You don’t need to be a professional cinematographer to get awesome motorcycle riding footage on GoPro – but you do need a few tricks up your sleeve to get those incredible shots we all love. Check out our guide to GoPro mounting locations and techniques!

 

gopro maniac Tip #1: Don’t go overboard with the cameras!

 

You’d have to be living in a cave to not see action cameras like the GoPro Hero and others popping up all over, allowing amateurs and professionals alike to film from amazing angles and share them with the world. They’re hugely popular in the motorcycling scene especially; the awesome roads and trails we ride, along with the fast action, makes for some incredible videos both on and off road that we’ve all seen at some point.

But if you’ve ever watched one of those awesome motorcycling videos, then tried to go out and replicate it on your own, you know a it’s not that easy! There’s a lot to getting those amazing results, including having the right camera, lighting, angles, sound, and then editing the whole thing so it looks good. It can be a lot of work!

The first and most important key to getting great footage from an action cam is how it’s mounted , and that’s what we’re here to help you with. There are literally an unlimited number of mounting options available for action cams in the motorcycle world, because you can use a number of GoPro mounts, aftermarket mounting solutions, or get creative and just make your own mounts!

Like anything else, there are a few things to consider and a few pros and cons of each mounting location when setting up to get those perfect shots. Check out our guide for some ideas and helpful tips.

 

What’s the best mounting location?

This depends entirely on what your goal is. If you want to replicate a sweet motorcycle video you saw online, your goal might be simply entertainment. But you may want to take it one direction, and have the subject of your shots be the road itself and the surrounding scenery, if you’re traveling somewhere interesting for example. Or, you might go the other direction and have yourself to be the subject, if you want to show off your riding skills. Each would benefit from totally different mounting locations and orientation of the camera.

Or you might have a completely different reason for filming your rides. You might want to record footage of yourself at a track day or race for example, to show the track, the lines you chose, and your shift points, either for instructional purposes or to review for the next race. In this case, you will want a view that shows both the track and your gauges and controls. Or you may want to review your body positioning as you ride so you can make improvements; again, totally different mounting locations would be best used for each.

So again, defining your goal first is the most important step to determine what mounting location will work best for you. But remember, the best way to figure out which mounting location you like the most is to just experiment with a bunch of them!

 

Common Mounting Locations: Pros and Cons

Every common mounting location for motorcycle riders has its own pros and cons, and the “best” one for you will, again, depend on what it is you’re looking for.

 

Helmet Mounting (Top)

 

gopro helmet mount top The top of helmet is probably the most common way to mount a GoPro for motorcycle riders – but is not necessarily the best.

 

Pros

  • Close to true POV feel (though perspective is rather high)
  • Vibrations from motorcycle don’t affect the camera

Cons

  • Looks funny, can attract unwanted attention
  • Can create significant wind drag at high speeds, pulling the helmet back
  • May experience too much head motion, which can be disorienting to viewer
  • Can clip branches etc. when riding off road

Best for: Filming other riders behind you, especially group riding footage

Best mounts: Standard GoPro mount with Curved Adhesive Base

Helmet Mounting (Side)

 

gopro helmet mount top Mounting a camera on the side of a helmet gets good footage, but can pose challenges with bulk and aerodynamics.

Pros

  • Close to a true POV feel (though perspective is offset)
  • Vibrations from motorcycle don’t affect the camera
  • Lower profile than a top-of-helmet mount

Cons

  • Can create significant wind drag at high speeds, pulling the helmet to one side
  • May experience too much head motion, which can be disorienting to viewer
  • Will constantly have the profile of the helmet in one side of the shot

Best for: As a backup option if a chin mount won’t work

Helmet Mounting (Chin)

 

gopro chin mount A chin mount is the closest you can get to true POV footage – if your helmet will work with this set-up.

 

Pros

  • Closest to an actual POV feel of all mounting locations
  • Vibrations from motorcycle don’t affect the camera
  • Lowest, most aerodynamic profile of all helmet mounting locations

Cons

  • Mounting can be tricky if helmet chinbar is pointed/angular
  • May necessitate upside-down operation of the camera
  • May experience too much head motion, which can be disorienting to viewer

Best for: Any POV motorcycle ride filming, as long as helmet accommodates it

Chest Mount

 

Chest mounts are a great perspective, especially if you want to show operation of handlebars and controls in the shot.

