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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I know that there has been discussion in separate threads about ear protection – specifically ear plugs but I wanted to have the discussion consolidated in one thread. As I’ve shared before, I have several pair of custom made ear plugs. I started purchasing them about 10 years ago at the motorcycle show here in Long Beach buying one pair each year. They were a bit pricey at about $50 each but well worth it in my opinion.

Do you wear ear protection on your motorcycle? If so what kind? If not, why not? Any photos to share?
 

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Hi All,

I know that there has been discussion in separate threads about ear protection – specifically ear plugs but I wanted to have the discussion consolidated in one thread. As I’ve shared before, I have several pair of custom made ear plugs. I started purchasing them about 10 years ago at the motorcycle show here in Long Beach buying one pair each year. They were a bit pricey at about $50 each but well worth it in my opinion.

Do you wear ear protection on your motorcycle? If so what kind? If not, why not? Any photos to share?
No.

After 50 years in the shooting sports and 65 years on a motorcycle, my hearing is still 100%, I can't see the point in my risking not being able to hear a car along side me or coming up on me too fast. In shooting I almost always wore the hearing protection muffs and I have been wearing a Bell 500 open face helmet since the late 50's.

Huge printing presses and noisy woodworking equipment were in my many years of employment.....

This is a personal preference and not intended to in any way put down the good idea of protecting one's hearing.

Kenny G
 

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If I'm riding back and forth to work, interstate, 70+ mph, I wear ear plugs. Howard Leight Max Lite disposable foamies... they're smaller than standard foamies, and much more comfortable.

Normal highway speeds, though, it's not that loud, especially with a full face helmet.
 

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I recently started wearing them. I'm only 27 but 15 years of playing live music already started taking its toll. I found my ears ringing after highway riding and decided to try them out. I definitely am glad I did. I like the foam ones because it cuts more of the high frequency sort of sounds from the wind. I honestly feel like I can hear everything better with the wind volume cut down. I still hear cars near me and I can hear my bike much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I recently started wearing them. I'm only 27 but 15 years of playing live music already started taking its toll. I found my ears ringing after highway riding and decided to try them out. I definitely am glad I did. I like the foam ones because it cuts more of the high frequency sort of sounds from the wind. I honestly feel like I can hear everything better with the wind volume cut down. I still hear cars near me and I can hear my bike much better.
That's basically the way I feel about them. I have 2 more pair but everyone will get the idea with these. They don't prevent me from hearing traffic. If someone is talking to me with my helmet on, the bike running and my earplugs in, there is a good chance I won't be able to make out what they're saying.
 

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I like wearing Plugfones with some music on the freeway. Traffic doesn't sneak up on me because I am constantly aware of what's around and what's approaching from the rear.
 

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I do not. its honestly never occured to me until it was mentioned a few weeks back on here. I wear hearing protection at the target range, and at music concerts (of which I attend many), those seem obvious to me based on the high decibel level.
i've never thought wind noise was all that loud to be honest. course i could be wrong, but i doubt i would change the way i do things now having ridden bikes for 27 years
 

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I do not. its honestly never occured to me until it was mentioned a few weeks back on here. I wear hearing protection at the target range, and at music concerts (of which I attend many), those seem obvious to me based on the high decibel level.
i've never thought wind noise was all that loud to be honest. course i could be wrong, but i doubt i would change the way i do things now having ridden bikes for 27 years

After that much ride time I can see not bothering to try it out but it can't hurt to try it, you might end up liking it. I know veteran riders who have no issues and then I know veteran riders who have bad hearing loss after decades of riding so I'd rather be safe than sorry. Below is an excerpt from the article that put it into perspective for me finally got me to give it a try:

"To put this in perspective, according to OSHA's regulation of industrial noise exposure, an average worker surrounded by levels around 85-90dB for an eight hour day will not exceed the limits of exposure time within a 24 hour period of time.

