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 Post subject: Earplugs
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 15:42 
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I had a rather odd and slightly worrying experience at the weekend that I thought I'd share.

I don't normally wear any form of ear protection when I'm riding and the amount of wind noise I get when I'm wearing my open face is pretty substancial. For short trips its not a problem, but we rode up to Derbyshire at the weekend and both myself and Nos noticed that our hearing had been affected by the wind noise, so for the return trip decided to get some ear plugs. We rode down as far as Lutterworth, just north of Rugby without and then put 'em in.

On the ride back from Lutterworth both of us noticed that we were having trouble focussing, were riding way too fast into corners to the point that we were having to brake in the corner to keep it on the road :shock: and generally felt kind of distanced from what we were actually doing - like we weren't really there but watching someone else riding (and no we hadn't been smoking!). It was really wierd and extremely unpleasent.

Has anyone here who rides with earplugs noticed the same thing?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 16:49 
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I usually always ride with ear plugs - currently working my way through a box of maxlite (33db rating).

have a look here:

http://www.motorcycle-training.f2s.com/ ... se/Hearing

For reasons why you should wear plugs. Essentially hearing damage is cumulative, so even if you don't notice it now you will later on in life


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 16:56 
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On a general point about 'the human condition', we're adaptable (at least in part) because we're sensitive to change.

This would tend to indicate that riding with earplugs will have less and less impact as you become used to the experience.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 19:49 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
On a general point about 'the human condition', we're adaptable (at least in part) because we're sensitive to change.

This would tend to indicate that riding with earplugs will have less and less impact as you become used to the experience.


This is also why riding without them bothers you less and less as you get used to it. problem is your brain also compensates for the hearing loss - at least it does initially :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 23:53 
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I found "cheap" ear plugs most disconcerting, making me feel totally isolated and almost cloustrophobic. I eventually found "motosafe" ear plugs, originally through a deaf charity but they are now available at Hein Gerricke amongst others.

The big plus on the motosafe product is that it only attenuates the harmful whit noise above a certain decibel (depends on which filter you fit). This means you can still hear the engine noise and even hear the petrol station attendant with you helmet still on.

Not chep at about 20 quid a pair but they are washable and last for well over a year (25,000 miles in my case)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 02:28 
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I would also suggest that you experienced a degree of sensation as a result of 'temporary threshold shift'.

If the ear is stimulated at certain frequencies at high volumes then you get either tinnitus (where the nerves that the hairs in the ear are connected to are overstimulated and keep fireing impulses) or tts where the nerves stop registering certain frequencies completely till the hairs in the ear settle down. The easiest way to describe is when you go to a club or concert and when you come out you end up shouting as you can't hear properly.

By going from the wind noise to wearing ear plugs you've gone from one extreme (high noise) to the other (high attentuation). It can sometimes disorient.

I used to notice this with some of our sound guys (in my early days of H&S I used to do concert, theatre and event safety). given that we used to do a couple of hours on the get out they would get past this and settle before they drove.

I would echo he other comments about ear plugs, Depending on the helmet some motorcyclists can get a noise exposure of between 80-120 dB (A), to put that into context noise at work regs state hearing protection should be available at 80 dB (A) and hearing protection provided at 85 dB (A).

The better earplugs will attenuate the 'harmfull' frequencies but give less attenuation to the vocal frequencies.

I tend to buy Moldex spark plugs 7800 they offer good protection for most uses they cost about £5-10 depending where you get them for about 200 pairs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:10 
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I buy mine from hear

http://www.protecdirect.co.uk/List.asp? ... +Ear+Plugs


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 Post subject: Re: Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 13:20 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
We rode down as far as Lutterworth, just north of Rugby without and then put 'em in.


Thats about 15 mins from me. You could have dropped in for a cuppa..... :wink:

I have found that riding with them takes a lot of getting used to. The dulling of the sound makes me feel more detached from my surroundings.

I believe that some helmets are better than others when it comes to noise.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 09:07 
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I've always used them since I had two very loud Moto-Guzzis in the early 80s and have never experienced what you describe. Maybe at least subsonsciously you usually use sound as part of your overall awareness of both engine and road speed and without it a bit of your normal 'data input' was missing. I'd agree that it's the sort of thing you'd adapt to, but as I say, I've never had it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 01:31 
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I always use them. No problems with awareness of the machine/engine or spatial awareness problems here!

Then again, the TL does vibrate a bit :D

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 18:15 
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blademansw wrote:
Then again, the TL does vibrate a bit :D


V twins rule..... :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 08:34 
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Gizmo wrote:
V twins rule..... :wink:


True, but it doesn't half use a lot of fuel :x

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:11 
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blademansw wrote:
Gizmo wrote:
V twins rule..... :wink:


True, but it doesn't half use a lot of fuel :x


That's what you get for buying a 1000! :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:15 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
That's what you get for buying a 1000! :lol:

LOL

I have just ridden really gently into work every day this week, and the reserve light still came on at 110 miles, which is the same mileage it get if you spank the tits off it!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:50 
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Last week I bought a new helmet as the old one was hurting my head. I ride a trail-bike so sit upright hence more wind noise. I went out to see how the (open face) helmet performed without earplugs on a very windy day and above 30 mph it was pretty noisy so I stopped and put the plugs in - bliss!
Plugs don't disorientate you, they protect your hearing and allow you to concentrate without distraction on what's really important.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:57 
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A Cyclist wrote:
Plugs don't disorientate you, they protect your hearing and allow you to concentrate without distraction on what's really important.


They did when I wore them which is why I asked the question in the first place. :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:11 
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agree - there is a transition period of approx a few days until you adapt to the situation. Also anyone who has suffered from labyrinthitis might find the impact initially worse


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:33 
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That's an interesting site, diy. I've never suffered from Labyrinthitis, but I have suffered spinning dizziness and slightly altered perception... :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 17:49 
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its nasty stuff - I got it approx. 10 years ago - after flu - took me out for about 3 months and I still get it on occasion.

I have to avoid getting drunk, as I tend to get a hang over for a week rather than a day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 08:20 
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diy wrote:
I have to avoid getting drunk, as I tend to get a hang over for a week rather than a day.

Thats called getting old mate :D

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