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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y’all, I ride quite often and would love to actually share some videos like some of you do here. However, I really don’t want to wear a camera mount or buy a GoPro, etc. Does anyone have any cost efficient, yet sturdy options for perhaps mounting my iPhone on my bars to record? What about alternatives to helmet mounts that I really don’t like. I tried today and my mount cracked and the video sucked. Open to suggestions. Would love to share some trails and riding.
 

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Phone is not the right tool for the job. I usually use a Mobius for dashcam/helmetcam duties, but have been playing with a GitUp F1 lately, both in wide angle versions.

https://www.mobius-actioncam.com/ (Mobius 1 Wide)

https://www.gitup.com/cameras/101-us-stock-gitup-f1-160-4k-wifi-action-camera.html

I still have Mobius in the cars, but this season on the bike has been the F1 on the helmet. Here's how I mount it:



When I switched, I just pulled the Mobius off and put the F1 on the same mount in the same place. Battery life on the F1 isn't as good as on the Mobius, but it does 4K and I can connect it to my phone via WiFi to pull video off instead of having to pull the card, find the OTG reader, etc... The Mobius is lighter and cheaper, and the video is still pretty good. If you dial the F1 down to [email protected] you can use image stabilization.

If you just want simple, go with the Mobius. If you want to play with it and tweak on minor improvements in video quality and connectivity, the F1 is decent. Whatever you get, I highly recommend using a helmet mount over bike mount, particularly on something as buzzy as a thumper like the TW. I never got anything worth a shit out of bar/plastic mount, it all looked like it was shot through Jello.

Edit: Another reason to go helmet mount over bike mount, is that you get a much more appealing view. You get to see more of the environment and the bike itself in action as you move your head around. It makes for good dynamic context instead of just one static view aiming forward.
 

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I'm going to agree with nihil that you don't generally want to mount a camera to the motorcycle or handlebars because of vibration. The vibration waves even show up if you use a post production video software stabilization program. I only use my phone camera for a standing shot off the TW once in a while. In my upcoming Moab video's, I use my phone camera video on a shot of the Green River. For this it's better than a Action Camera video because of the wide angle distortion of the action cam's.

This year I finally sprung for a Sony FDR-X3000 with built in "optical" stabilization. Expensive camera (about $340) but boy does it have great stabilization. I also bought and external microphone ($30) mounted inside my helmet which greatly reduces air noise.

In the past I tried various methods of mounting the camera to the handlebars or other parts of the motorcycle and the vibrations just made poor quality. Plus, you get the handlebar back and forth motion which is horrible if trail riding. Not as bad on pavement but then the vibration is worse. For several years I just use the helmet mounts.

If you want to go much cheaper, you can buy a cheap knock-off of a Go-Pro which in general has good video just not stabilized very well. To compensate for the $39 knock-off camera I use (now as a backup camera) I purchased a fairly good video software program. I tried the cheap route and it's so much easier to just buy a decent program. I then would stabilize the knock-off video. Did pretty good but more time consuming than with my new camera. I bought Movavi Video Suite Editor program for about $75. Knock-off camera $39 + Movavi $75 is much cheaper than the Sony and works pretty good.

I will have to say though, I'm glad I spent the money on the Sony. I have no experiences with the Go-Pro's but the newest versions of Go-Pro are pretty good as well from the looks of it.
 

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This year I finally sprung for a Sony FDR-X3000 with built in "optical" stabilization.
How is the battery life and size/weight on that? I've been eyeballing it, but didn't want to shell out the dough just to find out it doesn't record very long or is too large to be practical. Is the battery swappable?
 

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I don't know how much it weighs but not anything I notice or different from my other cameras I've used.

With the setting I use I get 2hr37m of recording time on a battery and 64GB micro SD Card. Battery life/SD Card data depends on the size SD Card and the setting. Battery life can increase with a lower resolution or less life with a higher setting. This camera is capable of 4K resolution but I think I have it set at 1080, 30 fps HD. There are several settings and you will have to experiment with each.

A battery came with the camera but my wife bought me a charger which came with 2 additional batteries. The charger charges 2 batteries at a time which is nice. When I go for a long ride like at Moab, I would take all 3 batteries and have a 32GB SD Card as backup carried in my backup camera. I did have to change the battery but the switch is pretty quick on the trail. A couple times I changed the SD card. Access to the SD card is on the bottom and took a minute or two longer. You can see the access plate for the SD card on the bottom forward of the mounting screw hole.

I should also point out that I reused an old ION Action Camera mount. The mount screws to the ION mount on the side of my helmet that I previously used. You can see the ION mount for the camera below as well.


Here is the ION Mount on the right side chin part of the helmet. I have it secured with 3M super lok velcro (or something like that name) and then felt more comfortable by securing it with a zip tie. The Sony external microphone plug is laying there and the extra wire is tucked up underneath the chin pad.


Here's a picture of the camera mounted.


Frontal view of the Sony mounted along with my "Fake Pro" mount I use as a backup


Here's the "Fake Pro" I got at a local store for between $29-39 dollars. I can't remember exactly. Learning to use the fake pro camera menu is about the same as the Sony. I did a bunch of practice recording and viewed the differences to see what setting I wanted. The Sony's view can be changed from 170 wide to 140 medium to narrow. I watched some Youtube video's about the camera. I have switched from 170 wide to 140 medium. The main difference between the two for me is seeing the top of my mirrors on 140 and seeing my handlebars on 170. The rest of the view between the two is close enough of the same for me.


Hope this helps.
 

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So the Original Poster created this thread about camera mount options, specifically non-helmet mounting options.
Personally I prefer a helmet mount despite the obvious downsides. I have used custom conformal chin mounts and under-the-visor mounts to avoid the dreaded Tele-tubbie look and risks of branch snagging. The view from the rider's eye perspective does create a superior video in my opinion. They do bugger up an expensive helmet though to a certain degree.
Some like a chest mount so that swiveling head motions do not get recorded.
Some riders like 'Till Death Do Us Dual Sport put a lot of effort into videography with drones and mounts that create unique camera angles. This certainly pleases the viewer but likely complicates things a bit for the rider/ filmer.
My first video was shot with my cell phone affixed to my helmet, so don't be afraid to experiment.
Gosh, this was from 5 years ago? How time flies!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Welp, I just found a cheapo cam on eBay I’m going to try. Similar to one Nihil recommended. I’m going to experiment with chest or shoulder mount first. Then move to helmet only if I have to and I can find a way not to mar my helmet too bad. Stay tuned and thanks to all for your feedback :)
 

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I prefer chin mount myself. I did forehead first but found I rarely got my bike in frame and it didn't look as fast higher up.

You might as well record ALL the time. When you're not recording is most likely when your most inspired, ambitious riding, or epic moments will happen. Even if you start off just out for putt putt. And then there's the random things you come across or the chance to catch someone dumping garbage on video. As well as any other evidence should you need it in court. As much as you plan an epic film...most of the magic just happens when it wants to.

Today we went out for a calm ride mainly to accompany a break in ride for a new bike in the neighbourhood...but of course we missed a tight group shot of a hill climb up loose rock that would have been epic....just one example of many that happened today with no cameras rolling.

The gopro style adhesive pads have held up all year for me. No permanent helmet damage, though at this point I wouldn't care knowing I like the current mounting position so much I'd drill and bolt it on if I had to.
 
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