The Best Motorcycle Cameras To Document Your Rides
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.
MO Tested: Sena Impulse Helmet Review
On rare occasions my wife allows me to drive her Mercedes GLE. It’s a treat compared to my aging Tacoma. One of its tastiest bits is the Harman/Kardon sound system. When I saw that Sena’s newest modular helmet featured the same brand name audio engineering, I was quick to call E-i-C Brasfield and coerce him into letting me test one. He did, and I’m here to report that the Impulse is the best-sounding helmet I’ve ever worn.
Best Motorcycle Helmet Communicators For Group Rides
While many of us enjoy riding motorcycles because of its solitary nature, group rides are also a source of great riding memories. Once you’ve ridden with a group of friends and been able to talk to each other during the ride, you’ll understand why Bluetooth helmet communicators have gotten so popular. You can remind everyone of an upcoming turn or give a warning about a road hazard. Or, if you’re riding with John Burns, be serenaded with an endless list of song snippets. Never a dull moment here. But there’s more to these gadgets than that. How about touring and actually being able to hear music without frightening the horses in the nearby fields? Or maybe it’s just something as mundane as having Siri whisper directions in your ear. Parents can adjust their child-rearing logistics on the fly. After a while, a helmet communicator will become an essential part of your riding kit.
When choosing your helmet communication device, you should consider how you plan on using it. If you’re a lone wolf who never travels in a pack, a simple system that connects you to your phone will likely suffice. If you’re regularly part of a gaggle of riders, you should probably stick to what the rest of the group already has in order to maintain maximum compatibility.
You should also take a look at your helmet to make sure that it has speaker pockets. Most current-generation helmets do, but it’s always a good idea to check. Even if your helmet doesn’t have dedicated speaker pockets in its physical structure, it is sometimes possible to fit the speakers inside of the padding that forms the ear cut out in the liner.
The helmet type will determine the kind of microphone you use. An open face or modular helmet requires a boom mic that sits on an articulated arm mounted under the cheek pad. A full-face helmet will need a mic stuck to the inside of the chin bar. Some helmets even offer recessed mounting points for the microphone and wiring, too. In fact, a recent trend is to pair a helmet with a specifically-designed communicator for that model. (See our reviews of the Shoei Neotec II Helmet + Sena SRL and the Shoei GT-Air II + Sena SRL2.)
When looking at Bluetooth helmet communicators, you’ll notice that some of them can get pretty pricey. You should avoid the siren song of the cheap, no-name knockoffs as they typically lack the reliability and durability of those of the major players. Instead, if you’re on a budget, shop by the features you’ll need. Below, you’ll find a selection of the best communicators available. Click the links for discounted pricing.
MO Tested: Shoei Neotec II Helmet + Sena SRL Communicator Review
Learning about new products is always exciting here at MO. Testing and reporting on motorcycle-related products is an important (and fun) part of our job. When the new product in question is a makeover of one of our favorite pieces of gear – as is the case with the Shoei Neotec II – the excitement is even more pronounced. (There was even a little behind-the-scenes wrangling over who would be assigned the review.) Still, I’ve got to be honest. I was also a little bit worried about the update. What if Shoei changed my absolute favorite modular helmet – the helmet I wear almost every day – in ways that made me like it less? Given the popularity of the Neotec with the riding public, I’m sure I’m not the only one who may have wondered if the changes would all be good.
The Best Black Friday Deals for Motorcyclists
Thanksgiving means it’s time for family, football, turkey, and, of course, Black Friday shopping. While you’ve been scarfing down stuffing or watching the Bears down the Lions (spoiler alert!), we looked around and compiled a list of some of the best Black Friday deals for motorcyclists.
2019 Honda Monkey Review – First Ride
All I remember was walking down the street in Long Beach, CA, minding my own business when I heard it. Was that the sound of an irate primate? Living in Long Beach for a few years now, between the cacophonous flocks of bright green parrots and unmistakable roar of Indy cars once a year, the sound didn’t concern me, that was until I felt a heavy blow to the back of my head.
MO Tested: Sena 30K Communicator
I love helmet communicators. Using them has changed the way I ride. In fact, when testing new helmets, one of the first things I do (once I become familiar with the noise levels in the helmet) is install a communicator. I ride so many places where I use turn-by-turn directions that I can’t imagine going back to the bad old days of taping directions on the gas tank. Until Sena released the 30K, the company’s 20S/20S EVO units were my go-to communicators. So, you can imagine my excitement when it came time to test the 30K which takes all the features of the 20S and adds the new, easy-to-use mesh communication technology to the mix.
Sena 20S Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System Review
MO Tested: Sena 20S EVO Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System Review
MO Tested: Shoei Neotec II Helmet + Sena SRL Communicator Review
Sena began with the 30K by, quite literally, not reinventing the wheel. First, the form factor of the 30K – with its large scroll wheel – will be instantly familiar to 20S users. The 30K also utilizes the same mounting hardware so that riders who upgrade to the 30K can simply slip the new module into place and riders with multiple helmets can switch the unit between helmets with the push of a button (if they purchase extra mounts).
