View Full Version : Magnetos vs. Battery any thoughts?

11-28-2004, 03:44 PM
I have a '81 FXS. Can anyone give me some pros. / cons. of installing a magneto. I was hope to not have to deal with my battery so much and my friend with an old Triumph loves it. I prefer the kick start while I'm young anyway so what do you guys think? <_<

11-28-2004, 04:21 PM
magnetos, are great once you have them set up correctly, but the truth be known with batterys the way they are now days they are very dependable also...so it is your chioce

11-28-2004, 04:42 PM
i've always favored a mag for kick start bikes as it produces a healthy spark at kick speed. some of the newer electronic ignitions have a "kickstart" setting, but a mag is dam near fool proof (as long as it stays dry)...


11-29-2004, 12:55 AM
Magnetos are cool and very reliable, If you buy a new set up with the nose cone.

IMHO they are very expensive and used units usually prove to be troublesome(or not).

I'm kinda thinking a quality ignition unit with kick start mode and a healthy battery will suit you fine.

If you live in an area that has temps below 60 degrees kicking can be a real bitch. MY ass only wieghs 185 and jumping on a fridgid shovel is not fun.

Call me a pussy, but I like hitting the start button. :P


11-29-2004, 01:05 AM

ive run just about everything as far as ign.systems. my personal openion is:

if you are restoring a mc that has mags thats cool or if you are running a high compression race bike thats cool

but if they were that great hd would still be using them.....

just my openion

curley B)

11-29-2004, 02:01 AM
Battery and coil ignitions, including the electronic units, are pretty reliable now that battery technology has improved.....however, these systems are still dependent upon a battery and the integrity of the wiring on the bike. A mag does not use any of this since it is, in of itself, a generator and needs no battery or attendent wiring......'cept maybe for a kill switch. If your battery, charging system, wiring harness or all of the above go up in smoke, you can still kick start or push the bike off and ride. The new mags are very reliable, easy to time and put out a lot of juice....the higher the revs the more it puts out. The Morris M-5 is probably the best available today. It has a mechanical retard feature built inside, at cranking, that winds up a spring, as you push the kicker through, and around 5 deg. BTDC releases the armature to generate a hellacious spark. It then goes into full advance. I ran one on my'82, 93" 4 3/4 stroke 9.6 to 1 shovel for about 5000 miles. I removed it when I dual plugged the heads. I still have the unit. The starting retard works so well that I can turn the mag, out of the bike, with my hand and fire both plugs. ...they also look trick.

11-29-2004, 03:44 AM
Magneto + your leg = running bike.
I wish I had one on my Sporty, but I do have one on my old (not Harley) SR500. That bike was rolled out of storage last year with it's origional 1977 battery in it and dead as a doornail. 7 kicks on the kickstart and the damn thing fired up and ran!

Edit -- Hey, I finally got to post under this heading!!

12-03-2004, 07:16 PM
Thanks for all the help. I still need to decide once I get home. They look a little more pricey than I figued.