Best motorcycle dashcams

Record your ride for posterity or for evidence with these motorcycle dashcams

Dashcam fitted to a BMW R1250GSA

by Jim Blackstock |

In recent years, the dashcam (the term is used as a generic one for on-vehicle video recording) has taken off enormously, primarily as a result of a swathe of cash-for-crash accidents, where unscrupulous individuals would deliberately cause road-traffic accidents to get a pay-out, whether from an insurance company or from the individual themselves.

However, the dashcam can provide a record of what actually happened and since they have become cheap and accessible, this kind of activity has decreased.

They are also a useful source of footage for all kinds of TV and online shows, highlighting just how bad driving and riding standards around the world can be.

Related: Best action cameras

While dashcams for cars can now be had for the price of a family meal from a fast-food restaurant, the demands of one for motorcycles is slightly different, not least because of the exposure to the elements of at least the lenses themselves.

Things to consider when you are choosing a dashcam:

Weatherproofing

It goes without saying that a dashcam for a motorcycle needs to be a fairly different beast to one intended for a car. On a bike, the lenses certainly will be exposed to the elements and the main recording unit will also suffer from vibrations, for example, during use. So the lenses needs to be fully waterproof and the main unit vibration-proof and ideally, waterproof as well.

Lenses

The lenses are the eyes of the system and there is a compromise here; a wide-angle lens will catch the action from all around the bike while a narrower one will highlight detail farther away. Many regard a lens angle of around 170° as ideal for use with a dashcam since this will capture as much information from around the bike as possible. And while some systems use a single camera lens, others use two, one at the front and one at the rear to provide information about rear-end impacts, for example.

Integrated or separate lenses

Some dashcams are single, integrated units and work standalone, ie with a power supply but no other connection. Others use a central recording unit and separate lenses that can be positioned around the bike. Ultimately the choice is up to you but the former is more transferable, ie you can potentially use it on several bikes while the latter would be hard-wired to the bike and would stay with it. In addition, the lenses would be smaller and less obtrusive than mounting a complete camera on the bike.

Video resolution

Like the angle of the camera, the greater the video resolution, the more information will be available in your recordings. Details such as vehicle numberplates or identification of people is much easier the higher the resolution. Ideally you’d want 4k resolution but as an absolute minimum you should be looking for 1080P. Alongside the resolution is the frame rate, which can affect how accurate the footage is in terms of its ability to identify key data. 30 Frames per Second (fps) is generally the minimum you should be looking for.

Logging

Some units come with built-in GPS tracking, that can help identify the location of any incidents where video evidence is necessary. They can potentially confirm your speed and travel and can also serve as a journey log for later use or to share with other riders.

Smartphone connectivity

Some systems – particularly those with hard-wired recoding units – will have a corresponding smartphone app that will allow you to monitor the video recordings or live-view the camera lenses so that you can position them correctly and download video from a main unit.

g-sensor

Some systems have accelerometers, or g-sensors, built in which will sense an impact and automatically store the video footage from a pre-set period before this impact as well as following it.

Considerations

Once you have chosen your dashcam, there are several other areas that you need to consider to get the most from it.

Recording

Whether you use a dedicated dashcam or improvise with an action camera, you need to be recording in loop mode, so this is what you need to look for on an action camera. This effectively fills up the memory card and once full, deletes the oldest footage and overwrites it with the newest, so the card is always full of the last period of riding, depending on your card’s capacity. Also remember to turn it on and start recording – this may well be automatic with hard-wired systems, but you will probably need to do it yourself on smaller units or action cameras.

Memory card

Inevitably most dashcams will record onto a memory card and some will specify a maximum size of card. We would always recommend buying a branded version and the highest speed possible, particularly if you are using a high-resolution camera and lenses, to ensure you capture and keep all the relevant details from your rides. Most are likely to be a microSD format with an adapter to allow you to remove the card and download footage to your computer easily.

