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Old 30-12-2009, 07:45 PM
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AlexB AlexB is offline
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Unhappy Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

Having been diagnosed with a form of progressive tinnitus not too long ago (left ear mainly - pretty annoying), it now looks like I'll have to go back to my OE exhaust system and/or reduce riding time. Hearing expert reckons that my "attraction" to motorcycles over a lifetime (now in mid-50s) was one of several key contributors (along with other "bad" habits". I've also lost more hearing in the left ear than in the right.

I had noticed the bikes seemed to be getting louder but in a different way to normal. Good helmets and earplugs help, but they're not the whole story. Earplugs can dislodge and allow noise to "creep" in. Apparantly, reducing noise exposure at source is more important than ever.

That said, I am probably going to have to bow to pressure and therefore there might be a nearly new SuperTrapp Supermeg 2:1 (black !) and a set of V&H Staggered ShortShots (unbaffled !) coming up for sale in the New Year. Darn and doubleDarn. Isn't getting old a bitch.

I'm told those nice people are Harley are making their bikes quieter than ever. Good of them.
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Old 30-12-2009, 08:40 PM
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devon.john devon.john is offline
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

if you remove some( or a fair few ) of the discs from the suppertrapps they will be alot quieter and still better then puting back standards

try it first it might work!!!

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Old 30-12-2009, 09:14 PM
grbrown grbrown is offline
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

Sympathies for your plight. I must admit to having worn earplugs since the late 70s. I also have SuperTrapp slip-on mufflers on my Dyna with the recommended number of baffles, which are very agreeable.

Frankly I don't believe exhausts are likely to be a serious problem as in my experience it gets left behind at speed. But then I have never owned the noisier variety! Wind roar around the helmet is the greatest source of discomfort and damage, which gets worse with speed.
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Old 30-12-2009, 10:43 PM
Steely Steely is offline
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

[ Wind roar around the helmet is the greatest source of discomfort and damage, which gets worse with speed.[/quote]

I have found that leather trousers can alleviate this problem.
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Old 30-12-2009, 11:13 PM
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

V&H sounds great on my S Bob, and there have been many times when i have thought just maybe i should have a little more consideration. But twice I have seen car drivers just about to pull out in front and I am sure that they heard me and made them look again. LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES. I am a few days off 52 my hearing is sh*t (you ask Linda who would love to get hold of the remote control..no chance) Keep yer loud pipes bro, well breathing Harley's sound great and do not not hurt anyone
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Old 30-12-2009, 11:21 PM
grbrown grbrown is offline
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Red face Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely View Post
I have found that leather trousers can alleviate this problem.
I never thought of that....
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Old 31-12-2009, 08:35 AM
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

What about getting some custom made ear plugs? Apparently they cut out all noise and because they are made from silicon and shaped for your ears, they wont move around or come loose. A lot of the racing guys use them.
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Old 31-12-2009, 08:52 AM
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

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Originally Posted by simonDyna View Post
What about getting some custom made ear plugs? Apparently they cut out all noise and because they are made from silicon and shaped for your ears, they wont move around or come loose. A lot of the racing guys use them.
Car racers do as well, with earphones moulded into them. I have looked at buying a set, but they are expensive and one can buy bucket loads of the foam variety. There is no earplug that cancels all noise, as much of the sound we hear is transmitted via our skull, especially behind the ears, not just our ear canals.
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Old 31-12-2009, 09:39 AM
fatboyharris
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

Hi,

When I got my fatboy with SE exhausts, I found the front exhaust exited in line with my ear and certaintly made its presence known to me. How ever on the first Sunday ride out I rode for the first time without a screen and into a head wind for about 3.5 hours on the way home, being really buffetted by the wind. When I got home there was a ringing in my ears, which didn't go away after the usual 10 minutes or so.

It got so bad that a visit to the A&E at 4.30 next morning was required, managed to see a hearing specialist from South Africa of all places (unbelievably good timing), who indicated they saw alot of this over there. Effectively the resonance of the wind around my helmet and my exhausts had created the problem and it would either go away in 3 to 4 days or there was permanent irreparable damage. The ringing is worse when you find the room quiet or when you sleep as there is no counter resonance being created by noise.

It was a tough few days but slowly the ringing diminished. Since then I wear ear plugs, changed my helmet to a more fuller cover of my ears and have now changed my 2 softails of my 3 bikes back to standard exhausts. The Dyna will be changed back shortly but it seems to create less of a problem compared with the fatboy and springer exhaust exiting.

I certainly have to take more care now as people clearly do not see me as much with the quieter exhausts, there is a trade off.

I would not wish the experience of those few days on anyone, I still wear plugs and seek out the quietest open faced helmets I can find.

regards

John
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Old 31-12-2009, 12:14 PM
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AlexB AlexB is offline
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Re: Exhausts and Noise Levels (Street Bob)

John (FatBoyHarris).

Thanks for sharing that experience. In fact, it closely mirrors my own. I ended up having a MRI scan just to be sure it wasn't something else more serious.

To be totally honest, I'd been riding bikes since the age of around 16 and only started wearing earplugs regularly when I was in my late 40s. I'll be 55 next birthday.

I noticed ringing when touring and it started badly when I was in the Alps having been 3 days on the road. After that I started wearing plugs more regularly.

The strange thing about it is the noise is bearable, but it's the ringing caused by the noise that isn't. And it can start after only 10 miles or so, especially if the helmet, plugs etc aren't completely in the right place.

However.......... tinnitus is more complicated than that. Noise exposure, illness/infections, age etc and even some simple medications are implicated (eg. aspirin). It's also common enough in "housewives" who have never been motorcycling or operating noisy equipment so it's not always noise-induced.

I agree that Loud Pipes Save Lives; I've experienced it enough myself to know that it is true. I also think a HD sounds "better" with decent pipes. But I also think it's better to enjoy riding than being miserable.

I really liked my V&H Staggered Short Shots and I really like the SuperTrapp 2:1 currently fitted. But I reckon I'll go back to "standards" just to see how I get on. Would be daft not to try it I guess.

So...if anyone wants a set of low-cost aftermarket exhausts in pristine condition sometime in January 2010, keep watching this space.

(PS: I have experimented with changing disks; did not make a big enough difference).
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