Packing camera gear on the motorcycle.

I mentioned in Motojournalism Book Two that having quick access to your camera gear is key. You're gonna miss a ton of great photos if it's a hassle to get your camera out.

Gus from Florida sent me a few shots of his tankbag setup. He's found a great way of keeping things safe and organized using the padded dividers of an old camera bag:

"I bought a wolfman tank bag, gutted one of my lowepro camera bags and used it's dividers to turn the wolfman bag into a motorcycle-camera-bag. The bottom is padded the same as a typical camera bag is, so all I needed was the padded dividers. It worked great during our last trip where we rode from Miami to West Virginia."

Looks like it works great! One more thing you can do is attach the shoulder strap from the camera bag onto the D rings of the tankbag to make it easier to carry when you're walking around.

Here's a shot of my setup on the road: Same Wolfman Explorer bag, works perfectly on the KLR650. 
I keep a sweater or scarf underneath the camera and lenses. I have the Nikkor 28mm 2.8 on the Nikon body, and the 85mm 1.8 Nikkor and 11-16 2.8 Tokina are kept in the LowePro slip-lock cases.
Way out West-1310261

10 Response to "Packing camera gear on the motorcycle."

  1. Craig Says:

    Great tip, one problem for me:

    I abhor tank bags.

    I'm still looking for a good way to carry the gear. I might have to break down and do the tank bag set up anyway.

    Keep it up Anton!

  2. Anthony - Motojournalism Says:

    Ha! :)

    What kind of bike are you riding that tank bags don't work for ya?

  3. Craig Says:

    Actually it doesn't have anything to do with the bike, it's the rider! :D

    It's actually an old BMW R100RT. The bag I have fits, I just don't like it. Perhaps it's the bag I bought that causes my dislike, I don't like having something sitting on the tank in front of me.

  4. Anthony - Motojournalism Says:

    Fair enough! :) But again, the point is just to have quick access, maybe there's a way to strap a small camera bag to your luggage in the rear?

  5. Michael Simpson Says:

    This gave me a great idea for my BMW branded tank bag. First of all, my tank bag is waterproof, so that a pouring rainstorm doesn't destroy a few thousand dollars worth of stuff. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Fred Says:

    I also have a Wolfman, but it is far from waterproof. I would not feel safe without a waterproof cover for it.

  7. Macrobe Says:

    I have three Wolfman tank/tail bags. None of them are waterproof and the covers are ineffective. On another note, how to carry/pack tripod or monopod on bike?

  8. Anthony - Motojournalism Says:

    Yeah tankbags aren't so waterproof! I believe Ortlieb makes a waterproof one, though I haven't tried it myself.

    I don't use a cover for my Wolfman explorer, but if there's a real downpour I'll put the camera and two lenses in a lightweight drybag like this:

    For the tripod, quick access is the key! Security is more or less important depending on where you are riding. I keep my tripod inside the big duffle bag near the top.

    You can find pictures of all this and more about packing gear inside book two!

  9. Macrobe Says:

    The Ortlieb sidebags on my DR350 are indeed waterproof, and is where camera gear resides on that bike. No room on the tank for camera gear bigger than a small PnS. A good superzoom hybrid camera was the compromise for portability on the V-strom, and one-handed accessibility means I use it often on the road. Yes, convenience is the prime motivator.

  10. Anthony - Motojournalism Says:

    Those Ortlieb side bags are great! I wouldn't tradethem for anything! I carry both an SLR in the tankbag and a compactin my jacket pocket. More than half the photos of the trip were quick snapshots taken with the compact. If it's a pain to get to your camera, you'll miss tons of great photos!

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