PowerSports Business

July 10, 2017

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www.PowersportsBusiness.com Lighting solutions offer more time behind the wheel BY LIZ KEENER SENIOR EDITOR On a recent camping trip in Barstow, Califor- nia, Trent Kirby, operations manager of Baja Designs, took his grandmother on a side- by-side ride. "For years past, she would always be sit- ting in camp. She's to the age where her body can't take the abuse of a bike or a quad to go putt around," he said. "I was able to put her in a side-by-side, had a helmet for her, fresh air system, radio communication so I could talk to her, and take her into areas in the desert that she would've never traveled to before. Being able to share that experience with additional family members to expose them to something that they would never see in any type of other vehicle really is an incredible feeling and bond- ing moment for whomever you take." Kirby, like many employees of Baja Designs, is a powersports enthusiast. He owns a Polaris RZR XP 1000; founder and head engineer Alan Roach has a Can-Am Maverick X3; CEO Deanne Moore rides a Yamaha YXZ1000R, and two others at the office also own XP 1000s. And as riders themselves, they want fellow enthusi- asts to be able to ride longer. "I feel like there's too many people who rush back to camp when the sun goes down because they are afraid to drive at night, and part of it is just knowing what type of lights you need and having a setup that makes driving at night enjoyable," Kirby explained. "That's what our goal is: to provide forward-projecting solutions that allow people to continue ripping through the dirt or continue whatever project they have going on at night and enjoy it." Baja Designs specializes in forward-pro- jecting lights for side-by-sides, ATVs, off-road motorcycles, adventure motorcycles, trophy trucks and automotive applications. The com- pany wants people to use its products to ride later in the day more safely. THE START Baja Designs wasn't launched as a lighting com- pany. Instead, Roach started Baja Designs in 1992 as a company that offered dual-sport kits to make off-road bikes minimally street legal. "Those dual-sport kits included headlights, taillights, wiring harness, turn signals, horn — everything needed to put a dirt bike on the street," Kirby reported. Then, while racing in SCORE events in Mexico, Roach discovered the need for high- performance lighting for motorcycles. That led to the development of Baja Designs' first HID (high intensity discharge) motorcycle race light. As Roach then began racing the Baja 1000 in trucks and buggies, Baja's lineup expanded to include applications for those vehicles, and Baja's engineers became known as "The Scien- tists of Lighting." "It developed into a full line of lights based upon, really, his passion and needs," Kirby said. Since the late 1990s, Baja's product lineup has expanded. Features like MoistureBlock, which creates a waterproof seal at the cord, even when the connector is cut off, separate Baja Designs from its competitors. Kirby said customers also appreciate that Baja lights perform at a 5000 Kelvin color tem- perature, which is easier on the eyes, and they like the Baja Designs uService feature, which allows them to swap lenses on their own. "That allows the end user to change the lens if it becomes pitted, chipped or hazed, and change the beam pattern," Kirby said. "The lights are traditionally mounted on the front of a vehicle; they take abuse. And we understand that we're on the high end of the market; we build a premium product. We want Baja Designs takes the fear out of night riding Baja Designs hopes that, with the proper lighting setup, more enthusiasts will be able to ride at night. See Baja Designs, Page 28

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