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User Guide for the Programmable XR650L Ignitech Ignition

Updated: Jan 22

Operation of the Ignitech DCCDIP Ignition and Associated Technical Data




Common Questions

What is it?

The Ignitech DCCDIP ignition is a plug and play aftermarket ignition for the Honda XR650L. It is a direct current, capacitor discharge ignition, capable of programmable ignition timing as a function of engine speed.


Is it Reliable?

The Ignitech unit has come to be known as the go to robust aftermarket ignition for the XR650L. Ignitech has specialized in, and optimized ignition modules for racing and road applications for over 20 years. While OEM Honda ignitions are known for occasional and random failures, Ignitech has garnished a reputation for longevity and high reliability from its customers.


Does it Require Modifications to My Bike?

Using the Ignitech ignition is plug and play out of the box. If you are using the Spectrum Moto battery box, the Ignitech ignition has been designed specifically to fit snugly into this box. If sticking with the OEM Honda battery box, it is recommended to add a small amount of foam around the ignition give the Ignitech unit a tight fit in the larger ignition mounting pocket. Wiring wise, the unit plugs directly into the OEM wiring without the need for any modifications.


Does it Come Pre-Programmed?

Out of the box, the Ignitech ignition is ready to run your bike from idle to redline without any tinkering around. Customizing the ignition mapping is completely optional, but is the primary advantage of the ignition over OEM. The pre-programmed maps provide noticeable improvements in throttle response with even unmodified engines. Procedure for modifying ignition maps is detailed in the below sections.


Technical Details

Installation

As mentioned above, the unit is plug and play. Remove the wiring connection from the OEM Honda ignition module by gently spreading the connector as shown below.



Plug the connectors into the mating plug on the Ignitech module. You’re done!

The Ignitech unit comes pre-programmed with two different ignition maps. There is an “A” map that is more aggressive of an ignition advance curve over OEM. There is also a “B” map that is less aggressive than the “A” map, and could be a more beneficial starting point for someone with a high compression piston from a tuning perspective.


Switching Between Maps

The Ignitech ignition allows you to switch between two pre-programmed maps (map A, and map B) on the fly while the bike is still running by grounding one of two logic inputs. It is recommended to use the Green wire on the spare connection as the A/B map logic. Spectrum Moto sells an accessory map selection switch that interfaces with the spare logic connection on the ignition, allowing you to mount directly to the body of your battery box, maintaining a water tight seal. The switch, and its connection is shown below.



Instructions for installing the map selection switch (optional) can be found here.


Operating the Tuning Software

Installation

The latest free Ignitech tuning software can be downloaded here. Simply double click the .exe file to open up the program.


Communication

Communication between the ignition and the software is accomplished with a serial connection on the ignition, which is converted to USB for interface with a laptop (best to have a mobile computer capable of being right next to the bike). USB to serial cables known to be compatible with the ignition are available through our website here, or you could purchase a generic one at most any computer supply store or website. With the cable interfacing your laptop with the ignition, and the tuning software up and running, the bike must be turned on but is not required to be running in order to initiate communication. Simply turning the key to the on position is all that is required (the Ignitech ignition requires 12V to be applied to it in order to power it up and communicate/tune/reflash it). If you start the engine on the bike while the software is up and running, communication is still made, and it will provide you with real time engine RPM and associated ignition advance. You can reflash the ignition while the engine is running. No need to stop the engine or cycle power.

Below is what the tuning software looks like, and the two curves shown represent what the unit comes pre-programmed with from Ignitech.


If you choose to adjust and program your own maps, which is recommended if you went to the trouble of purchasing and installing a programmable ignition, then you need to become familiar with how the software interface works.

First thing you should do while the bike is turned on and communication is made to the ignition is to save a copy of the pre-programmed Ignitech map. Start by selecting the “Read” button. This will read the map from the ignition module and bring it up on the screen. Do a file save and name the file something you can remember.


Software User Interface


Read Button

As mentioned, read (circled in red) pulls whatever maps are programmed to the ignition and displays them on the screen.


Verify Button

Verify (circled in red) checks that the maps shown on the screen is the same as the map programmed to the unit. If you have modified you map, but did not re-flash the ignition yet, verify will tell you that the map on the screen does not match the map on the ignition module.


Program Button

The program button (circled in red) flashes the ignition module with whatever A and B map is shown on the software screen.



Switching Between A and B Maps

Map switching is accomplished by the two tabs indicated below. You also have verification as to which map you are modifying by the red letter A or B circled below.



Adjusting Timing

Timing is adjusted in two different methods. You can either click and drag one of the circled nodes on the graph up/down/left/right, or you can manually enter an rpm and associated ignition advance in the table above the graph.


