Powerdynamo brings new ignition & light 
to your vintage motorcycle



Technical Help



assembly instruction for system  70 51 599 00

Version  24.11.2009

If you can install and time a stock ignition and possess basic mechanical skills, you can install a Powerdynamo!
If you never have worked on your ignition, better have it done by someone who knows.

Powerdynamo can not monitor the compliance to those instructions, nor the conditions and methods of installation, operation, usage and maintenance of the system. Improper installation may result in damage to property and possibly even bodily injury. Therefore we assume no responsibility for loss, damage or cost which result from, or are in any way related to, incorrect installation, improper operation, or incorrect use and maintenance. We reserve the right to make changes to the product, technical data or assembly and operating instructions without prior notice. 



Please read these instructions fully and carefully before starting work on your motorcycle
Please bear in mind that any modification of the material as well as own repair attempts which have not been agreed with Powerdynamo may result in a loss of warranty. Do not cut off wires. This leads to a loss of reverse polarity protection and often results in damage to electronics. Also, please take note of the information provided on the information page for this system. Check that what you have bought really corresponds to the motorcycle you have. Wrong ignition settings may damage your engine and even hurt you during kickstart (violent kickbacks). Be careful during the first test runs. If needed change settings to safer values (less advance). During assembly check carefully that the rotor (flywheel) does not touch the stator coils or anything else, which may happen due to various circumstances and lead to severe damage.
Designated use
This system is designated to replace stock dynamo/alternator & ignition systems in vintage and classic motorcycles whose engine characteristics have not been modified aftermarket. This system is not a tuning system and it will not bring significant increases in engine output. It does however significantly enhance roadworthiness and comfort by offering better lighting, better function of side indicators and horn and, compared with the aging stock systems, increased reliability. As our system does not tamper with engine characteristics it does not increase emission of gaseous pollutants and noise. In most cases emission of pollutants should even be reduced due to better combustion. If used as designated the system therefore will not normally infringe the existing legal status of the motorcycle (this statement is valid for Germany, for other countries, please check locally against your road licensing regulations). This system is not suitable for use in competition events. If used other than the designated way, warranty will be voided and it might well be that you do not obtain the desired results or, worst you loose legal roadworthiness.

The charging system is only suitable for use with rechargable 12V (6V systems 6V) lead-acid batteries with  liquide electrolyte or sealed lead-acid batteries, AGM, Gel. It is not suitable for use with nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride, lithium-ion or any other types of recharchable or non rechargable batteries.

This is a replacement system and not a copy of the stock material. The parts in this system therefore look different and might fit differently (notably ignition coil and regulator) requiring some adaptation by you.

During assembly imperatively start with assy of engine based parts to see that those really fit before you start fitting the external parts. In many cases customers assemble those first and thereby often modify them in breach of warranty which renders them unfit for renewed sale. Replacing old ignition systems is not a matter of taking something from a supermarket shelf as there have been very many types, versions and possibly unknown aftermarket modifications which harbour plenty of room for error.
Our systems are NOT tested for use with third party electronic devices (such as GPS, mobile phones, LED lighting etc)and may cause damage to such parts. Possibly existing  electronic tachometers will not work with the new system. Read our information for suitable solutions. Possibly existing safety switches and electronic valve controls are not supported. It might be that your motorcycle was originally equipped with an ignition that did limit top speed for legal reasons. The new system does not have such a facility, so check your legal situation beforehand.
If you have no expertise for the installation have it done by an expert or at a specialist's workshop. Improper installation may damage the new system and your motorcycle, possibly even lead to bodily harm.
Before you order a system, please check whether a puller tool  for the new rotor is included in the kit. If not, better order it at the same time. You might want to order light bulbs, fuse, horn, flasher unit etc.
Never use anything other than  the recommended puller tool to pull the new rotor again. Damage to the rotor as a result of use of other  tools or methods is not covered by warranty.
The rotor is sensible to blows (including during transport). Before assembly, please always check for damage (on rotor without magnet plastification try to push the magnets aside with your fingers). After impact the glued in magnets might have broken loose, sticking to the rotor solely by magnetic force, so that one does not notice right away. During engine run the damage would be considerable. Before placing the rotor onto the engine, please make sure that its magnets have not collected any metal objects such as small screws, nuts and washers. That equally would lead to severe damage.

If you have access to the Internet, best view those instructions online. You get larger and better pictures by clicking onto them and possibly updated information. System list at http://www.powerdynamo.biz
You should have received those parts:
  • trigger unit / rotor unit
  • advance unit
  • AC/DC converter
  • twin ignition coil / ht-cable
  • incidentals

First check against the packing list for completenes of parts.
Make sure your bike rests securely on her centre stand, preferably on an elevated work bench and that you have good access to the front of the engine. You will have to turn the front wheel from side to side for good access.
Disconnect your battery and take it out of the motorcycle for the time of work. Drain the petrol (gas) from the tank into a canister. Take care not to spill any petrol and refrain from smoking. Disconnect the tube running between the tanks sides under the frame tube. Take the petrol tank off the bike and put it to a secure place for the time of work at the bike.

