RE: Baja Designs, is it JUNK????

Here's a pic of the Baja Designs dropdown on my WR450.


Man, you guys have large number plates over there. That things gotta slow you down at least 5mph. :thumbsup: Ours is about half that size. No wonder you complain about getting caught on tree's & stuff.

Baja Designs...CRAP....crap......crap............c r a p.........

Lets see...$475= 1 burnt out rectifier, 1 new battery kit, new turn signals (okay those are my fault), new turn signal switch, works only half the time. Too much dust gets into the control mount. It's all flimsy, sh!tty plastic, with contact terminals that look like they were made in a chinese prison. Just plain garbage. I have the old unit with the yellow/orange turn signal switch. But I've heard they even have trouble with the new units. Oh yeah, and my friggin horn doesn't work either...(sigh)

Baja Designs...CRAP....crap......crap............c r a p.........

Sorry but I'll second that.......had a BD kit on a 2000 WR400 and it was a piece of crap. After I passed DMV licensing, I just went back to hand signaling. The switch always had to be cleaned and worked over, stator wouldn't charge the the battery, horn was intermittent, etc.

Oh my, what did I get myself into.............

Hey guys just wanted to chime in with my .02. We appreciate feedback from customers to make our product better and give you what you want. I have way over 100,000 off-road and race miles testing our products, and yes, we can always improve, but we make the best effort to give you what you want in a dual sport kit, race lighting, or other products.

You are always walking that fine line between what is too expensive, or too big and heavy, or impractical for the customer to install. For example, that Ballards license plate support that a couple of your referred to is cool, and no doubt durable, but for $118 it had better be. We no longer use the aluminum license mount in the WR kits because hard riders will eventually destroy it. We now give you an entire YZ fender and a very bright and durable LED taillight, something no one else’s dual sport kit even offers.

Switches: We are on our fifth iteration of dual sport kit switches. It’s hard to get a street bike part to live on a dirt bike. Face it; a dirt bike is a tough place for electrical parts to live. There are no “sealed” turn signal/horn/high low beam switches. If you don’t maintain it occasionally (especially if you ride in a muddy/wet environment), it will eventually fail. I think our switch is the best one out there, yes our old one was less durable, but it was nice and small, so there was a trade off. We did get a batch of the new switches that had a bad solder joint in about 3% of the units, we have warranted every one of those for people who needed one.

Horns: Good luck with this one. Horns are a vibrating device that when the get packed with dirt or corrode from water they no longer work. We have tried all kinds and they will all eventually fail. We tried piezo horns for a while but everyone complained they were not loud enough and made the bike sound like a truck backing up. We buy $50 Hella horns for the race car and typically they only last one race! Our horns are $8.00; replace it once a year if you really care.

Stock WR Yamaha electrical systems were never designed to run anything but a headlight and taillight, and on AC besides. The new WR’s have only 25 watts charging the battery, and are the only off-road bike that if the battery fails, the bike won’t run. There is no exciter coil on the new WR’s, the ignition runs DC off the battery. My point is that some bikes are better suited for dual sport kits than others, but wouldn’t you rather ride a WR than some big heavy factory dual sport anyway. Factory dual sport bikes are heavy partly because they need a robust battery, charging system, relays, switches and lighting. Most of us would rather replace a .5-pound battery every year than have to lug around a 6-pound monster even though the monster would be more reliable.

OK, we have sold probably 10 times as many dual sport kits as anyone out there. Some people are always going to have problems with them no matter how we make them, especially when they aren’t maintained. Our kits these days have very few wires for people to plug in and are as light and rugged as possible. We are on your side, we want to make the best dual sport kit possible without breaking the bank, but we also have to keep our distributors, and dealers happy and still put food on our table. We appreciate your feedback and want you to enjoy riding your dirt bike as much as we do.

Please call us with your problems/concerns/suggestions for improvement. We really do take these into account when making changes and releasing new kits and we want your existing kit to work right. We still take troubleshooting calls for kits we sold in 1993! Our techs, Ben and Dan, are great when you need an electrical question or problem solved.

Happy trails,

Alan Roach

Baja Designs

Thanks for the response, It's nice to see you are paying attention to us. Your customer service has been great as i mentioned before, however i do hope this is the last time my signal light switch fails, I mostly dual sport my bike in good conditions and still failed three switches, must have had bad ones. I beefed up your liscence plate bracket with some more aluminum and it's holding up fine. i don't like the YZ fender on my bike so I opted for a replacement aluminum one. My charging/starting system is fine since I done your mod and used your voltage regulator. The reason I bought your kit was because you seemed to be the biggest, wide known company out there for Dual Sporting. i know others here have had problems too and probabally the only ones ranting here, im sure you made lots of kits that are ok but as long as you look after us and update as required I say Kudos to you. Thanks..........

I would like to add my experience with BD before I call them again on Mon.

