Motorcycle action cameras – our five picks

We all want a new action camera - especially one of these

Motorcycle action cameras – our five picks

1. Drift Ghost-S (£249.99) and Stealth 2 (£99.99)

The Drift Ghost-S and Stealth 2 are both well proportioned and designed for sticking to the side of a helmet without catching the wind too much.

There’s a range of mounting systems including a harness which lets you put on one your shoulder and adhesive pads that will go pretty much anywhere on the bike.

Conveniently, and unlike some other action cameras, both the Drifts have a lens which rotates through almost 360°, so you can mount one and worry about the orientation later.

They’re water resistant and weatherproof as they are, with no need for an additional plastic case.

Best of all, they’re incredibly tough, and if something does break, like a lens or the battery door, the parts are easy to order and replace.

The Stealth 2 offers 1080p resolution with 30FPS, has a three-hour battery life and takes a 32GB microSD card. The Ghost-S offers the same resolution with 60FPS, has a three-and-a-half-hour battery life and takes a 64GB microSD.

The Ghost-S also has a colour viewfinder while the Stealth 2 only has an LCD menu display.

Nevertheless, of the two we’d recommend the Stealth 2, because it’s nearly as useful in practice and costs so much less. It’s also more compact and lighter, at 97g compared to 171g, so in some ways more convenient. One point to note is that it doesn't have 3.5mm mic jack while Ghost-S does, so if you want to do some motovlogging you need the bigger one.  

A new Ghost 4K is coming soon.


Read our full review of the Drift Ghost-S.

2. Garmin Virb Elite, £219.99

Not Garmin’s top-of-the-range camera but the one best suited to motorcycling we feel, essentially because of the shape, which like the Drift doesn’t act like a sail the wind.

The lens doesn't rotate like the Drift's, but the mouting bracket has a hinged arm which achieves a similar effect. The result isn't quite as streamilined when mounted to a helmet but it's still better than some.

It offers 1080p resolution at 30FPS, a colour display and viewfinder, Wi-Fi connectivity and a three-hour battery life.

Because it’s from a sat-nav maker, it’s also got GPS, which tracks your location as it records.

What's really convenient from a motorcyclist’s perspective is the simple button on the side, which you slide to start recording. Because it’s so big, it’s easy to operate with a gloved hand and you’re left in no doubt as to whether it’s filming. You can also get a wireless remote to mount on the bars.

A cheaper base-model Virb comes without GPS at £149.99.


3. GoPro Hero5: £349

It might not be cheap, but the latest version of the best-known action camera is one of the best you can buy, and now waterproof, so there’s no need to seal it in a plastic case.

It offers 4K resolution at 30FPS, a two-inch colour touch-screen and voice control, so you can bark instructions at it like “GoPro take a photo”. There’s also a one-touch button on top to start filming.

It can switch to a rear microphone to reduce wind-noise, so you should be able to hear the engine better on playback.

GoPro’s accessory range includes loads of mounting options but the camera’s shape means it's more likely to catch the wind than some competitors when mounted to a helmet.

Battery life is up to two hours and 20 minutes and it takes a 64GB SD card.


4. TomTom Bandit, £199

Like the Hero5, the TomTom Bandit offers 4K resolution – but at 15FPS, not 30 – or 2.7K at 30FPS.

It’s bigger than some competitors but its cylindrical shape is suited to motorcycling and helmet mounting.

Battery life is up to three hours and, like the Garmin Virb Elite, it tracks your location with GPS.

It’s got Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and while there’s no viewfinder, an app enables your smartphone to act as one.

Perhaps most usefully for motorcycling, it’s got built-in motion sensors that monitor G-force to work out when something interesting has happened and allows you to more easily find the moment when editing later.


5. Contour Roam3, £189.99

The Contour Roam3 is another neat option as a helmet camera, one that doesn’t stick out too much or catch a lot of wind. Rotating adhesive mounts mean you can change the angle after sticking them on.

Like the Garmin Virb Elite, it’s got a handy, sliding ‘instant on record switch’, so you’re left it no doubt it’s filming, while the lens rotates, like the Drift’s.

It’s waterproof, so no need for a case, and it offers 1080p resolution at 30FPS. Battery life is up to three hours and it takes a microSD card up to 32GB.

There’s also a Contour+2, with extras including GPS video mapping, 120FPS and laser alignment, at £399.95.