Author Topic: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears  (Read 357 times)

Offline MackenzieHailey

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Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« on: June 12, 2019, 06:54:00 AM »
Hey guys,

Any suggestion on what hearing protection I should buy? I always wear my helmet but I still hear ringing in my ears every time I ride for long hours. My brother said it might be a sign of tinnitus. I tried generic plugs but they don't fit well in my ears and caused some inflammation in my ear canal.

Will appreciate any response from all of you. :D

Offline mr72

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 02:02:42 PM »
Well, hearing ringing in your ears is the definition of tinnitus, however it may be just a transient condition based on exposure to loud noise. Is this wind noise you are trying to solve? If so a different helmet may be the solution. Assuming you are using a full-face helmet with the visor closed, this will be the quietest, but each helmet is different in wind.

Anyway, for ear plugs the easiest is to find the slow-recovery PVC foam type ear plugs that you roll into a little thin shape and put them in, let them expand to fit. You can get these at most drugstores, don't know where you are, but here in the USA they are available everywhere, including Amazon like this: https://www.amazon.com/Earplugs-Classic-Foam-Diposable-Pack/dp/B00GYFPWYE/ref=sr_1_12

There are other brands besides 3M but these are the real deal and will work. Silicone or natural rubber ear plugs are going to have a much worse fit and perform far worse, in addition to probably irritating your ear.

Just bear in mind they will reduce all sound including cars and traffic and other things you might want to hear, so reducing the offending noise is probably a better starting point... different helmet.

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 03:43:39 PM »
We just had a similar discussion about this recently in another thread. I'll leave you with my comments from there.
I suggest buying a "sampler pack" of ear plugs to find the ones that fit your ear. If that fails, you will have to get custom plugs made.

No helmet, even the Scheuberth, Arai, and Shoei helmets, can bring the noise down to a safe level when are riding on the freeway/highway. If you put significant miles on your bike without hearing protection, you 100% will damage your hearing. On a motorcycle you are exposed to a lot of loud sounds, from 95 to 105 decibels. Any sound above 85 decibels will cause hearing loss over a prolonged period of time.

Everyone who rides needs to find the hearing protection that works best for them. If you don't want to spend the time, money, and effort to get a pair of custom molded ear plugs from an audiologist (and then risk losing your expensive pair of ear plugs) I recommend getting a disposable ear plug sampler pack to see what works best for you:
https://www.earplugstore.com/unfoamtrialp1.html

Everyone likes different ear plugs, that's why they make so many. My personal criteria are:
1. Super Soft (So they are comfortable)
2. Pre-shaped (So they take less time to put in)
3. Short (So they don't get pulled out by the helmet)
My favorites so far are these:
E-A-R E-Z-Fit UF Foam Ear Plugs (NRR 28)


Basically, you are going to have to try a few ear plug versions to see what works best for you. Foam, reusable, moldable, or custom fit. I find the reusable ear plugs, like those from Pinlock, to be torture devices for motorcycle use. But that's just me, give them a try to see if they work best for you!

Offline pliskin

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2019, 03:04:28 PM »
I use the foam ear plugs. My GS doesn't bother me much at all even without plugs, never did. My VFR however is so loud even the highest rated plugs don't help much after a longish ride. I wouldn't be surprised if I've already cause some hearing damage as most of the time I don't even use the plugs. For some reason it just doesn't sound as loud anymore.
Why are you looking here?

Offline qcbaker

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2019, 04:59:06 PM »
For some reason it just doesn't sound as loud anymore.

Gee... Wonder what that reason could be...


Offline mr72

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2019, 06:42:08 PM »
for me the wind noise is far louder than the exhaust on both of my bikes. The Triumph is a lot louder than the GS, but I cruise at lowish rpms and it's really not an issue. But the wind over the helmet is a lot of noise and it's broad-band, almost white noise, far worse for your hearing than the low pitch drone of my Bonneville.

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2019, 06:58:57 PM »
If you have a GS500F, you should get a Madstad windshield.

Its expensive and ugly but it cuts the wind noise by so much, you can almost get by without ear plugs if you have the stock exhaust.

Offline MackenzieHailey

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2019, 05:30:14 AM »
Well, hearing ringing in your ears is the definition of tinnitus, however it may be just a transient condition based on exposure to loud noise. Is this wind noise you are trying to solve? If so a different helmet may be the solution. Assuming you are using a full-face helmet with the visor closed, this will be the quietest, but each helmet is different in wind.

Anyway, for ear plugs the easiest is to find the slow-recovery PVC foam type ear plugs that you roll into a little thin shape and put them in, let them expand to fit. You can get these at most drugstores, don't know where you are, but here in the USA they are available everywhere, including Amazon like this: https://www.amazon.com/Earplugs-Classic-Foam-Diposable-Pack/dp/B00GYFPWYE/ref=sr_1_12

There are other brands besides 3M but these are the real deal and will work. Silicone or natural rubber ear plugs are going to have a much worse fit and perform far worse, in addition to probably irritating your ear.

Just bear in mind they will reduce all sound including cars and traffic and other things you might want to hear, so reducing the offending noise is probably a better starting point... different helmet.

I just realized that it might be the wind noise that's affecting my ears. I use a full-face helmet and sometimes I feel like there's wind going inside of it. I'll look into it.

