Riding with EARPLUGS
July 31, 2009 at 10:24 am #3222
Rode over 100 miles on the highway today. Stopped in the big city to pick up some odds and ends at Harbor Freight. Noticed they sold earplugs, so I bought some and tried them on the way home. The result: awesome!
Not only did I not have the non-stop chatter of wind in my ears, and neither did I hear the painful roar of semis passing, but all I heard was my engine. I’m dead serious. I felt better at hearing the engine with earplugs than I have so far to date. Cap’n Crash sure has it right. It’s all about listening to the engine.July 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm #21099AParticipant
Human hearing normally fully developed at age of 7 and deteriorate from that age. I try to preserve my hearing as much as I can since I am an musician. Earplug at all time, even in the shower.July 31, 2009 at 2:06 pm #21102
I won’t ride without earplugs. It’s not that my bike is loud (it’s not, but the unwashed masses always assume so when I mention wearing them), it’s the constant wind noise. It was an eye-opening experience the first time I rode with them…July 31, 2009 at 2:19 pm #21104Capt CrashParticipant
I love earplugs…
I can actually hear the engine. AND I’m not as fatigued at the end of the day.July 31, 2009 at 6:13 pm #21109zeppelinfromledParticipant
I must have tried the wrong ear plugs. I could barely hear the engine. It was disconcerting. It was *too* silent. If I could get rid of the wind noise, but not the engine noise, it would be great.
What earplugs do y’all use? I’m just using some that I got at Home Depot. Any better suggestions?July 31, 2009 at 6:30 pm #21111CandiceParticipant
What kind of earplugs am I suppose to get, I would love to hear my engine instead of all that wind!July 31, 2009 at 10:21 pm #21114
When I had my stock exhaust on, and ear plugs in, I couldn’t hear jack of the engine.
Cut about 9-10″ off the exhaust, but kept the baffles… Wasn’t appreciably louder, but it was a LOT lower tone. Now I can hear it “over” the traffic noise even with ear plugs.July 31, 2009 at 10:49 pm #21116MunchParticipant
ehhh…..yet again I guess I am the odd man out.. I have tried three different types of earplugs. the Depot Cheapo’s, the more expensive “Ipod compatible types” and the firing range ear plugs. Absolutely hate it and will not ride with em. There again I have stated before. I have to hear air guns, air chisels, high rev engines, bitchy customers etc for 10 to 12 hours a day. The wind rushing past me and the grunt of my 9 is a serenity I beg for.August 1, 2009 at 6:40 am #21122zeppelinfromledParticipant
My basic plan is to use earplugs if I’m going to be on the highway for a decent amount of time. The wind noise just isn’t that extreme at lower speeds.
My firing range hearing protection consists of some pretty big muffs. Nothing I could ever fit under a helmet, but they work great for the range. I never did find any earplugs that worked as well as I wanted for shooting.August 1, 2009 at 9:54 am #21123
Here’s the question:
If the boys in blue pull you over, ask you to take off your helmet, and the earplugs are in plain sight in your ears, is a spanking headed your way?August 1, 2009 at 10:11 am #21124
As for where to get earplugs… it depends on how many you want.
If you’re just toying with ’em, you can pick up at a drug store, hardware store, big-box hardware store, and probably other places in small, overpriced quantities.
If you’ve found a style you like, you can get a box of 50 or 100 pairs or more from an industrial supplier, like Granger.
There are lots of earplugs out there. Just like gear, there’s no “best” earplug. They come in different materials and firmness. One example is are the very square, firm and yellow EAR earplugs. Another are the cushy green Moldex’s. Usually the advice is to use the earplug with the highest db reduction value. 31 is better than 24. It should be printed on the packaging.
There is a trade-off though. Too much reduction and it could cause a safety issue of it’s own. For example, you’re in a factory workplace, and someone is trying to shout to tell you something for your own safety and you can’t hear them.
For a bike, I’d think the low-end db earplugs would be fine. Most of the noise comes from the wind, and having them in your ears cuts that. Assuming your bike’s exhaust is stock, the max is, what, something like 82dB? Even an earplug with 20 db reduction would bring that down to an acceptable level. I’d focus more on comfort and how they fit under the helmet, than their performance. Or another factor in my case is if they are Kawi green.August 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm #21125
Ear plugs that simply bring the noise level DOWN are not illegal. But if you’re sporting in-ear headphones, yes.August 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm #21128owlieParticipant
Check your local laws. Different states have different regulations. Also, even if they are illegal, they may not be enforced.
Also, think about it this way- they are under your helmet. If you get pulled over regularly, it would add up quickly. If you just get pulled over once every 15 years or so, it may just be an extra $50 bucks on top of your speeding ticket. What is your hearing worth to you?August 2, 2009 at 12:16 am #21137MunchParticipant
If your already getting pulled…the “spanking” is coming anyway. If it’s a no no in your area thats just a tack on charge, for if you get even more out of hand then you may have already been to get pulled in the first place. The local laws vary , some allow, some don’t, some tolerate it with only 1 bud in 1 ear leaving the other to listen for surrounding sounds.August 3, 2009 at 7:02 pm #21184BenParticipant
I definitely hear better with Earplugs in, I get them by the hundred at Orchard Hardware Supply.
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