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Suzuki Hayabusa Video Camera Mounting How to: Shooting on-board motorcycle video and photography
Objective: Use this bike as a traveling camera platform
Finally made the plunge into getting the Hayabusa set up to
shoot some on-board video. Was a real toss up on which video camera to get. Spend a lot or a little?
Ended up buying middle of the road $500 model at Best Buy - new Sony
Handycam - HC-20 - a successor to the TRV-22 that some of you are using.
This thing is incredibly small and about the size of my closed fist. The
pop out touch screen is really amazing technology. Only difference I could
see for upgrading was just more features. Considered getting one of latest
saves directly to a DVD (no tape!! - but $1000), but worried about the
vibration from the bike giving me a clean recording.
The lens on the front is a Wide Angle Lens I picked
up for a mere $40 at Best Buy. Works great, as coming from a photography
background, the narrow focus of camcorders in general is a bit annoying.
Plus this is road video, and I want to see the sky, the horizon, the edge
of the road- all of it. Sony also sells a Super-Wide Angle lens for
this also- $110.
This lens just screws on the front of the camera with
bezel adaptors. What I didn't know is that as long as you have threads on
your camcorder, you can put any lens on you want. (didn't say that on
their website- Sony's or Best Buy)
Plus bought an DC Adaptor that plugs into a
cigarette lighter and powers the camcorder with the bike's power supply,
not the camera's battery which only lasts 60 minutes. That cost $70 and
had to get directly from the Sony website. Oddly enough, a spare battery
was $100+ !!! Super long life is like $190. So don't need the spare
I got the cigarette lighter from http://www.powerletproducts.com
which wires directly into the battery. The cord is routed underneath the
tank and up to the steering head. You can also hard wire the cords into
your tank bag. So all you'd do is plug your electric vest or camcorder
directly into the tank bag.
On the Hayabusa, I had to call Harry up and ask for the 1" extender
which lifts the camera up to clear the dash. The Busa seems a little
higher than other sportbikes, and this works well. Even with the wide
angle lens, I can position the line of sight on just catch the very top of
the counsel. Plus this way, you can't see the guages. Not something
you want people to see on a Busa.
Well, overkill is my middle name, plus Harry doesn't have a rear facing
mount for Hayabusa so I had to really go over the RAM Mounts
to figure out what would work to do a rear facing mount. This is of course
so I can film the riders behind me as we're headed up the highway.
I got all the RAM Mounts from http://www.rka-luggage.com
since it's actually cheaper to get them from Richard than direct from RAM
Mount. Richard is up in Healdsburg, CA.
The solution was to re-install the grab rail (I normally always ride solo
and just have the rear hump on) and buy this little RAM Mount. It uses a
hose clamp, so you can put it just about anywhere. They also have a
clamping one but this seems more permanent and no vibration. Has a rubber
hose that goes in-between the hose clamp and the grab-rails so as to not
scuff the chrome/paint.
Add on the 2" post, and the camera mount and just too easy. And as
long as you really clamp it down with the hand tightener knob thingy, it's
really stable with minimal vibration. Shot some video in this position
also and worked great. I like the lower position of the rear facing http://www.sportbikecam.com
mount, but as you can see while traveling and with my nifty new expandable
RKA Luggage Saddle Bags, this isn't possible. (You can even fit a
full size helmet in there!)
If you look real close, in the shot at right, you can see the microphone
I got at Radio Shack for like $20. It's just a tie clip microphone, it's mono,
but the camera doesn't know the difference and records in stereo. The wire
runs up under the seats, under the tank and comes out by the dash panel
and plugs into the camera. Only bad thing is it takes watch batteries to
power the microphone.
The microphone is velcro'd to the bottom of one of
The wire is routed through the motorcycle,
under the seat and tank, and to the steering head.
The great thing about this is the microphone is only like 12" from
the exhaust. I have a HMF Carbon Fibor 4-in-1 on the Busa and it is a
sweet, sweet sound. And minimal wind noise which is pretty amazing. The
sound is so amazing, I think I'll do the first couple vids with no music.
Who needs that when you've got the sound of 162 Horsepower.
Obviously the only thing difficult with Harry's SportBikeCam is where
does the Tank Bag go? Especially if your traveling as I intend to do. So I
started fiddling around and discovered that I can still mount my magnetic
Tour Master TB-24 right behind the camera. Plus the smaller one (I have
two) I have worked even better, but if only the camera were in an inch or
two forward. So I called up Harry, and sure enough, he already has a long
arm available. Got that today and will have to install the longer arm
which makes a bit more room for the tankbag.
The extra long bar that Harry sent me is here. Seems to work out great and
add in an inch or two. The Hayabusa is a pretty long bike, so I'd imagine
the tank is a little longer too. Harry mentioned they settled on this
particular length after testing several of them and his standard one was
the model that had the least vibration and was the most universal.
The video that I have shot was extremely stable with the stock
bar. Guess I'll have to try it out with this longer bar since should allow
me to now squeeze in my magnetic tankbag.
The Sony DC Adaptor fits nicely into the rear
and shunts power into a cigarette lighter connector.
Here's the DC Adapter which fits amazingly well into the rear compartment
of the Hayabusa. I bought some stick-on velcro at the drug store today and
will attach that to the bottom of the adapter to it doesn't move around.
Maybe it'd be smart to put it in a plastic bag to ward off any rain
Still enough room for the tool kit, and a little more in the rear. Yes,
will have to do the rear hump mod someday to gain some more storage space.
You can see the cigarette lighter from http://www.powerletproducts.com
. There's no on-off switch, but I can just pull the plug out a little bit
and turns off power to the power supply. The cord is then routed along the
frame, and underneath the tank.
And here's the finished product with the SportBikeCam mount all set up.. The DC power supply plugs right into the
back of the camera. Nice thing about those pop-out screens too is you can make sure all
the angles are correct and you're not pointing in the wrong direction and
all systems are go on the camera.
The wire on the right plugs into the front of the camera and is for the
microphone which routes back to exhaust.
Lastly, here's what the bottom of the camera looks like. This
L-bracket bolts to the bottom of the camera with a 1/4-20 screw and secures
it quite well. This also allow the camera to pivot and be positioned
properly to looke through the windscreen. Overall, it all comes
together beautifully. A marvelous invention.
Watch Ride Video shot atop one of my all time favorite rides - Bolinas Ridge Road up above the San Francisco Bay Area. With views that stretch off for miles to the left and right, this ride above the Pacific Ocean delights & surprises every rider we bring up here for the first time! This road is ridden on the NorCal Tour & the 4-Day Circle NorCal Tour.
Forest Rd 1 is in a class by itself. Picture a deserted mountain top road that stretches for 50 miles! No people, no towns, no paved side roads- nothing quite like it anywhere. Did I mention the view that stretches off some 30 miles to the east and west? This road is ridden on the Pashnit NorCal Tour & the 4-Day Circle NorCal Tour.
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