'87 CDI wiring
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Thread: '87 CDI wiring

  1. #1
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    Lightbulb '87 CDI wiring

    Ok, I promised LT I would post up about what I'm working on. Maybe others can add their experiences and knowledge so that we can all learn more about these little burros.

    What I'm doing here is really not very original. I've read about at least one other TW owner who made a Chinese CDI run on a TW, and even saw a video of a guy who did the same. However, these were '88-up TWs and mine is an '87.

    There is a rumor going around that '87s use a DC powered CDI. I would like to dispel that right now. It is AC. In fact I think the only difference in the CDI supply stator as compared to the '88-'97? '00? whatever is an added section at the "bottom" of the stator that goes to ground. My understanding is that the '88+ needs to have the brown wire grounded before it will run on this CDI. The '87 will run without grounding the brown wire, because the winding is already grounded.

    Before I go any further, the CDI I am using is a 6-wire AC CDI, made in China for GY6 clone scooters. I got mine for less than $10, shipped. Here is what it looks like:

    jtomelliott49 and littletommy like this.
    '87 TW200
    '94 Sportster 1200
    '74 XL70 Frankenbike
    '76 CT90
    '72 CT70
    '72 XL250

  2. #2
    dmo
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    Awesome, I have an 87 and will be following this!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
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  3. #3
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    Here is how I connected it:
    GY6 CDI TW harness
    Green1-------------Black (ground)
    Green2------------white (trigger)
    Black--------------Black/white (kill) (main switch only; not the handlebar kill switch)
    Red---------------red (CDI power)
    Yellow------------orange (coil primary)
    Blue--------------green (trigger)

    The brown, blue, blue/yellow wires from the harness are not connected.
    littletommy likes this.
    '87 TW200
    '94 Sportster 1200
    '74 XL70 Frankenbike
    '76 CT90
    '72 CT70
    '72 XL250

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  5. #4
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    It runs, but is obviously retarded. I can putt around at a moderate speed, but it is lacking in power and cuts out above (I'm guessing) 3500 rpm. Since it is retarded, it will also run hot if you try to get much power out of it. But this could still work as a limp-home mode if your stock CDI fails.

    I'm not stopping there, though.
    littletommy likes this.
    '87 TW200
    '94 Sportster 1200
    '74 XL70 Frankenbike
    '76 CT90
    '72 CT70
    '72 XL250

  6. #5
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    Ok, so I checked the two green wires from the CDI (ohm and diode check) and they are both connected directly to ground on the board. So not only the supply winding, but also the trigger are referenced to chassis ground. As mentioned, the original CDI has one end of the supply winding near ground, but isolated from it by a small winding. Also, the trigger is not referenced to ground (as far as I can tell thus far) in the original. This could and probably does affect the timing. It's not anything insurmountable, though.
    Last edited by WECSOG; 07-30-2015 at 05:30 PM.
    littletommy likes this.
    '87 TW200
    '94 Sportster 1200
    '74 XL70 Frankenbike
    '76 CT90
    '72 CT70
    '72 XL250

  7. #6
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    I tried a little experiment of switching the two trigger wires so that the green wire from the trigger would go to ground, instead of the white. It kicked back but did not start, so that obviously changes the timing. I don't want to take that any further without having a better idea of what the resultant timing is.

    Btw, I have changed the connectors on my original CDI so I can still connect it into the circuit. I eliminated the blue and blue/yellow safety circuits on the bike, and connected the blue/yellow wire from the CDI directly to the black (ground) wire from the CDI, because the blue/yellow must be grounded for the bike to run with the original CDI. I left the solid blue disconnected.
    I had already connected it that way before I changed the connectors so I could use different CDIs, and it ran exactly as before: perfectly, except when the CDI was acting up.

    I have an original Honda CDI from an XR100. I don't know if it is even any good, but I plan to try it. It has 5 wires. Those wires correspond to the GY6 CDI connection points, except that the GY6 CDI has an extra ground wire. It should work, and the Honda CDI has an advance curve that is reasonably similar to the TW CDI. Those are also available as cheap Chinese CDIs, and I have one on the Chinese 125 in my XL70. Runs great in that app, so maybe it can on a TW too.
    littletommy likes this.
    '87 TW200
    '94 Sportster 1200
    '74 XL70 Frankenbike
    '76 CT90
    '72 CT70
    '72 XL250

  8. #7
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Very good Sir and thank you. This could help a lot of folks. I wonder if Sebastian (macbig2k1) would have any info on this??
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  9. #8
    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    Wescog..... I know I appreciate your research on this subject, as well as others. I wonder what goes wrong with these cdi units. Can they be opened up and repaired? Or is this a "wound" unit like an electric motor? I know they can be rewound, so I don't know why the cdi can't be repaired. It pisses me off that so many of the parts we use on our bikes, cars, mowers, etc. are throwaway parts, but it makes me mad that these things are so expensive, and seemingly can't be repaired. Rant over, thanks for listening.
    dmo and littletommy like this.
    Tom in Wichita

    78 Moto Guzzi SP1000
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  10. #9
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    I am hoping there are some members out there who have info, and will chime in.
    littletommy likes this.
    '87 TW200
    '94 Sportster 1200
    '74 XL70 Frankenbike
    '76 CT90
    '72 CT70
    '72 XL250

  11. #10
    Senior Member WECSOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtomelliott49 View Post
    Wescog..... I know I appreciate your research on this subject, as well as others. I wonder what goes wrong with these cdi units. Can they be opened up and repaired? Or is this a "wound" unit like an electric motor? I know they can be rewound, so I don't know why the cdi can't be repaired. It pisses me off that so many of the parts we use on our bikes, cars, mowers, etc. are throwaway parts, but it makes me mad that these things are so expensive, and seemingly can't be repaired. Rant over, thanks for listening.
    They can be repaired. Usually just some bad solder joints that need to be resoldered. It's a hassle to dig them out, though.
    If/when I dig mine out, I plan to make a schematic of the circuit and also eliminate both blue wires altogether.
    '87 TW200
    '94 Sportster 1200
    '74 XL70 Frankenbike
    '76 CT90
    '72 CT70
    '72 XL250

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