Two must-see tips for motorcycle maintenance

Autos & TrucksMaintenance

  • Author Jack Lee
  • Published September 17, 2015
  • Word count 855

Here we will discuss about some problem which is easy to be ignored in the process of motorcycle maintenance, like circuit, oil, gas or mechanical parts.

1.Minimum ignition speed

In general, magneto ignition system has minimum ignition speed and it can ensure that the ignition system can realize high voltage ignition at low engine speed. However, most repairman will usually remove the spark plug on the fault engine and do the arcing tests on high-pressure damping cap when there is a ignition failure. These methods are simple and easy and have been widely adopted by them. But some engine failure like difficult to start, is due to ignition coil and the electronic igniter with a high ignition speed.

Such as Honda CH125 water-cooled scooter, its minimum ignition speed is 300 r/min. If the minimum ignition performance reduces, the minimum ignition speed increase, and it sometimes even need to reach more than 400 r/min to ignite. If the repairman still use simple arcing tests as above, then they may be fooled by some false appearance and even mislead. This is because there is no compression resistance in the cylinder when the piston runs up and down without spark plug in the engine; the start speed is above 400 r/min, which is much higher than with speed with the spark plug.

Therefore, when using the spark plug or ignition coil to ignite, make sure to install a spark plug in the engine, or it is even better to use electronic tachometer to measure start speed. If using the old battery around 12 V, the start speed is around 300 r/min to 350 r/min, the spark is weak, while using the new battery above 13.5 V, the start speed is more than 400 r/min, the spark is blue and white, then we can get a preliminary conclusion: the minimum ignition speed is too high. Then, you need to test the performance of each electric equipment of ignition system, and replace the ignition coil and electronic igniter for contrast test, which can eliminate the failure.

2.The ignition triggers gap or the air gap

The ignition system of motorcycle engine generally adopts the flywheel rotor type, while magnet and flywheel are united into one and form as a part of the engine flywheel, and permanent magnets rotate together with the flywheel and form a magnetic field, then there will be induced current in the fixed coil, at the same time play a role of mechanical energy storage and release. Four-stroke engine use non-contact ignition system, the trigger coil of magneto is at the external of the flywheel rotor, where there is a permanent magnets, with the rotor rotating, trigger coil will induce pulse current and provide trigger signal to electronic ignition device (CDI).

In order to ensure that the ignition system has a strong ignition trigger signal, while it will not interfere trigger poles and flywheel rotor, so there is trigger gap around 0.40 mm to 0.80 mm between the trigger pole and the flywheel rotor. In general, the gap can be adjusted by the mounting hole or oval hole on trigger pole. Due to the error at manufacturing, or reassemble after repair, or trigger pole wear and tear, the ignition trigger gap may get bigger, thus affecting engine ignition performance in different degrees. Besides, there is also air gap between cylindrical stator and flywheel magnetic, under normal circumstances, unilateral air gap should be no greater than 0.75 mm, in order to ensure the magneto ignition and charging system work normally.

For a 125 type motorcycle, driving more than 43000 kilometers, after the stator component was changed for the magneto fault and then electric start can’t work while the pedal start is normal. Then, repairman will check both static and dynamic of battery voltage, which turns to be normal, overrunning clutch, start circuit and relay are also normal, then check the starter circuit, carbon brush and so on, they are all normal. Remove the spark plug, put it on the high-pressure damping cap and do electric start check, the spark is dark red, and after changing a spark plug, electric start is still not working. Then you need to replace the stator coil, and remove the ventilation cover, check the trigger gap between flywheel and trigger pole, there are unexpectedly about 2.0 mm. Realigns the trigger to standard 0.50 mm, reinstall the parts, then electric start can work successful now.

You can be seen from the examples above, repairman didn’t adjust the trigger gap according to the rule when changing the stator component, the ignition trigger gap will be too large. When applying the pedal start, because recoil inertia is big, it can barely achieve start speed; and when electric start, because starter speed is relatively low, the large gap will reduce the pulse signal, the spark is not strong enough to start. And the other motorcycle can’t be started because the air gap is too big between cylindrical stator and the flywheel rotor magnetic cylinder wall, which will seriously affect the ignition performance of magneto.

In a word, when maintain the failure of ignition system, don’t ignore the ignition trigger gap and air gap.

Jack Lee is a writer. He regularly writes about fishing and vehicles. Sunday's coming he wanna drive his car, to his friends apartment with a present like a star, forecaster said the weathers may be rainy hard, but he knows the sun will shine for us. He lives with his wife, dog, and cat in West Virginia, USA.

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