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Discussion Starter #1
Okay begin ride again after 20 years, I do have tinitus For those of you who don't know tinitus is constant ringing in the ear. Sounds horrible but you do get used to that ring and pretty much can be ignored. When I first got the bike I only wore open face helmet, road for 1500 miles, sometimes an hour to two hours at a time. No additional ringing in my ears. Felt great, I went to a three-quarter helmet with the shield for some wind protection, i wear glasses and noticed how much louder everything was. Went for a total of a five hour ride to the mountains. Came back and noticed my ears were ringing louder, and they rang like that for a couple of days then back to normal. I know winter is going to be approaching so I started looking into a full face helmet to combat cold weather on the face. I bought a full face helmet. I rode with it for approximately 2 hours, the engine noise seems to have came up inside the helmet, exaggerating all the sounds and making engine sound louder than ever. and now my ears are ringing louder than ever. That was 2 weeks ago and the ringing has not subsided. I really don't think I'm going to be able to ride during the winter and wear a full face helmet without seriously damaging my hearing ! Has anybody out there experienced this? You might say, wear some of your plugs, that will solve it.....tried that too, I think that's what damage my ears with a full face more than anything! After the first round of ear ringing with the full face, I put in some earplugs, road for about 25 minutes. then it felt like my head was in a pressure cooker, and hurt my ears more than ever. In fact I think the earplugs coupled with the full face helmet is what caused the real serious ringing. I can't believe a full face helmet is louder to me then it opens face! If anybody has had success wearing certain earplugs, with full face helmet, that has tinitus too, please chime in and let me know what you did to help out with my problem. Thanks for all replies!

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It could be air coming in from under the chin area. I had this issue for a while until I put the chin curtain back in my helmet. I have a Shoei Multitec and it's **** quiet. You have a windscreen on your bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It could be air coming in from under the chin area. I had this issue for a while until I put the chin curtain back in my helmet. I have a Shoei Multitec and it's **** quiet. You have a windscreen on your bike?
Yes I have a screen,and yes I have that curtain 2, I still think sound get through it
through the bottom, I'm beginning to think its just my ears not the motorcycle or the helmet but I'm having a problem with, I have a doctors appointment in 45 minutes to test hearing again, and get advice

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Is it still there with out a windscreen? Sometimes the screen can create very low pressure booming that might be causing if from "dirty" air. How about no helmet? If your in many states it's a stupid option to go lidless. Good luck. I work in a ships engine room and have suffered from tinitius only for a short time and it's something that if you have not had it don't understand. Good luck.
 

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123,
I have both 3/4 and ff helmets. I think ff is like a drum. Tap your fingernail on the helmet to find out. I ride an '08 900LT w/windshield. Try opening the ff shield. The noise changes dramatically. I like the 3/4 because it is lighter and when necessary wear neoprene mask. I have the tinnitus also but can live with it. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is it still there with out a windscreen? Sometimes the screen can create very low pressure booming that might be causing if from "dirty" air. How about no helmet? If your in many states it's a stupid option to go lidless. Good luck. I work in a ships engine room and have suffered from tinitius only for a short time and it's something that if you have not had it don't understand. Good luck.
I have not remove the windshield so I'm not sure, it sounds like the dirty air is exactly what's going on I'm in North Carolina so I do have to wear a helmet. Good luck to you too yes tinnitus sucks

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Discussion Starter #7
123,
I have both 3/4 and ff helmets. I think ff is like a drum. Tap your fingernail on the helmet to find out. I ride an '08 900LT w/windshield. Try opening the ff shield. The noise changes dramatically. I like the 3/4 because it is lighter and when necessary wear neoprene mask. I have the tinnitus also but can live with it. Best of luck.
I love my half helmet, I do open the front shield on the full face and it is better, but still pretty loud, I'm sticking with the half helmet although I hate not having my bluetooth full face and able to talk on the phone, but I'm sure I'm safer that way! The problem is my wife is almost ready to buy a bike, and not being able to do the Bluetooth with a full face for half helmet will really suck, I know you can add things on a half helmet to have bluetooth, but I doubt it's as good as inside the helmet, the Bluetooth on my $149 helmet is just absolutely awesome, I can hear conversation on the highway at 65 75 miles an hour, I still throw it on for short trips, I do get more ringing at the end of the day. Best of luck to you too, thanks

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I have played the drums in a hard rock band for many years, so I too have discovered the joys of tinnitus. I'm only 42 and my kids tease me about being deaf as they hold a cone to the ear and start in with the "whipper-snapper" business....

