Friday, February 12, 2010

Frozen Lakeshore Twisties on a Ural

After reading Charlie6’s blog post a few days ago containing video of his Ural, I started thinking about how to get video of the Ural. A co-worker also said I needed more video.

Yesterday, I made my first attempt by mounting my camera to the Ural. It was a short ride as I wasn’t been feeling 100%.

I used my Panavise 809 Camera Window Suction Cup Mount to attach the camera to the Ural. It is very easy to use and has a very strong grip. It is also cheap! ($20)

At first, it wouldn’t stick. The rig was covered in road grim. After a quick cleaning with a microfiber, it stuck like glue. I played around with mounting locations: the gas tank, the front fender, the windshield, and kart windshield.

The inside of kart windshield turned out to be the most versatile. The camera could be aimed forward, to the side, to the rear, and at me. I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt.

Next time, I will tape a bit of cotton over the mic to see if that reduces the wind noise. I’m not sure if there is anything I can do to reduce the camera vibration because of the rigid mount. The battery in the camera didn’t last long either because it quickly became cold and lost some of its power.

After too much editing, I posted the video to Youtube and Vimeo. Enjoy!



  1. Dear Chris Luhman:

    I am not a big fan of typical blog video for a number of reasons: The first is the quality, the second is the subject matter, which tends to be predictable; and the third is the technical end, which costantly eludes my Amish-like command of electronics.

    That being said, I found your little presentation today to be genuinely intriguing and very interesting from the production standpoint.

    I expected a really jumpy picture. I thought the vibration factor in these shots was low and very manageable. I didn't think the wind noise was a significant factor either. (The suspension on the Ural must be a lot better than I thought.) The ability of the mount to quickly change the field of view on the camera was impressive too.

    I am very interested in the camera mount, and for $20, it doesn't cost much to experiment. I have had my Garmin GPS fly off the inside windshield of my truck on more than ome occasion. It lands on the carpeted floor or soft seat. A camera coming off my bike wouldn't fare so well (though I would have a cable attachment too, just in case). Is there a trick to maximizing the suction/connector of mounts like these?

    And finally, your demonstration had just enough editing to make me rethink the potential of video to tell a story. Thank you for posting this today.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads
    New blog posts every Monday and Thursday

  2. Dear Jack,

    Thanks for the kind words. The Ural suspension is better than I expected too. The kart side is better than the motorcycle side (tug) too.

    The mount is fun. I used to use it on cars. The adjustments are very easy as it only has two knobs. I've never had this mount come off a car or a bike. On the bike, I do have a safety strap. I don't want it flying off down the road in case it does fail.

    There isn't much of a trick to get the panavise to stick. Make sure sure both the panavise and the surface are clean. I like to use microfiber. Stick the panavise to the surface, push in the button, and then pull back the lever. It makes a very tight seal.

    Other suction cup mounts I've used for my phone when I had a car didn't have the button and lever to increase the suction pressure and frequently fell off.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the video, and thanks for commenting.

  3. First Bobskoot, then Dom, now you. One of these days we're all going to have to start posting videos to keep up! And here I am just really starting to get the still photo thing down. Yikes.

    Nice results for you, though.

  4. Thanks irondad. Now you must join us!

  5. Chris, loved the video! What a nice ride. I'm living through you--even found myself leaning into the curves. Nice scenery whizzing by...

    I have a helmet cam that I've used perhaps twice; I'm inspired now to get that rigged up and use it!


  6. Thanks Sojourner! Which helmet cam do you have? I've been thinking of getting the GoPro Hero HD Motorsports.

  7. Chris:

    I'm glad to have company over to the other (Video) side. Right now there is a group purchase for the Hero GoPro 1080P HD but I am thinking that I don't want the fixed lens, and it only has mono sound. Coupled also with the fact that there is no way to look at the video until you get to a computer, but I am still thinking about it as it comes with the waterproof case. My camcorder is waterproof but only 480p. All of my video since mid December has been hd720p30 taken with a Lumix ZS3 which I just love. The other problem with the GoPro is the file limition of 4 GIG which is being corrected soon by a firmware upgrade.

    I spend a lot more time editing video than Blogging. The last video I posted was over 600 megs and took 2 tries on YouTube. My laptop kept timing out creating upload errors. Another VBLOGGER is Dave in Turkey. His link is on my sidebar. Travels with a HONDA Transalp etc . . .

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  8. Thanks Bob. Where is the group purchase?! Send me details! I want to get one.

    I know what you mean about taking soooo long to edit and upload. I've had a couple videos die while uploading too.

  9. Bob, PS: I've been thinking about a Canon T2i for other video/pictures. I think I'm finally starting to reach the limits of my little pentax.