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

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

  1. Michaelrm69

    Michaelrm69 Been here awhile

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    It's been mentioned, but I'll add to the idea of getting a slower, or more fun to ride slower motorcycle. If earplugs and a good helmet ain't cutting it at the speeds you're riding you'll either have to get a giant fairing bike (compared to your nakeds) or get something that's just fun to cruise around on.

    Second problem is, now that you've developed a hatred for wind noise it's going to be tough getting that feeling out of your head. I'm cautious of excessive noise, but find the sound of the wind rushing by excilerating , so I'm more apt to find ways of dealing with it rather than give up the sport.

    I have a pretty heavy case of tinnitus and have searched high and low for a good helmet/earplug set up and it's a tough search. Foam disposables seem to work better than preformed for me. Tried Schuberth S2 and didn't find it as quiet as the marketing claimed. Shoei GT-Air was better, but shell shape didn't fit my dome. Just picked up Arai Quantum X and it's been the best so far, but still wear earplugs just to preserve the hearing I still have.

    Figure when I get to the point of it bugging me to much I'll either make the switch to a cruiser or similar and just put put my way down the road. After that I'll probably just have to stick to bicycling for my 2wheel thrills ‍♀️‍♀️
    #81
  2. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    First off I use a Shoei Neotec helmet with custom ear plugs with noise filter B installed. I have been using custom ear plugs for at least the last 15 yrs. I also have one ear with a small ear canal and I can't keep any of the foam plugs in place. The big advantage with custom made ear plugs is that you have a choice as to which area in the noise spectrum that you want to remove. The B allows normal voice communication but blocks out lower and higher DB noises. If you are going to be serious about controlling noise management you really want to look at custom ear plugs. Helmets also contribute to the noise, some helmets vents are noisy, or the helmet is too big and doesn't fit properly. On a full face if you can grab it from the front chin area and move it side to side it is too big. Helmets should also be replace every 5 years.

    Another good invention is any of the airflow deflectors on the market. Some are better than others so you want to do your research. They work by moving the air up over your helmet and it really depends on what type of windshield you have and they will also take care of buffeting issues in a lot of cases. Body position on the bike also plays a role in noise management ( more upright/less upright).

    Sometimes less windshield is better than more. I currently ride two bikes one a BMW R1100s with a shorter screen ( wind hits high on chest and shoulders ) and helmet for the most part is in relatively clean air. The other bike is a Honda Shadow VT1100T with the stock cruiser type screen with a wind deflector. It is much quieter than the BMW even though I'm wearing exactly the same gear. The noise level is reasonable on both bikes and both can be ridden all day with no hearing issues.

    I previously had a GL1500 and rode with the same helmet & ear plug set up. It was quiet but because of the design of the big fairing etc you got more engine noise. Riding motorcycles is hard on hearing so anything that you can come up with that lowers the noise level is a plus. Noise is a very personal thing and a bike that bothers one doesn't bother another.
    #82
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  3. Charleston

    Charleston Been here awhile

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    Agreed. I had a BMW R1100S and it was much more comfortable with the short windshield (head in clean air) than with either of the tall windshields that I tried that put my head in turbulent air. Don't know if the decibels were less but clean air is much more comfortable than turbulent air
    #83
  4. Charleston

    Charleston Been here awhile

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    I don't know if there is anything to this but I have noticed that the quietest bikes I've ridden have all had power windshields:

    BMW R1200RT - Excellent
    Yamaha FJR - Great
    Victory Vision - Great
    Indian Roadmaster -Great

    Bikes that I have tried with fixed windshields were not as good. Relatively (to me) the Rushmore Road Glide Ultra is only Good with the vents open, and my Ultra Classic is only tolerable (more buffeting than noise) with the right windshield and fork deflectors. I've heard that less helmet helps but I like my full face Neotec

    Maybe its just that if the manufacturer goes to the expense of including a power windshield then they are thinking about aerodynamics?
    #84
  5. MisterShandy

    MisterShandy Been here awhile

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    I think OP doesn't know how to properly install earplugs.

    Do a YouTube search for how to correctly put in ear plugs.
    #85
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  6. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    I think it's two things really:

    1. electric windshields only tend to be on bikes with larger flairings which tends to do a better job of moving the wind away from you to begin with

    2. the adjustablity on the fly permits you to change the position based conditions. The right screen for a stout headwind might not be the best for a gusty crosswind or two up, or whatever

    The tradeoff is you only tend to find them in the dreadnought class which might solve wind issues but tends to introduce compromises of their own (weight & complexity among others). A bigger boat is more stable, a smaller boat more agile, the question is, where are you planing to sail?
    #86
  7. Tbone80

    Tbone80 Been here awhile

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  8. VicRattlehead

    VicRattlehead Been here awhile

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    Its been said before in this thread but I'm going to have to agree; go see a doctor. If you're truely having this much trouble, and are installing ear plugs correctly, you have something medically going on that needs attention.

