Installation takes less than a minute—after you figure out how to unlock the factory plugs. The 10 different power modes are selected via a tiny knob with an arrow molded into it. A bar-mounted switch allows the rider to “toggle” between two settings while riding. It requires 10 minutes to install the handlebar switch and make the wiring look “factory.” The bar-mounted switch has a Map 1 setting, which is number one on the selector dial, and an X10 power setting. The X10 switch setting uses whichever map the knob’s arrow is pointing at. Changing the setting is very easy: Just remove the number plate and click the dial to a different number with a tiny screwdriver. Most 125cc two-stroke and 250cc four-stroke pilots want power maps rather than traction maps, but 450 riders want a traction map to subdue wheelspin on the concrete starting gate and a performance map when they hit the dirt.We felt a significant difference as soon as I installed the ignition. Our X10 was an early model, and the switch was labeled “Traction” and “Power.” The so-called traction setting hit hard and actually generated wheelspin very low in the rpm range. The power was snappy, had a hit more like the Yamaha YZ250F’s meat and revved cleaner and higher than the stocker.Then I rocked the handlebar switch the other way. The bike lost some of the gnarly bottom but cranked on top. I took a moment to click the dial to number six and found even more top-end pull. I was able to clear one double out of a turn in first gear! It seemed the engine never stopped pulling.Each of the maps was an improvement in power compared with stock. For serious racers, I see the X10 as a great asset. For casual riders who stretch out or even ignore maintenance, an ignition that raises the rpm ceiling isn’t the best idea. But I told tester Tyler Keefe—a strong national-level intermediate rider at major amateur events—he definitely needed to get one for his modified bike. At $398, the ignition is cheaper than most exhaust systems and makes as much or more of a difference.
—Karel KramerDR Tested: 9.0MT Racing: 909/353-1253; www.mtracing.com