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Kick Only TCI ignition. Lots of kickback when kicking.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Prisondawg, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. Prisondawg

    Prisondawg XS650 Addict

    Hello. My bike won't start

    I will get a pop in my carb some smoke will come out the backs and my kickstarter will kickback hard as heck (which can be painful)

    I've searched the forum and it seems like it's a common problem when timing is too advanced, the solution is to retard the timing a bit.

    But my issue is that I'm on an electronic ignition, so there are no points. No timing to set.

    Is there a different cause to this issue that could plague an electronic ignition bike ?

    Thanks in advance .

    My engine is a 1981 if that helps. Bs38 carbs from a 76 special. 2 into 1 26inch muffler.
    gggGary likes this.
  2. mike in idaho

    mike in idaho XS650 Enthusiast

    Might be an issue with the ignition unit itself, going to full advance at cranking speed. Someone should be along shortly who knows about theses things.
    Paul Sutton and gggGary like this.
  3. gggGary

    gggGary When a whole one is just too much. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Stock TCI ignition with pick ups on the stator?
    First off: Fully charge rhe batttery.
    Other "possibilities" would be a rotor installed without a half moon key.
    Or severely rich carboration.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
    Paul Sutton, Prisondawg and timbeck like this.
  4. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Junkie

    Even if it is electronic ignition there is a timing setup,
    Battery charged ?
    I would then check the wiring from the stator pickup the trigger as per gggGary above
    And then other wiring to ignition Box , and ignition
    Did this come all of a sudden ..???
    Paul Sutton and gggGary like this.
  5. gggGary

    gggGary When a whole one is just too much. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Dont forget good tight clean ground connections
    timbeck, Team Junk and Jan_P like this.
  6. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Junkie

    YES SIR ..that is usually my mantra
  7. kopcicle

    kopcicle antidisestablishmentarian

    let's review.
    I'm assuming you're not "new". You do know how to start from finding TDC with the kick starter and then reloading from there and selling out on the stroke...

    That silly little white light on the center dash that lights when you first turn the key means your headlight is out AND the ignition is using the retarded pick-up. I haven't owned a TCI bike in for ever so someone that knows that system will have to chime in. I remember something to do with the reserve lighting system and the extra wire coming from the alternator (white) sensing revolutions and turning on the head light as well as switching the pickups.

    just trying to remember through a fog here , it's been a rough week.
  8. Prisondawg

    Prisondawg XS650 Addict

    Welp, I got rid of all those safety gadgets . My dummy lights have been reduced to nothing more than a speedo. My battery is reading 13.5
    And I've kicked this bike over thousands of times successfully in the past. One day out of the blue she started acting up.
    Paul Sutton likes this.
  9. Prisondawg

    Prisondawg XS650 Addict

    Yessir it is a stock TCI pickup and all

    This, problem happened out of nowhere , the battery is above 13 volts. It's an antigravity battery, it was working all fine before.

    So I do wonder if replacing the TCI box would help.
  10. kopcicle

    kopcicle antidisestablishmentarian

    Just on a flyer, it's the yellow wire from the alt (not white) what is it doing ?
    As I remember the engine only stays in retarded mode to start. The moment it's running the headlight comes on and it advances ....

    If you are attempting to start it off the advanced pick up then the nastiness begins.

    Some bright boy here went into great detail about it a few yeas ago. (it wasn't me )
    At least check the resistance across the pickups :-(
    Prisondawg likes this.
  11. Team Junk

    Team Junk XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Sounds like trying a Gonzo box might help diagnose this issue.
    gggGary likes this.
  12. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    With the TCI kickback is quite strong if the mixture is too rich. For example, full choke when the weather isn't down below about 6 - 8 Celsius. Try kicking with the no choke or just slightly on and perhaps check your carb bowl fuel levels. Also give the pickup magnet on the alternator rotor a slight clean with some fine wet and dry.
  13. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Junkie

    Like a Parrot or a broken record.
    I have never had a Carburetor problem ( More or less ) ..in this case ,why 2 carburetors go down at the same time ?
    I have had a lot of Electrics Problem
    Last 6 - 8 -10 months we had 6 --.8 --10 Bikes here with grounding problems
    That was solved with a little grinding with carborundum paper and some grease making the connections clean.
    Perhaps an extra ground wire.
    First checking at the fuse box and the one sitting at the minus of the battery
    Next kill switch
    As I see it things necessary to do that can make a new box not working either
    gggGary likes this.
  14. nj1639

    nj1639 Paleo-simplistic Top Contributor

    Yeah, having a spare TCI or gonzo unit for testing is a boon. Carbs and grounds? Mebbe. I'd be inclined to look for a jump in the mechanical timing - be it the rotor shifted due to no woodruff key per Gggary above or a tooth jump in the cam chain......someplace to check.
    I'm running TCI in my '77...... no fancy stuff, headlight comes on when I flip the right handlebar switch.
    Paul Sutton likes this.
  15. Prisondawg

    Prisondawg XS650 Addict

    Is there a better ignition system ? TCI's are expensive on eBay. It might be a good time to upgrade if that's the issue ?
  16. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    The original TCI unit is very reliable. It would be the last thing I ditch. If you open the TCI box (clip on lid) you can check to see if any solder joints look dull or have a crack in the solder around the wires. A visual check is quick and easy but I'd be checking the items already suggested first e.g. TDC/cam position/earths/voltage levels at coils/kill switch/ignition switch etc.
  17. gggGary

    gggGary When a whole one is just too much. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  18. gggGary

    gggGary When a whole one is just too much. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    We have had several bikes where a badly cracked, worn, broken, wire from the pickups where it goes near the sprocket created intermittent irregular ignition. might want to remove cut open the bundle and check. That is an ugly environment for wiring inside that cover and it's not unusual to find problems there.
  19. nj1639

    nj1639 Paleo-simplistic Top Contributor

    I cringe when I hear a TCI bikes ignition system being upgraded (aside from the gonzo unit replacement). TCI is the apex imho......other opinions may vary but don't count......lol
    Jim, Paul Sutton, Team Junk and 2 others like this.
  20. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    "Better" all depends on your perspective.
    Boyer, and Vape offer 2 very different plug and play options. Pazon and Ignitech have systems that can be adapted.
    Paul Sutton, gggGary and GLJ like this.

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