The only thing better than my scenic fall rides through the Ozarks is to share the images of the beautiful landscape with my friends and family afterward.
Thanks to GoPro, this is now easier than ever. I like to stay on top of GoPro’s recent innovations because they’re constantly improving the specs and features of their newest models.
These three are currently their top of the line, all with certain advantages that make them stand out.
Best Motorcycle GoPro Reviews
It’s hard to go wrong with the latest tech. The Hero10 is GoPro’s newest model, and unlike some tech companies that just slap a new number on the same device, they’ve really improved this camera compared to past versions.
If you don’t mind paying for top-of-the-line, the Hero10 will get you the best GoPro video possible.
The main improvement of the Hero10 is the resolution-to-frame-rate ratio. It’s the first in the Hero line to offer 5.3K video resolution, a rating that was usually reserved for professional cameras until recently. With more pixels and a better resolution, this means the video of your ride is that much clearer.
More importantly, the frame rate has doubled on the Hero10. You can record 5.3K resolution at 60Hz up from 5K30 in the Hero9, or you can even record 4K resolution at 120Hz up from 4K60 in the 9.
The faster frame rate means smoother video, especially if you’re recording fast-paced video. Since you’re using it to record your rides, you’re probably going to be going pretty fast.
The only downside is that these high-quality recording modes really drain the battery, with only about 47 minutes of 5.3K60 recording time.
Other improved specs include the GP2 processor, the fastest GoPro processor yet, HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization, and 2.7K resolution for slo-mo video.
The Hero10 also takes photos at 23 megapixels, up from 20MP on the Hero9. With this, I’ve been able to capture the individual leaves changing colors through the Ozark mountains.
Like previous GoPro models, the Hero10 has 1080p live streaming, auto-upload with a GoPro cloud subscription, and Hindsight, a feature that’s great for motorcycles.
The camera constantly captures and erases video so that when you hit record, it includes the previous 30 seconds in the video. If your touring group likes taking videos of the beautiful landscape, you can be sure you won’t miss anything, thanks to Hindsight.
- 5.3K60/4K120 video recording
- Fast GP2 processor
- HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization
- 23MP photos
- Hindsight feature with 30 seconds pre-recording
- High price
- Low battery life at highest resolution
The GoPro MAX has one primary draw: it records in 360 degrees, both video, and audio. The 360 video is due to two cameras, front and rear, and the 360 audio comes from six stereo microphones.
This advanced camera feature is especially great for off-roaders and motocross riders who want to capture the full experience on video. It can also be fun for tourers and cruisers who just want to record every bit of the landscape.
In addition to recording in 360 degrees, you can also just record in “Hero mode” like a standard GoPro. 360 video comes at a crystal-clear resolution of 5.6K, higher even than the Hero10, though the frame rate is a little low at 30Hz, meaning the movement isn’t quite as smooth.
In Hero mode, on the other hand, you can record at 60Hz, but the resolution is limited to 1440p. Don’t worry, that’s still full HD, but it’s not as clear as the more recent Hero models. Of course, the MAX costs about as much as the Hero10, so your reason for choosing it should be the 360-degree video.
The 360-degree design also extends to the photo camera. Thanks to the PowerPano feature, you can take a 270-degree panoramic shot without even having to move the camera. Plus, it can take 360-degree photos at 16.6 megapixels or standard Hero-mode photos at 5.5MP.
Like standard Hero GoPros, the MAX has an easy-to-use touch screen, HyperSmooth stabilization technology, and 1080p live streaming. There’s also automatic uploading if you purchase a subscription to the GoPro cloud.
- 2 cameras and 6 mics for 360-degree video recording
- 5.6K resolution for 360-degree video
- PowerPano feature
- Max HyperSmooth stabilization
- Lower frame rates compared to Hero models
- High price
If you want a GoPro, but cash is a little tight, why not try an older model?
Personally, I’d recommend going back just one iteration to the Hero9. Not only will this maximize features and specs while shaving a considerable amount off the price, but the 9 has a big leg up on other models, including the 10: longer battery life.
