About Us

Boyer Bransden logoIn 1969 Ernie Bransden designed and patented a miniature electronic ignition; one that was a fraction of the size and far more efficient than any of its competitors. Both Bosch and Lucas technicians looked at the system, and were amazed that this could have been developed by a twenty five year old in his bedroom, with no multimillion pound budget.

At this time, the German engine designer Helmut Fath had been trying to obtain an electronic ignition from Bosch for his 500cc 4 cylinder racing motorcycle engine. Bosch had some equipment that could be used, but it required so much power, and was so large that he would have had to tow it, and the batteries it needed around on a trailer! John Blanchard, one of the first men to lap the Isle of Man at 100 miles per hour was already using one of Ernie's electronic ignitions, being a good friend of Helmut's he persuaded him to try it. Helmut's high revving engine was transformed and his machine beat all the BMWs to win the World Sidecar Championship. Since then, Ernie Bransden's company, Boyer-Bransden, have produced many thousands of miniature ignition units for motorcycles and other applications.

The first commercially produced Boyer-Bransden electronic ignition was launched in 1969 for Boyer of Bromley, a then famous motorcycle dealership whose Triumph race team were experiencing trouble with the points on their race bikes. They proved an instant success. By the time the Lucas "Rita" system entered the arena in 1973 Boyer-Bransden were already producing the Mark II having then sold more than 2,000 systems.

In 1996, Ernie set about improving and updating the very popular analogue Mark III system, by introducing a microcomputer into it. This would control all the ignition functions undertaken by the components of the Mark III system, plus a lot more that were not previously possible. This development led to the production of the Micro-Digital ignition system with digital coil control, rev limiting and programmed ignition timing, still driving standard ignition coils.

With so much control over the ignition function, it was soon apparent that standard ignition coils are far from efficient. They normally work with a simple mechanical switch (the contact breaker) and power supply (battery), the only control of the energy being the primary winding resistance and the time the contact breaker cam holds the points open. A coil that has been custom designed for electronic ignition can have a much lower primary resistance, since the computer can control the current pulse for every spark, and at any r.p.m. In practical terms this means only a third of the power is consumed, with more spark energy available when hot or cold.

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