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@jbacklund avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
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Molto Verboso
@jbacklund avatar
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
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UTC quote
Yesterday, I sadly bid adeu to my last pair of purple-ish foamy motorcycle/scooter riding earplugs, the last from a group of a ten-pair carton purchased late last year.

They have served me well, and I will miss them, but a new generation of purplish foamy earplugs has arisen to take up the baton, and so, with little fanfare and pomp, they now can fade into history and sleep the rest of the righteous.

Please keep your comments and observations respectful during this difficult time.

Godspeed, my loyal little foamy buddies...Godspeed!
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⚠️ Last edited by JBacklund on UTC; edited 1 time
@shebalba avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2009 GTS250, Ducati Monster M900, KTM 390 Adventure, Honda CR125
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Molto Verboso
@shebalba avatar
2009 GTS250, Ducati Monster M900, KTM 390 Adventure, Honda CR125
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UTC quote
Waxed poetic.
OP
@jbacklund avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
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Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
 
Molto Verboso
@jbacklund avatar
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
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UTC quote
Shebalba wrote:
Waxed poetic.
I see what you did there.

@bob_copeland avatar
UTC

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2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
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Ossessionato
@bob_copeland avatar
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
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Location: Minneapolis USA
UTC quote
JBacklund,

Many of the good folks I ride with wear ear plugs. For some reason, I never have. I wear a dew rag under my helmet that covers my ears. It seems to work for me. The black cotton dew rag keeps the helmet clean and allows a smooth on of the helmet with my sun glasses on. My blushing bride regularly washes the rag.

I realize, that some have very sensitive ears. Jblacklund, perhaps you have spent to many years next to the amplifier speakers playing loud rock and roll.

Bob Copeland
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@abrugge avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
2016 Sprint 50
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Location: Langley
 
Enthusiast
@abrugge avatar
2016 Sprint 50
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Posts: 77
Location: Langley
UTC quote
I deal with sensory issues and can't handle the noise of large crowds so I got Loops. I started using them for rides when I don't have my pixel buds 2 in (I use the pixel buds to take and give calls while out and about or use google assistant to pull up navigation for me). Anyways looping back to the point, I have found the loops work well for noise reduction while allowing to hear around you to be aware and depending on your needs have different types for different amounts of decibel reduction. I would highly suggest trying them out.

https://us.loopearplugs.com/
@nautiker avatar
UTC

Addicted
'14 Piaggio BV 350
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Addicted
@nautiker avatar
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UTC quote
I wear earplugs when riding, too - and really enjoy the ride far more when I have them... It's like gliding along in quiet - I can still hear everything, but the wind noise is very diminished - perfect...
@caschnd1 avatar
UTC

Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
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Grumpy Biker
@caschnd1 avatar
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
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Posts: 5306
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
UTC quote
After many years of riding with no helmet and no ear plugs, I started noticing hearing loss. I've been wearing ear plugs for almost 15 years. Even with a full face helmet, they dramatically decrease wind noise. I won't ride without them. I bought a box of 500 pair about 10 years ago. Still plenty left. Laughing emoticon
@preddybaer avatar
UTC

Hooked
GTS300, CRF1000 & Moto 6.5
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Posts: 489
Location: Berlin, Germany
 
Hooked
@preddybaer avatar
GTS300, CRF1000 & Moto 6.5
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UTC quote
I recently (with a purchase of Tina Anna Mae) swapped my old Basic Schuberth C3 for a Pro Schuberth C5

that new helmet is another league when speaking about the sound proofing. I do not know if it is all about the Basic to Pro Line switch or simply newer tech, but is really significant improvement.

I remember when I got Tina (MY2023) and drove it first period without the Windshield, was almost not hearing the engine. On a moments the tires were making more noise, although all much less than with the old helmet.

long term calculated, maybe buying higher line helmet than constantly investing in the ear plugs (really do not have the feel how long the pack serves you before becomming "waxed poetry")? food for a thought ...

