Good hearing, like good vision, is an aid to concentration; traffic sound can provide additional information to help us make appropriate decisions.
The ability to hear clearly is very significant to us as bikers because information received can give warnings of danger. Preserving hearing is vital and two simple pieces of plastic could save you from both rider fatigue and hearing loss.
Our ears aren’t really designed to withstand the decibels generated by a motorcycle for long periods and even a 15-minute ride could be putting our hearing at risk, according to acoustic tests carried out at 25mph.
Well-fitted helmets, particularly full-face designs can cut out a good percentage of the unwanted noise but many of us wouldn’t be without a pair of earplugs.
They won’t block out the sounds we need to hear, such as sirens, horns and other vehicles; they simple reduce overall sound pressure and wind noise within the ear and allow us to focus on the important sounds without being distracted by the prolonged high level droning of the engine.
Finding the right fit is a matter of trial and error but there are plenty on the market to try. Some of us are perfectly happy with a low cost foam disposable variety, but with a vast range of designs available, finding the right fit for your ear canal is worth the effort. You may not need to resort to an expensive custom-fit pair made to the shape of your outer ear; with good positioning, a set of low-cost earplugs can protect your hearing and reduce noise fatigue.