How time flies; it seems like it was only yesterday since we published our first look at the INNOVV Power Hub 1 product – I’ll blame it on cabin fever generated largely due to our lousy and continuing winter…
But like the original Power Hub 1 reviewed in December 2016 to be exact, the newest iteration, now called the Power Hub 2 still provides five switched in-line fused outputs, but in a much smaller form factor – taking up about half the space needed for the original Power Hub 1.
And it is this ‘downsizing’ that is, at least for me, the biggest change to what is one of the most versatile and economical power output products on the market.
The INNOVV Power Hub 2
Welcome to 2019 and the INNOVV Power Hub 2. Unlike the Power Hub 1 that is a more 3-dimensional shape (think The Borg Cube), the Power Hub 2 is packaged in a smaller ‘brick’ form factor with identical dimensions to that of the INNOVV smart power supply module supplied with the C5 single and K2 dual channel camera systems.
Comparatively, both Hub variants are totally sealed, including the flying lead cables used for input and outputs – features allowing the modules to be mounted and used externally or in a more protected or hidden unused spot on the host platform.
But the newer smaller Power Hub 2 is far more likely to fit into a wider variety of spaces, especially when footprint and clearance are paramount; the five output leads with ATM fuse modules occupy more space than the module itself…
wBW has tested, installed and used virtually everything power distribution and management system on the market over the years, be they large, small, switched or unswitched, wired or wireless managed; and, the INNOVV Power Hub products remain great representatives for their genre.
We truly are well served regarding power distribution products for motorcycles. However, in comparing many competitive products, the INNOVV pieces still stand out, not only for their simplicity and flexibility but also pricing.
Power Hub 2 Features
At almost half the size of the original, the down-sized Power Hub 2 still features three input leads and five output leads – all with individual in-line ATM fuse modules. The two LED display found on the Power Hub 1 is now represented by a single small Blue status LED on the Power Hub 2.
Power Hub Comparison Table
Power Hub 1
Power Hub 2
64.2 x 39 x 40mm (2.5 x 1.5 x 1.6in)
46.2 x 31 x 18mm (1.8 x 1.2 x 0.7in)
Pos (fused), Neg, Ignition trigger
Pos (fused), Neg, Ignition trigger
5 x 5A fused flying leads (15A max)
5 x 3A fused flying leads (5A max)
10 second On and Off
10 second On and Off
Red = Fault, Blue = Flashing on/off and Steady for power good
Blue = Flashing on/off, Steady for power good
Power Hub 2 Leads & Lengths
Yellow = ignition (trigger) – connected to ignition switched power source, sends electrical signal to trigger the Power Hub to turn on and activate the five output circuits (115cm/45in)
Red = positive power lead input connected to positive terminal of battery, ATM fused (100cm/39in)
Black = ground lead input connected to negative terminal of battery (100cm/39in)
5 x Red power output leads, with ATM in-line fuses (57cm/22in)
1 x Black common ground for connected accessories (33cm/13in)
As the Power Hub 2 is so small and totally sealed with input and output connections done using the flying leads the module is mountable almost anywhere, making it such a simple solution for virtually any powersports platform, especially motorcycles.
Since its release, I have installed many Power Hub 1 modules in a variety of motorcycles (sports, touring, adventure and scooters) with a suitable spot always found, although sometimes it took a bit of scoping and creative mounting to get it installed in the best location.
Not so for the Power Hub 2 – it is proving to be much easier to find a good spot or spots on the exterior or interior in which to mount it and with its long input and output leads routed, there aren’t a lot of limits to just where and how the system can be installed.
Being in the middle of cabin fever mitigation activities – otherwise known as winter period accessorizing, the arrival of the Power Hub 2 was timely as some additional unswitched power was needed for some additional USB outlets, handguard LEDs and rear-facing auxiliary lighting.
An initial outer side wall installation of the module was done on the 2019 F850GSAdv for assessment but was then moved over to the 2018 R1200GS Rallye where it had a temporary home and now a (permanent) location.
On both the F850GSA and the R1200GS, the module was initially mounted on the right outer sidewall of the under-seat housing before being moved to its permanent home under the back deck and just to the right of OE DWA (Alarm) module.
All the locations work fine, although with different fastener material used for fixing the lightweight module in place. The external mountings use 3M VHB adhesive strips while the under-deck placement is more than adequate using low profile 3M Dual-Lock pieces, so the module can be lifted out of the way easily – the deck area is crowded…
While the Red and Black power leads, housed in a length of Flexo F6, run up to or forward (depending on the motorcycle) to the battery box, the Yellow trigger wire has a couple of connection options.
All the home fleet motorcycles see a lot of accessory ‘test mule’ activity, so extension leads via Posi-Tap pieces from the Brake, Left and Right Turn Signal and License Plate Light leads are installed and run to a six terminal common connection (barrier) strip to facilitate ongoing access and eliminate repeated access to the thin OE wiring.
The remaining two terminals are used for 12V switched power sources with a separately dedicated ground block mounted under the deck as well.
So, the ignition switched yellow trigger wire can go to the nearby Posi-Tap on the 7.5A 12V switched lead of the 10A/7.5A dual accessory circuit module located to the right under the rider’s seat section or to the terminal block hosting the license plate extension lead.
With the ‘input’ side of things taken care of, the one, it is time to utilize the five output leads with their ATM in-line fuse pieces to get things wired up. I typically mark the circuits one through five for documented use identification.
Two of the output leads run forward along the right wall, joining up to their respective accessory leads using waterproof Posi-Locks. A third output, also with a waterproof connector, routes behind the OE alarm module as 12V switched power to the Admore Lighting ADMSB Smart-Brake light bar (these are among the first accessories installed on all home fleet motorcycles).
The remaining two output circuits, with fuses removed (bagged, with spares and secured in an accessible spot) are sealed off, wrapped up and tucked away between the DWA and RDC modules – but fishable from the deck cutout.
Function & Performance
Turn on the ignition and wait 10 seconds – when the (visible or not) Blue LED lights up the Power Hub 2 is up and running along with connected accessories. Turning the ignition off sees another 10-second delay (along with any onboard system delay), then the PH2 shuts down.
Performance, including reliability, is easy to assess…none of the (many) original Power Hub 1 units I have installed nor either of the two newer Power Hub 2 systems has ever shown any sign of weakness or failure.
INNOVV has stayed the course regarding general features of both the original Power Hub 1 and now the new Power Hub 2; the biggest visual takeaway regards the difference in overall size between the two.
Capacity and output are downsized – from 40A to 20A, with the expected reduction in recommended individual circuit maximums, from 15A to 5A (Hub 1 and Hub 2 respectively).
This could raise concerns over limitations, but as (most) of the accessories in use between four different motorcycles typically draw 0.5A to 4A tops (another benefit of using LED lighting) this reduction isn’t a major concern, although it needs to be considered.
And multiple circuits could be ‘ganged’ together for heavier duty demands, like the previously mentioned heated gear.
A small nit – there is (still) no choice between switched and unswitched output as many other products offer; once the 10-second bootup step is completed, all the circuits, properly fused, are available for use.
An observation made in the Power Hub 1 review over the 10-second boot and shut down delay is possibly still applicable here, although it doesn’t seem to have arisen as a major issue for users.
But it would still be great to see a time-delay shutdown provided if the motor is not actually started within a specific time…
Our bottom line from the original Power Hub 1 review bears reuse, although updated to reflect the new product; “the INNOVV Power Hub 2 is cost-effective with a list price of $69.00 and is a near perfect small form factor solution for adding multiple accessories where a rugged hands-off operating environment is key.”
Very small simple module
Simple battery and trigger lead connections
Five fused switched output circuits (3A nominal, 5A maximum)
Totally sealed module and leads
Long leads facilitate installation
Installable almost anywhere desired
Hard plastic ATM fuse modules are (very) hard to open
Like the original K1, the new INNOVV K2 is a dual-channel (front/rear or ??) video recording system, specifically designed for powersports but physically and functionally optimized for motorcycle use.
As the replacement for the tried and trusted K1 system, the K2 reflects an updated design and application approach in using a sealed DVR module, two hardened low-profile camera modules, a small GPS module, and a Smart Power module, all effectively brought together with heavy-duty cables and IP65/IP67 weatherproof connectors.
The K2 powers up after a slight boot delay and starts recording automatically (user intervention is allowed). The wide range of view lenses (horizontal and vertical) are just about perfect and the HD video quality is very good even in low light or nighttime conditions; this is indeed a 24/7/365 functioning system.
The WiFi link and iOS/Android apps provide a live-view or monitoring capability, with mirroring as desired while GPS data tagged to the video files provides an even more detailed record of riding activities that can be especially important in the event of incidents or accidents.
