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Hey folks...I had some spare time this afternoon, so I mounted my little pocket digicam (Pentax Optio M50) on my gas tank with some suction cups and went for a sporty ride over Laureles Grade in Monterey County CA, USA.

I started on the Carmel Valley side and rode up and over the grade towards Hwy. 68. The 1st signal I come to in the video is about 500 ft. from the entrance to the famous Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway...which is about 1 mile from my house.

It was 70F deg here today when I took my ride...(Dec. 5th!) about 3:00 pm. Beautiful California "winters" day. hehehe...

I actually recorded the audio simultaneously on my new Blackberry Storm (mono only) because I could plug in a microphone (clipped on my backside) that would be placed out of the wind. The Pentax camera has a front-facing mic (no ext. plug) that is right in the wind blast and would sound ugly. This better represents what the EPCO pipes sound like at full song.

I used Pinnacle Studio 12 to merge the audio and video tracks and to add some transitions, titles and blends.

I hope you guys and gals that are in colder climates find the video enjoyable...I know how it can be to be unable to ride. It does rain here...rarely, but it does happen. Snow? ummm, basically 'never'.

Chins up...Spring is just around the corner! Folks south of the Equator?...you have similar weather right now!! Go for a ride!!

http://www.vimeo.com/2442787

Cheers,
BLIGHT:motorbike:
 

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Nice ride...

Nice ride Blight, I know that road very well. Grea day today eh - perfect riding weather!

A question - whats that attached to your right side mirror mount?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice ride Blight, I know that road very well. Great day today eh - perfect riding weather!
A question - whats that attached to your right side mirror mount?
Hey Matt...it's a mirror vibration rubber mount that I was going to use for my camera mounting, but it shook the camera big time when the engine went over 6000 rpm. I unscrewed the bracket, but left the mount in the hole...so it's still in the video.

It was a great day and Laureles is a great road, isn't it? I had to slow down a couple of times due to friggin cager traffic, but I got a few good licks in, eh?

Cheers,
BLIGHT:motorbike:
 

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The camera takes great quality video. What are your mounting options? That was directly on your tank? I thought the video would shake more than that. It would be better to get the camera up more if you shoot from that perspective again, and/or take the screen off. Can you post a pic of how its mounted? I'm really surprised at the lack of vibration.

Good idea running sound over another system. Does the camera offer a remote mic? If so, I suppose you could mic inside the helmet. That was great video from such an affordable camera. This has been on my list of desired items.

Thanks for posting. It was 25 degrees here this morning. I feel like a Yankee.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The camera takes great quality video. What are your mounting options? That was directly on your tank? I thought the video would shake more than that. It would be better to get the camera up more if you shoot from that perspective again, and/or take the screen off. Can you post a pic of how its mounted? I'm really surprised at the lack of vibration.

Good idea running sound over another system. Does the camera offer a remote mic? If so, I suppose you could mic inside the helmet. That was great video from such an affordable camera. This has been on my list of desired items.

Thanks for posting. It was 25 degrees here this morning. I feel like a Yankee.
Hey whoa...it's been nippy here in the mornings too, but has warmed up nicely in the afternoons. I'm sure we'll likely get some weather systems in the next several weeks.

The camera is a Pentax Optio ($84 from Woot) and I made a triangular mounting plate out of aluminum, and put an adjustable post on it. I put a rubber suction cup on each corner of the plate and stuck it on to the tank. I did have a lot of vibration with other mount attempts to the tank, but I'm using a 68 series plastic tank cover now and it seem to have quelled the vibration. Forget about handlebar mounts...they will just buzz the camera too much to work at certain rpms.

The Optio is a cheap little camera, and it does not offer any external mic plug in. I tried covering the front facing mic with a snippet of duct tape, but something inside the camera is shaking (lens system?) and the internal mic pics up a metallic buzzing at certain rpm's...so, I did a separate audio recording with my Blackberry Storm with a plug-in mic placed out of the breeze. Not perfect, but tons better than the camera's audio track.

You're right...I do need to remove the flyscreen if I ever do another video, but I think I'm done for a while! I was surprised at how little the bars seem to turn while cornering. I can't see the steering yoke moving at all once you're rolling.

Cheers!
BLIGHT:motorbike:
 

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Very cool, now I'm going outside to blow some snow off the driveway, third time this week.:eek:
 

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Very cool, now I'm going outside to blow some snow off the driveway, third time this week.:eek:
Don't feel bad, we had 1/4 in. of solid ice on our roads yesterday from the freezing rain we had the night before, shut down everything around here...blight-I'm VERY envious right now!!!!
 

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Living here in Tampa, Fl I don't envy the weather (today high of 80) but I do wish we had some curves to carve like you do....Very nice ride!

C.
 

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Very cool video, Blight! Thanks for sharing. It sure brightened up my day at the office, a lot more than the fire-alarm-evacuation that sent us out in the streets in freezing temperatures.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Next up...KYB Shocks!

Thanks guys...the bike is a pure joy to ride, and I ride it whenever I get a chance. I can't wait to get some stickier tires on it too. These stock Metzelers are made for high mileage with very hard (non-sticky) rubber compound. I have 4000 miles on mine now and they just won't wear out!!!!

I just scored a set of the KYB (ZXR1200) rear shocks on ebay and will mount them up tomorrow...Woohoo! I will also try the 15w oil in the forks that is being recommended. I used it in my SuperHawk 996 and it made a world of difference with the stock fork valving. Even though it had external adjustable compression damping, the additional internal rebound damping provided by the oil was all it needed to take away the 'pogo-stick' feeling.