There is an expression that I'm sure we all have heard that says "perception is reality". I wear both a 1/2 and a ff, depending on riding conditions, and when I wear my ff, my engine seems way louder. I find that the difference is that the FF almost works like a filter which removes the extra db of wind noise. Removing that from the equation made the other sounds, like the V-twin, "seem" louder because there was no other noise to drown it out. I can actually hear the sounds of my motor more clearly without the constant abuse of wind noise.

I would suppose that lowering the effective decibels is not actually aggravating your tinnitus, because in fact your ears are now protected, but the absence of external noise is making you notice the internal noise from the tinnitus more.

What did the ear dr. say?
 

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I think you're going to want to get some ear plugs. That might be the easiest solution to your problem. I think it has to do with the pressure in your helmet, and with ear plugs it should help.
 

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I know this is somewhat old, but here are my recommendations. I do a lot of long distance riding (600+ mile days quite often) and have noticed a few things over the years that seem to work well for me. First off, try riding without the windshield. More than likely it is causing a lot of turbulence up near your head, which causes a lot of uncomfortable noise and head buffetting (shaking). I had a bike a few years back where I would actually get a headache from the turbulence shaking my head, and the noise was horrible. I could put in ear plugs, but all the buffeting would kind of do the same thing you described. Every little bump felt like my head was stuck in a bass drum. I now ride a Road King (I know, I know...) and still have some issues with turbulence. If I ride with no windshield, it is almost perfectly quiet and all you really hear is the wind wizzing by, kinda like being on an airliner. I put a taller windshield on the road king and not it's not bad at all. I still have noise and some buffeting, but its way better than it was. The only problem there is you get a lot less wind, so it makes it really hot riding in hot weather. You could also try using a shorter windshield which will put your head more into the "clean air". You will get a lot more bugs on your shield, but less noise.

On another note, different wind speeds and directions can make things worse. Riding in strong winds, especially crosswinds will still give me some noise and turbulence. Sometimes I find that it's more comfortable to not wear plugs, sometimes I wear them, and sometimes I use earbuds and listen to music. I find that switching things up works best for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good stuff here, & I was often considering lowering and removing the windshield to see if that would affect the noise, since this post though, things seem to have gotten better, not sure if I just got used to it or what, noise does not affect me like it did when I first started riding, I wear earplugs most of the time, I think I posted a picture of them, they taper down and are rubber and connect by a string. I bought them at CVS for about 5 bucks, they work great as there are like three levels of quiet, I do not get the head in a drum feeling much anymore if I do I just raised my eyebrows a little bit to relieve the pressure from the ear canal! Funny I know, but that was the solution if I really get a stuffy feeling, which does not happen very often. I like the full face v can helmet with Bluetooth, I can hear phone conversations at 80 miles an hour with earplugs in! What a great helmet thanks again all, things are getting better

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Good stuff here, & I was often considering lowering and removing the windshield to see if that would affect the noise, since this post though, things seem to have gotten better, not sure if I just got used to it or what, noise does not affect me like it did when I first started riding, I wear earplugs most of the time, I think I posted a picture of them, they taper down and are rubber and connect by a string. I bought them at CVS for about 5 bucks, they work great as there are like three levels of quiet, I do not get the head in a drum feeling much anymore if I do I just raised my eyebrows a little bit to relieve the pressure from the ear canal! Funny I know, but that was the solution if I really get a stuffy feeling, which does not happen very often. I like the full face v can helmet with Bluetooth, I can hear phone conversations at 80 miles an hour with earplugs in! What a great helmet thanks again all, things are getting better

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Also, another angle of everything is that helmet shape and fitment can be causing the problem. Theres presssure being built up in the helmet which is unusual so you might want to look into getting a better fitting helmet. I would recommend an arai.. or shoei. I've never heard of this problem on their helmets. Full Face | Helmet House
 

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It could be the design of the helmet. I've been wearing a Scorpion EXO for seven years, and just bought a SevenZeroSeven. The SevenZeroSeven is going to be returned if I can return it. It's miserably loud.
 