MO Tested: Cardo Systems PackTalk Bold
Helmet communication systems have moved beyond the upstart phase of their existence, and now the major manufacturers (primarily Cardo Systems and Sena) are working on ever-increasing refinement. Case in point is the Cardo Systems PackTalk Bold. The company’s Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC) system has been around for a couple years and has grown quite popular with its increased flexibility compared to Bluetooth group communications. To this improved group chatting, the PackTalk Bold takes the company’s top-of-the-line communicator and adds next-generation voice control, allowing riders to keep their hands on the motorcycle’s grips where they belong instead of manipulating the controls of a helmet-mounted communicator.
MO Tested: Sena Momentum Helmet
Sena has ventured into the competitive world of helmet manufacturing with its new Bluetooth integrated full-face helmet line-up. The Korean company has already established itself as a, if not the, leader in Bluetooth communication technology when it comes to the powersports and outdoor markets. The company is now producing four helmets integrated with Bluetooth: Momentum Lite, Momentum, Momentum INC, and Momentum Pro. After having spent some time testing the Momentum, let’s take a look at how the new Bluetooth integrated helmet functions.
Top 10 Products Seen At AIMExpo 2017 + Video
Now that AIMExpo 2017 is complete, we’ve compiled our choices for the coolest stuff we saw while perusing the show. While the number of new 2018 model-year motorcycles was limited because of the show’s early date, that didn’t prevent the show from reflecting a vital motorcycle industry. So, as we reflect on last week’s show, here’s a list – in no particular order – of the top 10 products that we saw at the 2017 AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio.
Father's Day Motorcycle Gift Guide 2017
Father’s Day is looming on the horizon, and those of you who have motorcycle loving fathers are (hopefully) looking for a way to tell Dad how much you appreciate all he’s done for you and the family over the previous year. If he’s like most fathers, dad has probably avoided buying or doing things that he wanted to, just because the needs of the family outweighed his own desires. For families like that, you already know what to get him – just order that thing he decided not to get for himself. However, if Dad’s moto-needs are a mystery to you, take heart. We’ve put together a listing of stuff that’s bound to make your riding father quite happy. The prices range quite a bit here, so you’re sure to find something within the range of greenbacks contained in your wallet.
MO Tested: Sena Prism Tube Action Camera Review
Sena wants you to have an action cam. How? By creating a low-priced entry into the action camera market in the form of the Sena Prism Tube. For just $119, you get a 1.0-inch diameter by 3.9-inch length aluminum cylinder capable of capturing about two hours of 1080p 30fps video and audio. Once mounted to the rider’s helmet via the included mounting system, operating the unit couldn’t be any easier. Simply sliding the ring around the outside of the tube forward turns the Prism Tube on and begins recording. It’s that simple.
MO Tested: Sena Prism Camera + Video
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s take a look at the unit itself.
MO Tested: Sena Cavalry Helmet
Sena Cavalry Helmet Review
Sena has long been one of the leading companies in the realm of wireless motorcycle helmet connectivity. Offering a plethora of Bluetooth devices from which to choose for both full-face and open-face helmets, with a variety of features including rider-to-rider communication, smartphone pairing for placing and receiving phone calls, listening to music and GPS directions, Sena makes wearing a helmet more enjoyable regardless of style or brand. With the introduction of the Cavalry half-helmet Sena is embarking on the most obvious next step in the company’s evolution – integrating its communication technology with its own proprietary helmets.
MO Tested: Headwave TG
The idea behind the Headwave TĀG is turning your helmet into a giant, wearable speaker – a “Concert Capsule” as Headwave likes to call it. Does it work? Absolutely. Does it work well? Not really… at least not yet.
According to Headwave, TĀG’s musical magic comes from its ability to harness the vibrational energy from an exciter inside TĀG, then transmit the sound waves through a helmet, producing an immersive sound experience. This is the part that works impressively well. From a standstill to under 55 mph, you’ve your own little concert going on inside your helmet. No speakers uncomfortably pressing against your ears producing tinny music sans bass, TĀG has your whole helmet vibrating with better sounding music coming from everywhere.
MO Tested: Sena 10C Motorcycle Bluetooth Camera & Communication System
Accelerate past 55 mph, though, and you’re SOL. Even with the volume cranked, the sound is drowned out by wind noise, rendering TĀG worthless for even short-distance freeway riding. Behind the windscreen of a Gold Wing, or some other motorcycle with extensive wind protection, the experience may be better, but we can’t say for sure. Herein lies a big problem with TĀG – volume adjustment – as in there is no external way to adjust it.
Once your Bluetooth device is paired to TĀG, you select your music and volume, pocket the device and ride off. Choosing another track or decreasing/increasing volume requires stopping and accessing your device. A pair of BearTek gloves will solve this dilemma. So will having your music player conspicuously mounted, and Nanotips applied to your gloves, or have a pair of gloves that are touchscreen friendly. The other problem with TĀG in regards to volume is its omission of a volume adjuster that automatically increases/decreases volume according to increasing/decreasing wind noise.
MO Tested: Sena 10C Motorcycle Bluetooth Camera & Communication System + Video
Sena has been on a tear, lately. The Bluetooth communication company threw down the gauntlet with the release of the Sena 20S Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System, bringing class-leading features and ease-of-use to the helmet communicator market. Then, back in December, Sena jumped into the action-camera fray with its Prism Bluetooth Action Camera featuring a unique Bluetooth audio recording capability. It might seem logical to sit back and let these two products gather market share. Instead, Sena has released a product that combines many of the key features of the 20S and Prism into one package that checks in at $349 – significantly less than the 20S/Prism combo, even with the recently lowered Prism price.