I'd heard a lot about electronic ignition. If you're not the type who enjoys playing around with the ignition and points and so on then this may be the way forward. I'd heard that once fitted, you can forget all about it. Set it up once and that's it. I went off to investigate..
I found a Boyer electronic ignition unit at Hitchcocks. I rang them up. I'm not an electrical wizard so I needed some reassurance that even I could fit the thing if I bought it. I was told that even without the advanced strobe timing light and such, it was easily done if one followed the instructions that come with the unit. I was also told that any technical support, if needed, was only a phone call away. That said, I ordered the thing.
There's not a lot to it. A sealed box unit of electronic wizardry with 5 wires hanging out of it, two plates, (one metal with magnets, one plastic with two coils and wiring hanging off said coils) and a bolt. It all looked innocent enough.
Instructions were simple enough too. Disconnect the battery. Then I had to dismount the saddle and my electrics cover to get to the coil. Then I had to identify the positive side of the coil. My eyes aren't what they were but eventually I found a '+' mark. So far, so good.
I mounted the unit in the left hand toolbox, drew the wiring out though the back of the toolbox and proceeded to hook it all up. One wire goes to earth, one to the coil, two to the electronic timing plate and one to the old wire that connected to the old points. That bit went well enough.
The points and auto advance mechanism has to be removed from the distributor and then you have to find top dead centre. I have a tool to help me with this.
Once found, the metal plate with the magnets gets mounted on the distributor spindle. Insert the bolt but don't tighten it fully yet, according to the instructions. Then mount the plastic plate and set it up turned as far anticlockwise as it can be. Then you line up the magnets on the metal plate with the coils on the plastic plate so they all form a direct line across the plates. Tighten the metal plate and then rotate the plastic plate clockwise to midways between advance and retard. Tighten everything. That's it.
With a good degree of trepidation, I decided to fire it up. Reconnect the Battery, fuel on, ignition on, kill switch to 'run', start help on and give it a swift kick.
OK, two kicks..
VROOM..!! Thumper fired up! Success. Woohoo! I ran round the shed with my arms in the air...
Then I had to reassemble the bike with all the bits I'd pulled off it to make the wiring and so on accessible, but what the hey, that was the easy bit.
I think I got lucky. I didn't have to adjust anything or fiddle about with the plates to get the timing right. I think I was lucky enough to have hit the nail on the head at the first try, which is not something I'm used to but the simple result is that I converted Thumper to electronic ignition within hours and he runs like a good 'un.
Which proves that even with as limited electrical skill as I have, anyone could fit this sort of thing.
Roll on Springtime...
I took Thumper out for a test run today. It wasn't good at the start. Misfires and poor acceleration. I was ready for this and made roadside adjustments to the timing, advancing it slightly. The difference was tremendous. Ready response, even tick over and an eager engine that wants to run and run quickly. Had it not been so cold, I'd still be out there.
This is a success.