How to Mount a GoPro Camera to Your Motorcycle
In every group of riders there is someone with the nickname Inspector Gadget. You know who I’m talking about. He’s the kind of guy who will buy a good action camera, but then won’t pay $15 to $35 for a nice kit to install it on his bike. He has to make his own.
Get the Shot You Want: Here’s How
Here are a few tips if you want to give Inspector Gadget a hand mounting a GoPro on a motorcycle.
Helmet Mounts for Your GoPro Camera
Nothing screams “Hey, look at me! I’m getting ready to go do something really bad!” louder than an action camera mounted to the very top of your helmet. Don’t put your camera on until you get to the spot where you want to record.
Many GoPro helmet mounts are simply adhesive strips – they stick on to the top, either side, front (chin area) and even on the back of your helmet, space permitting. That’s great for factory-finished helmets, but very bad if your helmet has custom paint. The adhesive can peel the paint off.
GoPro markets a “Flat & Curved Adhesive Mount” kit. As the name implies, it’s great for mounting your helmet cam to any place on your helmet that has a of couple square inches open. After all, sometimes the best place for an action camera is close to your own eyes. You want to record what you are seeing.
It’s available for about $20, and consists of three different mounts. So you can attach a camera mount to each of three places on your helmet: top, side and back.
Get Your Passenger in on the Fun
OK, three camera mounts on one helmet sounds ridiculous. So why not put one on your helmet, one on your windshield or fairing, and then give the last one to your passenger for their helmet? That might really get them interested in motorcycling.
For example, she could record from the passenger seat while you ride to her favorite restaurant in the country for lunch. Then she could show the movie to all her friends at the office, saying “Look what I did over the weekend!” Now you are on your way to having that second motorcycle in your garage. Clever, right?
You Won’t Lose the Camera
Since we’re trusting adhesive to hold the camera mount on, I asked Bike Bandit’s Senior Parts Consultant Jerome for advice.
“These are pretty good, but the adhesive can lose its stickiness over time,” he said. “Therefore, we recommend using a safety tether to secure your camera.”
That makes sense to me. After all, NASA tethered their astronauts to their space ships in the early days of space walks. A backup plan makes sense. Hearing that advice, though, our friend Inspector Gadget is going to recommend using fishing line for the tether. It’s practically free, too. But I’ve never had much luck catching fish, so something tells me I wouldn’t have much luck using fishing line for anything else, either.
But for about $20 you can get GoPro’s very nice, attractive and strong-looking tethers, made just for this purpose. Consider it cheap insurance. So stop worrying and go have fun with your helmet cam.
The Camera is Steadier Attached to Your Bike
So along comes our friend Inspector Gadget with his great ideas. He suggests that you instead mount the camera on your bike. The camera won’t wobble all over the place like it would if attached to your helmet. It won’t attract undue attention either, like from the police, and in the right location, the camera will be easier to operate than if it was sticking in the wind above your head. Try turning your camera on like that at 60 mph.
So after a week’s worth of evenings spent in the garage, $50 worth of hardware from Home Depot, and several six-packs of beer (you have to entertain your friends who come over to help) the garage-made camera mount is finished. And it’s ugly.
A Handle Bar Camera Mount Is Nice
Sometimes having a choice is nice, like when you are tired of wearing the camera on your helmet. The handlebar is a great place to record from. It will produce a smoother, steadier video.
Your cam will be in good company on your handlebars. Don’t you already have a GPS mount, cell phone holder, charging station and maybe even a cup holder there? All because it is convenient. One hand on the handlebars, eyes straight ahead on the road, and you control the world. Well, at least your little part of it. And it is always safer to see what you are doing. Goes without saying.
For about $20 Bike Bandit markets the handy item Midland Bar Mount. It shifts forward and back to make aiming your camera easy. And the cam’s control buttons will be right in front of you, not on top of your head.
It’s All Fun
In conclusion, just point and click your computer mouse, then a few days later everything you need will arrive at your door. The GoPro Flat and Curved Adhesive Mounts, your GoPro Camera Tethers and your Midland Bar Mount. Ride safe, have fun and keep your eyes on the road. The camera does the recording.