Motorcycle Mount – Tutorial

I’ve tested 4 different cameras (GoPro Hero 3 & 4, GitUp and YI Action Camera) with different mounts to find out the best angle shots for motorcycles. In my video review you can watch the result with displayed photos of the motorcycle mount. In my photo review I want to show you mount and result with some information I experienced. I didn’t pay much attention to sound as my focus was on the image. You can see in the mount photos if I used the camera with or without underwater case.

 

Video Review

 

 

Mount Review

 

YI Action Camera with GoPro Suction Cup Mount

YI Action Camera with GoPro Suction Cup Mount

That was my favorite shot of the day. YI Action camera mounted on the back of the motorcycle using a GoPro suction cup mount. This mount is expensive (28 USD), but totally worth it. It lasts speeds around 200 km/h without any problems. I ordered several cheaper suction cup mounts to do a test, I will publish later. Next time I want to do the same shot using my Zhiyun Z1-Rider2 gimbal (review) to level the shot.

 

GoPro Hero 3 black with Handlebar Mount

GoPro Hero 3 black with Handlebar Mount

I thought this shot will turn out nice as you can see the road ahead as well as the speedometer. Unfortunately there is a lot of vibration from the motorbike which results in a “jello effect”. I used the handlebar mount that came with the Git camera. They are sold separately for about 5 USD. There is also an aluminum handlebar available, if you want a smaller solution (about 4 USD) with better looks.

 

Git1 with Handlebar Mount

Git1 with Handlebar Mount

That’s the same mount position as above, just this time facing the driver. Again heavy vibration from the motorcycle resulting in a jello effect. I like this position a lot, next time I try to find a solution to absorb these vibrations or a different mount in a similar position.

 

GoPro Hero 3 black with NEOPine Easy Carry

GoPro Hero 3 black with NEOPine Easy Carry

I used the NEOPine Easy Carry NSC-1 (10 USD) and strapped it on a loop of the jacket. I wouldn’t record a longer drive at this position, but when editing a video it is be a nice shot in between. Especially in the inner curve and during a chicane it adds a lot of dynamic to the video. In general a lower position of the camera creates the feeling of more speed.

 

Git1 with adhesive mount (external mic)

Git1 with Adhesive Mount (external mic)

A very popular position is of course an adhesive mount on the helmet. I used two 90° angle adapters (included) to adjust framing. Additionally I put the Git1 into a GoPro plastic frame (3 USD – Git1 is exactly the same size as GoPro) to use an external mic. More on the sound results later. The human head works great as a “natural gimbal” and the shot is very steady. But there is a major disadvantage as the camera creates a lot of drag, that’s why I tried a different solution:

 

YI Action Camera with NEOPine Shoulder Strap

YI Action Camera with NEOPine Shoulder Strap

This time I used a NEOPine Shoulder Strap SCM-9 (14 USD) to mount the camera next to the helmet. The result is a little more shaky video with visible movement of the helmet. This adds a little more dynamic to the video and is a bit different to the adhesive mount shot, as the camera is always facing forward and you can see where the driver is looking at.

 

Git1 with wrist strap

Git1 with Wrist Strap

I thought a nice motorcycle mount would be placing the camera right above the hand, to see the the driver accelerating. I turned out too shaky to view this shot for a longer time, could be nice for editing, especially in the inner curves as the hand gets close to the ground which adds the feeling of speed to the video.

 

GoPro Hero 3 black with Handlebar Mount

GoPro Hero 3 black with Handlebar Mount

Again a shot using the handlebar mount, this time mounted on the passenger’s footrest. I didn’t expect this position to be that stabile and liked this position a lot. Although it gets the cameras to its limits in terms of dynamic range, as there are very bright and dark areas in the same frame.

 

motorcycle-mount-GoPro

2 shots using the GoPro Hero 4 silver and adhesive mounts

These are two more examples of using adhesive mounts. In the first picture it was sticked onto the tank facing forward. In second picture the mount is at about the same position as the suction cup mount in my first example. If you watch the video I experienced that the video seems to be more steady using the suction cup mount compared to the adhesive mount. I have to watch this closer next time.

 

Equipment List

I didn’t have to take some special motorcycle mount with me to create these shots. For many of positions I used the handlebar and adhesive mount that was included in the Git1 package. Additionally I used a suction cup mount where I want to add: please be careful which one you buy. The GoPro Suction Cup is expensive but also very durable. I had bad experiences with cheaper mounts. I’ll show you a test with my next tutorial, where I did a similar video during a car drift challenge. Besides that I used several Strap Mounts where I found the Shoulder Strap to be the best solution in this surrounding. A chest mount would be great as well, maybe I’ll try next time. The straps are from a company called NEOPine, which make a very impression in terms of quality. They are made of neoprene, therefore also suitable for watersports.

Cameras

I used 4 different cameras for this video:

GoPro Hero 4 silver
This edition is part of the latest GoPro generation holding a 12 MP Sony sensor and is equipped with a LCD screen. With a retail price of 329 USD it is the most expensive camera I used in this video. The sound of the Hero 4 silver is exceptional compared to the other cameras used. GoPro did a great job filtering the wind sound making the Hero4 shots the only videos where the engine can be heard clearly.

GoPro Hero 3 black
The discontinued Hero 3 black also holds a 12MP sensor, but an older chipset. The sound is quite ok but clearly lacks behind the Hero 4 silver. Also the battery capacity is a little smaller. (Hero 3: 1050 mAh; Hero 4: 1160 mAh).

YI Action Camera
With it’s 16 MP Sony sensor the YI from Xiaomi has the largest sensor of these cameras and with a price of 68 USD for the Chinese Version and 81 USD for the International version, the lowest price of the tested cameras. If you want to find out more about this camera, take a look at my review of the YI Action Camera, where you’ll also find an more info on the differences of the 2 mentioned versions. I really like the video quality of this camera, on the downside the sound is not very good. Without case it discovered many disturbances and dropouts; in the underwater case the sound was very dull.

Git1
The Git1 holds a 2,3 MP Sony sensor, very small compared to the other cameras, and got a 1,5″ LCD screen. The camera is priced 90 USD – coupon code: GitUp1 – but I want to draw your attention to its successor Git2, which holds the same 16 MP Sony sensor as the YI Action camera. Similar to the Git1 it holds a 1,5″ screen but additionally features gyro image stabilization. The newer Git2 is priced 105 USD – coupon code: GitUp2 – only a little more compared to the Git1! I also tested this camera, but didn’t have it with me that day. You can find more information in my Git2 review.
Same as the GoPro cameras the Git cameras also feature mic-in via USB. I tested all 3 possibilities Git in the underwater case, without case and with external mic. I still haven’t found the best solution for recording sound. I should have covered the external mic in more foam to shield wind. Next time will de focus more on this topic.

Warning: A motorcycle mount and action camera might influence the protection gear you are wearing. Please be careful when mounting your camera as you do it on your own risk.

I hope you like this tutorial, if you do, please share it. Next time I show you some car shots from the drift challenge.
Special thanks to Jackie & Paddy, for doing this motorcycle mount test with me!

 

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