Mar 15, 2001
Im going put a new stator on my bike, and am pretty sure Im going to have to mess with the timing. But I havent done it before on a dirtbike. I know you just move the stator a litte bit one way or the other, but how do I tell when its right? Can you use a timing light on a dirtbike? What are the effects of retarded timing vs advanced timing?


Jul 4, 2001
as quoted by Eric Gorr.. it's a wee bit long but,,,it should help:)

Here is how changes in the static ignition timing affects the power band of a Japanese dirt bike. Advancing the timing will make the power band hit harder in the mid range but fall flat on top end. Advancing the timing gives the flame front in the combustion chamber, adequate time to travel across the chamber to form a great pressure rise. The rapid pressure rise contributes to a power band's "Hit". In some cases the pressure rise can be so great that it causes an audible pinging noise from the engine. As the engine rpm increases, the pressure in the cylinder becomes so great that pumping losses occur to the piston. That is why engines with too much spark advance or too high of a compression ratio, run flat at high rpm.
Retarding the timing will make the power band smoother in the mid-range and give more top end over rev. When the spark fires closer to TDC, the pressure rise in the cylinder isn't as great. The emphasis is on gaining more degrees of retard at high rpm. This causes a shift of the heat from the cylinder to the pipe. This can prevent the piston from melting at high rpm, but the biggest benefit is how the heat affects the tuning in the pipe. When the temperature rises, the velocity of the waves in the pipe increases. At high rpm this can cause a closer synchronization between the returning compression wave and the piston speed. This effectively extends the rpm peak of the pipe.
Rotating the stator plate relative to the crankcases changes the timing. Most manufacturers stamp the stator plate with three marks, near the plate's mounting holes. The center mark is the standard timing. If you loosen the plate mounting bolts and rotate the stator plate clockwise to the flywheel's rotation, that will advance the ignition timing. If you rotate the stator plate counterclockwise to the flywheel's rotation, that will retard the ignition timing. Never rotate the stator plate more than .028in/.7mm past the original standard timing mark. Kawasaki and Yamaha stator plates are marked. Honda stators have a sheet metal plate riveted to one of the mount holes. This plate insures that the stator can only be installed in one position. If you want to adjust the ignition timing on a Honda CR, you'll have to file the sheet metal plate, with a 1/4in rat-tail file.

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