Review - Bajaboard GX4 Model 2017 - Why the Bajaboard is not made for offroad

I bought a Bajaboard in a used condition of 250km. Those 250km are real and It was driven in a time of just 2 months. Of course there is a chance of having bought a board which was not in good hands, but the preowner made a good impression on me. So no reason to think about that too much.

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So the bad thing about the bajaboard is that everytime I rode, something got broken.

Some examples of failures/bad engineering and the solution:

  • motor mount screws get loose and block the motor pulley -> they need to be screwed-in with a threadlocker/glue

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  • belts dont last long because of stones getting between belt and motorpulley -> here has to be a cover protecting from dirt, stones etc.

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  • wishbones make loud noise, because they are worn out after a short time (200km) -> using higher quality wishbones like IGUS GFM-0810-07

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  • outer side driveshaft bolt got broken-> using stronger ones

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  • inner side driveshaft bolts worn out-> using stronger ones

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  • lock ring on one motor did not hold and let the rotor move in and out -> correct mounting

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  • battery, bms and cables under battery loose inside of board, terrible cable management-> improving cable mangement and building a covered mount for bms

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  • old version of drive shaft constant velocity joint rubber boots fall of from driveshaft joint because of no possibility to fix them in position (the three small ones in the following picture) -> new version now has a possibility to use a zip tie

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  • belts make loud sounds-> changing materials

  • one controller did not work-> got a new one from bajaboard because of warranty, but the new one had a loosen Pin in one of the connectors-> quality control improvements

  • ball joints are worn out too quick -> using higher quality

  • screws of ball joints under journals got loose, because of bad (white) glue put on them -> using higher quality thread locker

  • too much play between plastic wheel and 5 edge mount-> higher material quality and production tolerances

Here is a video of the worn out parts:

Other impressions:

  • controllerdisplay not bright enough -> using brighter LEDs for display

  • real range of the board when driving mixed is 20km, not 30km. When reaching 35% battery status, no more high power available

  • breaking when roling down a mountain, when board was standing still for some seconds before, sometimes does not work, thats very dangerous!

  • lights don´t light you the way, they are just for beeing seen by others

  • acceleration the first meters is boring, just after reaching some speed, acceleration is fun

  • hand controller is great itself, except from the display

  • going uphill never made problems

  • when board is adjusted to a small turining radius and soft dampers-> dont drive over 40km/h because of being uncontrollable by wobbeling

For normal driving the electrical differential and drift mode are the only modes that make useful sense for experienced drivers.

All the other functions like power limit, brake strength, launch control, traction control are just for beginners. I dont see any useful reason of using burnout mode.

All in all price and quality of that board don´t fit together. 4500€ is way too much for the bad quality you pay for. If you are about to use the bajaboard in offroad terrain, you will be wasting lots of time in maintenence like repairing and putting money in spare parts. On road use makes more sense for this board, but thats relatively boring. To my mind the bajaboard GX4 2017 still is a beta tester board. For example, if you take a look at generation 3 you see better quality in suspension arms (cnc machined). On the 2018 model front motors got smaler etc. etc.

Regards srapy

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Looks like you bought what we call in the UK a ‘Friday’ build :slight_smile:

Still, that’s pretty shocking for such an expensive board and enough to make me think twice!

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Nice review, always thought they were unbreakable for the price, some of the problems is the same I always had with my rc car

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is yours the 2wd or 4wd version?

The X stands for 4WD

Thanks for posting this. I’m waiting on a reply on my inquiry to see if I could purchase a Bajaboard without their battery and ESC, yet you’ve confirmed a few of my suspicions. I’ll definitely pass, now. Appreciated.

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I have had a board on order since march and paid a deposit with no contact now for 4 months. They have gone extremely quiet and I’m thinking issues. They have also changed the cnc parts for cast and this is a big no no for anyone who has ever had cast parts on an rc. All the bulkheads are now cast alloy and they will break.
Theres one other thing that makes it a no go for me though and its the fact that the company seems to have been bought by evolve. If you go on the website the evolve logo is on the foot. All I can see happening now is cheapo parts and bad customer service.

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it’s true, and I understand in China they’re still hand-fitting the transmission parts together (meaning a replacement part might still need fine tuning)

not the end of the world, yet the last thing I need is another Leiftech :wink:

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Up until 4 months ago I was getting weekly progress reports and videos from the production plant in china and everything looked legit. Now all is quiet and no replies from mails. I’ve kind of given up on it to be honest and just going to take the loss. No biggie really as I’ve changed my mind on it anyway. The board is far too complex and heavy. Rather spend the money on a decent mtb build.

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Great writeup, hopefully baja can look at this objectively and improve their product because unreliability seems to be a common thread with their stuff.

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yeah i had a go on one a few weeks ago. as cool as they are, they just have far too many points of failure. Also, for a “mountain board”, once you stand on the board, 100mm of clearance really isn’t enough. Yeah they drive really well but like i said and like this post confirms, there’s just too many points of failure

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Building a board like a reduced scaled car is a planned failure : micro mechanic is good for watches not for boards!

