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

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

  1. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Time to report back...

    Now I have tried the BMW R1200RT. Everything else aside, the aerodynamics are very different on that bike. I took it out on the highway at 120km/h indicated, with some additional head wind. The higher I raised the screen, the less noise.
    However, at highest position, it was still 3" too low. (I am approx. 6'1".) Then, crouching down behind the screen, it was eerily quiet. Wow. First time I have encountered that. (Normally there is buffeting mayhem when I get my head close to the bars.)
    A taller screen might generate a quiet ride on that bike...

    The rest of the bike I did not like at all. Not one bit.
    It doesn't matter that much, as this indicates that there are solutions that may work.
  2. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Additional thoughts on identifying noise.
    I have discovered that the worst source of oscillating low frequency noise for me, is the wind "rattling" the helmet against my head. Placing a hand on the top of the helmet at highway speeds cuts down the noise dramatically.
    What noise remains then is no problem. I keep my hair very short, which probably adds to the problem, as there is no hair to absorb some of the helmet's motion/impact energy.
    This type of bone transmitted noise is impossible to reduce with plugs etc.
  3. slipknot

    slipknot Long timer

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    Try the Triumph Trophy SE, you should get similar results in aerodynamics and noise but the bike itself is very different. Also the Honda GL1800 with a taller shield. Quieter than most cars.
  4. whiskeygut

    whiskeygut Riding in flip-flops

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    $25 on Amazon. I'll never use foam plugs again. These cut out that certain range of noise that makes my ears ring, however I can still hear my engine, my radio and the traffic around me. They only knock down 12db...but like I said, its that certain annoying range of noise that gets cancelled. I bought a backup pair and have given them to my motorcycling friends for Christmas and birthdays. Customer service is top notch. Plus the name makes me giggle.

    81mJSACkLAL._SL1500.jpg
  5. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    that has been my experience as well, fully flaired bikes with electric screens allow you to get to a level of quite that only the mega-touring rigs (Wings, FL's etc) otherwise permit. In my case I'm tall (6'2"), have broad shoulders, and a large head (3XL). I tend to get wind noise of the buffeting type on bikes that many others seem fine with and no combination on helmet/plugs/helmet wind guards solves it tho adjustable brackets and larger screens help. My guess would be that if you had the properly sized screen on that RT it would have been dead quite, sort of like my ST1300 was. If the RT isn't your thing, try some of the other Sport touring bikes.
    EZMoney and Alexander B like this.
  6. tjconc

    tjconc Long timer

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  7. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Long timer

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    That's interesting. If your helmet is loose enough to move around on your head then it's probably too big, or not the right shape for your head (i.e. some parts are tight, others are loose). I loose helmet is definitely going to be noisy.

    Also, the "rattling" you refer to is probably buffeting; like little hammers pounding on your noggin ? This comes back to the interaction between windshield and helmet; some shields/bikes/helmets do it worse than others. Earplugs won't help, so you'll need to change other variables.
  8. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    I see you did not bother to read the thread? Nothing wrong with the helmet size - it is not loose. Still, the interior has a little "give", and will compress and allow for a vibration, especially since my whole head (and helmet) is being a bit slammed around by buffeting.
  9. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Another report.
    Yesterday, after spending a couple of hours riding my XJR1300, I went home and picked up my FZ8N instead. Went back on the same roads, both headwind and tailwind, and noticed how much smoother the wind flows on that bike. The difference was dramatic. One naked vs another, mind you... I might put the XJR up for sale (not just because of the turbulence).
    Now, if I only could transfer some of that effortless mid range grunt of the XJR onto the FZ8N...
  10. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Long timer

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    I did initially, then I forgot when I went back and saw the other responses, and after my response I re-read the first post, and by then I had run out of time to go back and edit. Sorry.
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  11. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    No problem - sorry about the assumption. I guess I am becoming too used to the crowd that sees an interesting thread and skips all previous posts, jumping straight to the end... :augie
  12. "None"

    "None" Adventurer

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    IME, bikes with fairing or windscreen, rider will need to be fully under & within close proximity of the windscreen to experience minimal wind noise/buffering.
    Fore/afte dstance between windscreen & helmet directly affects efficiency of the windscreen to provide wind/noise reduction abiity.
    Clean airflow on naked bike without fairing/windscreen can have less wind/noise effects simply because of clean airflow around the helmet or helmet is completely above the windscreen.
    Wouldn't be surprised if you get better results if you tuck-in fully behind the windscreen of the XJR and use some support on the tank to help you lay on top of tank.
  13. 9mm

