Dual camera DVR 1290R install

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Dual camera DVR 1290R install

Postby Twist » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:53 pm

I’ve used my best google fu searching for any DVR camera system installed on a Super Duke and came up empty. I just recently installed one on my ’16 1290 R and it went on pretty seamless and shoots pretty decent video. Here’s a little explanation of my motivation for this thing and how it turned out.

Over the past few years, I’ve grown really tired of fussing with sports action cameras like GoPros. I’ve been shooting video on my aerobatic plane, in the water, track days, and trips for years. But here’s the thing for motorcycling– a GoPro is fine for the track where I’m running a 15 – 20 minute session but on a big epic trip or even a day trip ride, I’m finding it’s nearly useless. Why? Because the battery or memory card is exhausted in a relatively short amount of time and it seems like fate that every time I pop over a hill to an amazing view or drag knees down a twisty road that the card was full 20 minutes ago or the battery died. I finally got fed up with it and only use my GoPros rarely now and only when I know I’m doing a section of road (or track session) where I know I can get what I want. But for my big epic trips like the 11 day trip we did this spring through the NW territories to Alaska, it just wasn’t worth the hassle to keep batteries charged and swapped and the bag full of MicroSD cards sorted. So I didn’t and don’t have video from that ride.

I recently found exactly what I’ve been looking for called the MotoProCam Dual system from Top Dog Electronics:


It’s a very simple but flexible and complete system that includes two cameras recording up to 1080p on a trim little DVR that has a nice bright display and menu system for configuring they way it will work. This is the complete system:


The DVR device is small and thin so it can be mounted on the bars if you want to see it on the go or tucked away in a small storage space like under the seat of the bike. The DVR has 4 inputs: 12V fused power, two camera inputs, and one dual purpose control that allows for snapping a photo or locking of a video segment and also provides the microphone for audio on the video it records. Everything is waterproof except for the DVR itself and they are very clear about that on the web site and in the instructions that come with the unit. I really don’t think that’s much of problem because I can’t image anyone mounting the DVR display out on the bars. I’ll certainly never watch the display while I’m riding and I like the idea of it being hidden and on full time while I’m riding where I can just forget about it until I want to lock that last bit of video or take photos with the cameras.

I had already done one install of a MotionProCam system on my R1200GS and was asked by the great folks at Top Dawg Electronics if I’d work up an installation video for my 2016 1290 R. They put this up on their youtube channel, facebook page and on their web site as well.


Naked bikes are so much easier to get down to the frame. The tank comes off in about 5 minutes, 10 if you’ve never done it before. Rottweiler has some good how-to video on youtube on getting the tank off. My video talks all about how it integrates with the bike, where the cameras are mounted, and powering it all up off the ACC2 circuit under the seat. I already have a Garmin GPS mount powered off that circuit so I used Positap vampire style connectors to use the same 10A circuit for the DVR system. At the end of the install is a bit of video of a short ride around Annapolis and the Blackwater Nature Preserve so you can see the quality of the video.

Here's the front camera mounted to the back of the multifunction display:

I've got a tail tidy on order but went ahead and installed it on the OEM tail. I'll move it when the tidy goes on:

I stashed everything, as mentioned in the video, under the rear seat - the DVR is in the soft bag laying on top of the wiring bundled under it:

There’s a nice bit of configurability to the how this all works and I won’t go it to all of that here but one thing I particularly liked is that you can configure how long the files are that it uses for recording. It’s a trade off when it’s time to use the video. Larger files take up a lot of disk space when moved to the computer and take longer to scan through to find what I’m looking for. Smaller files enable moving only the video segments I want over to the computer and those smaller files are more easily imported in to video editing software. But then, I have to scan through many more video files to find the bit I want. I’ve opted for 3 minute files that makes it easy to find the approximate time I want and then snag the video into my video editing software with not much fuss.

I liked the seamless way this system will capture video without me ever thinking about it so I’ll have video evidence if I’m ever involved in an accident. Oh, and speaking of that, another nice feature of the system is that it has a G meter. If the G meter registers a hit then it automatically locks up the last bit of video. If you think about getting hit in an accident, the bike might be laying there on the deck for a while before it’s recovered and turned off. The system protects the video up to the point the G meter is triggered and for a bit afterward. Pretty slick says I.

I think I’m going to like this because I can just forget about it until I want to snag some video off it. I went on a 5 hour day trip with it and it only used about a third of the 128G memory card so I think even if I don’t manually lock video, I can easily retrieve it after they day’s ride without worrying about it being written over.

I also got great support from the folks at Top Dawg Electronics on this. They quickly responded to all my emailed technical questions and were very responsive and knowledgeable about the product.
Babying your motorcycle for it's resale value is like not having sex with your girlfriend so she'll be fresher for the next guy.

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Re: Dual camera DVR 1290R install

Postby Sarasota_Steve » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:43 pm

Very cool system. Thank you for taking the time to shoot the how to video and to write this post. It’s gonna be very useful to other folks.
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Re: Dual camera DVR 1290R install

Postby MrK » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:36 pm

The only disadvantage I can see is video quality comparing to gopro. Huge impact. You didn't consider external battery pack for gopro?
I'm not recording my days out (the less evidence the better) but sometimes I think about it and I thought to use my hero4 with 15Ah battery bank or just connect to the bike supplies using some car charger. This plus remote controller to start/stop recording, only best parts of the road can be recorded, not the lot.
I can see your point but I just couldn't sacrifice video quality.

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