Overview of assembly:

A electronic pick-up unit will be mounted onto the original distributor casing, of which the lower (aluminium) part will be used as a base. The camshaft will get a small rotor disc with 2 trigger elevations (noses). Outside the engine the twin ignition coil, the advance unit and the converter will be fitted.

Take the cover with the high tension cables and the rotor of the distributor unit as well as the plate with the points off.

The bowden cable for the advance regulation may stay for optical reasons, will however be of no effect.

Equally take out the upper 2 holder screws. They will be replaced by new ones which at the same time secure the base of the pick-up.

Place the new, pre-assembled rotor unit onto the cam shaft's end and fasten it there the same way the original distributor rotor was fixed (with the chuck piece).

That is a little fuzzy, but not of our invention. Complaints please to pre-war BMW engineers.

Place the pickup unit onto the distributor housing and fasten it there with the 2 supplied hexagon socket head cap screw M5x40.

You have to insert one small washers 5 (one each side) between the pick-up module and the old distributor base the get over the embossed writing there evenly.

The new rotor disc should be in line (or about so, 1mm or 2 to the side will not matter) with the metal core of the pick-up.

The gap between the pick-up core and the surface of the elevated section (nose) of the rotor disc (any of the 2) has to be  0.3-0.4mm. You ajust that by loosening the pick-up screws a little and shift the part.

Do not forget the carefully tighten the 2 screws after that. Under vibrations it might shake loose and get destroyed by the rotor's noses.

Lastly timing has to be set. For this, take both spark plugs out and set the crank to TDP (OT marking).

For twins it does not matter in what cycle the engine is in, as you will get simultanious sparks on both cylinders every 360 crank degrees. The wasted spark into the exhaust is harmless.

For singles you must make sure the engine is in compression cycle.

Hold the rotorcam with a flat spanner size 19 and open the hexagon socket head cap screw M5x40 a little with an hex wrench 6.

Ignition adjustment for all engines with an anti-clockwise turning camshaft (BMW with cam gear drive).
Ignition always happens after the protrusion of the disc has passed the sensor. This is because the system has to calculate the revolution speed by taking the time the protrusion needs to pass.
Now, turn the disc carefully so that the embossed line on the trigger disc (here highlightened white) aligns with the left edge of the sensor core as shown here.

You may change timing setting the embossed mark slightly differently. If you set it more to the anti-clockwise, that is into turning direction you get earlier ignition, if you set it against turning direction you get more retarded ignition.

Be carefull however, false settings may damage your engine.

Ignition adjustment for all engines with an clockwise turning camshaft (BMW with cam chain drive).
Procedure is same as above, only that it is mirrored.
With that, work on the engine is finished.

Remains to find a place for the external parts and fasten them conveniently. We know that this is easy to say and difficult to do, if you want to keep them as much out of sight as possible. The ignition coil might find a place under the tank or under the driver seat. (example here, nearer picture here).
Have a look at the advance unit (the black box). You will notice on the side the wires come out 2 small blue switches. They are used to activate the different advance curves inside the bow. We have preset it to the correct position for your BMW. Still, please check settings (as you should equally do after any work there, just in case you have accidentially changed them).

Switch 1 has to be at "ON" position whereas all other switches face the figures (that is are OFF).

Older units had only 2 switches. They are set as switches 1 and 2 in the newser.

You may also try the following setting (all switches on "OFF") which gives a later and steeper retard.

Connect the parts as shown in wiring diagram 599.2:

Start with the converter:
There are 3 wire bundles at the black converter box. (You may tell the converter from the advance unit which is housed in an identical box by those 3 bundles. The advance unit has only 2.):
  • one bundle containing a red and a white wire with open ends
  • a second bundle with a 4-position male plug (only 3 used) containing a red, a white, a blue/white and a green/red wire
  • a third bundle with a 4-position female plug (only 3 used) containing a green/red, a white and a blue/white wire
The bundle with the open-end-wires: Connect the white (earth) wire to the negative (minus) pole of the battery and the red wire (via a 5-Ampere-fuse) to the main switch at a terminal there that carries voltage when the switch is ON.
The bundle with the 4-position male plug ... ... connect to the fitting counterpart plug at the ignition coil. Make sure that red goes to red, white to white and blue/white to yellow.
The bundle with the 4-position female plug ... ... connect to the fitting counterpart plug of the advance unit. Make sure that blue/white goes to blue/white, white to white and red/green to red/white. The green/red wire remains unconnected.
Remains the 2. bundle at the advance unit
(with the wires yellow, white, red/white):
... get connected to the yellow and the white (ground) wire from the sensor.
To connect use the supplied plug housing and plugs. Make sure that yellow goes to yellow and white to white. The red/white wire remains unconnected.
This bundle with the 4- position female plug ...

