dead cdi in tlr200

I have a 87 tlr200 with a dead cdi. there was an article on some english blokes using chinese cdi units with good effect but they were vague about hooking up the chinese cdi. I have a chinese cdi and I need some good detailed info on hooking it into the tlr. Like don't say a certain terminal goes to ground. Do you need to make a new ground connection or is there a wire to attach to that goes to ground?  I would like to get  this unit running again as it is a bunch of fun.

That is the place that got me thinking I might be able to use a chinese cdi.  Their instructions and the tlr200 wires don't quite match up.

I've owned Honda 2 valve motors since the the first XR185s and never had a CDI failure. The CDI modules are very reliable, except for some of the DC units, so I would check out other parts of the system before replacing parts. The crank sensors are known to fail and the ignition coils in the alternator also fail.  A TLR service manual will have info on testing. Most common ignition failures are:
Bad or corroded connections
Poor ground to the frame
Shorted kill button or kill wiring
Corroded connection in the spark plug wire at the plug boot.

The TLR CDI module has electronic spark advance, as do most other Honda CDI modules.  The Advance curve is unique to the engine so you shouldn't use a CDI module from a different model.  The Honda Product code for the CDI module is printed on the side of the connector. This pic is of the late XR200R CDI showing the "KT0" product code, the TLR unit will have a KJ2 product code. The product code is the middle part of the Honda part number. Probably not avail new from Honda but used units are on ebay.5a86166a7ebe2_XR200R86CDIModule.jpg.7d7fee4cf753e06fc18306d0ca866e04.jpg



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Edited by Chuck.

Chuck, I wish I had talked to you before buying a Chinese pit bike cdi. Oh well it was less than $15 shipped.

What about a hotter coil from a pit bike which all seem to be in an orange color? One came with the Chinese CDI kit.


RL Branson: and MidAtlantic trials both make mention of the chinese pit bike CDI. Classictrials (Chris Stevens) seems to have about 15 years of experimenting with Honda TLR200's. I find his knowledge as posted on his site and by email quite useful, but a rank amateur like me, even with almost 35 years of owning Honda's, easy to misinterpret. He is quite emphatic that Honda's single 4 strokes  like Ford small block engines will perform quite well with a big chunk of change $$$$ invested and not piece mill (Chevy small block) with one or two bolt on parts. In his emails to me he seems to be convinced that the most bang for the buck is a Yamaha TY 175 or Fantic for twinshock vintage trials.

Quote" As I said if your budget does not stretch to doing the work on a TLR properly its best to sell  it and either get a bike which is more competitive in stock form or something which is less costly to modify.
TY175 with a big air box, flat slide carb and dual map ignition is better than a heavily modified TLR. With more work these are good enough to win UK twin-shock championship events............Trying to modify a TLR without the right parts and alterations is an expensive waste of time as the finished bike wont be as good as a well put together totally stock TY175." end quote.

$600 USD (shipped) for a RTL type exhaust is out of my budget. I would be OK for club competition with uncorking the Reflex's exhaust and intake. 


The moral of this is going off half-cocked on bike and engine mods can be expensive with disappointing results. That said I demonstrate my own TLR neurosis by continuing to work on putting a '83 ATC200x motor in a spare Reflex frame for my new play toy.

I should have replied earlier. I have a chinese cdi and ign coil in my tlr and it runs better than it ever did in the past.  it took some time to figure how to wire it in.  Honda tlr cdi's have not been available for many years and used cdi units do go bad with time and use. the cdi and coil were a little over $9 shipped, I also got a 5 pin connector with wires on it for $12 shipped. (ebay)  tlr runs great what with having a hot spark. some of us would like to use our heads rather than just throw money at a problem.  Oh yeah you want a chinese 5 pin cdi

Edited by rlbranson
more info

That's what I have a 5 pin xr50/racing CDI with the XR50 performance coil and the xr70 wiring harness on the '87 stock TLR Reflex motor w/ the factory 22mm Keihin rejetted carb and a Feked after market alloy exhaust the throttle rolls up off idle well and it has a snap to the throttle the stock setup lacked, no off idle cough. The stock air box is gone due to fit problems with the Feked exhaust and a  bare Uni-filter behind the side cover seems to help the air flow.  The difference is profound.

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