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Can Riding a Motorcycle Damage Your Hearing?

Can Riding a Motorcycle Damage Your Hearing?

Modern high-performance motorcycles are loud and can damage your hearing. However, the noise from the motorcycle’s engine is not the leading cause of hearing loss for motorcycle riders. Read this article to learn whether riding a motorcycle can damage your hearing.

1. Can Riding a Motorcycle Damage Your Hearing?

Yes, riding a motorcycle can damage your hearing. However, there are several reasons why riders become hard of hearing after a few years of motorcycle riding, including:

1.1 Loud Engine Noise

Loud Engine Noise

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Suffering from hearing loss due to loud noises can be immediate or take time to become an issue. Motorcycle engines are quite loud and being constantly bombarded by their noise can cause hearing problems if you don’t use ear protection. A motorcycle engine is estimated to produce approximately 90 dB.

But some motorcycles are even louder and can produce more than 100 dB.

Loud Engine Noise-2

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According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you can only be exposed to 90 dB for 8 hours. As the volume increases, the duration decreases. If you are riding a motorcycle that produces 100 dB, you can only be exposed for 2 hours. However, if you are constantly exposed to noises over 80 dB for a long, you may start to experience hearing problems.

1.2 Not Wearing a Helmet

Wearing a full-face helmet while riding a motorcycle can provide hearing protection to some extent. However, they cannot provide full hearing protection since full-face helmets are designed to reduce severe head injuries during a motorcycle crash.

1.3 Wind Noise

Wind noise is not a huge problem while riding your motorcycle slowly. However, it can become increasingly problematic when cruising on highways and open roads at high speeds. Most riders assume that engine noise is the leading cause of hearing loss for riders. However, studies have proved that the leading cause is in fact wind noise created by turbulence around the helmet while riding. The only way to protect your ears from wind noise is to use proper ear protection.


1.4 Noise Pollution

Traffic is one of the major causes of noise pollution. Modern high-performance motorcycles are loud when active and can cause loss of hearing if you ride constantly over an extended period.

2. How to Prevent Hearing Loss While Motorcycle Riding

2.1 Wearing Earplugs

Wearing Earplugs

Earplugs are simple devices that protect your ears from loud noises and wind noise while riding. They are not expensive and are easily available online and at nearby stores. However, make sure the earplugs fit when inserting them in your ears to ensure optimal ear protection.


2.2 Wearing a Quiet Helmet

Quiet helmets are designed to reduce wind noise and turbulence due to the extra padding around the neck. They are also fitted with noise-reduction muffs to protect the ears from loud noises. There are also smart helmets that have noise-cancellation features.

2.3 Wearing a Modular Helmet

Modular helmets are better than full-face helmets when it comes to reducing wind noise and turbulence. Full-face helmets have a wide opening so they can fit all riders. However, modular helmets have a detachable chin section that can open to fit all riders. After putting on the helmet, the chin section can be lowered for better safety and wind protection.

2.4 Avoid Riding at High Speeds

If you want to protect your ears from hearing loss, you should ride your motorcycle slowly. If you feel the wind noise is getting too loud while cruising on open roads, reduce your motorbike’s speed.

2.5 Use Noise-Canceling Earbuds

If you want to listen to music while riding a motorcycle, use earbuds with a noise-canceling feature to protect your ears. Make sure that the earbuds easily fit inside your ears while wearing a helmet.

2.6 Installing a Windshield

Installing a windshield can protect your eyes from dust and prevent wind buffeting. The heavy wind passing through the helmet can cause discomfort at high speeds. The helmet starts to vibrate due to heavy incoming winds. Installing a windshield can help block incoming wind and reduce wind noise that could damage your hearing.


3. Final Words

The leading causes of hearing loss in motorcycle riders are wind noise and turbulence while riding at high speeds. Loud noises from the engine and exhaust pipes can also cause hearing loss for motorcycle riders. Using earplugs and a quiet helmet are good ways to protect your ears from wind noise and turbulence. Good-quality earplugs are a necessity and should be worn by all riders. Also, make sure to use a helmet with noise-canceling features like muffs to wrap around your ears.

Wearing protective riding gear will help ensure your safety. You can also improve safety when riding your motorcycle by installing aftermarket parts from Viking Bags, including crash bars, fairings, and sissy bars. If you want to replace your stock seat and handlebars, Viking Bags also offer comfortable aftermarket handlebars, seats, and backrests to improve your riding style. If you want to transform your motorcycle into a touring bike, you can also choose from a wide range of luggage options at Viking Bags, including saddlebags, tank bags, and sissy bar bags.

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