Wind noise and bikes. On the verge of giving up riding.

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Alexander B, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Hi,
    Without reading this entire thread (sorry if this has been said to death already), reading your opening post I was instantly thinking about ear plugs. Which I do swear by these days. BUT one other thing that attributes significantly to wind noise is helmet FIT. Or rather, lack of fit.
    You can talk about noise coming from any aspect of motorcycling, I mean yes- it's a noisy sport. But the best starting point is to get decent or custom made ear plugs (even cheap foam ones are better than none at all) AND get a helmet that fits your head. The two key ways to decrease noise.

    THEN analyze everything else.
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  2. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    "Without reading this entire thread"? Are you drunk? Your reading must have veered off much sooner. I say you did not make it to the secon PARAGRAPH... Sorry, but your post is pointless, almost disrespectful.

    Second paragraph:
    "I have owned a number of bikes, and test ridden quite a few, specifically looking for the least noisy model. So far it seems naked bikes, Schuberth S1 Pro (supposedly more quiet than the C3) and either custom moulded or 3M foam plugs is best combo. Still insufficient, though."
  3. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    I have two DL's, 650 and a 1000 and neither have a significant wind noise problem now. The noise and buffeting almost made me give up on DL's, particularly long hauls but it's simply not an issue now.

    The trick for me was Givi screens in the lowest position and it worked well with both bikes. There's so little wind noise and buffeting that mostly I'm riding with the visor up. I'll concede a lot of that comes down to things like rider height and pre-damaged hearing as well but I managed to fix the noise problem on two not quite identical bikes so it is doable.
  4. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Hey apologies, but I admit I was in complete shock from your words, "on the verge of giving up riding". So much so that I never even noticed the thread being almost a year old now.
    Seems you are looking pretty heavily into noise and motorcycling and perhaps, living a noisy life, I'm not so sensitive, but I would never consider giving up riding motorcycles over noise. Or for any other reason.

    Meanwhile, after much time, many efforts and many bikes/gear combos down the line, hopefully you are reaching some comfort level that'll keep you happily in the saddle?

    This is a good thread, tho any and all discussion on how to increase comfort and safety is worthwhile.

    As has been pointed out, there are nearly endless variables with wind noise; something as far off seeming as a jacket feature (collar) can contribute far more than people realize to noise levels, for example. There are, by now, also plenty of devices designed or intended to reduce helmet buffeting noise. Some of which work for some, and not so well for others.
    Here is Web Bike World's review of a Schuberth S1 Supersport, I'm unsure if this is the same as the S1 "pro" you said you are using?. These guys seem to really like the C3 and careless impressed by the noise levels in the S1 Supersport helmet. Web Bike World, if you haven't found them yet, do lots of good work and review many products.
    Here is their article on motorcycle helmet noise
    https://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmet-noise/
    If you haven't already seen this, or read something similar.
    Web Bike World has great articles on their research into helmets, wind noise, windshields etc. They put microphones in helmets and measure wind noise under certain conditions to ascertain which helmets are louder than others; ultimately, they've decided that helmets are loud & louder, none are really "quiet". One apparent benefit of the newer Schuberth helmets is they've gone to a much more neutral head shape inner design, thus creating a better fitting helmet, one that is a better fit for more peoples' heads.

    Linked, below is an article discussing Von Karman vortices in aerodynamics. Ultimately, this is an article contained in a bit of a sales pitch. It has some pertinent information on windshield dynamics and negative pressure, etc. Since you are looking for answers and doing your own research, probably you are already in tune with fluidics and air flow dynamics but for those who may not have gotten this deeply into it, here is the below article. Parabellum, Calsci, and others have gone to "venting" their motorcycle windshields to alleviate negative pressure and decrease turbulent vortices. I have a Z Technik brand windshield only K1200 which also includes this design feature.

    https://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Fairing.html
    I looked for several years for a new windshield for my K1200 before finally choosing the Z Technik screen, and tho its not amazingly "quiet", it did make a vast improvement over the BMW "comfort" screen the bike came to me with. It is most quiet in the "high" position (K1200 RS has 2 windshield positions), BUT I also tried the original factory windshield (much smaller profile) and found it low enough in height that it left my head/helmet completely in unfettered, "clean" air flow space... so for me it becomes a matter of protection from the elements VS noise... not that the K1200 is all that amazing in regards to being protective, but hey, every little bit helps on a long distance ride, and a bigger windshield does matter, some times more than others.

