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post #1 of 22 Old May 21st, 2006, 5:21 pm Thread Starter
 
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Earplugs?

I've been messing with the search but can't find any threads regarding earplugs. I am looking to purchase an LT. I currently ride an FZ6. I always ride with earplugs because of wind noise at freeway speeds. Is this necessary with the LT or does the fairing and windscreen create enough smooth air around the rider and pillion? Thanks for your responses.
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post #2 of 22 Old May 21st, 2006, 5:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomowskifz6
I've been messing with the search but can't find any threads regarding earplugs. I am looking to purchase an LT. I currently ride an FZ6. I always ride with earplugs because of wind noise at freeway speeds. Is this necessary with the LT or does the fairing and windscreen create enough smooth air around the rider and pillion? Thanks for your responses.

Earplugs are not necessary if ya don't want to protect your hearing. The LT does a good job BUTT, I found out from SteveR how neat earplugs are when you ARE riding the LT. I can actually hear the stereo!!!

In fact, I found that using earplugs whilst drivin the MG, I can hear the radio much better.

Either way, I arrive at my destination much less tired than without earplugs.
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post #3 of 22 Old May 21st, 2006, 5:28 pm
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I found that ear plugs were needed with the stock wind screen, but not with th e Cee Bailey wind screen. Passenger is another story. Much more turbulance for the passenger regardless of windscreen.
Dave Granzin
Penn Yan, NY
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post #4 of 22 Old May 21st, 2006, 5:30 pm
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Yes it is better, but earplugs are a wonderful thing. I use them all the time.

--Bo
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2007 (2006 Blue Panels) R1200GS (RIP Poteau, OK)
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post #5 of 22 Old May 21st, 2006, 5:31 pm Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawg
Earplugs are not necessary if ya don't want to protect your hearing. The LT does a good job BUTT, I found out from SteveR how neat earplugs are when you ARE riding the LT. I can actually hear the stereo!!!

In fact, I found that using earplugs whilst drivin the MG, I can hear the radio much better.

Either way, I arrive at my destination much less tired than without earplugs.
Thanks. I've found that I can hear traffic better with plugs than without them over all the wind roar. Just wasn't sure how much different things would be on a proper touring bike.
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post #6 of 22 Old May 21st, 2006, 7:08 pm
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I like to wear earplugs on the LT for any appreciable distance. My preference is for the softer foam "Hearos" at my local drug store. However, since I like listening to music on the road, I now have some do-it-yourself molded earbuds that work very well - even out running or at the gym. Another item I recently picked up is the Windjammer, which is a neoprene skirt around the bottom of your helmet to keep out wind & noise. Although I purchased it for noise reduction, it has the collateral benefit of keeping my eyes from getting dried out, which makes me feel less tired at the end of a ride.
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post #7 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 6:54 am
 
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Yes, I wear ear plugs on long trips, they stop the wind noise and the radio sounds better!
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post #8 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 7:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwilshire
....work very well - even out running ......
I see no reason whatsoever to ever be out running, unless the bar was about to close, of course.

Mark

Mark Breen

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post #9 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 8:07 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomowskifz6
I've been messing with the search but can't find any threads regarding earplugs. I am looking to purchase an LT. I currently ride an FZ6. I always ride with earplugs because of wind noise at freeway speeds. Is this necessary with the LT or does the fairing and windscreen create enough smooth air around the rider and pillion? Thanks for your responses.
IMHO earplugs are not such good ideas

Over security concerns :
- You're not aware enough of your environnment (horn, cars, trucks...)
- You can't ear if your engine is running bad (insufficient oil, died fan...)
- You can't hear other road users.

Just my 2 cents

BMW K1200LT '06 - SUZUKI V-STROM 650 '07
BMW K1200LT '99 (sold) - BMW R1150GS '02 (sold) - YAMAHA Roadliner '06 (sold) - BMW K1200LT '99 (sold) - BMW R1100RT (sold) - HONDA Shadow Aero (sold) - HONDA Shadow 125 (sold)
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post #10 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 8:45 am
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Can't hear now

To many years of Harleys, playing with guns and power tools have left my hearing in bad shape.
I can hear the music better on my LT with the plugs (so can everyone around me) than without them. I also still ride with many people on HD's so I use them there.
I go through so many I just use the disposable ones, like you get at Lowes. 100 Pack is about $14.00, unless you got someone that works in a mill, then you can get them for about $9.00. Either way your ears are worth more than a few cents.
Rock
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post #11 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 9:17 am
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Thumbs down noise

One thing i learned a long time ago is that noise induced hearing loss is not reversable. a hearing aid will not help. it will not come back even though the ringing and such will go away. That is why I purchase from WWW.ear.com a large box of ear plugs (every year) and use them for everything that might make noise. It does make the music more clearer at speed as well.