P.S. for my Africa Twin I use Shoei helmet, which is great but am getting still lot of road and engine noise. maybe should try the ear plugs though?
@vespergeezer avatar
UTC

Addicted
GTS300, Cosa LX200
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Location: Sunny South West UK
 
Addicted
@vespergeezer avatar
GTS300, Cosa LX200
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UTC quote
The best time to be wearing earplugs when on motorbikes is before you think you maybe could do with using them. I talk to lots of youngsters starting out in biking about it, and the need for hearing protection is some advice I really wish I'd had at a younger age.
Hearing loss in older age can be very socially isolating, so limiting the preventable part of hearing loss is vital.
@jess avatar
UTC

Petty Tyrant
0:7 And counting
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Location: Bay Area, California
 
Petty Tyrant
@jess avatar
0:7 And counting
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UTC quote
Speaking as someone who lives with ringing in my ears 24/7, I can state with some authority that riding-related hearing damage is a genuine concern.
OP
@jbacklund avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
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Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
 
Molto Verboso
@jbacklund avatar
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
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Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
UTC quote
I think that I started to wear foam earplugs every time I ride about five years ago, maybe a little longer.

The HJC modular I was usually wearing was terribly loud at highway speeds. I would say that it was like having two little jet engines howling away at the sides of my head, and I knew it was wrecking my hearing and something had to be done to preserve what I had left.

They're inexpensive, sometimes a little difficult to get into the ear properly without several tries, but all in all, they are very effective.

My hearing is surprisingly good, considering the years I'd ridden without any ear protection beyond the helmet I was wearing....which is effectively none.

I definitely have some tinnitus, of course, but I can live with it....so far, but I definitely don't want to aggravate it further.

What was probably the biggest surprise to me when wearing earplugs, is how good my bike's engines sounded without the wind roar competing with them. The plugs also tended to eliminate mostly higher frequencies of sound, and filtered out almost all of the 'spinny-swishy-whirly' mechanical racket from the motors, leaving enough of the more pleasant lower exhaust notes to enjoy, and also kept enough motor noise to know when to shift.

The plugs are very nice when on my Triumph Rocket 3R, because all I can hear from that 2500cc engine is this wonderful 'basso profundo' exhaust notes that rolls up and down with the gear changes. It sounds like junk without earplugs, however.

Regardless, it's the wind racket that damages the hearing the most, it's accumulative and will sneak up on you if it's not addressed in one way or another.

With my Vespa, which is relatively silent anyway, even with the earplugs, I can still hear it's engine running enough to know what it's doing down there.

If I hop on one of our bikes just to shuttle it a short distance and don't have the earplugs in, they all sound like rattling junk with top end mechanical gnashings and other otherwise unnoticeable racket that have me wondering if they're about to explode.

Contrary to what one might expect (as I initially did), wearing earplugs while riding noticably improved my motorbike riding pleasure rather than detracted from it.
⚠️ Last edited by JBacklund on UTC; edited 1 time
@tszarathusra avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa C38 - S50 4T Super.
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Posts: 230
Location: Netherlands
 
Hooked
@tszarathusra avatar
Vespa C38 - S50 4T Super.
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UTC quote
You have my understanding JB. My never emptying box of 100 ultra soft 3M E-A-R emptied just few months ago. That by itself should teach me the value of not sharing good things with friends.
Due to no one being allowed to have good things for long I had to search high and low for a replacement. In the end I discovered a jar of 60 pairs of Gvolatee Soft -38db on the amazing Amazon. The reasonable price included an aluminium keychain holder for a pair to use in emergencies. That jar should see me, and my friends, through next summer. I'm not a good student.
@somerset avatar
UTC

Addicted
2019 Honda - The Monkey
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Location: Somerset England
 
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@somerset avatar
2019 Honda - The Monkey
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UTC quote
These have served me very well over the past 5 years or so.

They were manufactured from impressions taken of my ears.

somerset
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@obx_dude avatar
UTC

Hooked
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Hooked
@obx_dude avatar
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UTC quote
As a shooter and musician, those guys have saved my ears.

My father ruined his between hunting and fighting the Viet Cong.

My brother ruined his by playing bass in 80's cover bands.

