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Old 01-14-2014, 07:24 AM   #1
dah OP
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Defeating Wind Noise: Which Bike?

I'm searching for a touring/adventure bike that works best at reducing wind noise for my 6'2" height. I recently purchased a 2011 Multistrada Touring S that I fell in love with on a test ride--until I tried higher speeds (anything over 50-60mph) and was really bothered by wind noise. Tried the tall Cal Science shield made wind noise worse. I will not keep the bike if I can't get this resolved, cutting down the stock screen would probably help, but I'd really like some protection from the wind for longer rides.

The 2 bikes I'm considering are both Yamahas, a 2013 FJR and the Super Tenere (2012-2013). I've read about wind noise on both bikes, I test rode the FJR and wind noise was definitely an issue with the stock electronic shield --I adjusted it several times, lowest setting seemed best.

If anyone has advice on the wind noise properties of either bike, (or other brands/models) I'd like to hear from you. I have a new Shoei GT-Air and use custom ear plugs, but I'd like to hear any advice about how either bike's wind protection?
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:55 AM   #2
Chief Ten Bears
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dah View Post
I'm searching for a touring/adventure bike that works best at reducing wind noise for my 6'2" height. I recently purchased a 2011 Multistrada Touring S that I fell in love with on a test ride--until I tried higher speeds (anything over 50-60mph) and was really bothered by wind noise. Tried the tall Cal Science shield made wind noise worse. I will not keep the bike if I can't get this resolved, cutting down the stock screen would probably help, but I'd really like some protection from the wind for longer rides.

The 2 bikes I'm considering are both Yamahas, a 2013 FJR and the Super Tenere (2012-2013). I've read about wind noise on both bikes, I test rode the FJR and wind noise was definitely an issue with the stock electronic shield --I adjusted it several times, lowest setting seemed best.

If anyone has advice on the wind noise properties of either bike, (or other brands/models) I'd like to hear from you. I have a new Shoei GT-Air and use custom ear plugs, but I'd like to hear any advice about how either bike's wind protection?
I've found that no wind noise on a bike for one person could be deafening for another person on the same bike. Same goes for helmets, ear plugs, etc.

That said, what I've found works great for any time I'm on a bike on the highway, is a neck roll. No matter the bike type, a neck roll/sleeve eliminates any wind noise shooting up under the helmet, making any bike more enjoyable.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:00 AM   #3
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Eliminating wind noise, for some of us who suffer from Tinnitus this is the Holy Grail of motorcycling.

As you may know there are a few factors that affect wind noise
Your helmet, how well does it fit and seal out the noise.
Your hearing protection
The bike
The jacket you are wearing, in regards to the bottom of the helmet and collar of the jacket interface.

As for the bike, some general rules:
The adventure style bikes generally have a bit more of an issue for most riders regarding wind noise. For the most part this is because the rider sits up straight and is a long way from the wind protection. Bikes such as the GS’s, Vstroms, Tigers, etc. all have massive threads on their respective forums relating to wind screens.

General wind noise and buffeting solutions. There are two primary ones, run the bike naked or close to that (my current solution), or run a barn door type of screen.

The issue is so subjective and personalized there is almost no answer as to what bike is best regarding this issue. I suggest you decide on the bikes you like then spend a good deal of time reading the related windscreen threads on the respective forums and of course test ride each bike.

A good starting point is make sure your current helmet really fits the way a helmet should and your hearing protection is the best there is for you. Put another way, a good helmet means nothing if it does not fit your head shape well or is too loose.

Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:21 AM   #4
plugeye
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plugs are the only solution for me.
right now i have a cold with my ears plugged, makes for a great silent ride
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #5
Mondo Endo
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[QUOTE=Chief Ten Bears;23217400]I've found that no wind noise on a bike for one person could be deafening for another person on the same bike. Same goes for helmets, ear plugs, etc.



That's is exactly it. I also have a GT air and find it very quiet on both of my bikes while wearing ear plugs. My Bandit 1250 has minimal wind protection and my Griso has none.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:35 AM   #6
Scott of the Sahara
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My Shoei full face helmet creates noise. I wear ear plugs with it.
I have a Bell 1/2 helmet that makes no noise. I can ride all day without any annoying noise and no earplugs.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #7
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I started riding in the early 70's, and have never worn earplugs, even when road racing. So in the last year or so, I tried it, and found it removed most or all of the wind noise and made the ride much more enjoyable. The only downside is a minute extra to get ready, and finding earplugs that don't hurt on longer rides.

My SENA SMH10 even works great with earplugs in.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
Sun Ray
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I'm happy with the taller fairing on my bike. World of difference noise-wise from stock screen and I don't get the annoying buffeting. I don't even have to wear earplugs under my helmet and I can hear my music through my cheap earbuds. In fact I was going to purchase a new helmet from Schubert, but not anymore. I'll probably get a cheaper modular. That's my personal experience so far.

