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Alton with Lucas rita

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by baz, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Does anyone on here use an alton electric starter with Lucas Rita ignition?ie does the Lucas go to full advance when the volts drop like a Boyer,or does it just not spark?
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  2. dynodave

    dynodave

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    top secret.... hidden since written Jan 2001;)
    And your characterization of the boyer ANALOG is not correct.
    It was researched in depth and a visit with Ernie Bransden & engineer at Boyer confirmed my results.
    http://atlanticgreen.com/boyerevolved.htm

    Biggest problem will be that the two systems alton/rita clash technically.
    Alton charging seems soft VS rita has a 98% current duty cycle and eats electricity like crazy. Normally I suggest MKIII owners run a 3 phase 180/210 watt charging system. A dying battery will eventually result unless the engine is spun at high RPM.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  3. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Ok thank you for that
    It looks like I'll be looking for a new ignition system
    Cheers
     
  4. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    The RITA is probably the system to use with an electric start.

    I had RITA on a Guzzi, which is not comprehensive experience, I know.
     
  5. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    RITA was standard equipment on electric leg T140s, so it should work... I ASSUME.

    But like dynodave says, they are power hungry systems.

    Tri-Spark draws less current. It also has anti kick back functionality that might be of benefit with an Alton.
     
  6. Nortoniggy

    Nortoniggy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Well I am about to find out as I have had RITA for 40+ years and it's always been good. Even when battery was low it didn't kick back when starting. I now have an Alton starter which I am in the process of fitting, once I've replaced the worn out cam & followers I discovered. The Alton alternator is 150 watts and my Lucas alternator was 150 watts so I don't envisage a problem even though the RITA is a bit power hungry. Watch this space.

    Ian
     
  7. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Try what you’ve got.

    You’ll have breakdowns with Trispark.
     
  8. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    FWIW, I've had the TriSpark on my Commando for over 10 years now and the last time I did anything to it was when I installed it! My experience with it has been excellent. I know there have been reports of problems; I can only say that I have not experienced any of them. The Alton has been on my bike since '12. The Alton/TriSpark have worked well together along with the Shorai 18AH battery (also installed in '12). Additional FWIW: the Shorai has lasted longer than any motorcycle battery of any motorcycle I have ever owned by a factor of 3! :)
     
  9. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    The problems with the Trisparks seemed to start with the electrics being moved into the engine, I never downloaded the specs of the first twin Trispark model but that had a separate box as per the Triple and was not wasted spark, never heard of one of these giving issues. Sure the support is excellent and the failure rate is low but still enough for spare boxes being carried as spares so will not be trying one. If they ever revert to the old design then it would be top of the list.
     
  10. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Mine is the one in the engine. That's one reason I bought it. I didn't want a separate box. Frankly, until the self-contained Trispark came out, I had no intention of "going back" to E-ignition. The Boyer that was on the bike when I bought it was terrible - kickbacks even with timing set correctly, weak spark in general, non-optimum advance curve for the engine. I removed it and installed the original mechanical ignition. The points/AAU worked perfectly with a better advance curve for the engine. The added maintenance, was, IMO, of no consequence at all in the scheme of routine maintenance. But when the TriSpark showed up I decided to try it since it pretty much duplicated the OEM advance curve. If the Trispark ever fails, I'll go back to the points/AAU without a second thought.
     
    jimbo likes this.
  11. yves norton seeley

    yves norton seeley

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Hi There,
    I don't like the bad coments about the Tri Spark, of course theyr was someting wrong with there first inboard model, I broke one my zelf in the pass, but the last year I use the new model with NO issues, just perfection!
    How can jou judge a company if you don't give them a second chance.
    Please be carefull when you make public critics on access, this can be catastrophic for the company
    You can still use PM for critics
    Yves
     
  12. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    None of us owe these sellers anything they haven’t earned.
     
  13. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    "None of us owe these sellers anything they haven’t earned."

    I agree with that but, TBH, the only thing I'd really need to know about the TriSpark if I had no experience with it and was interested in buying one is this: It is the only ignition that CNW sells/the only ignition they install in their custom-made Commandos! ;)

    Though when I bought mine CNW wasn't yet using them so I ordered it directly from TS in Oz.
     
  14. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I’ve had 5 Tri Spark units up to now.

    2 on bikes that have since sold and 3 that I still have.

    Zero issues so far.
     
  15. 998cc

    998cc "Cheap" is rarely the least expensive. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    Not related to electric start issues, but I invested in a Pazon about 6 weeks ago and timed it carefully. I was getting occasional kickbacks with that unit, so as an investment in my left knee, I went for the Tri-spark. Will advise if it solves the problem as soon as the weather here in soggy California warms up.

    ~998cc
     
  16. ntst8

    ntst8 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Which Pazon did you have? The surefire has a normal advance curve, the Altair is more like the Trispark.
     
  17. 998cc

    998cc "Cheap" is rarely the least expensive. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    I went with the "Sure Fire" system.
    ~998cc
     
  18. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Ok I have fitted the Alton starter and kept the Lucas Rita and it starts just fine
    It even starts with a 12ah battery although I have an 18ah on order
    Also I copied Yves set up and made an adaptor that drives directly to the engine pulley from the sprag cheers for the starter Yves and all the help
     
  19. Nortoniggy

    Nortoniggy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    I now have mine working with the Alton & RITA. It starts and runs fine but with the headlight on it doesn't start charging until over 3K revs, which means around town it is never charging. I know the RITA has a reputation for being power hungry so my assumption is that the RITA is drawing a lot of current and the Alton alternator has less power than my previous 3 phase Lucas one, so can't cope. I'm biting the bullet and replacing the RITA with the Wassel Vape ignition which gets good reviews and looks very well made. Watch this space.
     

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