Motorcycle Dash Cam – Top Recommended Picks
More often than not cars are the most ideal means of travelling. But there are other times when even they don’t come close to the motorcycle lifestyle. Whether it’s their easy parking, low fuel consumption, wind blowing in your hair or simply the thrill they bring; bikes are definitely super cool.
The only challenge is having to deal with other motorists. While most drivers are generally careful, some have little to no regard for other road users and tend to put other motorists at risk of accidents.
The risk is even higher when you’re on a motorcycle because you’re less protected than when you’re in a vehicle. It calls for a lot more caution. One way of keeping yourself safe is installing a motorcycle dash cam.
A dash cam (short for dashboard camera) is simply a video camera that installs on a vehicle and records the events that happen on the road as well as around the vehicle. It could be a car or a motorcycle.
Either way, the footage from a dash cam can be priceless when you have to prove your innocence in case of an accident. Authorities may use it to vindicate you. Your insurance company can also use it as evidence when you place a claim.
The videos and images from a dash cam also make for good memories. You will most certainly need them for those times when you reminisce about your awesome adventures on the road with your motorcycle.
Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Dash Cam
One question that bugs many motorcycle owners and enthusiasts is whether they can use dash cams meant for vehicles on a motorcycle. Although that is possible for most dash cam models, it is totally not recommended.
Keep in mind that in a car the dash cam is installed inside the vehicle while in a motorcycle it stays on the outside. That brings up several concerns, including visibility, ability to withstand harsh weather, ease of theft etc. Here’s a summary of the things to consider when shopping for one.
Size: a motorcycle is much smaller than a car. If you install a typical car dash cam it will be very visible, and that is not a good thing. What you need is a small and discreet unit that won’t draw any attention.
Weather resistance: while in a car the dash cam stays inside, in a motorcycle it installs on the outside. That exposes it to all kinds of harsh weather, including extreme heat and rain. An ideal unit should be resistant to such weather conditions.
Construction: bike rides are not the smoothest. The shaking of the motorcycle dashboard can take the toll, which is why you need one that is built with the strongest materials for durability. A blend of high-grade metal (like stainless steel or aluminum) and plastic would do.
Usability: riding a motorcycle requires a lot more concentration. That’s why the operation controls of your bike’s dash cam need to be clear and easy to navigate. You won’t get as much time to adjust the settings as when you’re driving a car.
Of course there are also general dash cam properties to consider. The first is obviously video quality. You need a dash cam that can record very clear footage. A resolution of at least 720P sounds reasonable enough, but if it can go higher that would be better.
Secondly, you need a unit that starts recording automatically as soon as you start your bike’s ignition. Besides saving you time, it will ensure that you don’t forget to power up the camera.
The third consideration is file management. Most dash cams use loop recording, and that is a great thing. Instead of having to delete older files, the dash cam will automatically overwrite the oldest footage with the newest. But it will save all locked files (accident or impact-related files).
Single or dual channel:
A dash cam can either be a single channel or a dual channel device. The latter type allows you to record front and rear footage while the former only records the road ahead. If you want to see what’s happening in front and behind your motorcycle you may want to consider getting a dual dash cam.
The final consideration covers the extra features that the dash cam brings to the table. While features like G-sensor, parking monitor and night mode are essential to your (and the motorcycle’s) overall safety, others like Wi-Fi, GPS, and driver awareness notifications are luxuries that increase convenience.
Product Reviews: The Top 2 Dash Cams for Motorcycles
Knowing how to choose a dash cam for motorcycle riding is one thing, but picking one particular model from the bunch is a whole different story. With various brands and models available on the market, narrowing down to just one might be one hard task. Below are our top two picks. In case that selection process is overwhelming feel free to go with either model.
#1: Blueskysea DV188 Motorcycle Recording Camera
Night vision: Yes
Display size: 2.7˝
Designed specifically for motorcycles, the Blueskysea DV188 dash cam attaches to the bike and not your helmet. Built with the powerful Allwinner V3 chipset, this unit packs an array of impressive features. Here are the highlights:
The DV188 is a motorcycle front and rear camera, also known as dual channel. which means it records the front and rear view. The front camera captures 1080P videos while the rear camera records 720P footage. Both lenses are waterproof and provide a whopping 130-degree viewing angle each.
