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Thread: Need a quieter Helmet

  1. #1
    Nick Kennedy
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    Need a quieter Helmet

    Hi Gents
    I own a 1978 R/80 and have ridden it for 5 seasons now. One nagging issue I have is that under some high power conditions the the engine noise sets up this resonance in my ears that is hard to handle. I have a Bell full face helmet and always use new earplugs. I want to keep the bike but I need to get a handle on this painful noise problem. I'm looking for a new Full face helmet with the best noise reduction out there.Any suggestions? Do riders ever install a BOSE noise canceling headset in there helmets?
    Thanks in Advance

  2. #2
    glows in the dark reactortrip's Avatar
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    It's pricey, but the Schuberth C3 is nice and quiet. It's a modular too. Impressive design quality.

  3. #3
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Have you tried doing any online research...?

    I might suggest looking at webBikeWorld for helmet tests and evaluations. They're pretty thorough and up to date on the various helmet alternatives...

    Personally I've found Arai's to fit my head shape better than just about anything else, and in my experience reasonably quiet. Some full face helmets I've tried are kind of more open around the bottom and are usually quite a bit louder according to my old ears.

    Good luck...!
    Bill Johnston

  4. #4
    Curmudgeon in training
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    Quote Originally Posted by reactortrip View Post
    It's pricey, but the Schuberth C3 is nice and quiet. It's a modular too. Impressive design quality.
    I have a C3. Before that I had full face Shoei's. While the Schuberth has awesome quality and may be quieter than other modular helmets, for me when it comes to noise, it's no where near as quiet as the Shoei's. I like the C3 features better than the Shoei, but it's noisier. Helmet fit is really individual, so like pretty much everything else with bikes, YMMV.

  5. #5
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Helmet fit is completely personal and one person's quiet helmet is another's echo chamber. SeabeckS likes the Arais, but they don't fit me well. I have heard good things about the C3 but not used one; I found that the Schuberth Concepts were fairly quiet when new but got rattley over time (and I really hated the lack of ventilation and that the visor wouldn't stay cracked open). Like alzyck, Shoeis work well for me, and my Shoei X-11 is the quietest helmet I've ever owned. But this tells you very little.

    It is interesting, however, that on an unfaired bike (I assume), engine noise is your problem. Usually wind noise at high speed becomes overwhelming. Perhaps your bike could be adjusted to reduce this resonance. Is one of the intake stubs between the carb and the head loose?
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  6. #6
    Certified Beemerphile TheRoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeabeckS View Post
    Have you tried doing any online research...?

    I might suggest looking at webBikeWorld for helmet tests and evaluations. They're pretty thorough and up to date on the various helmet alternatives...

    Personally I've found Arai's to fit my head shape better than just about anything else, and in my experience reasonably quiet. Some full face helmets I've tried are kind of more open around the bottom and are usually quite a bit louder according to my old ears.

    Good luck...!
    Exactly right! The best made helmet in the world won't be right for you if it doesn't fit your head correctly. Nolan N-102... Shoei Multitec... you can keep them! I am an intermediate oval... so I wear an Arai Vector. WebBike has good info on head shapes, and unlike a lot of brands our there, Arai makes a helmet for any shape (round, intermediate oval, long oval).

    Arai is a GREAT helmet. I wear an HJC for iron butt runs when I want a flip up, but the Arai Vector fits me better than my own skin. Good luck as you search for the perfect fit for your head!

    If you have a good one now, and it's just about the noise, trying different ear plugs might be the thing to do.
    Last edited by TheRoss; 11-07-2011 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Cause I caint spell
    Christopher Ross, Lubbock, Texas

    2012 R1200GSA
    1974 R90S

  7. #7
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    I have the Shoei Multitec which is a relatively quiet helmet, and does not cost a fortune. I also have and use the iPlugz custom monitors which I highly recommend. I can use them with iPods, or iPhones or even plug directly into my GPS for XM radio and steering commands when my SO is not riding in the back. When she is onboard, I plug in the Autocom and attach the iPlugz to that setup, and it works way better than any kind of helmet speakers.

    Even with a full face helmet, you will be getting some degree of high db noise inside the helmet due to a number of factors including venting of the helmet, windscreen or bike aerodynamics or lack thereof. Speed, and the direction of any winds you are in are also effect helmet noise. Some kind of ear protection is always warranted when riding. If you ride any length of time and then notice your ears are ringing, you are doing damage that is cumulative and irreversible over time. Part of my ATGATT is the earplugs unless going slowly to the gas station a mile away.

    The custom earplug monitor is very hearing protective and way more comfortable than the foam things for extended rides.

    Site is here:

    http://www.earinc.com/p2-iplugz.php
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  8. #8
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    I don't mean to stand on a soapbox

    but.....

    what about earplugs? I can't imagine riding out of my neighborhood without putting them in.

    YMMV
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  9. #9
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdpc2 View Post
    what about earplugs? I can't imagine riding out of my neighborhood without putting them in.
    From the original post...

    Quote Originally Posted by nickrides View Post
    ... I have a Bell full face helmet and always use new earplugs....

  10. #10
    glows in the dark reactortrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alzyck View Post
    I have a C3. Before that I had full face Shoei's. While the Schuberth has awesome quality and may be quieter than other modular helmets, for me when it comes to noise, it's no where near as quiet as the Shoei's. I like the C3 features better than the Shoei, but it's noisier. Helmet fit is really individual, so like pretty much everything else with bikes, YMMV.
    I have a Shoei X-11 and Hornet. Both are probably the loudest helmets I own besides my cheap KBC, which Shoei do you have?

  11. #11
    Curmudgeon in training
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    Quote Originally Posted by reactortrip View Post
    I have a Shoei X-11 and Hornet. Both are probably the loudest helmets I own besides my cheap KBC, which Shoei do you have?
    I've had an RF-1000 and still have an RF-1100. Don't know how they compare to other helmets, but for me they both are quieter than the C3 and way quieter than a Nolan N-102.

  12. #12
    R100GS, '89 Guenther's Avatar
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    I know this hasn't been asked for but...

    I had a R80/7 in the eighties and I rode 6,000 miles through the USA without a helmet, with two-up and all the camping gear. No earplugs either. I didn't feel the engine was loud.

    So maybe there is a problem with this engine/transmission/rear drive that makes it unbearably noisy?

    I remember when the transmission on my R100GS got new bearings a certain louder noise disappeared.

    /Guenther

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    The Arai RX-Q with ear plugs is a great combination.

  14. #14
    Registered User Woodbutcher's Avatar
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    I have a Shoei Qwest, Shoei Hornet and Nolan N-103. And in that order they are quietest to loudest. However I wear the Nolan the most because I don't have to take my glasses off to take it on and off. The Nolan is almost painful to wear without earplugs on my BMW R1200GSA. It is like the ear pockets amplify mechanical noises. It is much nicer on my DR650. I suspect is has to do with the sound reflections of the BMW and the plastic shape of the helmet around my ears.

    So, I think some helmets are quieter than others by design, but also think that some bike, helmet, and rider position combinations lead to noise.

    Oh, and I ride with earplug 99% of the time. Basically anything over a couple of miles and over 45mph.
    Rusty
    Austin, TX
    Two Wheeled Texans
    2009 R1200GSA

  15. #15
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    From the original post...
    You know, I ride with earplugs all of the time on my RT & find I would like aq quieter helmet than my Arai Profile. Wind noise is still too much for my liking.
    John.

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