Take care of your ears, folks!
@greasy125 avatar
UTC

Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
@greasy125 avatar
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
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Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
UTC quote
jess wrote:
Speaking as someone who lives with ringing in my ears 24/7, I can state with some authority that riding-related hearing damage is a genuine concern.
WHAT? HUH? COMEAGAIN?
@nautiker avatar
UTC

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'14 Piaggio BV 350
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UTC quote
I actually long-ago moved on/up from the foam earplugs to Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders. They hook over the ears, are re-usable, and really do a great job!
I wouldn't ride without them... I also wear a helmet with a full face shield.
The foam earplugs work well for me when using an electric leaf-blower...!
@waspmike avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
LXV 150 3v ie. Midnight Blue (Sold) Now Honda Zoomer X
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@waspmike avatar
LXV 150 3v ie. Midnight Blue (Sold) Now Honda Zoomer X
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UTC quote
somerset wrote:
They were manufactured from impressions taken of my ears.
If you ears do impressions that could be a nice earner at comedy clubs?

I wear flanged ones which I rinse under the tap after use.

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

I pull the string out as that transmits sound.
@syd avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
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@syd avatar
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
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UTC quote
I'm with Jess, Tinnitus sucks. I've had T since the 80s (way, way too much aspirin, for a couple years). Ever since I started riding, I have worn earplugs. I finally found a earplug that fits, so I can ride in relative silence and comfort.

Hearing damage is cumulative, so if you have a little ringing now protect yourself now.
@adri avatar
UTC

Atypical Canadian
2009 Vespa S50(LX150 motor swap), 2006 Vespa GTS250ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2211
Location: Toronto, Canada
 
Atypical Canadian
@adri avatar
2009 Vespa S50(LX150 motor swap), 2006 Vespa GTS250ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2211
Location: Toronto, Canada
UTC quote
somerset wrote:
These have served me very well over the past 5 years or so.

They were manufactured from impressions taken of my ears.

somerset
I've had custom ear plugs made years ago and I love them. I think they cost me about $100 Cad (about $75 USD) and it was money well spent.

Even off the bike they're great. Did a sanding project the other day, ear plugs. Drove six hours in the truck the other day, ear plugs.

They're fantastic. You can also get them custom made with wired OR wireless headphones made into them, if you're into that. I will probably get a pair with headphones in them made at the next motorcycle show and switch back and forth depending on the task.
UTC

Enthusiast
2017 GTS Super
Joined: UTC
Posts: 75
Location: Kalifornia
 
Enthusiast
2017 GTS Super
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Posts: 75
Location: Kalifornia
UTC quote
For the musicians out there I'll never forget my Mother's horror when she found me firing up the B3 at age four. Thankfully she asked me how I knew how to do it? I told her that I just watched the them with the switches and listened to what I later learned were the motors. There after I was allowed to play it as long as I was clean (no sandbox clothes and wash your hands.) That was over 60 years ago, started lessons at age seven. Along with being an audiophile, my hearing has always been treated as a precious gift.

Triple flanged plugs were the staple for years, I still have a pair in the OD green plastic Mil box that date back to my R100GS. Surefire's work well if sized properly, I've lost a few. Blessed with a wife that can hear mosquito flatulence in her sleep, I just buy a bunch of packaged foamies when placing a McMaster order. This works out well when you or a riding buddy Surefires their's.

The photo of plugs with a cord tether is concerning. The cord or even the extractor grabber on flanged plugs can transfer sound from the helmet. I've always trimmed the grabber on flanged plugs a wee bit.

The elephant in the room is helmet noise. Somewhere in the late 80s Shoei introduced their top of the line vented full face helmet with a compound curve visor. Quite it was not, no wonder why Japanese electronics of that era sounded so bad (it was really marketing folks and their bogus THD spec wars.) Ear plugs wouldn't tame that Shoei. BMW's golf ball dimpled helmet was the silent king at the time. I'm on my second Schuberth C3 which is extremely quiet without hearing protection up to 50 mph in an undisturbed airflow.

Plug em up!
@bob_copeland avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
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Location: Minneapolis USA
 
Ossessionato
@bob_copeland avatar
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
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Location: Minneapolis USA
UTC quote
Obviously, hearing seems to go bad as you age. My scooter riding group is good folks from 60 years old to 80 years old. Yes. we are old farts. I swear 50% of this group is half deaf. Most wear ear plugs - I do not.

I do empathize with any of you who have ringing or hearing issues. Protecting your hearing is important. But, I expect it is just something that naturally wears out.

Side note: Part of being selected for communications in the US Navy, as a radioman, was really good hearing. We still used "Continues Wave" or morse code. You had to be able to detect signals at various and high frequencies. Back then (50 years ago) when all other means of communication failed, you could still tap out code and get through. It is no longer taught to everyone in communications.