The rest of the features of the software require more advanced knowledge in order to safely make modifications. One feature to mention is the “Multifunction Input 1” section. In order to maintain functionality of the map selection switch (if we choose to use one), you must maintain the highlighted setting below to allow the switch to switch from A to B map.


Important Technical Ignition Information Specific to the XR650L


Base Timing

Base timing in simplistic terms is the angular position of the crank shaft before top dead center when the trailing edge of the rotor passes the pickup. Base timing represents the minimum ignition advance of which the rotor and pickup are capable of providing without electronic delay. Base timing (at least on the XR650L) is a non-adjustable (although modifiable) setting for the XR650L, and with the OEM ignition rotor, is fixed at 8° BTDC. The image below shows the rotor and pickup arrangement. The XR650L has an ignition pulse generator rotor attached to the crankshaft, as well as an ignition pickup coil fixed to the engine case. These two components generate the signal pulse that is sent to the ignition module. The rotor spins clockwise as viewed from the clutch side (shown below).




Modifications for Increasing Ignition Advance

Maximum ignition advance is limited on a mechanical level by the width of the ignition pulse generator rotor. The wider the width of the rotor tip, the wider the range of advance you will have to work with. If base timing is set by the position of the rotor tip’s trailing edge, and the width of the rotor tip determines the total range of advance, then the leading edge must therefore set the maximum ignition advance. The proceeding discussion of modifications provides options for ignition advance beyond the OEM limit.


1. Running an XR600R Pulse Generator Rotor

The XR600R pulse generator rotor is slightly wider, and provides 30° of potential advance (2° more than the XR650L). The XR600R pulse generator rotor simultaneously lowers base timing from 8° to 6°, so the total ignition advance range increases by 4°. The XR600R rotor is a drop in replacement requiring no modifications.


2. Modifying an XR650L or XR600R Pulse Generator Rotor

The only way to achieve significant additional ignition advance is to add material to the leading edge of the rotor. The thickness of the rotor is directly proportional to the total advance capable of being programmed. Modifying an XR600R rotor to be wider is arguably the ideal scenario being that you get a lower base ignition timing (which gives you more programming flexibility near idle), along with more advance. Increase the width of the rotor boss by building up the right side with weld, and then carefully grinding it to have a nice sharp leading edge upper corner to maintain a crisp signal being generated by the pickup. Grinding the final rotor width to be equal to 10mm (0.4in) will allow you to have a 40° potential advance, which is far beyond what will be needed. There is no penalty for making your rotor wider than needed as long as you understand that the Ignitech unit will allow you to enter more advance than is mechanically possible, and so without accurately knowing the width to maximum advance relationship, it will be difficult to know your upper advance boundary. Going with 10mm(0.4in) width allows you to know with certainty that you can achieve 39-40° of advance at the upper end. Below is a comparison between the XR650L OEM rotor and a modified XR600R rotor to be 10mm wide.


3. Modifying your Pickup Position

As was discussed earlier, the width of the rotor is what sets the maximum permissible ignition advance. Without changing your rotor, you cannot change the range of ignition advance. All you would be able to do would be to shift your advance higher or lower in the RPM range. Shifting the advance curve to add more upper rpm advance will also add more advance at idle, which is not ideal, and can lead to starting issues and backfiring. Although modification to pickup position is an option, it’s really not recommended and is a major sacrifice. It also eliminates the zero point, eliminating your knowledge of the true crank position relative to your pickup signal. The only way to know what this new position is as it relates to advance, you would need to use a degree wheel tied to a strobe light and physically test it.



Ignition Maps


OEM Map

The OEM XR650L ignition profile has been mapped. The below table and graph represent the map curve.

As it can be seen from above, the OEM ignition arrangement allows for a maximum advance of 28° BTDC, all in at 4,300rpm.



Pre-Programmed Ignitech Maps

Ignitech pre-programs the ignition modules with an A and a B map as shown below. Note that those with an OEM ignition pulse generator rotor, you will have your peak advance limited to 28°.

These maps are in no way supposed to be ideal for the OEM engine setup, or modified engines. They are something to start with. We have noticed that these maps do not run well on high CR engines at lower RPM. The advance is far too high too early in the RPM range.



Spectrum Moto Dyno Tuned Map

During the build of our XR650L, we installed a 10.5:1 102mm piston, along with a Hotcam, and 40mm FCR carburetor. We also modified our ignition pulse generator rotor to a 10mm width to allow for 40° potential max advance. As mentioned above, the bike did not run well on the Ignitech maps. The map we settled on after many dyno runs is the map shown below.

Note that this map is showing a 6° base timing. This is because we used an XR600R pulse generator rotor, which reduces base timing from 8° to 6°.



Map Comparisons

Below is a graph showing the comparisons between the above mentioned maps.












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