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

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

  1. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    It seems most every car is like that today. I think the aerodynamics are so buttoned down - with the windows up.
  2. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

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    My 2013 Outback is the same.
  3. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

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    Well, maybe. But if you and your helmet (if using) don't match the test parameters than you'll get different results.

    If you're taller or shorter, or sit with your butt further forward or rearward, or if you lean forward more/less, and so on. It's all going to make a difference as to whether the buffeting hits you in an annoying way or not.
  4. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    I hear that repeated over and over, but... Not really.... Those parameters DO affect, but not so much. Ie, Yamaha XJ6F (FZ6R) has a terrible wind management. Period. It does not help to move forwards, back, hunch down or sit up really tall. No position is good, none of my three helmets (Schuberth, ARAI, budget brand) worked.
    If you do not hear it, fine, then you are not noticing such problems. However, compared to ie a Sportster, there is no position on the XJ6F that has less buffeting than the same spot on the Sportster.

    Not everything in the world is relativistic - there are absolutes as well!
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  5. Schai

    Schai Adventurer

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    A few years ago I put some serious effort into reducing wind noise.

    The reason was that I can't understand conversation very well with much backgrond noise, and I wanted to listen to audio books while covering distance. It was aggravating to connstantly miss bits and pieces of the story. I went as far as testing several setups with a noise meter in front of my face and took data. I also taped strips of yarn to the windshield to see the air flow up off the upper edge. My goal was to get the most clear audio above the background noise.

    Some conclusions:

    It's not the bike, but the windshield setup, earplugs, etc.

    The windshield needs to have a small ducted slot at the lower part to flow air up the backside and fill in the upward flow above the windshield. This greatly reduces buffeting a significant distance above and behind the top of the windshield. Calsci was my first aftermarket windshield, has a vent but no duct, and was lousy until I added a duct bedind the vent. Massive improvement.
    Lower guards that fill in the area between the bottom of the windshield and the tank, like the Aeroflow Aeroguards, made EVERY windshield that I tested perform smoother and quieter. However, you lose the cooling into your chest in hot weather.
    With the lower air dams in place and a windshield with good (but not excessive) flow up the back side, most were pretty comparable. Bigger is a bit quieter. A tiny windshield and a good helmet are louder, but the sound is very smooth.

    Ear Plugs:
    Sound canceling ear buds
    did great with low frequencies but not much with high frequencies. Probably the wave length is too short to get good cancellation. My budget was under $100 vs $400 for Bose, so I didn't test those. Also that was a few years ago and I'm sure that the sound processing has improved a lot. So, take this with a grain of salt.
    Well fitted ear plugs do great on high frequencies, but low frequencies go right through your skull material. Things are quieter, but helmet speakers suffered as the voice frequencies were competing with the low frequency rumbles.

    My best solution was fitted earphones that sealed out most of the noise and played the sound directly into my ear canals.
    ===================
    So... assuming that your bike has a good muffler, get a better windshield and ear plug setup.
    =====================
    Note: the bikes that I recently played with were a BMW F800 and R1200GS. I probably blew out some of my hearing over 40 years ago adventure riding a BMW with a sidecar from Michigan over to Europe and down into the Sahara Desert. I eventually got a windshield, but it was in England to reduce the soaking from rain. Never thought about noise.

    Steve
  6. bmac

    bmac Long timer

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    I have worked to reduce wind noise on numerous bikes and it absolutely IS THE BIKE along with windshield, rider position and a whole bunch of other stuff.

    The bike determines the placement of the wind screen and that determines style and size of wind screen needed to alleviate wind noise. Mirrors and fairing design along with distance from rider can also have a significant effect on turbulence.
  7. Seth S

    Seth S My avatar is ok. Your screen is broken

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    The times I got l close to eliminating buffeting noise in my helmet it was down to the airflow around the helmet itself. Pretty sure the air flow is detaching from the helmet about halfway back and turning into turbulence which in turn cranks up the noise significantly. Never experimented with any add on shapes to help maintain a more laminar flow around the helmet surface
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  8. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

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    Go big, or go home. dead quiet at any speed. You either worry about looks, or wind noise. [​IMG]
  9. Yamasakialo

    Yamasakialo Adventurer Supporter

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    In my case, it was the bike. Yours wasn't the bike. I would just take each thing that has been suggested and put it in the memory banks. People have been through a lot of testing on areodinamics here. Don't discount anyone's conclusions. Just because you didn't have the same findings doesn't mean others are wrong.
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  10. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 Just send it!

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    Yeah it seems like you need a brick wall for a windshield to get the nice and quiet. Instead of the wooooosh all the time.

    But then it seems to take 10 extra HP to ride into the wind. :lol3
  11. seldredge

    seldredge Adventurer

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    I found a KLR 650 with a Madstad windshield to be so quiet I didn't often wear ear plugs. Windshield was adjustable up and down and also the tilt. At the highest setting the air went up and over my helmet (I'm 6'1"+), creating a calm space around me. At the lowest setting it let air hit my chest if it was hot. My next bike was louder bother mechanically and with wind noise (Husky Te 630 with Lynx fairing with adjustable windshield). Was just too loud, so I got some QuietOn noise canceling earbuds. helped a lot with the engine and mechanical noise; less so with wind noise , which is high frequency. I like the active noise canceling and wish I'd tried it earlier. I never had a windshield until the KLR. Now it's the first thing i start looking at and changing.
  12. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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  13. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    What shield/bracket setup is it?
  14. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Oh, yes, it is the bike! Huge difference between designs and models. Some manufacturers even manage to screw up the aerodynamics on naked bikes!
  15. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

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    Thats a California Scientific XXL shield on OEM brackets. I'm 6'5" on a russel day long seat that raises you about an inch. I look through that shield. Its the best way for me to get quiet ,calm air. And its to annoying to have the top of the shield very close to your line of sight, so thats why the shield needs to be so tall. So I can look through it about 2 or 3 inches below the top. I use this bike for long highway trips, so maximum wind management is the most important. Looks are secondary, as you can tell. :lol3
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  16. pilotspike

    pilotspike Been here awhile

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    I sweat just looking at that. Yipes.

    J
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  17. Laconic

    Laconic .

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    Stock windshield in the upper position and a Chinee ebay spoiler. Completely cured the wind noise and buffeting and no barn door to look through.

    upload_2021-8-6_6-58-31.jpeg
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  18. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Long timer Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Looks a lot like my "barn door" from that angle.

    I've found that my biggest wind management issue out in the real world is all the dirty air that tumbles from 18-wheelers and other ignorantly-styled, non-aerodynamic crapboxes one contends with in traffic. No matter how slick your setup works when flying down the road alone, these wild wind generators will still bitch-slap your helmet until you get away from them.
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  19. Seth S

    Seth S My avatar is ok. Your screen is broken

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    Every once in a while though the stars align and you get behind a vehicle...its usually been an SUV for me...where the air is almost perfectly flat. 75 mph on the interstate and quiet as if sitting still...usually theres just a puff of air now and then but what a great feeling that is...bike even gets pulled along. I've had this happen at different speeds and always at a safe riding distance. I've tried to get in behind a tractor trailer but never found a spot that wasn't like being in a washing machine.
  20. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Long timer Supporter

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    If you look for the 18-wheelers with the wind sails on the back doors of the trailer, they have a very smooth windstream. The sails keep the flow attached until it can merge back to what it was before the huge vehicle split it. I've heard they add 2-3 mpg to a loaded semi's fuel consumption. I have no idea why all trailers don't run them, but if you add that bump over a million miles, it's a pretty good chunk of change.
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