Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Motorcycles, Scooters, and Hearing Loss - What You Need To Know

My ears are constantly ringing and I have permanent hearing loss most likely from riding my motorcycle over a number of years without hearing protection. So it's of the utmost importance that we bikers take precautions by wearing ear plugs when riding.

There is no getting around the fact that wind blast is detrimental to our hearing over a period of time. All that noise catches up to us years later. Just wearing a helmet, even a full face one isn't going to do the job. In fact depending on the helmet, it could make it even more harmful by channeling the air to the ear or changing the noise to a different pitch or frequency.

Most people I know don't wear any hearing protection and I didn't either until it was too late. When I finally started wearing ear plugs I only wore them on the long ride. But the effect of all that wind blast is cumulative, so I finally wised up. To prevent further damage I wear ear plugs every time now and strongly urge you to do so as well.

When using ear plugs at first it seems unnatural in some way to be riding in relative quiet. But you get used to it, and once you do, you won't miss that wind blast anymore. In fact the noise will be irritating and a distraction from the riding experience. -Kano's Coffee House

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Reference Links - Motorcycle Facts tinnitus page
OSHA Noise and Hearing Conservation

Silencio Soft Foam Ear Plugs Dispenser Box 100 Set Pack


Anonymous said...

You make a good point Kano...I know I should do this. Thanks for the nudge.

Kano said...

Yep, it's amazing how many motorcyclists out there that don't even think about the effect of all that wind blast, hour after hour of riding. That's a lotta noise! I hope a lot of people read this post so more people can become aware of this problem. Thanks for your feedback Sarch.

Heinz & Frenchie said...

Thanks for making us aware of this. Since we are new to the 2 wheel world, we have a lot to learn. But we are like sponges so just keep pouring it on us.

Kano said...

Heinz and Frenchie- Thanks and OK will do.

Steve Williams said...

I always wear earplugs. My pockets are littered with blaze orange and purple foam plugs and they are scattered about my office, under the seat of the scooter, and just about anywhere I put something down.

Earplugs improve the ride. I can hear myself sing. And I'm not worn out by wind. I can still hear the birdies sing.

Good post Kano. I think a lot of riders aren't aware of the potential for hearing loss. And they certainly aren't aware of the better riding experience. In my opinion.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Kano said...

Steve-yep it's amazing to me how few people even think of earplugs for riding. It hadn't even crossed my mind either until about 5 years ago when I read a magazine article about it. I think the word just hasn't got out or people don't feel an immediate threat to their well being so they don't care.