Toby in New York
1983 R80RT Red (sold)
'03 R1200CLC (T-boned and replaced with)
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post #12 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 9:31 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobiwan
One thing i learned a long time ago is that noise induced hearing loss is not reversable.
I agree with that.

But I think that our LTs are pretty silented bike and that earplugs are usually not the best way to drive. As it is of music earplug or cellular earphone in cars etc...
I think one of the most important think on 2wheels is to hear my environment.

I can't imagine driving with earplugs as much as I can't imagine driving without a helmet, a pant, or my gloves...

Just my opinion

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post #13 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 9:44 am
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Do what feels right for you. Me, well I had my hearing checked last year for ringing, and the doc said I had permanent hearing loss from riding without plugs. She said it was common with motorcyclists and that the sound levels on any bike, with the wind noise was easily enough to cause degradation of hearing at certain frequencies. It doesn't take that much to cause damage. I asked about ear plugs and she said they will help mitigate the problem if they fit correctly, and if you use them.

As far as the safety issue; hearing other motorists,etc....I would wear the plugs and watch the volume on the music. I have ridden many thousands of miles like this and never had a cage sneak up on me.

Ride, Hear, Enjoy.

Laurence Hendrick

2008 K1200GT, Dark Graphite (Oh my, so fast!)
2005 LT Ocean Blue (Sold and comfort will be missed, but not the weight)
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post #14 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 9:54 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy
I agree with that.

But I think that our LTs are pretty silented bike and that earplugs are usually not the best way to drive. As it is of music earplug or cellular earphone in cars etc...
I think one of the most important think on 2wheels is to hear my environment.

I can't imagine driving with earplugs as much as I can't imagine driving without a helmet, a pant, or my gloves...

Just my opinion

Well, that was just exactly my opinion before actually tryin them, too. I can hear my environment quite well whilst riding. No cagers sneak up on me ever!

Now if I were to use audio earplugs, might be a problem. But if you are only mitigating the noise level by 20 dba or so, you can hear quite well.

Besides, we all do head checks, right??? We all do scan, right?

Just takes a little gettin used to.
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post #15 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 10:55 am
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Tomowskifz6,

Welcome! I have a FZ1 that I ride when I need to pick up the pace a little. I always ride with ear plugs in on my FZ1. However, I have not found any need to use them on the K12LT. I have a Cee Baileys #2 windscreen which really does a good job of moving the air and keeping the noise level low. I don't believe that when using earplugs that I am missing any of the important sounds that are all around me I just haven't found the need to wear them on the K12LT.

WildBill
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post #16 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 1:22 pm
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Talking it is a choice

I use the plugs not so much for the bike noise but the wind noise. When I worked for a hearing test company and needed to be certified to perform the test, the instructor told us the combination of constant noise like wind noise, and the throbbing of engine sound was about the worst kind of mix. the LT engine is indeed the quietest machine I have owned. I still have the original shield.
For me, I need the protection of plugs to keep the very desireable effect of "Sweet Nothin's" that are whispered in my ears.
By the time I hear traffic noise the source is way to close for my comfort. My eyes should be well aware of the potential problem long before my ears

Toby in New York
1983 R80RT Red (sold)
'03 R1200CLC (T-boned and replaced with)
'04 R1200CL Sidestand problem, BMW traded me for
'05 K1200LT. Goldie, Priceless
Lusting after K1600 GTL
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post #17 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 7:52 pm Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy
I agree with that.

But I think that our LTs are pretty silented bike and that earplugs are usually not the best way to drive. As it is of music earplug or cellular earphone in cars etc...
I think one of the most important think on 2wheels is to hear my environment.

I can't imagine driving with earplugs as much as I can't imagine driving without a helmet, a pant, or my gloves...

Just my opinion
I already use earplugs when riding my sportbike and you can hear the environment around you better with plugs blocking out the wind turbulence than without. I just wasn't sure if the LT was THAT much quieter than my sportbike. I'll be test riding one in a couple days and I guess I'll continue wearing plugs as I do now. Thanks all.
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post #18 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2006, 8:43 pm
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My guess is that most of the guys who say the LT is quiet, ride with the screen up, looking thru the windshield. It may be that as an FZ6 rider you will enjoy the LT as some of us do, with the screen right down most of the time. In this case you need the earplugs, there is plenty of wind noise.

