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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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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 that i think about/klr-charging-systems-the-changes-over-time
 

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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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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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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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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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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."
 

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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.
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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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.
 

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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.
Respectfully, don't think any consequential safety risk difference exists between the high-voltage spark from either a CDI or TCBI ignition. Each spark is high voltage and low amperage. The low amperage remains unlikely to pose physical injury, IMHO.

I sincerely doubt safety concerns drove Kawasaki's switch from a CAPACITIVE discharge system (Generation 1) to an INDUCTIVE one (Generation 2). My opinion only; YMMV! :)

BTW; don't think either generation KLR offers "magneto voltage" ignition, as the phrase is commonly used. Kawasaki sometimes labels the alternator as, "magneto," but . . . nomenclature precision may be somewhat lost in translation (Japanese to English).

DISCLAIMER: I don't know why Kawasaki made the, Great Leap Backward, abandoning capacitive discharge ignition for the Generation 2 scheme; Tom's suggestion of the change offering a cheaper, simpler, more robust stator appears as good a speculation as any, to me.
 

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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.
Humm, I've never, ever heard or read of any mechanic or owner being hospitalized because ignition spark shock. Therefore I don't know we would need a safer system.
I've personally tested many ignition systems with bare fingers or arms by accident and quite a few on purpose.
A bad condenser on the old breaker points systems would give one a low voltage AC shock. Sort of like the feeling of a 9V battery on ones tongue.

A higher intensity spark usually makes for more certain ignition of the fuel charge at higher combustion chamber pressures. CDI

A longer duration spark, in lower combustion chamber pressures supposedly can create a more complete burn. TCBI

As I understand it.
 

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Hmm. The way I find out if the ignition system is making spark is not by taking the spark plug out, grounding it against the head, cranking things over, and peering at the spark plug.

I grab the high tension lead and crank it over. If it's making spark you'll know. Been doing that since about 1970. Of course, you have to have the good sense to keep one hand in your pocket. If I recall correctly, my Ossa Pioneer made a heck of a spark. At least it felt that way...

To date, I have not been killed. Not even once.
 

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This reminded me of a KLF 220 issue. The old ones had magneto CDI and it was common for the magnets to come loose in the flywheel and migrate around screwing the timing over. Was interesting...
The term, "magneto CDI," confuses me.

A magneto ignition produces a spark from the collapse of magnetic flux about an inductor.

A CDI produces a spark by the discharge of a capacitor.

So, "magneto CDI," seems to me an oxymoron.

I think a couple of videos from this link explain magneto ignition; no CDI to be found.


And this link:


And, good ol' WikipediA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignition_magneto

(Plus plenty of hits one couldn't read in a lifetime.)

Just sayin', magneto ignition is primarily inductive; CDI involves discharging a capacitor across the primary windings of an ignition coil. Different breeds of cats.
 

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There are two types of CDIs, as in: AC-powered CDIs, and DC-powered DCIs. In each of these, an AC voltage (provided through an inverter on a DC-powered CDI) is stepped up, rectified, and used to charge a capacitor. A pickup coil senses a timing lump on the rotor, triggering a thyristor (Silicon-Controlled Rectifier, or SCR), discharging the capacitor across the primary windings of the ignition coil, resulting in a spark from the ignition coil secondary windings.

Magneto IGNITIONS are 'nother thing entirely (as described in the links provided), to the best of my knowledge and belief. No CDI is involved in a magneto ignition system.
 

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87 KLF 220, check it :) and many other machines. but thats a good example of mag cdi


There are two types of CDIs, as in: AC-powered CDIs, and DC-powered DCIs. In each of these, an AC voltage (provided through an inverter on a DC-powered CDI) is stepped up, rectified, and used to charge a capacitor. A pickup coil senses a timing lump on the rotor, triggering a thyristor (Silicon-Controlled Rectifier, or SCR), discharging the capacitor across the primary windings of the ignition coil, resulting in a spark from the ignition coil secondary windings.

Magneto IGNITIONS are 'nother thing entirely (as described in the links provided), to the best of my knowledge and belief. No CDI is involved in a magneto ignition system.
 

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87 KLF 220, check it :) and many other machines. but thats a good example of mag cdi
Respectfully, I think "mag cdi" appears a contradiction in terms. A CDI isn't applicable to a magneto ignition system as far as I can see; there's no CAPACITOR to DISCHARGE. Thus, I wonder where the capacitative discharge ignition exists, when a magneto ignition has none.

