OMEGA Electronic Ignition Product Reviews
SB from Cambridge, ON (1972 R75/5, 1979 R100T):
It all really started when I had those timing ghost marks! Ugly! What now? Trying to (hammer-) tweak the camshaft nose somehow was not an option, replacing the camshaft out of question, so we do what the doctors do (sorry, doctors, it's a joke!): Curing the symptoms! How we gonna do that? Fitting an electronic ignition! So I searched the internet and found the usual suspects:
- Dyna III/USA: slick, powerful, pickup and booster, replaces the points uses the mechanical advance unit on 1970-1978 BMWs, can not be kickstarted, US$200 and more , there are programmable units available for US$350 and up, not for BMW though
- Boyer Bransdon/UK: Both the MKIII and the Micro Digtal replace the points and mechanical advance, you need to find a spot for the bulky units, they cover BMWs form 1970-1980 incl R45/65 until '81, the Mikro Digital seems to have programmable advance curves, units are roughly USD$125/165 plus shipping from the UK, it is advised not to use your kickstarter anymore (kickback!)
- Laubersheimer/Germany: a small German company, offering an electronic ignition with pickup from the alternator rotor and electronic advance, the points stay in and are fully operational, approx USD200, communication is difficult, but not impossible, their deliveries can take a while, but they are helpful and knowledgable, you can continue using your kickstarter
- OMEGA/Germany: electronic ignition with alternator pickup, 10 pre-programmed advance curves, points stay in, fully operational, stock coils can be used without performance impact, ignition modules fits under front engine cover, priced at US$190, kickstart is still possible
- Q-Tech/Germany: Type 109 for all /5 /6 /7, hall sensor only, replaces the points, uses the stock mechanical advance, complete set for US$150, Type 110 with ignition module/coils/HT leads/spark plug caps/etc for US$300, use of kickstart unknown
- Silent-Hektik/Germany: the Rolls-Royce of electronic ignitions, complete replacement, alternator pickup, points can stay in fully operational, stock BMW coils can be used, but performance decreased (whatever that means in real life), 16 advance curves, approx US$370 (without new coils), US$500 with SH coils
Well I was immediately smitten by those concepts that allow the points to stay in place and operational and I was furthermore very attracted to those ignitions in an affordable price range: 200 bucks. After studying a lot of feedbacks and messages in the German BMW forums, I went for the Breindl-Grope OMEGA Type W Electronic Ignition for my /5.
Amazing: Fit it, adjust it, forget it. Same performance as always, but smoother idle and overall a better feeling. Gas mileage? Not a big change. Peace of mind? Definitely.
I eventually installed the same unit in my 1972 R75/5 (points) and my 1979 R100T (points beancan).
RM form Springfield, MO (1979 R100RT):
I ordered the OMEGA ignition from Stephen and so far I am really pleased with it. My 1979 R100RT seems to idle smoother and the take off through the gears as well. Now I know that some of this may be in my head but time will tell. The part of the installation I like is if it does fail you unhook one wire going to the electronic ignition and hook one wire back up to the points and you're back on the road. Simple, like the airheads.
As far as the installation I thought it was easy. The operation seem to be very good I put on about 20 miles today and am well pleased. I will continue to ride tomorrow but I think the result will be the same. The adjustment (timing) was so easy I keep thinking I had missed something. The only thing I would suggest would be more-better? photos or drawings to better show the installation. I had to look at the instructions several times be fore it clicked for me. After riding my BMW for the past few days I have noticed the pinging (pinking) that I had is now gone. One more thing to like about the OMEGA setup. All that said put me down as a happy customer.
KHW from Santa Rosa, CA:
I recd. mine a few weeks ago and was startled by how little stuff there was in the package! What IS there looks indestructable, is much smaller and simpler than a Dyna or Boyer.
I like the Boyer unit but I expect to like the OMEGA even better.
SK from Sweden (R75/6):
A practical test posted on Boxerworks ...
