Best GoPros for Motorcycles: Live in the Moment
Record every minute with these top GoPros for motorcycles.
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021
The wonder of motorcycling cannot be replicated. It lives suspended in the moment, with the wind, the smells clinging to the air, and the sights flying past you. It’s something that must be seen to be believed. That’s the key reason GoPros became so popular. Dating back to 2002, this American tech group became one of the first-to-market action cameras for everyday use. By scaling down the devices, GoPro quickly became a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast.
Positioning itself as a durable, efficient, and user-friendly way to capture your adventures, the company shot to success on a worldwide scale. Now a publicly traded brand (GPRO on Nasdaq), it continues to invest in research and development, which means more products than ever before. Each touts unique features, aimed towards a specific audience. So, how do you know which is the best GoPro for motorcycles? That’s where this breakdown comes into play. This list showcases the top GoPros for motorbikes, so you can live the glory of the ride at any time.
Waterproof and easy to use, this live-streaming HD camera captures every second. Self-stabilizing and durable, it’s excellent for active use.
- Allows you to live stream
- Stabilizes the image effectively
- Video taken in 5K HD
- Comes at a higher price than other models
- Large display can be bulky on some rides
Compact and affordable, this camera captures video in 1808p HD. Crystal clear, it connects using either wireless internet or Bluetooth. With time lapse features, it’s ideal for slideshows.
- Waterproof design ideal for outdoors
- Allows landscape and portrait-style images
- Tough casing for lasting appeal
- Stabilization tech is less advanced than other models
- Touchscreen can get damaged on the road
With a rugged yet subtle design, this 4K HD camera is entirely waterproof. Equipped with an SD slot to save photos, it’s easy to use and mounts effectively to most motorcycles.
- Effective microphone for crisp audio
- Takes smooth and clear images
- Comes with multiple options for frame rates
- Levels itself horizontally
- Doesn’t connect wirelessly so uploads must be manual
- No streaming available
- Takes pictures instead of video
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Benefits of GoPros for Motorcycles
- Live in the moment, capture the experience. The first priority on the road is safety, and that means keeping your focus on the road. Joy in the moment is a major draw of motorcycling, and GoPros only add to the experience. They let you capture the adventure and relive it after the journey.
- Share your trek with others. Motorcycling, most often, is a solo affair. Sure, you can ride with others, but the experience is unique for each biker. Action cameras give you the chance to have others ride-along (from the safety of behind a screen). Modern versions allow live-streaming and recording.
- Top brand in its industry. Like Jacuzzi is the go-to name for hot tubs, GoPro is the top name in the action camera business. It retails globally and, as the first-to-market with action cameras at a personal scale, it continues to stay ahead of the curve. It’s a reputable brand and lets you name drop when you’re readying your video for a crowd.
- Improve your technical abilities. You can use your GoPro to show off, but you can also use it to better your riding abilities. The playback feature and slow motion abilities let you analyze your technique while on the road. Especially with 360-degree models, you can get a full picture of what you’re doing right (and what you might be doing wrong).
- Image stabilization. Ever try to take an action photo with your cell phone camera? Sad results, right? That’s why the GoPro is so special. It comes with stabilization technology. Older models let you choose a setting while more modern GoPros automatically calibrate themselves to offer the ideal image.
- Advanced recording tech. Time warp. Slow motion. Time lapse. 360-degree immersive imagery. 270-degree panoramas. Not only is the quality of the GoPro camera good enough to capture video in crisp resolution, it’s capable of advanced photography.
- Live streaming and app connection. You can relay your progress using a Bluetooth connection that communicates with the GoPro app. It lets you track your progress, share it in real-time, and make the most out of the action camera itself.
- Versatile and secure. For pretty much anywhere you can picture a GoPro, there is a mounting device. From suction cups to straps to helmet attachments and handlebar hookups, these cameras are designed for active use. A GoPro for motorcycles works on everything from a drone to the beach. Versatile and easy to position, a major benefit is how easy GoPros are to use.
Types of GoPros for Motorcycles
GoPros continue to evolve. Many retailers make older models available, while the company focuses production on its more advanced selections. By streamlining the types of cameras, it optimizes performance and versatility of each camera. The types are broken into two main categories.
GoPro Hero Line
Within the HERO line for GoPro, there are different cameras available. The Hero9 is the newest, with descending numbers representing previous generations of tech and design. This line offers 20MP and SuperPhoto along with high-definition resolution. Its video is in 5K30, the highest quality available for consumers. It runs at a 100 megabits per second bit rate and offers the most advanced video stabilization. Equipped with in-camera leveling and multiple view options, there is the LCD screen for easy use on the go.
Featuring removable batteries and advanced waterproof abilities, these tout a sturdy design that’s easy to mount in any situation. Within this line of GoPros, you can get impressive slow-motion, night- and time-lapse video along with advanced features like GPS and live streaming. As the newest installment in the GoPro line, the ninth iteration represents GoPro’s leading tech. If you like to stay ahead of the curve, look at the Hero line.
GoPro Max Camera
While the other line offers ample benefits, the GoPro Max camera line is definitely merit-worthy. For starters, it offers panoramic photographic abilities at a 270-degree range. The photos are a bit less impressive than the Hero versions, but remain effective for use recording a motorcycle ride. Its video capacity runs on 1080p60 systems, giving a crisp resolution. The spherical video is a unique feature, with this line offering stitching and reframing through the GoPro app.
