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In short: Poor quality/nonfunctional products, poor customer support, meaningless warranty.

The full story: My 2002 KTM 200 EXC has been using tranny oil for the past few years, and my buddies were telling me that it was smoking a lot. It was still running OK, but I decided to rebuild the engine this past winter (21/22). The rebuild went fine, but after I put the engine back in the frame, I found I had no spark. I checked out the exciter, trigger and ignition coils, everything looked good, I was 90% sure the CDI was dead. I contacted my friendly neighbourhood KTM dealer to order a new CDI, only to be told that it was no longer available. I checked online, and it was true, the Kokusan CDI not available anywhere. Now what?

I searched around and found RegulatorRectifier.com. They sell, in addition to other electronic components, complete ignition systems for dirt bikes, ATV's etc. This includes the flywheel, stator, CDI and ignition coil. It looks like they have one or two ignition systems and use custom backing plates for mounting the stator on different engines. It looked like a reasonable alternative, so I ordered one.

The problems began right away. The supplied 5mm screws for mounting the stator backing plate to the engine were too long and bottomed out before holding the stator tightly. The screws were also made of very soft steel. I replaced them with better grade allen screws that were the right length. The installation instructions were also very sketchy. For example, they tell you not to over tighten the flywheel nut, but they don't give any torque specs.

After mounting the flywheel and stator, and setting the timing with a dial gauge, I mounted the CDI and ignition coil. Since I have been working on motorcycles, professionally and otherwise, since before electronic ignitions were common, so I am aware of the precautions of working with CDI ignitions. Don't crank the engine without the spark plug being grounded. The last thing I did was connect the stator to the CDI. But when I kicked the engine over, once again, I had no spark.

I did some resistance and voltage checks on the exciter and trigger coils, which looked good, and I contacted the company and sent them the measurements. They came back saying the stator looked good, and I should send the CDI back to them (at my cost) for testing. I agreed, but when I unbolted the CDI from the frame, the single mounting tab on the CDI disintegrated. I noted the failure and sent the until back to them. I also tested the ignition coil, which checked out OK.

Weeks later, they got back to me, telling me that the CDI tested good. They said they could return it to me, or I could purchase a replacement. I pointed out that if the stator was good, as they had stated, and the CDI had tested good, and I knew the ignition coil was good, then I should have spark, but I didn't. I also pointed out that the failure of the mounting tab should warrant a free replacement, regardless of its testing status. They declined. I told them to toss the CDI in the trash, as it was of no use to me, and I wouldn't be wasting any more money on their products.

My plan is to build my own CDI, I've found some circuit schematics, and I have some experience in electronics, so we'll see what happens next.
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