An interesting comparison of Commando electric starters

grandpaul

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GP, my comments are simply to point out that there is a difference between ‘potential failure modes’ and ‘potential for less reliability’.

Increased potential failure modes DO NOT equal potential for less reliability. They are two different things. Just Google FMEA and you‘ll see what I‘m getting at.
My original comment that started us on this bunny trail:

"Personally, the nuts and bolts aspect interests me the most. As you may or may not know, every added part becomes a possible point of failure. Also, every additional interface between parts becomes another possible point of failure. Not casting aspersions on the Norton factory, or producers of any of the parts in either kit, nor on designers of any of those parts, but creation of a new part can sometimes have an unexpected failure mode that is only revealed in use over time; that's another possible point of failure even in a "static" part."

No mention of "potential for less reliability"

I'll go back and keep looking for anywhere that I may have mentioned "potential for less reliability", and return with clarification...
 

grandpaul

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Actually, there are ‘more potential failure modes’.

But this is NOT the same as ‘potential for less reliability’.

A wheel with 4 bolts does not have potential for less reliability than a wheel with 1 bolt…
Ah, here it is (my earlier reply): "Yes, there is POTENTIAL for less reliability, the more complicated an assembly becomes."

Let me try it like this:

Any failure (especially a repeated failure) within a mechanical system would constitute a POTENTIAL reliability issue in that system.

The more POTENTIAL failure points, the greater the POTENTIAL for less reliability.

Seems purely logical to me, and as I explained in a previous reply, if you include potential failure MODES at each of those potential POINTS, the likelihood of reliability issues increases exponentially.
 

Fast Eddie

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No GP, increased potential failure modes do not equal less reliability.

As already stated, it’s like saying a wheel with 4 (or 5 Mike) bolts will be potentially less reliable than a wheel with 1 bolt.

Or a V8 less reliable than a single.

Or a 4 engined aircraft less reliable than a single engined aircraft.

Or a 10 stud Triumph cylinder head less reliable than an 8 stud.

Etc.

Only potential failure modes that are not addressed equal less reliability.
 
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If there was a football match of one man versus eleven, I know where my money would be :)

(Yep, totally out of sync... but wothell)
 

grandpaul

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Only potential failure modes that are not addressed equal less reliability.
If the failure point/mode has never presented itself (yet), how can the potential reliability issue be known?

In the case in point, Alton's e-start reliability issue that Yves fix addresses: The potential reduced reliability became an ACTUAL reduced reliability issue. THAT issue has yet to be addressed by the manufacturer.
 
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If there was a football match of one man versus eleven, I know where my money would be :)

(Yep, totally out of sync... but wothell)
Apologies, this should be in the jokes section, but…….

Diego Maradona decides to come out of retirement and play for Chelsea, he goes into the changing room to find all his team mates looking a bit glum.
"What's up?" He asks.
"Well, we're having trouble getting motivated for this game. We know it's important but it's only Liverpool. They're shit and we can't be bothered".
Maradona looks at them and says "Well I know I'm a bit fat and old, but I reckon I can beat them by myself, you lads go down the pub."
So Maradona goes out to play Liverpool by himself and the rest of the Chelsea team go off for a few beers. After a few pints they wonder how the game is going, so they get the landlord to put the TV on. A big cheer goes up as the screen shows
"Chelsea 1 (Maradona 10 minutes) – Liverpool 0
He is beating Liverpool all by himself! Anyway, a few more beers later and the game is forgotten until someone remembers "It must be full time now, let's see how he got on" They put the TV on.
"Result from Stamford Bridge: Chelsea 1 (Maradona 10 minutes) – Liverpool 1 (Sturridge 89 minutes)
They can't believe it, he has single handed got a draw against Liverpool! They rush back to the Stadium to congratulate him. They find him in the dressing room, still in his gear, sat with his head in his hands.
He refuses to look at them. "I've let you down I've let you down"
"Don't be stupid Diego, you got a draw against Liverpool all by yourself. And they only scored at the very very end!"
Maradonna says "No, No, I have, I've let you down!. I got sent off after 12 minutes!"
 

Fast Eddie

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If the failure point/mode has never presented itself (yet), how can the potential reliability issue be known?

By conducting FMEA. That’s how the issues will be known GP.

Then, by feeding those issues back into the engineering function so they are addressed, is how issues will be prevented from getting to the customer.

Hence my point, it is not the number of potential failure modes that influences reliability. You can have as many as you like, provided they have been addressed, there is no influence on functional reliability.

If the Alton has reliability issues it is NOT because of the design having an increased number of potential failure modes (complexity). It is because FMEA has not been conducted. This is evident in the failure under discussion and addressed by the ‘Yves mod’. This failure has nothing to do with complexity of design and everything to do with questionable / borderline engineering, as already explained by Kommando, and failure to conduct proper FMEA in the pre production phase.
 
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grandpaul

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By conducting FMEA. That’s how the issues will be known GP.

Then, by feeding those issues back into the engineering function so they are addressed, is how issues will be prevented from getting to the customer.

Hence my point, it is not the number of potential failure modes that influences reliability. You can have as many as you like, provided they have been addressed, there is no influence on functional reliability.

