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Mike Partridge of Walridge Motors comments on Boyer

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by worntorn, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Not everyone's favourite ignition, but there are some impressive numbers here-

    Boyer Ignition System Thoughts
    We are asked on an almost daily basis for our thoughts on various makes of ignition systems, other than Boyers. We have sold more than 15,000 Boyer kits over the last 20 years and in all honesty have had less than a dozen which could be considered genuine warranty problems (other than customer induced faults). We had one customer make a claim on a burnt out box and then claimed again a few weeks later on the replacement. On investigation we found that he didn’t consider it necessary to have a zener diode on his bike and therefore had no voltage control. From personal experience I don’ like to run a Boyer without a battery. While it should be OK if the alernator etc is in really good order, starting can prove difficult, although fitting an additional capacitor can help. This may well be improved with the new Mk4 kits, we have still to do some testing. Ther only other occasional problem occurs, usually with Commando’s, where the wires from the pick up break inside the insulation within the timing cover. This is caused by vibration so the wires need to be well supported in there. The problem with a voltage drop on electric start bikes appears to have been corrected with the new Mk4 kits whifh will continue to operate OK at much lower voltages.

    We frequently get Boyers returned by customers as warranty claims, which is why I built a test bench.There’s nothing wrong with 90% of the kits returned and we then assist the customer to solve the problem.

    I have noticed one of the competitors has been making derogatory comments about other manufacturers’ products (Boyer kits) in his ads. I really don’t like this practice (GM are doing it right now as well) and feel if your product is good, featuring it’s own benefits and features should be sufficient.

    -Mike



    Boyer Kits With Magnetos
     
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  2. pdl999

    pdl999

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    I'm really pleased to read your factual and balanced view on the Boyer products. I have nothing against progress and new products but I often think that some new products have been portrayed as a "cure all" at Boyer's expense where the problems were most likely caused by knackered old wiring, dodgy connections and bad installation. And as for the advantages of sequential spark ignitions over wasted spark, I just fail to see any benefit for the average user.
     
  3. trident sam

    trident sam

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Hi David.
    I don't propose to slag Boyer off here as their ignition has always powered my T140 well, however my triples went from not starting with the electric starter and Boyer to starting every time when I changed to Tri-spark ignition . The bikes were wired properly and the difference was like night and day. When I've rewired my Commandos I've used Pazon surefire and never had a problem.
    sam
     
  4. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    True , the older Boyer did not work well with Estart. I added a tiny isolated ignition battery to my estart in order to solve the problem. So far that seems to be a good solution. Timing loss and backfire won't happen plus, because of the full voltage hot starting spark, it gives near instant estarting hot or cold.
    New Boyer and other EI ignitions do not lose timing with Estart voltage drop as the old Boyer analog did.
    Nonetheless, all ignitions work better with full voltage when estarting as I discovered with a modern bike that was hard starting due to voltage drop. The battery was new and fully charged but the bike hadn't run in months.
    I cranked for awhile and got a few pops, then clamped on a big battery charger to make up for the Estart voltage drop. The engine then started instantly.

    Glen
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  5. pdl999

    pdl999

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    HI Sam, It is very true that the older Boyers were a problem with an estart. I had the same problem myself with a Boyer on the T160 and more recently I discovered the Sparx ignition has the same problem. An alternative to a second battery is to use a boost regulator to maintain the ignition supply at 12V even when the starter is cranking the engine. I've used this off the shelf unit with great success: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-8A-S...519851?hash=item43fba232ab:g:gxwAAOSw5cNYY2cC.
     
  6. trident sam

    trident sam

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Well at that price I couldn't really say no ! thanks
    I will wire it in the Mk. 3 . This bike has no problems electric starting - Pazon and Harley starter, but hey anything that helps.....
    Wouldn't it be good to be able to buy a British/American/European equivalent !
    sam
     
  7. Torontonian

    Torontonian

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Thanks pdl999 , ordered in.
     
  8. dorset

    dorset

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    i bought a boyer for my T120 and had the stator replaced under warranty-- bad epoxy. the replacement has worked flawlessly for over thirty years on both single and twin plug applications. i run boyers on that T120, a T150, a commando, and a 441 victor.

    the only issue i have ever had is that the boyer on the 441 does not retard at low rpms but runs fixed, even with a fully charged battery. not sure what the issue is with that. if i swap the pickup leads i can't get it started.
     
