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Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby jseng1 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:37 pm

pete.v wrote:I would love to have a Trispark, I would also love to have Joe Hunt unit.
I do have a Pazon sure fire which has proven to be simply outstanding particularly for the money. You just cannot go wrong with this 7.5 year warrentee, $125 delivered, simple install unit. Awesome power curve, solid idle.

I sure would love to have a Trispark though, or a Joe Hunt mag.


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Who's bad boy is this?
With the big single flatlside Mikuni and the Hunt mag?
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby pete.v » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:59 pm

jseng1 wrote:Image

Who's bad boy is this?


Some girls, I guess. Some kinda wise, bad ass girl. Or is it a wise ass bad girl.

My opinion is just too darn harsh and will sure offend more than a few if I chose to expound.

To keep it simple and clean, my bike, the way it is, seems to demand the kind of spark and function that only a Mag can deliver. I have ran the Power Arc gammut to a degree where very few have, three separate units, multitudes of curves, multispark and single spark, advance and no advance. My SureFire has been a mainstay and It's no secret that it's the best bang for the buck, but even that does not bring out the best of what i have.
I will not say, nor profess, that what I have is the best for everybody, far from it, only that i went through a lot of time and money to get the best out of what i have. Period.
My cruising sweet spot is 87mph at 5000rpm but I must slug along at 80 just because it's practical.
Now I think I will slip on a skirt and go for a ride.
Debate away, but for me, it relative.

FWIW This thread is well over 2 years old.
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby Fast Eddie » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:08 am

I thought you chime in soon Pete!

It i sclera that you mag fans really are indeed fans of your mags, so they must be good in reality, even I realise that!

Can you tell us what aspects of it that particularly appeal over other systems?
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby hobot » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:28 am

Kelly George's flat tracker had PVL ignition that was magneto like & fit in normal area under sealed primary cover. Pete has a killer diller there, except for the hindrance of only a single carb, like I saw on a winning flat tracker. Powerarc seems good to most other brands, seeing Honda CB750 and other cycle model devoted forums loving em after searching Powerarc + problems/fualts etc. Still it may not be up to Norton twin needs - w/o the plasma feature added.
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby acotrel » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:01 am

I like magnetos because you don't have to worry about maintaining batteries which on a race bike usually feed total loss systems. My very small battery lasts 4 races at a one day meeting and becomes doubtful on the next day. I hate rotating coil magnetos, their failures have cost me heaps in not being able to race when I've already paid the entry fees, fuel and food to get there. On the technical side, the magneto is probably good up to a point especially if you are using methanol which doesn't cause the motor to bog down if it is slightly rich. I still believe there is a lot to be gained in midrange power by playing with different carb. needles, and ignition timing curves. If you get out of the corners faster, your top speed at the ends of the straights is higher, especially if you can pull slightly higher gearing. If your bike tightens it's line coming through corners, and you've got a lot of midrange torque and decent gearbox, life can be bliss. All you need do then is avoid hitting other riders.
What happens to the Joe Hunt magneto if you chuck the bike down on that side ?
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby mschmitz57 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:27 am

Wow. That's some serious "ugly" bolted-on right there. Can't that thing be mounted inboard?
Must make a real mess of the engine if the bike gets layed-over.
When I see this contraption sticking out like that, all I can think of is a movie quote by Arnold Schwartzengeger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1wzQNzttSk

Image[/url]

(kidding...)
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby auldblue » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:59 am

Mark, why don't you just say what you think and stop dressing your words up?

I am thinking about getting one of those " ugly mothers" for my pile of bits, nothing to do with the fact that those who run them say their bikes go great with them. It's purely esthetic.
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby mschmitz57 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:17 am

I was just trying to keep the conversation "lively" (and I was kidding). I guess I took the "blue" pill this morning.
The JH mag certainly does make a statement. Not sure I buy the argument that it makes much difference on a 40 year old, 65hp road bike. If Kenny Cummings wins races with Power Arc ignitions they must be pretty good (of course it's more about the rider anyway, not the bike).
I'll say this, the JH mag does give the bike "character".
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby OldBalz » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:58 am

I've had a Tri-Spark on my 850 for the last three years and it is well worth the money that I spent for it. I had a Boyer on it and it was nothing but trouble, even with replacing the soldered leads on the pickup plate with the mod kit, it is still a piece of crap IMO.

I wouldn't spend a penny on anything that Boyer makes. Again just my opinion, there are some out there that have had success with a Boyer......not me and many others that I know of.

Tri-Spark, Pazon and Power Arc seem to have a good reputations though.
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby pete.v » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:44 am

Fast Eddie wrote:Can you tell us what aspects of it that particularly appeal over other systems?


It works over other systems. I don't know if it's my particular cam and cam timing (JS1 with 10 degrees advanced), All I can say is that what I have works the best for my machine. What the fuck is wrong with that.

I have said it a number of time, If there was something else that worked better, I would have it on there. I am, for the most part, unable to leave well enough alone, but I got to tell, my bike is there. I have diddled with this for the past 5 years now. What kind of idiot would do this? I raise my hand. So you see, this is not about boasting or showing off for I feel comfortable enough with the company I keep here to stick my foolishness out there for all to see.

Ugly? I'm sorry if you don't like it, nobody said you had to. If any of you find your way to Grand Rapids, please, stop by and take a spin. We'll see how ugly you think it is after that. BIITEOTB

To Each his own, you sons of a bitches. And you know who you are. :P :lol:
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby hobot » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:25 am

LOL! What'd expect here Pete - as who'd believe someone who also claims to prefer a a single carb on a Commando, sheeze. I'm waiting to hear your complaints of short life of rear tires myself. In meantime you can smirk on knowing you've impressed Jim Schimdt with what you've settled on.

