Why did KLR change from CDI to TCI? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-01-2019, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Why did KLR change from CDI to TCI?

Anybody got the answer for this? Most of the other Gen1- Gen2 changes seem to have an obvious reason, either engineering or marketing. I'm curious as I never heard of a problem with the Gen1 CDI system which justifies the change.

For what it's worth, I'm wondering if it might be to improve the emission performance. This is purely a guess based on the fact TCI has a stronger spark at low revolutions.

Anybody know the real reason or want to provide an alternative theory?

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post #2 of 38 Old 07-01-2019, 01:02 PM
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I've no idea. I think it was a step backward and have installed a Gen 1 ignition on my Gen 2. The TCI has pretty much the same hokey advance curve and lack of tunability that the CDI had. Of course, you need to have at least a mostly-dead-but-but-not-totally-dead battery in place to push start the thing. Enough voltage, mebbe 9ish volts, is enough to get the TCI to make spark so you can push start it.

By changing the ignition they were able to eliminate the two exciter coils, replacing them with charging coils. That, and a change to the rotor style, increased the electrical output of the alternator. The number of poles was not increased but the rotor has a higher flux density. Putting the charging coils in probably smoothed out the three-phase output and makes for a cleaner DC voltage, though I've never scoped it.

There's some info on the charging systems here: https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff%20th...nges-over-time
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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 07-01-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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post #3 of 38 Old 09-03-2019, 01:22 AM
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I already do , a gen1 with gen2 magneto and a Chinese CDI ,with eléctricas sistem of gen2 i Will post the info un other chat of CDI un this group, and pics
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post #4 of 38 Old 09-05-2019, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Alejandro Mercado View Post
I already do , a gen1 with gen2 magneto and a Chinese CDI ,with eléctricas sistem of gen2 i Will post the info un other chat of CDI un this group, and pics
Somehow, in the wisdom of Kawasaki Heavy Industries marketing, the Generation 2 specifications declare the ignition is, "Electric CDI."

We all know this ain't so. I approached a beautiful young lady Kawasaki rep at the International Motorcycle Show a couple of years ago, pointing out this error in the printed specifications; also, I told her the Generation 2 had DUAL-CYLINDER rear brake calipers, instead of the SINGLE-CYLINDER rear brake calipers reported in the marketing literature.

Shortening the story, the correct number of rear brake caliper cylinders (after the young lady and I mutually counted them on the show demonstration KLR) was subsequently reported; the correction was made. However, . . . I think the last Official Kawasaki Specification still referred to the ignition, as . . . "Electric CDI." I think the distinction between CDI and Fully-Transistorized Breakerless Ignition was too fine for her pretty little head to grasp.

ANYHOW, the Chinese CDI remains an enigma, to me. The Generation 1 CDI is powered from ALTERNATING CURRENT, from the stator exciter coils; the Generation 2 ignition (an INDUCTIVE ignition) is powered by DIRECT CURRENT (12 VDC). Is the Chinese CDI AC- or DC-powered? If AC, how do you connect the Chinese CDI to the Generation 2 stator? If DC-powered, not a question: Any battery voltage connection should work.

Somehow, inexplicably, the brightest KLR hop-up gurus haven't busied themselves extensively with ignition advance curves. Some have messed around with the timing lump/pickup coil geometry, but that modification only affects static timing; the ignition advance curve may be shifted by these means, but the spark advance curve profile remains unchanged. Why has no one ELECTRONICALLY altered the ignition curve? Looks like a little bitty module optimizing spark advance might unleash "tons" of "free" power, and . . . sell well, even if it didn't!

Back to my basic question: Is the Chinese CDI AC- or DC-powered? (Both designs exist, or Google is lying to us.)

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Last edited by Damocles; 09-05-2019 at 10:25 AM.
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post #5 of 38 Old 09-05-2019, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I've no idea. I think it was a step backward and have installed a Gen 1 ignition on my Gen 2.
What is involved in swapping the TCI for a CDI on a Gen II KLR?

I assume you purchase a used CDI, or are there aftermarket CDIs that will work with the KLR. And what about the wire terminations? Do these need to be changed when installing a CDI?

What else is involved in converting to CDI?

Thanks!

Jason
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post #6 of 38 Old 09-05-2019, 12:44 PM
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Jason,

It requires a Gen 1 stator and pick-up coil, rotor, CDI, ignition coil, kill switch, and removing the 100Ω resistor from the Gen 2 ignition switch. KHI moved to a better generation of connectors with the Gen 2, so there's that to deal with. I was in the midst of building a new harness that accommodated some new stuff and deleted unneeded stuff and was able to incorporate proper connectors into the swap.

A small amount of bracket and sheet metal dungeoneering is required to get the coil mounted.

The objective was to get the Gen 1 ignition but the Gen 1 charging comes along for the ride. I also changed the R/R out for a Shindengen FH020AA MOSFET unit at the same time.

Two and a half years and some 20K miles on and it is doing fine. I don't run a lot of electrical (my electrical needs have been quite reduced, in fact) and have not missed the larger capacity of the Gen 2 charging system.

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“Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
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post #7 of 38 Old 09-05-2019, 12:51 PM
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There are some aftermarket CDIs out there and some of them are programmable. I have not looked into that sort of thing beyond a vacantly-staring slack-jawed trip through some of the websites. As Kyle Reese said, "I don't know tech stuff."

Tom [email protected]

“Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
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post #8 of 38 Old 09-05-2019, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Jason,

It requires a Gen 1 stator and pick-up coil, rotor, CDI, ignition coil, kill switch, and removing the 100Ω resistor from the Gen 2 ignition switch. KHI moved to a better generation of connectors with the Gen 2, so there's that to deal with. I was in the midst of building a new harness that accommodated some new stuff and deleted unneeded stuff and was able to incorporate proper connectors into the swap.

A small amount of bracket and sheet metal dungeoneering is required to get the coil mounted.

The objective was to get the Gen 1 ignition but the Gen 1 charging comes along for the ride. I also changed the R/R out for a Shindengen FH020AA MOSFET unit at the same time.

Two and a half years and some 20K miles on and it is doing fine. I don't run a lot of electrical (my electrical needs have been quite reduced, in fact) and have not missed the larger capacity of the Gen 2 charging system.
Wow, sounds like it's way more of a project than I'm willing to take on.

But thank you for the information.

Jason
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post #9 of 38 Old 09-06-2019, 01:09 PM
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Jason, @Norton 850

For the most part, it is just a parts replacement job. The biggest hurdle for me was the wiring, as I wanted to have a harness with the right OEM connectors built - not a spliced job. I suspect you'd fee the same.

As it happened I was building a new harness anyway so that hurdle disappeared. If you're ever interested I have the final schematic.

Tom [email protected]

“Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 09-06-2019 at 01:12 PM. Reason: html hide code didn't work.
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post #10 of 38 Old 09-07-2019, 08:55 AM
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Magneto CDI steps the voltage up to 30,000 volts. This can be dangerous to inexperienced users and IMO they went backwards to TCBI as a safety precaution. (TCBI is transistor controlled breakerless ignition) and runs off 12 volts. Much safer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by awayonmybike View Post
Anybody got the answer for this? Most of the other Gen1- Gen2 changes seem to have an obvious reason, either engineering or marketing. I'm curious as I never heard of a problem with the Gen1 CDI system which justifies the change.

For what it's worth, I'm wondering if it might be to improve the emission performance. This is purely a guess based on the fact TCI has a stronger spark at low revolutions.

Anybody know the real reason or want to provide an alternative theory?

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Licensed Motorcycle Mechanic since 1995 !!
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