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India is the second-largest motorcycle market market in the world with millions of people using motorcycles every day. As the days go by, riders are realising the importance of safety and have started using helmets to protect their heads.
More seasoned motorcyclists have realised the importance of having good protective gear and have invested heavily in them. Most riders though completely miss out on one important piece of motorcycle gear. That is because they do not realise that the absence of it will be causing perpetual damage to their bodies even if they do not crash.
Earplugs are the important piece of protection we are talking about. Motorcyclists are exposed to noise levels that could in some cases cause permanent hearing loss. Sometimes, riders are exposed to noise levels that are usually experienced by heavy industry workers, machine gunners, etc.
Motorcyclists usually love to listen to the intake howl and the exhaust scream on their motorcycles. While your aftermarket exhaust system does provide aural pleasure, it also damages your hearing organs at the same time.
What is astonishing though is that the hearing damage does not come just from the roar of your motorcycle's engine. A majority of motorcyclists' ears are damaged by the wind noise created just by riding.
Now, one could argue that this again depends on the quality of the helmet being used, but research shows that, on average, wind noise alone is over 100 decibels at highway cruising speeds.
To put that in perspective, a lawn mower produces 90 decibels and a food processor produces 95 decibels. There is no other home appliance that produces more noise than that. Wind going around your helmet alone can produce sounds of such magnitude, and it always has to be remembered that this level of sound is continuously produced as long as one is riding.
The sound of your motorcycle's loud exhaust and intake is prominent only till around 70km/h, and wind noise takes prominence after that speed level. Wind noise increases along with the increase in speed and this is what causes more damage.
Wind rushing around the rider creates a variety of noises including low frequency vibrations and high frequency whistling. The wind noise also depends on the style of motorcycle being ridden. A faired sportbike would allow lesser wind noise than a cruiser motorcycle.
A cruiser motorcycle with a sizeable windscreen up front will create much lesser noise than a naked street bike and so on. Turns out that riders of naked motorcycles are exposed to such wind noise and turbulence more than riders of other motorcycle categories. And it also turns out that naked motorcycles sell the most.
How does one prevent being affected from such high noise levels? Earplugs are the solution. When looked at it from a safety perspective, earplugs are one of the most valuable pieces of gear a motorcyclist could have, but it is the least-expensive.
Prices of earplugs range from Rs 135 to Rs 800, depending on its quality and the material it is made of. Hearing loss induced by excessive noise is one of the most common permanent injuries in the world, but the same can be prevented by taking the right precautions.
Thoughts On Hearing Loss Due To Motorcycle Riding
Listening to a revving motorcycle is one of the best pleasures in the world and the joy of listening to it should remain for life. If a motorcyclist continues to ride a loud motorcycle without protecting his/her ears, aural capacities are bound to deteriorate over the span of time. Earplugs are simple in nature and cost less to purchase but go a long way in protecting your ears.