What Kind of ignition?

What kind of ignition do you have in your Commando?

  • Boyer Bransden

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lucas Rita

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Standard (Points)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other or dont know

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Not open for further replies.

Jerry Doe

May 21, 2003
I am curious what ignition systems others are using on their Commando's. I suspect 90% is Boyer. I am running points now, but going to change back to Boyer soon, anyway here is poll so we can find out for sure...

I am going to run this poll for 6 months.

I've run points, a Lucas Rita and a Boyer. The Boyer is the only way to go!

I use Boyer on my 71. So far very good. I read somewhere that it is a good idea to cut off the crimped connectors tht come with the boyer and replace with soldered connectors, apparently it takes very little electrical resistance to disrupt the electrical flow. I did not follow this advice but will at first sign of trouble.
ignition poll

Installed on my '68 750 Fastback as well as my '74 850 Roadster is the Boyer ignition. Both are great for me. I had points on the Fastback prior to this fall and now, having the Boyer, the start up and running seems to be substantially better and consistant.
Ignition system

I have a '75 MK 3 roadster in JP colors manufactured right in the middle of the run. I've had a Boyer on it fot 7 years without incedent. I also have a lucas rita on my '74 T150V Triumph and have had no trouble for over 20 years. The advantage to the Boyer is you can retain the stock points cover.

I'm not really trying to convert anyone, but...
I have 3 nortons. 2 with ritas, one with a magneto. While I do own a "analog" boyer, I know how voltage sensative, and prone to lead breakage, they are. They are OK in my book but that's it, just OK.
The LR is fairly robust. After 15+ years, I have only ever had to fix 2. Yes they can be fixed unlike a boyer. One of these (not mine) was run on a 1 ohm dual coil for almost 16 years before it croaked.
The low voltage run capability of the LR is IMHO so superior for an E-Start. I have had at least 4 people come back to me after I warned them about boyer kick backs, that have trashed their sprag clutches. A LR WILL make spark if there is enough juice to crank the starter. A boyer turns into a "random spark generator" at those low voltages.
Thats enough for me,if you want to read up feel free.
All systems have their good and bad points. So I won't argue other facts that I have left out about any of these systems.
Re: ignitions

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Tonight, I do not know wy, I've put on Google the two magic words and: here I'm, the terrible world of British motorcicle is opened!
I just wanted to say... so nice! Guys I'd like to go back in the 70s to taste the real motorcicle excense... Is there that everything started, not just beauty but sportive beauty while today we just have performances...

Keep going guy I think I'll follow You!

I am building 2 750 combats and after reading dynodaves research I decided on the rita for two reasons. the first and most important one was the softer advance curve that I feel the higher compression in the combat needs. and second was the stability at low voltage. we are a headlight on state and with the standard alt. I sure dont need eratic spark in a 10 to 1 motor!!
another reason is the problem with the boyer breaking the wires at the trigger unit all tho it can be fixed.


My '73 850 was purchased by me in 2000. It has only had Boyer and has been realtively trouble free all this time. Did have a charging system problem that cut into the volts needed to operate the box :roll:
Boyer. I ran one on my previous Commando, and I'm getting ready to put one on my '66 Bonneville, too. Put me down for three!

I have a points ignition system on my 850 Commando.

I have run Boyer and points ingnition systems on my Nortons and Triumphs over the past thiry or so years. Howver, I prefer the points ignition system for several reasons:

1) I find the points plate with its numerous tiny adjsutment cams to be an elegant pice of machinery.
2) Points are original equipment; Norton installed points style ignitions in their bikes from the factory.
3) Points are simple, reliable and can be cleaned and gaped on the side of the road, if necessary.
4) An electronic ingnition problem is not fixable in the garage much less on the side of the road.
5) It is very satisfying when you properly set up a points style ignition system. In my mind, satisfying experiences are why I own and work on British motorcyles.

I currently run a '72 Combat Roadster with points. Although I have no experience with Rita or Boyer, I can say that starting and running is fine; this bike runs like the devil and doesn't miss a beat. I believe that people often confuse hard starting due to carburetion with ignition problems. Learning the subtleties of each different machine, just how much to tickle those Amals, seems to me to be the essence of starting a Norton. I have had a '70 Roadster since 1974, driven it across the country etc. and my only complaint about points ignition is that once the points cam seal wears they are prone to getting oil mist that can indeed make for hard starting or misses. Even on a road trip you could place a little piece of cotton or tp in the bottom of the points cover to absorb any oil, and you're fixed. I'm not sure how "serviceable" electronic ignitions are. SUMMARY: points can work great and are serviceable; if I had electronic I'd carry back-up points on a road trip for emergency repair.
Ignition System

I'm running a Boyer on my MkIIa. It has only been on for 6 months so it is too early to comment.
I have owned a 69 750 commando since 1981 and it had a points contact breaker at that time. Someone talked me into a LR electronic ign within the same year I still to this date have the same electronic ign the bike works great
Ignition system

I have just converted my 73 Combat from points to a Boyer system. The points system had give no problems but 2 friends using Boyers on their 750 and 850's convinced me to go with the Boyer, time will tell.

the rita has a much better advance curve for the combat with its higher compression than the boyer.

Am still using points on my '72 Roadster. After replacing the coils and condensers the bike runs great. Starts first kick, idles at 600. Now, if I could get rid of that clutch drag......
California headlight law

Regarding California is a headlight state, Bill's comment in this string, my understanding is only newer motorcycles are required to have their headlight on during daylight hours. Looking at the Cal DMV website I found the California Vehicle Code section 25650.5 stating only motorcycles manufactured after 1/1/1978 have this requirement. That covers all Commandos. Similarly turn signals are not required on California registered motorcycles manufactured before 1/1/1973. It's a choice, not a law.
Hi David
I am in florida and our law here is if it has two wheels you have to run a headlight 24/7 no matter when it was built. the turn signels I am not sure of what year of prod. they are requared on.

headlight law

Hi Bill,

Sorry, I don't why I got the idea you were in California. Maybe someone else in this string. Surprising a state can make such a law retroactive to machines built before this requirement. I know it's a safety issue, but some of the early motorcycles didn't even have headlights.
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