All of the above should be good for a few more degrees of lean angle on the Thruxxie without any more 'white-knuckles' sliding. My 'chicken strips' are about 1/8" right now, but it just doesn't grip well if you try and push it past that point.

I'll post some pics of the bike with the new rear suspenders. I'm also going to attempt to swap springs...placing the chrome springs on the KYB's replacing the black springs for retro-looks only. If the spring rates, lengths, and diameters are similar it should work. If not...I'll just have to live with the black springs. I do tend to sweat the small details...

Glad you're enjoying the video! Someone suggested that I do it again with the flyscreen removed so you can see the road. I may do this after I get the new KYB shocks on, and use my HD camcorder for a better video quality. Also, make sure there is no traffic to slow me down.

I've ridden the Laureles Grade road over and back at least 4 times a week for over 10 years, so I know it pretty well...

Cheers,
BLIGHT:motorbike:
 

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Hi Blight,

Thanks for the video and audio. I’ve gotta tell you I have spent a ton of money trying to get decent video and audio and still don’t come close to what you have there. The camera/recorder that I’m using now is a Motocam which has a separate mic. I have tried just about everything that I can think of to get some quality sound out of it but no luck. I placed the mic under the seat, out on the rear fender, behind the tag, behind the headlight, even inside a tank bag. I’ve wrapped it in several layers of foam but still poor quality sound. I think the DBs just overload the mic producing sound that doesn’t even come close to what you got.

That doesn’t appear to be you-tube. What are you uploading the video to? The quality of the video seems much better than what I’m getting from you-tube.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Art.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Blight,

Thanks for the video and audio. I’ve gotta tell you I have spent a ton of money trying to get decent video and audio and still don’t come close to what you have there. The camera/recorder that I’m using now is a Motocam which has a separate mic. I have tried just about everything that I can think of to get some quality sound out of it but no luck. I placed the mic under the seat, out on the rear fender, behind the tag, behind the headlight, even inside a tank bag. I’ve wrapped it in several layers of foam but still poor quality sound. I think the DBs just overload the mic producing sound that doesn’t even come close to what you got.

That doesn’t appear to be you-tube. What are you uploading the video to? The quality of the video seems much better than what I’m getting from you-tube.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Art.
Hello Birdo...yeah, it's frustrating trying to get a decent riding video. You are sitting on top of a bucking, tilting, bronco, in an 80mph hurricane force wind! The best audio so far? I used my cellphone...a Blackberry Storm that records in digital mono only and plugged in the headset that came with it. It is a dual earbud thingy with a separate mic. I just used the collar clip and pinned it on my trouser belt on my backside, so my jacket just slid over it. Just put the Blackberry in my jacket inside vest pocket. The sound is the best I've gotten so far in many attempts, but it's still not right! It's just not what the bike sounds like in person. Unlimited recording duration too...some devices shut off at a preset file size. They come standard with an 8gb microSD card so you could record for hours if you wanted to. I haven't tried the video camera in the Blackberry on the bike ride yet...can't see a good way to mount it yet. It's a very good little video camera BTW.

In one attempt for audio I tried a Pocket PC, and the noise canceling circuit just shuts down at high volume levels...you get dead air! Also shut off mid ride due to file size.

I tried just using the camera's mic too by blocking the wind with foam and rubber, but something was buzzing inside the tiny Pentax M50 camera on the Laureles run...probably the lens elements and metal zoom carriers...that buzz is recorded by the internal mic. It's been a real challenge!

The other side is the video camera mounting method to get around bumps, shaking, and vibration. I tried several different methods and I'm not crazy about any of them. Handlebars, tank mounts, helmet mounts. One of the better results was a PVC pipe neck loop that I made up and had the camera mounted on my chest, just below my chin. Here's the link to that riding video (a little boring, but relaxing, eh?) if you haven't seen it:

http://www.vimeo.com/2263314

It's much better quality video (downsized HD from Canon HF-100) but I used the camera's front facing stereo mics that I heavily muffled and blocked to reduce wind noise, so the audio is really pretty bad.

I think the best combo will be to use the neck mount with this better camera and simultaneously record the (mono) audio with the Blackberry. I can then combine the HD video and audio using Pinnacle Studio 12.

I've been posting to Vimeo because they allow up to 1280 x 720 semi "HD" video postings for free up to 500mb per week. They also have a pay premium level that allows posting higher resolutions and 2gb per week uploads.

My Canon HF-100 shoots 1920 x 1080 HD and it kills me to have to dumb it down...but that's what it takes to share on the internet. That's 30 X 2.1 megapixel frames per second for the computer to play back, (plus audio) and it's pretty tough for most machines to handle, and also for the current internet speeds to carry. BluRay does a nice job at handling it though!

Well, thanks for the interest and I hope you get some good results on your Triumph and post 'em here. Seems like there is some interest in seeing the videos of the bikes in their element...and hearing the great Triumph twin sounds at speed.

Cheers,
BLIGHT:motorbike:
 

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Seems like there is some interest in seeing the videos of the bikes in their element...and hearing the great Triumph twin sounds at speed.
Oh, yes! We love to see the videos. Particularily in Winter time when our own beloved Bonnies are safely stored away.

Thanks for the effort!
 
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