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Thread: I hate my helmet...HELP

  1. #16
    Registered User David13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    There is just a lot of noise out there. Ear plugs are a necessity. Of some type, and I have also struggled to get the right ones.
    They say the most noise comes from tire noise. That will never go away, unless, as they are supposedly doing, they come out with quieter tires.
    The new Schuberth S2 full face is advertised as quieter. It's about $750.
    Perhaps closing the air vents cuts down on some noise. I never tried that. But I do get less if I close the visor.

  2. #17
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Just north of Seattle, WA
    I humbly suggest that you get what you pay for.

    I've accumulated 70,000 miles of riding over the past six years since re-entering motorcycling. My first 60,000 were while wearing my Shoei Multitec flip-face, and for the last 10,000 miles, I've been wearing a Schuberth C3.

    The C3 is the only helmet on the market that is quiet enough inside to not need earplugs. It doesn't buffet - at all. It's also the lightest flip-face on the market, which makes a difference on a long day. My prior Multitec didn't have an integrated sun shield. The C3 does, and I'll never own a helmet again that doesn't have this feature.

    I've seen that Shoei has released a new flip-face helmet that looks like a direct competitor to the C3. Were I in the market today, I'd certainly compare the new Shoei to the C3.

    Yes, the C3 is a $700 helmet, and I'm guessing the Shoe is a $500+ helmet, but it's what goes on your head every time you ride. For me, price was far below fit, comfort, quiet, and useful features on my priority list.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  3. #18
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Pismo Beach, CA
    I don't mean to sound demeaning, but are you sure you have installed the earplugs properly. I have trouble getting the foam ones into my left ear canal, and if I don't get it into the ear canal properly, it really doesn't provide much protection. So, make sure you are getting the foam ear plugs installed properly. I really need to roll them tight and install them relatively quickly or they expand too much. Any that's my $0.02.
    I have to wear ear plugs at work... there is a "proper" way to insert them.

    WARNING: TURN OFF YOUR AUDIO before watching this video...

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  4. #19
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Tiverton, RI

    I have been using this helmet and love it...
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
    I answer to Roy, Chief, or Sarg.
    04 R-1150-RT current bike. 94 R-1100-RS74,383, Sold, 78 R-80/7, K.I.A by a D.U.I

  5. #20
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lancaster County, PA
    I had a modular helmet by a major manufacture, found it too noisy, so went with a similarly featured standard full face by the same brand and it is fine. My Arai is louder than the one I wear now, it all has to do with proper fit and as most mentioned above, airflow.

  6. #21
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Huntersville N.C.
    I have two modular helmets a Shoei and a Scorpion & I never wear ear plugs with either one. I'd quit riding if I had to wear ear plugs. Make sure you don't have any vents open. My Scorpin is loud with the top vent open. How tight does your helmet fit. Mine fit tight enough that it hurts my jaws to chew gum for more than 10 minutes.
    Dave Selvig
    2004 Black LT
    2000 Canyon Red LT

  7. #22
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    B.C. Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by saddleman View Post
    I have two modular helmets a Shoei and a Scorpion & I never wear ear plugs with either one. I'd quit riding if I had to wear ear plugs. Make sure you don't have any vents open. My Scorpin is loud with the top vent open. How tight does your helmet fit. Mine fit tight enough that it hurts my jaws to chew gum for more than 10 minutes.
    As you have probably gathered, Saddleman's opinion is a small minority one. Most of us who are not stone deaf (or possibly own a Schuberth C3) regard PROPERLY INSERTED ear plugs as an absolute necessity to protect our remaining hearing. They also allow us to hear what we need to (sirens, etc.) while blocking the other noise which is not only damaging and annoying but also distracting and tiring. Much of the following has been said before but is worth repeating:

    Try different brands of foam earplugs, do wet them with your tongue, squeeze them as small as they will go, lift the top of your your earlobe with the opposite hand and insert the earplug as far as it will go. Release your earlobe and hold the earplug in place for at least 20 seconds so it doesn't squirt out. (Note than in cold weather the plugs will take longer to expand and in hot weather it can be difficult to get them in before they expand, which is why you always carry extras.) When you don your helmet, be sure to pull out firmly on the chin straps so the helmet clears your ears and doesn't dislodge the earplugs. Now, take a few "marching" steps. If each step produces something like a bass drum sound in your head, the earplugs are properly inserted. (This is preferable to pulling over to the side of the road when you notice the noise.)