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #19 of 22 Old May 25th, 2006, 9:09 pm
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I beg to differ. I actually hear more with the mechanicals of the bike deminished. I can still hear the fans running, the engine working, as a mater of fact everything that you said couldn't be heard, I still hear. Part of the fun I had last summer heading to CCR was turning the radio off and listening to Red Rover purring at 80+ MPH in western Colorado and eastern Utah. I just wish they would have drowned out the siren over in SC that got me my first perfomance award in 30 years.

My wife laughs every time I go out to the bike and get my molded ear plugs when I run any of the lawn equipment or the power tools in the garage. But I've found my ears don't ring any more either.

I haven't suffered any hearing loss and I don't plan on loosing any. Another side benefit, is that I'm not nearly as worn out on a near 1000 mile day with ear plugs in as I an when I have a 200 mile day without them.

YMMV.

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Steve
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post #20 of 22 Old May 25th, 2006, 9:19 pm
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I find the the earplugs kill the wind noise and I can hear the radio and the bike, without them I just hear a lot of noise clutter. Also after 4 or 5 hours without the earplugs I am exhausted, but with them 8 to 10 hours are just fine. IMHO.

p.s. you can still hear that cage coming up on you, those critters are loud, if they are going fast enough to come up behind me; especially those pick-em up trucks with those big fat tires.

--Bo
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2012 Candy Apple Red R1200R
2007 (2006 Blue Panels) R1200GS (RIP Poteau, OK)
2006 Graphite K1200GT (sold)
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post #21 of 22 Old May 26th, 2006, 12:00 am
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Cool Alternative to ear plugs

Do not intend this to be a highjack . . .

For past three years I have been riding with monitors.

I believe I ride with less fatigue, greater concentration on my surroundings, better feel for the bike and road. Yes I do miss out on some of the very high pitch noises but that has damaged my ears over the years.

As they say in the advertising, “enhances concentration and/or reduces stress”. Visit their site and take your time reviewing. Once you ride with the Monitors you will never go back – I use them as ear plugs, listening to music, talking to my pillion and on the Motorola Freetalk XL radio.

http://www.earinc.com/

I purchased the clear music monitors at less than 1/3 the price they are going for now but I believe they are not nearly as good as the units listed. I also have the colored Competition Sports Monitors they charge $175 for and find them to be almost as good.

Once you create the seal on your ear you just won't believe how it effects your riding experience. I took my speakers out of my helmet and use only the monitors.

My 2 cents . . .
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Dan Finazzo
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post #22 of 22 Old May 27th, 2006, 7:21 am
 
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy
IMHO earplugs are not such good ideas

Over security concerns :
- You're not aware enough of your environnment (horn, cars, trucks...)
- You can't ear if your engine is running bad (insufficient oil, died fan...)
- You can't hear other road users.

Just my 2 cents
My two cents.

Hearing protection attenuates the dangerous high and low noises that cause damage to your ears. That's why almost everyone says they hear the radio better. Hearing protection causes the phenomena of being able to hear your engine noises clearer. At first you'll hear things you never heard before and you tend to think something is wrong when it's just sounds you weren't able to hear before. Car horns, sirens truck engines are not blocked just attenuated to a safe level, as are all other sounds.

I thought the same thing when I was younger, riding bikes, shooting guns, attending concerts, at work not wearing ear plugs. Now all the sounds around me are accompanied by a high pitch whistle called tinnitus.

Imagine a tuning fork held next to your ears playing a "High E" all the time. It's the first thing I hear when I wake up and the last thing I hear when I go to sleep. It "plays" in my head all the time, 24/7. The Dr.'s tell me there is no cure, just prevention.

The cause was presumed to be from a combination of long term exposure to noise over 85dB and repeated exposures to acoustic trauma. Gun shots, rock concerts, riding a bike with a loud muffler, cutting the lawn without hearing protection all contributed to my problem.

I understand the sound of wind passing by our helmets can reach a dB rating equivalent to a jet at take-off. Do a web search and read about db equivalents yourself.

OSHA has set the maximum allowed sound level exposure of 85dB for long term exposures of 8 hours. That's not a lot of volume.

If you don't have loss yet, "short term acoustic trauma" is reversible. Repeated acoustic trauma turns into hearing loss and tinnitus.

Hearing loss (by itself) probably is something you might get accustomed to, but tinnitus is maddening; the whistle in your ears never goes away.

Ride often, ride safe, ride again.
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