Overall First Impressions
Very worthy successor to the original INNOVV dual-channel powersports system
No separate remote-control, other than in using connected device and app
Excellent design and build quality
Front and Back cameras cannot be set to differing resolutions/frames
Easy to install, everything needed is provided
Park Mode features need fine tuning
No user interaction needed unless desired
Mapping playback procedure can be fussy
Very good quality video under all conditions
Recessed storage card hard to remove
Live monitoring, mirroring front and back
Recorded audio not very clear or loud
Video/GPS data playback directly from camera, paired device, or as download
Great system, excellent value & investment
INNOVV K2 Overview
There is no doubt that in a technology-based fast-moving society that we sometimes need help to cope with it all and having a motorcycle-mounted accessory that enhances both the riding experience and riding safety isn’t a bad thing, especially when the Mark 1 eyeballs have other situational awareness tasks to handle.
Just such an accessory is the INNOVV K2 dual-channel camera system. Its front and rear views (or wherever the lens point) and always-on HD video recording, augmented with time, speed, and positional data tagged to the video files make it truly one of the easiest and most reliable ways to ‘capture the ride’.
And given its features and functional parameters, the INNOVV K2 is also a passive and discrete safety tool, keeping a visual, audio and positional record of riding time; but when and if needed, this record can become critical information.
While not all original K1 features were carried over to the new K2 (I’m sure the team had some difficult choices to make), this new system is not lacking – its stylish low-profile design, upgraded components, increased robustness, and new features more than offset what was left behind.
The original INNOVV K1 dual channel camera system had a feature-rich footprint for lots of powersports applications – dual-channel HD video capture, integrated GPS data, external speaker and remote, hardened waterproof cameras (one with a shock sensor), integrated LCD display, park and impact back-up, and the list went on…
With the introduction in June 2017 of the single channel C5 system that was specifically designed for rugged harsh environment use, INNOVV added WiFi connectivity and a smart device (iOS/Android) app – features that by themselves added a host of capabilities; it all served to validate INNOVV’s momentum and commitment to the market.
Now we have INNOVV’s latest iteration of a purpose-built turn-key system, the K2 – evolved from both the original K1 and the C5 to deliver a turn-key dual channel powersports HD video camera system.
The dual-channel K2 components are designed to withstand the rigors of powersports use. The main components are either IP65 (dust-tight/water pressure resistant) or IP67(dust-tight and immersion up to 1m of water) rated and its overall operating/storage temperature range is -20C ~ 70C (-4F ~ 158F)
K2 Kit Contents
INNOVV aims to provide all the essential pieces and with the rare exception, everything needed to get the system up and running is indeed inside.
1 x DVR module (IP65) with microSD storage (up to 256GB)
2 x bullet style camera modules with integrated 1.5m/3.0m cables
1 x 12/5V DC Smart Power Converter
1 x GPS Module with 1.2m cable (IP67)
1 x hardware bag (lens holders, L-brackets, 0.25 in (20P) hardware and Allen-key
1 four-way folded installation and instruction sheet
K2 Component Description & Function
This section serves to describe a progressive build-up ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the main components providing a ‘sum of the parts’ walk-through of the K2 system.
Smart Power Supply
This sealed component is a 12/5V DC converter with some electronic smarts onboard. It provides the proper 5V switched power supply to system components and teams up with the DVR G-Sensor to enable the Park Mode feature described below. The system is lightweight electrically, drawing less than 500mA.
Layout-wise there are two wiring bundles exiting the top of the sealed module. On the top right are the Red positive and Black negative wires that go to the battery along with the Yellow trigger or switched (accessory/ACC) wire that connects to a switched lead on the motorcycle or third-party power distribution system output (Centech, PDM60, Neutrino Black Box, etc).
The second group exits as a three-wire (output) cable from the top left of the converter module. The cable terminates in a waterproof connector that is mated to its (keyed) counterpart on the flying lead of the DVR.
As described earlier, activation of the Park Mode feature is contingent up three conditions being met
G-Sensor activation under the app
Park Mode activation under the app, and
Battery State at/above threshold
The power supply monitors motorcycle battery voltage and Park Mode activation is contingent on a voltage of greater than 12V being present (motorcycle on or off) as described below:
Motorcycle battery power is greater than 12V (>=12V)
Ignition On – after 10 to 15 seconds, from the output side, ACC gets 5.0V and the Positive 5.3V; the DVR starts recording.
Ignition Off – after ten seconds, on the Output side, ACC gets 0V and the Positive gets 5.3V; the DVR stops recording and goes to Standby/Park Mode; if the motorcycle is subsequently disturbed or there is an impact of some sort the DVR-imbedded G-sensor activates the camera system for 60 seconds of recording.
Motorcycle battery power is less than 12V (<=12V)
Ignition On – after 10 to 15 seconds, from the Output side, ACC gets 5.0V and the Positive 5.3V; the DVR starts recording
Ignition Off – after ten seconds, from the Output side, ACC gets 0V and the Positive 0V; the DVR does not record (battery is below the threshold), even if Standby/Park Mode is activated the G-sensor does NOT enable recording (avoiding further drain on the battery)
The ten-second power on/power off delay provides start-up protection when the ignition is turned on and the engine started and a graceful time-delay power off so that any active recording can be saved off and not lost.
The pre-production kit had the (upgraded) thicker plastic brackets found in the C5 kit, with new black lightweight pinch brackets sent along a bit later – these well-machined pieces have side and top mounting points using the standard camera mount 0.25in (20P) thread.
The standard pinch brackets are great for most installations – low-profile or otherwise and with the non-skid cushioning material added to the inner ring (as done for the plastic C5 holders as well) the lens pieces are (very) secure.
But in responding to feedback from users, the K2 team came up with a multi-piece design (see photo), two of which were received just before submission of this review. While the use of them is pending, they should provide another very good mounting option.
After the release of the single channel C5 and while developing the K2 system, INNOVV decided to standardize on a single style camera component – so the K2 kit uses two of the small solid billet tubular camera modules like those used with the C5 system.
Each camera is sealed (IP67 stated) module with a 6G hardened medium wide-angle lens (diagonal 145⁰/horizontal 120⁰/vertical angle 100⁰) that provide an optimal field of view for the way ahead and behind enabling road and traffic monitoring and capturing the surroundings from whatever angle they are mounted for.
Available video resolution settings are 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 60 fps.The video format is H.264 compression in MP4 format. Both cameras are now set to the same resolution as a pair, unlike the original K1 that allowed differing resolutions for each camera.
Of the two camera modules provided, one features a 1.5m (4.9ft) and the other a 3.0m (9.8ft) connection cable – both terminate in weatherproof USB-C connectors that plug into the right end of the DVR module, secured in place with small thumb screw assemblies.
Note – when installing or removing the USB-C connectors, make sure the very small thin O-ring seals stay in place…two spares are provided in the kit parts bag.
At a squarish 42 x 42 x 15mm (1.6 x 1.6 x 0.5in) this IP67 rated module with rounded edges is very low profile, although it needs to be mounted in a high-profile or clear line of sight location to the sky for synchronization purposes – top-cases, windscreens or high front fenders work well.
With its 1.2m (3.9ft) cable (longer than the pre-release unit) connected to the GPS-marked waterproof flying lead on the DVR module, and activated under the App ‘Video’ settings, recorded video is enhanced with position, time, date and speed data for an even more complete record of activities.
Exploiting the GPS tracking data during video playback can be done during playback on an iOS or Android device (if the needed access permissions (location and possibly storage) are provided) or playback on a PC. The user also needs to select the correct mapping system on the App (Baidu or Google Maps) as well when activating the feature.
When the GPS is connected and synchronized, a small icon is displayed on the app live-view screen and another related icon lets you know that the data is being recorded to the video track.
This stylish slim aluminum and plastic housing with integrated leads, recessed ports, and weather resistant features can be mounted externally but its ideally installed in a secure hidden location; particularly now that monitoring and user interaction can all be done via the WiFi connection and paired device app.
Two flying leads (marked Power and GPS) with waterproof connectors exit the left end of the module, while two recessed USB-C ports on the right end host the waterproof screw-type front and back camera cables.
A slim weather resistant silicone insert flap on the top edge hides a (reserved use) micro-USB port and micro-SD slot and, a small pinhole audio pick-up.
Note – a modified DVR housing with an external audio pick-up port is now in hand, but results so far have been inconclusive; an update will be provided regarding the audio feature.
The large button on the face is the manual On/Off control that works even if power is being supplied.
Above the power button are four LEDs as function and system status indicators. From left to right they are:
WiFi (Green) – flashes when awaiting connectivity/solid when connected
Recording (Blue) – flashes once per second when recording/solid when stopped, and flashes three times per second when there is no media card in the DVR
Photograph (Red) – flashes three times for a photo, and flashes on/off rapidly when SD card is being formatted, and
GPS (Yellow) – flashes when awaiting synchronization/solid when connected
Note – all four LEDs flash together when a firmware update is initiated – the system automatically resets once done.
