Let’s take a moment of silence to address the responsibility of maintaining a rider fit lifestyle in a world with wind noise, loud pipes, loud music and headphones while riding a motorcycle with no hearing protection in the inner ear.
If you lose your hearing, you can’t get it back.
I made an appointment with an Audiologist to check my hearing after riding motorcycles cross country for more than ten years. The Audiologist conducted a few tests inside a soundproof room. The first test was an Otoscopy to check for ear wax and blockages and the final test was the Audiometry where I had to push a button when I hear sound through earphones.
Luckily for me my hearing is within the normal range.
Wind noise from turbulence is the primary causes of irreversible damage resulting in hearing loss when hearing protection is not worn inside the ears. Wind noise take the reins over the sound of loud pipes and loud music with or without a helmet. Hearing loss from noise may occur with one time exposure from an intense sound such as an explosion or from an activity such as motorcycle riding over a long period of time.
Turbulence is the primary source of the wind moving around your body or into your helmet at high speeds. The faster you ride the more severe the sound of wind noise due to turbulence.
Hearing protection such as earplugs or earmolds can suppress sound when worn during motorcycle rides.
There is not a 100% guarantee hearing protection will prevent hearing loss.
Some options available to reduce wind noise while riding a motorcycle are earplugs, earmolds, head/face mask to cover ears, windshield and specialized helmets.
The least expensive option to reduce wind noise are disposable earplugs available for purchase over the counter. It is important to adhere to state laws regarding earplugs http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/State-Laws-Database. For example, in the state of California motorcycle riders wearing earplugs must be able to hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or horn from another motor vehicle.
Earmolds are professionally designed to the impression inside your ear and ear canal.
Head/Face mask to cover ears with ear plugs or ear molds may provide additional protection.
Windshields may block wind depending on the size and height of the shield and rider.
A few helmet manufacturers such as Shuberth, Shoei, Shark, HJC and Arai design aerodynamic quiet helmets with a snug fit to address turbulence and to reduce the chances of wind flowing through vents, visors, around the neck and under the chin.
Ride smart and protect your hearing.