The Best Motorcycle Cameras To Document Your Rides

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Show us your two-wheeled exploits

Motorcyclists love to tell stories about things that happened while they were riding. Having video evidence to back it up makes the stories even more fun. Who would believe you if you said that, as you were hard on the brakes from 160+ mph into Turn 2 at Laguna Seca, a ground squirrel ran across the track in front of you and the $100,000 Ducati Superleggera you were piloting? Well, Troy was able to document Mister Squizzles’ near-fatal dash, thanks to his helmet cam, and put an end to our disbelief. (See the proof here.)

Heroics aside, traveling by motorcycle is even more fun when you can capture the important moments of your trip while you’re actually riding. Group rides can be relived later. Track day lean angles can impress your buddies. Then there are the workday road warriors who commute via bike through the concrete canyons of their local city. They need the moto-equivalent of a dash cam to keep tabs on the other road users who are often paying more attention to their breakfast burrito than the other vehicles around them.

You just need to choose the right action camera, and you’ve got a ton of options. There are helmet cams, 360 cams, and even permanently mounted dash cams for commuters to use in case of a mishap. No matter what you want to record, there is a camera to handle that task. So, we’ve chosen what we think are the best motorcycle cameras around. Let us know in the comments if you have a personal favorite that isn’t mentioned here.

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Table of Contents

1. Staff Pick: Insta360 X3

While we haven't yet completed our full evaluation of the Insta360 X3, we are confident in recommending it as the top motorcycle camera. We've put numerous Insta360 cameras to the test, including the Insta360 One X2, and you can expect our full review on the Insta360 X3 soon.

As the newest 360 offering from Insta360, the X3 camera is designed to capture moments in both 360-degree and standard formats. It features dual super-wide lenses, offering the capability to record 5.7K 360-degree videos and take 72MP still images. The camera introduces a 360-degree active HDR mode designed for action sports, promising stabilized footage with vibrant detail across various lighting conditions.

In single-lens mode, the X3 is more like traditional action cameras, allowing for 4K30fps wide-angle shooting, for those who want a more straightforward shooting experience. This mode is further enhanced by a 170° video capture at 2.7K resolution for expansive views. The device's FlowState stabilization technology (image stabilizition to you and me) ensures smooth video output where the horizon stays level throughout the corner, just like on MotoGP bikes.

Other features include the Invisible Selfie Stick and 360° horizon lock, enabling unique perspectives that are typically difficult to achieve. These features, combined with the camera's rugged and waterproof design, make it a solid choice for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts—or motorcycle riders. The camera's 8K 360 timelapse capability and 4K 120fps bullet time slow-mo add creative flexibility, perfect for those looking to explore dynamic video effects.

One reason we highly recommend this camera is the Insta360 app which provides AI-powered reframing and editing tools. This help makes our lives a lot easier by simplifying the post-production process. The app's Shot Lab continuously updates with new AI editing templates, making it easier for users to stay on top of social media trends. There are even pre-recording and loop recording modes that enhance usability, ideal for spontaneous and continuous shooting needs.

Equipped with a 2.29-inch touchscreen for easy navigation and a new sensor for enhanced photo and video clarity, the Insta360 X3 is our favorite multi-purpose action camera. In our experience, we have found that it delivers high-quality, stabilized recordings in a variety of formats, along with easy editing and sharing capabilities.

2. Industry Standard: GoPro HERO12

At this point, the GoPro brand really needs no introduction. We found the latest HERO12 is actually a noticeable upgrade since it introduces enhanced HDR capabilities for both 5.3K and 4K video. The results are vibrant and detailed footage, while the latest version of GoPro's video stabilization, HyperSmooth 6.0, continues to bring exceptionally smooth footage. Also, the Max Lens Mod 2.0 extends the camera's versatility, offering 177° field of view for ultra-wide-angle shots in 4K60.

One of the biggest improvements in the HERO12 Black is its power management, which has been redesigned for better thermal performance. GoPro claims it doubles the runtime in certain conditions, and we'll be putting those claims to the test in our future full evaluation. The HERO12 also now supports Bluetooth audio, which has allowed us to use wireless earbuds like Apple AirPods for sound recording and voice commands—extremely convenient while riding. Another feature we're planning to test is the ability to synchronize multiple cameras through timecode, which allows for advanced color controls for better post-production work.

Of course, the GoPro HERO12 continues to have a waterproof and rugged design. The standard camera comes with an Enduro Rechargeable Battery, curved adhesive mount, mounting buckle with thumb screw, and a USB-C cable.

