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.