First, some background: The ’76 – ’80 KZ750 Twins came with a points-based ignition system as standard equipment. And when the line was started up again for the ’82 model year, it featured an electronic ignition.
So if you have a later model, this post is not for you. 😉
However, if you have one of the earlier ’76 – ’80 models, you might just be wondering if there are after-market or alternative electronic options to replace those old high-maintenance points… so let’s jump in to that…
In a nutshell, you have these options (some more realistic than others):
- Newtronic (updated 20160814) – My first electronic ignition I bought for my first 750 was from Newtronic Systems Ltd. Since I bought it in 2004-ish (and it has been flawless since then), they have since come under NEW OWNERSHIP by Autocar. Interestingly, they appear to be available again in 2016 (or perhaps before, I’m not sure). Here is a link to the page for the Ignition (currently 132 GBP), part # CKT-KAW3, and the PDF instructions. I’m not endorsing them necessarily, but wow, come to think of it, mine has lasted about for about 12 years of regular use at the time of this writing.
- Dyna S (half of one, at least) – I have read a bit about fitting half of a standard Dyna S ignition to a points plate, and I try to summarize the essentials here…. As fellow KTOF member Martijn put it, “A Dyna S has no black box. The unit on the base plate is all!! only a current wire from the system and a wire to the coil, that’s all. It’s trigger is a magnet in the plastic rotor simply placed on the ATU. That’s why the Dyna S is so simple and that’s why if you buy one for a four cylinder you get two units and you only have to buy an extra trigger. On ebay for approx $ 120 (=dyna S for the Z650) rotor will be $20. You use the advancer of the stock ignition. You only take of the piece of metal with the lobe on it. (which opens your contact breaker. Replace this with the Dyna rotor which also slides over the bolt. Bolt it and replace ignition plate. One wire to the + other to the coil et voila.
You only change ignition plate and rotor so you still have the advance characteristics of your own. ” KTOF member Northwin added this, “…bought a Dyna S 2-2 (1695 SEK) and installed it in my 750 B2. The timing do not fit, you must move the electric unit counterclockwise on the ignition plate in order to get correct timing. The rotor placed on the existing timing advancer do not fit very well,there’s too much play.”
- Other-model stock electronic ignition – Fellow KTOF member Steell installed a KZ440 electronic ignition on his first 79 750 twin, and a 82-83 KZ750 twin electronic ignition on his current 79 750 twin. Forum member Ibsen had expressed concern over using the 440 ignition, in that “the 440 are advancing the timing to approx 40 degrees at 2800 degrees while the 750 have a different timing curve, and doesn’t advance the ignition that much”. However, forum member Shoe48 had a 82 440 ignition in his 79 B4, and mentioned that the “extra advance seems to help as I have no problems.”
- Boyer-Bransden (no longer available from vendor) – This is an official response from Boyer: “Unfortunately, we discontinued manufacture of a system for the Z750 twins a number of years ago. This system consisted of a MK3 ignition unit, stator plate with single pickup coil and a rotor with a single magnet, crankshaft triggered. The unit switched a standard dual output coil.
If you have a practical approach to mechanics and electrics we could supply you the parts from other kits, for example by using the stator & rotor for a Kawasaki Z400-Z650 and the ignition unit from a British Triumph Twin.
One of the stator pickup coils would need to be removed and a link wire
soldered in its place, also one of the magnets removed from the rotor. The kit of parts required would cost approximately £90.00 plus ignition coil/s if required.
If the bike has serviceable contact breakers, you could easily fit our
Negative Earth Inductive Discharge (I.D.) unit. This unit improves the spark and the bikes performance whilst greatly reducing wear at the contacts. You would need one unit for each set of breakers. The part number is: KIT00069 @ £29.93”
- Custom/Hybrid Solution – Like KTOF member Lou’s “GM HEI Ignitor for Points”, which uses the original points as a trigger for an igniter.
I hope that helps! And let me know if you find another way….
didnt you design an ignition ignitor for the 83 750 ki with parts from radio shack>?could you send that to me please or point to where i can find it….?it would be greatly appreciated….
