Motorcycle touring videos are a great way to document and share your motorcycle adventures with friends and family or keep them as a keepsake.
However, creating memorable motorcycle touring videos requires more than just pointing your camera at the scenery (or your bike). It takes planning, creativity, editing, and effort!
So, in this article, we’ll discuss the basics of capturing footage to make high-quality motorcycle touring videos to show the excitement of your trip.
We’ll also cover topics such as choosing the right music or sound effects for your video and show off different angles as you take your viewer along for the ride.
With these tips, you can create memorable visuals that will make every motorcycle enthusiast want to join you on your next tour.
I remember coming home from the Alps once with hundreds of hours of footage on dozens of SD cards from four GoPro’s.
And guess what? The thought of going through it all to make a five-minute video was off-putting, and I never actually made it.
Effectively, I went to all that expense and effort only to make life hard for myself.
To avoid this, be selective in the cameras you take – and how often you turn them on. For me, this means my camera and a drone. That’s it – just two cameras.
Don’t record for the sake of recording – record when there’s something worth recording. This way, you’ll have a manageable amount of footage, and all of it will be considered and useable.
Motorcycle Touring Videos: Get Creative With Angles
For so long now, YouTube vloggers have bombarded us with bike-mounted (or helmet-mounted) GoPros that we all seemed to accept that it was the only way to capture footage on a motorcycle.
But this is different. And with some thought and creativity, you can create some stunning visual footage. I make it a point to avoid mounting a camera to my bike or helmet.
Don’t be yet another YouTuber with a helmet-mounted GoPro!
Get off your bike and set your camera up to record something unique and thoughtful. It might be a shot of the landscape or the mountains. Or it might be a dirt road where you ride your bike through the scene.
But use different angles. Set your camera up at one focal range, then set your drone up. Record both cameras’ sequences and switch between them in the editing phase.
You can also give the illusion of multiple cameras by cropping in during post-production. This will result in shorter and longer focal lengths from two different sources.
Other cool angles include having the camera on the floor pointing up or high in a tree pointing down. Getting as many combinations of focal lengths as possible gives the most options when it comes to editing.
Record Longer Than You Need
One of the most annoying things is when you get home to find you have an awesome shot – but it ends after four seconds, and you need seven seconds of footage!
For this reason, I keep the camera rolling for ten seconds after I think the shot is captured. It only takes up a little space and can be deleted if not required.
But it gives you leeway when you need longer clips, and you can use the leftover part for something (like a B-roll) if you don’t use it.
Less Is More
So far in this post, you’ll see a recurring theme of quality over quantity.
Use fewer cameras and shoot fewer shots. But make those shots count! Take your time to get the right focal length. Compose the shot nicely, ensuring the edges aren’t obscured, and there is a definitive focal point. Check (and double-check) focus.
Imagine the shot you want, and make it happen. It’s tempting to set the camera down and start shooting. But the results will be far better if you take a few more minutes to refine each shot. You might have less footage, but it will be of better quality. And that matters.
Not only this, but your personality will shine through – because you’re not just recording the scene; it’s your interpretation of the scene, and you’re showing the viewer what’s important to you.
Motorcycle Touring Videos: Think Ahead
As mentioned above, don’t just set your camera down and start rolling. Remember, you have to edit this footage later. So take a moment to sit down and envisage the outcome you want.
Play it through in your head. Once you know what you want, set the camera(s) up and start shooting.
When you get home, you’ll be piecing together your creative process at the scene rather than trying to make something out of anything.
Look For Details
You need to show the viewer where you are. But you can be so much more creative than just pointing your camera at a coastline!
Use the subtle details to find unique shots – like sunlight bursting through the trees or close-ups of boats bobbing up and down on the sea.
Your viewer doesn’t necessarily need to see your bike in every shot to know you’re on a motorcycle trip. You can show them where you are in plenty of other creative ways!
Don’t Dismiss Static Shots
We live in a world where people have been touting ‘dynamic’ shots for about a decade – always promoting camera movement.