Now I have fitted the OMEGA and it is a clear success. The bike is like a new one, much more "bite" in the engine, more distinct. Also the idling is drastically improved, to that degree that, when I started up first time it idled at 3000 rpm. I had to adjust both carb. down to approx. 800 rpm. Timing is now perfect, idle at S mark and F mark comes up around 3000 rpm. The white terminal ready to connect to blue wire now at Z on OMEGA booster in case of failure of the OMEGA system, by this engaging traditional points. The conclusion is that I can highly and sincerely recommend OMEGA for BMW airheads, easy to install with excellent supplied parts. Really a good example of excellent German quality engineering.
Thank you for enlightening me about OMEGA.
AS from Martinton, IL (1977 R100/7):
Finally got around to installing my OMEGA ignition system. Have set the visual timing all ready, have a couple of more tasks to accomplish before I can start it and set with timing light. Hardest part was worrying the + wire through the rubber grommet at the top of the front cover, other than that no big deal. Left the condenser and wire tube from the points mounted, if it should go bad, move one wire and back on points. Did notice mine has come set to curve 6 from the factory, I believe you said your /7 is running on curve 4. I did the timing setup with the LED. Placed the S mark dead center in the timing window, rotated the disc till the LED turned on, backed it off and then brought it up till the LED just turned on and tightened everything. Today put the gas tank back on, and started the bike, checked with a timing light after warm up and at idle with the light set to zero degrees the S mark was spot on in the window. Set the timing light for 31 degrees advance and ran the RPMs to where it should be a full advance and the S mark was spot in the window. At that RPM with the timing light set to zero degrees the full advance mark on the fly wheel was spot on in the window, looked like time fro a road test. Put the front cover back on the engine, climbed on took off. Worst case for a test ride, last year gas with stabilizer, but so what. Bike pulls hard right from the start, pulls all the way to the top end. Engine runs smooth with no pinging. Only other change to the ignition was new spark plug wires and caps. Ride was not very long, but ran it through the gears several times under hard acceleration, and also with just gentle run up. To this point, very satisfied with the OMEGA. The only thing that struck me as odd, and may have to change. During installation the nut for the brush holder was replaced by a brass coupler, then a piece (OMEGA note: the set screw) was threaded into the coupler to hold the red ignition trigger. The original nut is then reused. I found this nut difficult to tightened since it was recessed into the trigger unit, used a set of needle nosed pliers, not the best tool for the job. I'm thinking of replacing the nut and insert with properly sized screw, or even JB Welding the nut to the insert and then using the screw driver slot to tighten. So far looks like money well spent.
JF from San Francisco, CA (1977 R100/7):
I just finished the installation of the OMEGA and I am VERY impressed. It was really easy, aside from the circuit board issue. (I did shim it up with a very thin washer so everything would be parallel. Your directions are quite good. I haven't taken it out for a test run yet as it's getting late here and I can finish tomorrow. I can tell the bike runs better just from start up and it was running great when I made the installation. As I mentioned, I'm swapping out the Dyna III for the OMEGA. Thanks again for organizing the purchase, well worth it in my opinion!!
P.S. I took the bike out for a 50 mile run, speeds up to 90mph. It has never run smoother. What a great product!
I just returned from my trip to Death Valley. The Omega performed A+! I don't know for sure if the ignition helped with high altitude running but I like to think it did. I ran into heat extremes and ran from San Francisco to Death Valley and back at 90+mph without a hitch. Start up in the COLD mornings of DV was not an issue. The Omega is the single best improvement to my bike I've made to date. Thanks.
BG from Atlanta, GA (1980 R65):
Installed this morning. And it cranked right up ... on one cylinder. I have dual coils and the diagram shows only one coil with dual outputs. On a hunch (before attempting to call you) I connected the power lead to the 15 terminal of the back coil and left the ignition lead on the 1 terminal of the front coil. Works like a charm. Timing is now perfect. I am amazed at how stable the ignition pulse is. Also there are no drop outs anymore. This has cleared up a number of problems that I have been having with my R65. So far after one test ride I am completely satisfied. I am going to look for a short screw to replace the top screw/nut that fits into the brass fitting. At the moment its a little bit stronger than fingertight.