Do you think custom electronic earplugs or earbuds would work?

Offline MackenzieHailey

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2019, 05:32:20 AM »
We just had a similar discussion about this recently in another thread. I'll leave you with my comments from there.
I suggest buying a "sampler pack" of ear plugs to find the ones that fit your ear. If that fails, you will have to get custom plugs made.

No helmet, even the Scheuberth, Arai, and Shoei helmets, can bring the noise down to a safe level when are riding on the freeway/highway. If you put significant miles on your bike without hearing protection, you 100% will damage your hearing. On a motorcycle you are exposed to a lot of loud sounds, from 95 to 105 decibels. Any sound above 85 decibels will cause hearing loss over a prolonged period of time.

Everyone who rides needs to find the hearing protection that works best for them. If you don't want to spend the time, money, and effort to get a pair of custom molded ear plugs from an audiologist (and then risk losing your expensive pair of ear plugs) I recommend getting a disposable ear plug sampler pack to see what works best for you:
https://www.earplugstore.com/unfoamtrialp1.html

Everyone likes different ear plugs, that's why they make so many. My personal criteria are:
1. Super Soft (So they are comfortable)
2. Pre-shaped (So they take less time to put in)
3. Short (So they don't get pulled out by the helmet)
My favorites so far are these:
E-A-R E-Z-Fit UF Foam Ear Plugs (NRR 28)


Basically, you are going to have to try a few ear plug versions to see what works best for you. Foam, reusable, moldable, or custom fit. I find the reusable ear plugs, like those from Pinlock, to be torture devices for motorcycle use. But that's just me, give them a try to see if they work best for you!

Yeah, I'm thinking about getting custom-fitted/molded ones too. I've tried a lot of generic plugs and they just hurt my ears.

Offline MackenzieHailey

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2019, 05:35:27 AM »
For some reason it just doesn't sound as loud anymore.

Gee... Wonder what that reason could be...



 :icon_lol:

Offline MackenzieHailey

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2019, 05:36:48 AM »
If you have a GS500F, you should get a Madstad windshield.

Its expensive and ugly but it cuts the wind noise by so much, you can almost get by without ear plugs if you have the stock exhaust.


Will do my research first. Well, it doesn't look that bad.

Offline Watcher

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2019, 07:02:46 PM »
I just realized that it might be the wind noise that's affecting my ears. I use a full-face helmet and sometimes I feel like there's wind going inside of it. I'll look into it.

Lower end helmets can and do generate wind noise either through poor fitting pieces or just bad design in general.
Depending on your needs/budget/wants a new helmet could be a good solution to this.

"Luxury brand" helmets like Shoei, Arai, and high end AGVs are wind tunnel designed and tested so they're as smooth, quiet, and vented as possoible.  They're also among the safest rated helmets on the market.
They won't be silent, but after wearing my Shoeis and trying my Icon again it comparitively sounds like I'm standing outside on a windy day vs standing in the jetblast of an F16.
MAJOR difference.

Is it enough for you to be comfortable?  Maybe.  But either way it will ALSO make earplugs more effective, and overall just be more pleasant to wear.
"The point of a journey is not to arrive..."

-Neil Peart

Offline MackenzieHailey

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2019, 12:58:04 AM »
Darn it! I was at this motorcycle show with my boss last February.

https://www.bigearinc.com/toronto-motorcycle-show-hearing-protection-february-15-17th-2019/

I should have bought a pair of earplugs from these guys!

Offline peteGS

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 08:13:37 PM »
Yep, get some custom ear plugs! I have tinnitus 100% and I've no idea if it was triggered by riding or listening to loud music in my younger years... probably both.

I've been trying disposable and reusable foam plugs for a while and all that ends up happening is the same deal, irritated ear canals and sometimes pain as well.

Recently I got a pair of DIY silicon based ear plugs and while I didn't do a great job of moulding them to my ears, the end result is that they are far more effective than foam ones ever were and they're extremely comfortable. No irritation, no pain.

My Kat has a totally different riding position to my little 450, and the wind noise increased substantially as the fly screen on the 450 is surprisingly effective and chucking a lot of noise away from my helmet, so wearing plugs on the Kat is mandatory and these silicon ones make it no problem at all so far.
'82 GS450E
'84 GSX1100S Katana

Offline MackenzieHailey

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Re: Bike still too loud that I hear ringing in my ears
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2019, 01:49:54 AM »
Yep, get some custom ear plugs! I have tinnitus 100% and I've no idea if it was triggered by riding or listening to loud music in my younger years... probably both.

I've been trying disposable and reusable foam plugs for a while and all that ends up happening is the same deal, irritated ear canals and sometimes pain as well.

Recently I got a pair of DIY silicon based ear plugs and while I didn't do a great job of moulding them to my ears, the end result is that they are far more effective than foam ones ever were and they're extremely comfortable. No irritation, no pain.

My Kat has a totally different riding position to my little 450, and the wind noise increased substantially as the fly screen on the 450 is surprisingly effective and chucking a lot of noise away from my helmet, so wearing plugs on the Kat is mandatory and these silicon ones make it no problem at all so far.

Thanks Pete. I'm looking forward to get a pair like this in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjmqEZ7E6Hw

They're located near me so I hope it all works out for me.