However, when the sound levels exceed 100dB, your exposure time is reduced to two hours. When sound levels exceed 115dB, your exposure time is drastically reduced to 15 minutes. This puts riding a bike a whole other realm as "wind noise" at highway speeds can measure up to 103dB, or comparable to a running chainsaw. At these levels the rider is not only fatiguing physically from the excess noise exposure, but it also puts him into a position of needing a hearing aid later in life."
 

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I have a pair of Eargasm (I know...) ear plugs that I keep in my jacket at all times. I prefer to use moldable silicone earplugs, because they work better than anything I have ever tried before. They are more work than the Eargasms, but completely worth it--in my opinion. I already suffer from tinnitus and hearing loss; I'd like to delay the hearing aids as long as possible.
 

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I use Alpine - those one: https://www.alpinehearingprotection.com/earplugs/motosafe-tour/

Recently I did around 6000km (~3700 miles) on Rebel around Europe (mostly South) and I simply can't imagine riding without those - I'm new to riding and all but I quickly realized that I cannot stand the noise - after 2-3h ride I was exhausted and kinda, I dunno, numb after getting off the motorcycle.

Also I would simply like to keep my hearing for as long as possible :p
 

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Most are listing some pretty pricey ear plugs. Any real difference between the cheap disposables and the pairs for $20+?
I have a pair of earplugs I bought for $6 at Wal-Mart that I use at the gun range. Any reason why they wouldn't be as effective?
 

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Most are listing some pretty pricey ear plugs. Any real difference between the cheap disposables and the pairs for $20+?
I have a pair of earplugs I bought for $6 at Wal-Mart that I use at the gun range. Any reason why they wouldn't be as effective?
Typically, more expensive mostly means more comfortable and better clarity/sound quality. The cheapo foam ones cut down more volume but the sound quality kinda sucks with them on. I prefer the cheap ones. A container cost me around $15 for something like 25 pairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think that the cheaper options are just fine. They may not fit as well as custom but you may be able to get a reasonably good fit. I’ve had my custom ones for probably 10 years so they wound up much cheaper than disposables.
 

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Most are listing some pretty pricey ear plugs. Any real difference between the cheap disposables and the pairs for $20+?
I have a pair of earplugs I bought for $6 at Wal-Mart that I use at the gun range. Any reason why they wouldn't be as effective?
Typically, more expensive mostly means more comfortable and better clarity/sound quality. The cheapo foam ones cut down more volume but the sound quality kinda sucks with them on. I prefer the cheap ones. A container cost me around $15 for something like 25 pairs.
I think that the cheaper options are just fine. They may not fit as well as custom but you may be able to get a reasonably good fit. I’ve had my custom ones for probably 10 years so they wound up much cheaper than disposables.
I find that the cheap ones chafe the inside of my ear after long term use - i still use them - never paid to have an expensive pair so I can't compare the two
 

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I started with a cheap disposable foam ones and it does the job but it can be a pain in the utt to put it in.. Also it cuts more noise than I want.

Now I'm using a silicon one from pinlock :
https://www.pinlock.com/products/earplugs/

Its really good. No issue to place in in seconds, very comfortable, I keep hearing everything around me but the screaming wind noise. Cant really imagine to go longer tours without it.

Actually it also matters that what helmet are you using. Obviously open face and retro style (biltwell gringo for example) are a lot more noisy than others like shoei and arai more expensive models.
 

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I only use the disposable ones, which I try to leave in my pants or jacket pockets when I throw them in the wash. I've had the expensive ones provided by my job and I've always ultimately lost them so they're definitely not worth it for me. I dropped one somewhere when I was stopped for a lunch break and had to ride back without them (why only where one?) and it was a great reminder as to why I wear them. The wind noise that they eliminate does nothing but disrupt your ability to hear anything else around you.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great conversation. If we get people to give earplugs a try I think it's a good thing. If you choose not to wear them after trying, at least you've made an informed decision (and you're only out a couple of bucks). Also, their use is not limited to just the bike - I use mine when I fly, go to a concert or any other place I want to reduce noise.
 
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