The Morris Magneto Difference

Years ago, all magneto suppliers used Fairbanks Morse magnetos (including Harley-Davidson).  But as the casting dies, QC, reliability, etc. went downhill, so did their reputation.  MORRIS MAGNETO set a goal of designing and building the magneto, an inherently reliable ignition, to be the ultimate ignition, easier starting than other available magneto brands.  We present the following comparison chart.

Today’s spark output is roughly double what it used to be, and we think you’ll agree the extra effort has been well worth it.  The rotor is an especially critical part, and ours is better by far; it’s bulletproof design for efficiency and resistance to malfunction is shared by all MORRIS MAGNETO models.

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First to use on Harleys


First to make CNC billet housings
Material 6061-T6511 n/d
Smooth contoured look; no coil screws yes no
Hand-cut brushed finish yes no
Line-bored top bearing location yes ?
Field laminations posi-locked in place yes no way!


First rare-earth rotors
Magnets, retention 2 full,sealed Stainless shell 4 seg. open arc w/#4-40 screws
Cam angle adjustable yes no
Cam material, finish Stainless Steel, polished mild steel, mill finish
Magnetic field layout (also see torque) complete broken segments
Most magnet volume
Rotor shaft construction One-piece Two-piece
Shaft material ground, case-hardened to 60RC turned mild steel
Gear mount on shaft > 5/16 press, tacked 5/16 undercut (small), pinned
ASSEMBLY – magneto head
Least torque needed to turn
Less eddy-currents, runs cooler
Cover gasket neoprene, .090″ paper, .030″
Coil retention internal; sealed external
Orig. F-M blue-print specs accuracy < .001″ .007″
Top bearing mount line-bored yes no
Bearing removal access holes 3 2 (binds)
Support mount surface flatness <.002″ >.004″
Unique easy-adjust points feature yes no
Orig. F-M design contact set yes no
Bottom seal double-lip single-lip
Shaft thrust surface, various models oilite snap-ring


(defined as needing a sufficient kick to create a spark)
XL to ’70 & Flathd, advance mechanism yes no
36-’69 Big Twin, advance mechanism yes no
36-’69 Big Twin, drive mount seals internal & external none
36-’69 Big Twin, least clearance issues
70-’99 Big Twin, advance mechanism yes yes
70 up Big Twin, first upright model
70 up Big Twin dual mag (has advance)
70 up BT, no adv mech, horiz “sticks out” no yes
Pre-Unit Triumph, w/advance mechanism yes no
Pre-Unit Triumph,timing slots, fits bore Yes, -.001″ No, -.017”
Unit Triumph, ARD type mount,advance yes no
Unit Triumph, model that “sticks out” no yes
Max number of moving parts, all models 5 >20
Yamaha XS650 magneto
NEW! Onboard retard-advance cap kit
IMPULSE COUPLED EASY START MAGS Only available from Morris Magneto, no competitor models
(note, ’70 up Big Twin ‘look-alike’ is a standard type mag).
G-5 36-’69 Big Twin
Maximum clearance
H-5 36-’69 Big Twin generator mount
M-5 70-99 Big Twin
T-5 Twin Cam
oil fed gears, max. A/C clearance, more
case bolts (stock H-D 10) 10 9
maximum air cleaner clearance
F-5 Flathead (on XL, carb interferes)


Standard models (comparable models) 889. – 1295. 834. – 1186.
Impulse models (polished, M5 brushed) 1395. – 1649. not available




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