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Which Electronic Ignition ?



I am looking to upgrade to Electronic ignition and wondering on owners views on the different options.

I have read Pazon seems to be favoured however I am unsure what benefits it offers over Boyen or others.

Thank you.

Regards Andrewc




What is wrong with your current EI that needs upgrading would help in knowing which alternative to recommend. If its just old and worn then the Boyer MK4, Pazon Surefire or the Wassell Vape are all pretty much the same function wise and will behave better than the Boyer MK3 at lower battery voltages. If you want added features then that depends on what features you are looking for.


As above not sure whats wrong with your current set up to upgrade but had a Boyer on my T120R since 2003/4 which failed after about 15 years. Replaced with a Wassell as seemed more substantial in design although 15 years was pretty good I guess Starts now first or second  time easily and been on about 2 years with no faults so far. When Boyer was failing could not find fault and wished it still had points etc as may have been easier to track the fault down. Hence left the 59 Dommie as standard.points although not mastered the art of first kick start yet and sometimes think why not change, Good luck Regards, Hugh



Currently on points so I am considering electronic as an upgrade.

Regards Andrew 


I am currently rebuilding a MK3 which I brought in pieces it was fitted with a boyer mk3 but as I plan to get the electric start working and don't want " kick back" I intend to upgrade the ignition so I am following this with interest, I have been interested in the Pazon Altair which is digital but haven't been able to find much info on it, has anybody used one?


Pazon and Tri Spark both publicise their product's 'anti-kickback' feature. Basically it retards the timing even further than normal when kicking-over. It certainly worked for me on my Commando (Tri Spark) and was kind to my ankle and Alton starter. I'm unsure as to whether they're suitable for the Norton Lightweights with regard to physical fitment and timing curve etc. (best to check with the manufacturer).


Only the more expensive digital Pazons have the anti kickback feature, the Trisparks have a low but troublesome failure rate and also are affected by some rect/reg which is difficult to track down.

I use a Voltage Buck set to 12V to guarantee 12V to my Boyer even when the starter drops the system voltage below 12V.


Hi Alan,

I removed an old MK3 Boyer from my Commando and replaced it with a Pazon Altair.

It starts easier and without kick back (even below 12v), idles better and now pulls like a train!

It's also easier to set up and strobe as full ignition advance is reached at 3000rpm.

I thinks it's the only system available with a similar advance curve to the original mechanical advance/retard unit.  


Only downside is it's expensive because I had to source it directly from NZ with all the extra import duty and taxes to be paid. 

Maybe there's a UK supplier nowadays? 




I have had the Pazon Altair for about 4 or 5 years now and it works faultlessly. It replaced a Boyer that was many years old and was becoming intermittent. Also had problems with low volts when using the starter. The bike would whirr over happily on the button but not fire until I released the button, then sometimes it would start. No such problems with the Pazon, and on the odd occasion that I kick start it just for nostalgia, it does not kick back.

There are many UK suppliers, just look on the Pazon web site.



Thanks everybody for your replies,  as I live in New Zealand Pazon is reasonably local so when I get to the ignition stage I will probably buy one.


Thank you everyone for their input.

Regards Andrew  


And by all means which ever ignition you will install use a strobo lamp to get the correct timing!

Despite my "correct" timing marks on the rotor an stator of my Navigator the timing of my Boyer was 20° off towards TDC! 

That has cost me three new pistons, costs for boring and honing and a lot of time to rebuilt the engine!

Will make a test ride today with hopefully correct timing!


1. Check timing marks for strobe are correct using piton stop and degree wheel.

2. Before first ride strobe the timing.

Boyer has the strobe step in all its instructions, this is the Navigator version.

23. Start engine and run for 4 to 5 minutes to warm up. Connect the strobe lamp and time with the engine running up to 50OO R.P.M. This is done by moving the stator plate on its slotted holes. If the timing is not obtainable before the end of the adjustment, the magnetic rotor will need to be slackened off and moved a small amount until the timing can be obtained.

