Buffeting, Helmets and hearing loss - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Buffeting, Helmets and hearing loss

Let me get right to the point. I wear earplugs, I have a full face helmet, madstad windshield bracket (adjusted to least noise), rick's mirror extenders and a windjammer helmet skirt.....and I get off a 1 hour ride with a head ache and ringing ears. The ringing ears is now permanent.

I purchased a grab bag of earplugs and so far the best have been the 3m classic so I am purchasing a pack of 200 pairs.

But the earplugs and the helmet together I think is what is causing part of my problem. I think the helmet is in direct contact with the earplugs while I am riding and making the problem worse.

The helmet is a HJC LT-12. I think it might be too small and has none of the newer anti-buffeting gizmos on it.

So I have been shopping around for a new lid. I really wanted the Aria XD3 but the mention of greater noise (over other models) has put me off. But I tried the Arai Vector which seems to fit me perfectly and I have heard it is a quiet lid. (btw, is the vector and the XD3 sized the same?)

The question to you fine folks is, will this new helmet help deal with (or calm down) the buffeting that I get at highway speeds?

Also, anyone else witha 3/4 length jacket that seems to channel the wind directly up and into the bottom of the helmet?

Perhaps I should just be looking at a large touring screen for the bike.

Any suggestions are welcome!
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post #2 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 09:03 AM
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Well, I can tell you that I have no noise complaints about my XD-3. There are a couple of other items that I'm not 100% on but noise isn't an issue, for me. The difficulty with your question is that everyone has a different situation. Even someone the exact same height and body proportions will sit with different posture and have a different "perfect" setup. I headed out on Saturday morning to meet a friend for a ride. My first 40 kilometres were straight major highway and, for the first time in a long time, I didn't bother with ear plugs. Well, it was pure bliss. Cruising down the highway, little traffic, my Holeshots purring away, perfection. So, that's with a MadStad, old style GIVI windshield, MSR ATV-HI handlebars, XD-3 helmet, vortex generators and a Sargent seat. Part way through the ride my friend and I swapped seats. Change my setup to a stock 650 seat, with a gel pad, and the buffeting and noise were a major irritation, with my ear plugs in. Good luck in your hunt for the "right" setup.


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post #3 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Where did you get the vortex generators from? Or did you make them yourself?

Sometimes I think that it is just my HJC LT-12 which is really horrible and that even bad modern helmets are probably less noisy than what I have now.
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post #4 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfishy View Post
But the earplugs and the helmet together I think is what is causing part of my problem. I think the helmet is in direct contact with the earplugs while I am riding and making the problem worse.
I can't really comment on the buffeting and helmet choices, but the above comment forces me to ask whether you are inserting the earplugs properly. When I wear earplugs they do not protrude past my ear "flaps" (or whatever you call those things. I leave just enough sticking out of my ear canals that I can get a hold of them to remove them. If you find that uncomfortable you may need to use a shorter variety of earplugs.

Still, I know the effect you are referring to. When I've tried to use ear canal type ear buds with my MP3 player under my helmet I've found that they protrude enough to make contact with my helmet and transmit noise directly in to my ears.
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post #5 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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I can't really comment on the buffeting and helmet choices, but the above comment forces me to ask whether you are inserting the earplugs properly. ...
I find that if I really shove the earplug into my ear canal I get very sore ears very quickly. I haven`t been able to find a set of disposables that come in different sizes. 3m`s E-A-R brand used to but I can`t find that model anymore.

I`ve heard of some people chopping down their earplugs to make them more manageable in relation to their helmet.
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post #6 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 10:52 AM
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I had the same problem to the point of selling the strom, I also have the xd-3 helmet, on long trips I remove the visor, also have went to handle bar end mirrors, and a givi tall shield. helmet shake is gone, and no headaches. I never have wore ear plugs.
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post #7 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by stinkyfishy View Post
I find that if I really shove the earplug into my ear canal I get very sore ears very quickly. I haven`t been able to find a set of disposables that come in different sizes. 3m`s E-A-R brand used to but I can`t find that model anymore.
Sounds like you maybe have smallish ear canals. I think the EAR Soft was available in two sizes - the normal size and a larger than normal size. I think the thing to look for would be extremely soft plugs that are relatively short. The EAR Softs appear to still be available on the web, are fairly small in diameter, and relatively short. I used a box of them and like them - very soft and didn't give me that "stuffed" feeling in my ears. Currently I'm using some "AOSafety" 80-pack of plugs I got at Canadian tire, which are OK but quite a bit stiffer. Here's some other possibilities to consider:

http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/foearpltrpaj.html

A lot of people swear by the Howard Leight Laser-Lites, too. I think the EAR TaperFits might be pretty much the same plugs as the Softs, but I can't swear to it.
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post #8 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by stinkyfishy View Post
I find that if I really shove the earplug into my ear canal I get very sore ears very quickly.
You might be screwed.
I use the yellow end of these with pretty good audio attenuation when the tips are wetted before jamming them in tight.
Some people have used a bit of antibiotic ointment on them for the sore ear problem.
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post #9 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 11:06 AM
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I also used to get sore ears from wearing certain ear plugs. Then I found the "Hearos Ultimate Softness" plugs at my local dealer. These are used by a lot of the BMW riders. You can see them at Earplug Super Store. www.earplugstore.com/foam_consumer_plugs.htm They are the second ones down.

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post #10 of 39 Old 05-17-2010, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by stinkyfishy View Post
Where did you get the vortex generators from? Or did you make them yourself?

Sometimes I think that it is just my HJC LT-12 which is really horrible and that even bad modern helmets are probably less noisy than what I have now.
I made the vortex generators and put them on the night before I headed out for a 14,000 km solo ride. They're still there so I guess I like them.

I usually wear a set of Shure E2C earphones. They block much of the outside noise and work well for my GPS and mp3 player.



You might also look at getting a pair of the custom molded earplugs. They shouldn't give you any fit problems.

The other option, that is less expensive and gives you the option for music, is to get a set of Fuze, custom fit earphones. I have a set that I need to make up. I'm looking forward to seeing how they perform. http://www.earfuze.com/


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