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Hey guys!

Well, I'm new here and I just want to start off with questions that I've had in mind for weeks. You know, I just got back to riding motorcycles around 3 years ago. I started riding in my teens but stopped when I got married. I'm 55 years old now and I've started hearing buzzes and ringing after every ride. Did my research and found out I might have tinnitus. Well, back in the day, we didn't even wear helmets that much and now that I'm wearing one every ride I still got this tinnitus thing. I may have been ignorant but I want to start protecting my ears now.

My questions are:

1. Is it comfortable wearing earplugs while riding?

2. What brand do you recommend?

3. Found out there are many types of earplugs for riders(foam, electronic, bluetooth, molded, etc.), what do you guys think is the best?

Thank you in advance and ride safely!:smile2:
 

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I definitely use ear plugs on the track, not so much on the street. I buy my ear plugs at a local gun store, the same used for the range. They seem to do the job just fine.
 

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I always have a case of MAX polyurethane foam earplugs on hand, sealed packs in jacket pockets, tool boxes, everywhere.
Made by Honeywell, called Howard Leight, disposable MAX. They also come corded. Used for street riding, working with power tools, and loud music events. 33db Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)

Link to company site: Howard Leight | Disposable Ear Plugs

I had reusable motorcycle specific earplugs some years back but lost them. Way too much stress keeping track of such small items little alone the bike key!
 

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The type of earplug is very dependent on what type of riding you do, the noise levels you are subjected too and for how long you are exposed to the noise


Say you are riding and the noise inside of your helmet at ear level is 100db

As the attached chart shows, you want to reduce the noise your ears are subjected too to a lower limit. Say you do a two hour commute per day - then you can wear ear protection that reduces the noise exposure to 91db during the commute meaning that an ear plug that reduces sound by an average of 9db is good enough (NRR or noise reduction rating )

If you were touring for a full 8 hour day then you want to wear an earplug of at least 15db NRR reduction. (to achieve 85db)

Some helmets are noisier than others, some exhausts more noisy , a city slow speed commute is less noisy than wind at speed etc, so decide what you are comfortable with and what works for you. I think realistically if you travel at speed (+130 kph) with your average helmet you are looking at around the 115db of wind noise and other you are subjected to.

Different countries have different ways of measuring the noise reduction values of hearing protection. NRR is used in America, SLC80 in Australia - all different ways of averaging results obtained or limiting the frequency ranges used etc.


If i do a full multi day tour i find it beneficial to use the best possible foam earplug (SLC80 rating of 33db) to reduce noise as much as possible to reduce fatique. Foam earplugs that expand (if put in correctly) normally have excellent results.
 

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. . . I buy my ear plugs at a local gun store, the same used for the range. They seem to do the job just fine.
Sorry, Tires, I just had to laugh at this.

I was trying to imagine a local 'Guns 'R' Us' on an English shopping strip, tables out front with grannies sipping tea and biting scones with pinkies extended, whilst their hubbies are inside choosing plugs to deaden the sound of their Honda C90 or 1952 BSA Bantam with sidecar:grin2::grin2:
 

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Sorry, Tires, I just had to laugh at this.

I was trying to imagine a local 'Guns 'R' Us' on an English shopping strip, tables out front with grannies sipping tea and biting scones with pinkies extended, whilst their hubbies are inside choosing plugs to deaden the sound of their Honda C90 or 1952 BSA Bantam with sidecar:grin2::grin2:
Nigel, I wish it was that quaint but it’s not. However you are correct - the store I go to is in a strip shopping mall but you can’t get a decent cuppa there ?. There are different grades of earplugs, can’t remember which ones I got but they do a decent job.
 

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AntonioMartha;
We have a Gear and Equipment Section where you should have asked this

I use Howard Leight Max ear plugs they're 33NRR
Check with an industrial supply buy the biggest box available, they're packed in pairs.......split the box with your friends:wink2:
I got mine at Chevron Refinery Trap range for the last 30 years .....they're free:grin2:
 

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Oh boy..."Initial running in, of new engine" flashbacks.

Wear earplugs all the time, every time.
You wanna keep your hearing, you dont wanna hear an annoying ring rest of your life.
*Imagine you riding slowish roads, for whatever reason you need to go back home as fast as possible so you take highway...30-60 minute exposure to such volume...not great.