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Old 01-14-2014, 11:38 AM   #9
rider33
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you will only know for sure when you ride the bike because you and your gear are at least half of the equation. That said, fully flared bikes are generally quieter and a electrically adjustable screen allows you to fine-tune based on speed and conditions. With the screen fully up my ST1300 is generally very quite tho at lower speeds or in certain cross-wind situations lowering it can help smooth things out. Adjustability on the fly helps, and not just for wind noise. Dropping down out of hyper-speed on a 95F day it's sort of nice to drop the screen to get more airflow, as does lowering it just below eye level in the rain. You might want to try a few sport touring bikes.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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So many variables. Thus far, my quietest normal ride was a wee-strom with a MRA vario screen and madstad bracket, screen in low setting, spoiler in low setting, screen tilted half back. Good to 90mph or so. Super quiet, I could hear the motor on the interstate (saying something with a DL650).

My current ride is rather noisy but it is a trade off, the sport screen tends to cut down on buffeting winds. With the OEM touring screen on it is even louder, but if I go full crouch it is silent. Disposable foam plugs work better than reusables.

All of this varies based on my (forward) lean angle, torso length, jacket type and collar config, earplug material and how well I've inserted them, and helmet fit. I have been comfortable (sonically) at 90 MPH (gps indicated) in western Texas for over two hours on my naked bike with the sport screen at a 3/4 crouch - it was louder than standing on the pegs at 60 mph, but I could talk to myself quietly and still hear over the noise (when you can't hear yourself talk with plugs in, that stuff is loud!), but this was partially due to a near-perfect arrangement of a windproof buff that I have had trouble replicating since.

On the same bike, I had some nasty buffeting with the CalSci medium screen (which is the right size for me based on the charts and the look-forward test), I think for whatever reason I require the taller screen - but really, who the hell knows? All you can do is test ride stock bikes on the interstate and hope you get close to quiet so you can make minor tweaks from there. Buying windscreens blind will cost a lot, as you have probably already discovered. I've been on fully faired sport-touring bikes that felt louder than my naked bike in stock form.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:53 AM   #11
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my shoei full face is not bad for wind noise on my r100gs since i took off the big screen but i do wear ear plugs on motorway trips.

if your bike has a big screen try riding the bike with out it and see if the wind noise has gone and wearing earing will help.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #12
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dah View Post

The 2 bikes I'm considering are both Yamahas, a 2013 FJR and the Super Tenere (2012-2013). I've read about wind noise on both bikes, I test rode the FJR and wind noise was definitely an issue with the stock electronic shield --I adjusted it several times, lowest setting seemed best.
I rode both of these at a Yamaha demo day. At 6'3" they were both painfully noisy. The FJR went from uncomfortably noisy at the lowest setting to deafeningly noisy at the high setting.

On my gen 1 KLR the best (quietest) is NO windshield at all. Trying to find some compromise that will take the wind pressure off without causing more noise.

RF-1100 with earplugs always.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:10 PM   #14
Alexander B
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My previous bike was a 2011 Yamaha XJ6 Diversion (very similar to the US version FZ6). Full fairing. At "optimal quiet riding position" it was:
- Un-rideable without plugs, regardless helmet type. (Tried with three very different ones.)
- Painful at highway speeds with plugs + FF Arai Axces.
- Driveable but uncomfortable with good plugs + Schuberth S1 Pro.

Hunching down close to the tank made it worse. Standing up was quite OK.

I removed the screen, which reduced the noise and buffeting a bit but still not enough and I finally gave in and traded it for an XT660R.

The XT660R is MUCH better but my 2007 Honda VT750C2 is still a bit quieter, probably as there is less turbulence across the lower and narrower bike/driver combo.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:34 PM   #15
bmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dah View Post
I'm searching for a touring/adventure bike that works best at reducing wind noise for my 6'2" height. I recently purchased a 2011 Multistrada Touring S that I fell in love with on a test ride--until I tried higher speeds (anything over 50-60mph) and was really bothered by wind noise. Tried the tall Cal Science shield made wind noise worse. I will not keep the bike if I can't get this resolved, cutting down the stock screen would probably help, but I'd really like some protection from the wind for longer rides.

The 2 bikes I'm considering are both Yamahas, a 2013 FJR and the Super Tenere (2012-2013). I've read about wind noise on both bikes, I test rode the FJR and wind noise was definitely an issue with the stock electronic shield --I adjusted it several times, lowest setting seemed best.

If anyone has advice on the wind noise properties of either bike, (or other brands/models) I'd like to hear from you. I have a new Shoei GT-Air and use custom ear plugs, but I'd like to hear any advice about how either bike's wind protection?
I had an FJR and I currently ride a Super Tenere.

I have a Madstad bracket on the S10 along with a Powerbronze windscreen and I find the wind noise is very subdued. It is much better than the FJR was.

I generally always wear ear plugs but I find that this set up on the S10 is good enough that if I am not going to be riding on the freeway I will often skip them as there is very little noise.

I am using an Arai XD-4 as my helmet.
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