Traveling by motorcycle is thrilling, freeing, and therapeutic—it’s no wonder why avid riders are so enamored with the journey and talk about it non-stop once they get home! You get to have the wind in your hair and the sun on your face while enjoying quality time with yourself, with a great scenic view to boot.
Lovers of motorbikes, nature, and the road can band together and enjoy motorcycling as a hobby. Why is it so special? For one, you’re focused on the path you’re on and the direction you’re taking. Compared to other modes of transportation, riding a motorcycle makes you more conscious of yourself and your surroundings. Traveling on a motorcycle also allows you to pass the road not taken. There are no stop-overs, no restroom breaks, no other people to make noise.
There’s no feeling quite like riding a motorcycle—and riders can attest to this. They would love to share the experience with family and friends, if only they could. Now they can with live streaming. In fact, people love motorcycle live streaming so much someone thought to create a website dedicated to curated content and original productions of motorcycle movies. The introduction of Choppertown to Twitch has transformed the platform from an exclusively gaming one into a place where live streaming motorcycles has turned into a growing niche.
But what camera can capture the experience for what it truly is? It can be quite an expensive hobby as you’d need to have an initial investment before starting. You can’t just use regular web cameras to stream, making this niche harder for beginners to get into.
Best Cameras for Motorcycle Rides
To start, you’ll need a motorcycle camera that can keep up with the speed you’re going in. For that, an action camera is a non-negotiable if you want to give your rides justice. At its core, a good action camera should be compact in size, easy to use, have a good video quality, be versatile with mounting options, have a long battery life, have a reasonable storage limit, and be durable enough to be waterproof.
Of course, not all action cameras tick all these boxes, so it’s up to you what you choose to prioritize on! There’s no right and wrong answer—just what works best for you and you alone. We’ve compiled some of the best motorcycle cameras for live streaming rides below.
Even if you know nothing about live stream equipment, you must have heard of GoPro. Over the years, it has become synonymous with outdoors at this point—and for good reason. GoPro is portable and waterproof and it can’t get any better than that for outdoor activities.
Priced at $265, the GoPro HERO8 features a touch screen 4K Ultra HD Video with up to 1080p Live Streaming Stabilization, which makes for a perfect vlog camera. It has 14 voice controls for hands-free streaming and noise suppression to suppress the engine sounds. It made a huge leap from its successor, GoPro HERO7, with its improved video stabilization called HyperSmooth 2.0 and the added features of LiveBurst mode, horizon leveling, and built-in mounting point that flips from the camera base. It’s especially great for night or low light performance as it also boasts a new night lapse for that late-night streaming ride.
However, GoPros are also known for how sensitive the lenses are. To make matters worse, the HERO8 doesn’t have a replaceable lens unlike HERO7—considered the biggest step backward of the action camera. Another criticism is that the battery life dies quickly with some users reporting that it barely lasts two hours when in constant use. Users also have no way of knowing what mode the action camera is in unless it’s mounted, much like playing a “Russian roulette with your memories.”
DJI Osmo Action
There’s a lot of hype going around that the DJI Osmo Action can dethrone or will soon dethrone GoPro. Whether or not you believe it’s comparable to the HERO series, there’s no denying that DJI Osmo Action is pretty high up there with the giants of the action camera. At $300, DJI combines endless features with ease of usage.
Physical similarities aside, the DJI Osmo Action is controlled by an intuitive touch screen, with the menu system a clear hit in the innovation department. It has a custom mode, where, much like a DSLR, you get to store fixed settings and you’re able to switch between them easily as you shoot. It also offers HDR video—something HERO doesn’t have. The HDR video takes the dynamic range up a notch, but having the RockSteady stabilization with it isn’t possible in this mode. It also has a voice control that makes for a great hands-free experience and a slow-motion mode for when you want to highlight certain scenes.
Perhaps what users love the most about DJI Osmo Action is that you don’t have to gamble on anything. You see what you get with its front-facing screen so you can ensure you’re capturing all the right angles with the right lighting, but it’s only small enough to just be able to see if the silhouette is within frame. To mount, you’re going to need an additional case, however.