No, I’m afraid I did not (I am not that talented).
But There are a few cool/crazy inventions like that (like Lou’s GM HEI module) at the Kawasaki Twin Owners Forum (KTOF). You can find the link over at the right under “Reference”.
are there any pictures any where these ignitions are installed on these 750 twins? im trying to get an idea of what rewiring i will need to do. I like the idea of the half dyna s igntition being just 1 wire. Sounds simple, but the 82-83 im sure are cheaper and more readily availible to me seeing as how there is a junkyard near here full of twins. its quite ridiculous. but i’m sure it’s no plug and play like the half dyna s sounds. so pictures would be appreciated.
I actually have gathered a few pictures of this process from a couple folks, and intend to do it myself someday…
can you post or send them to me asap?
Are there any new updates on dwithing to electronic ignition on a 79 kz 750?
@ Dan W.
..Not that I’m aware of. In fact, although my Newtronic and my points are working just fine on my two bikes for now, if they ever fail or need replacement I fully intend to do either the “KZ440” installation (I bought all the parts for that a while back) or the “Half-Dyna S” (I don’t have parts for), or maybe both. Bottom line, I haven’t looked nor heard anything, so if you find something out, let me know please!
I just installed an electronic ignition kit from Seventh Gear Designs on my 76 KZ750B1 and it runs like a new bike…not cheap but it works flawlessly…uses an optical pickup setup down at the crank…very cool…I highly recommend it
Wasn’t sure if anyone has heard about the Power Arc ignitions being sold by seventhgeardesigns.com or C5 ignitions.com. They look to be a decent ignition system for the twins.
here is an option noone ever seems to think about.
turns your ignition into a CDI using your points as the timing trigger. Cheap and easy! Makes your points last for YEARS since they are only getting about 1 volt through them. You just have to put a bit of grease on the cam every so often to keep from wearing out the slider. Also, if the CDI box ever fails, you can just unhook it from the system and run directly off the points as normal.
Not that no one ever thinks about it.. I’ve read about folks doing this sort of thing on the forums in the past, and it’s nice that you have pre-packaged method. I normally wouldn’t let advertisements in the comments section, but your adds to the conversation!
Gent i am busy restoring an 1978 Kawasaki KZ 750 B Twin, i want to import the electronic indignation to South Africa. Who can i contact to place my order.
If you’re looking for a complete electronic system 7th Gear has what you need.
Please visit 7thgeardesigns.com for more information.
I’m definitely reaching out to you in a few minutes…
Tried to contact Autocar. Something is wrong. Can’t get through. Hope they are still in business. Does anyone know more on this?
I tell you what… I tried reaching them via email a couple months ago. No response. I wondered the same thing. Around that same time, I bought a 7th Gear electronic ignition and installed it, and ran it for the last part of summer (review coming up). So I guess there might be one fewer option, but then we gain one more, so maybe we can keep these things going a tad longer… 🙂
Just fitted a newtronic kit to my B-3, struggling to find a good place to mount trigger unit. Any tips?
@ John –
If you tell me where you got it from, I’ll post a picture of how mine is mounted… 😉
I would like to know where they are still being sold (if they are).
Mine is mounted with foam isolation and tie straps to the frame under my side cover… if I remember correctly (but my memory is not great) in the top-ish corner behind the airbox… Anyway, I’ll get you a pic.
Here is the view from under the side cover: http://biquetoast.com/2-78kz750b3/pics/small/20181111-750aNewtronicMount1.jpg
Here is the view from above, via the opened seat: http://biquetoast.com/2-78kz750b3/pics/small/20181111-750aNewtronicMount1.jpg
…it isn’t perfect, but it has worked for 15 years…
The boyer options looks pretty easy and cost effective. I fitted their system to my Z650b without any issues and when i had a question they were really helpful on the phone.
If i find my Piranha (which became newtronics) doesn’t work – after i rebuild then i’m going boyer.
@Jon Crawford – If you ever find a place that sells the Boyer for the KZ750 Twins, please let me know…