Media up to 256GB is supported, but FAT32 formatting needs to be maintained and accordingly, using the App – ‘Settings’ and ‘Format’, is the most expedient means to do this – described in the ‘App’ section below.200GB SanDisk UHS-1 A1 rated media is being used with very good success.
Now housed within the DVR module, this feature is a welcome carry-over from the original K1 system.It can be turned On/Off and set for Low, Mid or High sensitivity under the App and works in conjunction with the Park Mode setting to provide movement or shock detection and system activation with short-term video recording for a record of any event.
WiFi, App, & Firmware Versions
As of this submission, the posted firmware version is K2.20180925.V0.39; the latest posted iOS app is v1.1.2 and for Android it is v1.2.5; it pays to keep both system firmware and interface apps up to date to optimize system use.
The INNOVV WiFi feature provides local (no Internet) connectivity. During pre-release testing, both the WiFi and app were slow and prone to dropping out, but between iterative updates and release of the retail box kit, everything is now pretty much seamless and quick. The network ID is ‘INNOVV_K2_xxxx’ and the default login is ‘12345678’.
With many devices, the INNOVV network connection won’t be remembered; this is done in large part to that any default network connection doesn’t get bumped out. So once the K2 is up and running, the K2s network ID needs to be scanned for or found and selected.
iOS and Android Applications
When launched two quick splash screens will appear while the app loads, then the main function screen comes up and goes live once the connection is made.
The middle tile on the main screen is the Settings (gear wheel) tile – activating it brings up a multi-page scrollable settings list – best explored first, then followed by a feature by feature customization to achieve the initial settings.
Some settings of note:
Loop Recording – settings of Off, 1, 3, 5 and 10 minutes are selectable; files are maintained on the storage media until space requirements dictate that the oldest files be overwritten. Park Mode generated files are stored under the ‘Park’ folder and not overwritten’
Photographs – single or time-lapse photos can be done using the ‘Camera’ tile; settings for the time lapse feature are Off, 100/200/500ms.
G-Sensor – Off, Low, Med, and High settings are available. Once the system is installed and if the Park Mode feature is going to be used, the user needs to try the different sensitivity settings relevant to the motorcycle to determine the best setting.
Park Mode – the Smart Power component and G-sensor combine to provide this feature. With G-Sensor and Park mode settings activated under the app, unplanned movement or impact of some sort causes the system to activate during which (up to) 60 seconds of video/audio is recorded for each ‘event’, then the system returns to Standby.
For reference purposes, the applicable K2 component connection lead lengths are provided:
Camera module cables = 1 of 1.5m and one of 3.0m
DVR Module – Power and GPS Flying Leads = 15cm (5.9in)
GPS Module = 1.3m (ng Lead (DVR) = 15cm or 5.9in
Smart Power (12/5V Converter) Module
Input Leads = Positive & Negative are 60 (23.6in); Trigger Lead is 80cm (31.4in)
Output Cable, 3pin Connector = 53cm (20.8in)
2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca
The pre-release K2 system supplied for initial comment and testing was installed on to the Tiger, which also hosts an INNOVV C5. This double-banking was good as it allowed for direct comparison between the two systems.
For better standardization regarding the frontal field of view both the K2 and C5 front camera modules were mounted on the left and right sides respectively – essentially level with the headlight. The K2 module used the newer black billet pinch-style mount and L-bracket while the C5 module used the plastic ring mount with spring assembly and L-bracket.
I did test-mount the front module under the upper front fender or beak – it is almost totally hidden from view (as it does with BMW GS models as well) and the overall field of view is limited and, the lens gets dirty quickly.
In considering the factors and from testing, the higher profile placement offers an unobstructed wide-angle view relevant to both horizontal and vertical axis and in being hung out in the breeze so to speak stay quite clean. A few front edge dings are evident on the module, but the lens remains undamaged.
The K2 rear camera mounts to a shaped light steel L-bracket that shares a mount with the adapter plate for a SHAD ST38 aluminum top box (a prototype that never made it to market).
Small metal and fiber washers from the kit form a sandwich style isolation washer between camera bracket and L-bracket; this is one of the most effective means to reduce vibration and stabilize video.
The GPS module was originally secured to the back of the top box lid using squares of low-profile 3M Dual-Lock but with the newer longer 1.2+m cable the component is now mounted to the top of the BMW Locking Cradle and Navi V combination fitted to a home-made heads-up navigation mount bracket.
Both the camera and GPS module leads run back between the side panels and frame to the (fully usable) rear under-seat compartments that are perfect for electronic accessory installations including multiple leads and harnesses.
As the K2 12/5V DC Converter module is sealed, it is stuck to the left outer side of the under-seat housing right next to one of the ~24mm oval holes found on both sides of the deck housing.
The holes provide easy access and routing of the input and output wiring for the Converter module, but also allow moisture and dirt in, so appropriately-sized grommets provide a better seal.
With ring terminals crimped/soldered on and sealing sections of heat shrink applied, the 2A mini-fuse from the converter’s positive in-line holder and the negative battery lead were removed, the ring terminals were put in place along with the main battery leads and everything tightened up – negative terminal last.
The Yellow switched or trigger/ACC wire runs back to the under-seat accessory USB harness with a red Posi-Tap making a clean and unobtrusive connection into the White wire of the USB harness.
With the 2A in-line fuse replaced, the waterproof connections for the Converter output and GPS harnesses are made to the ‘Power’ and ‘GPS’ marked leads on the DVR (the connections are ‘keyed’ – they can only be fitted in the correct manner, eliminating installation errors).
And with the two waterproof USB-C connectors on the lens leads fully seated in their ports on the DVR module and the insert screws tightened up, the initial installation is done.
Turning on the ignition and waiting ten seconds sees the K2 system power up and the LEDs twinkle and shortly thereafter video recording starts. Time to make the WiFi connection, launch the app and configure the system.
Note – this pre-release system installation has since been replaced with the updated retail box (Rev 1) kit.
2018 BMW R1200GS Installation
Using the second retail box kit provided. Overall its installation parallels the approach taken with the Tiger.
The installation process had only two deviations:
The Yellow trigger wire draws switched power from a Posi-Tap added to the 7.5A power lead of the under-seat accessory plug.
The DVR module sits in a light foam cushion under the front (rider’s) seat section.
2019 BMW F850GS Installation (Pending)
As the Tiger is likely to be a short-timer in the home fleet, the first retail box kit installed on it is being moved over to the recently arrived 2019 BMW F850GS, that might also be a short-timer, given that an order for the F850GS Adventure is pending…
No issues are foreseen for either F850 model – thankfully given the new layout of the battery, sensor and main electronic modules, there is a fair bit of readily accessible real estate under the deck component.
K2 System Feature & Performance Observations
The K2 system with its components and features is an excellent plug-n-play accessory with near seamless set-n-forget performance – it just keeps on recording, with tagged GPS data and producing great HD quality front and back facing video.
One of the best features appreciated with the K2 system, specifically the cameras, is the lens versatility – providing an outstanding field of view in the vertical and horizontal axis, a key factor in being able to use the system for road and traffic monitoring and scenic captures.
Wireless & App
While I might still miss the original LCD on the K1 DVR, having the same preview/live-view ability, along with other abilities, via the WiFi connection and smart-device application provides far more versatility and ease of use – all good.
Cameras – Hidden or Exposed
Many will question why the K2 camera modules are not hidden or at least placed in a lower profile mounting on our home fleet motorcycles and it is indeed a fair question.
But the objective for use is to provide a clear optimal view of the front and back in respect to their respective fields of view so that optimal video capture is done, for a variety of purposes.
Once set-up the K2 system captures two channels of HD video that along with the GPS data and audio provides a scenic and enduring record of the ride. And over the years there have been some noteworthy incidents where the K1, C5, and K2 video, audio and reference data has proven valuable to us and other parties…
the power and sensor-based solution provided in the K2 for the Standby/Park Mode feature seems to work OK depending on the motorcycle and where/how the DVR is installed and the ability to adjust settings is also good.
But overall the feature is a bit of a miss and when activated, no matter the setting, a lot of Park Mode folder files are generated, even when the system is operating on relatively even road surfaces. And conversely, disturbing or physically moving the motorcycle often doesn’t activate the feature at all.
In being very familiar with the camera module-based sensor of the K1 and in using other systems that have G-sensor based capabilities to detect motion, etc., I’m not convinced that putting the single G-sensor into the DVR module is best, especially given where the DVR is likely to be installed (around the mass of the motorcycle).
My recommendation here is that the feature is revisited – some form of (wider) dynamic range could possibly be implemented or a secondary sensor installed in the cameras or GPS module could provide a better averaging approach with (perhaps) better sensitivity – this valuable feature could and should be more effective.
With the module tucked away somewhere and the silicone weatherproof cover in place on the DVR module and appreciating the typical motorcycle environment, audio is usually very muffled and can be hard to understand.
