CNW E-Start Reviews

Derek Wilson

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jun 25, 2004
Messages
328
Country flag
Since we have pretty much gone through the good, the bad and the ugly with the Alton E-start kit, I was just wondering if we could do the same with the CNW kit.

I have a friend that is looking to install an E-start on his '71 Commando, and I am currently favoring the CNW kit for his bike. He has a belt drive and likes it, wants to keep his 3-phase alternator, and he already has a K&N air filter. I also do most of the wrenching on his bike and don't want him darkening my door with a broken e-start.... definitely don't want to put him through what I have experienced....

Could we hear from some folks that have had a CNW for a while and any comments that they have on the system? TIA
 
Last edited:

marshg246

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
1,302
Country flag
Good: Simple to install, complete instructions, every component high quality, everything needed is included, spins the engine amazingly fast, no headaches with belt tracking, uses standard stator/rotor, lightest clutch I've ever felt on a Norton (new Barnett clutch pack installed).

Bad: Takes a long time to arrive after ordered

Neutral: Expensive

I normally use AGM batteries, but a huge one would be required. I use: Shorai LFX18L1-BS12 Extreme Rate Lithium Iron Powersports Battery for the e-start (bought from Amazon). Do not use Lithium Ion - dangerous.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
5,710
Country flag
Maybe you mean Lithium polymer, as in cell phone batteries.
All Lithium type batteries are Lithium Ion.
There are also Lithium Cobalt type and a few others.

An Ion is simply a charged particle.

Glen
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2010
Messages
443
Country flag
I dont have either Alton or CNW starter on my bike, the disadvantage of both systems is that they cost more than I payed for the whole bike.
This said, I would consider one when I get too old to kickstart the bike.
 

marshg246

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
1,302
Country flag
Maybe you mean Lithium polymer, as in cell phone batteries.
All Lithium type batteries are Lithium Ion.
There are also Lithium Cobalt type and a few others.

An Ion is simply a charged particle.

Glen
If you are detailed people correct you. If you are technical people complain. If you try to be non-technical people correct you.

To be somewhere in the middle: The older types of Lithium-based batteries were a much greater fire hazard than the LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron) batteries that are commonly available for motorsports today. Still, a short is bad no matter what battery but worse on Lithium-based batteries and way worse on olded Lithium-based battery types.
 

lazyeye6

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
933
Country flag
I've had my cNw starter for 3 years now. The early version had weak indent bullets that disintegrated and which Matt
replaced with much sturdier ones without being asked. The early one also had a clutch hub sourced from A/N which
began notching after 1000 miles. Matt sent me a new one made with much harder material. I can't say enough about
the customer support. It is "over the moon". Since those early glitches were resolved it has always started IMMEDIATELY
at the push of the button. I have a Shorai LFX21 battery installed. Between my 3 phase alternator and LED lighting it
always stays fully charged. One downside is that the ham can air filter will not fit any longer but since I run a single
Mikuni that is not an issue for me. Given age related health issues, I am no long physically able to kick start my bike, so
this kit keeps me riding. Yes it is expensive, but nice things don't come cheap. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
 

Fast Eddie

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
14,975
Country flag
I fitted a cNw kit to my 11:1 920 cos it was SO unfeasibly difficult to kick over I was genuinely concerned about injuring myself.

The first thing to discuss is the cost. Sure they’re not cheap, but when you look at what you actually get, a top e start system AND a top belt drive kit, it’s actually good value.

The thought put into the design and execution is second to none. Everything is throughly thought out and robustly executed.

The kit is so well thought out, with absolutely everything included.

The instructions, whilst still having some room for improvement, are pretty excellent.

Even packaging is first rate.

And on top of all that, you got Matt at the end of an email for ANY queries.

I was testing the situation to a degree as I was fitting mine to Maney cases and a TTI box, so many non standard variables possible there. I think the only issue I had was needing to relieve some material from the cases.

When I’d got mine fitted I could not believe how easily and fast it spins the motor over. It has been totally trouble free so far.

Like others, I also chose to fit the cNw hardened clutch centre, and the Barnet clutch pack too.

The only downside with mine is that I now have a slow parasitic drain on the battery that I didn’t have before. My bike and wiring and switchgear is all none standard though, so the cause of that could be pretty much anything!

The only other downside is the weight. Even with a ridiculously light Shorai battery it adds quite a chunk.
I forget my weighing exactly, but IIRC, you’ll add around 10lbs to a stock bike and 20lbs to a bike that already has a belt drive and light clutch set up.

When I discussed buying this kit with Matt I quizzed him if he really thought that narrow belt and his e start system was ‘man enough’ for an 11:1 920. His response was that he was very confident, and if I bought one and discovered otherwise for whatever reason, he’d refund me without hesitation.

Can’t really knock a man who stands behind his product like that IMO.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
338
Country flag
I recently installed a CNW startle motor about a month and a half ago. Bearing in mind here in the UK we get clobbered with import tax and high shipping costs, I plumped for Matt’s device based on a good search on here of both options.

to be honest I read about a lot of the Alton sprag issues, and it uses a strange stator and a small chain and I got a bit dubious about it.

I can’t deny that the CNW kit is a lot of money, but from the build quality I’ve seen it is well deserved. OK, I also purchased his twin coil, and then a 21ah Shorai battery with its very convenient 4 posts.