  9. 1973x75

    1973x75

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2015
    I installed the Boyer in my Commando in the early '90's, and it still works fine. My X75 Hurricane had one, and it worked great.
     
  10. Torontonian

    Torontonian

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Mike took mine back years ago (after failure) to have the black box bench tested. Failed trigger diode. It's encapsulated so only a replacement works.
     
  11. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    You are one of twelve in fifteen thousand then.
     
  12. eskasteve

    eskasteve VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    34,000 miles on my Boyer. No issues
     
  13. pdl999

    pdl999

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    I used to build my own but bought this unit from a seller in Germany a year or so ago for £11 but when I looked for it again this time I could only find it from China. Very cheap but it will be a long wait! The only change I made to it was to remove the screw down terminals and solder fly leads directly to the PCB as I was a bit worried about vibration. There are lots of similar devices available on eBay.
     
  14. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    I put a Boyar in my Norton back in 1979 after so much troubles with points it gave me no problem all right to about 2012 when I replaced it with the Joe Hunt, as far as I know its still working in my mates bobber Norton, I never had problems with broken wires, only ever kicked back twice in its whole life and fired up once by just turning on the ignition without kicking it, I never put a timing light on it in all those years, advance it till kick back then retard it ever so slightly, have done this with all my ignitions.

    Ashley
     
  15. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    The SS clone has the same Boyer in it I installed in the 850 motor after 5 previous years in a 750 engine. That was 35 years ago. Only issue ever was low battery misfire. I installed the Mk II version in the Titanic and it fired up second kick. Apparently the current version (Mk IV?) doesn't have battery level issues even with an electric leg. If ever there were an issue, I'd know just wehere to look. Never really had an occasion to try another EI.
     
  16. mdt-son

    mdt-son

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    I posted a similar idea recently using Li-Ion supercapacitors :
    https://www.accessnorton.com/NortonCommando/mk3-estart.24160/page-2#post-356282
     
  17. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    First Boyer installed late 70's , worked great until pickup wire break around 2013? .... replaced with mkIV .... runs , starts better than ever ... I did the repair to original and it worked fine before I replaced it for the other advantages noted ...
    Craig
     
  18. hobot

    hobot

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Once vintage black box Boy-ah trigger wires and low voltage over advanced misfiring solved only small negative issue remaining is sluggish advance curve meant for use in scope of Brit Iron cycles, most of which can not tolerate detonation as well as Nortons so give up some the Combat response compared to points or more recent available curves. I sold Ms Peel's hard used / weakened mount plate to NYC Michael Tagillari in early 2000's and still happy with it after a few severe crashes. Best Combat response gotten by adv till starting kick back then retard a tad till it don't, then time light to see where it likes it reset later. Oh yeah Peel had a 5 amp stereo power supply noise filter to sooth static sensitive Boyah analog brain.

    Peel used 2 small posi-lock wire connectors to attach brain box leads under points cover.
    https://www.posi-products.com/
     
  19. Kim Z.

    Kim Z.

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    I purchased my 1974 850 Commando in early 2015. It already had a Boyer installed. I do I tell what generation/age of the Boyer unit is on my bike? (BTW, it starts on the first or second kick)
     
  20. tricatcent

    tricatcent

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    I have two bikes with Boyers. One has over 60,000 miles on it, mostly with the Boyer installed. I bought that unit new in about 1983. I ran that bike for about 5 years with no Zener diode. If you leave the headlight on and have a battery installed the voltage will never go to high. One of the Boyers I have was one that was returned to the UK apparently because it had some kind of fault. Boyer inspected it and returned it saying there was nothing wrong with it. I bought that one from a friend who was selling Boyers at that time knowing it's history. Apparently that was true because I put about 20,000 miles on that one. I have never had one of the Micro Digital ones but probably those are even better than the analogue ones. A lot of the features of the newer ignitions were developed by Boyer first. No one should bad mouth Boyer products, they are great and have contributed so much to many riders enjoyment of their motorcycles.
     
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