Insurance helmet camera

Looking for advice:

Yes done to death, regularly, but the game’s always changing. I’m probably going to get stung as can be seen on another thread because I wasn’t wearing a helmet camera. I’ve avoid in the past for excessive helmet buffetting and due to the fact that I’ve heard stories of people getting in scrapes while riding within the legal requirements but have been prosecuted due to what has been in memory of camera.

Acceptance Criteria:

  • Can be side mounted on a standard full face helmet without causing excesive wind buffetting at speeds up to 100mph
  • Good enough in quality that I don’t need to worry about it letting me down when I actually need it
  • Battery life good enough to get me through 4 hours of riding ( the maximum I will do in one day of commuting)
  • As little set up time before riding off as possible

Thanks in advance all

Are you asking for recommendations?

I don’t like the teletubbie look of gopros so have been a user of two drift cameras.
They have a lense that rotations so it’s always landscape.

Yes sorry unclear, edited post now

I bought a gopro 4 some years ago for an eye watering amount of money I thought at the time, Couldn’t get over the wind buffeting on side of helmet and the drag feeling when doing lifesavers. Because of that I am looking into the Drift cameras now but again it is a bit of money isn’t it. You flogging one of your Drifts?

I am but you won’t like the battery life.
Was using it for 4yrs and it’s now down to 1hr max.
Unfortunately the battery is not replaceable

Have a look a chin mounting the camera, should give less buffeting there. Though it will probably give a clearer view of your clocks unless you mount a phone/satnav in its way :wink:

Have you taken a look at something like the systems that INNOVV do? I have the dual system mounted to my bike, and it’s performed quite well

Or how about the innov dual system, connect to your bike, discreet and would prevent buffeting.

I’d of got one myself however the missus got me a nextbase dash cam for bike and it’s quite good but only front facing

Thanks @curtis , @sn1ke and @me_groovy so I almost pulled the trigger on this at an earlier point but decided against it because:

  1. I have two bikes so wouldn’t want to have camera hard coupled to a particular bike
  2. I had concerns about field of view with it. I’ve had two incidents in the last twelve months where I would have needed a camera to have my mirrors in shot. One absolute nut job decided to ram me with his car because I’d told him his driving was of a less than adequate standard, a difference of opinion we then had to resolve in a physically expressive manner in live traffic on the blackwall tunnel approach. I didn’t want to but he didn’t give me an option. All would have been quite helpful on a helmet camera. The second instance was on a friday evening. I’m in a bus lane and there’s this absolute a*** following me at about a 50cm distance, about 30 minutes before bus lane was derestricted i.e. still only good for bus, bicycles, bikes, taxis. He’s clearly none. Okay, lost/new to driving/stolen/all of the above I assume. Problem is, I’m doing 22mph because the normal traffic lane is at a standstill and I’m mindful of cars turning across/pedestrians crossing at lights that aren’t green. I tried to roll off to 15 very slowly as I knew if he hit me it was going to hurt. Sure enough, at a pelican crossing pedestrians crossing when lights green for motorists. I stopped as slowly as was physically possible aaaand bump. My bike’s fine, but his heavily financed 14 year old XF was not. I gave him a lecture but I image he’s still driving the same. A rear facing bike mounted camera would have been better than a helmet camera but if I had picked them up in my rear view mirrors I imagine a helmet cam would have too.
  3. I was put off by the idea of taking tank off to install. After taking my side fairings off last year to change air filter on my vfr12, I soon decided I never wanted to do that again.

Of course there’s the option of riding around with hard mounted cameras and helmet camera. An expensive option for sure but would offer a good deal of peace of mind

So I did also try this, I found it wasn’t possible to actually mount it on the chin as the helmet was too pointy at the front so I side mounted and the chained the arms together, which was surprisingly heavy and then there’s the safety concerns if you crash onto it

The INNOVV K2 isn’t that cheap, but on the other hand you don’t need to worry about battery running out etc. I’ve had it (and before that the K1) on my bike for the last 3 years, and it’s come in extremely helpful at times. One driver was refusing to hand over insurance details until I pointed out that my bike was recording everything on video, and I’d give it to the police.

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I had the Drift Stealth Ghost and for me the biggest ball ache was the relentless having to constantly charge it. I would not use Drift again as I had battery issues at something like 12.5 months and drift would not repair as out of warranty and they had no authorised dealers for me to send it too so really put me off.

