Katana of the Month - May 2008  XMAN75

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Gearing Up If your going to ride you need good gear!
Tell us what you've got and find out what others are wearing.

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Old 03-19-2008, 08:29 AM   #11
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Add one mored vote for ear plugs. I see it as much as a safety device as my helmet. You are guaranteed to damage your hearing over time riding without them.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:03 AM   #12
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wearing the ear plugs you can still hear you bike running fine? Or does it primarily just block wind noise?

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:28 AM   #13
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Blocks wind noise which in turn allows you to hear the bike better. With earplugs, I can actually hear what the engine is doing over the wind and exhaust.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:55 AM   #14
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Ear plugs tend to block out the "white noise". I still hear my engine and traffic noise with out any problems.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tzortn View Post
Ear plugs tend to block out the "white noise". I still hear my engine and traffic noise with out any problems.

Your helmet has a lot of edges -- edges on the visor, on the visor hinges, on the vents, on the lower edge of the helmet -- and all of these form little wind vertices that vibrate to induce noise. Ditto your jacket and the edges of the windshield. The faster you go, the more vibration these edges all cause, and the louder that noise is. For most helmets, there's a huge noise issue right around 500 Hz in frequency, plus a very wide-band white noise across the whole spectrum. The ear plugs cut all the noise down by a certain percentage (better ear plugs cut larger percentages in the right frequencies), which both helps protect your hearing and lets your brain reduce how much attention it has to consume to constantly try to pattern match everything (your brain pattern-matches sounds constantly no matter what).

The analogy I tend to use is the difference between trying to understand a screamed conversation at a loud concert vs. understanding a quiet (virtually whispered) conversation in a library -- with less to filter, people comprehend more of the conversation in the quiet place. The same is true while riding -- your brain can more quickly identify noises that it needs to pattern-match (sirens, tires locking up, horns, etc.) with ear plugs than without.

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Old 03-20-2008, 03:33 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the answers,

I noticed that when I put my hand under the helmet while riding it does reduce some wind noise. My helmet is HJC CS-12, a lot of wind noise but rather from below the helmet than from the visor. I'm using ear plugs now, but also ordered NOJ Quiet Rider, mainly because of Michigan weather (warm-cold-warm-cold-blizzard.................CRAZY!) but hopefully it will reduce some noise to. Again thank you for all input,

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