GoPro's versatility is well-known at this point, with action enthusiasts and content creators worldwide turning to the brand for high quality video and photo. The addition of Bluetooth audio for recording is a huge plus for us and we can't wait to see the results of the enhanced HDR capabilities.

3. Sena 50C

As the latest intercom/camera hybrid from Sena, the 50C integrates Sena's Mesh and Bluetooth communications systems that allows us to connect with other riders and devices. The 4K camera captures high quality video of our rides at 30fps. One of the Sena 50C's standout features are the Harmon Kardon speakers and microphone, delivering quality audio compared to other products within this price range. We applaud Sena's focus on using higher-end audio components because it's definitely a shortcoming in other products.

We recommend the Sena 50C to motorcycle enthusiasts who prioritize communication with other riders over video quality. It's an ideal choice to document journeys with a focus on enhanced audio thanks to Harman Kardon components. If you don't care about better audio, there are better video cameras, but overall, this package delivers excellent performance for both categories.

Motorcycle Camera FAQ

What is the best motorcycle camera?

As the action camera market has matured and diversified, that question can only be answered by asking more questions: What do I want to use the camera for? Do I want to mount it permanently on the bike or move it around? Do I want the camera with the highest resolution? All of these questions can be answered with one of the models above.

Are motorcycle helmet cameras legal?

Good question. It depends on the state. For example, in California, objects that protrude more than 5mm from the helmet are illegal, but we’ve never seen it enforced.

Where is the best place to mount a 360-degree camera on a motorcycle?

We’d recommend mounting it on the tank or the handlebar. That way both the road and the rider can be seen in the video. That said, there are plenty of other places to mount a camera and lots of different mounts that give the option to get some really interesting angles of your ride.

Recent Updates:

  • February 16, 2024: Refined our list of recommendations to just three products. Our top pick remains the same, while our second and third have been changed.
  • June 2023: Added Insta360 Go 3, Removed Insta360 X3, Moved Insta360 X3 into top position
  • March 2023: Added insta360 X3, GoPro Hero 11, INNOVV H5. Removed insta360 Go, GoPro Hero 10, GoPro Hero 9, Cambox V4 Pro.
  • August 2022: Replaced Sena 10c EVO with 50C, updated FAQ, added to additional resources.
  • March 2022: Updated imagery, added Insta360 One X2 review link, and changed camera ranking.
  • September 2021: Replaced the GoPro Hero8 with the GoPro Hero10 Black, removed Insta360 R and replaced with Insta360 ONE X2.

Additional Resources

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Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Micheal Kiefer Micheal Kiefer on Jul 07, 2023

    In researching the Hero 11, I find there are significant problems with overheating and technical glitches shutting down the camera. Is GoPro addressing the problems or just relying on the name brand recognition to continue selling buggy product?

  • Gordon Deisting Gordon Deisting on Apr 28, 2024

    Well I started with a Honda 90 c.c.,then went on to a 180 Yamaha Had accident when was 18yrs old.Never stopped ,rebuilt the bike to ride again.Then sold it 180 twin Yamaha, then went to a 100cc.Yamaha twin.then went to a XS 350 cc Yamaha twin, then went onto the XS 650 twin Yamaha had and rode three different XS 650 also got my late fathers bike 500 cc Yamaha twin.When he was younger he had a Connors Eagle (Don't know if a twin or single) . Then went on to a Virago 750 V-twin.Now that I'm retired I have my sights set on getting a Harley

    Davidson EV 98 something like that. It is used but it is REBUILT with some EXTRAS lol like bored out to a bigger size and got a chipped also to give it more beef.😉 I think that will be my last bike at 71 yrs old. lol.Once I ride I'm going to go on a long ride across Canada from East to West. So I want camera to show the ride and record what happens on the road.So I got to see the reviews a record while traveling all day, Needs to be one that can do that all day run then down load to a laptop.I'm going to get 2 of them so I record what is going on in the front & the rear, to show the idiots talking or texting once phone while driving.I want to put a picture of Jesus on my Gas Tank.So he he can ride with me also. Also I have a Philippine girlfriend to ride with me. I was lonesome cause my little woman passed away 3 days before we were to wed. Also 9 days before her birthday.🥲. So as they say 'get back on and ride', cowboy moto saying when get bucked off. NEVER BACK DOWN HAS BEEN MY SAYING, ALONG WITH "NEVER LOOK A GIFTED HORSE IN THE MOUTH, JUST GET ON AND RIDE.