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How to safely transport my camera on a Harley? Can it be done?
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Mar 16, 2019 20:04:26   #
waegwan
 
al13 wrote:
At 75 yrs old and a really long time Harley rider I never took a good camera in the old days. As I moved up to the Ultras, I carried my good camera in the top tour pack. I wouldn’t take a DSLR in your side bags but would in a sissy bar pack. I have friends that do that and have had no problems. Less vibration in sissy bar luggage if packaged right.



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Mar 16, 2019 20:21:36   #
RBishop
 
Shouldn't be a problem with a digital camera, just keep it dry. Back in my riding days the only problem was the film unwinding from the spool. After that I bought a Moto Guzzi---problem solved ,so much for HD??
BTW I'll be 85 yo soon:>}.

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Mar 16, 2019 20:51:57   #
TMurphy71
 
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 bought a studded leather cooler (looks like a tour pack). I usually keep it on the passenger seat and locked onto the backrest uprights. I lined it with the pick and pluck foam. Works perfect. It also works well as a backrest for me on long rides. I am on a fully dressed 2011 Fatboy. On the attached pic the "cooler" is on the back rack.



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Mar 16, 2019 21:04:26   #
aikiboy
 
Backpack, foam, do not crash. Otherwise, you are OK.

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Mar 16, 2019 21:41:11   #
thephotoman
 
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.


I do not ride, but I fully appreciate the problem. One does not have to experience the problem to understand it.

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Mar 16, 2019 23:37:39   #
waegwan
 
RBishop wrote:
Shouldn't be a problem with a digital camera, just keep it dry. Back in my riding days the only problem was the film unwinding from the spool. After that I bought a Moto Guzzi---problem solved ,so much for HD??
BTW I'll be 85 yo soon:>}.

Cool! And congratulations on being 85 soon. BTW, you could havd bought a Softail. They have a non vibrating HD engine. :-) but then my son and a good friend both ride Guzzi. ;-)

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Mar 17, 2019 00:26:56   #
JoeN
 
I don’t have any personal experience but my brother rode for many years though not on a Harley. He always used the hard case saddle bags from the manufacturer and never had any problems. On his last ride he hit a deer and totaled his Kawasaki. He survived with only a concussion and though his saddle bags were scuffed up after a long skid and lots of bouncing, his camera equipment was unscathed. Now I know that’s not the same as the continual vibration of a Harley, but camera equipment surrounded by something like foam should protect your equipment.

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Mar 17, 2019 13:08:37   #
Wanderer2
 
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 suggesion 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)



My two hobbies are riding motorcycles and landscape photography and have combined the two at times over my 51 years of riding. I have carried every type of camera on a motorcycle from small point and shoots to a large 4X5 view camera and have some suggestions for you based on all that trial and error experience.

I would suggest using the strongest water proof top/rear hard case bolted to your luggage rack, not just secured with straps (why to come later). Inside and fitting snugly I would put a block of foam in which you have carved openings that exactly fit your camera and lens, and surround each of them separately. Over that I would place another sheet or block of foam on the top surface. Additionally I would suggest placing some sort of hard foam between the luggage rack and bolted on case to reduce the vibration that is transmitted to the case. With all the recent developments in foam technology recently I can't suggest specific foam products but suggest you do internet searches on that subject.

By chance I was discussing this subject a few days ago with a friend who is a hardcore adventure rider and does a lot of off-pavement riding on his Honda Africa Twin. When asked his opinion on the toughest hard luggage available and what he uses he said "Caribou Cases." According to him, and he has extensively researched this, these cases are made of a very strong plastic material that is much more resistant to cracking and breaking than others but are still lighter than metal. They don't make anything specifically for Harleys but do make a universal fit top case that should work. Go to:

https://cariboucases.com/What-Fits-My-Bike/Other-Bikes/Universal-Caribou-40L-Top-Case-System.html

There are other options of course. The Happy Trails company in Boise Idaho makes very strong metal cases and I used these in an around the world ride I did in 2005. The Givi Trekker series of cases is also well reviewed by adventure riders.

Regarding the advice to bolt and not strap the case to the luggage rack, I base this on the following experience I had in the 1980s. I was using a large soft bag with foam inside as I described above strapped to the rear rack with my 4X5 view camera and lenses inside. I was cruising down a smooth back road and glanced in the rear view mirror and to my horror I saw my bag bounding down the road behind me in at least 4 foot high bounds! There went one expensive camera I thought. But, both camera and lenses were completely undamaged due to being encased in foam. However, I still suggest avoiding this by bolting, not strapping, a hard case to the rack. I didn't have time to read all of the many posts on this thread and apologize if some of this had already been covered, etc.

Considering the value of good photo equipment these days this is not something to scrimp on cost. I hope you find a suitable solution to this situation and have many miles of safe riding combined with much happy shooting.

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Mar 17, 2019 18:01:59   #
xt2
 
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)


50 years riding HD, camera, always in a case in a saddle bag. Simple... Don't over work this one...

Cheers!

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Mar 18, 2019 12:43:31   #
Marvelton
 
Thanks for all the replies. My topic was moved from General Chit Chat and I didn't see all of replies until this morning. I'm going to check out the Caribou Cases. I feel like that's the safest way to go.

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