HPI Ignition Systems

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10/21/2018 4:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/28/2018 4:24 PM

I just installed a HPI ignition system on my 1981 YZ125H and it runs like a bat out of hell!!! I had used my original electrical system following a restoration project and it melted down on the first ride. Following a Ricky Stator install and a 2nd used CDI install, with mixed results, I found and ordered a HPI system. Bingo! It was just what the doctor ordered!!! Runs like a champ now!

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10/21/2018 4:14 PM

Here’s some pics.

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10/21/2018 4:16 PM

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10/22/2018 6:07 AM

Yep! Life is too short to mess with junk 40 year old electrical parts

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10/23/2018 12:35 PM

Starts a little easier now doesn't it? cool

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Positively, absolutely 110% obsessed with anything MOTO.

10/23/2018 1:08 PM

Oh yeah!!!

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10/23/2018 5:58 PM

I got a PVL for my 83 KX. I'm sure it's me but I can't get it to work right. I can only start by bumping it. I sent it back to have it tested and they said it's fine. I'd love to have a fresh ignition on it. The Black Ops Coil I installed worked great

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10/23/2018 6:32 PM

My original stator melted down after restoring the bike. I guess old electrical is bound to fail. I ordered a Ricky Stator stator and it would start, but not run when rolling on the throttle. I bought an extra used CDI unit, it it did the same thing and the coil checked out with a multi-meter. I gave up and looked at PVL and then I saw the HPI ignition systems on DC Plastics web site for $279, so I ordered it. The stock flywheel uses a woodruff key to position it, but the HPI flywheel does not have a woodruff key groove. It was a hassle to get it positioned right, but once done, it fired right up and runs great!

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10/23/2018 10:52 PM

I use the hpi on hondas and much more reliable than old ignitions

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10/24/2018 6:37 AM

Good to hear!!!

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10/25/2018 8:10 AM

MaxPower wrote:

I got a PVL for my 83 KX. I'm sure it's me but I can't get it to work right. I can only start by bumping it. I sent it back to have it tested and they said it's fine. I'd love to have a fresh ignition on it. The Black Ops Coil I installed worked great

What size engine in your KX? PVL ignitions need a high cranking speed to generate a spark, so they can struggle to start big engines because of the lower cranking speed when kicked over compared to a small engine like a 125.

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10/25/2018 8:32 AM

MaxPower will need to respond to that. My HPI ignition works like a champ!

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10/25/2018 1:59 PM

MaxPower wrote:

I got a PVL for my 83 KX. I'm sure it's me but I can't get it to work right. I can only start by bumping it. I sent it back to have it tested and they said it's fine. I'd love to have a fresh ignition on it. The Black Ops Coil I installed worked great

Murph wrote:

What size engine in your KX? PVL ignitions need a high cranking speed to generate a spark, so they can struggle to start big engines because of the lower cranking speed when kicked over compared to a small engine like a 125.

it's a 125. My bike starts right up first kick in gear with the stock ignition. If I didnt have the pvl timed right, I don't know what I could have done wrong. I spent way too much time trying to do what I thought was right. I also ran a ground wire from the stator to the frame.

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10/26/2018 7:05 AM

Which system did you buy? Digital, single of multiple maps? ETC.... Considering it for a RM/PE 175 motor I'm building as finding good stock stuff is about the same price and it would be cool to have a lighter flywheel on a 175. smile

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10/26/2018 7:13 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/28/2018 5:03 PM

Mine is a HPI ignition system. Works great! Purchased from DC Plastics. They have a lot of parts for vintage bikes.

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10/26/2018 7:18 AM

I'll have to check it out. HPI has a few options from simple to programmable.

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10/26/2018 7:28 AM

Mine is a basic unit, not programmable.

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10/26/2018 8:13 AM

MaxPower wrote:

I got a PVL for my 83 KX. I'm sure it's me but I can't get it to work right. I can only start by bumping it. I sent it back to have it tested and they said it's fine. I'd love to have a fresh ignition on it. The Black Ops Coil I installed worked great

Those ignitions have been known to produce less voltage than a stock one on some cases which may be your problem, but you can increase the voltage by moving the pickup closer to the rotor, They make some shims to do this with but this generates more heat and can cause premature failure of the pickup. Stock ignitions are usually the best ad most reliable ones to use..

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10/26/2018 8:17 AM

450exc115 wrote:

Which system did you buy? Digital, single of multiple maps? ETC.... Considering it for a RM/PE 175 motor I'm building as finding good stock stuff is about the same price and it would be cool to have a lighter flywheel on a 175. smile

If you have an external flywheel you can also machine the od down but leave a band around 6 mm wide of the original od to reduce the potential for it the flywheel to "swell up" at higher rpms.

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10/26/2018 9:54 AM

450exc115 wrote:

Which system did you buy? Digital, single of multiple maps? ETC.... Considering it for a RM/PE 175 motor I'm building as finding good stock stuff is about the same price and it would be cool to have a lighter flywheel on a 175. smile

barnett468 wrote:

If you have an external flywheel you can also machine the od down but leave a band around 6 mm wide of the original od to reduce the potential for it the flywheel to "swell up" at higher rpms.

