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  • What ignition systems are out there?

    Hello just wondering about what ignition systems are there for the XS1100?
    Here is a link for the XS650:
    http://www.xs650.com/forum/showthread.php?t=95
    any input would be great for me and other XS1100 owners.
    thank you for your time and response.
    Ron

    1981 XS650H Special II unrestored excellent shape
    1980 XS1100L Midnight Special needs little work
    1981 Honda CB650C rough but runs great

  • #2
    Originally posted by imcgyver View Post
    Hello just wondering about what ignition systems are out there for the XS1100?
    Zip, nada, zilch....

    There's no bolt-on aftermarket ignitions available anymore for the XS11, although at one time there were. Dynatek offers a couple that could be made to work with some custom fab work and/or wiring, but they're primarily aimed at racing. The Dyna S is a race item, and you'll take a big hit on fuel economy with that one. They also offer a 'universal' control box (the 2000) that can be used but that's a high-tech piece that can require setup via a laptop to get all it's capable of. Also not cheap at $270 for just the box.

    If you're looking for an upgrade, the factory TCI is more than adequate, it's the coils that are the weak link. You can swap in Dyna 3 ohm coils with minimal work and feel a slight improvement. And if you do a search, there's a posting on how to build your own 'box' using GM HEI modules if you're so inclined...
    Last edited by crazy steve; 12-29-2011, 03:33 PM.
    Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

    '78E original owner - resto project
    '78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
    '82 XJ rebuild project
    '80SG restified, red SOLD
    '79F parts...
    '81H more parts...

    Other current bikes:
    '93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
    '86 XL883/1200 Chopper
    '82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
    Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
    Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by imcgyver View Post
      Hello just wondering about what ignition systems are there for the XS1100?...
      There's a company called Sachse Electronics that sell an electronic ignition for the XS1100.

      Also, although Boyer Bransden don't list the XS1100, you can use their product as well. Auxtian over on the Australian XS1100 forum is running it on his bike.
      Brian
      XS1100 LG "Mr T", SG "ICBM" & FJ1200
      Check out the XS Part Number Finder

      Be not stingy in what costs nothing as courtesy, counsel and countenance.

      Comment


      • #4
        Don't forget MegaSquirt. Not bolt on, or cheap (although cheaper than anything with comparable capabilities), but it is an option and probably the only one that give you a fully programmable timing curve and the ability to run anything from stock coils to coil-on-plug to EDIS.
        '81 XS1100 SH

        Melted to the ground during The Valley Fire

        Sep. 12th 2015

        RIP

        Comment


        • #5
          Yep, I forgot the MegaSquirt....

          The main problem with all of these is the lack of an easy method or any method at all to get vacuum actuated advance. Without it, you will take a hit on fuel economy. The MegaSquirt and Dyna 2000 both offer the capability of a 'vacuum' advance with the right support sensors, but you're on your own for coming up with the hardware.

          The Sachse is a true bolt-on, but is basically the same as the Dyna S. And at almost $450 US, the most expensive option...
          Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

          '78E original owner - resto project
          '78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
          '82 XJ rebuild project
          '80SG restified, red SOLD
          '79F parts...
          '81H more parts...

          Other current bikes:
          '93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
          '86 XL883/1200 Chopper
          '82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
          Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
          Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by crazy steve View Post
            If you're looking for an upgrade, the factory TCI is more than adequate, it's the coils that are the weak link. You can swap in Dyna 3 ohm coils with minimal work and feel a slight improvement.
            I must say though that I did the above and experienced a very big improvement in my bike. I also put them on my GL1000 Goldwing (which has the ballast resistor and 1.5 ohm coils setup, same as the XS1100). I found in both bikes that there is a huge difference in spark quality. They were both quite weedy and pale before. After the modification, the sparks are fat, blue and will jump an inch from the suppressor caps to ground. They also pack a huge wallop if you get a shock.

            My XS1100 immediately lost an irritating cough-like misfire which it had quite regularly. Starting is immediate....the engine starts with the first plug to fire and I don't even hear the engine turning over on the starter. All plugs are light brow/tan and the engine never misses a single beat ever.

            I didn't run the GL1000 on the OEM system for more than 5 minutes, so I can't make a before comment re the better performance but sparks are big and blue and the bike fires instantly. I ordered green Dynas the day I got the GL1000, based on my experience with the XS1100. I also put the Dyna S ignition on but the GL1000 doesn't have a vacuum advance (although it does have the centrifugal, mechanical one that's on earler XS1100's).