YMMV; and you're certainly entitled to your own belief system. WikipediA tells us,

---------------------------------------------

The basic principle[edit]

Most ignition systems used in cars are inductive discharge ignition (IDI) systems, which are solely relying on the electric inductance at the coil to produce high-voltage electricity to the spark plugs as the magnetic field collapses when the current to the primary coil winding is disconnected (disruptive discharge). In a CDI system, a charging circuit charges a high voltage capacitor, and at the instant of ignition the system stops charging the capacitor, allowing the capacitor to discharge its output to the ignition coil before reaching the spark plug.

--------------------------------------

Magneto ignitions are inductive discharge systems; don't understand how they can be also capacitor discharge systems. Maybe it's just ME! :)
 

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Magneto ignitions are inductive discharge systems; don't understand how they can be also capacitor discharge systems. Maybe it's just ME! :)
Damocles, what I know about electricity can be summed up in one snappy sentence: "Resistance = volts / amps." If you give me any two I can find the unknown.

However, a lawnmower in the old days used a magneto, points and a capacitor, hence in my mind it's a type of CDI system.

Jason
 

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If there is a points-type ignition and it includes a capacitor the capacitor's function is to prevent pitting of the points. It hasn't anything to do with providing the large voltage required to create a spark. Instead, a magneto creates a large EMF and a set of points opens. The EMF collapses and creates a spark. Tain't no CDI about it.

A couple of observations.

The first thing that should be done in any discussion is to define the terms used in the discussion. Were I asked to define what a magneto is, I would say that it is a form of alternator that uses permanent magnets and a coil, in relative motion to one another, to create an alternating current. Compare and contrast to a conventional alternator which uses field coils instead of permanent magnets. Thus, every KLR ever made has a magneto.

A magneto ignition is a specialized form of magneto that uses a set of breaker points to collapse a field and create a spark. It ain't too sophisticated as far as timing goes...

As Damocles says, there are two kinds of CDI, AC and DC. The source of the AC is not a discriminator; doesn't matter if it comes from an alternator, a magneto, or house current with a really long extension cord. It's just AC. If one is going to say there is 'magneto CDI' then one must also say there is 'alternator CDI' and 'house current CDI', or any other source of AC imaginable. It's just AC CDI.

There is no such thing as an '87 KLF 220.
 
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If there is a points-type ignition and it includes a capacitor the capacitor's function is to prevent pitting of the points. It hasn't anything to do with providing the large voltage required to create a spark. Instead, a magneto creates a large EMF and a set of points opens. The EMF collapses and creates a spark. Tain't no CDI about it.
You're exactly right and even as ignorant as I am about electricity I should have arrived at the same conclusion before posting.

I remember being on the wrong end of the capacitor trick when I was about 9 years old. My neighbor charged the capacitor from his old Chevy pickup truck and carefully handed it to me. Man what a jolt I got when I unknowingly touched the case and the center contact!:surprise:

At the end of that shocking discovery I was convinced the capacitor had something to do with generating spark!

Jason
 

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Apparently, a very fine distinction exists (to some) between INDUCTIVE discharge ignition systems (as in, magneto ignition systems, and ol'-timey automobile points/coil/condenser ignition systems), and CAPACITIVE discharge ignition (CDI) systems (as in, Generation 1 KLRs).

CAVEAT: Do NOT expect help from researching Kawasaki marketing literature on this subject; recent "official" Kawasaki marketing literature refers to the latter-day KLR650 ignition systems as, "Electric CDI," which we all know is FALSE.

I offer a tell-tale clue assisting in distinguishing between the two types of ignition systems:

An INDUCTIVE ignition system fires when an electrical circuit is OPENED, as when points open, allowing the saturated primary inductor coil's electric field to collapse, inducing a spark-worthy voltage from the secondary coil.

A CAPACITIVE ignition system fires when an electrical circuit is CLOSED, as when a thyristor (Silicon-Controlled Rectifier, SCR) connects a highly-charged capacitor to an ignition coil's primary windings, inducing a high-voltage pulse from the secondary windings.

So, BREAKING a connection to induce spark identifies an inductive ignition system; MAKING a connection to induce spark suggests a capacitive discharge ignition system.

(This information WILL be on your quiz, but: You will NOT be bothered with troublesome formulas, such as: e = L dI/dT ! :))
 
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