 

Pros

  • Gives close to a POV view, but adds handlebars and controls to shot
  • Camera location makes it easy to operate
  • Body isolates camera from motorcycle vibration
  • Weight/drag less noticeable than with helmet mounts

Cons

  • Chest mount must be purchased separately
  • Perspective may be too low on some bikes, and tank, bars or fairings may block much of the view
  • May be uncomfortable to wear and put on/take off

Best for: Off-road riding and POV riding where you want to show the bike being controlled

Best mount: GoPro Chest Mounting Harness

Handlebar/Steering Stem Mount

 

gopro handlebar mount Handlebar and steering stem mounts are a great place to put a cam for all-around recording, and puts it in a convenient place for operation.

 

Pros:

  • No weight/bulk on rider at all
  • Stable mounting location
  • Lower profile is less noticeable than with helmet mounts
  • Location makes it easier to operate camera
  • Can include gauge display into shot (if desired)

Cons:

  • Vibrations from bike can ruin shot, giving it the “jello effect” (especially prevalent with thumpers and v-twin motorcycles)
  • Fairings or windscreen can block the shot (depending on bike)

Best for: Good overall default filming location, reviewing a route or track, daily recording

Crash Bars/Frame Sliders/Passenger Pegs

 

Crash Bars/Frame Sliders/Passenger Pegs A mounting location on the side of the bike like this makes for great action footage, especially when leaning way over!

 

Pros:

  • Stable mounting location
  • Unique angle, especially when leaning
  • Camera can be pointed forward or backward on the same mounting location

Cons:

  • Vibration from bike can ruin the shot
  • Footage will only be from one side of the bike
  • Looks odd as primary perspective (best when used in a mix of different angles)

Best for: Displaying speed and lean angle, as a secondary filming location for videos with multiple angles

On Tail Section (Facing Rider)

 

gopro tail mount This mounting location is common at the track, because it’s perfect for reviewing rider techniques to make improvements.

 

Pros:

  • Stable mounting location
  • Can review rider’s body positioning and technique

Cons:

  • Rider blocks most of the shot (maximum wide angle setting can mitigate this)

Best for: Reviewing rider body positioning and riding techniques

Best mounts: Standard GoPro mount with Flat/Curved Adhesive Base

Tips for Recording with an Action Cam:

  • To make the most interesting video, try mixing up clips of video from different camera angles (to really go all out, mix on-board footage with videos of you going by on your bike.)
  • When using a helmet mounted cam, keep filming in mind while riding; try to be smoother on the bike, don’t make as many sudden moves, and keep in mind the camera angle when changing positions (e.g. getting into “the tuck” at higher speeds.)
  • Consider stabilizing the video footage on a computer using software. This requires quite a bit more work in the editing process, but makes for a much smoother finished product.
  • ALWAYS tether your camera; never trust a mount to not fail! Some good ways to tether your camera are with nylon 550 cord, braided fishing line, safety wire, or even a chain of zip ties in a pinch.
  • Use an app that turns your smart phone or tablet into a viewfinder to set up your shots before you take off on a ride.
  • If possible, check throughout your ride to make sure your camera lens is clean; a wayward bug or drop of water can ruin lots of great footage!
  • If your camera has a jack for it, consider using an external microphone. This will make a huge improvement in motorcycle audio recording, because you can position it to avoid dreaded wind noise, and it will do a much better job recording a wide range of sounds (like those lovely engine and exhaust sounds you really want to capture!)
  • Get creative with mounts and mounting locations! The beauty of action cams is how much they lend themselves to an infinite number of ways and places to mount them, so use your imagination. With a little creativity and a few tools, you can come up some incredible angles!
  • Most importantly, experiment! Camera angles, mounting locations, subjects, recording hardware, and editing software are all part of the fun of making videos, and you can never go wrong experimenting and trying new things.

Cool DIY Mounts from Riders Around the Web

Check out a few of these cool DIY mounting solutions from different riders around the web; as you can see, with a tiny bit of know-how, the only limit to where you can mount an action cam is your imagination!

 

A cool custom fabricated swingarm camera mount.
 
 
A simple DIY clamp mount. Make sure you tether your cam always, but especially with clamp mounts!

 

A clever DIY mount that uses a long bolt to attach the camera to.

 

This DIY mount uses existing fastener locations for the passenger peg and fender to rig up a simple tube frame mount.

Do you have any good mounting or recording tips to share?

Back to Top