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· Former '05er
12,590 Posts
It looks like they are trying to do a poorman's CDI. There are a LOT of considerations to ignition, and a hotter spark isn't necessarily a good thing. I imagine the magazines will get some of these and test them right next to a big Nology ad and claim some kind of hp advantage and Nology will sell them like hotcakes. Kinda like the grounding kits, but the fallacy of those things is another post.

Unfortunately, not everyone will see the "improvements." One of the things I learned when I spend a couple of years developing a working ignition for one of my bikes was ignition beyond what is needed to light off the mixture is not only an energy waste, but it can cause some undesirable side effects. The other thing that is really critical to understand, the breakover voltage for the gap depends entirely on the conductivity of the a/f mixture. Once breakover occurs, it's just current flow that keeps the spark going. A capacitor installed the way they describe only lengthens the current flow phase of the energy discharge, and that's not necessarily good.

What I found to be true is when the a/f mixture is right, even a very modest spark will work just fine. The more powerful the spark, the easier it is to mask bad a/f ratios because the more powerful spark lights off mixtures you wouldn't want to work.

As an example, Honda bikes from years past are notorious for weak ignitions. They work just fine in stock form, but as soon as you raise the compression ratio, you need to address the no-longer working ignition system. In truth, the problem is more with tuning than with upgrading ignition, because as the pressure goes up you need more spark energy to jump the gap, but again, if the mixture is right on the money, it will work. If the mixture is off, you need a bigger spark just to get the thing to run, so many tuners installed hotter ignitions to "correct" the problem, even though the root of the problem was incorrect a/f ratio.

What I found with my own bike at the drag races was pretty typical. The right a/f ratio got me a 126+ trap speed. One step too lean got me 122, one step too rich got me 122. Because I had done a bunch of work to the ignition (hotter coils and better output transistors to handle the hotter coils), the engine ran both too rich and too lean. Had I not "fixed" the ignition, it would have broken up hard either rich or lean and trap speed would have been MUCH lower.

So what I suspect will happen is there will be reports of measured hp gains, and people will buy these things, believing they are gaining power, when in fact there is little to be gained at all unless their engines are in poor tune anyway. They'd be better off to address the tuning issues than to spend a lot of money on ignition stuff.
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