Motorcycle Hearing Protection

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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For bike enthusiasts of all kinds, motorcycle hearing protection is an absolute necessity. Motorcycles easily reach noise levels exceeding 110 dB, a level at which more than 30 minute's exposure can permanently damage a person's hearing. Earplugs or other custom hearing protection can protect you from tinitus and prevent permanent hearing damage.

Earplugs are cheap, easy to carry, easy to hide beneath a helmet, and very effective as motorcycle hearing protection. They can reduce the noise volume by as much 34 dB (depending on the product), which translates into safer long-distance rides with generally less fatigue and more enjoyment. Earplugs are also available at most drugstores or hardware stores, which makes them easy to replace if they happen to be lost on the road.

Contrary to popular belief, motorcycle helmets do little to protect your ears. In fact, some helmet designs actually increase the amount of noise entering your ears. Once your hearing is damaged, the effects are permanent, and can take the thrill and fun out of biking for good.

Motorcycle Hearing Protection and Road Safety

There is some controversy on the question of whether or not it is lawful for motorcyclists to wear earplugs. As recently as January of 2004 laws in the state of California have been amended to allow the use of foam, "non-custom" earplugs as well as "custom" earplugs on the road. Please check your state's traffic regulations for comprehensive legal information

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