    I own two sets of "custom" plugs. Both sets are great for such things as lawn mowing, chain sawing or shotgun shooting. But I have gone back to foam plugs for my right ear when riding - that damn plug just is too easily dislodged, though the left one is great. Ear canals definitely differ.

    "Noise" is an earplug issue, pure and (but not always) simple. "Buffeting" is a windscreen issue. You have to solve both if you are going to enjoy riding and do so safe from these problems.

    Hope this is helpful to the OP.
    1992 K100RS

  8. #23
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    A better modular helmet designed to minimize wind noise helps, but the first culprit is your bike. More specifically the windshield on the RS. I don't wear a modular helmet, but I have been riding my 94 RS since 94 and have tried many different windshields. Your bike is newer and the windshield changed a bit, but not enough to matter. I still love the bike, but the wind noise/buffetting has always been an issue.

    A much lower, almost minimal windshield is probably the most consistent for wind noise, but I won't say it is the most quiet. I like the look and feel of my bike with the stock windshield almost cut down to more of a gauges cover than a windshield. But the bugs and crap are too much to take for more than one ride.

    I tried many windshields, a Luftmeister, Parabellum, Aeroflo, stock windshield with the lip cut off, a trimmed Parabellum, an adjustable wind "lip" on a Parabellum, the goofy looking edge moulding on a Parabellum. None seemed to really improve anything. Last year I installed a Cee Bailey +6" windshield, and it is the best overall for reducing noise and buffetting. I have head some of the same for a V-Stream windhsield.
    Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit for training info.

  9. #24
    Registered User dwyandell's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    People's Republic of Vermont
    Noise and buffeting are different, although if you have buffeting it is usually noisy.

    Buffeting comes from having your face or top of the helmet positioned RIGHT AT the area between laminar (smooth) airflow that goes over the top of the windshield, and turbulent air that follows the windshield. You can can get rid of buffet by RAISING the windshield so your whole head is in the lee of the windshield, or LOWERING the windshield so your neck, face and head are in the smooth flow above the windshield. For example, you get alot of WIND on a naked bike, but no buffet. . .the wind is noisy, but a naked bike is much more relaxing because your head isnt getting hammered. Buffeting is what will drive you crazy.

    I wear a Schuberth C3 and I love it. It is streamlined, quiet and very well ventilated. I also wear foam earplugs, always. The Schuberth has a very good neck seal, and a chin flap that further limits noise. Because the Schuberth has very good ventilation, you can afford to have the neck and chin areas sealed well and not steam up. I can hear my airheads well enough to always feel like I know what is going on, but when I ride my son's V-Strom, it's so quiet that I find the lack of feedback very annoying.

    I dont think there are any shortcuts to finding a level of noise and buffet you can live with, and it varies with the helmet, bike, windshield, rider's height, earplugs, etc. Experiment. I got over the excessive price of the Schuberth because it really is better than anything else I have ever worn, by far. To each his own.
    Dave in Vermont
    '84 R80ST
    '81 R100 hack

  10. #25
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Twin Cities - MN

    Maybe go with something NOT a modular?

    I was a "return to motorcycling" rider 13 years ago at age 40. The helmet I chose was a Nolan N100 modular. The fit was perfect, and very comfortable. The noise was unbelievable, and yes, the windshield height on the bikes I was riding most definitely played a factor.

    Consider trying a one piece, non-modular full face style. I picked up an HJC CL15 a few years ago almost entirely because of how it fit me and was so comfortable. I've come to really like it.

    I always wear earplugs, and never listen to headphones or music. It took me awhile to be converted 100%, but I am now. It isn't just the wind that's an issue for noise, it's also the traffic. I commute a lot on my bike. Getting next to, or passing an 18 wheeler or other trucks on the freeway can be a loud event. Why not save your ears if you can?

    DISCLAIMER: I'm not trying to be an advocate for either an HJC helmet or a non-moduler full face. Just sharing what works for me. I am, however, a HUGE advocate for wearing earplugs. Honestly, I just use the Max's green foam ones. They work great for me. Use the same ones out at the trap range.
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  11. #26
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Central Nebraska

    Ear Safety

    For some perspective.

    I drove an old school bus (1992) for 2 years after teaching all day...

