Further to my earlier posting below about the GoPro camera, I really should have written something about the different ways of fixing the camera to a bike. There are essentially 4 different ways of mounting a GoPro camera that us motorcyclists / bikers / scooterists / riders (take your pick) will be interested in....
- Stick-on mounts
- Using the suction cup
- Using handlebar or roll bar mounts
- Create your own!
Looking at each one in turn......
Stick-on Mounts – the version of the GoPro camera that I purchased came with a number of flat and curved stick-on mounts See this link for a picture. These could be used for sticking the camera to your helmet (this is ok on an old helmet that you don’t mind doing this to) or to somewhere on your bike (thanks, but no-thanks!). On his blog RazorsEdge2112 shows the results of mounting his GoPro camera to his helmet and whilst this gives an interesting viewpoint, when he moves his head to check traffic at junctions, the view changes a bit too dramatically for my liking. Bobscoot took the ‘sticking the mount to his scoot' route as seen on his blog. My verdict? - For me, I didn’t want to use either of these as I either personally don’t like the results or I didn’t want to damage my bike!
Using the Suction Cup - as my main touring bike is away being painted at the moment, I wanted to test the camera on my custom bike. This doesn’t have a windscreen, so there were only two ways I could mount the camera using the suction cup that comes with the camera.
The first, pictured on the left, was on the tank and yikes, I had to think about this hard because I didn’t want to do anything that might mark the paintwork. Also, I had to use just about all of the various mounting arms I had purchased in order to get the camera high enough to get a clear view over the handlebars – it did work well as the video in my earlier post shows. This is a picture of what the mounting looks like. My verdict? – being able to have the headlight and part of the handlebars in the foreground is really cool as it gives something to relate the rest of the view to. As a few people have said, watching the video makes you feel like you are right there on the bike and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that you can see part of the bike on the shot. However, you look like a dork with this weird mounting on your tank.
Using the Suction Cup on the Headlight - this isn’t as crazy as it sounds because using the suction cup, I stuck the camera on the bike backwards pointing at me. See picture on left.
I was able to do this because the glass in my headlight is really smooth, but I imagine it wouldn’t work with ridged glass. Here is the result.....
My Verdict? – this is a really cool effect to cut into a longer video that mainly uses the camera pointing forward. Of course, the possibilities of where to mount the suction cup are many, even pointing backwards off the rear of your bike. The suction cup seemed to be achieving a strong fixing to the bike, but I would be wary of using this suction cup for really long journeys.
Handle Bar / Roll Bar Mounts - there are two different sized fixings you can buy for mounting your camera to a round bar. As I didn’t know what would fit best, I purchased the handlebar sized mount and the Roll Bar mount, where the latter is slightly bigger. This is the set-up I am likely to use for my tour of the USA with the camera either mounted to the handlebars or the crash bars of my Road King. However, there is a problem using these types of mount – they only work at 90 degree increments.
This means it is fine if your handle bars or crash bars are at exactly 90 degrees to your bike, but as there is no fine adjustment, it is a problem if for example you handlebars are swept back like this....
Create Your Own! - as this swept back bars is what I have on my red bike, I had to make something up by using the GoPro Tripod Mount, a ball & socket bar fixing and an enthusiastic son (Thanks Charles!) who helped me make this set-up.
This arrangement gives total flexibility both up and down and side to side. The video below contains the results of changing the set up to various views. This is OK, but I think I want to re-make to using something a little more substantial as I am not convinced it won’t move on a long ride due the the vibration. I am going to try it next weekend when I am going to take a long ride, so I will let you know how I get on with it.
This is the video I made from the home-made handle bar mounted camera position....
My Verdict of the Handle Bar / Roll Bar Mounts? – I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this video as I saw a lot of vibration through the bars and thought it would affect the overall quality, but it is not too bad. This is probably the best solution for mounting to a motorbike, but GoPro need to manufacture and sell a fully adjustable mount. I am going to draw this posting to their attention to see what they say and to see if they have any plans for this. I will let you know what they say.