Motorcycle users need to use ear plugs because the noise caused by turbulent air buffeting a motorcycle helmet almost always exceeds safe levels. Most bikers will be familiar with the ringing in the ears experienced at the end of a high speed ride, but would probably be shocked to know how far above the allowable safe levels helmet noise can be. Speeds as low as 30 mph can produce noise levels at the ear that would be illegal in a working environment (source: 'Noise Levels and Noise Reduction Under Motorcycle Helmets', D.W.Hurst et al, University of Southampton), and, because a motorcyclist is exposed to this high level of noise almost throughout a typical ride, it is virtually inevitable that cumulative and irreversible loss of hearing will occur. The absolute maximum noise level ever allowable in a working environment is 87dB(A); the wind noise suffered by a motorcyclist doing just 55mph is typically around 90dB(A) and constant. Above 55mph, noise levels will increase by approximately 2 dB(A) for every ten per cent increase in roadspeed. Every 3dB(A) is a DOUBLING of the noise threat.
The level of noise experienced at a motorcyclist's ears can be reduced significantly by sealing the gap between the base of the helmet and the rider's neck. A further reduction can be achieved if a strip of draught excluder fills the gap between the visor's upper edge and the body of the helmet. It is also possible to reduce noise levels significantly by crouching behind the windshield so that the turbulent air passes over the rider's head, but this is not comfortable for long periods and does not allow the motorcyclist to have a good view of the road. Unfortunately, the best windscreen height for getting airflow off the rider's body whilst allowing a good view of the road is 'poor' in terms of its effect on noise levels at the ear (source: D.W. Hurst et al).
By far the most effective reduction in noise levels will be achieved with a pair of custom-fitted ear plugs, manufactured to the wearer's particular ear canal contours. Perhaps surprisingly, even sophisticated Active Noise Reduction systems have proved to be fairly ineffective when there is contact between the helmet inner and the earplug outer surface, so the plugs must fit securely into the ears and not portrude. A system such as AudioFit's ProtectHear product is ideal and can achieve over 30dB of noise reduction - that's enough to protect you through many years of motorcycle riding, without any damage at all to your hearing.
Solo or pillion, it's essential to protect your ears against wind noise - but many bikers will also want to have two-way communication or listen to some other audio source as they ride. It may be that contact with base is an essential part of the work you do or the service you provide, it may simply be that you and your pillion like to be able to speak to each other and listen to music when you are on two wheels. If you are going to be using a comms system a lot, it makes sense to spend your money on a product that will be supremely comfortable and make it easier to hear what you want to. AudioFit's NanoComm systems come with the popular 'Nexus' socket as standard, but we can configure our custom-fitted headsets to fit the sockets of almost any mainstream motorcycle audio system - just tell us which system you want to plug in to and we will produce headsets to match. With the expert fitting service provided by AudioFit, you can have the best in wearing comfort, hi-fi listening and your choice of audio electronics. A NanoComm system really is just about the best motorcycle intercom you can get.
With the ultra-high speeds involved in motorcycle racing and the very much louder levels of exhaust and engine noise, it is even more important that the rider should get the best in hearing protection. The ProtectHear filtered ear plugs from AudioFit are manufactured to match casts taken from your ears by a trained AudioFit specialist, so ProtectHear will deliver best in class protection and will allow you to race in comfort. Let's face it, the last thing you want on your mind during a motorcycle race is some set of cheap earplugs that are falling out of your ears despite your best efforts to force them in there. Ear protection is one thing you should just sort out, once and for all, so you can forget about it. If you use an audio feed from your pit crew, take a look at our MotoSOUND product: specifically designed for motor racing by people who understand audio clarity and can deliver it.
Custom-fitted ear plugs from AudioFit have the performance level you need.