I ordered my bike thru the dealer with the BD kit installed. The kit was backordered and finally showed up 2-3 weeks late. It arrived a couple of days before a holidy weekend, so the dealer said he would need about a week to install it. I took the bike with the BD box not installed. Installing the kit was a snap! good directions and everything worked! I made the long weekend trip with my new bike!

First was the lisence plate bracket, but I got lucky because I didnt loose it, it positioned itself between the tire and swingarm. Then the low beam light went out, the contacts melted. They wanted me to either send the old switch back to them, which I didnt want to do because it still controlled everything I needed to ride it to work, or buy one and then send the old one back. Bought the new one and before I could send the old one back for credit, the new one failed, so I gave up on it. As for the plate bracket, they said if I go and buy a YZ fender, they would send the plastic LED holder. Bought the fender, but the light was on backorder. I like the new light/fender combo works nice

They have been very easy to deal with on the phone or through email, but the whole experience was frustrating.

yeah, seems me and you both got a bad batch of those switches, I hope the new one they have in the mail to me now is better, I can't test it til next year as winter is setting here now, time to get all my yammies out of storage and ready for the snow.........MySleds.jpg

We are on your side, we want to make the best dual sport kit possible without breaking the bank, but we also have to keep our distributors, and dealers happy and still put food on our table. We appreciate your feedback and want you to enjoy riding your dirt bike as much as we do.

Alan Roach

Baja Designs

First of all I appreciate your effort to respond and listen to us but if you are so interested in "being on our side" then why can't you design a system that will work at least 90% of the time. We don't have the means to re-design your product. YOU DO. It seems you would learn from previous failures. Geese.......what a grand and install a product that works! You say its hard to get a street bike part to work on a dirt bike.......why do you have a street bike part for a dirt bike? I've had no trouble yet with electrical parts that come stock on my 06 wr450 and I haven't heard of any on here that have so someone at yamaha DESIGNED and implemented a system that works. When I hear that BD systems make something that works, I might consider buying from you again..........your products are not inexpensive.

I have had two previous Yamaha DS bikes, Dt125 and a DT200 and I never had any problems with their signal lights switch, flasher, or liscence plate bracket, and I can honeslty say those parts stock from yamaha are 'NO' heavier then your product, yes the larger battery maybe heavier, but not these parts which have been failing on our bikes. Maybe I can buy an old DT125 signal light switch and rewire it to work on your kit so it will be at least as reliable as the rest of the bike is....

The very short and honest answer to the initial question is : NO. It is NOT junk.

The longer answer would have to include: Some of you supposed dual-sport fans should be very ashamed.

Baja Designs was the pioneer and leader in the dual-sport and offroad racing with lights fields. They make proven kits to help us achieve our goals. It is always easier to be a "follower" and come up with "new and improved" designs/copies like their competetors have supposedly done, than to have an original idea and single-handedly create an entirely new market like Alan Roach did.

My '99 WR400 still has the same parts from BD on it today that it had in 1999/2000 when it was converted. I do need a new battery (big surprise) and recently my brake light stopped working. Probably just the switch; maybe not. No big deal in either case. And it has nothing to do with BD or the quality of their parts. It gave me many years of service.

You should all know that Alan Roach deserves a lot more respect than I am reading here. He has worked very hard for our right to build dual sports. What other manufacturer can say that? Which one of you can say that?

I can and will. I took on the State of Iowa and won, so I've earned that right. I did that without a lawyer, or the cowardly AMA. It took three years of hell, too. It also took three years of support from people like Alan Roach to give me the guts to see it through.

When the Iowa DOT began retroactively and illegally seizing dual-sport Titles and Registrations and license plates here 5 years ago, I was the only citizen-owner that stood up to them. Alan Roach, along with many of the early members of TT, helped me. The AMA did their usual stick-their-head-in-the-sand act while their members' bike rights here in Iowa were being violated. While the LAW was being violated. They had it brought to their attention in no uncertain terms and turned and ran. Worse, they actually slammed non-factory dual-sports in a letter to a TT member that was posted right here on TT. It was a big deal back then.

I am now the only person in this entire state with a street-legal WR400 and the DOT cannot harrass me or my bike ever again. Judge's orders. Other Iowans could have them again, too, but they aren't even willing to use the 3 years of hard work that went into getting my day in court and kicking the DOT's ass to help themselves. The DOT continues to break the law every time one of their officers tells a citizen it cannot be done. They will do that forever until someone else just simply challenges them. My case is the precedent. They will have a slam-dunk case. But they have to want to badly enough to write a couple letters and fill out a complaint to the Iowa Department of Appeals. The more time that goes by, the more likely the DOT will say "We've never allowed them." and that is a huge lie.

Alan did not and does not know me from Adam unless he remembers my desperate letters to him from years ago. But he took the time to answer all of my questions and to write a very succinct and helpful letter to the Judge (as it turns out) on my behalf as well as any others in my position.

For that reason alone, if you feel strongly about your right to build and ride your own bike just like the Harley riders do, you should not only buy Baja Designs products, but should offer constructive suggestions if you feel you have a good idea for improving something. Alan will listen. He cares. I know that much for a fact.