Again, I think it is something like having brown or blue eyes - you either have it or you do not. Here is how it manifests in hearing ability. I could be speaking directly to you and hear a quiet conversation clear across the room.
I have since lost this ability. If there is any distracting noisy, I can not hear other things a distance away.

Sorry for this lengthy post.

Bob Copeland
In the Navy, you can sail the seven seas.
So, that is how darn old I am - they taught this in communications school.
So, that is how darn old I am - they taught this in communications school.
@tszarathusra avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa C38 - S50 4T Super.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 230
Location: Netherlands
 
Hooked
@tszarathusra avatar
Vespa C38 - S50 4T Super.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 230
Location: Netherlands
UTC quote
Since people are reminiscing. As a kid the family would go camping. A nearby waterfall would keep me awake for hours. Few years ago I was camping at the same location. Even when trying I couldn't hear the waterfall, but it kept the kids awake for hours.
OP
@jbacklund avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
Joined: UTC
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Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
 
Molto Verboso
@jbacklund avatar
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1029
Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
UTC quote
Bob Copeland wrote:
JBacklund,

Many of the good folks I ride with wear ear plugs. For some reason, I never have. I wear a dew rag under my helmet that covers my ears. It seems to work for me. The black cotton dew rag keeps the helmet clean and allows a smooth on of the helmet with my sun glasses on. My blushing bride regularly washes the rag.

I realize, that some have very sensitive ears. Jblacklund, perhaps you have spent to many years next to the amplifier speakers playing loud rock and roll.

Bob Copeland
Not a doo-rag exactly, but sometimes I'll borrow Trixie's Klim, Under-Helmet, Total Head Coverage Sound Abatement System (TM). It's a tight fit, but certainly a small inconvenience when one's hearing is at stake.
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@monogodo avatar
UTC

Addicted
2017 Piaggio BV350
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Posts: 1003
Location: Irving, TX
 
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@monogodo avatar
2017 Piaggio BV350
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1003
Location: Irving, TX
UTC quote
jess wrote:
Speaking as someone who lives with ringing in my ears 24/7, I can state with some authority that riding-related hearing damage is a genuine concern.
I also have tinnitus. I'm fairly certain one of the main causes was from working around high-speed printers for a decade. The ringing is so prevalent that I tend to forget it's even there, until someone mentions their hearing issues, then I notice it again. Or when I hear certain tones that are really close to the pitch of the ringing, like the Door Closing warning alarm on the freight elevators at work.

I never wore hearing protection when riding the scooter. Part of me figures that the damage has already been done, so why bother?

I also have found that noise cancelling headphones/earbuds are weird to me. They're almost painful to wear.
@lomunchi avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2020 Honda NC750DCT ABS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6929
Location: Maple Grove, MN
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@lomunchi avatar
2020 Honda NC750DCT ABS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6929
Location: Maple Grove, MN
UTC quote
Tinnitus here too. (too much rock n roll in my youth, I suppose). I ride with ear plugs on longer rides however, after I put them in, the quiet of my surroundings makes the ringing more noticeable and irritating. After 20 minutes my brain filters it out but oddly: ear plugs give me a more annoying noise!
OP
@jbacklund avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1029
Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
 
Molto Verboso
@jbacklund avatar
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1029
Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
UTC quote
PSA

After finding some of my foam earplugs in the kitty's litter box, I learned to keep them in a ziplock bag in a kitchen drawer when not being used, and not to leave any laying around.
@sledge avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2304
Location: Adelaide
 
Ossessionato
@sledge avatar
GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2304
Location: Adelaide
UTC quote
JBacklund wrote:
After finding some of my foam earplugs in the kitty's litter box, I learned to keep them in a ziplock bag in a kitchen drawer when not being used, and not to leave any laying around.
Be sure to rinse out the kitty litter ear plugs before use.
@znomit avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX190 Friday afternoon special, Primavera, some pushbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9897
Location: Hermit Kingdom
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@znomit avatar
LX190 Friday afternoon special, Primavera, some pushbikes
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9897
Location: Hermit Kingdom
UTC quote
I'm sure kitty doesn't want your gross earwax where it does its business.
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