The biggest con is that image stabilization only works with a heavy crop, which is basically as good as null for live streaming motorcycle rides with a wide view. In addition, there seems to be a noticeable lag in display when RockSteady is activated. No auto-focus in sight, too.
It’s also worth noting that the manufacturers at DJI have recently stopped the production of Osmo Action cameras. Although you can still purchase the remaining stocks from retailers, long-time fans might want to check out the company’s latest product, the DJI Action 2.
Rexing is better known as a motorcycle dash cam than an action camera, but that doesn’t mean it lags in features. In fact, you might find the complete opposite: A1 is great for beginners—it’s easy to use and has a manual with very detailed instructions on how to set it up. Its features even come off as intuitive, created with your convenience in mind, at a price of $200.
What sets it apart from the usual GoPro camera is that the Rexing A1 has dual-lens: a front and back camera of 1920p and 1080p quality respectively and can even record simultaneously. It’s no 360, but it sure is close to it! In addition, once the memory card storage is at its limit (which can be quite the problem for long live streams), the new recordings will automatically overwrite the oldest ones so you can continue the video footage without having to worry about it suddenly cutting off mid-ride.
Another winning feature is the armband that comes with the camera, which functions as a wrist remote control. To record, you just have to press the button on your wrist! You can even save preferred recordings via the lock button without having to use your phone. Downloading the app will also enable you to see the motorcycle camera recording through your phone easily—but you’ll need an internet connection to go with it. Since we’re on this topic, you can live stream the perspective of the motorcycle camera on your phone from the app. However, the app itself is controversial, sometimes unable to connect to the camera at all.
Most users live and die by the Rexing A1, saying they have nothing bad to say about the action camera. At the same time, take the reviews with a grain of salt—Rexing focuses on the newbie market, which could mean users under the customer review section have little to no knowledge of what makes a truly great action camera.
Insta360 GO 2
Just when you thought action cameras couldn’t get any more portable, the Insta360 GO 2 surprises. At $300, you’ll get a thumb-sized action camera that performs just as well as its competitors in less than half their sizes. It weighs less than an ounce—perfect for POV stills and videos—while you might even forget you have it in your pocket! Once you GO 2, you’ll never go back.
Along with its full 360-degree horizon leveling, its extreme mountability and stabilization have led to some of the most stunning video footage around. However, it’s not as suitable for live streaming given that its stabilization feature only lasts up to 20 minutes and is prone to overheating, which can be disappointing if you’re looking to have a continuous session. It’s more of a motorcycle camera meant for recording highlights of special moments than filming an entire road trip altogether.
This super tiny camera has also backed up its own AI-powered pro video editor called FlashCut 2.0 that automatically analyzes footage and edits it into shareable clips together to cut down on post-processing time. However, this could also be its own demise: compared to the GoPro, FlashCut 2.0 is even more involved since recordings aren’t usable until processed through the app.
Still, we give credit where credit is due. For better or for worse, its best selling point is having the best warranty program on the market in the case it drops or something happens out of your control. This added level of protection gives you that sense of ease like no other motorcycle camera can—exchanging or returning the product is no hassle, either. Buy it for the size, stay for the peace of mind. But if you’re already a careful person to begin with, you might be better off with something more affordable than the Insta360 GO 2.
On a budget? We got you. Contrary to popular opinion, purchasing a good action camera shouldn’t have to break the bank. Not every expensive item is automatically justified as an “investment.” In fact, you can get the same features with much less—just take a look at Victure AC700! It’s priced at an affordable $52, but it’s far from an Amazon ripoff. The Victure AC700 has an impressive electronic image stabilization that you wouldn’t expect from the price point.
It has a competitive 4K resolution along with external dual-microphones that can also be mounted to your preference. At the heart of the Victure AC700 is EIS technology, which can counteract any bump, shake, or camera tilt during use, promising clear and stable footage even under the roughest conditions. For its nifty price, the package already includes a number of action camera accessories like hook installation, tripod adapter mount, bike rack and more.