Still after looking for any other cycle brands or people running into downsides with their Powerarc, I can not find any but pleasing reports, but for Commandos, which does concern me.
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby Fast Eddie » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:10 am

pete.v wrote:
Fast Eddie wrote:Can you tell us what aspects of it that particularly appeal over other systems?


It works over other systems. I don't know if it's my particular cam and cam timing (JS1 with 10 degrees advanced), All I can say is that what I have works the best for my machine. What the fuck is wrong with that.

I have said it a number of time, If there was something else that worked better, I would have it on there. I am, for the most part, unable to leave well enough alone, but I got to tell, my bike is there. I have diddled with this for the past 5 years now. What kind of idiot would do this? I raise my hand. So you see, this is not about boasting or showing off for I feel comfortable enough with the company I keep here to stick my foolishness out there for all to see.

Ugly? I'm sorry if you don't like it, nobody said you had to. If any of you find your way to Grand Rapids, please, stop by and take a spin. We'll see how ugly you think it is after that. BIITEOTB

To Each his own, you sons of a bitches. And you know who you are. :P :lol:


What I was asking Pete, is did you find it a better stater? Smoother idle? Any Increase in power? Etc? You seem to have detected a sarcasm in my question that was not there my friend (well not this time at least)!

I like Tri Spark because; on previous Brit bikes I've detected an increase in power (5bhp when replacing a Boyer on a tuned BSA triple) and improved starting, plus smoother / more reliable idle, plus better 'just off idle' power on a T160 when replacing an otherwise excellent Lucas Rita (I actually changed that purely as an experiment and didn't expect any improvement).
As the Commando is a twin, the Tri Spark has the added advantage (in my book at least) of being simple, with no separate black box etc. Of course, it is still a complex black box of black magic inside however...
And that is why I actually like magnetos. I like the fact they are utterly independent of the rest of the electrical system and the fact that they're not a black box of black magic inside. On the contrary really, they are a robust device that's been serving us well for well over 100 years in applications from stationary engines to warplanes. I would definitely consider one on my next build, but probably only if I have issues with the Tri Spark.

So, in summary, IMHO there is nothing "the fuck wrong with that" at all! And as you have actually experimented with other systems (in real life too) and have therefore had the ability to compare the mag back-to-back with other set ups, I hoped you might tell us what aspects of the mag appeal to you in particular, over these other systems.

I'm still hoping you might, will it help if I apologise for saying mags are for girls...?!
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby acotrel » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:36 pm

If I was not so lazy, I would machine the back of the crankcases and fit a rotating magnet magneto where it is supposed to go. Because I am using methanol fuel, in a situation where the carburettors can cope (low comp.) , fixed advance is not really a problem. There is potential for improving mid-range torque by using the optimum timing curve, however the reliability trade-off makes the magneto option attractive. However only in the case of a rotating magnet unit. If it is the rotating coil type - forget it.
I really like the Lucas SR type magnetos - they are as cheap as chips, the capacitor is on the outside where it is cool and easily replaced (not inside the windings of the armature), internal earthing is not a problem because only the magnet spins. You can replace all the bits yourself and they are all off the shelf items. You find those old magnetos of lots of old farm machinery, stationary engines and marine engines, and they work beautifully. I use an SR4 for many years on a bike revving to 10,000 RPM and it never missed a beat, I had two leads to each spark plug. My friend still uses an SR2 on this Bonneville based racing Triton, he puts an 83 year old good rider on it and nobody catches him in a Period 3 historic race - ever.
This was a long time ago, however the man in the blue leathers still rides at the Broadford Bonanza each year :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbnGGl3m4KY
Last edited by acotrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby pete.v » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:56 pm

Apologies back to you Eddie. I can't resist the chance to rant when I see a window of opportunity.

Although this may be good pub material, we are in only on page 2 of this thread.

My crank is stock along with rods and pistons so the short black, albeit rebuilt and tightened up, is rather generic. The thing that set me on a quest is the cam, and the radius lifter setup. The cam has some "come on" points, if you will, but not so radical that it can't be made streetable. After installing it, it seems, and still does, feel more than a stage one cam but as a back yard seat of the pants mechanic, I have only the stock cam to compare it to.

Mine was and is a trial by fire sort of process. I have no hard data or notes to share. My work was finding the most complete range of performance I could attain. It is amazing how dependent we are on the best possible idle we can get and it was always known and mentioned by JS the it was sure to be somewhat lumpy. It became obvious after trying different twin carb setups that 2 carbs and this cam would never be streetable for me. The story of the current tm40 can be found through the search. No need to go into that here.

The key word here is "streetable". Now that the I found a carb that would run with this setup, I now had to find that spark to drive it through the complete range, that is from the instance off idle to beyond redline (whatever that is with these radius lifters). Hence the Magnito!

So the end justifies the means here, for me anyways. My idle is still lumpy, atractive to some, but solid at 1500rpm. The bike is rather cold blooded and will pop a bit till hot, this may be due to the big carb. But then when fully warmed and drawing well it's truly something different from what it was before.

All this being said, this is just the motor and the running of it. All of the other things like primary drive, gearbox, wheels, bearings, brake and the endless list of required complement, have not gone without their due diligence.

Eddie, as mentioned, I don't have data or notes, but I think as a racer and experienced as you are, you can read between my lines and get the jist of what I have done and what I have. If there is any detail I might be able to expound on let me know and I will try to oblige.

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Re: Power Arc brand electronic ignition vs ?

Postby acotrel » Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:06 pm

Pete, If you own a big old British twin and don't fit a race cam into it, you are not a real man. If the motor stops spitting back through the carbs before it has warmed up, you've got it jetted too rich. In this life you have to learn how to have fun.
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