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Motorcycle Hearing Protection

Hearing Protection Articles From Pfaff Harley-Davidson®

It’s no secret that motorcycles can be loud. Like, really loud. For many riders, that’s part of the fun. No one wants to blend in on a motorcycle, and that noise can also help make you more obvious to other motorists, which will keep you safer. But that noise can also do some serious damage to your hearing if you don’t protect your ears from it. Hearing damage of this nature is also permanent and irreversible, so if you want to be able to hear your loved ones into old age, it’s worth learning about motorcycle hearing protection and making it a regular part of your riding routine.

Read on to learn about why hearing protection is so important and how you can implement it. If you’re looking for a new bike or you just want to see the latest models from Harley-Davidson, stop by Pfaff Harley-Davidson®. We’re located in Richmond Hill, Ontario, near Toronto, Markham, Vaughan, and Newmarket, Ontario.

Why Hearing Protection is So Important

You might be asking yourself something like “motorcycles are loud, but are they really dangerously loud?” The answer is yes and no. The noise from the engine has government-enforced limits, so your bike can’t be louder than 88 decibels at 50 feet away. In and of itself, that’s pretty loud, and it’s loud enough to do some damage to your hearing. Being exposed to noises above 85 decibels for sustained periods can cause hearing loss. But that’s not the whole story on motorcycles.

The noise from your engine can actually be less damaging than the noise from the wind when you’re riding. When riding at only 60 kmh, you’ll experience as much as 90 decibels of noise. That number increases significantly as you speed up. At 160 kmh, about 100 mph, you’ll experience 110 decibels of noise. That’s enough to cause serious damage. Unfortunately, your helmet does very little to protect you, and some evidence shows that your helmet can vibrate and produce a frequency of 250hz, which could potentially be harmful in and of itself.

The Best Hearing Protection for Motorcycles

The first consideration when choosing hearing protection is how it will work with your helmet. Your helmet is the more important piece of the equation because wearing a worse-fitting or lower quality helmet just to accommodate hearing protection may cause more problems than it solves.

With most helmets, you won’t be able to use earmuffs, band-style, or lanyard ear protection. That basically leaves you with various types of the earplug. If you have a favorite or trust variety, stick with that. If not, a simple foam earplug is probably your best option. These earplugs can block up to 35 decibels of volume. That will bring you well below the 85-decibel threshold for both engine and riding noise.

How to Correctly Use Hearing Protection

How you put your earplugs in is important. Start by holding an earplug in your right hand and roll it between your thumb, forefinger, and index finger to compress its diameter. Once it’s significantly more compressed, reach over the top of your head with your left arm and pull on the top of your ear. This will help to open up your ear canal, allowing for a straight insertion. Place the earplug in your ear and then repeat the process on the opposite side. Allow the earplugs to expand for a minute or so to make sure they are in place when you put on your helmet.

Motorcycle hearing protection is extremely important, so don’t put your hearing at risk! A pack of earplugs is generally extremely affordable and widely available. If you’re looking for a new bike or parts and services for your current one, stop by Pfaff Harley-Davidson®. We’re located in Richmond Hill, Ontario, near Toronto, Markham, Vaughan, and Newmarket, Ontario.