How to isolate from motorcycle vibration?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by nyoung, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    I have picked up that several on this board do or have done some motorcycle touring. I'm wondering what you do to isolate your cameras from the high frequency vibration of the machine?

    Many years ago I had mysterious problems with base plate screws that would not stay put in my Nikons. Finally traced the likely cause to the vibration being transmitted through the bare metal floorboards of my VW. Started keeping the camera bag on the passenger side seat and the screws quit falling out so much.

    So what's a comparable fix for the two-wheeler?
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    You could try foam in several densities......

    My bike-rides just go through town (GoiĆ¢nia, Brazil) and have not had any problems so far.....

    Peter
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    One of the best insulators is the human body. Sooo.... Foam may work OK but I'm thinking(yeah, right) something along the lines of an isolating gel. You can find it on most online motorcycle shops or even bicycle shops in the form of seat pads. I've seen quite a few at resale shops for a buck or two. Probably the cheapest way to try it. I think this may be available in some healthcare wraps too, maybe in larger sizes.
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Maybe even a good pouch for you camera that you can strap tighter on your body. Not sure which camera you're working with. Just my $.02.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Use foam padding in the camera bag/carrying case to dampen the vibration.

    Steve
     
  6. c.d.ewen

    c.d.ewen Subscriber

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    Just a small data point: wrapping your Rollie in your sleeping bag and strapping it to your handlebars leads to lens separation :sad::sad::sad:
     
  7. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I ride with a cam all the time and the bike is 40 years old so the suspension is not on par with modern bikes. I find the best place is well padded in a tank bag as this positions the camera between the axles rather than right on top of them. Personally, I don't recommend carrying anything on your body at all. This can lead to serious injuries, even in what might otherwise be a minor spill.
     
  8. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    Tank bag with 2-3 inches of foam in the bottom was my first idea.

    Is there anything purpose built that can be bought?

    Me scooter isn't quite 40 but its close - 1976 Super Glide.

    I agree about not carrying anything on the body. I've tried riding with back packs a time or two and it just seems all out of balance and clumsey.
     
  9. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    That should work. I have never had any problems with the cameras I've carried. In addition to the padding, make sure the camera is otherwise securely padded around it so it can't move. Bad enough to have the road shock, but you don't want secondary shocks from bouncing around.
     
  10. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Move to the largest cubic inch/four stroke bike you can find.

    :smile:


    Mike
     
  11. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    I thought 74 was a lot of cubes.

    Real cameras don't image pixels; real motorsicles don't use ethelyne glycol.:D
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Or mix oil with the gas.

    Steve
     
  13. jeckyll

    jeckyll Member

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    I do a fair bit of riding with cameras. I found that the simply having good padding does the trick. On the 'rougher' trips I use film gear. When offroading, it lives in my backpack unless I'm on longer road trips, in which case I have 2 densities of foam in the saddlebags.

    On the sportbike I used to just toss the FM2n & lenses on top of my cloths in my tail bag.

    Dual sport setup:
    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_2RrwHCfRGNE/SLAvq5GzrEI/AAAAAAAAF54/cP1vOmz1J8k/s800/CIMG3987.JPG
    One saddlebag is full of gear with 1 layer of foam and one of bigger bubble wrap (digital on this trip and even that survived with no problems). Here crossing from Idaho into Montana, part of a 9 day trip. BTW, I highly recommend putting the photo gear on the _non_ exhaust side :smile:

    Sportbike setup:
    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_2RrwHCfRGNE/SIkavlW2g9I/AAAAAAAAFOo/42NwDIuoj0c/s800/CIMG3677.JPG
    FM2N with 3 lenses (28, 50 and 105) simply in amongst the cloths. Trick is to keep the film gear from banging / rubbing against other gear. I found that lenses in socks worked very well. Thicker tube athletic socks are best :wink: This was part of a 5 day trip.

    I've not had issues carrying gear this way.

    Best of luck.

    Bjorn
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Depending on how far you intend to go such as long trip or even a short holiday on one then have a look at the Roger and Frances( as in Roger Hicks and Francis Schultz) website. Some of their modules are free and they do cover motorcycles and cameras as they have done a lot of touring on one but I can't say if their article on motorcycles and carrying photographic equipment is a free one.

    The site is worth a look anyway and you'll soon discover if the article in question is free or not. The subscription to the complete site which is updated on a regular basis isn't that expensive as I recall.

    pentaxuser
     
  15. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Member

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    I tour with a BMW four-cylinder machine, so the vibes are higher frequency, lower amplitude than your hog. That said, I got a purpose-built tank bag and bought and trimmed a solid lump of medium density foam rubber to completely fill the bag then trimmed appropriate pockets out of that with a sharp knife. The camera and lenses were a neat fit in the pockets, so to allow the items to be removed and replaced easily I lines the pockets by gluing in some satin cloth.
    That combo survived several years of use for a Canon 35mm manual-focus camera and accessories.
     
  16. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    Uhh. I think that I may have cheated. I used to wrap the Minolta SR-1b in the clothes in the bag behind me on the back of the Schorsch-Meier Extra Wide Dual Seat on the Earles fork equipped BMW R-60/2. The camera did not vibrate loose, nor did I over a few hundred thousand miles.
     
  17. steve1871

    steve1871 Member

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    To transport a camera. if one has the room the best is a Pelican case or Hard case. If an accident was to occour that is the best protection. On the Back in a backPack NO WAY NOT A GOOD IDEA,, Even a small mishap could cause a back injury, if spinal loss of many different things could occour... If you have saddle bags, then make a pouch out of memory foam. Memory foam removes the most vibrations for it size that you can find. I use it to transport lenses, and bodies with great results. Dont forget to take the lens off the camera, and for me i have different bags for different lens and bodies... we did a vibration test and found the memory foam removes a lot of high feq. vibrations, and a good deal of the lower ones also.. I have made the bags with glue , and sewing them around the edge, then turning inside out.. They work
     
  18. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    And I thought you were recommending one of those amply framed ladies I see on the back of Harley's. :smile:
     
  19. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I put my Minolta X-700 in a small photographic bag. The small photographic bag is put inside another bag (actually a tank-top motorbike bag) which is well padded with bubble plastic stuff that is used for shipping. Lots of it. The bag is closed checking that the camera doesn't shake inside. The entire package is put inside the plastic "suitcase" behind the motorbike. Under the bag I put things that are already there such as waterproof trousers covers, K-way, emergency jumper. I then close the suitcase belts over the bag, so that the bag doesn't bulk.

    I also brought with me my Yashica T3 which really is a tank and I brought it around in the rear rigid case, but without so many precautions.

    Never had a problem with the Yashica T3 and the Minolta X-700. The Bessa-L lost its frame-counter "glass" during its first trip.

    I use a real motorbike with real suspensions, though :wink:
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Now there's an idea. Where would you put the camera for best shock absorption?
     
  21. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    Right between the headlights. :whistling:

    The earlier mention of bicycle seats has me interested, though... I'd have to check, but maybe the slip-on gel seat covers would fit various camera models well enough... [​IMG]
     
  22. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    More extensive padding than I do, but I agree, I would think some location between the axles is better. At least that was the theory I've operated under.
     
  23. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Yep, that's what I had in mind, couldn't remember bicycle seat though. The pad looks like it's got a drawstring too. Made for cameras. Get some wholesale call it camera pocket and triple the price. You'll be rich in no time.
    Keep on gellin'