Specifically, you have over 90 minutes of battery life at the highest-quality setting versus the 10’s 47 and the 8’s 67. As a result, the Hero9 is ideal for long tours where you might not have many opportunities to charge it.
As far as specs, the 9 is a bit lower quality than the 10, but not by much. The highest resolution is 5K, still professional quality. However, the frame rate is lower than the 10 at 30Hz. This means the video won’t be quite as smooth, but it’s still plenty for scenic tours.
The Hero9 also has a high-quality photo camera shooting at 20 megapixels, a bit under the 10 but still a big improvement over the 8’s 12MP.
There’s 1080p live streaming, HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization, and auto uploading with a subscription to the GoPro cloud. Like the 10, Hero9 has the Hindsight feature that captures 30 seconds of video before you even press record.
- Great features for lower price
- 90-min battery life higher than other Hero models
- 5K video recording
- 20MP photo camera
- Hindsight feature
- Lower specs, especially frame rate
Considerations, cost and care
Resolution and Frame Rate
The resolution and frame rate of a GoPro are some of the most talked-about features and improve the most rapidly with newer models. You’ll normally see these two features listed together, usually like this: 4K60. The 4K refers to the pixels of resolution and the 60 to the Hz of the frame rate.
In this example, 4K means the picture recorded by the camera is roughly 4,000 megapixels wide. More pixels mean a clearer, more natural-looking picture. These days, few noncommercial cameras record over 4K, but GoPro is pushing these limits with their more recent models recording over 5K.
The frame rate refers to how many individual still photos the video recorder uses to make a video. This is measured in Hertz or frames per second.
The higher your frame rate, the smoother your video will be, especially if there’s a lot of movement or action. This is especially important for those off-roading or doing motocross so they can capture the ups and downs of the trail.
Resolution is also important for the photo camera and other features like slo-mo video and live streaming.
The photo camera will have a rating measured in megapixels, like 23MP for the Hero10. Basically, the higher the number, the higher quality your photos will be. Pay attention to this if you like taking landscape photos while touring.
GoPros are primarily used for activities with a lot of movement. Motorcycle or motocross riding is no exception.
Of course, you don’t want your video to be all shaky, so GoPro solves this with their “HyperSmooth” technology that helps stabilize it. GoPro improves the technology with each iteration, Hero8 having HyperSmooth 2.0, Hero9 3.0, and Hero10 4.0.
In my opinion, the improvement is marginal, and older HyperSmooth stabilization works just fine. However, if you’re off-roading on the roughest trails out there, HyperSmooth 4.0 may help keep your video smooth.
To put it bluntly, GoPro batteries don’t last that long. It’s not their fault. Video recording, especially at the high resolution of GoPros, is incredibly power intensive.
For most models, you’ll usually only have around an hour of recording. Naturally, this is extended if you use a lower resolution or frame rate or stick to photos over video.
Battery life between models varies considerably. If you notice in my reviews, the Hero9 seems to have the best battery so far at around 90 minutes of video recording.
All the GoPros I included on my list have live streaming. This is a cool feature that allows you to stream your video feed on various internet platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch so that other people can watch what you’re doing.
Of course, I wanted to mention it because there’s a catch: you need an internet connection.
If you’re getting a GoPro to record your rides, you’re probably not going to have WiFi, though. To use this feature, you’ll need some other means of connection like a WiFi hotspot or Bluetooth tethering on your phone. GoPros can connect to both.
All the GoPros on my list also include auto uploading. This saves you a lot of hassle by automatically saving your photos and videos to the cloud, so you don’t have to deal with physically connecting your device to a computer.
However, this also comes with a catch you should be aware of;
To access the auto-upload feature, you’ll have to purchase a yearly subscription to GoPro’s cloud service. This is a great service for riders who take a lot of video; just know you’ll have to renew the service to keep the feature.
You’ll need a way to mount your camera either to your helmet or handlebars so go check out our guide to the best GoPro mounts for motorcycles.
A GoPro is a great way to record your rides and save those memories for you and your friends and family. If you’re looking for the clearest, smoothest video, go with GoPro’s latest model, the Hero10.