    FWIW I have also had laminar Lips on both that comfort windshield and also on a factory windshield on a BMW R100RS. The Laminar Lip didn't make a big enough difference to me on either bike, and I eventually discontinued use of these add-on devices.
    Here is another "sales pitch" article which happens to have information on windshield height and set-up.
    http://www.nationalcycle.com/bible-height-windshield
    to be completely redundant, I assume you've found this information but others may not have.

    After reading most of this thread by now, I haven't seen some of this (a lot of this stuff actually) mentioned. It has been said that there is no single "fix" for noise in motorcycling, and as we may all see, there are multitudes of various companies working on improving this factor for us, in addition to ages of scientific & engineering work on aerodynamics, turbulence, von Karman vortices https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kármán_vortex_street,

    and the effects of objects on air and fluid flow.

    Reading thru most every comment, I see also the number of people who made rude and even ignorant comments about your choice of words... so maybe you are sensitive to perceived negativity. Apologies also if my post from last night seemed to fall into this category.

    Finally, available information on the internet is seemingly endless; my post is not. Have a great day and best of luck. I'll pop in next year at this time to see how its going! :lol3
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  5. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer Supporter

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    I also asked this in the current earplug thread in Equipment. Thought it would be appropriate here also.

    Has anybody tried one of the Sena helmets with built in noise cancelling?
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  6. BobcatSig

    BobcatSig They call me... Huckajawea

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    This is a great point that often does not get discussed. I can't remember where I hear or read this, but something like 60% of helmets in use today are too big for their owner. It seems if the helmet is even a bit tight, the buyer goes up a size, discounting break-in or swapping out pads or liners.

    I know Arai and Shoei are big proponents of sizing; getting the right shell fit and then swapping out pieces and parts to dial in the fit.

    I'll also cop to owning an Arai XD-4 that's a size too big. I've come to see that I'm on the border of medium and large with nearly all helmets and I made the mistake of opting for a large in my XD-4. Incidentally, it's a noisy helmet and it being too big is likely a factor in the noise.
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  7. BobcatSig

    BobcatSig They call me... Huckajawea

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    See page 11. A user briefly discussed his or her experience with the helmet.
  8. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks. Don't know how I missed that.

    So....KMC1, how is the noise cancelling without music?
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  9. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

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    I have a 2011 FJR1300. I bought it in Phoenix last year with the OEM windscreen and stock pipes. On the 325 mile inaugural ride home, I picked up some foam earplugs. I'm not a fan of the foam, but it was what the store had. Usually i use cheap Howard Leight flange military style, 3 pairs for $6 on Amazon. I recently bought more expensive ear plugs and they perform about the same as these- not any better, maybe not quite as good or the same.
    [​IMG]
    Not long after I got it home, I changed the pipes so I could actually hear the engine RPM, and now it's a tad on the loud side. (2 Brothers).
    After replacing the stock pipes, I changed the windscreen to a Rifle that's 5 inches taller than stock. Tall windscreens are ugly, but it works very well.
    With earplugs in and the windscreen all the way in the UP position, there is no noticeable turbulence around my head at all. FJR riders call it "the cone of silence".
    In this picture, the windscreen is in the fully down position. Good luck, YMMV.
    [​IMG]
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  10. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    I never had a helmet that fit until I bought my 1st Arai. back then, Arai had an extra small shell. They have since discontinued the X-small, and now only have smalls. I got that extra small, and they changed out the inner pads to get an exact fit. At the time they had a wider variety of shell SHAPES than they now have. So that old Arai fit me so well it was really unbelievable. It hurt my head for the first few hundred miles! Recently, about a year and a half ago, I bought a new Arai. Found one I liked online and took it to that same Arai dealer and had them change the pads out for optimum fit. This is the size small shell, and they don't have pads for the crown of the head, only cheek pads, so I had to sacrifice some fit but the helmet still fits pretty well, a few thousand miles later. Helmet fit is something you'll not get if you just go pluck a helmet off a shelf at a motorcycle shop, and head shape is something that most makers don't even consider. Shuberth, for example used to have one head shape shell- large & round. Fitting only a small percentage of heads. Since they have gone to a more universal shape that fits a much wider range of heads.
  11. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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  12. radslayer