I need to source everything so the HPI is actually a cheaper path. smile

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10/26/2018 10:51 AM

That’s why I went with the HPI system. I started with a new Ricky Stator stator, but it would idle and die as soon as you tried to roll on the throttle. I played around with swapping CDI units, etc., with no luck. So, I decided to get all new stuff that is designed to work together.

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10/26/2018 5:39 PM

450exc115 wrote:

Which system did you buy? Digital, single of multiple maps? ETC.... Considering it for a RM/PE 175 motor I'm building as finding good stock stuff is about the same price and it would be cool to have a lighter flywheel on a 175. smile

barnett468 wrote:

If you have an external flywheel you can also machine the od down but leave a band around 6 mm wide of the original od to reduce the potential for it the flywheel to "swell up" at higher rpms.

450exc115 wrote:

I need to source everything so the HPI is actually a cheaper path. smile

i would think you might be able to find a complete orig system on ebay

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10/27/2018 6:04 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/27/2018 6:04 PM

I’d get the HPI system. It’s completely new, so you know what you’re dealing with.

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10/27/2018 6:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/27/2018 6:38 PM

dcfitz wrote:

I’d get the HPI system. It’s completely new, so you know what you’re dealing with.

well you actually you have no idea what you are dealing with unless one has the timing curve for the stock ignition and the timing curve for the hpi, plus, in many cases, the stock ignitions have been known to still be perfectly fine after 50 years an there have been several posts about the hpi's failing.

new is not automatically better than original.
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10/27/2018 7:32 PM

My stock system failed.

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10/27/2018 9:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/27/2018 10:23 PM

dcfitz wrote:

My stock system failed.

that means absolutely nothing unless it is determined exactly why it failed. irregardless of the reason it failed, the failure rate of 50 year old stock ignitions is infinitesimal compared to the bazillions that were made and i would bet my stock ignition will still be working for a long time.

" I had used my original electrical system following a restoration project and it melted down on the first ride."

The ignition obviously worked perfectly before you got it, then it mysteriously burns up after you remove it and reinstall it. This obviously suggests that one possible reason for the failure is incorrect re-installation.

like i stated, new is not automatically better than original.

PS - One of edisons light bulbs is still burning after 117 years.

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10/28/2018 11:41 AM

So, regardless as to the cause of my stock systems failure, all the motorcycle scrap yards wanted 225.00 to 280.00 for a stock stator with no warranty. My HPI system, complete with new flywheel, stator, CDI unit, coil, kill switch and all new wiring was 279.00. not to mention, it works great and has a warranty. I hear you about keeping stock, but the way I chose to go has it’s merits, as well.

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10/28/2018 1:04 PM

Barnett468, why the hate for aftermarket ignitions? I get it, many parts are made better OEM. Sometimes not. every old RM I've owned (4) I've had to replace the stator. In dcfitz situation, I probably would have done the same.

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10/28/2018 2:44 PM

MaxPower wrote:

I got a PVL for my 83 KX. I'm sure it's me but I can't get it to work right. I can only start by bumping it. I sent it back to have it tested and they said it's fine. I'd love to have a fresh ignition on it. The Black Ops Coil I installed worked great

Murph wrote:

What size engine in your KX? PVL ignitions need a high cranking speed to generate a spark, so they can struggle to start big engines because of the lower cranking speed when kicked over compared to a small engine like a 125.

MaxPower wrote:

it's a 125. My bike starts right up first kick in gear with the stock ignition. If I didnt have the pvl timed right, I don't know what I could have done wrong. I spent way too much time trying to do what I thought was right. I also ran a ground wire from the stator to the frame.

Hey, so you have a stock ignition and the bike starts and runs. With the PVL, you have to bump it to get it start. Agree with the statement that the PVL does not spark as well when initially kicking, but should be good enough to fire it up.

A suggestion is to put the stock ignition on it and put a timing light on it. Not start it, but just to give you a reference point. The reinstall the PVL and compare. Adjust the PVL to match the stocker. That may allow you to kick start the bike.

A bit of work, but should get you where you want to be.

At least an idea.

Good Luck!

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10/28/2018 7:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/28/2018 7:16 PM

MaxPower wrote:

Barnett468, why the hate for aftermarket ignitions? I get it, many parts are made better OEM. Sometimes not. every old RM I've owned (4) I've had to replace the stator. In dcfitz situation, I probably would have done the same.

no hate for them per se, but i have been involved with racing since around 1974 and i was also a project engineer at kawasaki motors for several years where i did development testing on all aspects of various vehicles and have done countless ignition tests, and in my experience, the stock systems are usually the best and most reliable.

my 1980 yz250 runs flawlessly and is easily capable of winning expert level races at ahrma, so i see no reason to switch to something else if it ever fails. if it ain't broke, i ain't gonna "fix" it.

i also holeshot 15 newer 250 and 450 4 stroke bikes (that cost around $9,000.00 a piece when new) with my worn out 38 year old 2 stroke at the last trans world mx at milestone 5 weeks ago and again, this is with a 38 year old stock ignition.

also, as i previously mentioned, without knowing the timing curves, you don't know what you are getting with an aftermarket one compared to an oem one.


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