For many years now I have continued to ride my dual sport bike with an old style halogen light set up. It was not the most powerful set up, but I always got by alright with it. I used the glass lense from Baja Designs with a good quality H4 bulb on a stock KTM charging system.
But I had an incident last year that made me rethink my equipment. Our day of riding in Baja ran a little long. I am not sure why I say this as if it is something unusual, they always run long. There is never enough daylight to get all the riding in. Anywho, we had to ride 30 miles of pavement back to town and it was pitch dark out. Few places get blacker than Baja.
Three of us were riding down the highway. In front was a rider with an older design HID light and I was in the back. It was obvious just how much better his light was than my Halogen unit. As we continued down the road, we came up to a slower car in front of us. At first it seemed we were gaining ground slowly, but suddenly we were right up on the car. With the road ahead clear, both bikes in front of me swung out to pass the car.
Suddenly I could see in the lights that there were a number of cows standing in the road. Fortunately we had time to react, the HID light projected far enough forward that we had ample warning to slow an pull back into the lane behind the car. Later we realized the car we were following had very poor headlights and no brake lights, thus we had no warning of a problem ahead. That one incident convinced me that I needed a better light on my bike.
When I recently did the full tear down and rebuild on my “new” KTM 525exc, I called up Baja D to get a Squadron light. Introduced about a year ago, this light has become the new standard for off road light technology. Beside putting out tons of light, the LED should be very long lasting and draws a minimal amount of power.
Baja Designs sent me the kit to adapt the light into my stock 2006 style mask. It can also be adapated into the current design KTM mask, Honda mask or they can supply it in a Polysport design. The install was very straight forward. The light came with stock KTM connectors, so it is plug and play for many KTM applications.
There are two spacers that come with the kit. These go in the top mounting holes of the light to get it aimed properly. There were not specific instructions for the spacers, so it took some trial and error to get mounted correct. I ended up cutting them in half and that gave the correct angle on the light. The bolts that mount in the top holes are very long, so I simply put half of the spacer in front of the light and the remaining half behind, and that went together perfect.
The 525exc motor that I have already had a DC conversion, so I did not have to do anything additional for the power supply. This light is wired directly from the Battery. The switch on my Sicass racing dual sport kit turns the light on in the “high beam” position. As it is direct DC power, you have to remember to turn the switch off when you turn the motor off to keep from draining the battery.
As for performance, the Squadron is amazing. In my opinion, the majority of teams entered in the Baja 1000 could race with just this light. It is that strong. Riding side by side down a two track road with a bike running an older HID light, the Squadron puts out so much light that it is hard to discern any output from the HID.
So for now, I have to say that I am very impressed with the Squadron. It was easy to install. It is relatively lightweight and simple to insall. Baja D claims that is should have a very long life, so that is what we will be testing over time.
Our Squadron motorcycle light( $329.95) is the next generation of LED lighting. The Squadron is designed specifically for aggressive night-time riding by combining amazing distance projection, wide peripheral spread and a smooth light pattern. This light utilizes four CREE XML LEDs – the brightest, most efficient LEDs on the market to give you a blinding 3600 lumens. Not only is the Squadron the brightest LED light on the market, but it also only draws 3.6 amps. If you’re looking for the ultimate in LED lighting for your motorcycle the Baja Designs Squadron is your answer!
Features & Specifications:
For Electric-Start Bikes: Some electric-start bikes require the stator to be modified or rewound as well as the addition of a new rectifier/regulator to run LED lights. If your bike requires a new rectifier/regulator please order part # 12-2004 with your racelight and the correct rectifier/regulator for your bike will be included (please provide year/make/model of bike). Detailed stator modification instructions & hardware is included for all bikes that require a stator modification to run LED lights. If your bike requires the stator to be rewound (such as CRF250X & 450X’s), please call Baja Designs for an order confirmation number to have this service performed. Please see the Stator Kits & Rewinding category for more details.
NOTE:Electric start bikes that require stator modification or rewinding will require the purchase of the switch & wiring harness kit (#61-1049 $39.95). This is because you cannot use the stock wiring harness for lighting after any stator modification. The application chart specifies which bikes do not need the switch & wiring harness kit.
Exceeds MIL-STD810G requirements