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seem the build quality has gotten worse, my first batch GX3 has none of those issues, I must have done 5k miles on it, I do follow the manual on maintenance - was the board ‘loved’ or abused before you got it? I do wonder if the original owner actually looked after this board at all.

I’ve not had any problems with the drive train at all, never needed to adjust the motors (other than to remove to fit belt - serious pain IMO)

i have to say the quality from g3 to g4 seems really bad… I would be very hesitant to buy a g5 model based on what I’ve seen here, thanks for the write up I think you saved me some future disappointment - I’ve tried to wreck my g3 since i was trying to justify an upgraded version (before I got into DIY) sounds like I could destroy a g4 in a couple of weeks :frowning:

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Crazy to hear that your board made that much miles without those issues. The board was used, offroad and onroad. This board is called by bajaboard “off-road beast”. So it has to last longer than 8 rides without beeing fully worn out…

In your case I would just change the electronics like battery and esc´s on your gx3 and you will have the best offroadmonsterboard.

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I’m tempted to mod the motor mounts to see if I can fit something bigger, I would love to fit 4x 80100’s - already have 4xFoxBoxes for my baja mod :slight_smile:

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Hi Srapy,

This is Alessandro from BajaBoard. First I would like to thank you for your detailed review and everyone else for their comments from the BajaBoard team. We absolutely take these criticisms constructively, and in fact, between your 2017 model and the latest version, we have changed quite a few things.

Many of these we haven’t mentioned in the public arena, because they aren’t as notable as range or speed improvements, but I’ll list a few below as this is probably the most appropriate forum.

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  1. Our motor in 2017 had custom built-on motor plates. New motors are now more standard, and mount onto a separate motor plate with 4 x threadlocked screws. The 6 little screws can’t impinge on the pulley anymore, also suitable for mounting a standard 63mm motor, this motor plate also reduce the risk of the motor shaft circle clip (lock ring as you called) to come loose too.

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  1. We have been trialing the different kinds of bushings for the wishbones. This is one of the ones we’ve been trialing, which looks pretty close to your suggestion.

  2. We have already changed the pin of the outer driveshaft with one that has a slot in the middle so the grub screws can go inside the slot and hold better the pin to come loose.

  3. Battery and BMS have been changed with a more performance and long lasting pack. Battery you have would’ve been an 8S Li-NMC pouch cell set up. Our latest is now using Samsung 30Q, in 10S config. Right now we are also field testing with the Sanyo 20700B, which is getting good range for the 2WD version.

Loom

  1. Cable management did leave much to be desired in 2017. In the latest model, everything is a lot tidier inside with mounting brackets to the side. We also did find that in the 2017 boards, some of the connectors could come loose because of the cable layout. Happy to say that’s all been addressed now.

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  1. The outdrive has now a slot where we can add a zip tie or retaining ring to keep the boots in place.

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  1. We changed belt suppliers to a better brand. Also going to be switching over to Kevlar reinforced belts in 2019. Also working on an underside bash plate, so the belts won’t be fully enclosed, but they will soon be a lot more protected.

  2. We have revamped our choice about all the joints and bearings, increasing cost on our end, and for an example, all the ball joints are made in Japan.

  3. Range depends a lot on different factors such as terrain, temperature, weight, riding style, alignment of the wheels, pressure of the tires so it’s hard to comment on your range but as first tip here is to make sure the tires are pump at 45psi. About the range of our latest boards, in addition to the change in battery, if everything is set up as it should now we can actually achieve 30km+ in real life with the G4X, and 40km+ with the G4.

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  1. We are experimenting with different headlight to improve visibility at night. Last year’s light was indeed too spread. Also the lights are now enclosed inside protective casing, insteading of being fully exposed.

  2. Changing the battery pack we have also improved a lot the acceleration of the board from a start thanks to a more power battery pack but also increasing the gear ratio. I will link some video of my instagram account so you can see how it accelerate http://www.pictame.com/media/1909436588875887209_4794577153#media-1 http://www.pictame.com/media/1876994713426792342_4794577153

I would like to add some improvements that we also made that you haven’t pointed out.

  1. The old paint job used to chip off quite easily, changed the finish, now more resistant to scratches. And for parts that are in the spray path of the tires, like the rear wishbones, we are looking at other methods of surface overlay protection.
  2. All the steel parts have been galvanized apart the drive shaft which is going to be protected in this year production
  3. Improve gasket for water ingress (still not fully waterproof, but a lot better than 2017).

This isn’t a sales pitch just to be sure. Just wanted to acknowledge the criticisms. If you guys have any other suggestions, or questions, please leave them here or just email us.

Cheers.

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Welcome Alessandro I was tempted to invite you here to respond :slight_smile: I take it you’d be up for assistanting me with advice here when I ‘pimp my Bajaboard’ :smile:

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Hey Alessandro,

Nice response. Glad to see you here on the forums. Where are you guys based?

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australia like every other eboard co haha

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Awesome to hear another company responding to quality user feedback on our forum. Respect for you, keep it up!

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