A workaround of sorts is to lift up or remove the silicone cover over the small pin-hole (shown above) – this can dramatically improve overall audio, although not without some compromise to DVR integrity and audio still isn’t as good as many other PoV systems…
Note – a modified DVR housing, just received, now features a weatherproof external pick-up port and while early testing is inconclusive, some improvement is noted; the K2 team is keen to get this addressed.
A lesson learned over the years in using body or motorcycle-mounted POV cameras is that it (really) pays to review stored files on a regular basis and download them to safe storage especially if lower capacity onboard media is used.
When commuting or riding the local terrain, the files get reviewed and downloaded once or twice a week or more often if there is a specific activity or incident that needs to be looked at or if it could be needed (first responders or insurance related).
On the road, where hopefully video recorded is or can be scenery focused rather than traffic-related the files are reviewed and saved off daily to the travel PC and/or a portable drive.
Apps for Video Playback
The INNOVV identified solution for displaying the dual-channel video with GPS tagged data captured by the K2 is Dashcam Viewer.
I used the free version initially but have since paid for the full version. It isn’t the only app on the market supporting multi-channel multi-sensor data, but it works well once the needed plugins are installed. The software supports the original K1 system, along with other PoV systems I still use.
This the third INNOVV camera system reviewed for wBW and although the original K1 system had some (still) unique features its predecessor, the new K2 system is better in virtually every way.
I never go out riding without having at least one helmet, body or motorcycle mounted camera actively recording constantly; an amendment to the personal ATGATT approach.
And you know what? It is rare (very rare) that one of the active camera systems doesn’t capture something of note or by the same token help in de-conflicting traffic issues… including ‘your motorcycle is in my space’ scenario where succinctly identifying the presence of a camera works wonders…
Otherwise, the INNOVV camera products just keep on running in the background, capturing video, audio and GPS data discretely, all typically with minimal intervention required. And by the way, one of the original K1 systems is now installed on the four-wheeler… as the K2 can be.
wBW has reviewed most of the INNOVV products over the years and in doing so, contact is typically maintained between reviewers and product team leads – a fact that allows us to sometimes get involved in pre-release testing or in refining requirements; and, done without compromising wBW principles regarding publication of honest objective reviews.
So, while my experience may admittedly be different than other users, this continued positive support and interaction with INNOVV needs to be acknowledged, whether as a consumer or product reviewer.
The INNOVV K2 dual-channel camera systems set a high standard. It is an excellent solution for a wide range of requirements and at a typically listed $338.00 USD, very much worth the investment, for lots of reasons.
My comment from the original INNOVV K1 review bears repeating here, “while we may not want to accept the need for this technology, it is a fact of life of many of us, unfortunately.”
Very worthy successor to the original INNOVV dual-channel powersports system
Excellent design and build quality
Easy to install, everything needed is provided
No user interaction needed unless desired
Very good quality video under all conditions
Live monitoring, mirroring front and back
Direct video/GPS data playback
Great system, excellent value & investment
No separate remote-control, other than in using connected device and app
Front and Back cameras cannot be set to differing resolutions/frames
The 2019 F750GS and F850GS are BMW Motorrad’s new, anxiously awaited, but behind schedule new release models replacing the original F650 and F700/F800 series motorcycles.
The somewhat larger (853cc vice 798cc) engine with revised crankshaft offset, timing and balancing changes now produces 95Hp vice 85 and torque is 92Nm vice 83; the changes provide a far stronger and responsive motor.
While weight is up, chassis, suspension, and component changes make for a far more stable machine compared to the F800 motorcycles – progress is good.
Overall First Impressions
Motor – “strong like bull”, arm pulling power across the band
Buzzing/vibration virtually non-existent
Chassis/suspension/component changes form a very stable well-handling machine
21in front wheel stable at all speeds/surfaces
LED headlights and tail/brake lights
Aluminum cross-spoke rims, tubeless
Electronic packages enhance the experience
Familiar size, layout, and function regarding current F-series motorcycles
Slimming lines, narrow rider area and back subframe facilitating accessory mounting
Heavier, gain mitigated through chassis, suspension and component changes
Factory packages and equipment options add significantly to the base price
Centre mount fuel cell only 15L (incl reserve)
Rallye variant should have more endure bit-n-pieces as standard equipment
Some low-rpm remapping needed
A Dilemma in the Making
What we have here is an evolving but acknowledged dilemma… created knowingly in owning many Beemers of all sizes over many years, including an original F 800 GS and recently a treasured F 800 GSA that was originally slated as a trade for a new F 850 GS or GSA; the former now seriously overdue and the latter becoming a serious contender given timelines.
In the interim, a 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca fills the mid-displacement (small GS) gap quite nicely; in fact, it’s causing the dilemma. The Tiger is one darn fine motorcycle and thoughts of retaining it while still investing in an F 850 are gaining traction…
Acknowledging & Leveraging a Relationship
An early opportunity is just that and one not to be left on the table. As a volunteer Ride Lead for the BMW Demo Ride Days I was discussing the plans for the upcoming second Ottawa Motorrad event with the Sales Manager, during which it became apparent that an opportunity to undertake a First Ride review of the 2019 BMW F 850 GS could become reality; can we say ‘thank you’.
The Walkaround – First Impressions Do Count
The 2019 BMW F850GS in Rallye livery – Light White and Lupin Blue scheme stands out and provides a very good visual first impression, not diminished after the first walk around and then further inspection of the externals.
It is hard to miss the specific GS Rallye highlights including the radiator trim and cross-spoked gold rims, and especially for F-series owners, the (now) right-side exhaust and left-side chain drive.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty, such as where all the parts are from or, where its assembled, this first contact (including the distinctive LED running light shaping), first leg over, first start-up and first ride, is all (very) good.
Getting used to not having the fuel cell under the seat is likely to be one of the most persistent visual observations owners of previous F-series machines will have – appreciating the pros and cons of such an arrangement.
Smooth Styling – Slimming Lines
In not (totally) buying into all the BMW Motorrad marketing hype about the ‘why’ in moving the fuel cell back to what some see as the traditional location in front of the rider, one must acknowledge that it does result in an overall slimming of lines and fit from the rider’s placement to the back of the motorcycle.
There is still a fair amount of plastic, but BMW Motorrad’s continuing design and styling exercises see the modular pieces become more aesthetically pleasing and for the most part, easier to work with.
And the streamlined plastic and flowing lines do contribute to an overall visual of a lighter, leaner machine, which is good as both the 2019 F850GS and its almost identical sibling the F750GS have put on a few kgs.
Wheels, Brakes, & Suspension
The F850GS Rallye variant features gold rim aluminum cross spoke wheels. The front is 21 x 2.15 shod with a 90/90 tire while the rear is 17 x 4.25 and carries a 150.70 R17 tire. And, to the joy of many, tires can now be run tubeless.
Up front is found a 43mm USD fork with 8.0 in of travel, with the more sensitive exposed parts protected from obstacles and low-flying things by full fender leg covers.
At the back, the standard configuration rear shock in bright red has 8.6 in of travel. BMW electronic suspension adjustment or ESA equipped models are easy to spot – the gold colored remote reservoir component is fitted inside a protective plastic frame mounted on the left subframe.
Both the 750 and 850 models feature dual 305 mm front brake rotors with two-piston floating calipers; a single 265 mm rear disc with a single caliper is used at the rear wheel.
The enduro-style brake lever is familiar – readily accessed and providing good modulation of the rear stopper. Some owners will prefer the optionally adjustable assembly with its spring-loaded section that flips up or down depending on what type of access/reach is desired.
This adjustable component was standard on the original F800GSA and I had hoped it might have been migrated as a standard piece… ah well.
Carries Its Weight (Increase) Well
Rolling the F 850 GS around in the parking lot didn’t bring any surprises, in fact, it seems lighter than my previous F 800 GS machines, especially the recently departed 2014 F 800 GSA that was the heaviest due to its extra fuel load carried mid-ships and a couple of OEM accessories.
With its up-front 15L fuel cell at least 90% capacity, the F 850 GS’s road-ready weight is listed as 229 kg or 505 lbs (up from 217 kg or 478 lbs) for an identified increase of 12 kgs or 26.5 lbs over the base 2017 F 800 GS model.
But like the original F650/700/800 series models, the new F 850 GS and the F 750 GS carry their weight extremely well; discernable weight gain is mitigated once the wheels start turning and the ride by wire throttle exercised.
A quick summary of the power plant: an increase from 798cc to 853cc for the vertical two-cylinder vertical four stroke motor featuring four valves per cylinder, DOHC and dry sump lubrication.
