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Which Electronic system


I am in the process of restoring a 1972 Roadster which is fitted with points, should I change to electronic ignition? If so which one is best?

Thanks for your help


Lots of choice, I would look for a system that Won't break your leg if the voltage is low,  Sensitive gubbins not shut away in a hot engine, An advance curve that  gets close to what God intended. Timing that can be set without  chasing a  screaming beast round the garage. Don't like the idea of wasted spark, Is there such a thing made ?. Perhaps I ask for too much . Perhaps its why I'm still fiddling with points.


as Robert said they are a lot out there......I had pazon fitted in my commando MK3  it kept cutting out at around the 90 mph mark dont think it was all down to that but I have now fitted....yes the one in the timing case LOL the Trispark and it works great ...but the choice is yours ! 


A points ignition works quite well if properly adjusted and if the auto advance works. As it is mostly mechanical, even people without electrical knowledge can make them work. Quite easy to get timing right. Might been lucky but I can only remember 3 times I've had any problem with magnetos, points or electronic ignitions. Even my first bike then over 30 years old with points and waisted spark worked well back in the sixties. So you can start with points ignition, if everything seems in good condition. An electronic ignition can always be fitted later.


Used mine for many hours in 39 C of heat and had no problems. 16K on it and no issues. 


I too am not a great fan of wasted spark systems but they do work well with Twins (not so much with Triples etc.). It cuts down on the electronics component count (and thus cost to a degree). I had the Tri Spark Classic Twin on my Mk2A and it worked well. That replaced an earlier Tri Spark 'black-box' system that was not wasted spark i.e. it had two separate circuits for each coil and triggered them separately. That system was derived from the Tri Spark Triple system which triggered all three coils individually - these systems were both great and I'm not sure why they discontinued the Twin version (perhaps having two different products for the Twins was seen as 'overkill'). Some folk (understandably) are concerned about the heat the Tri spark Classic Twin unit is subjected to but it is designed for such an environment.

I would personally go with either Tri Spark or Pazon but they are a couple of the pricier options. 


Have Boyer fitted to my 69 TR6C and 73 850 Commando. Probably the cheapest option. No issues. They both start 1st kick. Usual advantages of EI. Fit and forget, increased plug gap, smoother running, more power etc. Have to factor in new 6v coils to the price.






Used Boyer 15 years before any issues and Wasells now for 5 years with no issues on t120r. On dommies still on points with no issues on that system. Cheers hugh


Pazon Smartfire on my Commando 850. Works well with reliable tickover (no stalling when stopping at lights etc.). Set static timing (a bit fiddly)  and then checked with strobe and it was exactly right. Later fitted a Smartfire to Velo. MSS with good results.


I'd recommend the "TriSpark". Easy installation, no "black box", LED-timing feature and an "anti knocking effect", i.e., enginge doesn't fire back. Timing incease matches (for example) my MKIII ideally. Also working with rather flat battery. Can be started at 10°C, with constant tickover from the moment.


Whilst having no personal experience with them, they are very highly thought of in the Italian bike world, especially by Morini owners, so I would expect them to be good.




No mention of the Lucas RITA. Yes old system from the 70s but the funny thing is a lot of bikes still use RITA as it works. Mistral the company that produced the bike option on the Lucas amplifier have gone, but I still repair and supply spares for these units. Bear in mind Boyer Bransden has gone through many versions since the 70s. Why the aversion to wasted spark? The pistons on the 360 degree twin go up and down together so why not have one ignition point? 

I think there's two stator coils and rotor magnets that give the wasted spark to ensure the average  of both ignition signals will give the exact same timing to both cylinders. Other wise they would have to fit two separate systems eg. the twin points setup.

My TriSpark just failed last month sadly it was well out of warranty. TriSpark told me there had been a few of the early heat hardened models like mine fail and the latest model had been upgraded to resolve this. I bit the bullet and bought a new stator.   

Happy days, starts even better and goes like stink. 


There is only the one ignition pulse, as it happens there are two magnets passing two coils at exactly the same time generating the one pulse-hence spark. There is no need for twin systems as the pistons rise and fall together, hence ignition point is the same.

I assume you had some discount on the new Trispark ignition, as they admitted their failure. 

In reply to by alan_osborn


Hi Alan, a discount? pigs would fly first I reckon. Nice thought though.

I may have gotten mixed up here, but I was attempting to answer the question of why do all the EI have a wasted spark?

I think that to get rid of the wasted spark there would be two signal coils one for each pot and one magnet. If so say due to the fit and slop of the stator the alone there would be difficulties getting both cylinders timed exactly the same. By having two coils two magnets any discrepancy is eliminated giving accurate timing of both cylinders and resulting in a wasted spark. Swings and roundabouts?



There are reviews of electronic ignition in 2013 -14 Roadholders (first is Nov 2013), There is further info in some 2017 editions. Look at the 'articles index' on the 'Roadholder' page of this website (you need to be logged-in).



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