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Discussion Starter #1
Every single time?
Most of the time?
Long rides only?
Never?

Would like to know who does what, and why, and if anyone has any regrets...
 

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Most of the time; definitely on long rides. I've had hearing loss for some time and need to protect what remains for as long as I can. But that doesn't extend to giving up motorcycling, just managing the risk.
 

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I wear plugs every time I ride. They can be a pain to put in and take out if I make a few stops along the way but I find the wind noise to be annoying without them. On my head at least, my Shoei Qwest helmet has less wind noise than my Bell Star but that's probably an individual issue. The plugs are cheap insurance against hearing damage but I also find that sometimes they prevent me from hearing cars sneaking up behind me. I just need more frequent mirror checks to stay aware of my situation.
 

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Most of the time. I wear them for all rides of more than a few minutes.

I regret that I didn't start wearing them years ago. Not just for riding. I should have been wearing them for shooting, rock concerts, racetracks, woodworking, chainsaw....

Not hearing what I should is very frustrating.
 

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Longish rides only. Don't bother with the 2 miles to work. It already takes me longer to gear up than it does to get to work.


I noticed hearing loss within the first year of some really long trips without them.
 

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99% of the time. The 1% would be low-speed short rides around town, <5 miles.

Maybe because I've always used them, but I find that they allow you to block out the wind noise and tune in to the important stuff. I can hear my engine and other cars approaching for the most part. Even seem to hear sirens long before the cagers do!
 

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If I'm going down the street, sub 40 mph, no.

Highway trips, always. They live in my jacket pocket so I can pop them in whenever necessary.
 

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For over 30yrs of riding, no. Until now. I bought a Ninja1000 this fall and the upright bar position and adjustable screen is causing a lot of wind noise which at 80mph and over is bothering my ears. Never had this issue with riding with clipon bars which I've doing for the past 15yrs. I bought a MRA winglet which didn't help and now I'm trying a National V Stream screen, but at only 40mph it's quite noisy. So, I'm hoping the ear plugs will solve the issue for a lot less money. If I lean forward the noise goes down, but that defeats the purpose of buying a more upright comfortable bike. Over 30yrs of furnituremaking wearing ear plugs and ear muffs, but still have some hearing loss. The loss doesn't bother me, but the discomfort now riding does.
 

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Any time I plan on riding for more than 30 min (typically higher speed). no need for the 5 min ride to work. Been thinking about getting a Bluetooth attachment on the helmet that has speakers in the helmet to see if that helps with the noise (and maybe listen to some tunes?).
 

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all the time, every time.
<soapbox>
I have a pretty severe hearing impairment and (as has been said) want to protect what I have. Trust me when I tell you that hearing loss is very insidious, it will sneak up on you and you won't know it until too late.

If you've every had ringing in your ears you have damaged them, permanently and irreparably. Sure it comes and then goes but one day it will come and not go. This is called tinnitus.

I have a 3000 hz 70 db ringing in my ears 24/7. That's right in the center of speech intelligence so I have a really hard time understanding folks. Hearing aids help but aren't like glasses, they don't correct to "20/20" hearing. Plus, a decent hearing aid runs well north of $3000 EACH and if you have any insurance coverage at all (unlikely) it will pay about $600.

Wear your earplugs!
</soapbox?
 

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I tried ear buds for music. It cut down some of the wind noise, but after an hour I couldn't stand them in my ears and took them out. I then went to custom made ear plugs with built in stereo speakers. Wow! excellent music and it cut down the wind noise big time. High volume was no longer necessary. The ear plugs could be in all day with no problem. I didn't feel worn out on my Kansas City to Denver ride. These ear plugs are Great!
http://www.plugup.com/custom_made_earplug_speakers_stereo_earbudss_s/73.htm

I now have a Sena 20S Bluetooth with its built in FM radio. Speakers are mounted in my Shoei helmet. For short rides, 4 miles, I don't use my earplugs. For longer rides I put in my custom earplugs and just plug in the speakers wire into the Sena, I get stereo music and phone calls.
 

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Always....stops me hearing all the bad advice when I talk to myself.

Seriously....yes, a helmet can be a very noisy place to be...I like to be very 'isolated' when I ride...concentrate on the task at hand, etc......3M industrial plugs are the easiest...wear them at work occasionally so no big deal...had the custom bike things made and just didn't care for them very much.

Wear them around the house too, or I did until the wife left.
 

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Yesterday I lost my ear plugs on a ride. A friend gave me some called Hearos. They are fantastic. Now I have to find them online.
 

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I bought 80 pair of Stanley soft ear plugs about two years ago....$10. They work great. They're so inexpensive that I keep 3 pair in my jacket pocket at all times and I change into clean ones often (older ones get dirty and won't compress and fit properly).

After two years I still have at least half of them left.
 

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I wear plugs always. I see many riders who use foam plugs, but use them incorrectly. They should not hang out of the ear, in fact, they should not be visible at all. They should be fully rolled to compress, use some saliva as lube and pushed right into the ear canal. It make help to lift the ear with the other hand.
I also have a 12cm Db killer baffle in my pipe. If you get temporary ringing in your ears, the damage is being done and after 45, this will develop into tinnitus as your auditory hair cells will die off, and the brain starts producing noise to fill in the gaps. There is no relief of treatment for this, and tons of scam devices that do nothing.
Even at MotoGP, they just use properly inserted cheap foam plugs (TV has a fascination for this with Rossi almost every race).

some helmets are quieter than others because they seal well around the neck.
 
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