I wear the corded variety. Makes fishing them out of your ears a whole lot easier. I pick them up at a local surplus store for about $.25 a pair. But buying in bulk makes sense as you are less likely to run out of them. It is amazing just how loud wind really is. Think you have a quiet helmet? Have your hearing tested if you ride a good bit and don't use plugs.
Lets just say I work in an area where I deal with this stuff all the time so here is my partially informed opinion:
1. Use plugs. If you are young, you are thinking I'm full of you know what. If you listen to me and use plugs, you'll thank me after I'm long gone and your riding buddies keep saying "'eh?" & "say again".
2. Try lots of types and use what is comfy. Actually I'd shy away from the highest NRR ratings if I wuz you. The high NRR expando-foam types just cut too much sound...note that I said "sound" and not "noise". MOrons are generally pretty sharp - you know what I mean.
3. Verschoor is right - buy in bulk. DON'T clean 'em and keep reusing. Don't go there!
Another hobby of mine is Audio. I got started with Dynaco Kits about the same time as I got the not so mighty DT-1 (71 model, a nice copper color like the SV-S's of a couple of yrs ago). My high frequency hearing is pretty much gone now and ahead of schedule. I did not start wearing plugs until the early 90's. What a maroon I was.
Bottom line: be smarter than me. Shouldn't be too tough to accomplish.
Got a loud exhaust?? Use plugs. Not wearing a helmet?? Use plugs. If you have a helmet on and a full fairing in front, plugs are pretty much optional in my opinion, but the constant loud noise of exhaust, or wind noise will blow your ears out. Use em.
My problem (one of them anyway) is that one of my ear canals is larger than the other; so large in fact that I've only found one brand of plug that works in that ear. That would be the largest Hearos (blue). I wear em for all but the shortest rides. They're expensive but the others plain don't work so I've no choice. I'd pay ten times that to keep my hearing.
No, incorrect. Even with a full-face helmet the wind noise at highway speeds is enough to cause hearing loss. I've never ridden a touring barge with a huge windshield that leaves you sitting in still air, so that may be different, but for me earplugs are a must, especially on trips out of town.
No, i don't think so. The noise is basically the turbulence of the airflow over/around the helmet. If you have a fairing, you'll note that the wind noise is much less.
Noise varies drastically between helment brands. My Arai is much worse than my Shoei. The Arai has a plastic cover over the shield hinge, and that thing is a noise amplifier. the Shoei, on the other hand, has a smooth shield without a cover. it is noticably quieter.
I always wear ear plugs, except after i rebuild an engine for the first ride or two to make sure i don't hear anything bad.
I am probably a geek, but i would always wear earplugs even going to bars with bands. My wife used to make fun of me, but at 44, she has measurable hearing loss. I may look stupid, but i'd rather hear.
Try earplugs on a long ride. you'll arrive MUCH more relaxed and fresh than if you didn't wear them. that ambient noise is very tiring.
I work at a job where I have to wear them. Lots of loud machine noise.
I use my "used" ones when riding my Max. It isn't the exhaust so much as the wind noise/buffeting. At work and at play I notice that the plugs can cut out some of the unwanted noise and actually make things like conversation at work or listening to the stereo in my helmet easier. Seems contrary to common sense but it works!
I use the corded foam ones as I can easily loop the cord through the hanging loop on the back of my 'stich and I always know where they are. Makes longer rides easier and less fatiguing too.
I had to start wearing them on a GS (wind screen sucks) I have worn them for about 6 years now and find the orange cone shaped ones in the pharmacy dept work the best. They are rated at 33db and come in a 6/pair pack with a small plastic container for your jacket pocket. I can get 10 rides out of a pair, or a 3-day trip easy.
I think Steven you should start a campaign "Quiet Pipes Save Eats" I don't wear em I have a full fairing bike and a stock "quiet" exhaust. I already lost a lot of my high frequency hearing as a firefighter running chain saws years ago. Real stupid folks...You young guys should be smarter and wear plugs.