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Hi all,

I'm a fairly new rider with a brand new '15 V 650.

Yesterday I went on a group ride, about 150 miles on back roads + 50 each way on the highway to get to & from the start point. On the way back, the last 50 miles or so, I followed some of the group members at 75-80 mph indicated speed (73-78 per the GPS). When I got home, my ears were ringing like I'd been in the front row at a rock concert.

I didn't really feel a wind blast hitting my face, but I heard a constant 'ripple' near the top of my head, like there was turbulent air hitting it. There was the normal non-specific wind 'whoosh', and the exhaust noise from the Victory cruiser in front of me.

I had earplugs in, but they were 12db musician's ear plugs, and they might have been a bit loose, so they weren't doing much. Helmet is a Shoei RF-1200, which I wore with the visor closed.

I'll definitely get some stronger ear plugs, the foam ones that are like 24db. Besides that, should I also consider a different helmet and/or windscreen? Or just ride slower? :)

Appreciate any help.
 

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Jim, I use 3M #1100 earplugs, 29 decibel. Work very well and comfortable too. I buy a case of them (500 pairs) and give them to others to try.

No ringing in the ears for me.
 

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Try raising or lowering the windshield.

Also the noise maybe from the bottom on the helmet. I put a chin dam in my Qwest and it helped a lot. You can check by just blocking off the chin area with you hand while riding and see if the noise gets lessens.
 

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being on the tall side i know your pain id recomend lower your screen to were the wind is hitting just below your neck, this will reduce buffering and neck strain (neck strain highly comes from wind hitting bottom of the helmet pushing your head down, in turn making you have to try to look up more.. or go full tourer and get a big ass windshild and have almost no wind hit you at all (not as fun but more "comfortable"
 
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Hey Jim, another new '15 owner here.

My last bike was a cruiser style with no windshield. My helmet was decently quiet on that bike. I always wear good earplugs, too.

FYI if you don't already know it, musician plugs don't attenuate the high freqs as much as regular earplugs. ANSI (iirc) test standards weight higher freqs more heavily because those freqs do more hearing damage than low freqs. So an earplug can get a "better" noise attenuation rating by blocking more of the highs, giving a bad fidelity for music. Thus music ear plugs have a flatter frequency response and a poorer noise rating.

Since the high freqs cause hearing damage, wear better plugs when not playing or listening to loud music.

On the '15 Versys I find the windshield to be fine up until about highway speeds for noise. Though I don't experience unpleasant helmet buffet like some complain about, I do have a lot of low freq noise rumble. I enjoy riding at highway speeds (65mph typically). There seems to be turbulence off the top of the windshield causing the noise at those speeds, even though there isn't really wind pushing my helmet around at those speeds.

Changing the height of the windshield may move that turbulence away from the helmet. Someone makes a replacement windshield which has a more tilted angle, that bolts onto the existing metal supports for the factory windshield, that is supposed to block the wind better. A quick search on this forum should find it.
 

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...I had earplugs in, but they were 12db musician's ear plugs, and they might have been a bit loose, so they weren't doing much. Helmet is a Shoei RF-1200, which I wore with the visor closed....
I use ear-plugs I buy at Home Depot, "STANLEY PersonalProtection"
NRR32. They come in a container of 80 pair, colored yellow/pink, and anatomically shaped. I don't remember the cost, but somewhere near $20 I believe.

I ALWAYS ride w/ them IN.

:goodidea:
 

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Walmart green contoured 33db ear plugs, so they don't keep popping out.

Duck down on your tank, you have a real nice size stock screen (I'm jealous.) Highway speeds, it's always better to duck behind your screen for noise and gas mileage too.

Stealth rubber/metal backbone shield edging (from a company that sells Can-do carnubu(?) spray wax) gives you up to an extra 3" of air envelope around your shield or wherever you put it.

And of course taller/larger screen to duck behind, but is more air resistance.

The Givi Air Flow scoop compresses air over your head and noise too. I'll put mine on one of these days, but my long Givi screen is good enough for now any way (Huh? What did you say? :) You can hear your engine at any speed, and you don't need to put your helmet visor down until over 80 mph: it's magic. It's more effective than taller/larger screen and much more quiet.

Quality helmets WITH matching visors (not ebay substitutes) are nice. My Shoei 1100 is the nicest helmet I've had and I appreciate it. Bad fitting face shields banging are MOST of noise on helmets.

A good fitting helmet. One day, I tried on almost every helmet in Motor Helmets until my shaved head was bleeding, lol. XL Shoei 1100 fits like a charm on me :)

----------------------------------------------------

There is no one thing. It's a constant effort!
 

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Jim,

I've got a new V 1000. The stock windscreen is pretty much useless at high speed. I recently installed a Puig Touring Screen and at half-height it's perfect. Madstad makes an awesome screen but it's pricey. MRA makes excellent screens as well. Other than that try a chin curtain. You should have gotten one with your Shoei.
 

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I just installed a PUIG screen too on my 650, totally changed the noise. Before my ears would ring but now it is perfect. I can ride visor up and not have any wind flying into my eyes. Air breaks an inch from the top of the helmet. I think it'll lower top speed by 2-3 but I haven't tested with just myself on the bike yet. I couldn't break 108MPH riding two up. Great windscreen though.

Puig 5999H Amazon.com: Puig 5999H Light Smoke Touring Screen: Automotive
 

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I have my screen all the way down on my '14 Versys to keep buffeting to a minimum and ride with a shoei quest helmet. I have headphones installed and listen to music while riding but just loud enough to hear the music up to 75 mph. I do go faster at times but only to get away from bad drivers or to change lanes when no other solution works.

It could be that my ears are old and don't respond to high frequencies. But my last bike was a dr659 with no wind protection and got used to the wind over the years.

I'd recommend following sport utilities, vans and trucks on the freeway. It is slower but for longer distances big vehicles make freeway riding much more pleasant. You still get the benefit a good distance behind them so there's no need to follow closely.

Most cruiser bikes are very loud from behind. I try to steer clear of following them as a general rule. Long distance riding is about endurance not speed. You need to stay in tune with your body, drink plenty of water and adjust your riding style to compensate for fatigue whenever it feels uncomfortable.

I've learned that any speed over 75 wears me out in as a little as 30 minutes. The most difficult thing about riding is recognizing your limits and stay under 80% of them most of the time.

From your description of events I believe the root cause was the bikes in front of you. It sucks but people with loud bikes are a hazard that you need to avoid to truly enjoy riding.

Group rides can be fun but they can also be really dangerous when people bunch up. There's no harm in deciding that a particular group of riders are too loud, too aggressive or just to reckless and breaking off on your own in the name of safety or comfort.
 

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Jim, I use 3M #1100 earplugs, 29 decibel. Work very well and comfortable too. I buy a case of them (500 pairs) and give them to others to try.

No ringing in the ears for me.
The best and cheapest solution and keep your ear drums safe.
 
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