Looking for a QUIET helmet - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by hhkiwi, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. DiamondDan

    DiamondDan Adventurer

    Jul 31, 2012
    I have a Shoei Qwest and had a huge issue with the booming noise coming from the bottom/rear of the lid. Here's what I did and didn't do to cure it:

    1) ditched the little sport windshield. I found it was dumping a real blast of air right at the shoulders.
    2) made sure the high collar on my Olympia jacket was closed well. Open, it funnels the air into a nice under-helmet vortex.
    3) smaller cheek-pads. yes, smaller.

    4) earplugs. I can't get the foam ones to work properly, so i used the silicone ones. What I found is that they amplify internal noise - for example, chewing. With the original cheek pads squeezing so tightly, a lot of noise seems to have been transferred to the cheek bones or jaw. From there, it's the occlusion effect that magnified that sound against the earplugs.
    4) fit. I'm a medium on their size chart and bought a large because I'm also an idiot. However, with the better-fitting cheek pads and by keeping the collar up and velcro'd shut, the booming wind noise is tolerable for the kind of riding I do (short suburban stuff, mostly).

    Will Do:
    I have a Windjammer II skirt coming in the mail, so if it arrives before the cold weather sets in, I'll give it a go.
  2. AlanCT

    AlanCT The Byronic Man

    Apr 15, 2009
    Northeastern CT
    I tried one. It did not work for me ('03 Concours with HJC and Scorpion helmets).
  3. catweasel67

    catweasel67 Honda XRV 750 RD04

    Aug 18, 2009
    Vienna, Austria
    + (lost count) on ear plugs. I use Shure Se215+ earphones.
  4. dddd

    dddd Been here awhile

    Jan 15, 2012
    Montreal, Canada
    I will answer as if you said you already had good earplugs and wanted even more noise reduction...

    I realize that I did not need the top vent at all, not even in hottest summer. And mine is a very well vented hjc IS16.
    Seems all that foam is either keeping me uniformly warm or fresh, dunno, but ain`t feeling discomfort. So I put a stretched electric tape to streamline it. Got rid of high pitch and a few whistle.

    That I tried a fluffy collar in spring and fall, for warming but the interresting side effect of dropping drammatically all the low frequency (what you guys seem to call bufetting) mad me realize that the lower helmet edge is way worse than any other possible source of noise. Try it. Not so great in summer... eh. Some product seem to exists to streamline the helmet bottom but everyone thinks it is too hot (doesn`t breathe nor absorb sweat).

    But the most drammatic change of all, was not even on the helmet! If I stand up on the pegs at the same speed, way out of the windshield, all the noise go away except a smooth flow of air. The deflected air is faster than outside the bubble and is therefore making terrible noise when your head is in it. The solution IS NOT higher windshield, it is lower ones, assumng you were not looking for rain, dirt or bugs protection. I didn`t have the time to test the theory yet by removing the windshield entirely yet. I will probably buy a very short windshield if it verifies.
  5. max384

    max384 Bandaided

    Nov 23, 2011
    Hazleton, PA
    The thing I miss about my Scorpion EXO 1000 is how quiet it was. It didn't flow much air, but it was pretty quiet. I now wear a Bell RS-1. It is a fantastic lid in the summer that flows a TON of air. However, because it lets in so much air, it is noisy. It's also not a good choice for winter riding. I'm thinking about picking up another EXO-1000 on closeout specifically for winter riding. Besides not letting in much airflow, the antifog coating is fantastic.
  6. tedder

    tedder irregular

    Jun 8, 2004
    I.. hmm.

    Perhaps you want a half helmet. We all know FF helmets destroy your vision too.
  7. vwboomer

    vwboomer Buffoon

    Feb 12, 2008
    I have never tried one, but I noticed when I hunch my shoulders up against the bottom of the helmet it drops noise quite considerably.
  8. Corkonian

    Corkonian Been here awhile

    Nov 6, 2006
    There's an article in this months RIDE magazine about this subject.
    I got tinnitus - very annoying when I got it at first but used to it now - regardless I don't want any further hearing damage.

    Shoei do a 'whisper strip' - make sure it fits your model of helmet. Even within their own range it doesn't fit every one.

    A lot of the noise is absorbed through your head so the best ear plugs in the world aren't going to protect your hearing 100% - no where near that.

    As they said in the article there's actually not a whole lot they can do about helmets - you can't streamline them like push bike ones - one life saver and you'd be airborne.
  9. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

    Dec 10, 2005
    After a couple of minutes with plugs in I find that I can hear talk pretty well. I am often the first vehicle to notice (or react to) sirens. I can hear most but not all vehicles in the next lane. I bought a variety pack of reusable plugs and found a style that works well and are easy to insert.

    There ARE places (such as beside a construction site) that I cannot hear talk with my helmet and earplugs.

    Perhaps different ear plugs would reduce the sound level without killing all sound. I can imagine that earplugs that work too well are isolating.

    I wear a Shoei Qwest on various naked bikes. It is quieter than previous helmets, but not silent. I believe you have the right idea that a naked bike with the right helmet can be quieter than most windshields.
  10. ST-DocLizard1

    ST-DocLizard1 Serial Monogamist

    Feb 26, 2006
    Hampton, NJ
  11. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

    Mar 13, 2012
    So.Central PA
    I'll put in a vote for the Shoei Qwest. I rode my nekkid Aprilia Tuono with the arai quantum and then bought the Qwest. A good bit quieter than the Arai, but still not really quiet.

    Now on the GS/Adv, the qwest is like wearing ear plugs. Smooth air, nice and quiet.
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

    Oct 11, 2004
    Manassas, VA
    I have an RS-1. It's my main helmet - over my Bell Vortex and my Arai (can't remember which exact model Arai I currently have - I've literally had them all). I would never ride (any distance at all) with it and no hearing protection.

    What would you think of somebody who rode with no jacket, boots, and gloves because "they hate having all that stuff on". Not protecting your hearing isn't much smarter than not protecting your skin... In fact, your skin will heal from a lot of things. Damaged hearing is permanent.
  13. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

    Feb 10, 2007
    SW Ohio
    I was generally going to say about the same thing.The plugs cut down on the wind noise(use a quality plug though) so you CAN hear other things.The wind noise(without plugs) will impare your hearing after some time.
  14. twasp

    twasp Adventurer

    Jun 26, 2009
    Scorpion EXO 1000 is quiet. More so behind a windshield at the proper height. I believe it comes in some solid colors. Obviously more noisy with no shield. About on par with my older Scuberth, but about half the cost.
  15. falconati

    falconati baller

    Jun 24, 2012
    Shoei + earplugs.