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A CDI basically a capacitor that charges on a voltage source and the waits for a secondary pulse to tell it to discharge.

The coil will take the discharge and step up the voltage to high of enough amount to create an arc over the spark plugs.

You can't really test the full functionality of the CDI due to the fact the discharge will vary depending on engine load and advance the cdi has. However you can test the source voltage and pulse going into the CDI.

The CDI harness should have at leat 3 wires going into it.

Wire 1 - Source/Charge Voltage
Wire 2 - Pulsed Voltage
Wire 3 - Ground

You can take your multimeter and set it to DC volts and take one lead and attach to the ground and the other test lead to either the Source or Pulsed. Then have a friend quickly pull the recoil and check to see if your getting any voltage readings. The charging lead should get to around 12 volts when pulling. The pulse will probaly be around 4 volts.

Now that you estalished voltage making to the CDI. You can now test to see if you get voltage out.

Hook the CDI back into the harness and check for voltage coming out of the other end of the CDI. If the you get nothing. more thank likely the CDI is bad.

Here are a couple article that will explain ia more details

http://www.crustyquinns.com/tech/cdi.html

http://www.aircooled-rd.com/default.asp?txtPage=cdidiags.htm

Hope this helps
 
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