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Best Motovlog Setup: A Crash Course

11/22/2021

Motovlogging is an awesome way to share your passion, talent, and adventures on motorcycles with your friends and the world at large. Do it for long enough, and some amazing people will come along and give you some really cool stuff (trust me). Here’s a crash course on how to get the best motovlog setup so you can get started with ease.

There are five things you need for a great motovlog setup:

  • Camera
  • Memory card
  • Microphone
  • Mount and case
  • Charisma and passion

After over 100 motorcycle-related videos on my YouTube channel, I’m going to share the easiest motovlog setup possible, so you can get started right away, without making all of the mistakes that I did.

Camera

Your motovlog can’t exist without a camera. Sure, you could start with something as simple a cell phone mounted to your handlebar, but your phone isn’t made for getting caught in sudden rainfall, getting hit by pebbles on the highway, or mounting to the side of your helmet. That’s what an action camera is for.

The all new GoPro Hero 9 Black with front LCD
The all new GoPro Hero 9 Black with front LCD. 2020 Version

My recommendation is a GoPro. They’re the name brand in action cameras and are always on the cutting edge of action camera technology and features. The good news is that you don’t need a top-of-the-line GoPro to get started, even a used GoPro Hero 7 Black will allow you to shoot in 4K resolution at 60 fps per second in superview. That’s perfect for a wide field of view that keeps good detail even at high speeds.

Camera

Budget: $200 used, $400 new

Pro Tip: GoPro has a program called GoPro Plus. It lets you send in your beat up old GoPro for a free replacement of the same model with no questions asked. It also gives you unlimited video storage in the cloud, so you don’t have to fill up your hard drive with all the motovlogging footage you’ll be taking. You don’t need this to get started, but once you start motovlogging regularly you’ll be happy to have the Plus benefits.

Memory card

Memory cards are both the most underrated and the least interesting part of motovlogging so let’s try to keep this brief. Not all memory cards are created equal. Even two cards of the same size from the same manufacturer can have two different write speeds, and one of them might not be compatible with action cameras set to high performance settings.

You’ll want to see what kind of memory card speed your camera recommends, because if your card is too slow it won’t be able to keep up and your video recordings will fail. If you’re using a recent GoPro look for a MicroSD card with UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30).

Memory Card

Budget: $20

Pro Tip: I used to have a lot of problems with video recordings failing part way through my vlog, but all my corrupt video file problems went away after switching to one of these faster cards!

Microphone

Good audio can make or break your entire video. A cool video with bad audio is just pictures that get annoying after a while. Luckily good audio isn’t hard, provided you have a quality microphone and an adapter (or “Media Mod”) to go between your microphone and your GoPro.

Purple Panda Microphone Kit
Purple Panda Microphone Kit

Most of the popular motovloggers have followed the recommendation of Chase On Two Wheels and use the Purple Panda microphone. It’s cheap, decent quality, and it comes with adapters to work with a variety of devices like your GoPro, cell phone, and laptop which you’ll appreciate down the road. If you’ll be motovlogging on a GoPro you’ll also need a GoPro mic adapter ($50) or a Media Mod ($55) to be able to connect a microphone to your camera.

Microphone

Budget: $75-$80

Pro Tip: Be mindful that neither the GoPro Mic Adapter or the Media Mod are waterproof, so even though your GoPro itself will be fine, you should keep your audio accessories out of the rain!

Adrian's go pro attached to his helmet
Ready to vlog with the go pro attached to helmet

Mount and case

There are a lot of options for how to mount your camera when motovlogging. Some motovloggers will use GoPro mounts with 3M tape to side mount or chin mount their GoPro to their helmet. Others will use a tank mount or even a handlebar mount. It’s all up to you and the look you’re going for.

If you opted for the GoPro Mic Adapter I would recommend getting a Ulanzi case for them. Ulanzi is a brand that makes cases for the GoPro that have a special slot to hold your Mic Adapter. I have been using one of these for years and love it. If you went for a Media Mod, you won’t have to worry about getting a case for your GoPro.

Mount and case

Budget: $20-$50

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to buy a bunch of extra GoPro attachments, sooner or later they all come in handy, you can buy a mixed pack on Amazon for $20-30 and it’ll last you for years.

Charisma and passion

Charisma is hard to describe, but all of the big YouTube motovloggers seem to have it. They’ve been in front of the camera long enough to be confident in their presentation through voice, body language, choice of words. It’s a learned skill on YouTube, but my advice is to speak to the camera as if speaking to a friend over a Sunday lunch. If you’re unapologetically yourself and share your passion, people will click with you.

Adrian hugging his attractive friend on a motorcycle
Adrian is quite the charmer! Photo courtesy of Wobblycat Photography

Am I the most handsome motovlogger? No. But am I the most charismatic motovlogger? Also no. But that’s the beauty of passion. Passion keeps you coming back even if you feel awkward being or even just speaking on camera. Passion keeps you moving forward, so I keep publishing new videos every week, and hundreds of people keep turning up to watch my motovlogs every time a new one goes live.

Conclusions

For about $300 to $500 you can have an excellent motovlogging setup that will be bulletproof from top to bottom and save you a lot of the growing pains that motovloggers before you had to learn the hard way.

Now it’s time to start motovlogging your own motorcycle riding adventures. Hit record and share your story. Let your audience know what you’re expecting, share what obstacles you’re facing, and share what you’re feeling along the way. When people get to know you they will want to see you succeed. Show them your passion and they’ll be just as excited as you are to see you hit “Publish”. The world is watching.

Adrian Silipo headshot

Adrian Silipo has been blogging about motorcycles for over a decade at YouMotorcycle.com and has over 100 how-tos and motovlogs on the YouMotorcycle YouTube channel. He has no idea if anyone will read this, so if you found it helpful, please Subscribe to his channel and let him know if you have any questions!

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