling with making their mortgage payments. It’s folk like Malcolm Forbes, or George Clooney(Who already owns several Indians). It’s the people who buy those thousands of Ferraris, Aston Martins, Bentleys and Roll Royces that get sold in this country every year. I know that is going to piss off a lot of people, but it’s simply the truth.

    Several other things:

    -The engine is NOT an S&S. It is totally in-house manufactured. Yeah, there are a lot of similarities to an Evo…but there are a LOT of differences. The new engineering team has gone to great lengths to bring the engine closer to the classic Indian mill. Check it out when the specs become available. If you know a little Indian history, you’ll be fascinated.

    -It’s a Fatboy clone? Really? Um, since when did a Fatboy have an adjustable monoshock suspension?

    -A Chief with skinny fenders isn’t really a Chief? Indians didn’t start wearing skirts until 1940. Before that all Indians had standard fenders.

    -Yes, Kiwi is making 1953 Chief replicas. It costs 45-65K for 1950’s tech. Not my cup of tea, but hey, go for it if it’s yours.

    Honestly, I can’t for the life of me understand all the hostility exhibited to Indian making it.
    Unless it’s just that all the Harley faithful get violently ill, or something, when the word ‘Indian’ comes up. No, HD was NOT the first American motorcycle. I’m sorry but that’s the truth.
    And for those of you Harley fans who want to chant the “the line was broken in 1953” thing, I have three little letters for you:
    “A” “M” “F”. The bowling ball people? Remember them?

    And what’s up with all this hating on Indian? I just don’t get it.

    Perhaps some of you haters could clue me in, hmm?

  12. 12 Donnie May 7th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Dr. Mark is correct and I approve his message.

  13. 13 goldiron May 8th, 2008 at 7:16 am

    May I remind all of the detractors of the “Limited Edition” Screamin’ Eagle Road King (FLHRSEI) was $29995.00 in 2003. Seems to me that they made about 3500 of those with a 103 c.i.d. motor. Quality will tell the tale on this particular bike.

  14. 14 Fausto Simoes May 8th, 2008 at 7:33 am

    That’s a nice looking motorcycle! Definitely a viable option for people looking to purchase an american made product. I always loved Indians-I hope this company is able to make it through these tough economic times.

  15. 15 Dennis Albertson May 8th, 2008 at 7:36 am

    To Brett & Evo. Indian Motorcycle like any other company is not in the business of helping people buy a product they can’t afford. It is smart to sell a 31,000 bike to people who can afford to pay this price, not trying to sell to people who have job/mortgage/credit card problems. Business is not charity. I think Indian will easily find 1000 bikers every year loving the bike and paying cash for it. And if they are profitable with 750 bikes a year, then there are there for 100 years.

  16. 16 George May 8th, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Hey guys. Cyril is a custom builder and if you didn’t know (check his resume) he has also a strong marketing background. So, if he tells you after a visit to Indian that he feels that they do everything right to succeed, you better off trust him. Me, I am convinced. This new post shows that the launch is about to happen with a strong product.

  17. 17 Seymour May 8th, 2008 at 7:53 am

    It’s a boring motorcycle. I don’t care how much it costs.

  18. 18 Slag May 8th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    I will agree with Cyril on the new Indian. If I didn’t agree then I would not be reading his blogs on here.

  19. 19 Tony Martinez May 8th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    It’s a beautiful motorcycle. Everything seem to be chromed and very detailed. Nohing to do on the bike after you buy it. Not like with a Harley.

  20. 20 Lakota Man May 8th, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Love the bike. I want one. Alll black. Thanks Cyril.

  21. 21 Vicki Reid May 8th, 2008 at 8:37 am

    I just look at the pictures on Indian website. If it rides as good as it looks, it’s a winner. But women need a lighter bike. Anything Indian will do in smaller scale?

  22. 22 J. Rudd May 8th, 2008 at 8:55 am

    America’s 1st motorcycle is back and everybody should be happy.

  23. 23 Rodent May 8th, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Indian died in 1953…..This thing with the historic name is a butt ugly, over priced loser.

  24. 24 High Way May 8th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Indian din’t die in 1953. Was just kind of sleeping…

  25. 25 Burton May 8th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Well done, Stellican. Good luck.

  26. 26 Mike May 8th, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I am far less than excited. I’m not saying they won’t or can’t make it, I hope they do. I just think it stinks.

  27. 27 Christopher May 8th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Not for everybody, but still a beautiful bike. It will sell, for sure.

  28. 28 Christopher May 8th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    By the way, I notice that all the anti-indian people who commented negatively a few weeks ago stating that the new Indian will never be produced again have now disappeared from this site. Or they read and are silent. I think they still read. Interesting..

