Motorcycle Camera Setup Guide by 4Kam

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46Kam Motorcycle Bullet Camera Setup Guide
Welcome to our guide to installing and using a mini bullet camera on your motorcycle or track day bike. We hope you find the guide informative. If you have any questions please contact us via the website.

Bullet style camera systems are the most widely used and best recommended for anyone wishing to film on-bike video. They are both small and light and so offer the safest method of mounting a camera on your bike, they are also fully legal for track days.

 Introduction to Motorcycle Cameras

So you want to film some on-bike footage? People have tried many ways to get video footage from a bike perspective. Attaching a full size video camera is quite cumbersome so a bullet camera is usually the chosen method. Just watch MotoGP!
This guide does not reffer to the larger all in one type cameras such as gopro and alike. This guide is for users of discreet lipstick size bullet cameras that tend to offer more versatile mounting options.

The Camera
First things first, what are you looking to film with the camera? If you are looking to capture normal ride footage with the camera looking up the road then our standard 46Kam camera is ideal as the zoom level on the lens is optimised for this purpose.
If on the other hand you wish to capture the speedo dials, an arty MotoGP camera angle (as below) or want to capture other views in close proximity such as the suspension movement then the special 46Kam WIDE camera will be the best choice. 46Kam WIDE has a special wide angle lens making it better for use in certain positions such as those just mentioned. It could be used in an 'up the road' position but the wide lens will tend to make objects appear further away than in reality.
**Update** Our latest Stealth HD Bike Bullet Camera system has a camera can be configured to be both wide and standard angle.

Motorcycle Camera Mounting
Where should you mount the camera? Well you could go for a helmet camera style position or mount it on the bike itself.
- Helmet mounted - If you are looking to get a POV perspective then the helmet cam position is best and can really make for interesting video. We recommend you have the camera on the left or right of the helmet, you can have it on the top too but the camera will probably be get covered up when you open your visor.
- Motorcycle mounted - There are a wide variety of options here but under the headlight seems the most logical place. This will give you a good view up the road and is not so obvious should the rozzers pull you up... You can also mount the camera in an air intake, on the front fork or anywhere else on the bike fairing's, just ensure it has a clear view up the road!

What is the best way to attach the camera? Well there are a wide variety of mount styles to choose from when mounting including fixed, suction and clamp.

Fixed mount.
This style can be attached to most surfaces including fairing's and plastics on the bike using small self taper type screws:
Suction Mounts.
These are highly popular as they cause no damage or markings, they will adhere to any glossy surface (be it your helmet or bike fairing's) and can easily be moved and repositioned to get the best angles.
Clamp Mount.
A clamp style mounting such as the Super Multi Mount can give you a little more creativity in where you mount the camera and therefore the angle at which the camera is positioned. Remember the further the camera sticks out from the bike the more strain it will be under from the wind at high speed (and the easier it can be caught or knocked!). However you use it ensure it is well tightened as otherwise your video could come to a premature end!
Other Methods
You don't always need to use a specific mount when attaching the camera to your bike or helmet. In the world of TV they often rely on gaffer tape to get the mini cameras positioned where required - this doesn't look aesthetically great but if you fancy a different angle on a track day then its possibly the best option. Self adhesive Velcro is another option which is a handy compromise, especially if the camera is going somewhere hard to reach such as an air intake:

Motorcycle Camera Power
Battery Box
Now your new motorcycle camera is in position it will need some power. Our cameras come supplied with a battery box to take 8 x AA batteries, this will provide a 12 volt power supply to the camera and with good batteries should run the camera for around 6 - 8 hours.
 Direct 12v Feed
If you are looking for a more permanent solution then you can actually power the camera directly from the bike itself. Using the correct cable you can tap into the 12v supply anywhere on the motorcycle and this will run the camera indefinitely.
Where should you connect into? Well that all depends what motorcycle you have got, the lighting circuit is normally the easiest to tap into or somewhere else on the wiring loom, some bikes actually have unused power feeds floating around so check with experts on your particular year and model.
If you do decide to connect directly to the battery or any other unregulated supply source then we recommend you fit a voltage regulator. An unregulated supply could cause interference with your video and in the worst case result in damage to your camera. If you are unsure check with an expert but normally tapping into a positive and negative connection on the bike is pretty simple.
Other Methods
If you don't fancy using the 12v supply from the motorcycle electrics but want an alternative to Duracell style batteries then a rechargeable lithium style battery may be the answer. Our XPower battery is smaller and lighter than the conventional batteries, and being rechargeable will work out cheaper over a season too. This is an ideal solution if you are wanting to mount the camera on your helmet or elsewhere on your person as a mini lithium battery will easily slip into a pocket.
Power Everything from the Bike
If you are using a mini DVR (see below) such as our DV3 or DV4 unit and want to power the whole shebang from the bike we have the parts available. You will simply need the 5v adapter for the DVR and a power splitter cable.

