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How to safely transport my camera on a Harley? Can it be done?
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Mar 15, 2019 15:52:50   #
Marvelton
 
Once or twice a year, I take a week or so motorcycle trip with a group of friends. I ride a Harley Road King which creates a considerable amount of vibration. I'm sure it would shake my camera apart if I were to pack it in a saddle bag -- although I've never tested the theory :). I've thought about strapping a hard protective case to the luggage rack or back seat. I'm wondering if anyone has done this or something similar and might have a suggestion as to what might work or worked for them?

We ride to some beautiful spots. Last year I found myself in Terlingua, TX at Big Bend National Park looking up at the Milky Way with nothing but an iPhone 6S+. The only time I take a camera with me on the bike is if I pack it in my Lowepro backpack and wear it to wherever I'm going. Not so bad for short trips but not really practical for longer trips. Anyway, thanks for any suggestions.

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Mar 15, 2019 16:01:45   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
I wouldn't imagine any problem it being in your backpack.

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Mar 15, 2019 16:03:50   #
MichaelH
 
You could make a foam insert for your saddlebag (like in a Pelican case) that might isolate the gear from some of the vibration. The gear would still vibrate but with less of a direct connection to the motorcycle.

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Mar 15, 2019 16:06:51   #
BBurns
 
As an old biker I understand your concerns about the Milwaukee Vibrator. Wrap your camera in foam rubber.
You can get a small box and line it with foam and just close the camera up in it.
Those that don't ride do not understand.

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Mar 15, 2019 16:07:07   #
luvmypets
 
I have a Honda Goldwing. My camera bag rides in the top case and my 150-600 lens, laptop and tripod go into one saddle bag. Never had an issue. The camera bag is well padded and the computer and long lens (also in padded bags) usually sit on something like a jacket or something else along that line. The heat from the tailpipe is what concerns me there.

I wouldn't put your camera on the luggage rack or backseat. One trip to the restroom and it could be gone. I'd rather they steal my bag of clothes (there's always a Wal-Mart around somewhere that I can buy replacements) and that is what rides in the passenger seat. Knock on wood...no one has ever taken anything but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

Enjoy your travels!!!

Dodie

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Mar 15, 2019 16:10:57   #
BBurns
 
luvmypets wrote:
I have a Honda Goldwing......Enjoy your travels!!! Dodie
Very true, but remember compared to his ride the 'Wing is a two wheeled couch.

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Mar 15, 2019 17:12:50   #
speters (a regular here)
 
Marvelton wrote:
Once or twice a year, I take a week or so motorcycle trip with a group of friends. I ride a Harley Road King which creates a considerable amount of vibration. I'm sure it would shake my camera apart if I were to pack it in a saddle bag -- although I've never tested the theory :). I've thought about strapping a hard protective case to the luggage rack or back seat. I'm wondering if anyone has done this or something similar and might have a suggestion as to what might work or worked for them?

We ride to some beautiful spots. Last year I found myself in Terlingua, TX at Big Bend National Park looking up at the Milky Way with nothing but an iPhone 6S+. The only time I take a camera with me on the bike is if I pack it in my Lowepro backpack and wear it to wherever I'm going. Not so bad for short trips but not really practical for longer trips. Anyway, thanks for any suggestions.
Once or twice a year, I take a week or so motorcyc... (show quote)


If nothing else, you can pull a little trailer with all your photo gear! At least that would take care of the vibrations!

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Mar 15, 2019 17:15:33   #
Marvelton
 
BBurns wrote:
As an old biker I understand your concerns about the Milwaukee Vibrator. Wrap your camera in foam rubber.
You can get a small box and line it with foam and just close the camera up in it.
Those that don't ride do not understand.


Perhaps I can make a foam insert for the top of my T-Bag. That way I benefit from the extra cushion of the clothes below it. The way my saddle bags vibrate, I can't image what would happen to a camera after 6 to 8 hours in one. Not to mention I usually have them packed pretty tight with everything from my rain gear to an emergency tool kit.

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Mar 15, 2019 17:31:26   #
TriX (a regular here)
 
Gold wings and Harleys are very different things in terms of vibration. The venerable Harley V twin engine, although beloved by many, does have a firing order that produces some very real vibration. Although foam would be a big help, personally I would not subject a fine camera and lens to that vibration for any length of time. Harley riders who are also photographers on the forum may have a different (and more accurate and experienced) opinion.