Power

While hard-wired systems that use a central recording unit will be permanently connected to the bike’s battery, if you are using a more portable device, then you may need to make sure it is always charged ready for each ride. For an action camera mounted to the bike, you may be able to power this up from an accessory or USB socket in use but bear in mind that many action cameras don’t have waterproof charging options.

Fitting

Permanent systems will generally mount a lens at the front to cover the full view ahead. Similarly, a rear view will do the same. If you are using a standalone dashcam or an action camera, then you will need to mount it to the bike so that it captures the full view yet does not interfere with your view of the road ahead. You also need to ensure that it is mounted securely and won’t move around in use – it is no use if you rely on some video evidence and the camera is shaking so much you cannot make out the necessary details.

Cleaning

Clearly a camera covered in road grime is of no use, so keep the lens(es) clean with a wipe over with a damp cloth between washing the bike as a whole.

How we chose this list

The following list is made up of cameras that we have actually tested ourselves or have been tested by our sister titles such as RiDE (available through the Bikes Unlimited app) or have received extensive reviews online.

Best Motorcycle Dash cams

Here is a selection of other motorcycle dashcams that should keep you covered...

Thinkware M1 Motorbike Cam, Dual Front and Rear Motorbike Dash Cam

MCN Rated
Thinkware M1 Motorbike Cam, 1080P Motorcycle Camera Dual Front and Rear Motorbike Dash Cam
Amazon

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This system is purpose-built for motorcycles and comprises a central recording unit and two remote lenses, one for the front and one for the rear. Stabilisers are built into the lenses to ensure that the image is vibration-free and it has night illumination as well as wi-fi compatibility with a matching app.

Portable: No, hardwired

Lens angle: 140°

Lenses: Two

Resolution: 1080P

Card included: 64Gb

GPS logging: Yes

Smartphone connectivity: Yes****

Tested by MCN Deputy Editor Emma Franklin, 1 month, 1000 miles - Quality 5/5, Value 4/5**

"The first motorcycle system from dash-cam specialists Thinkware. The M1 is a twin-channel (front and rear) HD unit, which is well made and easy to fit.

"As soon as you turn the bike on the pair of Sony Starvis camera modules start recording via 140-degree wide-angle lenses. All the components, including the remote control with built-in microphone for manual recording, are rated at IP66 which means they can withstand water spray and keep out dust.

"The image-stabilised video is very good quality, impressively smooth and beautifully crisp (1080p at 30fps). It’s stored on the included 32Gb micro SD card."

Innov K2 Motorbike dashcam

MCN Rated
Innov K2
Amazon

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This two-camera system from Innov is one of the first to hit the market and features two easy-to-fit camera lenses, each with a 120u00b0 viewing angle, connected to a central recording unit that holds a microSD card up to 256GB.

In addition to loop recording at 1080P high-definition resolution, it also has GPS and g-sensors built-in as well as a parking mode to protect the bike when not in use and Wi-Fi connects it to a smartphone to review the recorded footage. It’s powered directly off the bike’s battery so switches on automatically to record every ride.

Portable: No, hardwired

Lens angle: 120°

Lenses: Two

Resolution: 1080P

Card included: No

GPS logging: Yes

Smartphone connectivity: Yes

Tested by MCN Editor Richard Newland, 4 months, 4250 miles - Quality 4/5, Value 4/5****

"Fitted to the bike as one forward camera and one rear, the system is knitted together by a WiFi-enabled controller that can let you view, manage the settings, and download photos and video clips direct from the Innovv App on your phone/device. No internet required, no cables, no card-juggling.

"The control unit holds a Micro SD memory card (a 256gb will swallow 19hrs of footage before it rewrites itself), but anything you download remains in the App until you export or delete it. You can also choose whether to use GPS map overlay and speed information – or not."

Vsysto Dashcam

Vsysto Dashcam
Amazon

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This dashcam from Vsysto is Amazonu2019s Choice for u2018motorcycle dashcamu2019 and gets pretty good reviews on the site. It uses two 130u00b0 angle lenses and records in 720P or full 1080P to a microSD card, with a capacity of up to 256GB.