This line touts a less advanced version of the stabilization tech, though its leveling is better since it hooks to the GoPro app. While it might have fewer lenses, it retains all the essentials. It might not have the fancy screen, but it’s waterproof, tough, and includes appealing features like time warp. Ideal for durability and long-term use, these tend to drain the battery less quickly. These are ideal for those wanting to keep things simple while still reaping all the advantages of a high-tech action camera.
GoPros for Motorcycles Pricing
- Between $100 and $200: You can get a cheaper GoPro if you are willing to go with an older model. These cameras still pack a punch, so if you’re not the type to update your phone with every new model, you can get a solid GoPro for motorcycles for a budget cost. Bear in mind, though, that the tech is older in this category.
- Between $200 and $400: This is the most reasonable price range for GoPros. You can find tons of options, including the most modern versions of everything from lenses to stabilizing tech. While pricier, it gives you access to things like Bluetooth, GPS, and editing that you wouldn’t get from a simpler model.
- $400 and up: If you’re looking in this range, set your expectations high. In this category, you’re getting the newest tech, with the most advanced features. That means better waterproof ability, 5K instead of 4K, the ability to film at a 360-degree range, and advanced lenses. If you’re looking in this category, expect a subscription to the GoPro app to come with your camera.
Your GoPro won’t do much if it goes flying off the motorcycle when you hit the throttle. The good news is that there’s no shortage of mounting setups available. Each type of mounting structure is meant to accommodate a different arrangement. Helmet hookups are ideal for bikers while handlebar attachments offer a lot of advantages as well. You can find swivel adapters that work with an adhesive, though the nature of motorcycling makes it a poor solution.
Other mounting equipment and accessories include body straps. Hook it to your wrist, leg, or arm, and it does the rest of the work. Suction cups are popular amongst many, securing the GoPro to the windshield. However, it takes maintenance to ensure the suction cups work every time. Purportedly, these mounts can reach speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, so it should retain its hold. Think practically about the climate in your area and use that as a factor in determining the best mounting setup.
Batteries all run out of juice, which can be an inconvenience on long road trips. You can opt for a solar charger on-the-go, but that might take up too much space. Instead, choose a GoPro with features made to extend battery life. This means dimming features in the backlighting and display. It also means multiple settings so you don’t overdo it on video. SD card backups are a handy component. You can take the video and avoid draining the battery with Bluetooth connections. Obviously, the more features you use, the faster the battery will lose charge. As long as you keep that in mind, you’ll be fine.
Every GoPro model comes equipped with new features, designed to make it the best version yet. This means high definition video, moving up from 4K to 5K. It also means improvement in the stabilization technology, giving crisper images in better resolution. Everything from GPS to Bluetooth to live-streaming through the application is available with the best GoPros. The more features, the higher the price. Find something that balances the number of features with your riding style. At the end of the day, it’s about enjoying the ride more, and a GoPro should complement that, not outshine it.
- Storage. Video can take up a lot of space, so you want to make sure you have adequate storage for all your footage. Most cameras use SD cards, which you can purchase with varying degrees of capacity. Some also allow you to upload footage to the Cloud; however, you need to pay extra for this feature.
- Image Sharing. If you're the type of person who likes sharing your video and photos on social media websites, you're in luck. Many GoPros let you do so using a special app. This includes posting live images on Facebook and Instagram. You can share footage with either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on both iOS and Android devices.
Best GoPros for Motorcycles Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- If you want to shoot in 4K video, be aware that it will wear down the battery more quickly. To conserve the battery life, you may want to set it to a lower video setting.
- Get a protective casing for the GoPro while you have it on your helmet or handlebars. The normal casing is strong, but it may not be enough to withstand a fall from a moving motorcycle.
- Purchase several SD cards if you plan on capturing hours of footage or hundreds of photos. You can easily swap them out when they run out of space.
- Bring a microfiber cloth or rag with you to clean the lens before you hit the record button.
Q: Is it worth capturing footage in 4K quality?
While it is the highest quality most GoPros come with, you may want to lower the resolution to 1080p or even 720p. This will allow you to save space on the SD card and lower the size of the file when you transfer it.
Q: How long will the battery last on a GoPro?
This depends on the aspect ratio you record in. If you are capturing video at 4K quality, the batteries won’t last as long as if you were on a lower setting. Generally, the batteries will last about 90 minutes, so you may want to bring multiple batteries with you.
Q: Do I need a special mount to put a GoPro on my motorcycle?
Since GoPro cameras are designed for travel, they should come with their own mounting hardware. They can either be attached directly to your helmet or to the handlebars of the motorcycle.
Q: Do I need editing software to create my own videos from GoPro footage?
The GoPro should have its own editing software that you can use on the actual device. However, if you want to edit on your PC or laptop, you need your own editing suite. For 4K video, you need a computer that is capable of rendering the resolution properly.
Now that you know what to expect when going pro, you can make your pick. The New GoPro HERO9 stands out as a clear winner for its 5K HD abilities and advanced stabilization tech. On a budget? If you’re looking to save, consider the GoPro HERO7 White.