Boyer Bransden Ignition installation on my XS2

Smuggy

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Hi Mailman,

Thanks again for the great writeup and installation. I also really appreciated the detailed reply to Raymond's question from you and Jim (there is so much wisdom on here).

I was always under the impression from what I have read that the BB Ignition is a great upgrade to reliability, but there seem to be mixed opinions in this thread. Is it worth swapping, or stick with stock until it dies on me?
 

Mailman

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I was always under the impression from what I have read that the BB Ignition is a great upgrade to reliability, but there seem to be mixed opinions in this thread. Is it worth swapping, or stick with stock until it dies on me?

There is nothing wrong with the stock points and condenser ignition, it’s actually a tried and true reliable ignition.
The main drawbacks are the need to adjust , maintain and occasionally replace the points and condensers, and the mechanical advance can sometimes be problematic if they become dry and in need of lubrication or have weak springs.
The later stock TCI ignitions likewise had a very good reputation for durability, most problems are age related components simply failing.
To me the main advantage for going with an electronic ignition is reduced maintenance, no fiddly points to adjust, and a more reliable advance curve. As to whether you should consider swapping your ignition for an electronic one is really a matter of personal preference. Is it worth it to you? I know some guys who swear by original points and wouldn’t go any other way.
 

grizld1

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Actually the worst problem with the XS650 breaker point system is worn advance governor weights that stretch the advance curve. Guys get lazy, time the points to the idle mark and ventilate pistons (too advanced), or time to the advance mark and wonder why the carbs blow out of the boots at startup (too retarded). And then there's the classic: the cogged nut that secures the advance governor loosens, owner tries to "ride through" the misfires, engine dies when piston gets holed and/or loose advance governor beats itself to death against the pin in the camshaft that aligns it.. There are fixes for the worn weights, some better than others, but you avoid the whole mess with a good electronic ignition. Enter Tri Spark in the search window for an option.
 

Mailman

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Just wanted to add a little follow up. You might recall I decided to retard my ignition timing 5 degrees.
I took the XS2 out for a 65 mile ride today, just to see how it fared when I pushed it. I rode to a nearby highway and opened it up. I rode to a community about 30 miles away, doing 60-70 the whole way, even hit 80 a few times.
My bike is running great, when I got there I shut the bike off for a little while and it fired right up when I was ready to go. It accelerates smoothly and idles beautifully. The real surprise for me though is the way that timing adjustment affected the motor.
Before , I didn’t really like pushing the bike much over 65 because the vibration started to get pretty serious, but now 65-70 no longer feels like the engine is being over stressed, it’s smoother and even when I pushed it up to 80 it still had more in it, but that was fast enough for me.
When I got home I rechecked the timing and it was spot on, where I set it. Overall I’m very happy with it.
C3481748-086C-4F08-96CD-FE4A7BE24B0F.jpeg


And also, the replacement stator plate arrived today from Boyer. Very good service!
AFF9C1C1-0714-45DD-BEEC-FAE18B2A588A.jpeg
 

Jan_P

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I have Retarded and Boyer 1980 I don't know how much exactly I have no marks on the rotor because of a rewind
I adjust it via the blipping and how easy / difficult it is to start .
The Boyer has adjustment slots not much but a little And on Idle one can hear the Rev increasing and decrease as well as knocking more if to advanced
I read an Article mr Grizid pointed to ( thank you for that ) on spark plugs
Where hotter plugs was an idea .Do you use or has tested that ???
 

LTGTR

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Mailman and others who have contributed to this - could you show/indicate/draw what 5 degrees retarded looks like on the rotor markings.
I know the "F" mark is the firing point at idle (say 1200 rpm) and I assume that would be about 7 degrees before TDC - in other words 7 degrees advanced.
So when you say you have retarded the timing by 5 degrees does that mean you have set the timing at idle to be very close to the TDC line (mathematically speaking 2 degrees BTDC).
Or do you set the timing at (say) 3000 RPM (full advance revs) a set distance before the full advance mark. If so, what physical distance is that.
While on the subject - at what RPM do the advance weights start advancing ?. Would they be advancing any at the "F" mark.
Lots to learn and understand.
Regards Ray.
 

grizld1

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The "F" mark is at 15* BTDC, not 7*. Want to be accurate? Remove the left engine cover, get a clear plastic protractor with a center hole, stick in a bamboo skewer or similar, and hang the protractor in the center hole of the crankshaft.
 

gggGary

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Excellent. View attachment 200778
Fwiw, I think mine runs better at 35° too.
Curious who else is running retarded?
My whole life...................
My bike is running great, when I got there I shut the bike off for a little while and it fired right up when I was ready to go. It accelerates smoothly and idles beautifully. The real surprise for me though is the way that timing adjustment affected the motor.
Before , I didn’t really like pushing the bike much over 65 because the vibration started to get pretty serious, but now 65-70 no longer feels like the engine is being over stressed, it’s smoother and even when I pushed it up to 80 it still had more in it, but that was fast enough for me.
How many years ago? XSJohn preached this far N wide to any that would listen.
A guy should prolly have an external timing thumb wheel.......
 

Mailman

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Mailman and others who have contributed to this - could you show/indicate/draw what 5 degrees retarded looks like on the rotor markings.

I had asked @Jim to help me figure out the approximate settings and here was his response to me.

40° is full advance.
The drain slot in the cover is the best guide. The red line is 40°. The green line is 35°
So if you set it just right of the center of the drain slot, you'd be pretty damn close. Keep in mind, plus or minus 2° will be good enough.
689115CE-7961-4124-869C-A1BAE2D1F61E.jpeg


And here is how I translated that to my XS2. I realize this may not be dead on perfect, but I’m just looking for a general improvement. I’m hitting the black mark ( on the left ) at full advance and the red mark at idle.
7C8850EC-2843-4C6B-B4F4-1E71EA629AE9.jpeg
 

Paul Sutton

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Amazing how we all keep rediscovering things. TwoManyXS1Bs gives a very good account on retarding the ignition and includes a few photos to show the advance/retard position:

http://www.xs650.com/threads/xs650-ignition-timing-revisited-are-we-too-advanced.45197/


My ramble through the woods: My first inkling about retarding the timing came about when I notice the XS ran smoother on petrol that had been sitting in the tank a month or so over Winter. Then I tried higher Octane and that improved also. When retarding the timing there is a point where the performance suddenly drops off to sluggish. That indicates you have gone to far so just back off a bit from there - Perhaps halfway between Full Advance and Sluggish and see how the bike feels. But best to reference TwoManyXS1Bs photo shots.
 

Mailman

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Amazing how we all keep rediscovering things. TwoManyXS1Bs gives a very good account on retarding the ignition and includes a few photos to show the advance/retard position:

http://www.xs650.com/threads/xs650-ignition-timing-revisited-are-we-too-advanced.45197/


My ramble through the woods: My first inkling about retarding the timing came about when I notice the XS ran smoother on petrol that had been sitting in the tank a month or so over Winter. Then I tried higher Octane and that improved also. When retarding the timing there is a point where the performance suddenly drops off to sluggish. That indicates you have gone to far so just back off a bit from there - Perhaps halfway between Full Advance and Sluggish and see how the bike feels. But best to reference TwoManyXS1Bs photo shots.

That’s too funny, I included that link and made that reference in my first post. :laugh2: His article is what started all this for me.
 
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