DIRECT HITS - Ignition Spark Amplifiers
"Rocket Science For Your Engine" is what Direct Hits brochure says... and any time I hear that type of description... I am leery.. to say the least.
When L&S Technologies Steve Huff called, and asked us to do a review on these parts... I felt myself wanting to give him the telemarketers cold shoulder. Still, keeping in mind that anything is possible, I talked with him for almost half an hour, trying to figure out if he had something real. 20 minutes into the conversation, I realized that he knew what he was talking about... and decided to look into it further. About two days later... four spark plugs, and four of these little conehead looking creatures with DirectHits printed on them... came to my front door.
WHAT THE BROCHURE SAYS...
"The results following an installation of DirectHits are immediate and dramatic. Turning the key and starting the engine produces a 5 nanosecond burst of approximately 800 amps of current at the spark plug gap.
The plasma ball ignites the fuel more precisely and more consistently. The engine starts easier and runs smoother - immediately.
This high energy-density spark produces a flame kernel and flame front that propagates more quickly, and completely through the fuel charge.
This results in increased throttle response, better acceleration, improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Long-term benefits include reduced carbon buildup in the combustion chamber and extended service periods."
THE REAL DEAL...
OK... if you read the brochure... you'll have flashbacks of a late night infomercial featuring Splitfire Spark Plugs.
I wanted to put these on our Project 600 bike... and check them out. After being advised that the bike had probably been tuned to efficiency... and would not be a candidate for real horsepower changes, our focus shifted to a box-stock 1100cc bike that we had in our loaner pool.
After screwing these simple little units atop some non-resistor spark plugs, and installing them into the bike, we noticed an instant change in the mid-throttle response of the bike. Not to trust my "in the seat" test... we turned to our friendly neighborhood dyno shop to see what we had here.
After baselining the bike with the stock plugs back in it... we twisted the DirectHits-topped plugs back into place. On the very first run, a three horsepower drop in the absolute top end made me quickly think that this was not what the manufacturer promised. The dyno operator quickly noted however that the mid-range power picked up and torque curve lost the dips that were evident previously.
We concluded that the bike was too lean on the top end because of the increased spark output, and since the bike was a loaner - we could not do any real jetting to the bike to see what we could get.
Sitting next to the dyno area in the shop, was a 900cc Honda which they had just concluded dyno tuning after a pipe and carb swap. After consulting with the bikes owner, and a quick run to get another set of non-resistor plugs (ones that would fit into the different bike) we put the DirectHits amplifiers in place and ran the bike up.
Not to our surprise, the bike repeated the drop off in overall power... and we began increasing the jetting to supply more fuel. Three jet sizes later... the top end power picked up between 3 and 5 horsepower. The mid range had picked up six.. and that was the number which impressed us the most.
For giggles, we grabbed a much older KZ-1000 which was not quite the spring chicken (it had 28,000 miles on it). That is where the most noticeable differences were found. Simply screwing on the amplifiers, we saw a three horsepower gain in the overall power, and the torque curve cleaned up significantly.
If you have a race bike... these units probably will not help you out - because your MSD or Dynatek ignition already has enough power to supply the beans.
HOWEVER, if you've got a street warrior that you are trying to get every ounce of performance out of, or an older bike which does not run quite as good as it use to... DirectHits amplifiers will help you find some horsepower!
Rating System: 1 to 10, 10 being best, greatest or easiest'
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