 Motorcycle Camera Recorder
So far we have a mini bullet camera mounted and powered. The bullet camera will act as the 'eye' to your on-bike videos but cannot not actually record what it sees, it needs to be connected to another piece of equipment which will save the video footage. Any device which with an 'AV-in' socket will work as a recording device, AV-in means Analogue Video Input, many camcorders offer this as well as number of digital video recorders (DVR's).

***Old Skool Alert!!*** Camcorder:
This is quite an old fashioned way of doing things but can be very cost effective if you already have one. If you think you have a suitable camcorder check our list of camcorders with av-in. If your camcorder has an AV-in socket it will make a suitable recording device for the bullet camera. It's not the most upto date way of doing things but it is still popular with some people and can keep costs down if you are on a budget!

Solid State DVR:
Although camcorders make a suitable recording device they are often quite bulky so you may wish to consider a smaller alternative. A digital video recorder (DVR) is a popular choice for many video enthusiasts, not only are these much smaller than a camcorder but the latest versions are 'solid state' by design and have no moving parts. Because of this they are much more tolerant of shocks and vibration and therefore more suited to motorcycle sports videos.

 If you plan on using your videos on a computer, whether to edit them, add music or upload them to the internet, a mini DVR is highly recommended. This is because they will record your video as computer file (eg video.avi ) to a small memory card making it easy to access the file on your computer.

What ever video recording device you choose you'll need to keep it somewhere on the bike. There are many options but the most popular are probably under the rear seat or in a tank bag (allowing easy access). If you are wanting a helmet cam perspective then always mount the recorder on your person as wiring yourself to the bike is not recommended! The small solid state DVR's are best for this as being they can easily be slipped into your pocket, much like a mobile phone.

One step further..
The information above refers to a standard 1 camera and 1 recorder configuration. For some customers that is all that will ever be needed but many customers like the ability to film from from more than one camera during a ride. As all our equipment is completely expandable and upgradable you don't need to decide on everything straight away, further parts can be added to your kit at a later date.

2 Camera Configuration
The most popular multi camera configuration is to have one on the front and one on the back. The cameras are operated by a switch mounted on the tank or handle bars enabling you to choose the camera between the cameras as you ride. The camera selected will be the one fed into the recorder and therefore the one recorded.

4 Camera Configuration

If you are really serious about your filming you many wish to have up to 4 cameras mounted on the bike. You can do this via our Quattro camera processing unit which can be operated via remote control or set to work automatically. The quattro unit will allow each camera to be selected independently as a 'full screen' shot (similar to the switched system above) or will allow for a 'picture in picture' configuration using 2 or 3 cameras. Other options include quad view or a 2 camera split screen.

If you are interested in multi camera configurations then a complete 2 camera switched kit is available here. If you wish to wait and upgrade at a later date then we offer add-on packages to turn your kit into a 2, 3 or 4 camera configuration.

Final words
We hope this guide has been informative and has helped you understand the world of bike cameras a little more.
While there is a variety of different equipment on the market these days none has the depth or versatility that 46Kam system offers. We have been providing cameras for motorcyclists for over half a decade now and most equipment bought by our very first customers is still compatible with our very latest developments. Be it extra cameras, the latest model of DVR or our ever widening range of accessories, making a purchase with 46Kam means longevity and expandability of your kit making it more useable and even better value in the long term.
If you need further tips please drop us an email.
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