You know and I know that motorcycles don’t really have a dash and yet the term ‘motorcycle dash camera’ is a thing people refer to. It’s because these onboard continuously recording cameras started off in the car world where they sat on the dashboard and recorded the journey.
Now that technology has come to motorcycling but it’s still called a dash cam.
Whether you live in an urban setting with heavy traffic or a more rural area with single-track lanes; if someone isn’t paying attention, accidents happen. From an insurance perspective, proving you’re not at fault can be painful; a great solution is a dash cam, which effectively acts as your witness to the incident.
Dash cams aren’t all about insurance claims. If you want to shoot videos of your travels or have an epic track day worthy of social media fame, they’re great for these too.
Some dash cams have wide-angle views and high-quality image capture to get a fantastic video from the rider’s perspective, but it’s better to invest in a helmet camera if you’re only after action shots. Check out our guide to the best motorcycle helmet cameras, packed with the latest helmet cams, tips and jargon busters.
Choosing a motorcycle dash cam is difficult when you don’t know what you’re looking for. A “proper” dash cam will hard-wire into the bike to automatically start and stop recording with the engine. This is a better option than rechargeable cameras. Sod’s law you run out of charge when you need it! Also, you can get dash cams that require manual recording, but if you’re eager to get on the road, it’s an easy thing to forget.
What to consider when buying a motorcycle dash cam:
- Hard-wired dash cams take time to install but offer more convenience. They usually start recording when the engine is running and loop the recordings.
- Choose a model that is waterproof to withstand our gorgeous British weather. If not, choose one with a suitable waterproof case.
- Remember to choose a compatible memory card. Most dash cams do not include memory cards, check which one you need before ordering.
- Wide-angle lenses are better if you want to use your camera for action shots as well as insurance purposes. The wider the angle, the wider the shot.
- Choose a camera with mounts; otherwise, you may find you have trouble fitting the dash cam to your bike.
- If you want an all singing all dancing camera, look for models with Bluetooth connectivity and GPS capabilities to enhance your ride.
To inspire you, we’ve shortlisted some of the best motorcycle dash cams suitable for different mounting options. Check them out below:
The K2 2019 is an improved version of the original. It has stainless steel bolts instead of the previous rusting screws plus enhancements to stop battery drain.
Capture videos in full 1080p 30 fps, 720p at 60fpsor 30fps. Storage options vary, but the max is up to 256GB, which is a whopping 19 hours of video. Complete with a front and rear camera for better protection it can also overlay your speed onto the video, thanks to the GPS unit. It connects to the bike’s wiring for automatic on and off recording. Flexible mounting options are available for the cameras, including GoPro and RAM compatibility. It also have a smartphone app which you can use to configure recordings and playback video.
The M6 is an upgrade from the M3 version and now includes waterproofing in the form of a silicone waterproof casing for the display and IP68 standard for the lenses, plus a cable to use GPS functions.
Main features include a 2.7” LCD screen with real-time viewing of the front and rear 155 degree cameras. The M6 shoots in full HD 1080p and connects to the light or ignition switch to automatically start and stop with the engine. It can display your speed too, via the smartphone app. Memory capacity is 256GB. Additional features include GPS, front and rear photo capture, microphone, recording indicator and lock for recording files.
Attaches to your helmet/ while connecting to GPS and your smartphone; the 10C-PRO-01 records in Quad HD (1440p 30fps) and full HD (1080p 60fps) with a resolution of 3.7MP, 135-degree field, and includes a Bluetooth 4.1 4-way intercom system.
Featuring Smart Audio Mix, you can mix audio from the intercom with music from your smartphone straight to your videos. The Bluetooth intercom works up to 1 mile away so you can keep in touch with your fellow riders without having to resort to dodgy hand signals or having to find a safe place to stop and then shout at each other.
If you’re not one for going out in the rain, this dash cam by Garmin is an option worth considering.
Designed for cars and other enclosed vehicles, it works by connecting to a micro USB rather than the main wiring. So you could run it off a USB connected to your bike’s battery, or a separate USB power bank.
With an extra-wide 180 degrees field and crisp 1440p video capability, you get clear detailing even in low-lighting conditions. With Auto Sync, you can playback and control your footage through your smartphone and the Garmin Drive app. Voice controls allow you to choose your settings and start and stop recording quickly. Driver alerts include forward collision, lane departure warnings and Go alerts.
Parking mode allows the dashcam to monitor your surroundings while your engine is not running.
While there are lots of well-known brands out there like GoPro – it’s hard to argue with this 4k resolution camera and mounting kit. Perfect for track days, tours or continuous onboard filming. It supports 4k at 24fps or 1080p at 60fps and features image stabilization, a waterproof case, a touch screen, and spare batteries.
It comes with a comprehensive set of mounts and works with all the GoPro mounts, too. The image quality is superb. The only downside is that it will record up to 90 minutes of footage on one battery charge, so if you’re heading out on a long trip, you’re better off getting a system that’s hard-wired into the bike.