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It depends on the bike and how far you sit from the windshield. I had a 2004 concours that was quiet behind the shield. I put a taller Cee Bailey shield on it so I could sit up straighter and be out of the wind turbulence. The ZN700 I have now is a short frame bike so I sit close to it and I'm in a low turbulence zone behind the Plexifairing III. I used to have a 1983 Yamaha 750 Virago that had a longer frame placing me farther from the windshield and the windshield actually increased the turbulence around my head. There is a lot of discussion on this site about adding lowers and how they decrease the turbulence behind the windshield. Also, I have a cheap helmet but a guy I worked with said he uses an Arai helmet that fits well and decreased the noise. My 2 cents
 

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First off, wind noise alone, at 55 MPH, will cause permanent hearing loss, without the engine noise, or music. Ear plugs are the only protection that works. However, they need to be 32 dB, or higher, to save your hearing. I already suffer tinnitus, so I know what you are talking about. My hearing loss came from motorcycling as a youth -- nothing will ever bring it back.

Over-the-counter ear plugs are for short-term use only. They will hurt your ear canals, as they don't fit very well, as most use pressure to hold them in place, inside your ear canal, which causes pressure pain, over time.

Custom made ear plugs come in various grades of dB sound reduction (none block completely, they all reduce...). They are made by injecting an epoxy into your ear canal, which sets in your canal's exact formation/dimensions. These raw castings are then used to make custom-fitting plugs, which can be attached to a string. They insert into your ear canal like a hand in a glove.

My wife and I tried foam ear plugs for two years, and suffered terribly for it. We even had to ride without plugs, to give our canals a break from the pressure and pain! We suffered some hearing loss because of it.

We finally splurged (wrong way to look at it, but...) and got custom ear plugs made. They will last around 6 hours before they begin to hurt (nothing is perfect), and they are only rated at 28 dB (the only other option this company offered was 40 dB, and the MD who made the castings for us, stated that they would let almost nothing through to our ears, and we would be virtually deaf, so we went with the 28 dB models). We have used the same pairs of custom ear plugs for 2+ years (no signs of wearing out yet...), and we won't ride without them again! I use them when running power equipment, as well: saws, shop vacuum, mowing the lawn, running the snow-blower. They are worth every penny, and more -- what is the dollar amount your hearing is worth to you?

Three-quarter and Full-Face/Modular Helmets will channel sound into your ear canals. That is true. However, nothing will protect your head better than a FF/Modular Helmet in a crash. My father did a high-side when he T-boned a car's rear axle -- the car pulled out in front of him. He hit at 40 MPH. His bike had a Windjammer fairing on it, which his face impacted with his nose. The surgeon was able to flip the skin back down, and sew it into place. If he had been wearing a FF helmet (Modular came out around 15-20 years later), his nose never would have been damaged. He miraculously lived, and he even recovered from his horrific injuries (flew ~100 feet before landing on pavement). Without his 3/4 helmet on, he would have died. I'm an ATGATT guy, it has saved me injuries in two separate low-sides. YMMV. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First off, wind noise alone, at 55 MPH, will cause permanent hearing loss, without the engine noise, or music. Ear plugs are the only protection that works. However, they need to be 32 dB, or higher, to save your hearing. I already suffer tinnitus, so I know what you are talking about. My hearing loss came from motorcycling as a youth -- nothing will ever bring it back.

Over-the-counter ear plugs are for short-term use only. They will hurt your ear canals, as they don't fit very well, as most use pressure to hold them in place, inside your ear canal, which causes pressure pain, over time.