            BTW, I also use iridium plugs in both bikes and these have built-in resistors, so I removed the in-line resistors from the suppressor caps on both bikes.

            I also use silicone lead with graphite core on both bikes.
            Last edited by James England; 12-30-2011, 02:33 PM.
            XS1100F 1980 European model. Standard. Dyna coils. Iridium plugs. XS750 final drive (sometimes). Micron fork brace. Progressive front springs. Geezer regulator/rectifier. Stainless 4 into 2 exhaust. Auto CCT (Venturer 1300) SOLD. New project now on the go. 1980 European model.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by crazy steve View Post
              Yep, I forgot the MegaSquirt....

              The main problem with all of these is the lack of an easy method or any method at all to get vacuum actuated advance. Without it, you will take a hit on fuel economy. The MegaSquirt and Dyna 2000 both offer the capability of a 'vacuum' advance with the right support sensors, but you're on your own for coming up with the hardware....
              Actually, the MS does come with the vac advance included. A MAP sensor comes with it as part of the package. The MAP vs RPM is how you define the timing curve. This allows you a fully programmable curve that includes vacuum advance.
              '81 XS1100 SH

              Melted to the ground during The Valley Fire

              Sep. 12th 2015

              RIP

              Comment


              • #8
                Thinking about it further, it can be set up with a stock sensor from an 81 or an XJ (either fixed sensor) and it is more or less bolt on. At $200-266 it's far and away the cheapest option, and offers one the most opportunity for expansion. With just ignition set up, you could also have a 2-stage rev limiter (soft and hard) plus a drag launch limiter. I'm not selling the thing, but as far as ignition options it seems the most viable
                '81 XS1100 SH

                Melted to the ground during The Valley Fire

                Sep. 12th 2015

                RIP

                Comment


                • #9
                  There's a company called Sachse Electronics that sell an electronic ignition for the XS1100.
                  Great! This looks like the easy answer for a failed ignition system, or an improved system. It even has a rev limiter. Is anyone on here running this?
                  Marty (in Mississippi)
                  XS1100SG
                  XS650SK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jetmechmarty View Post
                    Great! This looks like the easy answer for a failed ignition system, or an improved system. It even has a rev limiter. Is anyone on here running this?
                    Actually it appears the Megasquirt is cheaper and can retain vacuum advance capability which the Sanse does NOT do. As well, the megasquirt if I understand can be upgraded to EFI down the road if desired as well, which the sanse can't.
                    Cy

                    1980 XS1100G (Brutus) w/81H Engine
                    Duplicolor Mirage Paint Job (Purple/Green)
                    Vetter Windjammer IV
                    Vetter hard bags & Trunk
                    OEM Luggage Rack
                    Jardine Spaghetti 4-2 exhaust system
                    Spade Fuse Box
                    Turn Signal Auto Cancel Mod
                    750 FD Mod
                    TC Spin on Oil Filter Adapter (temp removed)
                    XJ1100 Front Footpegs
                    XJ1100 Shocks

                    I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cy,

                      I thought Megasquirt WAS EFI. I'm wrong? Where can I look at this? Why would I want to retain the vacuum advance if I can run a programmed curve? I'm asking because I don't know. The way I see it, the fewer moving parts, the better.
                      Marty (in Mississippi)
                      XS1100SG
                      XS650SK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Megasquirt is primarily known as a stand-alone EFI controller, but also contains a fully-programmable ignition driver that can be run by itself. As Jessie noted, it's a powerful program and can be made to do pretty much anything you want. But the trick is having the right kinds of inputs and knowing what to do with them.

                        I don't know that I would rush out and get one, as to get everything the system has to offer would likely take a fair amount of dyno time. If you want to duplicate the 'mechanical' OEM curve, that's pretty simple. If using a MAP sensor, you could probably mimic the OEM vacuum curve pretty closely too. But switching between two or three 'predetermined' curves will introduce compromises that may or may not work as well as the OEM units. I know why the manufacturers switched to that type of system; it's cheaper, more reliable, and if you're building a bunch of units all the same, you only need to figure it out once. But start changing things (different exhaust, cams, air inlet) and now the calculations may not apply. Almost all the bolt-on 'performance' aftermarket ignitions come with switchable curves that allow you to select the one(s) that works best, but these were figured out by running dyno tests while designing the system for that bike.