Yes, it’s deliberate I did call it a startle motor, because it startles the 850 lump into starting up almost like a direct drive electric motor.

I have an LED headlight and tail-light bulb, all of the others are normal tungsten filament, and despite still only having the single phase alternator fitted it charges just fine.

I have bothered Matt a few times with questions about operator error and he’s answered them pdq despite the 7 hour time difference.

I think next I will try to create my own air filter setup as there’s quite a bit of room before the battery left free. I’ve got the mini K&N fitted for now.

CNW gets my vote
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
5,710
Country flag
If you are detailed people correct you. If you are technical people complain. If you try to be non-technical people correct you.

To be somewhere in the middle: The older types of Lithium-based batteries were a much greater fire hazard than the LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron) batteries that are commonly available for motorsports today. Still, a short is bad no matter what battery but worse on Lithium-based batteries and way worse on olded Lithium-based battery types.
When Lithium based batteries first appeared, they were referred to as Lithium Ion for obvious reasons.

Somewhere along the line a new type of Lithium Ion battery , LiFePo4 type, came available. They are commonly called Lithium Iron, also for obvious reasons.
Now the older types are often lumped together as "Lithium Ion" to differentiate from "Lithium Iron", which is also Lithium Ion battery, if we want to be accurate. This is somewhat confusing, especially since the word Iron and Ion sound alike.
I am a one man band attempting to stamp out this confusing bit of terminology.
Will I succeed?
Not likely:)

Glen
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
338
Country flag
it cost me $2653.95 but I asked for it without his on/off switch as I’m using the stock switches. I also purchased separately his twin coil unit.

Then of course there’s the $ to £ fee from PayPal to factor in, and then customs charges and Parcelforce delivery charge - despite me having to collect it. I think the customs fee is 20% of the declared value over £130 or something similar and equally bloody expensive. Still, I don’t drink and don’t smoke, and according to my wife I’m not allowed to chase wild women either. If I didn’t spend the money of bits for the bikes I’d only waste it ;)
 

cliffa

VIP MEMBER
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
2,022
Country flag
it cost me $2653.95 but I asked for it without his on/off switch as I’m using the stock switches. I also purchased separately his twin coil unit.

Then of course there’s the $ to £ fee from PayPal to factor in, and then customs charges and Parcelforce delivery charge - despite me having to collect it. I think the customs fee is 20% of the declared value over £130 or something similar and equally bloody expensive. Still, I don’t drink and don’t smoke, and according to my wife I’m not allowed to chase wild women either. If I didn’t spend the money of bits for the bikes I’d only waste it ;)
So pretty close to £3000 would you say ?
 

marshg246

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
1,302
Country flag
When Lithium based batteries first appeared, they were referred to as Lithium Ion for obvious reasons.

Somewhere along the line a new type of Lithium Ion battery , LiFePo4 type, came available. They are commonly called Lithium Iron, also for obvious reasons.
Now the older types are often lumped together as "Lithium Ion" to differentiate from "Lithium Iron", which is also Lithium Ion battery, if we want to be accurate. This is somewhat confusing, especially since the word Iron and Ion sound alike.
I am a one man band attempting to stamp out this confusing bit of terminology.
Will I succeed?
Not likely:)

Glen
Understood, and yes, not likely :) .

The problem is that if you want to convey info to people you need to do what they "understand". For instance you don't Xerox, you copy - doesn't stop people from calling copying, Xeroxing. You blow your nose on a facial tissue, not a Kleenex - doesn't stop people from calling it Kleenex. I live in the United States of America. When people say America or The United States, they mean the USA. However The United States of Mexico is just as much The United States as the USA; and, the USA and both Mexico and Canada are in North America. What does America mean - there's no such place.

At any rate, I, in general, do not want any Lithium-based batteries between my legs but will use LiFePO4 when needed and in my experience they are needed for e-start bikes. They are quite amazing - after a few failed starts the voltage will be down a little. Let them rest a few minutes and it will be mostly back. The few I've worked with have always spun the engine fast even after sitting 2-3 months.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
4,052
Country flag
So pretty close to £3000 would you say ?
Always specify to the seller to ship as Vintage motorcycle parts. No duty fees. Matt did that for my MK 111 electric start upgrade sprockets / sprag /clutch center order because I asked . Coupled with the D.D. starter and big cables it's a revelation. A regular lead acid battery is fine.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
338
Country flag
UK customs don’t give 2 hoots what they’re called, they see a declared value and apply the tax. Fortunately they didn’t check any paperwork inside and see the declared value is lots less than the invoice price :cool:
 

gortnipper

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
4,171
Country flag
Since we have pretty much gone through the good, the bad and the ugly with the Alton E-start kit, I was just wondering if we could do the same with the CNW kit.

I have a friend that is looking to install an E-start on his '71 Commando, and I am currently favoring the CNW kit for his bike. He has a belt drive and likes it, wants to keep his 3-phase alternator, and he already has a K&N air filter. I also do most of the wrenching on his bike and don't want him darkening my door with a broken e-start.... definitely don't want to put him through what I have experienced....

Could we hear from some folks that have had a CNW for a while and any comments that they have on the system? TIA
Watch these.

 
Top