Finally - and before installing the battery and before the first kickstart - please re-check carefully all connections and fitments against the wiring diagram. Please don't depend on the frame as the earth-connection. Varnish, oil and dirt prevent often a good contact!

The system will work with both 6 or 12 Volts (adapts automatically). It will however not work without battery!

Should something not work, please consult our trouble-shooting guide on our homepage. As a first step disconnect the blue wire from the coil and re-test.


Important safety and operating information


Safety first! Please observe the general health and safety regulations motor vehicle repair (MVR) as well as the safety information and obligations indicated by the manufacturer of your motorcycle.
The timing marks on the material are for general guidance only during first installation. Please check after assembly by suitable means (stroboscope) that settings are correct to prevent damage to the engine or possibly even your health. You alone are responsible for the installation and the correctness of settings.


Ignition systems generate high tension! With our material right up to 40,000 Volts! This may, if handled carelessly, not only be painful, but outrightly dangerous. Please do keep a safe distance to the electrode of your spark plug and open high tension cables. Should you need to test spark firing, hold the spark plug socket securely with some well insulating material and push it firmly to solid ground of the engine block.
Never pull sparkplug caps when engine is running. Wash your vehicle only with engine at standstill and ignition off.


Should you have received in the kit HT cables with a fixed rubber boot(which does not contain a resistor) you might have to use spark plugs with an inbuilt resistor (or replace the cap with one containing a resistor) to comply with your local laws.


After installation, please check tightness of all screws, even those preinstalled. If parts get loose during run, there will be inevitably damage to the material. We pre-assemble screws only loosely.


Give the newly installed system a chance to work, before you start to check and test values, or what is worse apply changes to it.
Our parts have been checked before delivery to you. You will not be able to check much anyway. At any rate do refrain from measuring the electronic components (such as ignition coil, regulator and advance unit). You risk severe damage to the inner electronics there. You will not get any tangible results from the operation anyway. Bear in mind that also your carburetor, your spark plugs and spark plug sockets (even if completely new) might be the reason for malfunction. The general experience with our systems is that the carburetor will have to be re-adjusted to lower settings. Should the system not start after assembly, first disconnect the blue (or blue/white) cut-off wire directly at the ignition coil (or in some cases advance unit) to eliminate any malfunction in the cut-off circuitry. Check ground connections carefully, make sure there is a good electrical connection between frame and engine block.
In case of troubles, please consult our Knowledge Base first before you send off the material to us for checking


The spark of classic, points based ignition systems has with about 10,000 Volts comparatively little energy and looks therefore yellow and fat (which however makes it highly visible). The spark from our system is a high energy spark with up to 40,000 Volts and therefore is needle thin focused in form, and blue in colour, which makes it not so visible. Furthermore you get spark only at kick-start operated speeds and not by pushing the kick-lever down slowly with your hand (as you might get with battery based ignitions).


Systems using a twin outlet ignition coils have a few peculiarities. Please observe that during tests on one side, the other has either to be connected to an fitted spark plug or securely earthed/grounded. Otherwise there will be no spark on either side. Also with such open exits long and dangerous sparks may fly all over the coil.


Never do electric arc welding on the bike without completely disconnecting all parts containing semiconductors (ignition coil, regulator, advance) stator and rotor need not be taken off. The same is true for soldering. Before touching electronics disconnect the soldering iron from mains! Never use copper putty on spark plugs.


Electronics are very sensitive to wrong polarity. After work on the system, do check correct polarity of the battery and the regulator. Wrong polarity creates short circuits and will destroy the regulator, the ignition coil and the advance unit. As a rule, wiring will always be colour to colour. Instances, where colour jumps between wires are expressly mentioned in our instructions.


When you handle the new rotor, take care not to damage its magnets. Refrain from direct blows to the circumference of the rotor. When transporting never put the rotor over the stator. Observe our information relative to transport of the material.


Do not use spark plug sockets with a resistance of more than 5kOhm. Better use 1 or 2kOhm ones. Bear in mind that spark plug sockets do age and thereby increase their internal resistance. Should an engine start up only when cold, a defective spark plug socket and/or spark plug is very probably the cause. In case of problems check high tension cables too. Never use carbon fibre HT-cables, never use so called "hot wires" which promise to increase spark.


It is a good idea to cover the rotor in a thin layer of oil to reduce the risk of corrosion.


Never use a claw puller or a hammer to disengage the rotor. Its magnets might become loose in the event. We offer a special puller for disengaging the new rotor again (see assembly instruction)!


Should the motorcycle not be in use for some longer period, please disconnect the battery (so existing) to prevent current bleeding through the diodes of the regulator. Though, even a disconnected battery will empty itself after a while.


Please do observe these remarks, but at the same time, don't be afraid of the installation process. Remember, that before you, thousands of other customers have successfully installed the system.
Enjoy driving your bike with its new electric heart!