    radslayer n00b

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    +1 on the RT. I have an 06 RT with a Cee Bailey windscreen, and the height adjustment can be dialed in to where there is almost zero wind noise. The pipes are quiet. You get a little engine and tire noise, but I enjoy that. I will also sometimes wear my noise cancelling in-ear Bose earbuds for long rides. Those remove almost all background noise without blocking things you want to hear (horns, sirens, adjacent cars).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. jwumpus

    jwumpus standup philosopher

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    It's weird how people experience the same situation in such a variety of ways. Me, I have exceptionally keen hearing and I have always found earplugs satisfactory for reducing noise to a tolerable level. Currently I use some gel earbuds (no idea what brand, nothing special) connected to an mp3 player. With my HJC helmet, it's no different sound-wise than when I'm driving my car. I can hear the music and still hear things around me just fine. It probably also doesnt hurt that I'm sitting behind a ST100 windshield, either. Now if it were only adjustable.
  14. MariusD

    MariusD Long timer

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  15. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Just to add another observation to the whole loud helmet issue: Sometimes I'll wear a half helmet, and it is so much quieter than my full helmet (have a full windshield). I've concluded that a full helmet is basically a big bell that we stick our heads in, and the bell amplifies all noises, especially turbulence or other "touching" of the outside of the helmet.
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  16. kojack

    kojack AMF!

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    I have tinnitus from blowing up a firecracker in my year when I was 11. Been ringing ever since. I know the feeling of why the fuck wont this stop. But, I think ear plugs are the best bet. GOOD ONES. Even goto an ear specialist and get custom fit versions. I think that will take care of it. When I had my road glide, it had a low shitty black screen on it. My ears rang for 3 days after a long ride, wind blowing by my ears. Next ride, I had ear plugs in. MUCH BETTER. Next ride after that I had a medium height screen on and could ride with no plugs and listen to the tunes. BEST!
  17. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Bad Hombre

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    I tried a lot of things to have good quality sound. Earbuds never worked until ... I tried the thinnest balaclava ( silk something something) and it works perfect. Also, it helps to keep the noise down a bit.
  18. Bob W

    Bob W Adventurer

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    Bose noise cancelling ear buds are way better then foam plugs or any plug I've used.
  19. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Seems like not many folks are addressing what the OP's issue is, which he seems to have identified as transmitted noise (helmet to near skinhead). No amount of noise cancellation or ear plugs addresses that. Noise through the air seems not to be the issue. Smooth air to eliminate any source of helmet noise (as with the RT) does. If this solution is not acceptable to the OP (and he seems to dislike the bikes that provide this) then the solution seems to be to isolate the helmet from the head. Either do that with a helmet liner or balaclava, or grow hair.
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  20. Hank.SD

    Hank.SD Jet Measurer

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    I know Madstad screens have been mentioned, and here is another +1 to that. Putting one on my Tiger Explorer was the single best mod I've ever made, to any bike, at any price. The riding experience went from a noisy, buffetting mess, to a dead silent pocket where I rode visor up in peace.
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