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Steve Febbraro September 23rd, 2003 06:00 AM

Filming/Riding A Motorcycle
I'm a biker first, amateur videographer second.

I thought it would be great to do a movie about the motorcycle experience. Rallies, Runs, people, etc.

One thing I would like to do is shoot footage while I'm riding my bike, but I'm not sure how/where to support the camera.

To get a rider's perspective, I'm thinking the camera should be about shoulder height. A camera attached to a helmet would be too high, shooting over the windsheild.

The camera would have to be anchored to me, not the bike. Too many vibrations if mounted to the bike's body.

Any suggestions how I might go about this?

The only thing I can think of at the moment is some sort of shoulder harness, but I haven't a clue as to how it might be configured.

Thanks for your help.

Keith Loh September 23rd, 2003 11:10 AM

What camera do you have?

Steve Febbraro September 23rd, 2003 11:47 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Loh : What camera do you have? -->>>


It's a Sony TRV-27. It's very small, as you probably know already.

As I said, biker first, videographer (very loose use of the term...apologies all around) second.

I had a Canon GL2, but had to sell it to raise some $$$ in a hurry. Looking to get a Panasonic DVX100 in a few weeks.

For right now, the camera under discussion will be the TRV-27.

Brian Huey September 23rd, 2003 12:22 PM

I'm not sure how small your camcorder is but for a smaller easier to mount unit is here: http://www.helmetcamera.com/

The camera connects to your camcorder's inputs and records on it so you can stow it safely in a backpack. They show helmet mounting/on the bike on the site but if you wanted a shoulder level view maybe you could build/have built a bracket to bolt on the helmet that would extend down in the front.

Good Luck,

Rob Wilson September 23rd, 2003 12:35 PM


Shot some riding video last weekend with a GL2. Here's what I learned.
1. No way do I want to operate a cam and be responsible for safe operation of the bike at the same time. I have shot using a LCD and/or a viewfinder while driving a car BUT it's a whole different world on a bike. In my case, I drove the bike and had a second person operate the cam. Considered having them sit backwards on the bike but that would require some sort of foot pegs almost behind the bike for safety so we didn't do that.
2. Multiply the vibration you would expect by 2 or 3 times. Not only do you have the motion induced by the road, you have engine induced (ok, my Harley isn't the smoothest engine in the world) PLUS wind. Turns out the wind is one of the most difficult to counteract if you're hand holding. Some form of mount that had a tripod head at the top would sure have been helpful in that respect.
3. If you're shooting other bikes, you'll want/need a wide angle lens or big open roads.
4. Audio is a big challange when your mic is exposed to both 70 MPH wind and 1450cc's exhaling through Python 3 exhausts. I tried a ME66 w Rycote(don't bother), the on cam mic with a foam wind screen and a RE58 stick. Could have done more experimenting using the Mic Attn in the GL2 and low cut but didn't get a chance. As is was, the audio is clearly a motorcycle, and LOTs of wind.

Bottom line in my case was SAFETY drives a lot of the decisions when shooting from a bike.

Matt Gettemeier September 23rd, 2003 02:12 PM

You'll need the smallest monopod you can find. Weight the bottom a bit... maybe a pound or so. Don't get the CHEAPEST monopod, just a short one... or else get a dowel rod and FIRMLY mount a 1/4" stud (or cut off bolt) in the top with a fender washer so that your cam is 100% firmly put on that stick. Bogen makes a monopod for about $50 which should work good.

If you don't get the center of gravity off that cam you'll NEVER get watchable video.

You should expect to use a passenger for any trv-27 shots... I'd seriously look into a "bullet-cam" for some interesting stuff to cut to... such as mounting on the forks, facing backwards, on the bars and facing YOU... that kind of thing.

At least with sportbikes, everything I've just said is how they get the solid footage you see on some of those nutty videos.

If you want good sound then get a lav and put it in a small funnel (like a 40 cent one from walmart's "kitchen" department)... then face that so the pointy end is into the wind and the other end opens up to you and the bike... or else run a wire down and mount that near the bars... you'll still need a windscreen on it, but that'll get you 80% of the way there.

Good luck and ride safe. (R1 guy here, but I love hogs too.)

Steve Febbraro September 24th, 2003 04:59 AM

Thanks for all the great suggestions.

I looked at the helmetcamera website, and for now it seems like the safest route to follow.

