There is an attraction to riding at night that is addicting to us. Maybe it’s the added danger due to low visibility, or the fact that everything feels faster in the dark, or even that we live in a summertime blast furnace. One thing we know for certain is that having a bright lighting system is crucial to going fast and lowers the risk of night riding. We hooked up with Baja Designs and picked up their S8 10-inch driving/combo LED light bar for $329 to put to the test on our Honda TRX450R.
Baja Designs created an impressive light bar that utilizes eight Cree LEDs that pump out 4000 lumens with a life expectancy of 49,930 hours. The power usage is fairly reasonable at 40 watts and 3.33 amps. There is an amber backlight feature built into the light bar that you can utilize as a parking light.
The light bar is made from aircraft-grade aluminum that is hard-anodized. The hardware and bracket material are made from stainless steel to lessen the chance of corrosion. The S8 is waterproof and submersible up to 9 feet underwater, and you won’t harm it by utilizing a pressure washer to clean it. The lens is replaceable and made from hard-coated polycarbonate.
The S8 comes with mounting brackets for any application of your choosing, whether it be an ATV, UTV, trailer or truck. There are also multiple options of lens choices, including spot, driving/combo, wide driving, work/scene and driving/combo amber. We chose to go with the spot driving/combo, which combines a wide flood pattern for close-up lighting and a narrow spot pattern to see terrain further away.
The S8 light bar comes with the light and mounting brackets. Wiring harnesses, switches and other mounting systems can be purchased separately.
When you ride a stock Honda TRX450R at night, there is enough light to get around, but once you start picking up speed, things get sketchy. The stock light isn’t bright enough to safely keep up with faster riding. One of our associate editors, Collin Duffy, planned to race his quad at night, and he is one of those recreational night-riding addicts, so a much brighter light system was a must.
The S8 LED light bar works wonders. The driving/combo lens provided a wide spread of light for cornering, while the spot beam brightened up everything that we needed to see at night at high speed. The color of the LEDs is 5000K, which has a more realistic whitish yellow color than the normal bright white or blue tint of an LED. The color makes it easier to see the terrain without harsh reflections. Our only gripe about the light is that we wish the spot portion of the beam was a little bit wider; otherwise, it’s an awesome light and worth every hard-earned penny. Go to www.bajadesigns.com or call (866) 335-8180 for more info on all of their impressive lighting systems.