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Electronic ignition for Trident T150

Home Forums TR3OC Members Forum Electronic ignition for Trident T150

This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Dave Rodgers 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #6227
    john martin
    john martin

    What are the members opinion on electronic ignitions for a Trident T150?

    On all my other Brit bikes I’ve owned in the past, I’ve used the Boyer electronic ignition with no problems, but I have to admit, I don’t like the waste spark principle. I don’t think it gives the coils enough time to recover to it’s full capacity (dwell angle?) & causes them to fail at twice the rate.

    I would think on the triple it would make the problem even worse. (I’m assuming all plugs fire at the same time.) My friend has constant coil problems with his Boyer equipped T150V.

    The Pazon & early Tri-Spark appear to use the same principal of a wasted spark, like the Boyer.

    The new Tri-Spark appears to only fire one spark plug at a time, is this correct? But I don’t like the idea of all the electronics behind the points cover, getting overheated with engine temperature.

    Are there any other electronic ignition systems to consider?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #6228

    keith berry

    If you use good quality 4v coils you will be OK Lucas don’t use sparx as they fail due to the primary resistance being to low, I know I burnt 2 out with the boyer, wassel 6v coils work good with the boyer, I have done 3k this year no problems, also ensure the contacts are secure

  • #6230
    David Lord
    David Lord

    I’ve never had a Tri-Spark but it has a good reputation and appears to work very well.  It is however very expensive (depending where you are in the world).  All Tri-Sparks are sequential spark.


    In my view there is no practical advantage with sequential spark over wasted spark.  Wasted spark ignitions have been around for a long time and nobody complained about plug wear or weak sparks.  That was until Tri-Spark made it into a selling point.  You will be able find many forum posts over the years where owners say they have ditched Boyer for the Tri-Spark miracle cure.  I strongly suspect that many of these Boyer installations were very old with worn our wiring, connections, coils and maybe the odd dodgy Boyer box.  Replacing them with anything new would have made them better!  If you are concerned about reliability then Boyer’s long-standing track record is unbeatable.


    Keith is right about 4V coils.  They are needed to get the best performance with a Boyer.  Only use Sparx 4V coils with a Sparx ignition (wasted spark) as only the Sparx box is able to cope with the 5Amp draw from their coils which have a 0.8Ohm primary resistance.  I use a Sparx setup on my R3 with great success.  The Boyer limit I think is 4Amp i.e. 3 coils of 1Ohm primary resistance e.g. Lucas or Wassel.


    I have Pazon (wasted spark) on another triple and it has been faultless but in the UK it is an expensive ignition to buy. I’ve had several Boyers on previous bikes and never had a failure.


    • #6234

      nigel wheatley

      I’ve got a Boyer fitted to my T160, it was the early type (Mk3) from the 90s and came fitted with the bike when i bought it 7 yrs ago. It uses 6v coils which are also the original lucas which also came with the bike – but as david says in order to get it running & starting good i’ve had to replace all wiring and connectors and  leads etc. all my failures and problems have been due to duff wires and connections (and worn carbs which needed re-sleeving but that’s another but relevant story if you want a consistent runner)

      If you are buying a new boyer then the most reliable seems to be the basic black box mk4 version, the fancier digi ignition with its own special coils has some people who swear by it and others who won’t touch it due to past failures. Racing T150 tridents have lapped the Isle of man in the manx & classic tt at 100mph plus using a standard boyer mk4 black box

      If i was buying new parts with a new boyer Mk4 then for 6v coils I would use PVL (the current ‘genuine lucas’ parts are just from someone who has bought the rights to use the name and the packaging) – or as david says go with the complete sparx package.  Any way you can’t buy new ‘lucas’ 4v coils but if anyone knows of any other makers of 4v coils available to use with the boyer let us know.

      Another alternative ignition would be the Sachse which is german made http://www.elektronik-sachse.de and has good reputation with laverda and guzzi owners, (they had a stall at the last stafford show) that too is wasted spark i think but then lots of 70/80s era Jap 4s used wasted sparks too.


  • #6244

    Julian Green

    I bought my first Boyer system in 1984, and it worked ok for a while. Then I started getting a misfire which I couldn’t cure other than by ditching the electronics and reverting to points. I sent the black box back to Boyer and they sent me a new one FOC as they regarded it’s failure as premature.

    This black box is still going some 25 years later. The system destroyed itself (most inconveniently) in France when a magnet detached itself from the rotor. The resulting carnage stopped me within yards!

    I’ve always used 6V coils as I’ve never found any 4V types. The system is consequently very sensitive to battery condition, and any drop in voltage to below 11V will almost certainly bring proceedings to a halt. I had a cell fail on a ride out once. The engine would run quite happily at tickover, though anything more than this stalled the motor.

    But – I’ve never had a coil fail.

    • #6245
      David Lord
      David Lord

      Early Boyers were sensitive to voltage; they wouldn’t work properly if the supply dropped below 10V, which was a pain with electric start T160.  I believe the current products are improved and don’t suffer with this problem.

  • #6398

    Richard Black

    Hello John,

    I had a Boyer which I collected from them in 1970 for my beautiful Olympic Flame T150T.  I remember being shown the racing Tridents in the workshop.  Great!  It performed perfectly for the short time (I ran out of money after about 18 months of furious riding) I had the bike.  It would rev to ridiculous levels so I am sure Boyer would have improved rather than got worse. Never a moments problem with it even with a flat battery.

    My T160 that I had from 1976 to 1992 (KFP 197P if anyone knows about it)was on a Rita which was also completely reliable and never hindered the revs or power. Again, flat batteries never caused problems and it used to bump start rolling down a kerb after the battery gave up.

    I now have a T150V which I am about to rebuild with a 70s Rita, after a brief 41 year sojourn in sheds, so I hope it functions as well as I remember.

    I often wondered about all the importance of accurate timing for each cylinder on the old points system when the wasted spark system made everything better with no negatives that I ever noticed.

    Good luck.


  • #6405

    Dave Rodgers

    Hello John

    As your starting from scratch, i wouldn’t use Rita, they have not been manufactured for many years. All electrical components have a shelf life even if not being used so even if you could source unused you could have future problems, with used who knows!

    I have had Boyer in the past and my ignition failures have always been with a Boyer system, particularly the sender under the points cover which is susceptible to heat! Also once the black box. Cheap and cheerful but you need to carry spares if touring.

    Trispark is currently fitted to the T160 and gives good starting and running, no problems yet over 7 years and many thousands of miles. The Hurricane was fitted with a system at the samr time and again starts first kick, 7 years but less miles. I don’t bother carrying spares! If you follow the fitting instructions with regard to resistor plugs, leads etc they give great service. 12v coils on the Hurricane, 6v on the T160 as i still use the ballast resistor.

    You pays your money and makes your choice. Good Luck.

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