Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 7: Baja Designs Racelight with Boatman H4 Conversion and 7602 Racing Billet Tastiness
By Dan Barnes
The TE610's stock 25/30W enduro light makes the bike legal for an enduro event and road use in all 50 states. At night, it helps other drivers see you. However, it does little to help you see anything else. Some enthusiasts have adapted higher-wattage bulbs to the stock housing and succeeded in melting the plastic reflector with the additional heat. Some low-cost HID or LED systems are engineered for off-road use and provide excellent performance. Many are not so well engineered. Virtually none are DOT-legal.
Baja Designs is a leader in lighting technology for off-road racing, with a full range of LED, HID and halogen technology solutions. Not only are its lighting and reflector designs and electronics outstanding, the design and manufacturing of the housings and mounting systems is top-notch, with total attention to detail. Baja Designs' eight-inch “La Paz” racelight is the standard for desert race bikes. If you're serious, you probably have two of them mounted. Its classic look fits well with the Husky's modernish styling wrapped around what is anymore an old-school chassis and engine.
|Baja Designs' product line covers everything from mountain bikes to enduro and dual-sport kits for off-road bikes to rally cars and every lighting device required for your unlimited-class race vehicle, like these LED light bars on Chris Kemp's Trophy Truck. Photo courtesy of Race-Dezert.com.
The only problem with the Baja Designs racelight, at least for Project TE610, is that it's a light for racing, no more road legal than all the LED “fake” lights. Enter the Boatman. Scott Dorrer is an enthusiast like us, who found himself in the same situation and created a solution: a kit to install a DOT-legal H4 reflector and bulb with high- and low-beam circuits in the Baja Designs racelight housing. Dorrer's “Boatman” conversion includes adapter rings to hold the reflector in the Baja Designs housing, a new O-ring for the perimeter seal, quality Hella H4 reflector, 55/60W bulb and rubber boot for the back of the reflector.
To install a new headlight, a normal person would just clip the wires on the old light, splice them onto the new light, and go ride. You could probably get away with using the stock 20-gauge wires and handlebar switch with the 60W high beam. However, this is MotoIQ, and optimizing light output while providing a foundation to use higher-power bulbs meant running a separate power circuit and using the stock circuit to activate relays. We looked at current vs. voltage drop charts and decided that 14 gauge wire would be sufficient overkill to support a 100W bulb with minimal loss. We bought high-temp, thick-wall, crosslinked polyethylene insulated wire online at Del City. We already had a spool of 20-gauge, thin-wall TXL wire, which we used for the control circuits.
|The Baja Designs 8-inch halogen racelight reflector is on the left, the 7-inch Hella H4 unit on the right. The concave-lens racelight is designed to throw the maximum light forward on the trail where a rider needs it to go fast. The convex H4 has the features needed to control the beam so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic.
|The racelight comes prewired with a single-element H1 bulb. The wires are thermal-sleeved and strain-relieved before exiting as a close fit in the grommet at the bottom of the fully-assembled housing. As noted, a normal person would just connect the ends to the existing wiring and go ride. The Boatman conversion includes the reflector, bulb and rubber seal. The installer is responsible for making the electrical connection to the bulb.