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Camera Carrying... Motorbike

robs 16 685 2 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2016 2:16PM
This "summer" (I use that word merely to denote the time of year, as opposed to the expected weather) I am off up to Shetland on a deeply impractical motorbike (probably with my leg strapped up to bejeesus since I will have probably had surgery on my ankle only a short time before, but that is besides the point).

What I need is some means of carrying a camera set up with me on the bike. I had hoped to get a Boblbee hard hip case, but they are unavailable or truly terrifyingly expensive, so I need some other ideas. There isn't much scope for on-bike storeage unless I go for a tank bag, or put the camera into an insert/small drybag and strap it onto my other kit.

I will be carrying my other stuff in a 70l duffel bag bungeed onto the back of the bike.

I had thought some kind of waterproof waist pack, but can't find one, or waterproof rucksack (Dryzone) would be ideal.

Kit wise - I haven't quite decided for sure yet, but it will probably be the Olympus EM-5 MkII plus lenses, Lee 75 filter set and a smallish tripod rather than the Full Frame Nikon set up to save space and weight (at the expense of quality - but given that this is a bike rally I don't suppose ultimate quality will be that critical!)

Thanks Smile

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thewilliam 11 6.1k
27 Mar 2016 7:43PM
Beware of vibration!

I used to have a BMW Boxer which shook several cameras and lenses to the point where they fell apart until I learned never to carry them in a pannier.
keithh 15 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
27 Mar 2016 9:10PM
robs 16 685 2 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2016 11:14PM
They are pretty tiny things the Bobblbee - and at E225 it is a bit much for what it is. Their backpacks are proper scary moneyat E455! To be honest I am not sure the smaller one is waterproof enough either.


I like the idea of a waist pack/hip pack ideally, possibly a backpack at the outside or a tank bag, but that is less useful when not riding. Rain gets into anything not properly waterproof on the bike though so it needs to be very, very water resistant whatever I go for!

Thewilliam - point taken. Moto Guzzi are not known for their smooth running Wink


Does look damn nice though Wink
robs 16 685 2 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2016 11:23PM
As to how much I need to carry - depends on what system I am using, but I can cut it down A LOT if needs be!

The M4/3 system is the obvious choice as the whole kit currently fits in a Millican Rob the Traveller

So I can get away with something very small... that would probably squeeze into a small Kreiga backpack if push came to shove, but access would be restricted.

joasphoto 5 5 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2016 10:15AM
Hi Robs,

I have a solution for you but it will screw up your bike look! But it is a very good solution. I travel around using my motorbike too, a Honda Transalp XL700 and the solution that I found for myself was fitting a decent size top box, in my case the Givi Trekker TRK52N Top Box 52litre, it fir my ThinkTank AIRPORT COMMUTER backpack like a glove. The tripod goes strapped on my pillow passenger seat!

thewilliam 11 6.1k
28 Mar 2016 10:19AM
A backpack is a good place to carry camera kit because our upper body will absorb the vibrations that would otherwise shake things loose.
collywobles 15 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2016 1:11PM
If you come off a bike carrying a back pack, you could damage your spine.
keithh 15 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
28 Mar 2016 5:45PM
To be fair you can damage other areas too. Wink

I carried on a bike for many years, if I say that my last bike was a Yamaha RD500LC, you can see it was a long time ago. The camera was loaded into a totally unsuitable Karrimor rucksack, the tripod stuck above my helmet, although due to the clip on bars and rear pegs it was more like a head mounted lance.
robs 16 685 2 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2016 6:23PM
Lol Keith.

I am thinking a backpack or waistband is going to make most sense, although with the tripod strapped ontop of my luggage roll Wink
thewilliam 11 6.1k
28 Mar 2016 7:19PM

Quote:If you come off a bike carrying a back pack, you could damage your spine.

The best way to avoid such injury is never to ride a motorbike!
robs 16 685 2 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2016 7:29PM
Pffft... like that is a valid option Wink
robs 16 685 2 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2016 8:07PM
The Lowepro Whistler BP 350 has caught my eye... could be interesting. Bigger than I want for this trip, but it could be useful for future forays into the mountains once my ankle has been sliced n diced by the hospital!
Lenscapon 3 64
28 Mar 2016 11:37PM
A rucksack designed for wearing on a bike is your best bet. Yes, Boblebee are expensive, but they include back protection. Knox and Krieger also good.
lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
29 Mar 2016 11:16AM

Quote:I used to have a BMW Boxer which shook several cameras and lenses to the point where they fell apart until I learned never to carry them in a pannier.
I shook two Nikkor lenses to pieces like that. My office was not pleased!

I use a few configurations of gear depending what I am doing - mine are used on a bicycle. The first here is my full working outfit, E-M1 body, GX8 body, 7-14 Panasonic (in the lens pod module), 12-40mm f/2.8, 40-150mm f/2,8 plus 1.4x converter, tablet in the slot for it on the Lowepro 250AW, flash, batteries cards etc. The bag is still small and I can pick the lot of with one finger. That gives me 14-420mm coverage in old money.

The second is my 'out and about' walking or cycling outfit, in a bum bag which I've waterproofed with Scotch Guard. In there is a Pen F with 12-32 and 35-100 Panasonic zooms. Plus a GM1 stashed in a pocket or somewhere because for old professional reasons, I don't trust everything to one camera body.

I find it very enjoyable so go out sometimes with just the Pen F or (preferably) GX8 body with 17 and 45mm Olympus primes, 35 and 90 on FF sensor. And sometimes just slip the 14-140mm Panasonic on any of the bodies and do it all in one. I'm spoilt for choice but it does all earn its keep!

I don't remember a time when photography was so enjoyable and (relatively) cheap. In fact, all the gear I now own cost less than one of my Nikon F Photomic bodies from the 1960s!



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