RC from Randolph, NJ (1977 R90/6):
I bought an OMEGA Electronic Ignition unit from you months ago. I must admit I was a bit cautious at first, but since I had a beautiful R90 with an advance unit broken off, I decided to give it a try. I just wanted to let you know that this works terrific! I was amazed at how easy it was to install and how quickly I got the bike running perfectly again. Not only does it get rid of those ancient points, but eliminates the advance unit too. I have been working on old airheads for dozens of years and this should be used by everyone. Thank you for the great service and a wonderful product. RC
if anyone ever has questions about using one of these, please use me as an endorsement and they can contact me anytime.
MK from Wilmington, DE (1979 R65):
The Omega System is amazing. Here is a testimonial that you can use if you would like.
My Omega System arrived on Friday and I installed on Saturday. The actual physical installation was a piece of cake. The most difficult part was loosening the front bolt to put the aluminum disk on. The instructions should include a few tips for this. The easiest thing to do is have someone sit on the bike and apply the rear break while you loosen the nut. I installed the system on a 1979 R65 with the points in a can. Following the instructions was straight forward. I put a small "v" shaped notch in the front rubber bushing so that the power wire could just slide in and stay secure when the front cover is re-installed.
After installation and making sure that everything was correct it was time hook up the battery and hit the start button...CRAP no spark. I emailed Stephen. Within minutes he emailed me back. We were able to diagnose that the previous owner had installed the wires wrong on the coils. I switched the wires around and tried it again...CRAP still no spark. I emailed Stephen again. Again within minutes he responed with some helpful diagnosis. Through some trial and error and several emails we concluded that the red board was shorting out. Turns out that one of the pins that holds the chip in the back is left bent flat against the red board so that Omega's quality assurance people can check the board for defects. This little pin was shorting out against a piece of the alternator. I put a piece of black tape over the pin, put it back together and the bike started right up. I checked the timing with a timing light and it was spot on. The text ride concluded that the bike has more power, starts easier and best of all, still has the points should something go wrong. The terriffic customer service, and excellent product would have me a repeat customer without a doubt.
SP from Richmond, BC (1975 R90S):
I finally got around to installing the Omega last weekend and it went very smoothly. The photos and directions were excellent and the bike started right away.
CK from Crownsville, MD (R90/6):
I received the Omega Ignition several weeks ago and had been too busy to do the installation. I finally took the plunge and with a combination of the online and written instructions had the installation buttoned up in a couple of hours. The best part was when I turned the key it fired up immediately and ran well. It was not until last weekend I had time to do a proper tune up, with carb balancing etc. The outcome was quite dramatic. The power band remains constant from idle to 5000rpm. No hesitation, and a lot of vibration I was getting at 2900rpm has virtually vanished. At this stage I have just used the stock # 4 profile, but it works so well I may not even try the others. The only other question might be would things be better if I replaced the coils. Mine are probably original. Do you have recommendations and how do you feel about the Dynatech's "Dynacoil"
The product works really well. I cannot understand why I took so long to make the change.
GO from Sidney, AUS (R60/5):
Just a note to say thank you for the kit which arrived today. I have fitted it and just been for a ride tonight with a short test run. Everything seems fine and my early impression is that the bike feels smoother, both idling and on the road.
I had a bit of trouble initially. I followed all the instructions but when I tried to start the bike it would fire and seem to run on one cylinder and then stop. I went back over everything and double checked all the wiring and then re read the instructions and found my error. I had connected the green/black wire that runs from the + on the silver amplifier to the 15 on the coil, however when I re read the instructions it said it went to the coil connection where the green/blue wire was. I had attached the wire to the 15 connection on the opposite coil. When I swapped it over the bike fired up first go and is running well.
Anyway thanks again for your prompt service.
RF from Pensacola, FL (R75/5):
(Comments edited for content and to fit the space available)
... to install my new Omega electronic ignition. Three quarters of the way through the installation, I realized that I had not factored in the time I would need to drain and remove my tank and starter cover to run the positive lead to the coils underneath. So I swapped back to points and bolted everything up so that I could head home. Bike started up fine but the alternator light was lit and my battery wasn’t charging. Praying that I did not blow my charging circuitry, I rode home on battery before it got dark. Once home, I discovered the solder blob on the face of the alternator armature mentioned in the instructions (and I thought I had checked that). It shorted to the aluminum center hub prevented my charging system from working. A few passes with the file resolved that problem in short order (no pun intended).