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Mar 15, 2019 18:13:55   #
robertjerl (a regular here)
 
The only really sure way is the backpack or bike trailer with padding and for theft prevention the backpack is it. That little trailer on a bike screams "I have something stealable in me, otherwise this guy wouldn't bother towing me."

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Mar 15, 2019 19:01:04   #
Marvelton
 
robertjerl wrote:
The only really sure way is the backpack or bike trailer with padding and for theft prevention the backpack is it. That little trailer on a bike screams "I have something stealable in me, otherwise this guy wouldn't bother towing me."


I won't be pulling a trailer. It would need to be either a foam insert for my T-Bag or possibly a hard case I can bungie onto the back seat or my luggage rack. I'm hoping someone has actually done one or the other and had their equipment survive. I know the backpack does work but it can't be worn under my rain gear if I hit bad weather. I recently upgraded from a Nikon D5000 to a Sony A7iii. I'd hate to shake my newest prize possession to death.

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Mar 15, 2019 21:33:42   #
BBurns
 
TriX wrote:
Gold wings and Harleys are very different things in terms of vibration....Harley riders who are also photographers on the forum may have a different (and more accurate and experienced) opinion.
An old friend of mine used to say, "There is something fundamentally wrong with 2/7th of an airplane engine!"
However, the design has endured for many years and has a dedicated following.
Hopefully a V-Twin rider will post how they protect their gear.

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Mar 15, 2019 21:46:31   #
robertjerl (a regular here)
 
Marvelton wrote:
I won't be pulling a trailer. It would need to be either a foam insert for my T-Bag or possibly a hard case I can bungie onto the back seat or my luggage rack. I'm hoping someone has actually done one or the other and had their equipment survive. I know the backpack does work but it can't be worn under my rain gear if I hit bad weather. I recently upgraded from a Nikon D5000 to a Sony A7iii. I'd hate to shake my newest prize possession to death.


Suggestion, spray the dickens out of the backpack with something like Scotchgard put the pack straps on over your rain gear and then put on a rain poncho to cover the backpack with a bungee cord or oversize belt to hold it in place. You can also line the inside of the backpack with a large plastic bag.

Being in So. California I haven't ridden in the rain much, but I have done it a few times.
Only three things you can't do on a motorcycle in the rain: keep completely dry, make a safe turn in any space smaller than a football field and stop in less than the length of that football field. Well you can try 2 & 3 but the success rate is low and I hope your health coverage is current.

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Mar 16, 2019 04:15:50   #
Harry0 (a regular here)
 
I did it for decades. Wrap it in foam, in a box, in foam, in your backpack.

Then I too started riding a Goldwing. Someone owed me money- I got the bike. I was fixing it up to sell, and I gave the wife a ride. LA to Oxnard, then Camarillo on the way home. She got off the bike and told me I ain't selling it. *sigh* BTW, that 2 wheeled couch had foot boards and a stereo, the passenger seat had a cupholder, 2 little snackholders, armrests and an extended plush backrest. 45 mpg. Most dependable car I ever had.

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Mar 16, 2019 04:59:45   #
fjrwillie
 
Marvelton wrote:
Once or twice a year, I take a week or so motorcycle trip with a group of friends. I ride a Harley Road King which creates a considerable amount of vibration. I'm sure it would shake my camera apart if I were to pack it in a saddle bag -- although I've never tested the theory :). I've thought about strapping a hard protective case to the luggage rack or back seat. I'm wondering if anyone has done this or something similar and might have a suggestion as to what might work or worked for them?

We ride to some beautiful spots. Last year I found myself in Terlingua, TX at Big Bend National Park looking up at the Milky Way with nothing but an iPhone 6S+. The only time I take a camera with me on the bike is if I pack it in my Lowepro backpack and wear it to wherever I'm going. Not so bad for short trips but not really practical for longer trips. Anyway, thanks for any suggestions.
Once or twice a year, I take a week or so motorcyc... (show quote)


I have been carrying my Nikon DSLR for years. First a D5100 and that went in my tank bag on my FJR. Now I carry one or two D7100 in the rear trunk of my Spyder RT-S. Never had a problem with vibration. Not sure if you are riding one of the touring HD's but the side bags should be fine or a rear tour trunk. On the Spyder, I simply store the cameras in a camera bag.

Willie

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