after market starters

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Without a doubt Dave’s starter is a good piece of equipment, It would have been on my list if I didn’t have a functioning starter. I think if the battery technology we have today was around in 1975 the ES Commando would not have the bad reputation it has now as far as starting. I did systematic improvements on by bike, the battery is what made it a reliable starting bike.
Pete
The cheapo starter solenoid from the 1970s was the reason it got a bad reputation, or was it the motor?
 

Deets55

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The cheapo starter solenoid from the 1970s was the reason it got a bad reputation, or was it the motor?
I’m still using the original solenoid, which probably has solid copper contacts. Unless you really look around most of the newer ones are only plated. Seeing how the ES system was joking called “ starter assist “ by many and now looks like they can be made reliable by simply upgrading the wiring and battery I’m going to guess the high amp, small package battery solved the problem for many.
Pete
 

gtiller

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@Bernhard I would suggest the solenoid was not an issue at all compared to some of the other parts of the system.

Certainly not the reason it got a bad reputation - that was down to the sprag clutch failing.
 

Derek Wilson

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I installed an Alton this earlier this year. Had already installed a Mk4 Boyer and an LED battery status monitor. I had a Sparx 3 phase prior to this, and was removed when the Alton was installed. I now use a Podtronics for my regulation/rectification needs. I am running an 11.2 Ah battery with 230CCA - starts the bike with ease. It is the same battery used in 1200cc Hondas and others. I also had to install switch gear for the starter - I am using an XS650 Yamaha LHS SG and had no RHS SG. I found a simple compact unit on Amazon, which also embodies a kill switch, which I wired to my Boyer.

My bike is equipped with all LED lighting, and the lesser output Alton alternator seems to keep up no problem.

Other than some initial charging system issues, which were eventually narrowed down to a faulty alternator rotor (which Alton were very cooperative in diagnosing and providing replacement parts - free of charge), I have had no issues with the Alton. I have not used my kickstart even once after the Alton was installed.

Alton builds a quality product that is easy to install, and their service support is great. Very pleased.

Hope this helps.
 
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L.A.B.

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The cheapo starter solenoid from the 1970s was the reason it got a bad reputation, or was it the motor?

A standard size 850 Mk3 battery (left) next to a BMW flat twin battery from the same period and even that would occasionally struggle to start my little BMW 750 R75/7 on a frosty morning after being left outside all night but is yet another example of why the Mk3 starter didn't perform too well.
 
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@Bernhard I would suggest the solenoid was not an issue at all compared to some of the other parts of the system.

Certainly not the reason it got a bad reputation - that was down to the sprag clutch failing.
I suspect it wasn't just a bad sprag but the mating surfaces may have been soft. The sprag completely locked on my last failure with the Boyer firing way advanced and a good close inspection revealed the surfaces were damaged in more than just the place where it was jammed at the time. New parts from AN and a sprag from VXB have proved totally reliable. I have a sneaking suspicion that QC may have been poor back in the day;). Poorly charged battery and way undersized cables undoubtedly contributed.
 

Derek Wilson

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A standard size 850 Mk3 battery (left) next to a BMW flat twin battery from the same period and even that would occasionally struggle to start my little BMW 750 R75/7 on a frosty morning after being left outside all night but is yet another example of why the Mk3 starter didn't perform too well.
Noticed the same thing with my R100RT - hard cranking old brute. Be interesting to see what a gear reduction starter would do on an airhead....
 

L.A.B.

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Noticed the same thing with my R100RT - hard cranking old brute. Be interesting to see what a gear reduction starter would do on an airhead....

My R75/7 (owned for 39 years) now has a more powerful (1.2 kW but lighter and more compact) Arrowhead starter motor which has no trouble cranking it at all. Edit: Although it's garaged and sub-zero (°C) early morning starts, thankfully, are a thing of the past.

(Apologies for drifting off-topic).
 
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Lineslinger

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A standard size 850 Mk3 battery (left) next to a BMW flat twin battery from the same period and even that would occasionally struggle to start my little BMW 750 R75/7 on a frosty morning after being left outside all night but is yet another example of why the Mk3 starter didn't perform too well.

In other words applicable AMPS?
 

Knucles

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I just ordered a CNW starter kit , electronic ignition , single 12 volt coil with wires .
i think they have a good system ,
i am sure the Alton system is good as well .
i have ordered a lot of parts lately so when I start the rebuild I have most items here ....
 

Fast Eddie

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I just ordered a CNW starter kit , electronic ignition , single 12 volt coil with wires .
i think they have a good system ,
i am sure the Alton system is good as well .
i have ordered a lot of parts lately so when I start the rebuild I have most items here ....
You will not be in any way disappointed...
 
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Looks like it's available now...

Thanks. Ordered in.
 
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Fitted an Alton 3 years ago. I have the standard triplex primary so no issues there.
Replaced the complete ignition system as I had an old Boyer.
Bigger battery.
No issues until recently I have fitted a relay as the standard switchgear wasn’t working properly
It doesn’t seem that many other people have this issue. Will revisit it over the winter.
Given the same circumstances I’d buy the Alton again, no problem.
 

grandpaul

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I always thought the VR880 starters done by Tom Reid for Kenny Dreer was the simplest answer: One modification to the inner primary cover, one bracket, slightly modify and drill the transmission cradle, bolt a ring gear to a belt drive clutch basket, install an OldBritts belt tensioner and a Sportster starter with a half-handful of hardware, and you're all set.

The biggest issue is ensuring your clutch basket is as near-perfectly centered as possible (highly dependent on a perfectly true mainshaft).

If you have a mill and lathe, it can all be done for well under a grand, the biggest chunk of that being the ring gear and belt drive setup.
IMG_7809.JPG
 
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grandpaul

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And cNw and Alton cater for those who don’t...
I'll bet I could get a small/cheap lathe & mill at Harbor Freight for about a grand...

hee hee

"A man's got to know his limitations"
-"Dirty" Harry Callaghan, in Magnum Force
 
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Facebook links to some images of my Alton install onto a bike that had a 32mm belt installed
Post 1
Post 2
 
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