However, the opposite provides some lovely footage that is calm and considered rather than frantic and an attack on the senses.
Set your camera up on a tripod, and let it catch the perfectly thought-out scene in front of you.
Let it capture the tide coming in or the sun going down. It might be a timelapse or a shot of you sitting with your bike, taking in the scenery.
Nothing in the frame is moving. And there’s something pure about that in a world that can be too much, too loud, or too fast.
Motorcycle Touring Videos: Consider A 360 Camera
The good thing about 360 cameras is that they can lighten your workload.
Of course, people overuse them these days. So we end up with all sorts of daft shots – for no other reason than we can do them!
But setting a 360 camera rolling can be like having a film crew with you because you can go through the footage in 360 degrees later and pick and choose shots that suit.
360-degree cameras are great for drive-by shots or multi-angle shots whilst riding. Get yourself an invisible selfie stick and access footage in all directions.
You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by purchasing cameras with stabilisation. A few years back, this was an expensive luxury. But today, the technology is available even on older camera models and action cams.
Stabilisation allows you to capture smooth, cinematic footage when on the move. And it makes it so much more pleasing to watch as a viewer!
Don’t Overuse Slow Motion
As with dynamic shots (mentioned above), people overuse slow motion. It still looks amazing, and people still use it. But you’ll find they use it less and only when the scene calls for it.
Slow motion is a superb effect, and it works well in many situations – from walking through the sand on the beach to your bike wheel spinning in the gravel.
Use it – but don’t overdo it!
Motorcycle Touring Videos: Get A Drone
I mentioned above that I use a drone as my second camera. I use a drone because it gives me 360 degrees of footage, unique angles, and dynamic shots if I want them.
I’ve just upgraded my DJI Mavic Mini 2 to the new Mavic 3 – and it’s beyond awesome.
As a one-man crew, I can use the pre-set programs on the drone (such as the follow-me mode), which lets the drone follow me as I ride through the landscape.
I can also make it circle me, giving incredible landscape shots. And thanks to the sensors on the Mini 3, I don’t have to worry about it flying into trees!
Choosing the Right Music and Sound Effects
Music can make or break a motorcycle touring video, so selecting the right piece for your project is important. Consider using music that captures your emotions at the time.
Instrumental pieces or ‘epic’ soundtracks work better than songs with lyrics. But again, use epic music sparingly – it gets boring, and we’ve all heard too much of it.
If you want to take your editing a step further, add subtle sound effects to give your videos more depth. This could be wind, tweeting birds, engine noise, or other imaginative sounds, like doors closing or zips zipping for a richer experience.
One thing to consider with music is licensing. I’ve seen too many great videos taken down from YouTube due to licensing issues!
Unless you make your own music, I recommend using services such as Epidemic Sound, Artlist, or Music Bed for royalty-free music and sound effects that won’t get your hard-fought-for video taken down!
Finally, use editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X to arrange your audio and video elements into one cohesive track. Recently, I shifted over to DaVinci – which is free to download!
Whichever you choose, take your time with it. Don’t rush it; only show it to the world when you’re happy. It’s tempting to hit that upload button. But it will reflect your personality and hard work if you take your time and let the work mature.
Related: Photography Gear For Motorcycling
Motorcycle Touring Videos: Conclusion
Making motorcycle touring videos is an excellent way to share your experiences.
By investing in an appropriate camera setup for your needs, choosing the right music and sound effects, and showing off different angles as you ride your route, you can create stunning visuals that will make every motorcycle enthusiast want to join in on your next tour!
Remember to visualise every single scene before you start shooting. What do you want from it? How do you want your viewers to feel when they watch it? What is the subject, and how do you want to portray it?
Being this focused allows you to take only the shots that matter. And it allows you to piece them together coherently in post-production.
With these tips and some practice, anyone can become a motorcycle videographer. So get out there and start making those amazing motorcycle tours come alive through video!