An appropriate motorcycle helmet is essential to save you from accidents and an action camera is vital in saving you from allegations. In fact, there are numerous advantages of motorcycle action cameras besides playing a central role in crashes. If you are a rider and ride frequently, you cannot claim that you will never meet with an accident whether minor or major. Accidents are unpredictable and unforeseen, and if accidents were to be foreseen and foretold, there would not be any accidents at all.
As per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-NHTSA, as many as 48728 people lost their lives in motorcycle crashes from 2008 to 2017. This is on an average of 4800 motorcycle accident deaths per year on the US road which comes to 14% of all accidents including car, bus, and truck accidents. Statistics further reveal that maximum motorcycle accident deaths are usually caused by head and brain injury which can be prevented by appropriate motorcycle helmets. This is not mere speculation but a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that claims motorcycle helmets have the potentiality of reducing head and brain injuries usually caused by accidents by 70%.
Therefore, despite being cautiously riding you should be also prudent enough to record what is going on around you when you are riding. And this is why a motorcycle action camera is not only essential but inevitable for you. Know what are the advantages of a motorcycle action camera, how to mount an action camera, and what else is associated with an action camera below.
What are the Advantages of a Motorcycle Action Camera?
You can get numerous personal, legal, and safety-related benefits by installing a helmet camera or a dash camera. The difference between a dash camera and a helmet camera is distinct. A helmet camera is mounted on the helmet whereas a dash camera is on the dashboard or near the dashboard.
Secondly, a helmet camera is installed facing forward and it records whatever the rider sees or wherever the rider faces. On the other hand, a dashcam captures only whatever comes in front of the windshield as it faces forward. Thirdly, a dashcam usually does not record audio except a few exceptions but almost all helmet cameras (especially the repurposed recording cameras like GoPro) come with the features of audio recording. Below is the list of advantages of a motorcycle action camera.
- The road on which you ride is generally a risky and unpredictable place. Everyone who is on a trip has the tendency of reaching the destination at the earliest and so drives or rides faster. Secondly, almost in every case of an accident or crash bikers are the first people to face blame. In this context, an action camera saves you from legal complications and other crash-related problems. You can refer to the footage and claim that the negligence and faults are not from your side and you are innocent.
- Some insurance companies offer financial benefits if you mount an action camera. They offer a lower premium as the footage makes the insurance claim easier and more authentic. In the case of disputes on an accident-related insurance claim, it is easier to win the case in your favor if you produce the footage as evidence.
- As helmet action cameras record whatever happens on the road, they can also capture crimes like hit and run or other worse cases. Your camera can play a key role here and help you to help others by producing proof of what exactly happened in a certain road rage incident or accident. For example, in a hit-and-run case, everyone might be unsure about the license number plate of the culprit but your action camera would never miss the number plate.
- Security is the primary reason for a motorcycle action camera beyond debate. But many people also get the action camera to record their riding or the trips. Trips are always enjoyable and people want to share their happiness by showing the footage to their loved ones. Similarly, a motorcycle action camera is a must if you are one of them who is passionate about exploring new places. You can record the entire trip with spectacular things like the beauty of nature, bears and cubs, rare birds, etc., and do a lot of things with that footage. Stock footage nowadays is considered valuable as it can be sold to media houses or used on social media platforms.
- Even if you do not have the hobby of an explorer or traveler, still your motorcycle action camera has abundant things to offer you. They can be enjoyable, memorable, and maybe meaningful and important. For example, after reaching your destination you happen to watch the footage and to your surprise, you find interesting and amazing recordings without your noticing during the trip. It might be a beautiful peacock dancing, a family of deer and fawns or kids, or anything so interesting and amusing. You might also explore something unusual in the footage or potentially dangerous that you did not notice while riding which could have possibly caused a crash. This will alert you on your next trip.
- Some people treat motorcycle helmet cameras as toys but they are much more than toys and can protect you on many occasions. For example, a mere sight of a helmet camera would caution aggressive people who are about to attack you in a certain circumstance. They know that the camera is recording and you can take action and punish them if they do wrong to you.
- Similar to the above, you become more cautious when you have an action camera that is recording your own actions. This means, your action camera is not only recording others’ wrongdoing on the road but it is also recording yours too. So, when you are aware that you are recording yourself you become more conscious of your riding.
- All courts usually accept the insane and valid footage of crashes. So, you can produce evidence when the other party questions the validity of the injuries caused by an accident and win the case in your favor. You can also show the speedometer and other valuable evidence if you have consciously mounted the camera to capture them.
- Motorcycle action cameras are considered the best when it comes to self-evaluation of one’s riding. You can go for a chin mount that gives the best view of the road, other road users, weather, etc., and evaluate your skills and efficiency of riding.
Is Mounting a Motorcycle Action Camera Legal?
There is no specific law especially in the US that prohibits the attachment of an action camera on a motorcycle or a motorcycle helmet. However, some restrictions do not permit anything that damages the structural integrity of the helmet. So, you may not be allowed or restricted by the laws to drill and make a hole on the helmet to mount the camera. Similarly, trying to fit the camera by screwing them on the helmet may also be objectionable as the screws might damage the structural integrity of the helmet. As a result, you might face legal complications and be liable for punishment or penalty.
Similarly, if you drill the helmet it does not qualify for the safety standard and thus you violate the safety certification of a helmet. However, there are other ways you can mount a motorcycle action camera. You can use a suction cup and mount the action camera on the helmet. You can also do it through an adhesive mount. There are other options like strapping through the open vents that can also serve your purpose.
