Helmet Noise - any advice - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 2012, 5:50 pm Thread Starter
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Helmet Noise - any advice

I am new to the BMW world and recently upgraded from a 2004 Sportster to a 2004 K 1200 GT. With that transition, I went from a half helmet to a full face. My full face helmet was an old Vega that cost me $80-$90 dollars back in 2000 when I first got into motorcycling with the purchase of a 76 Honda CB 550. It was time for a new helmet, no doubt.

I realize that helmet opinions are all over the board. I have very little experience with them. In reasearching internet reviews and talking to people, I had come to the conclusion that helmets seemed to have a "brand cache" that drove up the price. With that in mind I purchased a HJC IS-16. Seemed well made, nice features fit well and very affordable.

I rode it for 200 miles today on the superslab at 80 mph and it really sucks. I wished I had that old Vega the whole time. That old "piece of junk" is about 60 -75% quieter than the HJC. The Vega requires no ear plugs for noise what so ever, almost like being in a bubble.

I want a quiet helmet, I don't want to spend $700 but I will spend $500 if that is what it takes or I will spend $80 again.

What gives??? I need some advice. Also if someone loves the HJC I will cut you a deal.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 2012, 8:36 pm
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look into scorpion i really like mine also try ear plugs or earphone's with music i dont leave home without it...

i've spent most my money on bike's boat's and broad's the rest i've wasted..
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2012, 9:24 am
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I think anyone you ask is probably going to tout their own helmet choice, and itís too bad that a person has to go through so much expensive experimentation to find the one helmet which works best for him. Wind roar is a serious problem and no doubt will cause permanent hearing loss if you donít get it under control. If there were some sort of ďConsumer ReportsĒ independent tests on this, I would certainly pay attention. Just my personal experience, I donít think there is a helmet out there quiet enough to allow me to ride without wearing foam earplugs. I have the Scala-Rider Bluetooth set up inside my flip-face helmet, and while it works pretty well around town, at highway speeds the wind roar was so bad I couldnít hear my phone. The fix was foam earplugs, although that seemed counter-intuitive to me. The earplugs cut the wind roar down to a comfortable level, and I turn up the volume to maximum on the Bluetooth unit to hear the speakers.

The best advice Iíve read here was to look around and find a dealership with a large selection of helmets to try on. Hopefully there will be a knowledgeable sales guy there you can talk to who listens to his customers and can offer some data on complaints or compliments from other buyers. Good luck with this and let us know what you come up withÖ all contributions on this subject are definitely welcome!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 2012, 3:04 pm
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The biggest source of helmet noise is coming from the bottom of the helmet. Specifically from wind leakage around the neck roll. Try placing your hand up under the front underside of the helmet (cheek area) to prove this yourself. Some of the quieter helmets on the market have very substantial neck rolls to seal the noise off. Another option it the NOJ Quiet rider. It is a "seal" that closes off the bottom of the helmet against your neck to block that wind noise. Another option might to "build up" the neck roll or add to it on your existing helmet. Best of luck!

Jim
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 28th, 2012, 5:28 am
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I'd agree it is the bottom neck skirt that makes a huge difference. On my Shoei it was actually an extra option!

However, I have noticed the composite helmets getting lighter over the last few years and that does not help low frequency noise around the ears. Helmet noise comes up a lot and I think it is difficult to answer because the bike rider height and screen can create situations for more noise than the helmet itself.

If helmet manufacturers were to score helmets on noise, it could only be in a free air wind tunnel test because all bikes, screens and rider height modify the air flow a lot. I never found a perfect solution for my KRS so I went back to stock lower screen, use plugs on long rides and flip up the screen when raining (but get helmet top buffeting).

I still wear ear plugs and I do not think there is a way around it if you want peaceful stress free long riding experience.



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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2012, 7:08 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies and an update

The universe works in mysterious ways.

I spoke with my cousin who rides a Yamaha R6 and complained about my plight. He said, "let me guess the brand, HJC". He had the same problem and has moved to a Shoei and problem solved.

My wife and I take the bike to the University of Iowa football games because the campus is just full of choice motorcycle parking. This Saturday we parked the bike, took in the game and came back to the bike. The HJC was stolen.

As far as I am concerned the joke is on the thief. I hope he stole it for personal use. The credit card I bought it with provides for 90 days of theft coverage.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 2012, 2:05 pm
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All's well that ends well! It could only be better if you had dropped that helmet and put a huge ding in it just before it was stolen. I too have a Shoei and like it, but over the years I've learned that certain helmets fit certain heads... some people have given up on a helmet they really wanted just because it didn't fit their head. Best of luck to you on this.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 2012, 5:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salthawk
I want a quiet helmet, I don't want to spend $700 but I will spend $500 if that is what it takes or I will spend $80 again.

What gives??? I need some advice. Also if someone loves the HJC I will cut you a deal.
I purchased a Nolan 103 at the National Rally in Bloomsburg to replace my bargain Bell with a convertible model. I'm very pleased, the vents work as advertised and the audio system as well as the tinted flip shield is great. I always use ear plugs which eliminate road noise but still allow me to listen to the morning radio show on the way to work.

I agree that preventing the wind from entering around the chin is extremely important and for me the 103 is the ticket for a reasonable price.

Nick
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