    9mm Been here awhile

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    Following this thread. Got me to play with my windshield height on my commute. Windshield all the way down and madstad all the way down, back, streamline, does make for less noise from the Bell modular helmet. Noticed that the top vents being open caused a lot of noise too.
    That is my 2 cents.
  14. Vavylon

    Vavylon n00b

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    Honestly the new helmet/windscreen combo is probably your best bet. But if that doesn't work out or you want versitility on different bikes I will suggest a little military/aviation hack. Bose makes active noise canceling headsets that you could try and pair with a half helmet. Probably have to do some calling to find out exactly which of their products would be best for noise ranges associated with a motorcycle. Their headsets have different strengths and weaknesses, for example the ground units are built to filter more engine and explosions while their aviation are more for aircraft engine noises. The come with comm capability but as far as I know all the units are wired for specific intercom and radio systems used by their big clients. I have a set and rewired the cords to plug into my jeep's stereo. I'm no good with electronics so I couldn't find a way to get the music and passenger intercom working simultaneously.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture. There are two bands that connect the muffs, the top band is just fabric, no wire, and velcro to adjust length. The rear band is metal that applies tension to keep the muffs tight over the ears. The rear band sits across the base of the brain stem so it is mostly out of the way of the helmet while the top band can either go under the helmet completely or over it depending on the specific helmet being used.

    [​IMG]

    A nifty little feature that makes these headsets so cool is a switch that you can flip that actively passes voice and non-damaging noise through the interior speakers so you can hear your surroundings and communicate with people. Word of warning, when I have mine hooked up to the stereo, the music quality is mediocre at best. Not sure if that is due to my shoddy wiring abilities or the fact that the headset was designed for voice and not music.

    This is an expensive option, probably at least $300 for a used set and add whatever amount for functional intercom or music connection and would require a lot of jimmy rigging, but it it was between that and riding, well, you know :)
  15. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    @Vavylon @"None" You both refer to the windscreen of the XJR. There is no screen. It's a naked bike, always was.
    Riding without full face helmet is option due to temperature and safety.

    Came back this evening after another 40-50 km of riding the FZ8N just for comparison, the FZ has ZERO buffeting even at 100+ mph. (On my private race track.) Lots of wind, yes, but "clean" wind. A steady rush of white noise, with NONE of that helicopter "flap, flap, flap". The difference over other bikes I have ridden is not little, with the old ER6N and the new Z900 being the closest. Honestly, I even prefer it to the suggested R1200RT that I tried.

    Why didn't I do this before? Well the FZ8 was added to the stable late in the autumn, and has been grounded due to a clutch issue, now fixed.
    I guess the "solution" is to sell XJR 1300, (or maybe keep it for short rides only), as I see now reasonable way of ever getting it on par with the FZ8N.
  16. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    On every "faired" bike I have owned or test ridden, there was ALWAYS less noise with the screen completely removed. Bandit 650, FZ6R, XT660R, Switchback, Drag star 1100, CBF1000FA etc. ALWAYS.
  17. Alexander B

    Alexander B Long timer

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    Also, on all the faired bikes I have ridden - everyone except the R1200RT - tucking in deep only increases wind noise. The closer the screen the noisiser, the higher up and rearwards, the less noise.
  18. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Thanks to whoever posted the correct way to insert foam ear plugs.

    Complete difference maker.
  19. G54B

    G54B Super gumby

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    I ride my XR600 pretty much everywhere, with an MX helmet too... It's noisy as at 110km/h as you'd expect, chuck in a pair of earplugs (the foam type I use at work) and bam, it's quiet enough that I can hear my timing chain whirring away.
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  20. Deckitout

    Deckitout Adventurer

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    In this scenario of extreme wind noise helmet, windjammers and ear plugs are secondary factors. I have experience two of the worst offenders Tracer 900 and Tiger 1050. I hand wind noise practically making these machines unridable for me.. The problem is a combination of bike, rider height and rider ergonomics, it just doesn't affect everyone.

    What is required is that you need to deflect the wind that is causing the buffeting/noise. The only way to do this is to change/alter screens., it is not just about size/height but also the angle of the screen
    My solution was to purchase an MRA wind deflector, this enables a fair amount of adjustment to take the wind up above your helmet and creating clean air.

    Sure it looks naff, but it now enables me to ride along at 70 mph with my visor up in clean air

    https://www.bikehps.com/acatalog/MRA_X-creen_Motorcycle_Screen_Flip_Spoiler_Air_Deflector.html