Whenever we go out to ride our motorcycles, we often do so with safety in mind. We don full riding gear in the form of a helmet, jacket, gloves, pants, and boots. However, did you ever stop and think that all this safety gear just might not be enough. Yes, especially for those who ride long distances at high speeds on the highways, your hearing can also suffer from prolonged exposure to wind noise.
Having a loud exhaust isn't the issue
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t your bike’s exhaust that can damage your hearing. What’s even worse is constant exposure to wind noise, which can sometimes exceed 100 decibels inside a substandard helmet. Now, if you were to ride from Alabang to Subic via the Skyway, NLEX, and SCTEX, that’s easily two hours of constant exposure to that kind of noise—exposure that can easily take its toll if done on a regular basis. So yes. Riding a motorcycle can certainly damage your hearing. There are, however, ways you can combat this.
Get a quiet helmet
Common sense dictates that the easiest way to combat hearing loss, as well as the general discomfort of a noisy helmet, would be to get a quiet helmet. Luckily, this is a lot easier and more affordable to do these days, with helmet manufacturers working hard to make their helmets a lot safer and quieter. Manufacturers such as HJC have very affordable helmets that are also very, very quiet. You may be familiar with HJC’s entry-level offering, the CS-15. This is a super quiet, super affordable helmet for under P5,000.
Of course, even quieter helmets exist when you look into the touring category. Manufacturers like Schuberth and Nolan have helmets whose main selling point is in fact a quiet ride. That being said, what if a quiet helmet is simply out of your budget, or even the quietest helmet can’t seem to do the trick for you?
An even simpler (and cheaper) solution
Well, the answer is really cheap and simple. You can easily acquire a 100 pack of these foam earplugs for a few hundred pesos online—be it through Shopee or Lazada. They’re really comfortable, and will slip perfectly into your ear underneath a balaclava. Even with a race helmet, these ear plugs do a great job in quieting things down, while still allowing you to hear ambient sounds such as traffic, as well as people talking to you.
At the end of the day, staying safe on a motorcycle isn’t all just about your riding gear. It’s also important to make sure you’re taking good care of yourself as you ride, and that of course means looking after your hearing.