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Thread: Higway use: quiet helmet or normal helmet + good earplugs

  1. #1

    Higway use: quiet helmet or normal helmet + good earplugs

    Hi everyone,

    Right now I have a standard helmet which is really loud when I sit upright at 130kph, and when I tuck in the high whistling noise is replaced with some serious buffeting...

    Should I search for a helmet that is quieter at those speeds and combine it with ear plugs, or just go for really good ear plugs right away? If I have to choose between forking over 500 euros for a Schubert C3 Pro and 25 euros for the earplugs or just the earplugs then I am awfully tempted...

    Do you higway users pay special attention to how quiet your helmet is when you buy one, or do you solely rely on your earplugs for that?
    Last edited by Zeefmans; 10-03-2016 at 01:55 AM. Reason: Engage grammar nazi mode!

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    imho You really get what you pay for in helmets, high end performance helmets will be lighter, quieter have better ventilation and are less subject to wind disturbance. The helmet might save your life some day, ear plugs will not save your life. I put my money into good helmets and always have.

    btw: I wear a Nexx RX1R carbon it really fits me well and I like it.

  3. #3
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    I use earplugs no matter what helmet I wear.
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  4. #4
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
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    There are too many variables to say that a different helmet will or won't fix a noise issue. Everything that affects airflow around your head affects noise, including fairings, windscreen, clothing and riding position.

    I used to have two helmets and a bike with a removable windscreen. One helmet was quiet with windscreen and noisy without it, the other one was the reverse. One was easily quieted by wearing a neck gaiter, the other was unaffected.


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    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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  6. #6
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Behind a really huge windshield that provides a car-like pocket of calm air behind it, the type of helmet doesn't matter, and hearing protection may not be needed.

    All other cases, hearing protection is needed, in my opinion. The helmets that I've seen be referred to as "quiet" are measured to be 5 to 10 db quieter than the ones I wear, which means they're still 10-20db too loud.

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  7. #7
    Moderator/RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! Clair's Avatar
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    Remember this ... Your ears, your hearing, is the one part of your body that does not heal, that does not recover from damage.

    At birth you are given X-amount of hearing. From that point on it starts to go downhill. nothing you can do about that.

    Every rock concert you went to sans hearing protection took away some of your hearing you'll never get back. Every moment in the military (for those of us who have served) took some of our hearing. Every moment on your motorcycle exposing your ears to the inherit noise of riding takes away some of it ... never to heal.

    You don't have to wear hearing protection, you can go with a "quiet" helmet, but no helmet provides the level of hearing protection that good ear plugs do (foam, custom, whatever).

    Like Jeff .. I always wear my custom ear plugs regardless of the helmet I'm wearing.
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  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    I have not had much experience with different helmets so I do not know if mine is quiet or not relative to other helmets. I have a Shoei SP 1200. I have worn ear plugs with it a few times and I like it better with the ear plugs. The only reason I do no wear ear plugs more is that I have not gotten into the habit of doing it and I usually forget.

    I have recently replaced the stock windscreen on the Versys and I find the Windscreen does more to reduce wind noise than the ear plugs. But like Mad Matt says, so many variables, my experience may be completely different than yours.

    I have also be messing with the positioning of the wind screen on my Harley and adjusting it makes a very noticeable difference. But the stock screen on my 1992 Heritage Softail is not as effective as the Madstad windscreen I got for my Versys.

    On the other hand, my poor hearing is very useful when my wife asks be to do something I do not want to do. Good hearing can be over rated....

  9. #9
    I get the whistling and buffeting on my helmet (no windscreen) once I hit around 68-70mph. I experimented with two types of earplugs - one were these and then I tried these Even though they have the same NRR of 32, I found a big difference in using the Howard Leight earplugs. It's all related to fit and that made the difference. I would try the cheap fix first and see if that helps. If it doesn't, then you know you're not wasting money, just mho.

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! shonuff's Avatar
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    Another vote for ear plugs here. I can get by on the 'wing without them at speeds <80mph-ish. Getting in that 90mph range, earplugs are a needed, even with a massive fairing and windshield.

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