After replacing the stock wire, I wanted to take a look at it. Here's a picture of it:
Looks different? Yeah, I thought so too. Take a closer look at the ends:
The end that goes in to the CDI is different from the one I had before. My last one was glued in. And it was a booger to get out. This one just plain unscrewed! The last one was also automotive style resistance lead, not stranded copper like this one. The other one I had used a plastic, low quality plug boot. This one's nice and rubbery, and makes a good seal.
Here's something else I noticed. See the boot end? See how different it looks from the NGK boot? The supplied boot is DESIGNED to work with the screw on cap on the spark plug. That's something that caught me off guard. I follow instructions pretty well, but I also have a bad habit for critical thinking. When I read that severe damage can occur if you don't remove the screw cap, I took it right off. I put the boot on and felt how loose it felt, it went right back on. It also gave me zero issue, I just wanted to try a new boot and wire.
I gained nothing. The new NGK boot requires that the spark plug screw cap is removed. The resistance of the original boot was very close to the new NGK. The original boot feels rubbery and makes a good, weathertight seal. The new NGK boot is hard plastic, but has a nice seal at both ends.
So, somehow, I guess China is getting better with certain parts. I always heard the plug boot is garbage, but it seems that this one is of pretty decent quality.