Claimed output for the F850GS is 70kW or 95hp at 8250rpm (up from 85hp at 7500rpm); maximum torque is listed as 92 Nm at 6250rpm (up from 83 Nm at 5750rpm)
Another major engine change that can be felt and heard, features a crankshaft journal offset of 90 degrees and firing intervals of 270/450 degrees. This results in a uniquely powerful sound immediately distinguishable from earlier F-series machines (0-degree crankshaft journal and 360-degree firing order).
Longtime F-series owners will be pleased to note that higher rpm buzz issues prevalent on so many earlier F-series models is now, at least from my initial F750/850GS rides, a thing of the past; mitigated by using two counterbalance shafts (vice the original crankshaft/counter-weight layout).
The combination of these major changes results in an extremely strong and extremely smooth-running engine throughout the (used) rpm range and of course, the previously mentioned robust engine sound.
At 416 W (nominal power), the alternator hasn’t been beefed up, something I thought might have happened as part of the new powerplant. The battery is a 10 Ah maintenance free unit.
Other notable features are
BMW-M digital engine management
E-Gas (ride by wire)
regulated catalytic converter
a new stainless-steel exhaust system
6-gear claw gearbox integrated into the engine casing (similar to the approach used with the new R 1250 motors)
secondary drive using an endless Z-ring chain with rear hub cushion damper
mechanical clutch with anti-hopping function and,
full Euro-4 emissions standard compliance.
The First Ride
After installing my BMW Navigator VI into the open navigation preparation cradle mounted on the handlebar clamps it was time to quit ‘burning late-summer daylight’ and get on (and off) the road to make the most of this time-limited opportunity.
At 188 cm (6 ft, 2 in+) and an 86.3cm (34 in) inseam, putting a leg over the F 850 GS with the regular seat (860mm, step length 1910mm) felt familiar – the well-used BMW Santiago boots are flat on the ground.
Leveraging the GS up from the too-tall (for a purpose) side-stand isn’t hard, but a little extra effort is involved – the first sign of that extra/re-located weight.
The Keyless Ride button brings the F 850 GS Rallye to life with a familiar initial bark. But after this, it is a whole new ballgame and any notion that this is the same in-line vertical twin of yore is immediately dispelled as the GS settles into a lump-lump big-V-twin sounding idle, admittedly helped in part by the optional HP Sport (Akrapovic) Sport silencer.
With the ignition on, the new 6.5in TFT display comes to life and after its initial splash screens the standard extremely clear and easy to read default display sits ready for your viewing pleasure and, use via the new Multi-Function or Jog Wheel controller now part of the left switchgear grouping on the handlebar; do I like being spoiled, yes.
During a short warm-up, all the switch-gear, pedals, and mirrors were further inspected and adjusted as needed; quality and feel are first-rate, everything is placed in familiar ergonomically positions and works as expected.
A slight push down on the shifter brings about a slight snick and jump for first gear, but after that, it is all smooth – whether with the more stock 750 GS model or the F 850 GS equipped with the Shift Assist Pro feature.
The first few blocks of crawling at low speed in traffic around town serve to confirm that the new F 850 GS (and its 750 sibling) are among the most nimble and well-balanced motorcycles I have ever ridden; none of the increased weight nor its distribution is felt.
The F 850 GS hauls. Once the tach clears a low RPM stumble (not observed on the F 750 GS) output and mapping of the new engine is readily discernible – arm straightening pull and a rush of speed, no muss, no fuss, just big smiles.
With tractor-like pulling power and long legs, the revised power plant is best displayed in dialing up some throttle and exercising the Shift Assist Pro. Upshifts are seamless and downshift only slightly more noticeable, although like the versions on our 2017 and 2018 R 1200 GS Rallye machines the feature works best when used from second and up and back down.
Toggling between the Road, Enduro and Enduro Pro modes is a fun and discernible exercise while running our poorly maintained city roads, out into the countryside, and then on to some hard pack gravel and dirt roads while transitioning between stretches of pavement.
As with the big GS machines, Dynamic Mode on the F 850 GS Rallye handles road and varied riding conditions with ease although the F 850 GS feels different in all available modes due to its chassis, suspension, handling and weight.
My original F 800 GS and F 800 GSA machines tended to exhibit some high-speed oscillation or twitch (on and off-road), but the F 850 GS with its frame, geometry, and suspension have the 21 inch and 90/90 wheel/tire combination stable at all speeds and on all surfaces traveled on for this review.
And even given the limited amount of time spent in transitioning onto and between road surfaces, the vertical twin GS feels very much like the Tiger 800Xca with its strong frame, stable handling, and compliant WP suspension.
The stock (skinny) road pegs on the demo Rallye were fine for this initial ride review, but as most of my riding is a mix of on and off-road with some touring thrown in, optional Enduro foot pegs or something similar will be needed.
With the narrow road pegs, standing up wasn’t as comfortable for the feet and like the F 800 GSA, another 15 to 20mm in bar height would be good for prolonged off-road riding.
But overall and for most other riding conditions, the layout of the handlebars, mirrors, pegs, and seat make for good ergonomics and visibility, at least for my build.
Many riders complained about the mirrors on the F-series motorcycles, but it never was an issue with me once the proper positioning is found and the mirrors on the F850GS are good to the same degree; not that they wouldn’t get changed for something more robust… or more easily replaced.
Like the Tiger 800Xca and the F 800 GSA, however, the left mirror on the F 850 GS is glass smooth while the right mirror is blurred at varying rpm and gear… is there a conspiracy here?
The brakes are as good or better than on previous F-series machines, although they don’t have the same forceful feel found in activating the integrated and assisted brakes on the larger GS machines; you know – that soft brick wall feeling…
Of importance for many is that the back brake, by itself, is well modulated and progressive, providing fine grain use, somewhat impacted depending on the modes in use of course.
And last, but not least, the windscreen. I am a minimalist here – enjoying the feel and flow of air into and through the cockpit. Accordingly, both the small and large (standard) non-adjustable screens (available in tint as well) installed on the 750 and 850 respectively look clean.
Being non-adjustable, a lot of riders will be (possibly) scratching their heads and looking for something else – quickly. Given the simple installation and adjustment solutions used on the bigger R-model machines, this fixed-in-place approach does not make sense, at all.
Now, having made these observations, higher-speed pavement runs were fully enjoyable on either machine and of course, a small spoiler style windscreen works well for many off-road environments, especially in warm-hot climates.
This initial ride was just that and I have no doubts that a longer-term review or ownership experience will put other things on the table to be dealt with; part of the fun in fitting the machine to the rider (or vice versa).
Since SHAD started making most (or all) of the BMW Motorrad OE and optional seats for Beemers I have been far less inclined to change seats during the ownership experiences – acknowledging that we are all unique in our requirements.
The first ride on the standard seat was comfortable for about three hours, then a couple of pressure points could be felt, but a photo stop provided the break, and some needed stretch n flex exercises. Bottom line – there is enough flat real estate and wiggle room to allow movement and allow seated flexing exercises.
While the stock seat is pretty good, once the ownership experience begins, one option to be pursued is the flat Rallye seat (seat height of 890mm and step length of 1980mm) as its shape and deck-style layout allows lots of movement – sitting or standing.
Another slightly higher option from stock is the Comfort Seat (seat height of 875 and step length of 1950mm). An earlier version used on my 2014 F 800 GSA was excellent for day-in/day-out travel, although needing a bit more cut out at the rear for larger/taller riders.
Finally, the F-series GS machines get full LED lighting with a standard LED headlight for low and high beam and rear tail/brake (with dynamic?) light. LED signal lights and the distinctive daytime running light are optional items.
Controls, Display, & Electronics
As stated earlier, all the basic controls fall readily to hand, or foot, without major observation, less the skinny road pegs.
As expected, given its showpiece status and subsequent fleet demo use this Rallye was equipped with (all) of the optional equipment packages. And less one or two specific enduro-oriented pieces, this configuration is the one I have on the pending order sheet.
Two of the most visual and useful additions are the 6.5 in TFT display and the left handlebar-mounted Multi-Function Controller or Jog Wheel. The Jog Wheel provides an intuitive and safe interaction with the TFT display menus and equal ease of interaction with a mounted BMW Navigator V or VI device.
And with the latest TFT firmware release loaded onto the system, additional features and enhancements to the navigation feature available when using a paired smart-device is now available.
I would be remiss in not admitting that the (smaller) TFT display and (very) well-thought-out but multiple digital input controls on the Tiger 800Xca including its nifty joystick controller is an easy to read and easy to use feature although with one or two niggling setting limitations.
But in ‘borrowing’ the 2018 R 1200 GS low frame Rallye from the home fleet with its TFT, Jog Wheel and Navigator cradle, the Motorrad combination reveals just much more can be realized by the user in an integrated cockpit environment; with more to follow.
For the most part, this same level of technology with features is now provided on the new F-series machines, including cruise control; it is a most welcome upgrade to the little GS machines.
Depending on the installed packages (standard or optional), the left and right handlebar nacelles provide the rider a whole lot of customization for individual riding environments and most of the features can be set ‘n forget or dynamically managed on the fly.
