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

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

  1. eegs2k

    eegs2k Adventurer

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    Recently bought a road glide and installed a madstad. not perfect but pretty damn good.
  2. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

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    With my track setup on my R3, I get a ton of wind noise around my head. Less so with the stock bars/pegs, but either one, if I get a bit more upright it smooths out quite a bit. I'm tempted to pull the screen off altogether just to see what happens. If it's positive, maybe a low "race" screen on order. If not, maybe a double bubble type. I don't want to drop that kind of $$ blind, though.

    So far, the best I've had for wind noise were nekkid bikes. Which is cool, I actually prefer those, style wise. I have a lot less seat time on them though, so not sure about long term impacts.
  3. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Annoyingly, naked bikes usually are pretty quiet, as far as wind-noise-in-in-the-helmet goes, but the wind BLAST often becomes a problem, especially if you regularly need to ride much over 65mph. It fatigues you very quickly since you actually have to actively resist the wind all the time. I put a small Dart screen on my Scrambler to decrease wind pressure on my chest, which is does marvelously...at the expense of more wind noise in my helmet. Either the shield needs to be short enough that it's not going to help with the blast, or tall enough to get the turbulent air clean over my head. I'd rather have no shield than a tiny little useless one, and I don't want a tall one that looks ridiculous.

    it also depends on the seating position. Wind blast isn't so bad if you are leaned forward moderately, but I'm bolt upright on my Scrambler. The bike is too small for me to adopt a leaned forward posture unless I put totally different bars on it, which I have considered, but then my knees would hit my elbows in turns...I hate being so tall.
  4. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

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    Yeah, part of my worry is the wind blast. I want to lean enough to help balance it, but not so much it tires out my back when the wind isn't so bad. I noticed it quite a bit at 80mph on the Monster, but it's hard to say how bad it was in general since I was in the wake of a minivan and didn't stay on the highway long. Everything is a compromise, for sure.
  5. oldenuf

    oldenuf Been here awhile

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    like taste, noise is different to many of us. No wind screen or fairing is my choice. As for helmets, some are much better at reducing noise than others. The web site, WebBike World, does a pretty good job reviewing helmets and helmet noise. In addition to the helmet I have found a rolled scarf around the neck under the helmet does a lot to reduce noice from under the helmet.
  6. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    I see how that could work, but man 35C and scarf is brutal
  7. oldenuf

    oldenuf Been here awhile

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    Could try soaking it in water. Here in Washington State, USA, on the coast heat is seldom a concern like right now at 3 PM it's all of 21C.
  8. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    Yeah same here in Vancouver, but still, on Saturday was HOT, had to stop on the highway around Hope to get ice from a Subway, stuff all my pocket with it and run away like a walking refrigerator.
  9. cplus

    cplus Been here awhile

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    I followed along with great interest. The guys who say just get ear plugs and learn how to use them just don’t get it. After living with tinnitus for 15+ years, managing wind noise to limit hearing loss is a very big deal for me.

    I’ve worn ear plugs for years, both foam and flanged. I’ve tried four different windscreens on my Multistrada, everything from a fly screen up to a touring screen. I had an Arai rep size my head and offer recommendations for a quiet helmet. All those things help, but long rides at speed leave my ears ringing for days.

    I’m not ready to give up the Multi just yet, but will be searching out good earbuds with active noise canceling very soon. I don’t know what my next steps would be, but I’m starting to think that a second bike with great wind management might be necessary for touring. Maybe an RT based on some comments in this thread, though I don’t love them. Maybe an FJR with a big ass screen. I appreciate all the constructive comments.
    Alexander B, Matt-J2 and bmac like this.
  10. Bob W

    Bob W Adventurer

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    I would hate to be without my noise cancelling Bose ear buds.
    n8mandy likes this.
  11. oldenuf

    oldenuf Been here awhile

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    Of note is that it is not just the high decible level, but also the amount of time exposed to even lower levels that can damage the hearing. And it's gone for good. So it may not be a bad investment to get a helmet like the Schubert C3-Pro or the Shoei Qwest, always wear good ear plugs and maybe even slow down.
  12. cplus

    cplus Been here awhile

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    Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of the long-term effects of what I was doing until some damage was already done. Years of yard work (mowers & two stroke tools), woodworking (power tools), music (both live and high-end audio) without hearing protection all contributed to my tinnitus. Shooting regularly, even with good hearing protection, probably doesn’t help.

    My tinnitus isn’t debilitating and I have no plans to give up the hobbies I love (yet) but I am especially careful about noise and long-term hearing loss.
    Alexander B likes this.
  13. Nicksta43

    Nicksta43 Been here awhile

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    Yeah the wind blast is what I'm fighting. Out here everything is 75mph+ so it becomes Al problem. It's either go deaf or get beat up it seems.
  14. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander still alive and well

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    I've been down the wind noise road for years and have mild / moderate tinnitus to show for it . I've been across the continent many times on many different bikes and wind noise was always an issue. I remember getting so pissed off on a trip in Florida I pulled off to the side of the highway and got out the screwdriver and removed the windshield on my K-RS and tied it on the back. Didn't really help just changed the buffeting and noise to a different pitch. I ran my 1150GS with no windscreen after trying 4 different ones plus Tobinators, deflectors yada yad. Super Enduro with no shield was turbulence free but the wind blast is still annoying. Aural Fatigue on long trips can be exhausting (see what I did lol) and makes it a riskier endeavor.

    Tried many different ear plugs, custom moulded ones blah blah. They work well for noise as long as they stay put but do nothing for turbulence.

    Bought a R12RT and I'm in heaven :rayof just a push of the button and the screen goes down for fresh air when riding slow and up till the sweet spot shows up and I can relax and ride in peace and quiet.

    Man I should have done this years go!

    Now how to figure out how to get knobbies on it :deal
  15. arnoldus

    arnoldus Been here awhile

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    Alexander, have you found a liveable solution?

    I'm going to sell my (otherwise well-loved) NT700 Deauville because even with the largest CalSci screen the hammering turbulence is too much.
    A while back another screen broke off, but even without a screen I remember there was turbulence from the front.
    When the opportunity arises I'll try an RT, otherwise I'll stick to unfaired bikes.
    Alexander B likes this.
  16. BarryW

    BarryW Been here awhile

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    The Bose QC20 work very, very well for me. No wind noise to speak of. Occasional popping when I’m in turbulent air, but they’re way ahead of any other solution.
    n8mandy likes this.
  17. Bob W

    Bob W Adventurer

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    I love my Bose Noise Cancelling ear buds. I wouldn't want to ride without them.
    n8mandy likes this.
  18. darmahman

    darmahman "Illogically Deluded" Supporter

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    I could never give anybody $250 for something that probably costs $5 - $10 to make
  19. BigKev72

    BigKev72 ANZAC

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    I’m on a 2009 R1200RT with a stock screen. My best helmet combo has been a Shoei RF1200 using foam plugs. I get no tinnitus riding with that combo. I usually use a Shoei Neotec (1) with foam plugs though, that helmet is a lot louder than the RF. Still OK though. The only negative is that the foam plugs make my crappy Sena Bluetooth speakers almost inaudible, which at times is a blessing but I do like my tunes when I’m touring.
    Alexander B likes this.
  20. Bob W

    Bob W Adventurer

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    I have a 2017 RT and use a Sena. I can hear it when my buddies can't hear because of the wind noise. And my music is clear. Expensive to buy but worth every penny to me. Cars can sneak up on you if your not paying attention so I always double check when changing lanes. I bought them at Best Buy with the option of taking them back if I wasn't happy.