    One day after 3 months, I noticed that I was having a lot more trouble hearing what my students were asking/saying in class. So I borrowed our church's dB meter and took it on a ride. The (Sound Pressure Level) SPL in the driver's seat was 105 at highway speed and 95 dB at idle on the side of the road.

    PERMANENT partial hearing loss begins at 1+ hour exposure to 85 dB SPL, usually with a "notch" at a particularly offensive frequency. No wonder I couldn't hear what they were saying.

    I started to wear the earplugs the next day. Suddenly I could hear very quiet conversations in the back of the bus at highway speed, with a rapid improvement in behavior due to "bionic" ears. The students couldn't believe that I could hear them, until I repeated what they had been saying verbatim...

    Save your ears. Wearing hearing aids is no substitute for preventing the damage in the first place. My grandmother worked in a factory for 25 years and was nearly stone deaf at all frequencies because she didn't like the way they fit her. She also wouldn't wear a hearing aid because she didn't like the way they fit either. So she missed out on most of the conversations around her for 20+ years.

    I don't care how "loud" or "quiet" you think your helmet is. They are all loud inside the box and you can't "unloud" them by changing brands - your head is stuffed inside an echo chamber that will emphasize certain frequencies that will have SPL in damaging range, even though you don't think that it is too "loud". Hearing is largely subjective. SPL is objective.

    ATGATT includes PPE for your ears.

  12. #27
    Tame Racing Driver Stig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Lots of good advice already posted, but try giving this a read. As previously mentioned, proper fit is just as important as actually using some type of hearing protection.

    Another thing to consider is an "earbud" style headphone that has soft sealing rubber that inserts into the ear canal. I have a pair of Sony headphones that are like this (not sure of the exact model, but I got them at Best Buy for about $20). I've found them to be comfortable under my Scorpion EXO-900 modular helmet while still allowing me to hear traffic, sirens, etc.
    New York's Hudson Valley Region
    2009 R1200RT
    MOA #146131 IBA #55715

  13. #28
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    West Bloomfield, MI

    I Love My (New) Helmet

    Okay, so i took the plunge and went with a Schuberth C3 despite what felt like my head being inserted into a vise. The issue was that while I bought my Vemar Jiano two years ago and liked it initially, it gradually seemed to loosen up and pivot about on my head too freely. It also became quite a bit louder after that wear-in period. On top of that, the flip face release and sun visor slider were either awkwardly positioned or too small.

    In any case, it only took a few days and 200 miles of riding to have the Schuberth fit my noggin like a glove. It most definitely gives the impression your head has been "vacuum sealed" into an enclosure but that's what prevents all of the wind noise. Air can circulate into the helmet through the vent near the mouth and the one just past the forehead very controllably. Meanwhile the neck and chin curtain keeps unwanted blasts of cold air out.

    I have to say I am very happy with the C3 and wish I had purchased this helmet originally but it wasn't available in the US until six months after I bought the Vemar. Not that the Vemar is bad, but the Schubie is better... much better.


  14. #29
    Registered User flat_twin's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    central Ohio
    Since you didn't say, I'll assume you have the stock windscreen on your RS. Cutting off the "flip" at the top of the windscreen will help with the turbulence. My RS has a Wudo windscreen. It's the quietest screen I've found for the RS with the exception of cutting down the stocker to where it only covers the instruments as someone else already mentioned. Yes the bugs are going to hit your face shield but it's so much quieter.
    I chose to go with a regular full face helmet for two reasons. Lighter weight and less noise. I wear foam ear plugs 100% of the time and the noise level when riding is very acceptable.

  15. #30
    Motomark motomark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Clyde N.C.

    Helmet noise reduction

    I recently purchased a Nolan N90,It has the quality and fit as my past prior Nolan's (N100,N100E)although it seemed to be much noisier.I found that if you were to look under the liner that the area around the moulded foam liner had quite a large void for the communication device that I did'nt purchase.So I measured the diameter and depth of the recessed area for the speakers and found some foam rubber scraps cut them to fit in that rounded space where the speakers would fit. Now that I have done this I then rode with my usual ear plugs or ear buds in and have found that I greatly reduced the amount of noise that I had before.Might be worth looking under the lining of your helmet for any gaps that could be filled with foam rubber.It worked for me.

    1971 R75/5,1990 K75RT,1994 K75,1999 KLR

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