First Ride Deliberations & Verdict
As a way of qualification, this review is based on one initial ride of about five hours and then two more one-hour demo run trips on the F 850 GS Rallye and F 750 GS the following day; just enough time and exposure to start gathering data and processing it…
However, based on getting some extended riding time on the F 850 GS Rallye variant, it is (as I knew it would be) the model for me – it fits, almost like the proverbial glove and just like the original F 800 GS and later F 800 GSA did.
My attraction to and ownership of mid-size machines has never really waned over the decades and riding the F 850 GS Rallye served to rekindle the relationship.
And while this first ride is about the F 850 GS Rallye, the F 750 GS model cannot and should not be overlooked – I agree with many others who have used both, in that the F 750 GS is an excellent replacement for the original F 650 and current F 700 models.
So, no formal Pro and Con table here yet or encompassing summations – we’ll reserve those for what we hope will be a Part II Follow-on, either facilitated with a longer-term loan of the F 850 GS Rallye if it can be coordinated or, actual ownership.
The C5 single channel camera system is a newer offering from INNOVV providing a lot of desirable features for powersports activities, particularly motorcycling enthusiasts, at a very reasonable price.
Compact and ruggedized, the modular-based Innovv C5 provides a sealed waterproof lens, an aluminum DVR module, USB 3 integrated heavy-duty cable and a dedicated protective power supply in the form of a weatherproof 12-5V DC converter.
The Innovv C5 also provides WiFi, a popular and extremely useful feature not found on the single channel l C3 and dual-channel K1 products.
When networked to a compatible smart device running the iOS or Android INNOVV app, users can configure the system for set-once use or interact dynamically to preview/live-view, review video and manage the system.
Thanks in large part to the C5’s modularity and long lens cables (1.8m, 3m and 5m options) the system is easy to install and use on virtually any motorcycle.
Designed to have broad base appeal it is likely to have a special attraction for adventure touring riders who typically need a more ruggedized weatherproof system; for those of us who are just as happy getting wet and muddy the C5 is a great option.
And speaking of wet and muddy, the camera lens has an IP68 (waterproof) rating while the DVR module a somewhat lesser IP65 (dust/water protection) rating.
The pressure-fitted thumb-screw sealed USB-C connector on top is more than up to the task of coping with the elements, users need to be aware that integrity of the system can be compromised by the silicone seal flap used on the bottom – used to provide quick port access.
Where the solid sealed lens is more than up to its function, the original lightweight (thin) lens holder showed signs of weakness; it has now been redesigned for greater strength, more resiliency and better grip of the lens.
Some initial concerns about video quality were largely mitigated in making sure the lens and holder were solidly mounted. Depending on the motorcycle, using some form of isolation mount to better cope with the ultra-low-weight of the lens, motorcycle suspension and of course, the terrain being travelled pays big dividends.
The Innovv C5 is a welcome and well-priced product that bears a close look. While not ‘bug-free’, the C5 team has already completed some updates and continues to provide outstanding support.
In not having used the INNOVV C3 single channel system but in being very familiar with the K1 dual channel system (along with most of the other INNOVV products) the C5 raised my interest when it was released.
For those who have looked at or use the C3 and/or the K1 systems, some of the components found with the C5 system will be familiar, although virtually everything packaged for the C5 is upgraded or new.
We have two K1 systems installed and in constant use since the original wBW review published in December 2015.
And outside of the sporadic ‘freeze-up’ issue, only exhibited by one of the DVR modules, they just keep recording front and back ride video – some of which has proven extremely valuable at times.
And in looking at the specs and features of the C3 and the K1 systems the C5 seems to be ideally positioned, especially with WiFi and its ruggedized weather resistant approach, to move the INNOVV product yardstick forward.
Innovv C5 Overview
The Innovv C5 single channel camera is a modular system with small form-factor components, heavy duty cables and weatherproof connectors, all of which facilitate installation on virtually any powersport vehicle; especially moto-machines.
While the main components – DVR module and lens (camera) are similar to those used for the Innovv C3 product, the Innovv C5 system is designed to be more rugged, provide a wireless link for smart device connectivity and, provide a wide range of settings.
Dust and water protected (IP65) level components along with the even higher rated (IP68) sealed lens or camera module should withstand heavy duty use – on and off-road in a mix of elements, as being experienced with our sometimes dry, sometimes wet, sometimes snowy fall.
Users can either undertake basic interaction with the system via front end (module) controls or have more detailed interaction with the system by using the onboard WiFi capability and a compatible smart device running either the iOS or Android app to provide finer-grain configuration and on the fly control.
Camera with 120-degree field of view lens
Integrated Lens cable with waterproof USB-C thumb screw-type plug connector
Integrated Power cable with small waterproof coaxial pin connector
Innovv 12V to 5V DC Converter
DVR and Camera Holder components
Mounting kit with: 2 x lens brackets (one flat, one L-shape); 3 x silicone washers; 2 x flat metal washers; a 5/8ths in long screw (0.25in and 28P thread); and, a 4mm Allen-head ‘L’ wrench
External microphone lead with 3.5mm connector and three clothing clips, and
USB 2.0 Card Reader with security loop strap, and
Installation Guide/User Manual handout
Innovv C5 Components
The Innovv C5 is truly the sum of its parts in providing a multi-component turn-key solution suitable for almost any platform.
DVR Module :
The face side of the small module has a sealed screw insert with three tactile pressure activated controls for input; all three controls have integrated LEDs that provide visual communication.
With the module oriented to put the INNOVV logo at the top, the upper oval button is the WiFi connection control, the one below is the Power & Recording (On/Off) control and the large bottom rectangular button is the Reset control.
The small 70 x 46 x 21mm (2.75 x 1.81 x 0.8in) aluminum module is available in black or gold and has an overall International Protection Marking (IEC standard 60529) rating of IP65 (dust & water protection).
A key component in providing dust and water protection is the weather-proof screw-type USB-C screw-interface power and data connector used on top of the module.
A somewhat less robust but effective silicone cover (cap) recesses into the raised edges of the module, protecting the bottom interface ports.
The bottom section provides a 3.5mm external microphone (mono) port, the internal microphone hole, a micro-USB port, a small access hole for the reset switch and a micro-SD card slot, accepting up to 128GB media – the faster the better.
Just keep in mind that the silicone flap needs to be fully engaged to maintain environmental integrity of the module per its IP65 weatherproof rating.
Lens and Lens Holder :
At 25.5 x 54mm (1.0 x 2.13in) the tubular aluminum-bodied lens is small, sleek and low profile. It provides an encompassing 120-degree horizontal field of view, along with a bit of edge distortion – a minor tradeoff considering its other attributes.
And it is a totally sealed unit, from its permanent integrated lead to the actual lens and as such, it features an IP68 (immersion) rating.
Obviously the most rugged piece supplied with the C5 kit, the lens has an impressive operating temperature range of -20C to 60C (-4F to 140F).
Between its IP rating and operating temperature range the C5 lens should have the ability to handle almost any climatic condition.
The integrated 1.8m or 180cm (70.8in) integrated long connection harness terminates with a USB-C connector, itself housed in the previously identified weather proof connector housing.
This sealing housing fits snugly into the receiving port on top of the DVR module as a pressure fit and secures with two small thumb-screws – unique and comforting in its design.
A (very) lightweight C-shaped lens holder with an integrated 0.25in (20P) threaded insert cradles and secures the equally lightweight lens.
Power Components :
The included DC/DC (12V to 5V) converter power supply is a small sealed component providing 5V DC (2A maximum) with a 10 second power on/off delay…a system safeguard. This component is also available as a separate product.
The 5V connection to the DVR module is made with a dual wire lead terminating in the male end of a waterproof coaxial connector that mates up to its other half on the shorter power lead segment, itself integrated into the main USB-C harness.
A 500MA Li-Polymer battery is the internal system power source capable of providing up to 60 min of recording at 1080p, along with a stated 60 min charging time.
The internal supply allows the system to power down under control when the ignition is switched off and the 10 second On/Off delay ends so that ongoing functions (like saving to a file) are completed without corruption.
Another function of this power source is to provide a critical fail-safe power supply, providing the means to power the system for short periods of time in event of an accident or, if the motorcycle is parked and subsequently ‘disturbed’; as the case may be.
DVR Holder :
This small lightweight plastic bracket provides a snap-in pressure-fit mount for the DVR module.
The bracket has four small holes drilled in a rectangular pattern on the back section and the mounting kit includes small sheet screws and double-side foam adhesive for use with the bracket.
An overlooked opportunity regarding this bracket is that the four-hole pattern used is not sized to accept a four-hole AMPS industry standard pattern plate or bracket.