However, the dynamic range leaves much to be desired, with video quality suffering in conditions where sunlight is scant. In some cases, the motorcycle camera turns dark completely. It’s also only waterproof with the bulky PVC case on, so keep that in mind the next time it suddenly rains and you’re left parked to the sides fumbling to lock the camera inside the case.
GoPro MAX 360
Here’s another GoPro on our list. This time, you can show off the wide expanse of landscape on your next trip. The GoPro MAX 360 is your best bet for amazing panoramic footage, but it’s priced at a heftier $400 which might already put others off. It comes with two lens caps and two protective lenses, if that changes your mind about its price point.
Experienced adventurers almost always go with the GoPro MAX 360 for its impressive quality and reliable service. It has a color palette that brings even the dullest corners alive. Similar to the love of motorcycle rides, one user said the 360 view gives you a much better appreciation for the world around you. If you want to capture that exact feeling and share it with loved ones at home, the GoPro MAX 360 is the answer. It even has six built-in microphones to help you achieve that spatial audio that you’d expect to hear in a 360 mode.
Users say the GoPro MAX 360 is a much-improved version over the previous GoPro 360 as it only needs one memory card and features Wi-Fi connectivity for easy content sharing. It’s also highly intuitive with its easy app navigation and touch screen. However, it has the opposite problem of Insta360 GO 2—you’ll need to upload the video footage to view since it can’t be viewed on the app, otherwise it’s completely unusable. Some have also voiced concerns about needing too much post-processing efforts in the editing software, which isn’t the most practical to use on the go.
Logitech Mevo Start
A few brands have mastered the art of tech better than Logitech. The Mevo Start is a beloved one that’s meant to last with its own Facebook groups and Reddit threads solely dedicated for its use. Like the GoPro MAX 360, it’s priced at $400. It’s the first on our list that’s specially designed for wireless live streaming, which is perfect for those who want a direct and seamless upload to platforms like YouTube, Twitch, or TikTok with just a few taps.
The Mevo Start is ideal for certain situations, like recording an indoor workshop or performance with minimal setup and maintenance. It can also act as a powerful webcam to any computer or laptop using the usual RTMP and NDI|HX protocols, making it one of the best versatile cameras on the market.
But perhaps more laudable about the camera is its battery life length of up to six hours—a clear winner compared to the other products on this list—but still depending on the usage, of course. It also boasts a zoom capability that GoPro is only catching up to have, but it can sometimes go in and out at random intervals. Just make sure to check right away if this feature works upon purchase, especially at the high price you pay for it.
Low light environments might pose as another concern during trips since the Mevo Start doesn’t have night lapse, resulting in underwhelming video quality. As with other motorcycle cameras built for streaming, it’s game over for your recording the moment your WiFi disconnects. Live streaming might just be suitable for events under well-controlled conditions—and motorcycle rides are hardly one of them.
Cambox V4 Pro
Did anyone say proper helmet camera? Specially made for moving motors are helmet cameras like the Cambox V4 Pro, which has a mounting position like no other that goes inside the visor. It’s quite literally the best representation of a POV ride. It’s a much safer option compared to a helmet-mounted GoPro that is prone to penetrate through the shell in the case of impact. You’ll barely even notice it’s there. However, it’s priced similarly to higher-end products at $450.
It’s not a popular choice for sure, but it’s worth considering all the same: it can record up to 45 minutes in 4K quality with image stabilization. By default, the Cambox V4 Pro has a 150-degree field of view. The lens itself can rotate 20 degrees up or down so you’re able to capture the perfect angle regardless of the motorcycle type. Cambox is also keen on capturing the sounds of the ride on stereo experience, with two microphones placed on each side of the V4 Pro. However, the helmet cam doesn’t have an external microphone jack, so you can’t commentate or respond to live stream viewers at all. It’s strictly business with this one.
Still, it’s no GoPro when it comes to image quality, which has caused others to ditch it. This is made even worse if you take into account that the video quality is also dependent upon the cleanliness of your visor. It’s no secret that the longer you ride, the more grime and bugs stick to the visor, dirtying it as you go along. Unless you like the gloomy vibe, helmets with tinted shield might not benefit from the V4 Pro, either.
