Oh... earplugs! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Oh... earplugs!

Until today, I wondered why some of you said you use earplugs on rides. Today I removed my Plexifairing II, which came with the bike, and experienced the full force of the wind. Believe me, I now understand why earplugs may be needed.

I pulled the plexifairing off in preparation for its replacement, a v-force windshield. The Plexi was installed by the PO and I have been fighting with it weekly to get it positioned in just the right spot... not so high it blocks any breeze to my helmet vents, not so low it channels insects straight to my mouth, angled forward enough so as to minimize reflection of the guages, angled back enough to keep the amber running lights from making the whole thing glow at night. Never found that right spot and it was scratched here and there reducing night visibility. So off it came and the new windshield arrives Friday.

Having removed the fairing, I jumped on the bike to head 5 miles to a meeting around 6 PM. As I usually do on really hot days (92 with high humidity today in southern PA), I grabbed the half helmet and my sunglasses. I was less than a mile from home when I realized my mistake AND how much air the plexi 2 normally diverted. My eyes were dry, my mouth was dry, and I could barely hear the engine for shifting cues. The wind noise was incredibly loud, bordering on uncomfortable.

The good news is that during my ride back home at 9 PM, my night visibilty was greatly improved. I previously thought my headlight was misaimed or weak, but it was just poor visibility caused by the fairing.

Until the new windshield is installed, I will be sure to grab my 3/4 helmet with the clear shield or I'll need to invest in goggles and a pair of earplugs.

Rick Oz
York, PA


'03 Vulcan 750
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 12:09 AM
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I find it uncomfortable to ride at even 50-60 MPH without a windshield or deflector. The wind blowing on my chest pushes so hard I feel like I'm gripping on the handlebar just to hold on the to bike. It's a good forearm workout I guess, but not a comfortable way to ride!
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 09:40 AM
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it is uncomfortable to ride without a windshield. I put on 80 miles in just over 1.5 hours on country roads. without my street shield and I loved the feeling, but my neck felt the aftermath the next day as did my ears when I got off the bike having no goat and drilled mufflers, lol.. earplugs are great! I need to wear them more often...

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 10:12 AM
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I reckon I'm just different, I don't wear 1/2 helments nor ear plugs... I have a good assortment of plugs from my shooting, but choose to wear either a full face helment (Cold weather) or the standard type (3/4???) with a shield (warm weather) as I don't like a windshield... I like to feel the wind, and your neck will get used to it or build up to the force after a bit of riding that way... I did however buy a 1/2 helment, one that has the strap split in front and behind the ear, and can very well understand why you would wear plugs with that type... I rode to the next town (13mi) and back to the house with the 1/2 helment and that was the end of that noise, with only 26mi. on it... I think if it had something to cover the ears it wouldn't be so bad though... Like I said, reckon I'm bassackwards...lol... I just think ear plugs cut out too much sound, and by doing so could be unsafe in certain situations...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 10:39 AM
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my 1/2 helmet like old dog said produces a lot of wind noise. i tried ear plugs once and did not like them. my full face gives me a break from the wind when its colder or if its raining and also works well with my perscription glasses. also like old dog i like the feeling of the wind. actually i like the feel of the cool air blowing over my bald head a 70 mph but i know thats not good. i guess its situational for me.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Dog View Post
.....I just think ear plugs cut out too much sound, and by doing so could be unsafe in certain situations......


I have heard several riders say this , and I do agree that at first it seems kinda "scary" when you cut out all the noise you are used to hearing while riding.

But looking back over the my entire life riding a motorcycle , some 30+ years, I can safely say that in all that time , not even once , has my ability to hear helped me in any way. Close calls, idiot drivers et al...not one single time has hearing played any part in my "bubble of defense" when riding.

Drunks don't honk their horns when running a light,and the idiot turning left in front of you is making no noise at all it seems. Even the idiot that rams your ass did not honk the horn to warn you...

So, I will contiunue to protect what hearing I have left by using earplugs. And if you young riders want to hear at all by the time you hit my age, you will use them too.........

KM

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 07:03 PM
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Went 1 block when I took my 2-up sheild off my 900 to look "cooler" and get the "feel" of no-sheild....it was horrible. Turned arounbd and went right back to the garage and bolted her back on. Maybe I'm not hardcore enough or a nontraditionalist, but I love my sheild. Even the small sportsheild on the 750 is better than nota - but I only wear earplugs when I'm going to be on an extended trip or its below 38* out.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 07:10 PM
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I strongly agree with Knifemaker. Each 25mph+ ride, regardless of the helmet style, creates a decibel level that is damaging to the ears. Although they may feel "normal" after a while of the bike, the damage has been done. Each ride damages your ears a little bit, and the damage accumulates over time. After a number of years of this cumulative damage, you will become partially deaf in certain frequency ranges. Maybe not a huge deal to you, but it will aggravate your friends/family when they have to repeat everything they say after your constant "what was that?". Contrary to some opinions, deaf men aren't more manly than those who can hear someone cracking a beer open (besides they miss out on the beer!)

They're cheap, they work, use 'em.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 07:40 PM
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SAY WHAT??? That is probably why I don't really need them anymore, working around heavy Constr. equipment, shooting, and age have already done their thing... But I still say there is a big difference in what helment you wear... And BTW KM, trains do blow for crossings, its the law...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

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Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 09:39 PM
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If you can't hear a train with eaplugs in, you are most definitely deaf!!

I have a full face helmet, no windshield of any kind and the wind noise even with the full face is uncomfortable at speeds over 40mph. I wear the plugs even on short trips as I noticed my tinitis (ringing in the ears) is worse if I ride without them. (Shooting without hearing protection when young, model airplane engines, loud motorcycle engines, loud tape room fans, carrier flight decks, and shipboard machinery noise have all contributed to my loss of hearing). I plan on guarding what's left of it while I have it. The plugs filter about 20db or so which will quiet the wind noise but still allow me to hear vehicles next to me or even trains at intersections.

Jim W
93 VN 750 "Ursula"
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