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This has been discussed in other threads fairly recently, but I wanted share my latest info.

I've tried a couple of different types to block wind noise and the intake pulses coming up in front of the tank from the open airbox.

The standard yellow foam type you get on every job site or use at the gun range weren't cutting it for me.

Next were some super soft orange foam plugs from Eckerd Drugs. These had worked great for sleeping during the day while working night shifts. Still didn't block the noises that bothered me.

Recently picked up some "Extreme Hearos" at Walgreens Drugs. Also soft foam type in a neat blue color. Rated at 33db attenuation on the A-weighted scale. Attenuation at different frequencies indicated on back of package. No more wind noise at all. Greatly reduced the intake pulse noise and made the aftermarket cans sound just like the phhft-phhft-phhft of a stock exhaust at idle. After the ears adjusted I found it easy to hear the other Duc I rode with today and other important sounds - but everything was at a quiet and comfortable level no matter what speed. Getting rid of the wind noise was the biggest plus.
 

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Thanks for the added info!

I was actually about to go out today and wondered what experiences people had. I have an AGV X-Vent helmet. Not sure if its wind noise is average/better/worse than others, but ear plugs will certainly help. Thanks.
 

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One very nice, if somewhat spendy, option is to get some earmold plugs made. Basically they put a plug of cotton in your ear attached to a couple of threads that stick out. They then fill your ear canal and outer ear with silicone. You do have to sit there like a doofus with the strings hanging out while the silicone cures, but once its done they are simply the best earplugs going. You can ride all day in comfort and they leave enough ambient sound that you can tell what's going on and if something is coming up behind you.

As I've gotten older I can tell many years of riding are taking a bit of a toll on my hearing so I'm doing what I can to keep any more damage to a minimum.
 

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I got 'em at Laguna last year, 40 bucks IIRC. The guys are in the east bay someplace and come to most of the races at laguna and sears pt.
 

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Of all the inexpensive ones I have tried, I really like the Hearos.

But the main thing is to wear some period! The difference in wind noise is amazing. I can only imagine the long-term effect of not wearing any.
 

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How about these two from Etymotic Research:

Etymotic ER20

Etymotic ER15 Sports

Here's a list of labs that can custom fit the ER15 Sports

I know that these guys make some of the best earphones in the world, so their earplugs can't be all that bad!
I thought the same thing and bought a pair of the ER20's. I just never found them that comfortable, but YMMV. One other thing to note is that they have a plastic pin that sticks out (for removal & insertion) and this pin would sometimes contact the helmet liner, moving the plug. Not really uncomfortable, just made me aware it was there. Again, your experience might be different. They did do a great job of reducing the noise while making it easy to hear what was going on.
 

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I was wondering.... with ear plugs , it reduces wind noise but still allows you to hear traffic noise, so you know whats going on around you?
 

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That's what the better ones do - reduce the frequency across the board. Most earplugs you buy in the store have a decibel rating on them (how many decibels in volume they reduce) and if you look on the package they may even show you a frequency line - ideally you want something that is pretty flat. Most of the stuff you care about hearing will be in the mid to upper range, so if it cuts off the low frequencies more than the upper that's not a bad thing.

One thing to know about decibel ratings is that the decibel scale is a log scale. (You remember those from high school, right?) What this means is that a small increase in numbers means a large difference in sound volume. For example the difference in noise reduction between a 20 and 25 dB earplug is not half as much a reduction as between a 20 and 30 dB earplug. A 10 dB = 10 times the difference and 20 dB = 100 times the intensity.

That's probably more than you wanted to know, right? ;)
 

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That explains it very nicely, thank-you!

BTW, I don't remember " log scales" in my country hick high school....maybe I was absent that day!! ::)
 
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Heartech earplugs are from Israel and work really well. They block out the low frequency noises (engine, wind), while letting you hear people's voices adequetely enough.
 

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I find they block out ambient noise about the same as riding in a Lexus. Most new cars have a lot of sound deadending for outside sounds. At least that is my justification. Man do they ever reduce fatigue on the highways!
 