The device isn’t as intuitive as the other products on this list, too. You’re only given LED lights and vibrations to find out if the camera is on or successfully recording. The most inconvenient bit is that, much like an overheated phone, the Cambox V4 Pro will freeze and need to be rebooted to function again on a hot summer day.
More Than Motorcycle Cameras: The IRL Backpack
Aside from a good motorcycle camera, one thing we’d like to zoom in on is the need for a stable internet connection, if that’s not already obvious by now. Since you’re on the move, you’ll need the next best thing: strong cellular data for live streaming to work. You can have the coolest-looking motorcycle or the best motorcycle camera but if the internet connection is intermittent, no one will want to keep watching.
We understand the hassle that comes with constructing your own setup in motion—and UnlimitedIRL does, too, which is why they’ve come up with a solution to your live stream needs.
The IRL Backpack is an all-in-one HD bonded video streaming solution, perfect for untethered broadcasts of up to 12 hours on the platform of your choice. Each backpack has a Sony Action Cam mounted on one shoulder sleeve which can be rotated and angled to your preference, a Manfrotto monopod selfie stick, and a tripod. Those who opt for a wide frame over a first-person perspective can simply detach the action camera from the sleeve and place it on the selfie stick instead, the handle to be inserted inside the backpack. The IRL Backpack also comes with a large external battery life for 10-12 hours of continuous use.
To keep things running smoothly, it has a cellular bonding encoder called LiveU Solo that can connect up to four users at once, good for any RTMP-compatible platform. It accepts any HDMI input and can stream up to 11,000 kbps. In addition, the included IRL Toolkit can mimic the experience of OBS in adding overlays and receiving notifications.
However, the IRL Backpack comes at a high cost, with the starting price at $2,400. After all, it’s not just a camera you’re paying for. You can also just opt for the beating heart of the backpack—the LiveU Solo—for $950. This video encoder offers wireless live streaming from the motorcycle camera to the platform. Skip the heated phone from having cellular data turned on for hours at a time.
The price point can be painful to consider, let alone look at, but you’re essentially paying for the completeness and convenience of this product. Consider the alternative of creating a DIY IRL backpack, where you’ll need the following components to make it work: a smartphone to live stream, a Raspberry Pi 4 for a portable credit card-sized computer, a fan case to keep the computer cool, a battery pack to power the whole setup, a selfie stick to mount the smartphone, an accessory organizer to keep things in its proper place, USB cellular dongles, and a backpack that’ll hold everything inside. However cheaper it might be, it might not be worth the stress of putting everything together.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Like other kinds of live stream, you need to be entertaining. Riding a motorcycle doesn’t provide that connection to viewers as a gamer would when addressing his audience. Unless you can ride professionally and can therefore entertain with just pure skill, it would help the majority of riders to have a mic on hand to commentate during long and calm rides. That said, the biggest con to live streaming motorcycle rides is that interacting with viewers is challenging—if not altogether dangerous—to do once you’re on the road. You can choose to reply to them, but the verbal pickup might not be as ideal since the mic will be more sensitive to much louder noises.
Whatever you do, never read the chat while riding. Instead, you can opt to have a bot read the messages for you. However, focusing too much on the live stream could also make you more vulnerable to accidents and crashes. This can be likened to texting and driving, so we don’t recommend it unless you’re on a freeway with barely any vehicles around.
Please note that the community guidelines for Twitch’s IRL category of Twitch prohibit motorcycle live streaming: “Content that requires operating video capture equipment and a moving vehicle simultaneously” is not allowed and falls under endangerment. However, it’s quite of a gray area since it only sanctions those who are “holding” the phone, so using a mount to keep your hands available to operate the vehicle should be fine under Twitch policy.
In any case, it’s also worth educating yourself on local traffic laws to see if live streaming is forbidden. Better safe than sorry even in cases where you don’t die but end up being pulled over. Happy live streaming!