GoPro Mounts: Manfrotto Super Clamp and HD Flex Arm

Are you looking for GoPro mounts to improve your ride videos?

Recently a video from Half Throttle prompted me to explore alternative mounting options for my GoPro Hero2, resulting in the purchase of Manfrotto’s Heavy Duty Flex Arm and Super Clamp.  If you missed our earlier post featuring this video then please check it out as Half Throttle’s video is excellent.

If you are considering using traditional camera mounts for use with your GoPro then be sure to pick up a GoPro Tripod Mount.  This will allow you to attach your GoPro Hero/Hero2 to a standard tripod type mount (1/4″ – 20 threads per inch screw fitting).  The Tripod Fitting opens up a whole new world of mounting possibilities.

I’m no expert on this, but it seems that Manfrotto (Italy) and Cullman (Germany) make the best camera mounts you can get.  Their equipment is made to exacting professional standards and their prices are not way over the top if you shop around.

On unpacking my Manfrotto Super Clamp and Heavy Duty Flex Arm I am immediately struck by the weight.  Heavy duty indeed, with a combined weight of 1.21kg (2.66 lbs).  Describing this as a Flex Arm is also probably a little bit generous.  The arm will flex but it requires both hands and some effort to do this – so ideal for use on a motorcycle.

But just because it is not easy to flex does this mean it doesn’t vibrate when in use during a ride?  I’ll have to do a road test to check this out though the video from Half Throttle looks promising.

A couple more vital statistics of interest, the flex arm is 55cm (21.65in) long and 18mm (nearly 3/4″) and the clamp has round tube range of  13mm to 55mm ( 0.5″ to 2.2″).  I suspect there could be better round bar mounting options as I found it difficult to get a firm enough grip with the super clamp on round bar and fear the mount could slip (but not come off) when riding.  Finally the flex arm has a load capacity of 0.5kg (1.1lb) so plenty for a GoPro but perhaps not enough for use with a full size DSLR with telephoto lens.

Mounting it on my bike (BMW K1600GT) was not quite as simple as I had thought it would be.  Mounting options were somewhat limited but this would vary from bike to bike.  Mine is heavily laden, complete with a top box and panniers which hide some of the options that would be available on other motorbikes.

The two obvious and best mounting positions were the handlebars and pillion grab rails.

Even on these relatively accessible places it was a little tricky to position the super clamp in such a way that it could still be tightened, as the tightening arm extends well beyond the body of the clamp when it is rotated to close the clamps’ jaws.

Once secure though it wasn’t going anywhere.  I mentioned earlier about the clamp not being ideal for round bar and luckily I found some more suitable squared off bar on which to locate the clamp.

And what about the vibration?  Well from observation I would say this was about the same as experienced using the standard GoPro suction mount.  So not too bad considering the Flex Arm is much longer.

I have taken some simultaneous video of the Flex Arm in use ie from the mount and of the mount at the same time.

Once I’ve edited these videos I will post them to demonstrate the extent of vibration the Flex Arm is subject to on a normal ride in addition to how this effects video taken by a GoPro.

I am also keen to get it on the back of a sports bike and take some track day video looking over the rider’s helmet towards the track ahead.

So no conclusions yet. Stay tuned to find out more.

 

 

 

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