Custom made ear plugs come in various grades of dB sound reduction (none block completely, they all reduce...). They are made by injecting an epoxy into your ear canal, which sets in your canal's exact formation/dimensions. These raw castings are then used to make custom-fitting plugs, which can be attached to a string. They insert into your ear canal like a hand in a glove.

My wife and I tried foam ear plugs for two years, and suffered terribly for it. We even had to ride without plugs, to give our canals a break from the pressure and pain! We suffered some hearing loss because of it.

We finally splurged (wrong way to look at it, but...) and got custom ear plugs made. They will last around 6 hours before they begin to hurt (nothing is perfect), and they are only rated at 28 dB (the only other option this company offered was 40 dB, and the MD who made the castings for us, stated that they would let almost nothing through to our ears, and we would be virtually deaf, so we went with the 28 dB models). We have used the same pairs of custom ear plugs for 2+ years (no signs of wearing out yet...), and we won't ride without them again! I use them when running power equipment, as well: saws, shop vacuum, mowing the lawn, running the snow-blower. They are worth every penny, and more -- what is the dollar amount your hearing is worth to you?

Three-quarter and Full-Face/Modular Helmets will channel sound into your ear canals. That is true. However, nothing will protect your head better than a FF/Modular Helmet in a crash. My father did a high-side when he T-boned a car's rear axle -- the car pulled out in front of him. He hit at 40 MPH. His bike had a Windjammer fairing on it, which his face impacted with his nose. The surgeon was able to flip the skin back down, and sew it into place. If he had been wearing a FF helmet (Modular came out around 15-20 years later), his nose never would have been damaged. He miraculously lived, and he even recovered from his horrific injuries (flew ~100 feet before landing on pavement). Without his 3/4 helmet on, he would have died. I'm an ATGATT guy, it has saved me injuries in two separate low-sides. YMMV. Cheers!
Great great information! I have been decently doing OK with the ear plugs that I think I took a picture of, I got them from CVS for like 5 bucks but you're right they do hurt my ear canal on anything over a couple hours, they do drowned out noise rather well though. I definitely am going to invest in the custom as that sounds the way to go. Good news on your father! I had another motorcyclist killed in Huntersville North Carolina my hometown yesterday,that's like the 3rd or 4th fatal accident within a nine month period, for just my small town, scary, an SUV hit him, the last one was a guy in a minivan pulled out and hit the cycle, I don't know if it's good news or not but both of the cage drivers are being charged with vehicular homicide, there's no winners but I guess justice is served. All families involved suffer.

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Those are one of the many standard types of plugs available. Some people can do just fine with these non-custom plugs, but for us, we could only tolerate the foamies for a few hours; after four hours, the pain in our ear canals was so bad, we had to stop, or ride without. We were touring, so limited options being hundreds of miles from home.

You are correct. In a tragic accident, everyone loses, some more than others, but all suffer terribly.

On top of being an ATGATT guy, I run with a headlight modulator, a brakelight flasher (1 Hz for five seconds, then on solid, until I release the brakes; cycle repeats when activated again), 300 Lumen LED running lights up front to make a triangle (trains use this; viewers can estimate the approaching speed by how fast the triangle gets bigger), as well as reflective decals on my helmet, and a road construction worker vest (florescent lime green, with reflective stripes) over my armored riding jacket. We've received compliments from LEO's, active and retired, at many a gas stop, for our day-glow vests. They really improve your conspicuity in the rain.

Had a low-side last Fall, when the tube on the rear tire blew, on my '79 Honda CB750K -- was really beautiful before, a little worse for the wear, after. Got up, walked the two-lane highway looking for parts to remove from the road, and to pull my bike to the shoulder (I slid 40 feet, the bike continued on another 40 feet, or so -- went down at ~40 MPH; only had a scratch on one knuckle, thanks to my gear). Cars slowed way down, gave me a wide berth, stared -- a few asked if I was alright, many just kept going. That day-glow vest made a huge difference as I was on the road, nothing to do, nowhere to go until help arrived. I'd rather be laughed at, than cried over. YMMV. Cheers!
 
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