I’ve been away in France for a few days Holiday with my wife and our little girl and I thought I’d take a couple of motorbike magazines with me that I’ve never bought just to give me something to stick my nose in (as well as Jennings book on two stroke tuning, Tuning for Speed and a a great book about some of the lesser known stories from within the drama of the Tour de France). One of these was ‘Practical Sportsbikes’ which seems to be largely written by one man but has some really interesting bits and pieces in it. Mainly aimed at people who are interested in 70’s, 80’s and 90’s sportsbikes and still actually doing things to them to make them faster or better. One bit was concerned with the re-commissioning of a Suzuki RGV 250, which I’ve always had a soft spot for after having sat on one at the 1989 motorcycle show at the NEC. Anyway, they had decided to fit a programmable ignition unit which gave them the opportunity to pre-program advance curves and also to alter the timing using a plug in remote control. After realising that this wasn’t something that was that far beyond the realms of possibility, I wondered about using this on the Silk Scott racer, since no firm ignition set up has been defined as yet, beyond the use of the flywheel as part of the generator and ignition trigger.
I wrote to the manufacturer mentioned in the piece at the beginning of the week outlining my interest and telling him the current situation.
I’ve had an email exchange this week which has been interesting. He admits that the benefits of an advance curve are likely to be greater in a higher revving engine, but he reckons that all engines benefit from it. It also gives speedy possibilities to set up in a dyno session, where the timing can be changed very quickly.
I’ve never had an advance curve on the system I run on the Super Squirrel and I’ve always thought it was fine. Without actually putting it on a dyno, It’s pretty difficult to know though.
He also says that the spark output is really good at low revs which means good starting… much better than a PVL system he said, which didn’t really crank out the voltage until the revs were higher. That would be nice.
The programmable ignition system is ‘zeeltronic’ (apparently popular according to this magazine article) and the website is here:
They do systems that also control exhaust valves at different revs but the one he specified just does a couple of ignition curve programmes.
It certainly means that there wont be the fiddle of trying to make sure that the pickup assembly is adjustable. Apparently you set the pickup to sense the trigger just before the range you are going to be using and then the actual ignition firing points are decided by you in two programmable maps.
Also, since we won’t have any ignition or oil pump related gubbins hanging off the doors, I think that we should also do a set of reed doors for it such as Roger made for his brother’s bike back in the late 1960’s. Recently he’s had more castings made as they were used on the ‘phased transfer’ engine that Bob Collet has designed and built using Scott components as a basis. The more I think about it, the more I reckon that although reeds can be restrictive to flow in high revving two strokes, with the engine speeds that we are using there could well be a distinct advantage and with the high comp head and a resonant exhaust, it could be significant!