I’ve been aware of the innovv for a while and that will defo be my next purchase. In the grand scheme of things a help camera (a good one) is around £150(ish) anyway do not a huge amount more for a “fire and forget” device.

Appreciate does not answer your dual bike issue, but my experience with mine.

All this being said, the drift paid for itself when i got knocked off and the driver tried to blame me and with no witnesses would have been his word against mine. His insurance admitted liability as soon as they saw the footage…

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No. Your mirrors are angled to suit your eyes, a camera being positioned wider means it will not see the same as you.

Also you can obviously move your eyesight independently of your head. So you can swivel your eyes to look at the mirror with little head movement, leaving the camera pointing ahead.

For these reasons you are also unlikely to get anything useful in the mirror on the opposite side of the bike from where you mounted the camera on the helmet.

So whilst you might capture something you need in your mirror, it would not be exactly what you saw and I would not want to rely on it.

If you want to ensure you have caught what is happening behind you, then you will also need a rear mounted camera somehow.

I have the newer Drift Ghost X basic model and the only reason is because of not having to charge it. With the extended battery pack I can go on one of my 400-mile day trips and never have to think about the battery.

The newer models have a 500mAh battery built in, plus come with an external one of the same size, but you can buy a bulkier 1,500mAh battery. So even when the internal one dies you will still be able to use if for longer than most other cameras with a long life one alone. Thought I assume using the combination of internal and external ones also means the internal one would last longer than if it was the only power source.

Not especially impressed by the image quality, though, but I only use it in 720p with the normal bit rate.

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This was the nail in the coffin for me and drift. I probably would have gone for the new one due to the modulation of components so if the build-in battery did die it was not the end of the world, but having seen some real world footage of the camera is was hugely inferior in terms of video quality to its predecessor and not that I’ve looked in a while, but think it was more expensive as well.

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I have a Drift Ghost S. It’s the second one, as there was a fault with the first one on the first use, in that it would state it was charging when it had been on charge overnight. The replacement one worked fine, with two exceptions:

  1. The flap that hold the battery in has become worn or loose, and it is fiddly to hold that in position whilst putting the screw-in end cap on now.
  2. The built-in microphone is failing. I can hardly hear anything on playback. this is not due to any of the settings.
  3. Drift are taking a very long time in replying to me about the possible microphone fault. Their first reply to me was within a week, but the chap who replied, Ollie, misunderstood the fault even though I was quite specific. His second reply came back after a further 3 weeks, only to say he is unaware of how to clean the microphone, and promised he’d look into it and get back to me. That was another week later.

The good side to it is at 1080p, the batteries last for 3 hours. Although replacement batteries from Drift are expensive at £25, there are several clone batteries with chargers that are available from Amazon. I couldn’t decide whether to buy 2 batteries and a singel mini USB port for £12 or 4 batteries with a double minis-USB port for £20, so I bought both, and now have 6 spare batteries. I find the recording quality to be very good, but I’m not techy enough to justify this.

I am looking to replace this, just because of the battery flap making it awkward to put in batteries and screw the end cover on. Bummer though, this model camera is no longer available. It’s been replaced by the Drift 4K, which has a lesser battery life at 1080p and half that if recording at 4K. I won’t replace the camera unless I can find one that is better in all regards, not just some. Another reason for me not getting the 4K model is that there are no clone batteries available. Also, from reviews, the battery connection is very weak, not sealed in well, and lets dust in.

Oh, it’s got a remote control to operate it, which I wear over the sleeve on my forearm when riding.

Another benefit is its wifi. At present, it’s mounted on the windows of my home facing the street, and I can see what it’s recording on my mobile.

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i had the ghost and it was fine, yes the battery perf deteriorated.
i now have the ghost 4k and i have been happy so far, yes the battery is still not amazing

Mine was about £125, plus £25 for the long life battery. But for me the battery life was most important, I was upgrading from a bike mounted SJCAM where I had to plan regular stops to change battery. I did try using USB, but I guess the cable vibrated too much as it just tore the port from the circuit board.

But I do worry at times that if something were to happen to me, the Drift camera will not be clear enough on number plates. But the alternative was periods of nothing because I forgot to change battery or was unable to find somewhere safe to stop.

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even at night licence plates look clear enough on 720p to me

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Bloody hell, did you give that video to the cops @Panagiotis?