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How to safely transport my camera on a Harley? Can it be done?
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Mar 16, 2019 05:26:41   #
Shutterbug57
 
As a Wing rider who has ridden a few Harley’s including the Road King, I have no idea how to isolate the camera from the bike’s vibrations and I agree that is a problem worth considering. I would think this is a bigger problem with DSLRs & MILCs than with film bodies, particularly manual film bodies. May be a good time to try some film in a 1970s film body with a matching age lens - something like a Minolta SRT-102 with its venerable 50mm lens

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Mar 16, 2019 05:44:06   #
John N (a regular here)
 
Order a Peli-case bigger than the camera with their foam block. This is semi cut so you can easily form a foam surround for the camera. Put the peli-case in the saddle bag.

Or get a Gold or Silver wing two wheeled car!

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Mar 16, 2019 05:49:06   #
achesley
 
Just wondered if you ever thought of going to a smaller camera and carry it in a tank bag? I've carried a G 12 to 16 Canon in a tankbag for many many thousands of miles and thousands of pictures. Gives you quick access and with practice, can even take pixs on the go when safe to do so.

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Mar 16, 2019 06:56:21   #
whatdat
 
i know you would want to carry your good camera with you, but, I would be tempted in going the backpack method or having your camera insured with a policy that includes electrical or mechanical failure, such as Squaretrade. And always there could be an option of carrying a less valuable camera (not ideal, of course).

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Mar 16, 2019 06:56:26   #
steve49
 
I think maybe a smaller camera just to have for the trips would be worthwhile.
Takes up less space, great to have when you take the trips, better photos than a phone.

A lot of years ago (1976) I took an SlR and lenses on a bicycle trip... worked ( mostly ) fine but one lens element came loose in one lens. I had to aim the camera up and shake it for the element to get back into place... worked ok once I figured out why everything was so blurry!

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Mar 16, 2019 07:05:27   #
billnikon (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)


You may not want to hear this because most HOG drivers think it uncool to toe a small trailer. But when I rode my Sportster that is what I had. And that was where my camera equipment rode. Just sayin.
I would think if your camera was wrapped in foam it would be fine in the saddle bags, really. I would call your camera manufacture and ask for tech support and put the question to them, they are the only ones (no one here) who will know for sure.

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Mar 16, 2019 07:07:10   #
Ron Dial
 
Theoretically if the camera is isolated with 2-3 inches of foam it should OK. But what about the lenses? The only reasonably safe method is in your backpack. To test this, put about 20 aspirin in a bottle and ride around for about a week then check them for damage. I rode a HD in law enforcement for years and the only reasonably safe bike was a Kawasaki or the BMW.

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Mar 16, 2019 07:13:05   #
Architect1776 (a regular here)
 
Longshadow wrote:
I wouldn't imagine any problem it being in your backpack.



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Mar 16, 2019 07:49:07   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
luvmypets wrote:
I have a Honda Goldwing.


I rode a Gold Wing for many years. Not much vibration.

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Mar 16, 2019 07:50:37   #
waegwan
 
Shutterbug57 wrote:
As a Wing rider who has ridden a few Harley’s including the Road King, I have no idea how to isolate the camera from the bike’s vibrations and I agree that is a problem worth considering. I would think this is a bigger problem with DSLRs & MILCs than with film bodies, particularly manual film bodies. May be a good time to try some film in a 1970s film body with a matching age lens - something like a Minolta SRT-102 with its venerable 50mm lens


Interesting thread here, lots of good suggestions. I carry my 6D with a 28-300 lens attached and a couple of other lenses on my Softail with no issues; I use leather saddlebags. I just put the stuff in a camera bag and put the camera bag in the saddle bag. However, the Softail doesn't vibrate like the RK does. Still I'd think some good foam wrapping would protect them especially if you keep the body and lens separated.

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Mar 16, 2019 07:57:15   #
RickTaylor
 
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)


Being a Harley rider for many years I have taken my camera on many trips. On the assumption that you have hard saddlebags on your road king I would always take my D 90 and line the bag with a bath towel on the bottom of bag approx 3 inches thick. Then wrap the camera in another bath towel. Never had any issues and still continue this practice. I now shoot with a D8 50 and it has never been a problem. The hard saddlebags do have a lock so your equipment is secure. If you have leather saddlebags I still would not be alarmed as the chances of somebody fooling with another mans Harley is slim. There is a certain stigma about Harley riders that tends to frighten people. I have taken my cameras on 1200+ mile round trip’s and never had an issue. Pack your gear and relax and get the shots of areas that most people will never experience

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Mar 16, 2019 08:00:55   #
Muskrat
 
BBurns wrote:
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.


I have thrown my 5DMk3 in a camera case on top of a poncho in the tourpak of an Ultra Classic Electraglide and Softail luggage rack bag for 10s of thousands of miles with no apparent damage over the years. Sure the camera is tougher than average; draw your own conclusions.

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Mar 16, 2019 08:19:48   #
Mr. B
 
I did it for years, but in my Tour Pack, not my saddle bags. Never had a problem. And I often just nestled the camera in my clothing or rain gear so I could easily access the camera quickly at any roadside photo op.

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Mar 16, 2019 08:21:09   #
LCD
 
I've considered strapping my camera in a hard case on my bicycle. If you guys can do it with a motorcycle, I should have no fear.

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Mar 16, 2019 08:39:30   #
rond-photography
 
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)


You don't mention what year HD.

I rode a 2017 Road Glide (Eagle Rider rental) from San Francisco to Denver last year with my Olympus OMD in the saddle bag. No problem. That is a very smooth bike though. I am certain it was as smooth at speed as my BMW K75RT (one of the least vibrating bikes around). The roads I took were also excellent - not a pothole that I can remember!

I also rode thousands of miles on a BMW R75/6 with a Canon AT-1 (back in the day) and I had that in a bag on the luggage rack a lot of those miles (cushioned of course). It never gave me a problem. Also had it with me on a 1982 Tour Glide that I owned for a few years.

I think that if you make sure the camera is cushioned so it is not touching a bike part you will be ok.

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