Now Hear This!

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The Importance of Hearing Protection

by Glenn Hood
June 17, 2016 2 Comments
Accessories Advocacy Safety


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Do you use earplugs when riding? What kind work best for you?



fb@RichardJLaplante's picture


Do you use earplugs when riding?

I personally do not use earplugs when riding. First of all, let me say that I do not experience the symptoms mentioned, i.e. the annoying ringing in my ears, a full feeling in my head, or dullness in my hearing. I always wear a full-face helmet with the visor down and, to me, it definitely seems to muffle the sounds around me. Second, I want to be aware of my surroundings at all times, and hearing an approaching vehicle or siren is a must for me. Lastly, I respect those riders who love the roaring pipes and screaming machines that zip down the roads, but for me, I ride a GL 1800 Honda Goldwing. It is a nice powerful, yet quiet and smooth touring machine that I can ride for hours of enjoyment without getting fatigued :)

103782150835252763922@kevinzanca's picture


Earplugs to use or not?

At age 54 , almost 55, I have been diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss. I have taken great efforts to protect what hearing I have including the use of earplugs or muffs any time I mow the lawn, use power tools, or am around loud machinery or noise producing equipment for any period of time. At most concerts or musical performances I use hearing protection. Hearing loss is subtle, until the tinnitus (ringing in ears) kicks in. The worst thing is once you lose parts of your hearing, it never comes back. I have used many of the industrial commercially available earplugs and have had a custom set of earmolds made. I also have tried several "hi fi" earplugs for listening to music at performances. Any time I am riding for longer than an hour or so I do ues earplugs, usually the industrial type. I found the custom earmolds did not work that great for me, but do know others that have had success with them. Hi fi brands I have used are Earpeace and Etymiotic , with my preference the etymiotic. The hi fi don't provide as much noise reduction (NRR) as the industrial type. With the wind in your ears alone on a stock bike my guess is the damage is minimal. But most bikes have their exhaust swapped or modified bringing it alone over the 80 decibel level that is where hearing loss occurs. Many after market v twin exhaust are above 100 decibels! Add to that exhaust wind noise and /or a stereo system and you easily have the equation to cause permanent hearing damage. A great rule of thumb is if you have to raise your voice to speak to someone three feet away , its time for some hearing protection.

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