It loop-records video into one, two, three or five-minute clips and a handy button will capture and keep the footage from one minute before it is pressed, so an incident can be captured. It has a built-in g-sensor to register impacts and Wi-Fi means you can view footage on the device through an app on your smartphone.

Portable: No, hardwired

Lens angle: 130°

Lenses: Two

Resolution: 1080P

Card included: No

GPS logging: No

Smartphone connectivity: Yes

Sena 10C Pro

Sena 10C Pro

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OK, so this isnu2019t strictly a dashcam u2013 more of a helmet cam. But the Sena 10C Pro does the same function as a dashcam and lots more. It incorporates Senau2019s intercom technology (Bluetooth pairing to smartphone and sat-nav as well as other intercoms via Bluetooth and Mesh) with a 135u00b0 view built-in video camera.

This records at 1440P (30fps) or 1080P (60 or 30fps) and can be set to record in loop mode, so sections of recording are kept and the oldest replaced by the newest. It will take a microSD card up to 64GB and the battery lasts for up to two hours of recording.

Portable: Yes

Lens angle: 135°

Lenses: One

Resolution: 1440P

Card included: No

GPS logging: No

Smartphone connectivity: Yes

YDI Dashcam

YDI Dashcam
Amazon

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This system uses twin lenses, each with a viewing angle of 150u00b0 recording to a central unit that houses a microSD card with a capacity of up to 256GB. What sets this one apart is its built-in 3-in LCD screen so that recorded footage can be instantly reviewed on the unit, as well as on a smartphone with the onboard Wi-Fi connectivity.

The main sensor is made by Sony and there is a wired remote control to lock a recording, start or stop recording or take a snapshot. It has GPS recording as well as a g-sensor that locks the recorded footage if it detects an impact.

Portable: No, hardwired

Lens angle: 150°

Lenses: Two

Resolution: 1080P

Card included: No

GPS logging: Yes

Smartphone connectivity: Yes

Drift Ghost XL

Drift Ghost XL

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The Ghost XL from Drift is another action camera that can be used either in that capacity or as a dashcam, recording your ride continuously and storing the footage as necessary when an incident takes place. It can be worn on the clothing, the helmet or mounted to the bikeu2019s handlebars and powered directly from the battery, switching on automatically.

It has an adjustable field of view, from 90°, 115° or 140° and records up to 1080P at 30fps. The Drift app will control the camera as well as review footage recorded to the microSD card.

Portable: Yes

Lens angle: 140°

Lenses: One

Resolution: 1080P

Card included: No

GPS logging: No

Smartphone connectivity: Yes

GoPro Hero 9 Black

GoPro Hero 9 Black
Amazon

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The GoPro is the archetypal action camera u2013 itu2019s so successful, it has become a generic term for pretty much all action cameras, particularly in the often-replicated form similar to this latest version. And while the list of features is impressive, it can function as a dashcam, though it is arguably less convenient than a dedicated version.

It records in 4K, has excellent stabilisation and is waterproof and can be set to continuous recording. There is also a function to capture the 30 seconds of footage prior to a button being pushed so you can retain events leading up to an incident.

Portable: Yes

Lens angle: Wide

Lenses: One

Resolution: 5K

Card included: No

GPS logging: No

Boblov Body Camera

Boblov Body Camera
Amazon

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If you ride multiple bikes, then fitting a dashcam to each may be too expensive. A potential solution is using a body camera, like many police forces now use, attached to you, not the bike. This one from Boblov will record up to 1296P resolution and to a maximum of 11 hours on the battery.

It will accept memory cards up to 128GB and has a built-in screen as well as a loop-recording function and video lock to safeguard crucial clips.

Portable: Yes

Lens angle: Wide

Lenses: One

Resolution: 1296P

Card included: No

GPS logging: No

Smartphone connectivity: Yes

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