  29. 29 TBear May 8th, 2008 at 10:45 am

    OK, so it’s pretty but for 31K, I’d hunt down an old original Injun and get her running like new. THEN I’d have an Indian.
    Just my 2 cents.

  30. 30 sam May 8th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I have seen the new indian and it looks great I have sat on them and heard them run. Indian is not for everyone.
    This motorcycle is for people that don’t want a mass produce motorcycle like everyone else has.
    This motorcycle is a piece of history, not just anyone can walk into a Indian dealer ship and buy one of these, but belive me there will be a lot of Harley riders that would love to setp up to a Indian Chief.
    I ride a harley street glide now but would love to have a Indian Chief.

  31. 31 Johnny Firetire May 8th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I like your comment Sam, and it probably is not to far from the truth. 30k for a new old California Motorcycle Company, and… they have already planned on building 750 bikes in the first year. That is not obtainable for a new start up manufacture, and that is what they are. At that pace and price they will self-destruct in 3 years, and we will all see them and their crumbled dealer network at the auction again.

    And, Brett… I have no idea where you could possibly think that this Indian is just like a Titan or a Big Dog (those companies could not be farther apart). CMC or a Kawasaki Drifter, yes.

    I love to see the excitement of a new motorcycle company, but I also hate to see that company try to recoup their R&D cost up front with a 30 price tag, and push so many units out the door without establishing a solid dealer network that will essentially be the real R&D for this new company.

    Keep it real – good luck Indian

  32. 32 jspfc May 8th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    If Indian wants an exclusive group of buyers so be it. But with all the traffic on this site and comments on this topic, there is not one person who has said, “I am going to buy one.” If this is a case study, well you draw your own conclusion.

    And SLAG, GET A CLUE. I think everyone respects whay Cyril says, but people dont read this because they agree with everything Cyril says. That is the point of a blog, people sharing different opinions.

  33. 33 Slag May 8th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    jspfc GET A CLUE and learn how to spell first.

  34. 34 jspfc May 8th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Sorry didn’t use spell check, my bad. But hey, at least you’re original. What a joke.

  35. 35 Slag May 8th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    jspfc ,
    This is my final reply to you. Where did I say I agreed with everything Cyril said on here ? I just agreed on the Indian issue. Now get back to your spelling class and I won’t disturb you anymore.

  36. 36 jspfc May 8th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Here you go buddy. All you have to do is scroll up to your previous entry.

    “If I didn’t agree then I would not be reading his blogs on here.”

    Now go join the rest of the herd.

  37. 37 Seymour May 8th, 2008 at 3:59 pm


  38. 38 Sid May 8th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Slag – if you want to criticize another person’s spelling within a blog comment, consider checking your own grammar as well:

    “….If I didn’t agree then I would not be reading his blogs on here.”

  39. 39 Brent May 8th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Christopher. Like you I observe that those who were stating that Stellican was making empty promises and that the company would not release a bike before christmas have disappeared and don’t comment anymore!. I am thinking about buying one but I will not give a deposit until I see the Chief on a dealer’s floor and test ride it. Do we know about warranty?

  40. 40 Roy Soto May 9th, 2008 at 7:03 am

    I would like somebody to explain why some Indian lovers are so negative about the return of Indian with the Stellican company. The only reason I see is that these people are professionals making a living building replicas, fixing and restoring Indian bikes and are afraid to lose part of their business. To use Gilroy to bash Kings Point is childish. There are 2 different companies and as far as I understand what Cyril wrote the new company is very pro in its approach at returning new Indians on the road. Indian Motorcycle never died in the mind of many. The new Indian i’s a just a continuation, 2008 style, and I think the new Chief is beautiful.

  41. 41 Lyle May 9th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Uh, Sorry but Indian was not “America’s First Motorcycle.” I do wish the company well but I will stick to the old flatheads. The new one is obviously developed from a Harley Davidson/S&S/Evo design and isn’t what Indian would be building if they had been continuously producing since 1953. I’m not sure what the reference to AMF was in the earlier post unless it refers to HD being owned by them during the 70’s. The same thing could be said about Indian being owned by DuPont in the 30’s. Both DuPont and AMF kept their companies afloat during hard times and developed new innovations for their brands. This is a good thing not a negative. Again, I wish the new company well but untill I see running bikes and dealerships, I’ll be a skeptic. Building bikes is different than building boats. However they have come a long way. Good work!

