BETTER TO LIGHT YOUR WAY
Vision is hands down one of the most important factors needed to ride and drive at night. If the lighting system on your machine isn’t bright enough, it is hard to make out dangerous obstacles and treacherous terrain in the dark. If you like to go fast, like most off-road enthusiasts or racers do, the dim stock headlights on your rig simply won’t cut it. We connected with Baja Designs to get the first designed set of aftermarket stock-replacement headlights for Yamaha’s YXZ1000R. Their system of four Squadron-R Sport LED lights will set you back $644.95, but after our testing, we feel the kit is worth the cash.
LED lighting is a huge hit in the off-road industry. The technology is easy to manufacture, and the lights are powerful and bright while still being obtainable in a small lightweight package. Most LED systems require a low amount of power from your machine to run them, sometimes less than the stock, bulky halogen or sealed beam lights that come on most ATVs and UTVs.
Baja Designs put together a kit for the YXZ that consists of two Squadron-R Sport Spot lights for the high beams, and two Squadron-R Sport Combo lights that have a half-flood and half-spot light pattern for the low beams. In the kit you will find the four LED light pods that produce 7200 lumens together, mounting brackets and hardware specific to the Yamaha, new wiring that is plug-and-play into the existing harness, and zip-ties to tidy up the cables.
Baja Designs’ system isn’t difficult to install, but it can take up to an hour or more depending on time for dialing in the angles of the light beams for optimum vision at night. You will need a regular and Phillips screwdriver, and 8, 10, 12, and 14mm combo wrenches, sockets and a ratchet. The kit comes with detailed instructions on how to install the new lights. We noticed that it is easier to do the install if you remove the front bumper.
It wasn’t hard to notice how much brighter the BD lights are over the stock YXZ1000R. The Squadron-R Sport Combo lights (low beams) offer a nice spread in lower-speed operation and tight terrain where you don’t need your brights on. The Spot lights (high beams) reach out a lot further than the stock lights and provide a decently wide spread, which helps a lot when driving fast.
Our only complaint about the system has nothing to do with the Baja Designs’ lights; they are great. The position that Yamaha designed the stock lights into are low, and the plastic’s shape cuts off some of the light’s beam. When driving fast this makes it difficult to see over some obstacles and creates shadows in the terrain. Lighting mounted higher up on the machine, like the cage pillars or roof location, will cut down on shadows.
Baja Designs came out with the first stock-replacement light kit for Yamaha’s YXZ and the results are impressive. If you want to pick up the $644.95 set for yourself, go to
www.bajadesigns.com or call (800) 422-5292.