Many people often get confused when it comes to GoPro and whether they can mount it on their helmets. You can attach any action camera including the GoPro to your motorcycle helmet. Earlier, riders mounted their GoPro on the handlebar of the motorcycle. Similarly, the original GoPro surface mounts are usually curved style, and flat. But, as technology advances, GoPro has introduced advanced products. You can now find versatile products with several convenient styles to mount the action camera to any type of motorcycle helmet. Besides the helmet, you can also mount GoPro at any location of your motorcycle as per your choice and preferences.
However, it would be a misfortune for you if you belong to New South Wales. Motorcycle riders are prohibited to mount an action camera on the helmet in New South Wales and it is punishable with a traffic fine up to $330. But you can try something else if you are passionate about mounting an action camera on the helmet. There are a few manufacturers that have developed an in-built action camera in their helmets. Though these products are not yet common you can still find a helmet that has an in-built action camera in the market.
What are the Best Places to Mount Motorcycle Action Cameras?
In fact, it all depends upon one’s own preference when it comes to mounting a motorcycle action camera. There are no specific recommendations nor any rules to mount the camera at certain places. Every rider has his or her choice to attach the camera at the preferred place as per their requirement of footage. However, the common places most riders mount their action cameras are as follows:
- Helmet: The helmet is the preference of the majority of motorcycle riders to mount the action camera. This is because you can record maximum footage as the camera moves along with your head. So, it covers many angles as you move your head to see all around you. However, the exact spot of mounting the camera on the helmet differs from rider to rider. Some prefer to mount it on the top whereas some at the middle and some in the front. You can also mount your action camera at the chin of your helmet that gives the best point of view. Another reason for people mounting the camera at the chin is its wind resistance. Wind will not pull it up easily if it is mounted at the chin. (Read: How To Make a Motorcycle Helmet Quieter?)
- Tail Side of the Motorcycle: Riders who want to show their motorcycle skills may like to mount the action camera at the tail side of the motorcycle. The riding position and the riding techniques are usually better captured by the camera from the tail side of the motorcycle.
- Chest: Some people prefer to mount the camera in the chest area. The chest area is the place where you can get the best point of view. It is this area from where you can also record the speedometer and handle of the motorcycle. Another advantage of chest mounting is its no vibration or less vibration in comparison to other places.
- Handlebar: Handlebar mounting is common among riders for various reasons. It gives no weight to the rider and provides a stable mounting. You can also operate the camera easily if it is mounted at the handlebar.
How to Mount an Action Camera on a Motorcycle Helmet?
As said earlier, you can mount the action camera at several spots of your helmet. Use the straps provided with the camera to mount the camera on the helmet. You can also go for industrial standard or strength of adhesion by using the GoPro adhesive to mount the camera. The following are the process of mounting the camera on the helmet and the places that are popular for mounting the camera.
- Top-Mount: The most popular and typical place to mount the camera on the helmet is the top of your helmet. This is the best place to capture the front view of the rider. However, this may not be the efficient place to mount the camera if you inappropriately angle the camera. Look for suitable vents in the helmet for the straps to go easily and then place the mount at the center and top of the helmet. Now open the side clips and thread the straps through the vents and clips. Tighten the straps and then close the clips. Ensure that the mount is not moving and safe and secure. Now, start fitting the camera, fit the thumbscrews and tighten them. Now you are done with the mounting of your action camera on the helmet.
- Side Mount: The side mount of action cameras is relatively good for the open-face and half helmets. However, this location provides a half-center view. Your camera will capture an off-center view if side-mounted. But if you want to capture the side views and the landscape of the locations then this is the best place to mount the camera. Look for the flat surface for the adhesive mount. Now, clean the surface with a cloth and remove all the oil content that may be there. You can also rub alcohol to clean the surface. Once it is clean, start attaching the adhesive mount to the surface and press it. You can attach either the curved or straight adhesive mount to the surface. Wait for some time to hold the adhesive mount tight. You can now insert the release buckle in the adhesive mount then close the latch, insert the camera in the frame and connect the same to the buckle. Now, secure the camera with thumbscrews and finish the mounting of the action camera on your helmet.
- Chin Mount: The chin mounting is trending nowadays as it provides the best point of view. Another advantage of the chin mount is its comparatively less vibration. The camera stays secure in the chin mount against the wind. Attaching an external mic is easier here than in other places. Look for a suitable place either at the right or left and ensure that it is straight and smooth with the texture. It is usually difficult for the adhesive mount to adhere due to the ridge at the chin area in most helmets. After mounting the adhesive mount at a good location, direct the connector towards the center. Once you have secured the adhesive mount start cleaning the area with a cotton pad. You can also use alcohol to clean the oil and dirt on the surface. Now, stick the adhesive mount after removing the cover and press it to hold firm. Leave it for an hour to dry and then insert the camera in the frame, close the latch, attach the frame to the buckle, and secure the thumbscrews. Allow the adhesive mount to strongly bond for around 24 hours.
Above all, though there is no specific law to restrict action cameras on the helmet you should be cautious especially to law enforcement officers who are usually known for their adamant behavior. They may propose hundred and one reasons like “camera may fly off”, and “may strike the pedestrians” or “hit another vehicle” or “become potentially dangerous debris” etc. and request you to remove it from the helmet. Secondly and importantly, your action camera on the helmet may divert your attention from the road if you are too conscious of it. You should be aware of this when you are mounting an action camera on your motorcycle helmet.