  42. 42 Gomez May 9th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I do not make my living restoring or rebuiding vintage Indians, I however do own one. For my 2 cents, I’ve posted that I hope they make t, but fear they won’t, also, at $30K dealer markup, options, etc that is a lot to pay for a production m/c, period. Yep, I am not KMs target market, and yes, fools with money will step up to buy it because they can. Gilroy did the same marketing in the begining, selling the bikes at then an unheard price of $26k to Hollywood types. It sure worked for them, right?….

  43. 43 Lyle May 9th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I guess my biggest problem as an owner of an original is there’s been so many revivals of the name which have all been substandard bikes resulting in a cheapened reputation. I cringe everytime I hear another start up. My second concern is all the hype about being “America’s First Motorcycle” and other claims which it wasn’t. And the latest decade of new startups have based their bikes upon HD’s design. Separate tranny and engine resulting in an long powerplant and HD style primary covers. single cam engine based on an Evo. Oil tank not inside gas tank, Etc. funny thing is, Harley is starting to go to Indian’s old design: two cams, tranny bolted to the back of the engine etc. Having built both motorcycles and boats from scratch I know it’s harder to build a motorcycle with a proprietary engine but nontheless, they should use an Indian type design in my book. I realize much of the engineering has been worked out with their powerplant already but it’ll never be “Indian” in my way of thinking. Yeah, I wish them well as I’d rather have this company survive than to see yet another start up sometime in the future but I do have some concerns. Who knows, maybe if they are around when I retire and have a qualified dealer network, I’ll buy one…

  44. 44 J May 9th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Hmm… Yeah, if your target is 750 well-heeled consumers per year, if anything, Indian needs to bump UP the price a bit; Even if their per-unit cost basis is $20K, they’re looking at clearing just $7.5M net on the bikes, less whatever backend (warranty and misc) expenses they incur;

    I doubt that’s enough of a ramp-up to remain around very long.

    However, if this is just an excuse support the t-shirt and jacket business, as I suspected from the beginning, then this structure could work for Indian.

    It would be nice to see more differentiation from the previous generation model, which can be found on e-Bay for between $10-15K no problem- it seems to me as is, there will be an awkward conversation, trying to explain to friends that you have the new, NEW, Indian, not the new Indian- lol.

    Still a sweet looking bike, tho; Hope it works out for Indian.

  45. 45 Brett May 10th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Let’s see. I am not even close to hoping for Indian to fail. I just see a flaw in making a bike targeted at the rich. If I run a business, then I want as many people as possible to own my product. I guess I am not of the crowd that feels you buy a bike to put on display.

    Also, say what you like, but this is not a Real Indian no matter how you want to slice it. Stellican bought the Indian name from the last group that failed after they made a mass marketing attempt to get their bike in the Terminator 3 movie.

    Sorry, I just know for a fact the Novelty of motorcycles is over. I hope the rich collectors are still around to keep the company running.

  46. 46 pop May 11th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    OK. I own a Gilroy Chief. To the Hendee purists this. I have the title. It says Indian on it. It is what it is. End of story. Entertain fantasies of Indian dying in ’53 and being left to rot in the grave so you can get some kind of Joan of Arc martyr rush about preserving the heritage or whatever floats your boat. It was reborn umpteen times and this is another rebirth. The heritage continues with or without you or me.
    Stellican is no more my Indian than Gilroy was a Hendee Indian but they are all Indian. Let it go. You sound like my grandkids. It’s mine… no it isn’t… yes it is… no it isn’t. For crying out loud.
    I didn’t like the pricepoint either and it was clear as day to me a year ago that thirty would be a lowball. If these guys have done their homework, they have a strategic plan for either a drop in the motorsports market or a growth. Either way 30 to 40k is the number. 750 is the model run and if it makes it’s numbers next year will see something give. Lower base price? Another model? Higher unit production?
    As has been stated repeatedly, Stellican made their money restoring troubled iconic brands. It’s what they do and they have a track record. It’s not what I do. Do any of you?
    These guys made it a point to finance this adventure with their own money , I assume by not accepting capital from investors they avoid becoming beholden to investors and speculators that could force them to conduct business by committee. It’s their money and they chose to grow it at a pace they decided was appropriate. Unless any of us know better how to spend their money restoring an icon, we might be better served taking a wait and see position.
    My concern is that they don’t embarass the name. At first blush it doesn’t look like they will. It’s a good looking machine and the factory has proceeded cautiously. Time will tell if they fail or succeed.

  47. 47 Randy May 11th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Nice to read something intelligent from Pop.

  48. 48 Genodeluxe May 12th, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Snore zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    And Gee isnt this just the greatest way to
    get the young back on bikes and interested in the hobby again
    and only $30,000 and they are only building 750 bikes
    why not only build 75 bikes and sell them for $300,000
    or just one bike for 2.25 million. Such typical out of touch 2008 money manager mentality.