The other day, I managed to get the tank off to run the positive lead to the coil. Though not apparent in the installation photos on your site (or immediately apparent with the starter cover still installed), I did discover the passage hole through the timing section into the starter cavity where the positive lead could run through to get to the coil. You may want to add something to your instructions that identifies it.
I’m thankful that I have a kick-starter model because the kicker allowed me to rotate the engine for the LED alignment procedure. You obviously cannot turn the engine by the alternator bolt because it must be loose in order to make the alignment and you don’t want to turn the engine by the cam nose nut because you can over torque it and ruin any chance of going back to points. I guess if you had a non-kick model, you would simply put the bike in gear and try to roll the bike until the “S” mark lines up (awkward but worth the trouble).
Once the installation was complete and the alignment was done, I reattached the battery, held my breath and turned her over. She was a bit slow to start the first time due to air in the fuel lines from tank removal – but she turned over and ran as smooth as silk. I rode her for about five miles using curve #1 (R75/5) and she performed flawlessly. I then jumped to curve #4 and could barely distinguish the difference. After going back and forth a few times, I found the RPM range where the slight difference was most apparent (between 3500 and 4500 RPM). Once that was isolated, I dropped down to curve # 2 and tried it and then bumped up to curve #3 – which seems to be the sweet-spot for my bike.
- The bike starts cleaner than it ever did. I don’t even need to choke it most of the time.
- The idle is as smooth as silk. 100% improvement!
- The shuttering I had (from around 2300 to 2700 RPM (transition from the carburetor idle jet circuit to the needle jet circuit) was narrowed considerably. The bike used to shutter over a range of about 400 RPM, its shutter-range is now less than 100 RPM. Having stable timing will now allow me to reduce or eliminate the shuttering altogether with carb adjustments.
My overall assessment is that it is the best money I’ve spent on the bike to date. I’m 100% satisfied with the results and recommend this upgrade to all airhead owners!
MW from Victoria, BC (R80/7 dual-plugged):
Finally got the ignition set up and functioning smoothly and with the carbs balanced with my new TwinMax it's like a new bike! Thanks.
DS from Milwaukee, WI (R75/5):
That was the best money I ever spent. I think my bike will do wheelies. The system worked just like you said and yes I'm very happy with it.
One question for you though. I started at #1 on the adjustment and went up to #2 and it seems better than 1 where do you set yours or recommend I set mine? I can go to advanced right? At#2 it seems to have all the power in the world and I'm afraid to keep turning it up so as not to damage anything. Thank you, a very satisfied customer (Note: OMEGA responded that #2 curve would be fine ... whatever the "butt"meter says)
JL from Casper, WY (R90/6):
I received my new ignition a couple of weeks ago and have been enjoying my bike ever since. It idles much better and is smoother off the line than it has ever been. Love it. Thanks.
FS from Kingsoport, TN (R60/5):
Just thought I'd let you know I've installed the Omega ignition on my 1971 R60/5 and it is running great. The installation went quite well, your instructions and pictures were very helpful. I had a couple of mishaps, but I think that is par for the course. I didn't have one of the wires securely tightened in the amplifier block and this partially loose connection was not providing a consistent spark. I found the problem and corrected it. I ended up soldering the ends of the wires that slide into the amplifier just to be sure there was a solid connection. The other problem I had was that the magnet carrier ended up rubbing just slightly against the front cover. I had removed the washers from the studs on the alternator, but left the existing nuts on (it looked like the nuts were on in the picture). Anyway it turns out I needed to remove those two nuts as well and that provided the needed clearance.
As for timing, I began with position "0" to set the "S" mark, then stepped through advance curves 1 through 4. Position 4 worked perfectly for my bike showing the "F" mark right on at about 3000 rpm. I've ridden a few hundred miles since the installation, bike starts easily, runs sweet, idles fine, everything seems to be working well.
... Thanks again for helping with this upgrade.