Its there for ;-

1. Timing marks cannot be trusted, all it takes in a new alternator rotor to be fitted with the keyway in the wrong place. A lot can happen in 50 years or repairs and wear.

2. The electronic components all have tolerances on their properties, these will affect the circuit's reaction to the pulse from the cam mounted rotor. I have changed the box only and found an 8 degree change was needed, in the few seconds it took to strobe the pipes went blue.

Great to hear the rebuild is complete Ulrich, let us know how the test ride goes and all the very best of luck with running the freshly rebuilt engine in - its sure to be tight so steady as she goes and re-torque the heads as discussed.   

Andrew, a12v conversion, the wonderful Pazon electronic ignition and accurately timing using a strobe has completely transformed my Navigator both in ease of starting, perfect tick over, noticeably better performance, smoothness, cooler running and reliability!   Just in case you don't know the Lightweight twins weren't built with timing marks.   You need to mount a timing disc on the end of the crankshaft, make up a 'pointer' to bolt on to the primary chain case or one of the stator bolts and then use a TDC finder tool to accurately establish TDC.   Having statically timed the ignition using the 'red dot' on the rotor use a strobe to fine tune the timing to achieve a maximum advance of 24 deg BTDC.   Take care, the primary drive is fully exposed as you time it!!!     

Cheers   Nick



For your information on is details of a 'make your own' timing pointer to fix on the stator. You have to mark the rotor accordingly of course. And details of 12V and a Wipac originated wiring diagram. Covers all Lightweights.


Hi Andrew - you don't say which Lightweight you have. Jubilee & Navigator are 6v bikes, whilst Electra is 12v. To convert to 12v, ask Al Oz or myself.

Most modern Electronic Ignition systems run at 12v (although a Pazon 6v system was on eBay a few days ago), so Jubilee & Nav will need an upgrade (but you keep your 6v coils as both are fired together- bonus!). The Electra is already 12v, but oddly - you may need to buy 2x 6v coils!

As stressed by several comments above, timing is critical on these short-stroke bikes. Pencil down the plug-hole is not good enough to determine TDC.

1) You need a piston-stopper (old type detachable spark plug with bolt down the middle), a timing disc & a strobe.

2) Fixup timing disc. I find it sits on top of the thick alternator retaining washer & just clears the alternator. Estimate & mark TDC with a wire pointer.

3) Park the pistons at BDC - insert piston stopper & rotate engine gently (4th gear & use back wheel) in one direction until the piston stops - note the reading on your disc. Now rotate the engine the other way until the piston stops again - and note the 2nd reading. If the two readings coincide, you are a genius! Normally, there will be a few degrees variance - Example 39⁰ one way & 35⁰ the other way. The difference is 4⁰, half of that is 2⁰ - move your pointer by 2 degrees - & then check you are getting the piston to stop at 37⁰ on both sides. YOU NOW HAVE TRUE Top Dead Centre.

4) Follow the makers instructions for fitting the unit.

5) If all is well, the bike will now start. and you will need to check/adjust the maximum advance with a strobe as follows: Jubilee - 32⁰ Fully advanced Navigator - 24⁰ Fully Advanced Electra - 30⁰ Fully advanced


Various comments above state issues with Boyer. I have had a Boyer fitted to my Commando for years, and some time ago (by substitution) I spotted that my amplifier box was faulty. I sent it back to Boyer for testing - & I got it back "no fault found", with a helpful sheet advising me to check a couple of items. 1) It was definitly faulty when I sent it to them. 2) The 'potting' was fresh - so they did have it apart. 3) It now worked - so whatever they did, they fixed it. 4) The helpful sheet (with a couple of items highlited) was useful - I did have a fault in my wiring!

10/10 for Boyer - FullMarks - A1 Service - so I will recommend them time & again........


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