V 50 Ignition

The V50 Mk.III had points for the ignition (and I believe the V50 Mk.I). Can either of of these be retro fitted to a V50 Mk.II ? I am sure it’s not just a case of removing the existing system and bolting it on. How much needs to be changed and is it even possible?

I think that would be quite a job. And I thought the points system on the mk III was subject to quite a bit of criticism anyway. What advantage are you looking to gain with this conversion?

I believe the mark 2 electronic ignition has a very poor advance curve (more like a step than a curve) and this gives a bad flat spot, plus the old amplifier units are only available secondhand of varying quality so putting something else on would be a good idea.
Not sure myself as to what the options are for a small block engine though.

A lot of the flat spotting can be dialed out. It takes careful setting of the air gaps on the ign triggers. Also worn jets in the carbs will exacerbate it. The ign boxes are mostly pretty reliable, I had my first failure just a couple of years back. They were fitted on a number of Italian bikes in period and are available both second hand and new. There is a complete replacement available which would likely be a whole lot better but is horrible money - if you Google the long ref code on the side of the Bosch units you should get a hit.

Working with the original set up will be the cheapest easiest option and should give acceptable results.

Having said all that, the flat spot on mine was awful after I changed the failed box out - which I can’t see the sense of at all. I’ve since swapped out both sides for a pair from a V35 (same part no.) but won’t be running the bike again until Autumn so can’t report on results.

I think you will find the camshaft is different, same profile but a longer nose to drive the points.

I have to say that I did not experience any flat spot on my v50 II - it is often mentioned, so I was looking out for it when rebuilding my v50 project. Sadly after 6 years in the building and only two weeks on the road the bike got squashed (and so did I) by a reversing oil tanker in October this year, so I will concede that I can only claim limited running experience with v50 mkIIs.

That said, because the bike was so standard throughout I wanted to persist with the standard ignition rather than going straight to an expensive aftermarket electronic option. So when I was working through the electrics and specifically the ignition circuits I realised I probably had to work on three key areas to ward off the notorious flat spot:

  1. Given the tiny mA output of the ignition triggers and the long wiring run via two connector blocks back to the amplifiers at the rear of the bike, I realised it would not take much to compromise the signal: clean contacts and sound connections in the block connectors are essential for the system to work properly.
  2. The insulation to the pickups tends to harden and crack over the years in the hot environment of engine: I soldered new wires onto the pickups to ensure the insulation wasn’t compromised.
  3. The positioning and gapping of the ignition sensors to the shaft: the means of adjustment is very crude so it takes a heck of a lot of fiddling to get it exactly as per the manual. Simply tightening up the pickup screws can be enough to mess up the gap and the timing: I was content that I’d got there in the end but it was a chore.

New coils probably helped in some part too.

Whether any or all of the above means I can take any credit at all for the clean running and pick-up from tick-over that I experienced is arguable but my observations are worth sharing here, I think. On the other hand I found that the engine was a bit lacking in the top end and 90mph just eluded me in top gear so maybe I hadn’t got it right and I’d sacrificed top end for the pick-up? You be the judge of that.

As for Carb set-up, I confess I handed that over to Nigel at NBS when he replaced the clutch for me but he reported nothing untoward after fettling the idle. Maybe his was the magic touch though?

Anyway, during the mere two weeks I had it on the road, I couldn’t keep off the thing: it was such a fun little bike and the best handling 500 of the era that I’ve experienced, but frankly I simply didn’t have the heart to get another v50 II straight after the write-off. Not immediately anyway and now have a T3 - it will be a different world and set of challenges I imagine - I just can’t ride it yet while this leg heals!

Bluddy hell. :frowning:

That all sounds pretty tragic. Hopefully your leg is something that will mostly recover.

My Veefer has come back from the dead twice now, but admittedly I’ve not had a tanker park on it so far. If you have parts that you would like to move on then drop me a pm. And get well soon – at least you’re not missing summer riding weather I suppose.

Tragic? The loss of the bike is deeply wounding still but physically, I’m alive and back on two feet without a stick even (against all expectation): I’m elated about that! I walked 7 miles on Long Mynd on Sunday so not much wrong with me now.

When they wrote the bike off, I did get a good cheque but simply didn’t have the heart at the time to buy the wreck back, strip it down, certify frame destruction (apparently?!), shift the parts on eBay, etc. etc. So no decent parts left now, not even in a box under the sink: they were all on the bike!

There were some brilliant and still serviceable parts on it too, but, as you’d expect, the left-hand dip headlamp bought it! That’s another one less in the world, now! :frowning: