The Future Of Electronic Ignitions

The Future Of Electronic Ignitions

Electronic Ignitions Banner


It's 2017 and there are currently four major companies on the market today that are all producing electronic ignition's for most traditional vintage British motorcycles.

The days of timing and adjusting points has since past us and a new dawn has since risen over the horizon.

Today's blog post I would like to share with you my point of view of what I predict the future holds for electronic ignitions.


What is an electronic ignition?

An electronic ignition in my own words is: A computer operated device that controls the ignition system.

Electronic ignition's can control whether the ignition will run retarded or advance automatically based off of pulses. 

An electronic ignition will only run on a certain voltage. If the voltage drops below the programed threshold the electronic ignition will no longer function properly.

For a more detailed definition let's see what Wikipedia has to say...

"An ignition in which electrical pulses are generated electronically, usually by transistors controlled by sensing devices, without the use of mechanically actuated breaker points - also called breakerless ignition."


"What is the future of electronic ignition?"

I remember back in the early '90s when I was looking to replace my stock Lucas points ignition on my BSA Lightning.

There was only one major company that was manufacturing electronic ignitions - that happened to be Boyer Bransden.

Boyer Bransden is the leading manufacturer producing electronic ignition's.

Today, there are many new companies that are quickly trailing Boyer and perhaps proceeding them.

With all the companies that are producing electronic ignition's from Vape, Boyer Bransden, Tri-Spark and Pazon, I have to ask myself this question: "What is the future of electronic ignitions?"

My view

Hands down I think the future for electronic ignitions is looking very promising but needs a rejuvenation - here is what I think we need to see in the near future:


    • Variety
    • More features
    • Accessibility
    • Reliability


     Now some of you might be already thinking what more features do we possibly need for an electronic ignition?

     More features can be a double edge sword. I am not asking the electronic ignition manufactures to reinvent the wheel but simply make tuning easier, installation easier, and adjustment easier. 

    Those features I believe will be a great addition to all electronic ignitions. 

    As new vintage British motorcycle enthusiasts start to get into the hobby we will always have to keep in mind that not everyone is mechanically inclined compared to some of the others.

    More features that are targeted to this type of industry and clientele will make life a lot easier.

    With all the current manufacturers producing electronic ignition's I believe the competition will allow brands to produce something better than what we currently have or what we are accustomed to.


    "Hats off to Tri-Spark and Vape..."


    This year I feel that Tri-Spark and Vape have really brought a new philosophy to the table that has not been seen before.

    Tri-Spark has brought a new compact design making it the most advanced, easiest, and simplistic form of electronic ignition on the market today. (However, it also happens to be the most expensive)

    Vape has brought quality in form of design and simplicity making it great for new enthusiast and builders alike.

    To be clear I am not picking or choosing which EI you should install as they are all pretty darn good.


    Whats your vision?


    So whats your vision? Where do you think electronic ignitions will be in the future?

    My vision is just as valid as yours.

    Let us know what you think by commenting in the section below - feel free to share this post with your fellow vintage British motorcycle enthusiasts on Facebook or on Pintrest.

    I would appreciate everyone's feedback on this discussion.

    Thanks and ride safe.



    • Joe Travis

      Where can I find the advance curve spec for the Vape system. Thanks to all in advance

    • Clayton Mitropoulos

      Hello I just installed the Wassell ignition to my 1970 BSA 441 VS
      positive ground .
      no power to the coil ??? if i disconnect the ground wire from the positive side of the coil I have
      power both coming from the black box and to the coil.
      The ground faults it out …….anybody have an idea I am stumped

    • Bill Findiesen

      Having used a Tri-Spark on my Rocket 3, I can say that the starting is easier and the running is great and does not suffer from low voltage drop out. They have been known as a quality ignition system and really help transform the Rocket 3. I just put a Wassell Vape on my 67 Spitfire. I am very impressed by the quality of their unit. And it was very simple to install. It looks like aircraft quality to me, and I should know. I also got the Tri-Spark for my Mk3 Commando. I have not installed it yet, but the quality looks quite good and I am interested to see how the all-in-one unit performs under the ignition cover. Norton’s can get pretty warm and the engine is known to have a bit of vibration. Had I seen the Vape system, I would have purchased 2 and used it on the Norton as well. I will let you know how it works!

    • Mike

      Boyer black box cheap reliable,probably the simplest. Boyer micro digital a lot more innovative but you better have the charging system in perfect working condition at all times. This is what I have now – choice change stator, rotor posobily install rec/reg. Or back to a less complex ignition black box Boyer ?

    • Sluggo

      I have a lot of experience playing around with these over the years starting in the 1980s,. I agree the Boyer was the industry std, but the Mistral engineering or Lucas RITA was very popular with certain folks for some design features. (Research this if interested) but you cant get parts or kits for them anymore.
      The BIGGEST issue IMHO is the voltage sensitivity, followed by advance curves as #2,
      Used to be the Boyer would cut out below 9v and thus many owners had low output charging systems that were barely functional so they would rev the snot out of their engines at stops or reach up and flick off the lights. Other units came out with voltage as low as 4v so Boyer retooled and now much improved.
      But Ign curves are a issue with all of them< boyer was behind on this and one size fits all was not cutting it. They stepped up and the boxs for the singles was a big deal (B44-B50 etc) but thats where the Power arc ignition leads the way with the choice of curves and option of using a VOIES switch. I really like their designs and did some development work thru a shop for them years back. The top of the line allows you to select among hundreds of curves with software. The problem with TRI-Spark is ALL the guts are in the timing cavity and some units suffer from heat-vibration, But some aspects of TRI-spark seem innovative so would like to play with one of their units sometime. I have some Buells and Ducatis and you can tune and adjust maps and ign via a Dongle and that is where the direction needs to go with vintage bike EI applications. Cheers!

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published