Reducing wind noise! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Reducing wind noise!

Hi all, I spent most of last summer attempting to achieve a quiet ride at motorway speeds. It is difficult!
Various screen and helmet configurations were tried but by far the most effective procedure was to seal the gap around my neck and wear earplugs. Most of you will know this already but I have discovered that earplugs are a very personal "fit" and some expensive ones were crap for me. The best I have found after trying lots, are the silicone mouldable ones... my ear canals must be different sizes and the only ones that really work for me are the mouldable ones which pretty well seal out all the wind noise.

7 Pairs - Adult Custom Moldable Soft Silicone Putty Swimming & Sleeping Earplugs | eBay

The difference is astonishing and if you just fit one you will hear the difference!

In conclusion, after countless hours and huge amounts of expenditure the solution cost 2.48! I never ride without them and they are by a country mile the best mod I have done to any of my bikes.

ps changing various screens (on various touring bikes) was an interesting exercise and proved to me that a motorbike screen HAS to be adjustable to be effective. The environment at 30 mph is so different to that at 70mph... some screens work well at certain speeds but it is just a trade off of variables including rider height. BMW have got the right idea with the electric screen. All the rest are just "better" in certain circumstances. Most aftermarket screens I tried were noisier than stock.

pps - not suitable for a versys but this screen is as good as they get..... https://www.werksparts.com/
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 07:19 AM
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Agreed. I first tried earplugs on a bike about 20 years ago and have never ridden without them since. I don't know how I rode without them for the first 10 or so years of my street riding, or the damage I may have done to my hearing. Can hear the bike and other vehicles much better with earplugs in, not to mention how it dramatically cuts down on fatigue.

As for air pocket management, I've had bikes that I never got quite right despite many tweaks of windscreens, etc. and I've others that were great right out of the box. The best was my last bike before the Versys -- a ZR-7S Kwacker that I put a taller Zero Gravity screen on. That gave me perfect, non-turbulent airflow at all speeds. The Versys' OEM screen works very well for me, but I wanted less airflow in the cold (I'm one of those idiots who ride all year) so now I've got the Puig "Touring" screen on, which creates a bit of rough airflow between about 45-65 MPH; OK below and above that. Not the perfect solution, so I'm considering options; a lot of good info on this forum on that. Hoping to read more about the Nat'l Cycle V-stream before I go all "Madstad."
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 12:06 PM
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I'm glad my first bike, when I was 19, was a full touring bike with fixed fairing and huge windshield. Would have never thought about wearing ear plugs.

I wear the contour foam plugs in lime green from walmart, but on long tours I have to switch up with the swimmers silicone ones because my ear canal can get irritated.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 12:19 PM
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I haven't done any rides in excess of 200 miles yet with the Versys but I don't believe I will need ear plugs. I wore them regularly when riding the 1500 Vulcan with V&H pipes. I used the custom mold your own ear plugs and they worked well. I still carry ear plugs for those times that a side wind sets up and causes high helmet noise.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 12:59 PM
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I haven't done any rides in excess of 200 miles yet with the Versys but I don't believe I will need ear plugs....
Duffy - IF you have access to a 'spare' $5,000 (or so) to buy hearing aids, continue w/out ear plugs....

IF $ are occasionally 'tight' for you so you don't have that 'spare' $5,000 hanging around - suggest you start wearing the plugs so you DON'T suddenly find your hearing is gone. MY aids were $6,000Canadian for the pair.

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My Versys trip to D2D 2013, June '13

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 01:38 PM
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I really like my SureFire Sonic Defenders. They have multiple sizes so you should be able to get a pair that are comfortable. I wear mediums and I don't even notice them after a bit. They also have a little flap you can open to get more or less noise through. Work great for shooting too if you are in to that

http://www.surefire.com/ep3-sonic-defenders.html

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Duffy - IF you have access to a 'spare' $5,000 (or so) to buy hearing aids, continue w/out ear plugs....

IF $ are occasionally 'tight' for you so you don't have that 'spare' $5,000 hanging around - suggest you start wearing the plugs so you DON'T suddenly find your hearing is gone. MY aids were $6,000Canadian for the pair.

I wear them when I think I need them (I never ride without a helmet), most of the damage to my hearing was done over a 24 year Navy career dealing with jet aircraft and aircraft carriers. Driving a non-air conditioned diesel 18 wheeler for 20 years didn't help any either. I'm not too worried about the Versys damaging it much farther. I only ride about 5000 miles a year.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:09 PM
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I looked a lot at reducing the noise at the helmet, I was even trying to invent something.
But then I got the 2015 V and the Givi windshield.

Reducing the noise at the helmet is just trying to reduce the effect... but the cause is the turbulence produced in front of the bike.
Since I got the Givi windshield, I have a nice "bubble" around me, with a lot less noise: I can clearly hear the engine at higher speed, I can listen music without closing my helmet.

If you want to reduce the impact on your hearing...... get a nice windshield!

I do use ear plugs on long trips.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 04:01 PM
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I wear them when I think I need them (I never ride without a helmet), most of the damage to my hearing was done over a 24 year Navy career dealing with jet aircraft and aircraft carriers. Driving a non-air conditioned diesel 18 wheeler for 20 years didn't help any either. I'm not too worried about the Versys damaging it much farther. I only ride about 5000 miles a year.
As my hearing-aid dealer said - PROTECT whatever hearing you STILL have, as it will NOT improve! (A .303 blank was fired into my helmet about 3" from my ear when I was in the infantry, leading to a 90dB drop in accuity in my left ear.)

I wear ear protection when using noisy tools, lawnmowers, drills, etc.
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My Versys trip to D2D 2013, June '13

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My Versys trip to D2D 2015, June '15

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chid View Post
I looked a lot at reducing the noise at the helmet, I was even trying to invent something.
But then I got the 2015 V and the Givi windshield.

Reducing the noise at the helmet is just trying to reduce the effect... but the cause is the turbulence produced in front of the bike.
Since I got the Givi windshield, I have a nice "bubble" around me, with a lot less noise: I can clearly hear the engine at higher speed, I can listen music without closing my helmet.

If you want to reduce the impact on your hearing...... get a nice windshield!

I do use ear plugs on long trips.
I also have the Givi.........it makes for a nice ride but not as nice as a batwing with a big shield.
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