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Thread: Helmets...and WIND NOISE!

  1. #1
    Morning Person
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    Helmets...and WIND NOISE!

    I used to ride a Suzuki back in the 1980's, with a $100 Bell helmet. I don't recall being bugged by noise.

    Now I ride a BMW F800ST with a Shoei Multitec helmet (not cheap) and I am dealing with wind noise. I use ear plugs, and just ordered a new windscreen that hopefully will help.

    But...is the helmet part of the problem?

  2. #2
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    i'm not a helmet expert but I did some SHOEI shopping this year. I believe the Neotec was designed for a more upright seating position.

    while the st is not a completely forward seating position your head might not be at the angle intended for the helmet design

    i ended up with the rf1100 which wasn't intended for the upright position of my bike but after a test ride i knew it was the right helmet for me.

    i could be way off on the helmet design thing but...
    ----------
    Kris - 2007 f650GS

  3. #3
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    I have noise with the new model Nolan n104 riding a 1200GS with stock screen. Earplugs eliminate pretty much all noise.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  4. #4
    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    My new Scorpion 1100 seems pretty noisy too. Even with ear plugs in it seems abnormally noisy. I'm going to try a couple other helmets to see if their the same.
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

  5. #5
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    I used to ride a Suzuki back in the 1980's, with a $100 Bell helmet. I don't recall being bugged by noise.

    Now I ride a BMW F800ST with a Shoei Multitec helmet (not cheap) and I am dealing with wind noise. I use ear plugs, and just ordered a new windscreen that hopefully will help.

    But...is the helmet part of the problem?
    I had a similar experience. I started riding motorcycles in the 70's in North Dakota. I only had an open face helmet with a face shield, I never used earplugs of any kind. Never remember having an issue with noise.

    Flash forward to the late 90's/early 2000's. Nolan N100 flip that was a noise generator in the wind. Foam plugs remedied the problem, but I couldn't help but wonder if my memory was bad or what.

    Some flipups can be noisier than a solid full face. At least my Nolan N100 was a LOT noisier than my HJC, which is frankly, a much less expensive helmet.

    So, to answer your question, your helmet *might* be part of the problem, as might the wind buffeting off your windshield. I'd use earplugs no matter what. There are MANY threads that discuss earplugs.

    But I can't help wondering if that old open face sealed out the wind better, or if I was just a kid that ignored the wind noise and recovered quickly because of my age.
    -----------------------------------------
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  6. #6
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    Those old bikes and traffic were a bunch slower than you probably ride now. And remember that you're also used to a car that is much quieter than cars of 30 years ago.

    Helmet total aero matters a lot. In general, the Italian stuff is relatively noisey as are most but not all of the cheap ones. The fit of the neck roll, interaction with your shield (if any), angle of your head while riding, etc all have big effects.

    Even reading the reviews at webbikeworld means only a little- they will be on a different bike and fitted to a different head so may not apply directly to you.

  7. #7
    Long Range Rifleman
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    Never had much wind noise when I had a Bell Magnum open face with a visor.

    I HATE the low rumble I constantly have to deal with even with ear plugs in my full face helmet. (MUCH quieter with the front half flipped up) and it's hotter than hell in summer.

    I'll be switching to an open face after winter. ATTGAT be damned, enough is enough.

  8. #8
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    I used to ride a Suzuki back in the 1980's, with a $100 Bell helmet. I don't recall being bugged by noise.

    Now I ride a BMW F800ST with a Shoei Multitec helmet (not cheap) and I am dealing with wind noise. I use ear plugs, and just ordered a new windscreen that hopefully will help.

