I have recently gotten a 1959 A10 super Rocket older restoration runs but with obvious serious magneto problems (Magneto was supposedly rebuilt few years ago ). Im torn between an expensive rebuild of magneto 250 - 300 pound core exchange plus overseas postage 100 pounds return to keep it original or the conversion to a simple electronic ignition conversion like the Thorspark or Robotham system . The Thorspark uses existing magneto , advance etc at a cost of 155 pounds with delivery so under $300 . You only need to hide the small coil unt Any comments appreciated but given some of the comments I hear from people running even a rebuilt mag . Im leaning toward the electronic . AS this being said I rode magneto sparked BMWs for years. Thanks for any feedback Peter
Peter, unless your charging system has been upgraded to an alternator, I would not recommend battery ignition. You will be left stranded. Ed Strain in Florida does a top notch K2F rbuild for around $300. There are also others on this continent that do quality work for less than you mention. A quality rebuild will last a long time.
A smattering: '53 Gold Flash '67 Royal Star '71 Rickman Metisse '40 Silver Star '37 Rudge Special sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
Re: magneto conversion yea or neah
#245358 03/28/093:32 am03/28/093:32 am
My vote is also nay, I have two magneto bikes that I ride a long way from home, and I have no notion of switching them to electronic ignition. A magneto is a solid, reliable, long-lasting piece of equipment when done right, self-contained, doesn't depend on the dynamo or battery ...
You're in Canada? there are several guys here on the continent that will completely rebuild your mag for a lot less than the $600 you're being quoted, and overseas to boot ...
We're approaching the tipping point ... where those who vote for a living will outnumber those who work for a living .....
Re: magneto conversion yea or neah
#245374 03/28/095:44 am03/28/095:44 am
I have read various comments on forums saying that the fitting of an electronic ignition to a 6 volt bike will leave you stranded. We make the Thorspark electronic ignition, and beg (obviously) to differ. The comments normally go on to recommend various 12 volt conversions and magneto re-conditioners.
The 12 volt Thorspark kit draws a maximum of 1/4amp, the 6 volt version a bit less. This equates to a power draw of less than 3 watts for the 12 volt version, and just over 1 watt for the 6 volt. This is not a large extra heavy load on the bike's electrics.
I have seen advise on various forums that if you do not upgrade your bike's charging to 12 volts, it will not be up to providing 1 watt of power for the electronic ignition. This is self evidently rubbish. It doesn't matter whether you have 6 or 12 volts, as long as you have a battery that isn't shagged out, and that actually charges as you drive along, then you will be fine.
If you use the Thorspark, and you develop a charging fault, with either 6 or 12 volt, you will still have several hours of running with your lights off, but yes, you will eventually get stranded when the battery goes flat, whichever voltage you have. Obviously a working magneto has the advantage of being self powering, and also if you are running a bike like many of us used to, basically with no electrics, then that is the only way to do it. These days, however, many of us have bikes that are more or less up to scratch, and lights that actually work.
I run a 1956 Matchless G11 on 6 volts. This is unrestored, still has the original six volt dynamo, which as far as I am aware hasn't been re-conditioned, and the Thorspark electronic ignition. When I bought the bike it had a recently reconditioned magneto, which didn't work despite costing several hundred pounds, and the original Lucas voltage regulator, which seemed to work sometimes but not at others. I fitted a solid state voltage regulator made by AO services and supplied by Draganfly motorcycles, which has transformed the electrics. The lights, although not as bright as modern bikes, now work similarly, they dim very slightly on tickover, and go to full brightness the moment you rev above a tickover. With the lights on, the ammeter is charging at 15 miles per hour in 4th gear.
Magnetos are an excellent piece of kit. However we offer a reasonably priced modern alternative, that has some practical advantages.
It doesn't matter if you have 6 or 12 volts, as long as you don't have a charging fault, then you will have not have a problem.
And back to the original problem. The original dynamo was only just big enough to run lights and trickle the battery. The now 60 + year old dynamo on most bikes struggles to keep up with the lights. Even with a very low power draw electronic ignition you are still at the mercy of your generator or more importantly the regulator which should be replaced with a solid state unit. So adding an electronic ignition to avoid rebuilding the magneto is not a sound idea as you really should have your dynamo rebuilt if you are going to rely totally on that for ignition which will cost about the same as you are trying to aviod spending. I had my M20 magneto rebuilt 15 years ago and it has not missed a beat in around 40,000 miles. OTOH if you are looking for greater reliability or your entire dynamo is beyond repair then that is a different matter.
I have been in this dilama several times. FACT a good Magneto is the best way to go Problem; Their are a lot of people repairing Mags and all claim to be better then the other. some fit armatures some cleam some Magnitise some fit condensers some don't the list is endless. Solution Do not have your Mag repaired, have it compleatley reconditioned including the Points Plate. Thats the easy bit Hard bit Who do I use I had four Mags reconditioned by different people and although they ran it was never right. I eventually got one done and hey presto perfect starts first kick runs and sounds great. I would advise speak to people and ask questions use a company who is reccomended by several people