If the Alton has reliability issues it is NOT because of the design having an increased number of potential failure modes (complexity). It is because FMEA has not been conducted. This is evident in the failure under discussion and addressed by the ‘Yves mod’. This failure has nothing to do with complexity of design and everything to do with questionable / borderline engineering, as already explained by Kommando, and failure to conduct proper FMEA in the pre production phase.
I concede.

(and must assume you are correct, Alton did not conduct proper/adequate FMEA)
 
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One page 1 it was decreed that MK3 starter comments were also acceptable.
The MK3 with Chinese sprag and old fashioned lead acid battery continues to start with a 1 or 2 second push of the button. I must have started it twenty times yesterday while using the bike for shopping errands.
Sometimes its fun to accidentally stall just to do the in gear/clutch in instant restart.

Glen
 
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grandpaul, since you got this thread going, how about a summary to date?
What have you/we learned thus far?
Is it time for a refocus?
Or has this a parrot gone on to meet its maker?
 

grandpaul

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grandpaul, since you got this thread going, how about a summary to date?
What have you/we learned thus far?
Is it time for a refocus?
Or has this a parrot gone on to meet its maker?
I haven't begun to analyze and summarize yet, but some of the replies ARE helpful.
 

maylar

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Nobody has really answered all your questions WRT the Alton. I think I did a fair job of addressing each one in my write up of the cNw.
 
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I looked at the OB kit many years ago. I seem to recall it required that some OEM part(s) be sent back to OB for modification. I can't remember what that was and MIGHT be misremembering that but I'd make a (small) wager that I remember right and SOMETHING had to be sent to them to be modified.

If that is correct, I assume that since they are no longer in business, you would have to make arrangements for whatever was to be modified. Might be a DIY thing depending on your tools - again, can't remember.
 

Derek Wilson

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Nobody has really answered all your questions WRT the Alton. I think I did a fair job of addressing each one in my write up of the cNw.
-Price
I payed $2950 CAD + Applicable (13% here in Ontario) - no shipping as a local dealer had it in stock

-Overall quality of parts included in kit
Visually, very good quality and well packaged. Note that the top of the new inner primary is in a "brushed aluminum" finish as opposed to polished. Not sure if a polished finish is available, but it could be polished if you wished it to be. You would likely want to remove the starter and gear box to do it. I didn't bother as I was too excited at the time to get the kit on and get back to riding. Maybe someday....

-Number of total parts in kit
22 unique parts, but some are multiple quantities / assemblies - See Page 2: https://www.alton-france.com/wp-content/uploads/PDF/electric-starter-kit-notice.pdf

-Number of moving parts in kit
Starter drive, chain, jack-shaft, crankshaft nut, starter drive spacer - those are the only parts that you handle, everything else is preassembled

-Number of engagement points between all (OEM & kit) parts in starting train
Mechanically, just 1 - the end of the crankshaft where the alternator rotor used to be, Electrically, it depends on your bike - battery cables, solenoid mounting saddle, connection to starter button.

-List of OEM parts eliminated by kit
Alternator Rotor, stator, crankshaft nut, and mounting hardware; inner primary; primary to engine bolts; primary center mounting stud

-Number of specific fitments requiring a tool
Typical tools involved in removing the primary completely: Clutch compressor and engine sprocket puller. The only other "special tool" comes with the kit - a set of shims for setting the alternator rotor to stator clearance.

-Number of different tools required for fitment
The usual tools that you would use for removing and re-assembling the primary: sockets, impact wrench, torque wrench, Allen keys - the instructions above are pretty comprehensive

-List of items required for a complete fitment, that are NOT included in the kit
1. I did not have my stock switch gear anymore, so I added a starter / kill switch - generic off of Amazon
2. 270 CCA/18 Ah battery
3. I had to revert to a single phase regulator/rectifier - I guess I could have just left the 3 phase one in with 2 alternator leads connected, but I ended up going back to the "stock" setup of a rectifier and a zener diode - through much experimentation and evaluation, I found that this set up provides the best output from the alternator with regards to useable amperage and appropriate voltage regulation. Charges a Shorai battery perfectly. And TriSpark ignition friendly.
4. Also, the Alton alternator is not high output, so fitting an LED headlight bulb is likely advisable.

-Cost of other items required (not included in kit)
Switch: $15
Battery: depends on how much you want to spend - $100 - $300
LED headlight bulb: $35

-Objective comparison of time required for ONE PERSON to install the kit, having EVERYTHING required ready at hand BEFORE starting
I took my time and it was about 3.5-4 hours from the time I put the bike on the lift until I pressed the button to start it.

-"Cleanliness" of installed kit, as relates to visible apparatus clearly non-OEM (maybe a bit subjective, but somewhat clear)
To me, it looks like a factory-fit - nothing is unsightly or heavily customized. The only thing that you see is the starter, and it sits in the same place as it would if it were a Mk3 850.

One other thing of note: with Amal carbs in good nick, and the TriSpark ignition - a light carb tickle from cold, touch the button and the engine springs to life so quickly, you don't even here the starter run. I am sure that this would still be the case with a CNW kit fitted.
 
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