Motorcyclists need ear plugs

Motorcyclists should wear ear plugs. For as little as $5 you can get comfortable noise reduction that could have you a lot of trouble in the long run.

It is a fact that riding a motorcycle at normal highway speeds, even in a full face helmet, without ear protection, does irreversible damage to your hearing over time. Noise fatigue is also a very real effect of riding, and can leave rider far more tired than expected.

Another long time rider told me he's getting a hearing aid today, and he never wore ear plugs. I've heard a number of reasons from some friends about why they won't or don't wear them. Those reasons are weak. Here are a few:

  1. Traffic, horns, sirens and other noises will be hard to hear: Good hearing protection will lower high frequency noise, like wind buffeting your helmet. While ear plugs will lower the volume of all sound, they won't eliminate those interruptive sounds from making it to you at all, rather you'll be more likely to hear them as the effects of constant high frequency noise will not be as bad.
  2. I wear a full face helmet: So what? Comfortable helmets flow a lot of air, and are pretty damn noisy! Helmet noise reduction studies show very minimal improvement due to a full face helmet.
  3. I do not have loud pipes: While the silly loud pipes of many a Harley rider could make anyone deaf, you are really looking to block out the wind noise rushing past your head. Loud pipes just add another droning source of white noise like sound that will deafen you over time, but they are not the primary one motorcyclists need fear!

Lately I've been using these Hearo's, for less than $6 shipped shouldn't you try?

Previously on Boing Boing:

Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs