Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by andre_bosmans, Aug 12, 2005.
How do you take your Leica gear on a motorbike? Any good advice?
I bought a tank bag for my bike, I tend to put my waterproofs in the bag (padding) and the put either the camera in, or put my camera bag in the tank bag. I used to wear a rucksack but the thought of an MP in my spine - not good. I have carried cameras like this for years with no ill affects.
I carry a CL all the time ... with just a strap under my jacket ... as of late however I'm finding that the Olympus XA makes a great carry camera ...
Big shooting jacket, I have one with 11 pockets, one bit in each. The big bottom ones will take my M6 with lens, the side/top ones ideal for extra lenses etc. (a lot of one(s) in that)
Wherever I carry it - saddlebags or waist pack (usual means) I will keep the camera in a sealed Hefty Freezer Bag (they are the heaviest duty plus a little color tinted). That helps me through any sudden showers or storms here in South Florida. I also keep a few folded garbage bags (white tall kitchen size). There is much solice in driving in a rain storm knowing your camera gear is 100% waterproof even though you are getting wetter by the second.
I have the elegantly designed but wickedly over-priced tank bag for my K11LT (sense a theme here?). It is water-resistant (and has a waterproof cover as well) and the rubber base isolated most vibration. I still use a camera case as well, usually a cheap foam-padded "top loading" case.
That said, I still leave my SL at home and take either the 35 Elmarit or 90 Elmarit on my EOS 650......
I double (gadget) bag the M6 or CL (or Olypus E-1) and put it in my saddlebag. By that, I mean the M6 is normally kept in my padded Billingham/Leica bag, but to spare that tan exterior dust and crud, I put the whole thing inside a tired old Leica canvas bag from the 1980s. Same with other cameras in their smaller bags.
The real importance, of course, is to absorb VIBRATION. Don't know what your machine is, but mine is a thumpety-thump big Moto Guzzi, with lots of vibes. On the other hand, I have heard people claim that jet engine vibration can undo fine camera screws, so who knows? Just absorb what you can.
BMW R 90s with factory panniers fitted with high density foam.
i ride an old 73 triumph bonneville. . . . it vibrates a bit and, like the other poster, i've been warned about vibration more than i care to remember.
any time i carry a camera i usually have it strapped to me (i figure if all of the extra padding on me can't absorb the vibrations, nothing can). if it starts to rain, i always have the option of stowing it in whatever small camera bag i'm carrying in my messenger bag (which is waterproof). i made a 500 mile roundtrip that way with a few cameras awhile back. . . . they all made it through fine.
In a tank bag with foam in the bottom, wrapped in a towel, on my 1976 BMW R90/6.
i always use my leather bag when i go with my black paint M3 on a trip on my
( i wish....)
I don't dare to cause a expensive RF overhaul. I once vibrated a Mamiya U P&S to death in a backpack just thrown into SR 500's sidecase, when I was traveling a lot on the Autobahn, going at full throttle and getting used to loosing my exhaust tube. - The Thermos full of coffee grinded itself visibly a bit into the bottom of the other case at this time.
I wouldn't worry much about tankpacks or sidecases on cultivated bikes like BMWs, 4 cylinders and similar, even a SR 250SE should be O.K., but my MZ ES 150 for example vibrates really nastily leaving backpacks the only chance to carry probably sensitve gear.
On my '01 R1150GS I throw the bag in the Givi topcase for just a quick outing. I like to pad the bottom of the case with a layer of bubble wrap, just to kill vibrations. On a longer trip I replace the passenger seat with a flat cargo plate (Wunderlich) and put on a Magsbags Voyager with all my camping and photo gear, along with tripod. Actually, the cargo plate lives on the bike instead of passenger seat, that's my normal day-to-day configuration. (The passenger seat is a heated Corbin kind, and requires removing the front seat to fully hook it up. And my wife usually wants the butt toaster. ) My side luggage (stock) don't really have the space for a decent set of gear and with the side opening lids make it too easy for gear to fall out. That may change if I ever get around to replacing it with the Al Jessie's I've been wanting since I got the bike.
Of course, just a camera and lens in a tank bag works too. (I like the Marsee 10l one, but it's a bit small for a SLR. Ok for a Leica M or Bessa T though, with an Optech padded wrap.)
I have a waterproof vinyl bag which has double walls which can be inflated by mouth. The camera is then safe from rain as well as the shocks of riding my mountain bike or possible falls. The inflated bag also floats! Best regards, Bill
I recall some while ago a company outfitting 2 different tank bags with dividers for camera gear. One of them, converted to a back pack when off the bike. Certainly big enough for a tiddly Leica.
I carry my Contax 645, 3 lenses, filters,incident lightmeter and film in a Lowe Pro Mini-trekker. This and my compact tripod goes into one side of the trunk of my motorcycle, The other side carries upto a weeks' supply of clothing. I have a Honda Pacific Coast. Anyone familiar with this bike will appreciate the cavernous carrying capacity of this tourer and the lack of vibration. I have travelled from Vancouver, BC to Utah (Bryce Canyon/Zion Ntl.Park and back with this arrangement and will be heading out next month on a similar vacation.
With my bike back in the States, I use a tank bag padded with a towel or clothing. My current bike is a high-revving single cylinder vibration machine--I generally wear the camera on a strap around my neck/shoulder.
Andre, I use Givi 45L cases on my Katana 1100, and I believe that there is no better accesory for a serious biker than hard luggage. Some say that Givi bags are a little pricey, but there are very few options around for putting hard luggage on bikes that don't come with 'em from the factory. Once you have owned a bike with hard luggage, you may never go back. They turn a bike into a real, usable vehicle for commuting, camping, shopping etc. The nice thing about the Givi Monokey stuff is that you can mount the same bags either on top or the sides, depending on your space requirements. And the racks are pretty good looking when no bags are attached. Depending on what you ride, you could probably get a rack and a single 36L bag for around $250 or so. I recently saw a place online that sells 36L bags for around $130 each. I may just get 'em to have a smaller bag setup. I am done buying Leica gear and now spend my time and money on my bike.
I carry my Leica Z2x in a leather belt pouch when on my BMW R100GS. Easy to get at from a sitting position. I found carrying cameras in saddle bags doesn't work, pass by too many good shots because of the effort to stop bike, get off, open saddlebag..... After my wife dropped my Nikon 8008 onto the pavement, 50mm/f1.2 side down on a cross country trip (I left her somewhere in Colorado), I now carry only p&s's on the bike.
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