Harness Lengths for Reference Purposes:
USB 3.0 rated video cable – 1.8m or 180cm (70.8in) provided, with 3m and 5m lengths available
DC 12v to 5V Converter – Input Red & Black are 60cm (23.6in), Yellow trigger lead is 80cm (31.4in); and Output DC Coaxial Connector (dual wire) is 60cm (23.6in)
External microphone lead is 2.5m or 250cm (98.4in)
Innovv C5 Installations
After completing the recommended one hour of charging prior to initial power-up, done by using the bottom micro-USB port, the next step is installation of the system components – initially on the 2014 BMW F800GS Adventure.
Finding the right home for components provides challenges, especially as motorcycles (for the most part) feature lighter trimmer designs and less (typically) encompassing plastic, but with more OE electronics and related components; no complaint really, just a statement of fact.
Thankfully most electronic components continue to shrink in size, like the small sealed Innovv 12V to 5DC converter/power supply that is a very welcome inclusion with the C5 camera kit and which is installable almost anywhere.
With the centre top panel removed exposing the airbox cover and battery box components, the converter is mounted with 3M Dual-Lock to the left of the Arboreal Systems Neutrino Black Box (NBB) V2 module – also secured with 3M Dual Lock.
Use of quick-detachable 3M Dual-Lock fastener allows the Innovv and NBB modules to be simply lifted away from the air box cover when it needs removal for air filter maintenance.
This location puts the converter in close proximity to an available circuit on the NBB or to the battery terminals – the option exercised all while keeping the converter well away from the C5 DVR module, eliminating or minimizing electrical interference – all good.
Before doing any electrical work, the negative and then the positive terminals on the battery are disconnected and isolated to prevent any (unplanned) incidents.
With the battery connections made, a length of yellow PET is added over the yellow trigger for protection and routed over to the right side of the motorcycle where it runs in parallel with the NBB V2 trigger wire back to the under-seat On-Board-Diagnostic or OBD plug.
The existing Blue Posi-Tap originally installed for the NBB trigger wire now hosts both leads to the 12V switched supply wire on the OBD harness – neither device draws much so they do not intrude on the onboard system or functionality of the OBD.
Initial Lens Mounting :
Several test placements for the lens revealed lots of options – some relatively exposed and some more protected with stronger bases.
But the initial mounting point chosen is also the L-bracket perch for the left-side mounted ADVmonster M60 LED.
The flat bracket from the kit sits so the elongated cutout faces forward for the lens holder mount, while the single hole end provides the means to secure it to the lower side of the L-bracket, with the LED sitting on the top side.
The elongation provides adjustment of the lens forward or backwards and side to side while a cushion sandwich mount made from two of the flat and one of the silicone washers from the kit sits between the lens holder and the bracket.
This cushion sandwich serves (or should) to help absorb road and machine vibration and also takes up the excess length of the kit’s three-quarter inch long screw with its 5/8ths in of thread (longer than the insert in the lens holder).
Lens Holder :
Nicely formed piece but thin walled and lightweight; its integrated 0.25in (20P) threaded insert used for the hardware is far stronger.
Carefully tightening the hardware reveals that the holder side walls flex (a lot), raising the potential for failure of some kind over time and use – our concerns were well founded it turns out…
Once positioned the lens has a clear view of the way ahead without any parts of the motorcycle intruding into the wide-angle view of the way ahead and laterally.
But sure enough, after two weeks of use and some adjustments of the lens and holder (which may not be the norm of course), two observations were made: stress cracks appeared on the walls of the holder; and, the tubular lens moves and pivots in the holder.
A fix of sorts uses shaped sections of Gorilla Clear Repair tape to cover and reinforce the brittle sides including the cracked areas while small strips of the tape overlap the front edges of the holder and lens to bind the two components together and maintain lens orientation.
As is usual, especially with a new product, observations with (constructive) feedback points were forwarded to the Innovv C5 team lead, who was quick to acknowledge the information – a good start.
Follow-on correspondence identified that the holder piece was has been redesigned for more strength and better grip. Other observations submitted have also been added to the team’s review list. Bottom line here – support from Innovv remains quick and positive.
C5 DVR Module :
The module may eventually find a home in the small crowded under-deck area behind the full-length seat – the leads are certainly long enough to accommodate this front to back installation.
But in wanting to test the C5’s ability to withstand environmental conditions directly and allow direct access to C5 DVR module controls, initial fitment of the module is on the more exposed left handlebar area.
The module is secured using a RAM-B handlebar clamp base (PN RAM-B-367U) installed on the upper left 8mm handlebar clamp mounting point, while a RAM-B rectangular AMPS plate mount (PN RAM-B-347U) is stuck to the back of the Innovv mounting bracket with 3M adhesive.
A short 1.75in RAM-B arm (PN RAM-B-201U-A) mates the two RAM-B ball mounts together to provide lots of positioning flexibility; RAM medium or three-way flex arms also work well.
The power harness exits the front left of the top panel and runs along the left side of the steering head along with all the other cables and harnesses that make their way to the left side of the handlebar.
As located, easy and safe left-hand access to the DVR module is provided along with a good visual line, although the hard to see LEDs don’t provide much in the way of visual communications
Other Configurations :
If a fixed location is not desired or viable, the C5’s modularity and harness lengths provide lots of flexibility when looking for optimum lens and module placement and the most secure platform for a specific application.
The 0.25in (20P) threaded insert used with the lens holder is the near-universally accepted standard for camera mounting systems – many of which wBW has reviewed over the years and the use of RAM products just make things easier as well.
Bottom line – the Innovv C5 lens and holder combination can be affixed to almost any compatible mounting system, although users need to make sure the mounting location provides a stable platform for the lens allowing optimal video recording.
Innovv C5 Smart Device App Basics
The Innovv C5 mobile WiFi app for Android (v5.1+) and iOS (v8.3+) is downloadable directly using the QR codes on the website or by searching for and installing the app directly from the Google Play Store or the App Store for iOS devices.
As is often seen, there are layout differences between the two platform versions, displayed on the (aging) Nexus 5 and the iPAD 4 Mini, but overall, look, feel and function is consistent; the team is also working on noted disparities.
Once launched, two of the usual welcoming splash screens are presented, followed by the main interaction screen with eight active menu selections or tiles: LivingRecord; Photograph; Document; Setting; WebSite; Shop; Blog; and, ShareFun.
With the network connection made, exploring the tiles and their features is time well spent. I found the Record, Photograph and Settings selections got the most use overall; other menus provide further exploitation of the system’s capabilities.
Available C5 System Settings
And before plunging into actual use of the C5 camera system, a listing of settings is provided:
Resolution settings – 1080p & 720p @60fps; 720p @ 30fps; file type is ‘TS’
Loop Recording = Off, 1min, 3 min, 5min or 10min; Time Lapse – Off, 100/200/500ms
Frequency – 50Hz/60Hz (set to regional power frequency, eg – 60Hz for NA)
G-Sensor – Off, Low, Mid, High
Delay Off = 30s, Off, 10s & 20s
On/Off settings for Video Flip, Audio, Date & Time, Parking Mode and Motion Detection
Memory Card State = Inserted or Empty
Memory Card Remaining Space = available card space
Memory Card Formatting = Yes
Video Stamp = Click to input
Time Sync = sync camera with the network connected device
File Path = default or set path for storage on the network connected device
Version Info for Firmware and App Version
System Reset = reset to factory settings
Innovv C5 Function and Performance
For initial testing, a 32GB SanDisk Class 10 HC-1 SanDisk microSD card is inserted into the slot on the bottom of the camera (orientation per the etched diagram); not the optimal media, but used for initializing the system.
Other microSD media used included higher spec (UHS-1 and 2) 64GB and 128GB AData media, a SanDisk Extreme UHS-3, 90/60 Read/Write MB/s and a Samsung 64GB EVO piece, which provided the best Read/Write specs we could find in locally available media (sigh).
When the C5 system is on and the network functioning, the main app screen will go live, after the two opening splash screens of course.
Select the Settings (Gear Wheel icon) for an initial tour and configure the C5 for the preferred settings – don’t forget to prep (format) the media if needed.
Media Prep :
If no microSD card is present the Red LED flashes 3 times per second as an alert signal.
With media inserted, formatting is done automatically (indicated by the Red LED going out and then turning on again) or manually using the app in the ‘Settings’ section – a confirmatory message is displayed once the media is ready; the system reboots as well.
System Integrity :
We must stress the need to make sure the bottom silicone cover is fully seated – it is a critical component in maintaining environmental integrity of the module…
Although one immediately realizes that using the external microphone or micro-USB connections negate any effectiveness of the silicone cover.
With the ignition turned on and a ten second wait, the C5 boots up and subsequently enter its default video recording mode indicated by the Red LED flashing once per second.
A push of this middle (Red LED) button stops or starts video recording (the Red LED goes steady or flashes once per second respectively). Manual start-up of the system is done by pressing the Red LED button for three to four seconds to turn the device On or Off.
