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Thread: Earplugs/hearing protection

  1. #1
    Morning Person
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    Earplugs/hearing protection

    Do you use earplugs? What kind? Thanks.

  2. #2
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    Fluets. From Walmart. The bright green shaped ones. Use them every ride. Do a nice job of quieting sounds yet still allow a bit more ambient sound that in a car with windows up. It makes a ride much more relaxed feeling. You can ride longer without feeling stressed from wind and mechanical noise.

    My daughter thinks they look like the ear wax candles from Shriek. They will give you multiple days use if they don't get wet or damp from dew even. They are cheap and a bag of them lives in my saddlebag.

    NCS
    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
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    74 Honda CB750 K4

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    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    This topic is very subjective and almost as bad as an oil thread.

    I use 3M 1100 ear plugs. The local firemen use them going to a fire when their truck sirens are on. Sirens = 160 db.
    Walter

    G. K. Chesterton wrote - "The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see."

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    I tried several over the counter types and they all made my ears hurt.
    Had a custom made set at a rally several years ago , they did not make my ears hurt and did the job well.
    I am planning to replace them with another custom set this year .
    The fit is not as good as it once was and even thought i wash them they are beginning to show their age.

  5. #5
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I have been happily using Howard Leight Laser Lite ear plugs for about 15 years now. One of the best performing disposable ear plugs and specifically made for narrower ear canals (like mine). Most of the larger Max type disposables make my ears hurt after a few hours, i can wear the Laser Lites all day comfortably. And as foam ear plugs work not by just being in your ear canal but by expanding to fill your ear canal they work wonderfully. I go through a $25 box of 200 pairs about every other year and use them also for things like flying on smaller commuter jets, sleeping in noisy campgrounds, at the shooting range, etc. I have tried a lot over the years and no other disposable plug comes close for me.

    Seton Safety has the cheapest price on the Internet for the big boxes, google seton and free shipping for the current free shipping code.

    Edit: here is a pic (available in corded or, my choice, uncorded...)
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
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  6. #6
    Morning Person
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    Quote Originally Posted by walterK75 View Post
    This topic is very subjective and almost as bad as an oil thread.

    I use 3M 1100 ear plugs. The local firemen use them going to a fire when their truck sirens are on. Sirens = 160 db.
    Thanks, Walter, for the recommendation. I just ordered a box of 200 3M 1100's from Amazon for $19.95.

  7. #7
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    Earplug Thread

    Just to round out this discussion. . .

    I just spent $120 on a set of custom-molded plugs (at a gun-show), and they work GREAT -- That is, as long as I don't yawn, open my jaws, or breathe through my mouth! This is the second set of molded plugs that have not delivered a quiet ride. Molded work great for many people, but they don't seem to work well for me, compared to properly-set disposables.

    Do I need to write, "YRMV" for a thread l like this? I think not.

    Now, I'm back to foam plugs, and do agree that the Lites are excellent for folks with small canals (mine).

    Another excellent option, and I've tried a LOT of disposables, is the HEARO "Xtreme Series." These are BLUE, just have a tapered cone-shape, and can be found in a lot of drugstores, gun shops, etc. 33db, and they work great for small-canal me.

    PROPER USE/INSERTION is a MUST when using disposables.

    I don't ride more than a block or two without plugs -- can't stand wind noise, which WILL make you DEAF given the db level and exposure duration of our chosen sport. Your choice: My last set of hearing aids cost around $6,000.

    Walking Eagle

  8. #8
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    Re: foam disposables. Let's say you ride "x" miles to a spot for breakfast...do you remove your earplugs? Do you put them in a bag, then re-insert for the ride home? Any concerns about ear infections if re-inserting the plugs? I ask, because I read a book by RUSH drummer Neil Peart (a BMW rider...or should I say "ultimate BMW rider", since he rides mega-miles), and he mentioned having problems with ear infections due to the long time the plugs were in his ears. I think he had to wear headphones sometimes on stage, instead of in-ear monitors because of this problem. Just curious...

  9. #9
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    Re: foam disposables. Let's say you ride "x" miles to a spot for breakfast...do you remove your earplugs? Do you put them in a bag, then re-insert for the ride home? Any concerns about ear infections if re-inserting the plugs? I ask, because I read a book by RUSH drummer Neil Peart (a BMW rider...or should I say "ultimate BMW rider", since he rides mega-miles), and he mentioned having problems with ear infections due to the long time the plugs were in his ears. I think he had to wear headphones sometimes on stage, instead of in-ear monitors because of this problem. Just curious...
    I've worn foamies since the early 80s. Used to throw them in the wash when they got dirty, now I just throw them away and grab a new pair from the box-of-200 on the garage wall.

    I've had no ear infections, nor concerns about them. And - this may be TMI for some - sometimes I've even lubed them with spit before insertion. I don't know what Peart's ear canals are like, but many of us use foam plugs all day for days on end with no difficulties.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  10. #10
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    I have very narrow ear canals, and foam plugs won't stay in place. I've been wearing custom molded plugs ($50 at the bike show) for a few years now and wouldn't dream of riding without them.

  11. #11
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    Re: foam disposables. Let's say you ride "x" miles to a spot for breakfast...do you remove your earplugs? Do you put them in a bag, then re-insert for the ride home? Any concerns about ear infections if re-inserting the plugs?
    Nope, nope, and just don't do it. I don't reuse, new pair every time. Buying by the 200ct box (to the tune of about 12 cents a pair) and stuffing a bunch in the various pockets of my Aerostich, along with a few emergency pairs in the RT's fairing pocket, make it easy. Once they munged up from repeated use they don't really go in easily or work very well anyway.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  12. #12
    Morning Person
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    Nope, nope, and just don't do it. I don't reuse, new pair every time. Buying by the 200ct box (to the tune of about 12 cents a pair) and stuffing a bunch in the various pockets of my Aerostich, along with a few emergency pairs in the RT's fairing pocket, make it easy. Once they munged up from repeated use they don't really go in easily or work very well anyway.
    Sure...that makes sense. For the price, a new pair each time is cheap insurance. Thanks. Figure a box of 200 ought to last a year (so...$20 a year...not a big deal).

  13. #13
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Read about how to insert foam ear plugs so they seat properly.
    I do reuse my ear plugs until they get so soft they no longer block out the noise as much as when new. When I hear more noise or the plugs feel very soft, I replace them. Aesthetically if they look ugly and dirty, I replace them regardless of how long I've used them. No ear infections or problems like that for five riding seasons to date.
    Walter

    G. K. Chesterton wrote - "The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see."

  14. #14
    Lucky motorradmike's Avatar
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    I've been using foam plugs for 25 years.
    Putting dirty ones back in is gross but hasn't caused me any problems. YMMV

    I often forget them in pockets and when the pants are washed, the plugs come out looking new.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  15. #15
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    I have been using the Howard Leight Max ear plugs on every ride more than a mile or so. I will get one day's use out of each pair, reusing them several times in a day.

    As far as cleanliness goes, it helps to wash your hands before inserting the ear plugs so they go in clean.

    This thread has caught my attention. My big box of Max plugs is almost empty. I probably will switch to a Lite version. I think I have some Lite's I got from the safety guy here at work that I can try before ordering a big box.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

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