    How about a 750 Scout “Bonniville” styled minimal Indian for $11,000.
    And build 5000 bikes.

    Doubt if they will be around next year at this time

  49. 49 Jack Carter May 12th, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Genodeluxe. Do you know that in this very sluggish economy, upscale and high end items continue to have sales records? Reason? People with money are imune to a recession and make more money when things get tough for others.. Are you sure that in this economy it’s easier to sell 5000 bikes at $11,000 than 750 bikes at $30,000? Not me. I agree that the next Indian bike model should be a Scout. I bet for a Scout success at $19,000.

  50. 50 Lyle May 12th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Yeah, but it’s easier to build 750 bikes for more money each than 5000 for alot less. Hopefully some of the proceeds fromt eh first 750 bikes will enable the company to streamline their production which will enable them to eventually build 5000 bikes a year. I don’t think selling the 750 bikes is the problem, I would think building them is.

  51. 51 Hondo Cat May 12th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    The only way I can see Indian making a profit is to be unique and capitalize on their full figured fenders. Something in the way of Cyril’s Miami NIce would be nice…….

  52. 52 ray c wheeler May 16th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I really hope this will work out for Indian. God knows that they have tried for years. However I would of worked with the public to see what they would like to see in an opening model. I’m not really excited about this design and the cost of it as well.

  53. 53 John Kalathas Jun 17th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Looking forward to seeing them in Europe, soon.

  54. 54 Scott Jun 28th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    If you are complaining about the price the bikes are obviously not intended for you.

    Now I am not saying that I think they are worth $30k
    but to build a quality, American built bike this may just be a fair price.

    If you want a Fatboy go buy one.

    I bet these guys sell EVERY DAMN ONE they build.

  55. 55 Chris Christiansen Jul 11th, 2008 at 3:27 am

    I have to agree with the person who asked if Stellican will offer a somewhat smaller/lighter framed model closer to the original and to the KIWI replicas. With S&S flathead division ready to release their large c.i. HD kunckleheads and a 45 c.i. authentic Indian engine…it’s time to start putting our “real” updated indians with combo hand/foot and tank/foot clutch 4 and 5 speed transmissions. KIWI has a low pricepoint Sport Scout in the works…yes. Reduce the massive weight of these KM mega cruisers and make them more rider friendly with a viable price point and LOOK OUT H-D!!!! As Bill O’Reilly would opine………..”What say you?”

  56. 56 Die Fledermaus Sep 11th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Look the new Indian is interesting. Wake me when they build a scout and I mean a real scout looks and all with the modern technology.

  57. 57 John White Jan 3rd, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I am in the process of buying a new 2009 Indian from Mike Smith Indian. I own Crazy Horse Motorcyles which purchased the left over PowerPlus engines after the fall of Gilroy. We moved the factory to Kent, Washington. Our role is to keep the Gilroy 2002 through 2005 Chief owners on the road. We manufacture the engine and call it the V-Plus. We love the design of the Chief…..Gilroy and Stellican.

    I was a skeptic. Now I am one of the so-called fools puttting down 40K for a new Indian. It looks much like my 2003 Chief but I guess the only way for me to find out if this bike has been improved is to own one and ride the hell out of it.

    Am I still a skeptic? Well the bikes are on the dealer floor! It took about five years but better late than never.

    I am not sure how long this show is going to last. I am following the legal issues between the receiver and Audax and CMA. Stellican is not named directly so perhaps it will go away.

    I can see where hard core traditional Indian fans have an issue with the bike. It is a clone of the Gilroy Chief and that bike was not a traditional Indian. However, it was made for the tall person. It is longer than a Road King and more advanced with its mono-shock suspension. It is super heavy and bulky and has a feel of its own. Harley owners beware………….park next to one of these bikes and your Harley will not get noticed……………… will be just another of the thousands and thousands of Harley owners……… me that is worse than being a clone.

    Thanks Stellican for making a bike for the taller folks. I hope you are paying attention to the unfolding legal issues in Colorado. In January 2009 the guy in the Black Robe may very well define the future of Indian. That is not going to stop me from purchasing one. Indian will never die.

    As a manufacturer I can honestly say that it cost Stellican more than 40K to make these initial bikes. Ask Mike Thomas at Kiwi how much it cost him to make his Indian dream and he will tell you it was a lot more that his asking price.

    Good Luck to all in 2009

    John L. White
    CEO, Crazy Horse Motorcycles

  58. 58 angelo Feb 20th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    from Italy: INDIAN VINTAGE and INDIAN DELUX are the best bike of America!!!

  59. 59 John White Oct 1st, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Put 8500 miles on the 2009. End of story.

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Cyril Huze