    I've ridden numerous multi-day trips on nearly as many different bikes, with speeds ranging from 55-80, for sometimes 15-16 hours on end, and never had a problem with ringing while wearing a 'nothing special, sub-$200' FF helmet and simple generic foam plugs. I also commuted 80mi a day for like 10 years without issue. Though I'm not especially sensitive to the wind noise, I've found on all of my bikes the noise level with plugs in (and installed properly-I worked in factories for like 15 years so I KNOW the importance of getting them in there RIGHT) to be LESS than simply driving with the windows down in a car/truck.
    #88
  9. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    You are (unfortunately) o-so-wrong. As an audio engineer and long term musician, I am VERY interested in anything and everything sound/hearing related. I have tried every type of commercial plugs (correctly inserted!), including not one but two different sets of custom molds. The firm, dense foam types are the best from a reduction point of view, with a slight edge over my best molded pair, which is completely solid, no channel/filter insert.
    #89
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  10. karlb

    karlb My life is a blur

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    I've heard sedans are real quiet.
    I mean come on, you are on a motorcycle you are always going to have some wind noise, with the decibel drop of ear plugs properly worn you are not "damaging" your hearing,
    so we a talking an annoyance.

    If it bothers you to the point of not wanting to ride it sounds to me like maybe, just maybe, you are looking for an excuse not to ride.

    If that is the case, stop riding, as why do something you don't want to do when it comes to something like riding motorcycles.

    Face it.
    Riding a motorcycle is truly nirvana 30-40 % of the time at best.

    The rest of the time you are hot or cold or wet or in high side winds getting blown around or dust covering you. There is wind noise, there are birds trying to kill themselves on you, cars and trucks trying to kill you, bugs coating you and whatever gear you ride in after 100 miles most of the year, you are limited on what you can carry with you and most of the people you meet think you are crazy for riding a "mudercycle".

    But if you love riding, none of this matters and you ride.

    If you are thinking of stopping riding due to "wind noise" deep down inside you prob. don't want to ride, and therefore shouldn't.
    #90
  11. BOOTLACE

    BOOTLACE Bikie Scum. Supporter

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    You need a nice comfy automobile. That is what you need.
    #91
  12. Muncle

    Muncle Been here awhile

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    I love riding my "10" GSA but find the long distance riding exhausting, wind noise and buffeting takes it toll.
    I use ear plugs in my Shoei 1200 but the air is just too dirty around the GS.
    My "16" Road Glide Ultra with it's Rushmore fairing gives me clean air around my helmet, less noise less buffeting.
    Just my two cents worth, hope you find the right answer for yourself. Ride on!
    #92
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  13. RblueR

    RblueR Been here awhile

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    Depends on your dentist .... love my F800GT, super all-around bike with little wind noise (Shoei helmet, custom earplugs, Puig touring screen). And no stinking chain!
    #93
  14. Rox

    Rox Been here awhile

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    It's all in the helmet . If u buy a track helmet or a cheap helmet or just not the right helmet for your head shape it'll be a noisy ride. Find a really good touring helmet.

    I normally ride naked bikes at high speeds so when I say it's the helmet I'm telling you it's the helmet...lol For me a lot of the Shoeis were my fit. Quest was a great one but they have better and quieter. With a well fitted touring helmet you can probably stick your head out of a fighter jet and it'll be quiet enough for a bluetooth.
    #94
  15. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Thanks, but if you read my posts, you could see I am on my fourth helmet (and have test ridden more), a Schuberth S1Pro. It is generally regarded as one of the most quiet lids, regardless price or type.
    Price was not really a concern when I bought it. The store owner said it was probably the most quiet they had (they also carry Arai, Shoei, Nolan etc) and let me test ride it on my own bike, so I could compare it to other models. I did, and it was the best.
    #95
  16. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Thank you for your reply. No, I (luckily) do not need to take Ibuprofen.
    I have seen that some people see a connection between coffee and tinnitus, so I have cut back on my (moderate) Pepsi consumption. Can't hurt...
    Regarding music... Well, no, I honestly do not think so. I use plugs religiously and have never encountered more than temporary and mild tinnitus from music.
    The total "stress load" (drone of "clean wind", some buffeting, body transmitted vibrations when on my thumper etc) of riding is clearly worse - no question about it. The effects from riding seem distinct, immediate, proportional to duration and speed etc.
    I will order a wind jammer, and I will test ride the suggested bikes shortly.
    #96
  17. DLFLHT

    DLFLHT I'm a little fuzzy

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    No kidding! I don't like it too hot, don't like it too cold, don't like it when it's raining. Love it when it's 60 to 85 degrees and sunny and on a deserted backroad!:D
    #97
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  18. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Sorry, rubbish. I start my riding season as soon as it is a handful of degrees above freezing, I ride in rain, fog, nighttime and in strong wind. Gravel and pavement. I ride to work, to the drugstore, to relatives and friends etc. Definitely NOT a "fair weather rider".
    #98
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  19. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    I never drive faster than 60-70 km/h (35-42 mph) with the windows rolled down before the wind blast gets problematic to my ears. Around 100 km/h, it becomes physically painful. And that is with the front door windows. For the rear passenger doors, it typically feels like standing below a helicopter taking off.
    #99
  20. karlb

    karlb My life is a blur

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    So none of that bothers you, and you love to ride, but you are thinking of quitting because motorcycles are windy and wind makes noise.
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