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Good point. The ear plugs cut out the wind roar, but the overall reduction in sound isn't much worse that riding in a fairly sound-proof car.

I do have a hard time hearing other riders at gas stops with plugs in and helmet on, though.
 

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I just answered an earplug question on another forum this morning, so I'm going to cut and paste my answer here since I don't feel like typing it all again:

I've used at least a dozen different types of earplugs. My personal favorite is the Ultra Noise Husher from North Safety Products. You used to be able to get them at Walmart in the gun section, but they seem to have stopped carrying them.

For best attenuation, meaning you can hear more other things while cutting out the bad noise, one of the best choices is the ER-20 (see http://www.etymotic.com/musicians/er20morec.html ). However, they don't fit everyone well, and I'm one of those people that they don't fit. With both inserted, the one in my left ear was just uncomfortable, but the one in my right ear was downright painful. I wish I could use them.

The foam earplugs like Quiet Please from Flents, also sold at Walmart, work reasonably well the first time you insert a pair, but once you take them out, it's hard to get a good seal again. That means for a group ride I might end up using four to six pairs of them.

For maximum hearing protection, I prefer an earplug that you roll up so that it comes to a point and you can insert into the ear canal a little ways. They don't come out by themselves and they don't let some of the sound through.

Most earplugs designed for use with guns offer good protection.

I have a pair of custom molded plastic earplugs that I picked up at the San Mateo motorcycle show last year. The big advantage is that they take about five seconds each to insert, where the Ultra Noise Husher might take minutes if I'm being particularly clumsy at the moment. The custom earplugs do an excellent job for low frequency noises, like a loud V-twin exhaust, but let through too much wind noise.

I may try some other brand when I visit the motorcycle show this November.
 

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I think Scott's post goes to show that your mileage definitely does vary based on personal preference. I personally find I use whatever's fastest to put in my ear with the least hassle and stays comfortable for a longish ride. The good news is that most of the options are relatively cheap and the most expensive option is forty or so bucks, which if you consider permanent hearing loss, ain't such a bad deal either.
 

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Not sure how many know this. It use to be a ticketable offense to have earplugs in, but that is all about to change.


California SB 315 has been signed into law. Included in this bill was a
>provision to allow for use of "foam" style non-custom earplugs by street
>motorcycle riders. Thanks are due to <mailto:[email protected]>State
>Senator Debra Bowen(Democrat, District 28, Redondo Beach) who worked
>closely with the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) to make this
>change in the law. The AMA is asking riders to let Senator Bowen know they
>appreciate her assistance by sending her an email. The new law takes effect
>January 1, 2004.
>
>"Requiring motorcyclists who want to drown out road noise by using ear
>plugs to buy custom-made plugs is an outdated law that makes absolutely no
>sense. The test ought to be whether a rider using ear plugs can still hear
>a car's horn or a siren from an emergency vehicle. If a set of ear plugs
>can meet that test, then a rider ought to be able to use them, regardless
>of who makes them or how they're made. The only people the custom-made
>requirement helps are, surprise, the people who make custom ear plugs. It
>doesn't help riders and it doesn't help the police, emergency vehicle
>operators, or other drivers who count on a motorcyclist to be able to hear
>their horns or sirens. As long as over-the-counter plugs do the job,
>there's no reason why ear plugs should have to be custom-made, so junking
>that requirement is a common sense change that's long overdue."
 

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I have been wearing earplugs for years, I really hated them at first :mad: I now see how important they are :)
 

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I wonder how many people have been busted for wearing "non compliant" ear plugs. Is this something you have heard of in Cali? (seriously no pun intended).

How anal would the copper have to be to bust you for that?

"Sir, can I ask you to remove your earplugs and step away from the vehicle."
"Place the earplugs on the hood of the car and step away."
"Sir, those look like Walmart ear plugs, I'm gonna have to take you down town."
 
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