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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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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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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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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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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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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.....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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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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ExNewbie..Still Learnin'!
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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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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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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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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. ;)
 

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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. ;)
i was a gunnersmate on a carrier, hunted, rode loud dirt bikes, loud rock, ect. i do have tinitis and i should give riding with ear plugs an honest try to preserve my hearing.
 

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Ba dum dum, ching...
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After playing drums in a variety of rock bands over the last 35 years (plus all the other things I've done to damage my hearing over the years) I now have an overall 5% hearing loss in my left ear, cannot hear any frequencies above 15K, and have tinitus. I'm careful about protecting what hearing I have left. It's no fun waking up at 5 in the morning because the ringing in your ears is so loud that it wakes you.

Protect your hearing. Please.

R
 

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After playing drums in a variety of rock bands over the last 35 years (plus all the other things I've done to damage my hearing over the years) I now have an overall 5% hearing loss in my left ear, cannot hear any frequencies above 15K, and have tinitus. I'm careful about protecting what hearing I have left. It's no fun waking up at 5 in the morning because the ringing in your ears is so loud that it wakes you.

Protect your hearing. Please.

R
good advice guys, thats one of the reasons i like this site.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
All of this now begs the question... what type of ear plugs do you wear?
 

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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...
I agree totally with KM here. You always have to be on the defensive when on 2 wheels - no two ways about it.

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.........
Maybe I'm like Old Dog here and am just different. I've been riding 32+ years - many of those without windshields at all. I've never worn earplugs, and my hearing is actually very acute. Of course, I've never modified the exhaust on any of my bikes - including my VN. Even when I have ridden Harley's that were somewhat loud, the noise has never been a problem. I used to drive some rattle-trap semi-trucks in my day, and some of those were louder than any bike I've ridden. Just my $.02.

KM[/QUOTE]
 

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I wet to dunham sports... 25 pair for $6.99. They are orange foam and they block out 32 db. I use them for shooting and lawn mowing as well. I prefer the silicone type- they are washable and reusable, but more $$$. If they are comfy and block out noise, you're all set!
 

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went for a ride at lunch with earplugs. they were moldex, sparkplugs nrr 33 an/nzs slc 29 db class 5. it was kinda nice with the fullface helmet & leather jacket (around 72 degrees out) plus the addition of the plugs made it a smooth quiet ride. the only disavantage of the plugs, there is an intersection i use often. it has a blind corner where the oncoming traffic can be heard before seen.
 

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...I've never worn earplugs, and my hearing is actually very acute.... ...

Compared to what? I would hold off on that statement until you have your hearing checked by a proffesional. Anyone over 30 begins to lose some hearing, even if your ears have been protected. The frequencies are usualy all high end (14,000 to 22,000 cycles) This is because as you get older you tend to loose your hair..maybe not on your head..but those tiny hairs in your ear. Called cilia , they line the cochlea , the tiny snail shaped thing in your inner ear. This goes on as you get older..and when you are a wrinkled mess, you will likely not hear well just do to this. But any thing you do between now and then to protect your little hairs will help. Some diagams here for those intrested:
http://tinyurl.com/5bewog

"Hearing Damage" is accellerated wear to the cilia. Once gone they do not come back. So, anyone near 50 that says they have good hearing..really means they can hear well for their age. Compared to a 12 year old their ears are crap....lol.

KM
 

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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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Oh I actually agree with y'all about protecting your hearing, and especially the younger riders, I am just not one of them anymore... I get enough protection from my type helments and don't wear ear plugs... For those that use those foam cylinder type plugs, which I think are great and cheap, and usually cut back 20-25 db, cut a piece of .410 shotgun hull about 1-1/8" long and it will work great to carry them in your pocket... Like I said it is just me, not for everyone else, at least till you get old enough, and or have enough hearing loss till you don't need them anymore...lol...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 
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