    But...is the helmet part of the problem?
    You mention NOISE, not BUFFETING as the issue. While I've certainly had windscreens increase the latter, never the former by much. But here are a few things to try:
    1. Be sure you are inserting the foam plugs correctly (moistened in your mouth, rolled tightly, inserted deeply while pulling up the top of your earlobe with the opposite hand, held in place with your index finger until fully expanded so not sticking out of your ear canal.) Pull out forcefully on the helmet straps as you don the helmet so it doesn't dislodge those carefully inserted earplugs. Take a few "marching steps." If it sounds like there is a bass drum in your head, the ear plugs are doing their job. I don't mean to be insulting, but I've seen many people install foam plugs in a way they can not possibly do their job and I've slightly dislodged enough of my own plugs with the helmet to develop the "tramp test."
    2. If the problem persists, try standing on your pegs where it is both safe and you can ride fast enough to have a real problem in your normal riding position. If all you hear is soft wind noise, try angling your head your head down to your normal riding position. Any change? If both positions are quiet, your helmet is not the problem. If both positions are still noisy, it IS the problem, not your windscreen.
    3. That "clean air" when standing on the pegs IS slightly quieter than in my normal riding position on my bike.

    Please give my suggestions a try and report back. Many of us believe that a quiet ride is not only important to your hearing but to pleasure and safety on the road. We will help you solve the problem.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  9. #9
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Fit

    My Nolan flip makes a lot of noise; but the same helmet in a size smaller, makes little noise. I wear the smaller size in the winter; but I need the larger one for summer because of ventilation.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  10. #10
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    Maybe that's why Harley riders don't wear helmets, on account of the noise a helmet generates.
    Last edited by rjzinc; 09-27-2012 at 10:22 PM.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  11. #11
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by NI5L View Post
    Never had much wind noise when I had a Bell Magnum open face with a visor.

    I HATE the low rumble I constantly have to deal with even with ear plugs in my full face helmet. (MUCH quieter with the front half flipped up) and it's hotter than hell in summer.

    I'll be switching to an open face after winter. ATTGAT be damned, enough is enough.
    Actually, the noisiest helmets I own are the full faced or worse yet, the modulars. 90% of all helmet noise (all makes) comes up from the neckline. The rest seeps in thru vents, shields, etc.

    I too notice that when I raise my shield, I actually have less rumble and whistling then when enclosed.

    Buying a good-quality 3/4 helmet may not protect your jawline, but you'd still be ATGATT, and with a whole lot less decibels to deal with.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by Greenwald; 09-28-2012 at 12:35 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  12. #12
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    There are collars that one can buy which help seal off the base of the helmet. This is supposed to reduce rumble and possibly other noise. Don't know if they work.
    Walter

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    H. L. Mencken

  13. #13
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    I rode in high school and college back in the 1980s, and then returned to riding in 2006. My first helmet in 2006 was a Shoei Multitec. I loved the helmet.

    When the Multitec reached 5 years of age in 2011, I researched what was available and decided to go with the Schuberth C3.

    The Schuberth C3 is several orders of magnitude quieter than the Multitec. In fact, when I was researching my purchase, I discovered that the C3 is the only helmet where additional ear protection (i.e. ear plugs) are recommended instead of required. If I recall the review/comparison in MCN a year or so back, the C3 was something like 20 db quieter than the 2nd quietest helmet.

    As mentioned above, Shoei now offers the "Neotec". I think Shoei tried to include as many of the C3's features in the "Neotec", because the features list is very similar. If you like the fit of your current Shoei helmet, I'd certainly investigate the noise attenuation of the Neotec along with the C3.

    The C3 is also the lightest modular helmet on the market, which makes your neck and shoulders happier at the end of a long day.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  14. #14
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by walterK75 View Post
    There are collars that one can buy which help seal off the base of the helmet. This is supposed to reduce rumble and possibly other noise. Don't know if they work.
    I bought one a few years ago and haven't used it since. It really didn't make much of a difference, at least for me.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  15. #15
    Mind is not for rent
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    When I transitioned from a half helmet to a full face, I was shocked at the increase in noise. Even with custom-molded earplugs, a full face is substantially noisier. Modulars even more so.

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