                        The best analogy I can think of would be to compare this to the two types of EFI; Mass Air and Speed Density. Mass air works by actually measuring the amount of air going into the motor, so any changes you make that increases that (headers, bigger cam, etc), the electronics will adjust the fuel to maintain the proper ratio (within some limits). Speed density works off all pre-programmed curves/fuel maps; you have to tell it what to do at each 'point'. This requires a given set of parameters; that exhaust, cams, intake, etc. Change any one thing, and that can throw off all of the programmed calculations.

                        The OEM vacuum advance is like a mass air system; the limits were determined by the factory, but it will 'self-adjust' within those limits, not being concerned with any changes you might make. A MAP sensor can do the same thing, but you'll still have to program it for the limits and the amount of advance needed/wanted for a given vacuum signal. A straight 'programmed' curve switched by a vacuum signal (like the XJ), will only give the advance programmed in above/below the switching point; if the system switches at 100mmHg, more vacuum won't increase the advance.

                        If your OEM vacuum advance is working properly, you'll be very unlikely to see much difference with an aftermarket ignition unless you spend a considerable amount of time tuning it, and even then I wouldn't expect to see a lot. You could easily see a mileage loss without reasonably close tune...
                        Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

                        '78E original owner - resto project
                        '78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
                        '82 XJ rebuild project
                        '80SG restified, red SOLD
                        '79F parts...
                        '81H more parts...

                        Other current bikes:
                        '93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
                        '86 XL883/1200 Chopper
                        '82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
                        Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
                        Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jetmechmarty View Post
                          Cy,

                          I thought Megasquirt WAS EFI. I'm wrong? Where can I look at this? Why would I want to retain the vacuum advance if I can run a programmed curve? I'm asking because I don't know. The way I see it, the fewer moving parts, the better.
                          I was going to answer your question but crazy steve aready answered it. But as he said, the megasquirt is indeed best known as an EFI system, but it's also an ignition system and can be used as only that quite simply and much cheaper than as an EFI system. Also it can use the stock pickups IF you want to keep the install simple at the start or if you want to do your install in stages. What *I* think is cool about the megasquirt is if your even THINKING about doing EFI, and want a more modern and reliable ignition system (and the flexibility that goes with it), the megasquirt is IMHO the way to go. Jessie would know better, but if your thinking about EFI later I'm not sure if you can upgrade the system after the fact or if you must get it with what you need up front.
                          Cy

                          1980 XS1100G (Brutus) w/81H Engine
                          Duplicolor Mirage Paint Job (Purple/Green)
                          Vetter Windjammer IV
                          Vetter hard bags & Trunk
                          OEM Luggage Rack
                          Jardine Spaghetti 4-2 exhaust system
                          Spade Fuse Box
                          Turn Signal Auto Cancel Mod
                          750 FD Mod
                          TC Spin on Oil Filter Adapter (temp removed)
                          XJ1100 Front Footpegs
                          XJ1100 Shocks

                          I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My interest in this is for failed unobtanium ignition parts. I had a pickup coil fail on another bike. Fortunately, I found a used one. Had I failed at that, it means a whole new ignition system. Planned obsolesence.

                            I may well try to keep this bike beyond when all the spares are gone. You never know.
                            Marty (in Mississippi)
                            XS1100SG
                            XS650SK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jetmechmarty View Post
                              My interest in this is for failed unobtanium ignition parts. I had a pickup coil fail on another bike. Fortunately, I found a used one. Had I failed at that, it means a whole new ignition system. Planned obsolesence.

                              I may well try to keep this bike beyond when all the spares are gone. You never know.
                              The good thing about the megasquirt system is that it will work with quite a few different input systems, including the stock pickup coils. So if a replacement for possible no longer available stock parts is what your looking for, the megasquirt system can certainly fill that bill. Even including replacing the carbs with a computer controlled fuel injection system at some point as well, which as Jessie can tell you can do a lot for driveability of the bike once dialed in.
                              Cy

                              1980 XS1100G (Brutus) w/81H Engine
                              Duplicolor Mirage Paint Job (Purple/Green)
                              Vetter Windjammer IV
                              Vetter hard bags & Trunk
                              OEM Luggage Rack
                              Jardine Spaghetti 4-2 exhaust system
                              Spade Fuse Box
                              Turn Signal Auto Cancel Mod
                              750 FD Mod
                              TC Spin on Oil Filter Adapter (temp removed)
                              XJ1100 Front Footpegs
                              XJ1100 Shocks

                              I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.

                              Comment

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