Gear: Baja Designs Squadron LED Motorcycle Lights

Factory lights tend to suck. Outdated halogen bulbs lack both outright brightness and throw, often meaning the riding needs to stop at dark. Thanks to super powerful aftermarket lights like these from Baja Designs, that no longer need be the case.

It’s inevitable. You’ve made the plans, you’ve done the maintenance, you’ve packed the whole list and you’ve got the whole trip mapped out. Then, the unexpected happens. You get a flat tire, your friend gets dehydrated, you found a cool side trail. Now, the sun’s going down and you’re stuck with a stock headlamp.

Be it on a desolate highway, a fire road or just trying to find a campsite, you don’t have to be off-road to be plagued by the dark.

I’ve often looked at aftermarket lighting for my motorcycle, only to balk at the cost and effort required for installation. But not anymore, Baja Designs has developed a bolt-on solution for ADV bikes like my Triumph Tiger 800 XC that retails for $680 and includes everything you need to attach it to your bike.

This 3x3 “Squadron” lights put out an incredible 3,600 lumens thanks to Cree LEDs that are rated to a 50,000 hour service life and are shock proof.

I’ve never seen anything like that brightness come out of a motorcycle before. We’re talking daylight. I no longer fear being stuck out after dark. Hell, let’s leave after sundown for all I care.

Low Beams

High Beams

Squadron lights

I wouldn’t recommend using them in an urban environment; they’ll dazzle other drivers. Still, a couple experiments revealed that they’ll illuminate reflective street signs up to eight blocks away. Eight blocks!

Baja Designs has been lighting things up off-road for 20 years, refining and perfecting their products with lessons learned from real world racing experience. Now, they’re using that knowledge to provide lighting to the growing ADV sector.

Using Cree’s new XML LED, these are the brightest lights you can easily affix to a motorcycle. And, because they’re LED instead of HID, they don’t require an additional ballast, a notorious weak point in previous aftermarket lighting. They also draw less — just 3.6 amps each — and weigh in at a paltry 12oz. The Tiger can easily handle both those requirements.

I was a bit worried about messing around with electrical stuff on my bike, but I needn’t have been, Baja Designs has done everything to make this kit as easy as possible, using OEM-style connectors and providing excellent instructions. Should you need any help, an excellent customer service department responds to emails and phone calls.

Low Beams

High Beams

Squadron lights

The Squadron kit includes everything you’ll need to fit your bike, including:
- LED Lights
- Bike specific mounting hardware
- Relay harness
- Rear harness w/fuse
- High Beam by-pass extension
- Thumb Switch w/bracket

The fit and finish is top notch too. An IP69K certification means they can withstand being submerged under nine feet of water and the beam patterns are user configurable for flood or throw.

All in, they totally transform the night riding experience on my Tiger. I’m now as confident riding at night as during the day.

Order a set here.

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