After finding myself going further and further afield due to my Tiger's extended range and comfort I was finding myself traveling later and later in the day. Night time on the urban slab wasn't too much of a thing but I could see being caught on the trail at night and needing as much light as possible. A Tiger is a fairly quiet motorcycle as such things go and I've spooked far more game with it and a Leo Vince than I ever did in the same amount of time on my XR with a Supertrapp.
I'd looked at the Triumph lights for it and although recently revised to the led standard that seems so common nowadays I wasn't a fan of the specs due to needing to be DOT and my focus was far more off road.
As I had already had a great experience with Baja Designs on the Fuego race light I bought to convert my XR I reached out to Bailey at BD to help me spec a set for my Tiger. He recommended the XL Squdron Pro set up with one driving and one flood as opposed to the "combo" lights as the focus would be much improved and easier to obtain with separate spot and flood lights. After a brief telephone call to establish payment and shipping particulars my order was shipped out and I had my kit complete with switch,relay and wiring harness.
Now comes the fun part.
On the Triumph to install lights other than the factory fog lights or heated grips you WILL need to pull the fuel tank. Maybe someone somewhere has sussed out how to get the connectors located under the shrouds to work with a non-factory setup but after determining that I wasn't really ready to cut up either my BD wiring harness OR buy a Triumph led light harness ala carte to see if it worked I just opted to pull the tank. After watching a few videos courtesy of muddysump and a slightly earlier Tiger I felt sufficiently forewarned enough to complete the task and pulled it without incident. After carefully wrapping and routing my wires I replaced the tank, shrouds and sundry items and placed the fuse into the receptacle on the harness expectantly. Upon hitting the switch......nothing.
Nada. El Zilcho.
Not even knowing enough to diagnose a faulty relay I contact Bailey@BD and he instructed me through the process. After a couple of checks I find it's a relay thats gone bad and we get a replacement in pronto.
This time the entire wall of my garage turns blinding white when I hit the switch. I get them roughly pointed where I like and tighten down the 4mm hex bolts that fix the aiming points. Grab up the polycarbonate covers I bought for them install and forget them largely except as extra clearance lights in the day on the trail.
Until last Sunday. I had been watching the Nestucca River road with some interest due to the rapid warming we had had last week. I'd been out the week before but had to turn back due to ice up by the reservoir due to the cold. Figuring Mt.Hebo as the highest elevation I approached it from the West. All was well until mile marker 8 a mile past the summit when all of a sudden we had two foot high melting snow with twin ruts leading through it. After deciding that a Tiger 800 on K60s does not a snow plow make I settled into the fine task of getting said motorcycle turned around. After finding out that the center rut was virtually solid ice by trying to change my line I of course crashed. And again. And again. A pattern was beginning to form and after finally extricating myself and reaching the summit again I realized we weren't going home via FS 1400 and that I should probably continue back the way I came from Wilson River Highway. Upon setting the wheels north as I was passing Beaver I had a brain fart and not liking to duke it out with cars in the rain on Highway six OR twenty six I hopped on Nestucca River Road to Carlton. Although it was dark, narrow, twisty and snotty in places due to clay mud in ruts I never felt ill at ease at all due to the huge amounts of light the BD lights were able to throw down range. I was almost able to keep up with my daytime average speeds through the same area just due to the confidence these lights give you when it's just you alone at night. The spot was throwing light down range well past what my stock lights could do even on high beam and the flood was illuminating a number of feet into the dense brush and trees to the side giving me a bit of security that I wasn't going to collide with an elk on the stretch that is unpaved there in the middle or anywhere else for that matter. I was very disappointed when I got to civilization outside of Carlton and had to button them up. I felt blind almost all the way to Newberg due to not being able to use them on the road but I'm sure officer friendly would not be real happy with these on the road no matter where they were aimed. I've accidentally blinded people in the day with them unknowingly due to using them for visibility and the squinting look as they round a corner and catch them is unmistakable. One of the reasons I run covers in addition to protection during the day.
All in all an excellent purchase for my intended use and I can heartily endorse them for guys that might be needing a set of Auxiliary Lights that don't draw too much power but throw out race light power. Also I probably should mention that the color temperature while not warm like halogen is far from the harsh blue light you see on a lot of cheap knockoff lights, it's almost as stark "white" of a color as it's possible to imagine giving great contrast to objects seen trail side at night. Additionally they have the best warranty I am aware of and after owning them for several months I can see why. They have outlasted several turn signal lenses and even one whole assembly. They've been beat on repeatedly and not so much as a powder coat chip on them. They really ARE tough enough for Baja so I feel fairly good that they will last as long as I have the bike. Good product, good service and all in all a pretty decent bunch of folks to work with. They'll continue to get my lighting business in the future.