WiFi Connectivity :
With the smart device ready to go and its WiFi on and in search mode (if needed), make sure the C5 is on and its Green LED flashing indicating that it is ready to be connected.
After a few seconds the ‘INNOVV_C5_93D6’ (or similar listing) appears on the device’s network listing – select and connect to this network. If required, enter the default password (PW) of ‘12345678’
Once networked, the Green LED on the C5 module goes to a steady on state. If the connection is shut down or lost, the Green LED flashes slowly indicating standby mode.
Functional Indicators :
As configured using the App, turning on the ignition or manually powering up the C5 will have everything automatically started, although I found that the network connection typically needs to be manually re-established from session to session.
This isn’t a bad thing really, especially if the paired device has a default connection for data or internet access, something the INNOVV connection doesn’t provide.
And as mentioned earlier, in anything other than low light or when under cover the LED indicators are virtually impossible to see – this is the same observation we made regarding the LEDs on the K1 dual channel system remote control module…
This issue may not seem critical when the C5 module is tucked away somewhere out of sight and networked to a mounted smart device used for ongoing management purposes and video viewing.
But if the module is mounted externally, as on the F800GSAdv to allow direct manual control rather than via the paired device and app, the (very) hard to see visual indicators are a real concern.
Press the centre Red button; from the app, press the upper left Video Camera icon to enter the recording section and then the Red square icon on the lower split screen.
If the upper screen’s single Red dot and/or the Red LED on the C5 is flashing, video is being recorded (default mode on start-up).
To stop recording, press the app’s small red square screen icon once or the Red button on the module – after two seconds the red square icon and the Red LED on the DVR module go solid. Press the icon or module control again to stop recording.
Single channel (mono) audio is recorded if set to ‘On’ under the app. As could be expected the internal microphone is less than stellar – its port is under the bottom end silicone flap, although typical machine and road noises can be distinguished depending on conditions.
The external microphone provides more dynamic encompassing audio, especially if located in the cockpit area or inside the helmet allowing a travel monologue of sorts, which is what I typically use it for.
As noted by other users and acknowledged by the C5 team lead, the external microphone can be useful, but it also creates a lot of noise although most of it doesn’t end up on the audio track. And don’t forget that using the external port removes any integrity of the bottom seal.
Selecting the upper right Camera icon provides the means to take individual photos (per settings). When a photograph is taken a ‘processing’ pop=up appears on the screen while the module’s Red LED flashes three times, then reverts to solid Red.
The app provides some dynamic adjustment features not available when using the basic DVR controls.
The left side ‘sunshine’ icon, when tapped allows exposure adjustments – a feature that can be used to good advantage for better video depending on conditions; it pays to play and compare video done between the default and slider settings.
Nevertheless, it is a cool feature that can be done dynamically by tapping and adjusting the on-screen slider – just do it when stopped though…
I did find though that after changing video modes or initiating a new session that the slider settings had to be (often) reset to the desired level.
Full screen (landscape) and split screen (portrait) modes are toggled by pressing the ‘Arrows Out or ‘Arrows-In’ icon (they reverse depending on the mode).
Depending on where the paired smart device is mounted or carried, the app, in accordance with the device’s sensors and settings, tends to flip between the two modes; it often seems to be at random rather than due to any severe change in motorcycle or rider angle.
The upper left ‘Back’ button is the usual < icon. And if turned on under the settings, motion detection and parking modes are indicated by the running figure and dark encircled ‘P’ icons respectively.
Motion Detection Mode :
If enabled, this recording mode is indicated by a figure in motion icon on the app screen. If motion is detected when the motorcycle is parked, the device turns itself on powered by the internal battery and begins recording.
This activity is indicated by the Power/Record LED flashing. After ten (10) seconds, the recording session stops, and the data saved to the EMR folder on the media. Then the system powers down, unless motion is again detected.
Parking Mode :
If enabled, a dark encircled ‘P’ icon indicates this mode is active. As with the motion detection mode, the internal battery is utilized to record impact events to provide a fail-safe recording capability.
If activated the device will record one (1) minute segments of each triggering event, saving the data off to the EMR folder. Then the system powers down until another event is detected.
Due to a combination of factors, some related to the host motorcycle and some that could (possibly) be attributed to the C5, I found that any of the G-Sensor settings can result in multiple 12 or 60 seconds video clips in the EMR folder.
These parallel actions don’t inhibit creation of the normal recordings overall although they do demand more of the system’s resources including storage space. Accordingly, users may want to determine the optimum setting (Off, Low, Mid or High) for their use.
Protected Recordings :
If Motion Detection Mode or Parking Mode recordings are made, the files are saved off as ‘protected files’ in the EMR folder on the media – but ONLY if external power is not active.
If external power is active when either motion detection or parking mode video is generated and subsequently stored in the EMR folder, the user must move or copy the files to another storage location to preserve them.
I review and move the EMR folder files regularly, along with regular loop video that might be of ‘interest’. Traffic related video and photos from installed K1 and C5 systems have proven valuable to us and others.
Dynamic C5 Control :
While the C5 is more than happy to work in its default mode, much like how the K1 Dual Channels systems are used, the C5’s WiFi and app provide dynamic interaction with the C5 system.
And to repeat, interacting with the C5 system needs to be done in a safe and responsible manner…distracted riding is distracted riding!
Reviewing Media :
Select the ‘Document’ icon (centre left) to review video and photos – individual files from the device or from an attached storage venue are selectable for playback, step-through review, download/transfer or deletion.
Firmware Updates :
The process isn’t totally intuitive, but if you have updated other products similar to the Innovv devices the process can be stepped through with a bit of due diligence.
I tried to update the C5 with an earlier firmware release provided, but it never worked. But after getting a direct Dropbox link the latest build (FW v0.24) is downloaded and the .BIN file extracted.
After clearing all files and folders off the micro-SD in use, the firmware file is copied from the PC folder to the ROOT directory of the media using the micro-USB connection – leave the module connected to the PC.
Turn the C5 system Off and then On, using the Red LED control – the LED flashes once then goes into a first and then a second sequence of rapid three time per second pulses indicating that updating is taking place.
When finished, the Red LED flashes once then goes solid Red – this step is done. Reboot the module using the front power control or, alternatively reconnect the module to the USB-C harness and with the C5 activated make the network connection to a paired device.
Launch the Innovv app and select Settings and scroll down to the bottom of the page to verify that the latest update is installed. All previous settings should be retained, but it never hurts to verify things…
Innovv C5 Pros
Innovv C5 Cons
Sealed, ruggedized, IP68 rated lens
Lens holder fragile – now redesigned
Simple lightweight lens holder
Silicon seal on bottom impacts integrity
Ruggedized, aluminum, IP65 rated module
External microphone port negates integrity
Weatherproof 12/5V DC power supply
Control LEDs hard to see
Waterproof main harness and connectors
App is very useful, detailed, but still quirky
USB-C interface for high data rate support
Motion/Parking Mode activation sensitivities
Lighting (exposure) control is cool tool
…need to find Ultra-fast media…
External microphone works quite well
Ultra-fast media up to 128GB supported
Excellent reliability regarding components
Based on its product line, conversations with fellow riders and forum threads it seems Innovv is gaining traction in the market space with a short list of focus products providing features, performance and value.
From the past up to the present our experience with the Innovv K1 Dual Channel Camera systems, 12V/5V DC Adapters, Power Hub1 brick, various USB products and now the Innovv C5 remains positive.
Comparatively in reviewing K1 and C5 video, the C5 output seems sharper with better colour balance over a wide range of conditions and we can’t forget the dynamic exposure feature.
Both the K1 and C5 provide very good to excellent low-light video but again the C5 seems to take the lead here as well – perceptively sharper when viewed on a larger screen with better detail definition.
What we have found though, unlike the K1 lens modules that seem to provide great video no matter what or where they are mounted, is that the lightweight C5 lens and holder perform best when given a very good stable platform, especially for varying terrain and riding conditions.
The BMW F800GSA with its light weight and sensitive long-travel suspension didn’t prove to be the best high-speed platform for the C5 although using a good isolation-style mount provided better results than in just using the kit pieces.
By contrast, on machines like the R1200GS Rallye with its long-travel Telelever based and ESA managed suspension, using both the kit pieces or more stable mounts rendered good to very good video even on rough roads and trails.
Two helmet-mounted configurations provided the best video – acknowledging the need for some wire management of course, with the WiFi link and live view feature proving their value every step of the way.
Bottom line – although not without issues, all identified above, our experience with the C5 single channel system indicates that it is all it claims to be – with the potential to satisfy a lot of users across a broad spectrum of applications.
And no, so far, we have not experienced the intermittent low temperature issues that we still get every year with the K1 systems when temperatures drop to 5C and below…
Finally, we know Innovv, particularly the C5 team, is listening to users and working to refine the C5 product.