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Impotance of sound reduction (quiet) in your helmet choice

  • Very Important

    Votes: 17 35.4%
  • Important

    Votes: 13 27.1%
  • A Consideration

    Votes: 12 25.0%
  • Not important at all- just gimme the plastic Mohawk thing.

    Votes: 6 12.5%
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been really bothered by the loud wind noise in my helmets when "at speed" on the highway. Since my bikes don't have three foot tall wind screens, I can pick up quite a bit of noise while on the highway. Earplugs reduce some, but they are limited and work out after awhile. Hearing loss in sport bike riders is no joke, almost everyone I know who rides has some loss from riding. After a few hours in the saddle, the fatigue factor is nothing to be ignored either. I have a Bluetooth helmet and it works great! ...at a stoplight. At 55mph, fagetaboutit.
 

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Senior Italophile
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867 Posts
My Suomy Sec1r extreme is so friggin loud it is ridiculous. My Arai quantum 2 is pretty quiet. The Suomy is super light and the peripheral
vision through the visor is amazing. The Arai is more comfy and quiet.
 

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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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19,081 Posts
What he said plus some helmets fit some heads better than others. But theres no substitute for good ear plugs. The soft squishy foam robber ones are great and if inserted properly will not work their way out.
 

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Premium Member
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2,436 Posts
I have a Nolan retro i think an N30 that makes more noise than no helmet at all.
My Arai's are not nearly as bad.
 

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Helmet noise reduction is important to me because I only wear earplugs if I'm riding for more than a hour or two, but I don't want to go deaf from all those shorter rides. I get a big kick out of people who say when I'm putting in earplugs; "I suppose you need those because your bike's exhaust is loud", referring to either the Harley or the Duc. I say that the exhaust noise has nothing to do with it, that it's the wind noise that's deafening. They all look surprised...
 

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Senior Italophile
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Mr Leakered
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8,925 Posts
Someone just posted an article about military earplugs on their facebook profile:
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/09/army_ear_protection_090509w/

Maybe could work....
I wouldn't think so. As it is, I have to trim a bit of the ends off of standard earplugs as, for my specific ears, they stick out far when properly inserted. The pressure of my helmet on the ends gets uncomfortable. I would think the dial/rocker device on the plugs linked above would be hard to even fit in a m/c helmet.
 

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1,466 Posts
I wouldn't think so. As it is, I have to trim a bit of the ends off of standard earplugs as, for my specific ears, they stick out far when properly inserted. The pressure of my helmet on the ends gets uncomfortable. I would think the dial/rocker device on the plugs linked above would be hard to even fit in a m/c helmet.
That's one of many things I like about my Arai. Plenty of room for earphones,or ear plugs. I agree that a helmet that fits good will make a difference, and in more ways than one.
 

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Premium Member
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41 Posts
Noise reduction has never been a consideration for me when evaluating a helmet. The Arai helmets I've owned were not as noisy as the AGV/Shoei/Bell units. Foam throw-away earplugs are the cheapest and best fix - buy a box of them and stuff a handful of in each of your jackets/suits.
 

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I will buy a quieter helmet, but fit matters more.

Ear plugs are a must. I like the foam Hearos. Effective and comfortable.
 

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Old Wizard
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Custom Ear Plugs

I use the silicone rubber custom-molded ones. The expandable foam ones reduce the volume a little more (not enough to worry about) but become uncomfortable for me after an hour or two.

The main issue about any earplug is that they shouldn't touch the helmet liner. Otherwise the sound is conducted direct to your ears and the contact pressure and vibration will make the tender ear canal hurt after awhile.

The molding process usually leaves a good deal of material clumped outside the ear canal so you'll likely need to trim it away with an X-acto knife to keep it from touching your helmet - or somehow reduce the thickness of the liner near your ears.
 

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Earplugs reduce some, but they are limited and work out after awhile.
I think that's a problem. I've ridden several 6-8 hour days in a row without my ear without my earplugs working out. If you have average size ears, the foam Hearos type jobs work well. They're cheap and readily available too. But there are also sized, and custom fit plugs out there. I'd suggest trying a few different styles and manufacturers until you find a pair that fits well.
 

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My AraiRX7 is noisy compared to my Shoei X11. Venting is better on the Arai. Shield system is better on the Shoei. The Arai I know to be a great helmet in a crash. Haven't filed tested the Shoei yet. Hope not to.
 

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Noise is not important since I can wear ear plugs. Ventilation is far more important since it gets hot on SoCal. A quiet helmet to me would be one wear it's just as quiet as being in a car....doubt a helmet like that exists.
 

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I have to say this is a thoughtful thread and a well-considered poll, too.

I ride with an Arai, and I shaved the cheekpad foam a bit, which introduced more noise. However, the increase in comfort was worth it (before that it felt like my aunt Mona squeezing my cheeks between her thumb and fingers ;)). I often recall the old saw that "Ducati is the best half-hour bike made" and the longest I've spent in the saddle in a stretch on mine was about two hours. Since it's most comfortable to lay out on it (a bit harder on the neck, but the rest of the geometry works well) that puts me in behind what windscreen is there, and the noise at that point is very well managed.
 
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