He damned sure deserves more respect than I am hearing from some of the crybabies and ignorant mealey-mouths in this thread, regardless of what you may think of his products.

Scott Rath

notice the long posts in this thread sklrt right around the issue with nothing but irrelevant talk or lame excuses.

I don't know about the others but I quit complaining when I got rid of the bike with a BD kit....and what about the other thread in this forum that quotes:

"All '03 and newer WR's need 12 volts DC to run the CDI but they do not need a battery to do it. The stock DC regulator will continue to power the CDI even if the battery is removed. In the case of BD they rewire the bike so everything runs off DC. Unfortunately their regulator setup has not proven to be very robust so when/if it dies the bike will also quit running as soon as the battery is discharged. Then you are walking because neither the battery or the regulator is supplying 12 volts to the CDI."

What's up with that??


Hey Morton, What is "skirting the issue" with stating right off the bat that my BD components still work since 1999?

If it weren't for Alan Roach, you wouldn't have any dual sport kits to whine about in the first place. So how is that "irrelevant"?

Sure, you live in a state where a jackalope is street legal if you pay for a registration. Easy for you to ignore the hassle the rest of us have to go through.

I wanted to be able to race my bike. I put YZ plastics, seat, and tank on it. So I bought a UFO under-fender taillight extension and plate holder with built in turn signals because I am always crashing and breaking off rear turn signals. I modified it with an led bulb and to disconnect with a simple automotive plug (waterproof) and it takes 1 screwdriver, 4 screws, and less than 60 seconds to remove the whole assembly. Ready to race! I did not whine or cry about the design I received with my kit. I got innovative to suit my unique needs and tastes. It is still Baja Designs wiring, switch, etc. that runs the whole thing, and they still work.

So skirt that!

What I would really like to hear from Allan Roach is:

"I understand that there have been problems with Baja Design kits on dual sport bikes and we are re-designing and striving to supply kits pertaining to the said problematic components so that they will be durable and maintanence free once installed correctly."

For $350+ a pop, is that too much to ask for?

I've owned a bike with a BD kit and now have a bike with a TDS kit.

BD - Customer service was great. The only complaint I had was there was no electrical schematic to follow when I had a harness problem. The support people helped me with it and I had to read the installation instructions to figure out how the wiring worked. With an electrical diagram I could have solved the problem the first night. Instead it took me a couple days, due to calling BD. This was a few years ago, so maybe there are diagrams now.

TDS - Customer service is great. I think the kit is much better than BD mostly due to the circuit board and one piece harness design. Haven't needed a schematic for it because I have had zero problems in 3 years.

Mr Chaindrive,

I dont think I have ever mispoke or exageratted about my experiences with BD. my beef is that I could have had my bike 3 weeks earlier except I was waiting on a kit that was supposedly already shipped. The kit is backordered, the replacement parts are backordered, the replacement parts fail before you can ship the defective ones back. everyone knows BD need to keep their cost down to stay competitive, but there is a line between low cost and garbage. I bought 2 switches and a YZ fender. I like my kit, but it still doesnt have low beam. My problems with them were in May when I gave up, and it seems the same problem is still happening to people all over, which tells me I spent $60 on a switch that doesnt work and I saved more than that by not spending 4 months on the phone and going back and forth to the post office. I have only offered honest opinion towards BD, good and bad. They use crappy switches.

If it weren't for Alan Roach, you wouldn't have any dual sport kits to whine about in the first place. So how is that "irrelevant"?

You are absolutely correct. There is much respect due to the pioneers of dual-sporting, including Alan. Without them, none of us would be able to complain about the problems with our kits - they never would have existed. As far as your court battle - Kudos to you. It is nice to hear that people like you still stand up for what's right. :thumbsup:

Now regarding the kit - I have a BD kit on my '01 426. I am not completely happy with it, but it was on the bike when I bought it and it's been pretty good overall. I have a few little issues with some of the parts, and will be replacing them with aftermarket (non-BD) parts to better suit my needs.

As far as the BD kit as a whole - I think its a good product, but there should be more quality control before the parts ever leave the BD shop. It's similar to what's happened to American vs. import products. American companies will invent something only to have the Japanese companies perfect it and corner the market. BD needs to continually keep working to perfect their product in order to stay competitive. Hopefully, it will happen.

Will any other brand multifunction switch replace these faulty BD ones????

Will any other brand multifunction switch replace these faulty BD ones????

I looked at Yamaha at the enduro types (200, 225?) and to do what the BD switch does you need 2 switches, L & R. However, I have a 78 DT that had 10 yrs of abuse, and the rest in storage, 1/2 of which was in a shed, the other left out in las vegas sun-wind-sandstorm-and a little rain and the switches still work. I have decided that since I have to lay out the $$ anyway, I will try OEM switches, yam/kaw/suz... which ever ones that meet the size requirements and am leaning towards the Yamaha ones.

I actually like the BD set up, but it doesnt work.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now