The dash cam’s F2.2 aperture allows plenty of light to pass through even in low lighting conditions. That, together with the wide dynamic range (WDR) technology used, accounts for the camera’s outstanding night vision. You can record audio alongside the video thanks to a built-in microphone.
Fitted on the DV188 dash cam is a b screen. It makes it possible to view real-time footage and also play back previous recordings. While the dash cam itself is completely waterproof, its monitor is not. But the monitor is completely detachable, meaning you can remove and store it in the bike’s trunk when it rains.
As a dual dash cam, the Blueskysea DV188 records both front and rear views in AVI file format. The videos are stored in separate folders with date and time labels on each folder. The dash cam uses loop recording where the oldest footage is overwritten by the newest when the memory card fills up. But it won’t overwrite any accident-related files thanks to the built-in G-sensor that locks and protects such footage. Its total storage capacity is 64GB (memory card not included in the package).
This unit is small and compact to fit on a motorcycle discreetly. It measures 9.4 x 5.5 x 4 inches and weighs 0.16 ounces.
In the box:
The package comes with everything you need, save for a memory card. It includes the main DVR, a front camera, a rear camera, a DVR holder, a hardwiring kit, holder mount, a wire control, 8 cable ties, 2 screws, and gum paste.
- Easy to setup and navigate
- Long wires for installation on motorcycle
- Can hardwire to the battery directly
- Built-in battery provides power temporarily when the bike is not running.
- Multilingual menu. Contains English, Chinese, Japanese etc.
- Can withstand temperatures as hot as 140 and as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Not compatible with most standard dash cam mounts
- The monitor is not waterproof
Luckily you can detach the monitor and store it somewhere safe during rain. That is just one of the many reasons that make this dash cam an ideal pick for any motorbike owner.
#2: VSYSTO Motorcycle Camera Recorder
Night vision: Yes
Display size: 3.0˝
Like the Blueskysea DV188, this unit is specifically designed for use on motorcycles. It’s also a dual dash cam that records the front and rear views of your ride. So how do its features compare with those of the DV188?
The dash cam starts recording automatically as soon as you start your motorcycle. It will also switch off about 3 minutes after you turn the bike off. Both the front and rear cameras record full HD (1080P) videos at 30fps. They both feature a 6-layer glass lens that offers a 140-degree viewing angle. So in total you get a field of view of 280 degrees.
Additionally, both cameras use a SONY IMX323 CMOS image sensor that allows as much light as possible even in low lighting conditions. That is why this motorcycle camera has a great night vision.
Videos are recorded in loops of 1, 3 or 5 minutes. When the memory card is full the motorcycle camera will automatically overwrite the oldest files with the newest. Although the package doesn’t include a memory card, this unit accepts up to 128GB of storage. It records files in MOV format and includes a date and time stamp (which you can turn off).
The VSYSTO features an IP68 waterproof casing that protects it from water damage. The whole unit is generally weatherproof and has an operating temperature of 0 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It also features a 3-inch monitor where you can view footage in real time or as playback.
A discreet cam for motorcycle, the VSYSTO measures 7.3 x 5.2 x 5.2 inches. It is barely noticeable when installed on a motorbike.
Wi-Fi and optional GPS:
This dash cam has a built-in Wi-Fi module for connecting it to a mobile device (smartphone or tablet). With that connection you can view and share videos directly from your phone or tablet. If you wish you can include a GPS module. It will log your location, speed and direction at any given time.
- Uses a super capacitor instead of battery.
- Easy to install and use.
- Has G-sensor for locking critical footage.
- Completely weatherproof
- DVR and SD card units are tucked the seat for protection in case of a crash.
- Wi-Fi makes phone connectivity easy and fun.
- Optional sound recording.
- GPS tracker comes separately as a paid feature.
- Video quality is affected when there’s a sudden surge in speed or when you honk.
Overall, the VSYSTO motorcycle dash cam is a solid unit that delivers in the most important aspects. With it you won’t miss any important incident or event.