As for earplugs brand I cannot help you.
I took a pair of earplugs from a loud kitchen back at work few years ago. Those people stood next to a washing machine, big as a living room and loud AF for many hours a day.
They do the job.
Look like this but blue(if color indicates a different volume or material):
 

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Back to serious mode, I have had tinnitus for a few years now. Bastard of an intrusion. Not saying it was caused by motorcycling because back in the 70s we attended noise-deafening concerts; worked in industry with no hearing protection; bandied about chainsaws and all manner of power tools; etc, etc. There were no warnings at all about potential hearing loss. With tinnitus, once you have it, it's there for life. Still, I am not sure if there is definitive research that points to its cause, but the use or any ear protection must now be considered essential. (Not preaching here, just my case in point)
 

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Well I am 65 and wear hearing aids. Damaged my hearing to the point of life style, and also brain issues (its true). Audiologist fixed me up. I always wear earplugs riding! Wind and exhaust noise can really degrade your hearing. Years of shooting, chain saws, racing snowmobiles, oil drilling rigs, etc damaged my ears.

Best plugs I have ever found are these: comfortable, custom fit, great noise block, worth every dime: got them custom fit at COTA in April. They have a mail in kit also.

https://www.bigearinc.com
 

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I'll happily weigh in on this one as it is so important.

Always wear hearing protection. The best you can afford.

The simple things are sometimes the best. Disposable foam ear plugs work well, are easily transportable, require no special care...and you can carry many of them to help your riding buds out.

I carry a bag with 50 or so pairs when I go to a meet and I cary at least 10 pairs with me everywhere I ride. I just stick 'em in my jacket pocket and hand them out like candy to my riding friends.

I've worked around turbines and electrical industry my whole life and the value of a simple earplug is priceless.

Look at the data on the package and you will see the noise attenuation rating. Get the highest you can find.

Now, the thing you will notice....after you get over the nonsense of "I won't be able to hear"...is that your hearing is more focused on what you need to hear. Ambient noise is reduced as are specific ear damaging frequencies of noise. For instance, you will be able to hear your engine, but less exhaust; you will be able to hear the siren, but not the rumble of a truck; you will be able to think more clearly because the howl of the wind is gone...and you will be more relaxed.

Ride with hearing protection.
 

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I'll happily weigh in on this one as it is so important.

Always wear hearing protection. The best you can afford.

The simple things are sometimes the best. Disposable foam ear plugs work well, are easily transportable, require no special care...and you can carry many of them to help your riding buds out.

I carry a bag with 50 or so pairs when I go to a meet and I cary at least 10 pairs with me everywhere I ride. I just stick 'em in my jacket pocket and hand them out like candy to my riding friends.

I've worked around turbines and electrical industry my whole life and the value of a simple earplug is priceless.

Look at the data on the package and you will see the noise attenuation rating. Get the highest you can find.

Now, the thing you will notice....after you get over the nonsense of "I won't be able to hear"...is that your hearing is more focused on what you need to hear. Ambient noise is reduced as are specific ear damaging frequencies of noise. For instance, you will be able to hear your engine, but less exhaust; you will be able to hear the siren, but not the rumble of a truck; you will be able to think more clearly because the howl of the wind is gone...and you will be more relaxed.

Ride with hearing protection.
this statement is so true worked as a wood machinist for 32 years and now got noise induced hearing lose tinnitus is just part of the problems you will face
in later life i am 58 and avoid loud places wear the protection, this problem creeps up on you the older you get then the damage is done you have been warned from someone who is living with it .:|
 

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I even use them while TIG welding .......hate the noise the fan on the machine makes:grin2:
Need to find a picture....me at Laguna Seca for the vintage car races......I'm wearing plugs AND muffs:wink2:
 

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I wear hearing aids..... I never wore ear plugs in my youth....loud rock 'n roll and open pipe race bikes.... What did I know???? :rolleyes:

Now I know. :(
 

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I have tinnitus as well. Yay I don't feel alone. I found using a Schuberth helmet (S2 in my case) helps quite a bit with keeping the noise down. Very quiet helmet. No plugs unless it's a long ride.
 

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@NM-1: You are kidding yourself. Is it worth your hearing?
 

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I have tinnitus as well. Yay I don't feel alone. I found using a Schuberth helmet (S2 in my case) helps quite a bit with keeping the noise down. Very quiet helmet. No plugs unless it's a long ride.
What did you say? Uhhh?
 

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I always wear ear plugs (which means every day because I commute on my Brutale). I actually am uncomfortable when I've tried to even take a short ride without them.


I have used Hearos Extreme, 32 DB NRR pretty much since I started riding 20 years ago. Buy them in bulk from Walgreens here in the states. Love them, very comfortable even on really long rides. Use them when I'm doing woodworking, too!
 
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