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1983 xr 200r electrical head scratcher

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Hi Guys

My boy and i have been tidying up a very rough 83 xr200r.I honestly wouldn't have bothered but the motor was such a good runner and i also thought the workshop experience would help the boy learn some maintenance plus Ive always had a soft spot for the early 200s.Now many hours and dollars later i cannot seem to get any spark and man do i hate electrical issues.

When i first went to fire the bike up we had spark albeit a very weak one that soon disappeared.

I thought goodness what have i done wrong? so i rechecked the wiring and took the alternator cover off to find it was full of oil, i believe this was from when i had the motor upside down removing it from the frame. I cleaned and reinstalled it getting up to 30vac out of the (black red) wire when kicking it.

Checked earths even installed another earth to motor. I have also replaced the coil and replaced the CDI unit. The pulse generator does seem to pulse when i put an ohms meter across it. There is AC voltage going into the CDI but nothing coming out.

There isn't much left for me to go over and i don't have much hair left to pull out .

Any suggestions will be followed up

Thanks Boydballs

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The alternator is always in oil, many problems are ground related. The cdi needs a good ground to chassis. Also the motor needs to ground to the chassis.

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And the most common spark failures in descending order are:

Bad spark plug

Kill switch and its wiring.

Corrosion in the plug wire to spark plug boot connection.


Electrical connections






I've owned a lot of XRs over the years and, knock on wood, never had a failure caused by the last four items.

The good news is the most common are fairly cheap and easy to fix.


One other ting is to check the ignition timing.

Since the early systems used bullett connectors instead of connectors revisit the wire colors on all of the connectors.


On edit: Upon a closer look at the chart I think it has some errors. I don't have access to my shop manual to verify, so I deleted it. Hopefully some one has a 79-84 XR185/200 or 81-83 XR200R, or even a Clymers, manual and can post a good chart. 


Here is a pic of a 84-85 table posted on 4 Stroke.com, values should be similar.

Electrical 84-85_XR200R_XR250R_CDI_Testing_Table.gif



Early Common wire colors:
Green  -  Ground.
Black/red - power from alternator to CDI module.
Green/white - from CDI sensor to CDI Module.
Blue/yellow - from CDI sensor to CDI Module.
Black/white - from CDI module to kill button/switch.
Black - from CDI module to coil.
Blue - AC power from alternator to lights


Hope this helps.

Edited by Chuck.

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Thanks Dudes, As soon as my boy gets out of bed ill be off to the garage to hit this issue with renewed vigor.Its a miserable summers day here in southern New Zealand so there is nothing better to do but stick to it until i find whatever the issue is.

I will post my findings.

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I have been hunched over that bike for hour and the only thing ive got to show for it is a sore back.

We have just come back from my mates bike shop .He had allot of work to get through and could only spare ten or so minutes but even he shrugged his shoulders.

The was a much newer going 200 at the shop it had a different electrical setup but the pulse generator was the same so i put my meter across it and got the same values.

That was one thing that i did have concerns about because the original wiring on the machine was a rats nest of tape and dodgy joins, So i soldered up wires and heat shrinked the joins.I thought maybe the extra resistance of the solder might be throwing things out.

The resistance of the alternator is 323 ohms  (red-black wire to earth)

New earth have been drilled and taped into the frame and all other earths cleaned up

Yet another coil was tried

New plug and cap

Kill switch disconnected

I'm thinking maybe the other CDI i got was also a DUD but i has assured it came off a going grass kart

Is there any way to test them? What voltage should i have going into the CDI and what should be comming out?

Does the CDI rectify the voltage from ac to dc?.


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Thank you very much team chuck for your help. I have tested the cdi with my meter and it appears to be open circuited so i'm guessing i got given another dud .I don't know why the first cdi unit died when it wasn't being even run though and it was going fine just a week before.It seems i'm back on the hunt for another cdi unit.

Has anyone had any luck adapting the Chinese cdi units to a xr200?

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I suggest using Honda unit specific for the XR200 because most CDI units have an electronic advance and the XR/XL 186/200 use a mechanical advance.  The problem is other units look the same but are not.   For the later versions with  plug connectors use only a unit with a Honda Product code "KT0" marked on it.  Ecotron has a unit with no advance that looks like a Chinese knock off of the late XR200 units.

You could also use these on early engines by adding connectors to the wiring harness, or use a 86+ harness, or use a complete late electrical system. (rotor, stator, harness, CDI, coil).   


I don't remember the markings on the early XR185/200/R CDI units but all of 79-84 XL/XR/125/185/200/S/R and the CB125S used the same module. The product code in the part number is "437" so I would expect to see that and/or "003", or "013" for the super-ceding model.


Sorry about the chart I posted but the values didn't look correct and I don't have an early manual, I did post  84-85 test values and they should be close for the same circuits but some of the color code changes from early wiring.

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