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Helmet Noise

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Zeus, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I recently got my ful license and took my bike for its first long run from Hobart to Launceston where I could ride at 110kph for sustained periods of time.

    When I first purchased my bike gear I bought an entry level KBC Force RR helmet to go with the bike. The helmet has been fantastic crusing around at learner speeds but when I was on my sustained 110kph ride, the noise was so bad inside the helmet from the outside airflow that I have had ringing ears for two days. Admittedly it was a little windy on a couple of parts of the ride but holy smokes it sounded I was in the middle of a hurricane!

    I was wondering if this sort of noise is "normal" at 100kph+ speeds or is it a function of the level of helmet that I have purchased as my first?

    When I got to Launceston to have the bike have its first 1000km service I asked the dealer what gives with the hurricane next to my ears and he said that a lot of riders wear ear plugs to reduce this sort of noise and even on some of the more expensive helmets such as the Shoei or the BMW EVO System 5 helmets riders do sometimes experience lots of external noise.

    I was wondering if any of netrider community has any recommendations regarding this sort of noise - new helmet? (if so what brand/model) - ear plugs? I am really concerned about this as I don't want to suffer any sort of hearing damage!

    Many thanks from a Newbie with ringing ears!

  2. I have 2 helmets. One is a HJC CL14 and the other a SHOEI Templar TC5 and as for quiteness the Shoei is much better than the HJC. Not knocking the HJC as it is a good helmet, but definately for wind noise reduction the Shoei is in front.
  3. Congrats on getting ya license mate..

    Mate, that certainly isent normal to have that happen. U shouldnt
    be getting so much noise if U have a quality helmet.

    You'll always hear external noise, but never what your describing
    happening inside your helmet & certainly not the ringing ears

    Thats bad news.. :eek:
  4. I've got a shoei helmet aswell and I do quite a bit of freeway riding and haven't really noticed any helmet noise.

    Try ear plugs, I personally can't handle wearing them while on the bike, but I've heard they do wonders.
    That or take up singing to yourself when it gets a tad noisy!! :grin:
  5. my helmet cost $350 and it's noisy as hell at 80+
    Earplugs x 2 = teh win
  6. I just bought a KBC force and it is a bit noisier than the HJC it replaced but nothing like what you're talking about. Is the helmet a snug fit? I have worn lids that are too big before and the noise is incredible. Maybe try earplugs.
  7. i find it only noisy if i open all my vents otherwise when i close them, its bareable.
  8. Mines a Lazer I paid $150 on eBay.. Even at 200km/h+
    its fine..
  9. Good point on the fitment.. maybe also try some extra padding if you can.. Or i sometimes usemy Ipod that works a treat.. :grin:
  10. Hey Kishy and Blue 12, thanks for the info - will have to think about the Helmet - I really didn't know about helmets when I bought this one and the KBC Force RR is brand new on the market so I guess it was too new for the dealer to have any feedback from riders....

    Kishy, if you don't mind me asking, can you tell me what you are wearing as a helmet?
  11. Congrats bloke, another one of the good guys on the road :wink:

    The stay upright guys use those beammers IIRC (BMW sponsorship), one of them described the engine sound as "two skeletons having a root in a galvanised trash can" :LOL: SUre it's not just the beemer at 110kph? :grin:

    Seriously, some helmets can be nisy, but they shouldn't leave your ears ringing, and at worst your over the noise within a coupla minutes of stopping.

    I use decent "in the ear" plugs with my MP3 player, and hey cancel out a loyt of the riding noise, while still allowing me to hear whats happening around me. Are you sure the helmet fits OK and not too loose? Can you re-arrange some of the internal lining (esp around the lug-ole) and maybe reduce some noise?

  12. Hey Benji, yep the helmet is a snug fit, one thing I should try is riding with all vents closed and then all vents open and see if it makes a palpable difference - I guess the level of noise is subjective to the rider, but really the ringing ears means too much noise to me :)
  13. Hey JJ,

    BTW I haven't tried that loop you described coming back through Huonville, will try that this week me thinks...

    When I tried the helmet on, I did the standard head shake side to side that they tell you to do in the learner's course to make sure it fits ok, but its hard when you haven't got anything to compare it to and its your first road helmet...I am wondering if those integrated air tunnels are actually the culprit...
  14. Pack of three pairs of foam earplugs at my local chemist cost $5.50. I use them when I'm going 100km/hr for extended periods of time. A strong sidewind increases the noise in my helmet two fold. I ride with a KBC VR1.
  15. Zeus, try some ear plugs. Because Tinnitus (ringing noise in the ears) can become a serious problem.

    I wear an Aari RX7-RR4 helmet which is alleged to be a top of the line helmet. I use ear plugs. My Husband wears a Shoei RF-900 I think, also expensive, he wears ear plugs. To us both they are just part of the safety gear. However, I don't wear them all the time, just a quick 5 minute ride - don't bother. Anything over that - yes I wear them.

    We used to just use the disposable squishy ones that come joined with a plastic cord. Pulled the cord out and used the plugs. However, they do keep expanding in your ears and can become uncomfortable over time, I am talking several days of wearing in a row. ie. touring holiday.

    We invested in a set of moulded ear plugs each and they are wonderful. We got them made at the Bike Expo last year. The company, http://www.earmold.com.au/ is based in SA, I know you are in Tasmania, but if you contacted them they may be able to refer you to someone locally. At the time we had them made, they gave us a local contact's name for any further assistance. Might be worth a try.
  16. G'day Zeus

    Don't try the Channel highway tomorrow.. too many cars on a public holiday :cry:

    I have a KBC vr1, and it seems to be a known noisy skid lid, but bearable.
    The left ear is the noisiest, might be something to do with the huge D ring buckle on that side? Mine makes no difference to noise levels with vents open or closed (bloody hot with em closed tho) but turning the head slightly
    to the left makes the left ear noisier and right ear quieter, and visa versa.

    I have seen a doo-hickey advertised that stretches around the base of helmets like an extra seal that closes the helmet to the kneck, stopping air from blowing past and creating noise. Might be worth a go?

  17. Some helmet brands are quieter than others and some are just plain noisy as hell.
    In my experience AGV helmets are very quiet compared to say an Arai.
    Ride a sportsbike and you may not notice the difference especially when you are tucked in at speed. Ride a naked bike or cruiser at speedand you definitely will!
    I always wear ear plugs when riding anyway, my bikes have always had LOUD exhausts and the noise from them + wind noise is enough to give me ringing noises in the ears.
  18. What a great idea - the guy at the dealership said that a lot of riders wear earplugs, I will definitely look into that company is SA for the ear plugs, do you still have the local contacts details???
  19. Wind Noise problems

    I know what you mean about wind noise. Don't worry about the chemists, go to an industrial supplies outlet and buy a handfull of the green foam earplugs. They are throwaways but they are soft and mould to your ear, and if you get a good deal can only be around 20cents a pair. The harder re-usable ones tend to be a bit painfull.
    I use a HJC and find the wind noise worse than my old AGV, but the HJC fits my head shape a lot better. Their is no such thing as a perfect helmet!
    If all else fails, just turn the MP3 player up louder! :idea:
  20. Ignore what all the print media say, no helmet is quiet. They are all noisy. Your best bet is to make sure the helmet fits snuggly, my shoei was loose and it made an awfull noise around my ears. Retired it and bought a tighter fitting Arai, still noisy, not as much, I think I have stuffed hearing because I never rode with ear plugs..............oh, and because of that SP1 :)

    When it's expo time, I'm going to get Ray from Earmold to make me 2 sets of plugs, one with wires for the MP3 player and one without (you should hear my singing :p )