Crosstour 4K Camera failures

The two Crosstour 4K cameras with remote control

Back in December 2019 I purchased 2 x Crosstour 4K video cameras for the trip and spent money getting the mounts such that they could be fixed to various locations on the bike and crash helmet.

After very little use I started to get problems with them both. First the sound developed issues. Using an external mic fitted in the helmet the sound gradually got quieter and quieter. I initially thought that perhaps the mic had developed a fault and so I tried some other external microphones but, the problem was still there. The internal mics in the cameras were fine but, useless when on the move.

The second problem that gradually got worse over time was the on/off buttons. Sometimes they would work and other times they wouldn’t. Eventually they gave up entirely and it was impossible to switch the cameras on!

Both cameras have now been returned to Amazon for a full refund and I’m now looking again at cameras for the trip. I was hoping to have been able to produce some video footage of my local rides by now but, alas not!
So , I’m currently considering GoPro, Insta 360 One R, DJI Osmo Pocket and a few others.

The DJI Osmo Pocket looks extremely good for doing pieces to camera and some general hand held video footage as the 4K camera is on a 3 axis gimbal which is able to give professional levels of stability. It also gets great reviews and there are plenty of accessories available for it at sensible prices.
The DJI app that accompanies the camera gives access to a pro set of controls for the device including the ability to follow a person or object as it moves.

The other idea I really like is the 360 degree video capability of the Insta 360 One R.

Having just one camera mounted but, capturing a full 360 degree view at all times will be very handy whilst riding. Whether the camera itself is actually up to the rigours of off-road riding is a concern though.

Lots to think about and much research to do but, I’ll blog about it as I go along.

More soon …

Final Preparations …

With only 21 days left before I leave blighty I’m going through the last few items of preparation.

Today it’s been checking over the camping gear whilst the weather is good and getting the camera mounts sorted on the bike.

Checking the tent over in the garden

The tent hasn’t been out since it’s last visit to Wales and the subsequent cleaning and drying after the torrential rain we had there. Glad to say it’s all dry and clean with no mould!

I’ve also been sorting out the camera mounts on the bike. So far I’ve got a mount on the front of the bike and one at the rear. The rear mount is actually a selfie stick mounted to the Tusk pannier rack so that I can extend it and do pieces to camera easily. It’ll also hopefully give me good rear and forward shots too whilst riding.


The front mount is quite handy as it can look forward and aft so hopefully I may be able to get some shots of me riding … or falling off!

I have been looking for some places to mount the cameras on the side panels of the bike but everywhere I have tried the view is blocked by something. I’ll have to do some more research into interesting camera angles to see if I can improve the current setup at all.

My hydration pack now has a Sawyer water filter incorporated into it and my Garmin Explorer+ GPS/Tracker so it’s ready now too.

I’m fast running out of things to do for the trip as most things are done, packed and waiting to leave. Time is now beginning to drag …

It’s just arrived!

After much debate, pontificating and research my latest tool for the trip has just arrived!

Garmin InReach Explorer+

I finally decided to purchase a Garmin InReach Explorer+ for the trip to Mongolia and back. It’s quite an initial investment which is then followed by considerable outlay for the satellite and SOS package but, my wife will be able to relax knowing I’ll have SOS support should I need it and she’ll be able to track my whereabouts 24/7. (And there I was thinking I’d escape for 6 months!)

I’ll write a more detailed article about setting up the device and purchasing the satellite package in the next few weeks.

Visas!

So I’m now in the process of organising the visas for the trip and what a minefield it has turned out to be.
What has become clear is that many of the visa agencies are geared up for your typical holiday visa only, when it comes to anything out of the ordinary, like a motorcycle trip for example, they really haven’t got a clue what they are talking about.

So after being being told many things including it’s not possible to ride a motorcycle in Russia, I have finally found a visa agency who not only knows what they are talking about but have arranged visas for motorcycle adventure trips many times before.

So, without further ado let me introduce you to Timo Taal at the Almont Travel Company in London.

Speaking to Timo on the phone he is an extremely knowledgable gent when it comes to visas. He took me through the entire process for the Russian visa explaining that a multiple entry business visa is what I need and that he has arranged them many a time for motorcyclists in the past without issue. He also advised me on the Mongolian visas and the best place to get it whilst enroute.

Unlike all the other visa people I spoke to, Timo really does know his stuff so, if you are wanting to get a visa for a motorcycle trip through Russia or anywhere else talk to him first.

His contact details are:

Mr. Timo Taal
Operations Manager
Almont Group
6 Snow Hill
London
EC1A 2AY
+44 (0)203 981 3000
http://almontvisas.co.uk/index.php

Be warned, the Russian visa doesn’t come cheaply!
Total cost will be almost UK£511.00, one of the most expensive visas in the world apparently!

A big thanks to Alex Nikonov of Motorcycle Tours In Russia for passing Timo’s contact information on to me.

I look forward to meeting you in Moscow Alex!

More on suspension …

I came across this video on Youtube showing some chaps fitting a replacement spring on a CRF250 Rally. I’ve no idea where the spring can be purchased from or if it was a custom one off manufacture.

The good thing about the video is that it shows how to take the OEM shock apart to fit the new spring.

Once the spring is fitted it appears that the sag is almost non-existent and the rear of the bike is much taller even with rider aboard. There’s very little info in the video description and many have asked for more info but nothing seems to be forth coming.