Hearing damage among motorcyclists
In commercials, a gloomy male voice grumbles that you can suffer permanent hearing damage after seven minutes of motorcycling without hearing protection. That story fits within the scare industry, so that modern motorcyclists now often look like fluorescent lollipops. Not to mention all the electronics that such a modern engine has on board to constantly save its apparently incompetent driver.
By the way, a few things remain intact when you peel off the fear of talk. After a trip from Italy that was only interrupted by tank stops, I had an annoying whistle in my left ear for two days. From that I learned that it is not smart to blow from Italy to Gelderland in one go.
After driving a motorcycle for forty years
After forty years of motorcycling, the first twenty of which I lived on, I decided to have my hearing tested. The result was that a dip around the 4.000 Herz was visible. And that is the frequency that is driven by wind and mechanical noise. But: The reduction in hearing acuity was one that actually fit within the normal range for my age. Because all those hearing tests are offered for free, I asked two friendly motorcyclists to have their hearing checked. One has been a BMW driver steeped in safety thinking for centuries, the other is just playing around. The BMW pilot has been driving with hearing protection for fifteen years. The other has been living in a well-worn jet helmet for years.
The results of the ear-test left exemplary values with the BMW driver. And see fairly normal values with the other motorcyclist.
It was funny that we had not told us that we were motorcyclists during the entire process. When, curious, we went shopping for some tests, stating that we had been riding a motorcycle for a long time, the interpretation of the graphs became clearer in a number of cases: "Yes, that is because of motorcycling".
The hardware tested
Of course we have also tried the hardware in the meantime: ear plugs, or otoplastics *. Well, the BMW driver has those custom-made silencers with a clearly frequency-oriented filter technique. The rest of us loved simpler noise reduction.
Apart from the hassle of stuffing things into your head, it appears that motorcycling with hearing protection becomes calmer. So from now on, for the somewhat longer journeys, I also put a couple of those plugs in my ears. If I don't forget. Because forgetting things, that is also such a thing.
* Otoplastics are custom-made hearing protectors with one or more filters. Each pair of otoplastics is unique because they are tailored to the individual circumstances of the user. The difference with earplugs is that earplugs have a universal design, which automatically forms itself to the ear canals. That while otoplastics are always made to measure, so that they close the ear canal exactly. In addition, otoplastics last a long (er) time, namely about two to three years.
Otoplastics against harmful engine noise
These protect you against the harmful noise of engines and wind noise. A filter makes sounds softer, but you still hear all the sounds and signals of the traffic. Moreover, you can wear the otoplastics perfectly under your helmet.