I have long been aware that wind noise contributes massively to the fatiguing effects of riding a motorcycle; pretty understandable given that at motorway speeds the volume inside a helmet is apparently the equivalent to having a pneumatic drill pounding away at you.
So I had been toying with the idea of getting some personal ear plugs rather than continually nicking from the office stash of disposable freebies we give out at shows 😉 . At the Aberdare Road Races I decided to utilise the time spent waiting for it to stop raining by finally acting on this idea, and I had casts taken of my ears to have plugs made which fit me and me only.
The sensation was simply the strangest thing I have experienced in a long time; it is neither natural nor pleasant to have goo injected that far down your lug-holes.
The jury is still out on whether it was worth it. I did get a pretty good deal cash-wise, and I did get to choose bright blue to match my bike and satisfy the girliness in me. However, I’m just not sure 😕 .
They are quite solid, which surprised me – I think I expected softer, more malleable rubber. This means my ears now get bashed by my helmet each time I pull it on or off. It also means after a long journey my ears can feel quite tired – really not something I would call ‘normal’.
I have also found them quite a hassle to insert, although I am hoping this is just a matter of technique improving over time. It is definately a two-handed affair, and it is all too easy to get the angle off just slightly, and you will be fumbling for ages, cursing (a lot) and getting less and less likely to fit them with each mini-tantrum. On the other hand, sometimes I manage it within seconds, and wonder what the fuss on the previous ride had been about. Which just confuses me further.
I think the conclusion I am almost at is that when i’m out for a decent spin on my bike then yep, genius, cuts out almost every last bit of wind noise (I chose the filter level for race & motorway use rather than normal road use), and I can hear my bike’s engine crisper than ever, which is great. Definately worth the hassle.
However, when out as a pillion? Or on just a short run-around? No thanks, I think i’d rather just have a little noise and get to where I am going without the extra palarva.