I'm going to try and place the cam directly behind the windshield, so the wind factor should be lessoned somewhat. The runs I've been in of late have not exceeded 45mph, which helps with the wind.

Really hadn't thought through all the safety issues, and agree safety is the first concern.

My Harley and I thank all of you who have responded. I'll post some of the footage in a couple weeks.

Thanks again, and ride safe :-).

Paul Moore September 30th, 2003 12:02 AM

Steve I have done a few videos over the past 2 years from my bike. I recently got the helmet camera and I love it. I have also used tank mounts also. Look here to see 2 of your options with tank mounts http://www.tricktape.com/subcatmfgprod.asp?0=234&1=337&2=-1&6=1

I have the one with the suction cups and i would not advise using just the suction cups. I tied mine down to make sure it wouldnt go any place. I have some clips on my website taken from the tank mount if you would like to see them. www.f4daddy.com is the site and the vidoe page has one on there called gumbo 2k2 there are some shots that show the dash of the bike and the bike in front of me a little ways off. I think that might be the kind of shot u want.

Oh i ride a 2000 Honda F4 but u give me the keys to any bike youll be lucky if i come back :)

Email me if you have any questions. pmoore156@yahoo.com

Steve Febbraro September 30th, 2003 02:02 PM

If I Only Had A Brain...
That's good to hear. I enjoyed looking at the footage.

I went out yesterday, all geared up, and ready to shoot some great shots. Hopped on the bike, went down some scenic, back country roads, then came home ready to see the results.

When I was unhooking all the wires (there are a lot of them) I discovered I had not plugged the helmetcam into the power supply. @#$#$$#!!!

Well, at least I had a great ride.

Will try again today. This time with power.

Ride safe.

Paul Moore September 30th, 2003 02:59 PM

Re: If I Only Had A Brain...
<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Febbraro : That's good to hear. I enjoyed looking at the footage.

I went out yesterday, all geared up, and ready to shoot some great shots. Hopped on the bike, went down some scenic, back country roads, then came home ready to see the results.

When I was unhooking all the wires (there are a lot of them) I discovered I had not plugged the helmetcam into the power supply. @#$#$$#!!!

Well, at least I had a great ride.

Will try again today. This time with power.

Ride safe. -->>>

Hey i have been there also. There are lots of connections to make on that thing. I nomally view it threw the camera before i take off now.

Matthew de Jongh September 30th, 2003 11:51 PM

one alternative is www.viosport.com

i don't have one of these but am seriously considering it, i have a project that it would be perfect for, put one of these on the subjects helmet, film his performance from a traditional viewpoint, film the helmet cam with my mini-dv sony walkman in a fanny pack under his outfit, and then cut it with a pip of the helmet cam in the same timeline as the traditional angle of his performance.


Paul Moore October 1st, 2003 12:48 PM

I will suggest one thing. Since I am a better rider than a camera man I will tell you that i have never considered putting the camera on my helmet. The main concern when taping from a bike is safety and to set the camera up and forget about it. You dont need any distractions on a bike.

The main reason i got the helmet camera was to use it at my track days. Then i found out the club doesnt allow cameras on track because of an incident that happend last year. I cant blame them though. I know i was doing around 140 this year at pocono so the last thing u want is to be worried about a camera and take out a bunch of other riders.

Steve Febbraro October 1st, 2003 01:48 PM

At some point this thread will probably be moved, but in the meantime:

Matt - Checked the Viospot. Almost indentical to what I have. Thanks for the link.

Paul - Am compressing the footage from my ride. It looks really good. Like you, I am a better rider than a camerman.

The only place I could think to put the camera was on my helmet. It worked very well, and I almost forgot it was there.

I put the camera, and all the wires in a fannypack I bought at EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports). It was big enough for everything.

When I post the video to the web I let you know. Would appreciate feedback.

Ride Safe!

Steve Febbraro October 1st, 2003 03:33 PM

Here Ya Go!
Here's the link -


The movie is, "Me and Harley".

Paul Moore October 1st, 2003 05:24 PM

Steve. I just took a look at the video. I like that :) You got some great shots from the lid. It makes me want to go out riding now.

I put the velcro strip on the side fairing of my bike and i put the camera there. I have also put it up under the rear signal lights and you might want to try putting it on the passenger pegs. I dont know if you have room or not but the front fender or up under the headlight might also work.

You might be right about the thread being moved. LOL

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