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My quest for quiet motorcycling Nirvana - SOLVED

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  • My quest for quiet motorcycling Nirvana - SOLVED

    Ever since I realised that I'd damaged my hearing through years of commuting, I've been on a mission to get the absolute most quiet cycling experience possible.

    I drive a Kwaka ZX12R, but the majority of the noise on the freeway @ 100km is from buffetting. After a few months of trial and error, I've finally come up with the following solution that has lead to quiet motorcycling nirvana:
    • A Schubert C3 Pro helmet. The world's quietest helmet at 82dB. Got this shipped to Perth from Italy for $660. (yes, I know it doesn't meet Aus standards)
    • Sony MDR-NC13 noise cancelling headphones
    • A tub of two-part silicone putty
    • Removing the double-bubble windscreen from my 12R and fitting the stock windscreen back


    The C3 Pro by itself makes a significant reduction, but it's still noisy enough that I suspect you'd get mild hearing damage. With the helmet and some good ear plugs it was very quiet, but not exactly quiet and peaceful. Still way louder than sitting in most cages!!

    With the C3 Pro and the Sony noise-cancelling headphones it took it to the next level. The low rumble of the road noise and exhaust completely disappeared, as did some of the remaining wind noise.

    The final piece in the puzzle was to use the putty to create 'custom fit in-ear moulds' for the sony headphones which virtually cut off all outside noise. The beauty here is that sudden noises like horns or sirens still cut through through noise cancelling headphones (due to the way that they only cancel out constant noise).

    This morning I put on some chill-out music and listened to it at a medium volume level (whereas previously all I could hear was rock music at full volume!!). Got to work and felt absolutely peaceful and relaxed. Roll on Monday morning!! LOL.

    I'll try and post some pictures soon if anyone is interested.

  • #2
    No at pinnacle yet....

    Go electric.

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    • #3
      Where did you get the silicon putty?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Moe View Post
        Where did you get the silicon putty?
        Most large swimming pools with swim shops have it, or you can usually purchase through Swimmer World on line

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        • #5
          Congrats.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Moe View Post
            Where did you get the silicon putty?
            I got it from Kirkside products in Osborne Park. Awesome shop. Every type of moulding material under the sun!! Product was called "Pinky Putty" I think. $20 for 200g. It's a 2 part mix, so thats 100g of moulding material which would do about 10 pairs of ears!

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            • #7
              Here is a photo of the headphones:

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              • #8
                I actually like the sound of my motorcycle. I figure that my ears are probably rooted anyway from years of raves as a youngster ...

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                • #9
                  What?
                  Originally posted by Desmo
                  Why be a cunt about it?

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                  • #10
                    Nice write up.

                    Some pics please - I'm very interested in how you combined the headphones with the putty.

                    My Shure 535's arn't noise canceling, but they have replaceable foam tips. It's some kind of memory foam, but I can never seem to get a good seal in my ear canel. That putty could be just what I've been looking for.

                    I currently use silicone plugs which cut out about 90% of noise, but the option to have music would be great.

                    Edit: Beaten - thanks for pic.
                    It didn't look that far on the map...

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                    • #11
                      First up congrats on finding what out what works for you.

                      Second, how on earth do they come up with the "Worlds quietest helmet", I wonder. That is how is such a thing measured? Lots of people will tell you one thing about a helmet and the next lot will say the complete opposite, especially regards noise. Shape of head/fitment/speed and especially bike design just punch in too many variables to me for someone to make such a claim. I must have bought 20 or so helmets over the years, they all seem to vary wildly depending on what I'm riding at the time.

                      Current Shark R is quiet on VFR, woeful on Tenere, cheap Fly dual sport lid [ lumps/bumps/peak] quiet on Tenere, I give up trying to work out why.....

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                      • #12
                        For anyone curious beyond grassroots discussions, this report gives a good outline of the most effective ways to reduce noise levels under a helmet, with a little science mixed in.

                        Originally posted by Davidf View Post
                        Second, how on earth do they come up with the "Worlds quietest helmet", I wonder. That is how is such a thing measured?
                        With one of these:



                        Dummy head recording is the standard for this sort of test. You whack the helmet on top of one of these (can be anything they've made themselves or a production model like the pic above) and measure the signal in a wind tunnel. Quite a simple method, really. I'm not too certain if helmet manufacturer's test and publish these noise ratings themselves, or if they're covered by an independent body, but I could see a significant variance alone in the fundamental shape and design of the dummy-head used to test them.

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                        • #13
                          How do you drive a ZX12?
                          FarRider # 159,

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                          • #14
                            Dummy head recording can't allow for all of us having different head shapes, even though I'm sure measured noise levels are a good guide when researching helmets.

                            Key to a quiet helmet is the internal shape & fit of the neck roll being best suited for your head. Around the neck roll is where most of the turbulence is generated.
                            It didn't look that far on the map...

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Archie, that's a good read. But my head is much prettier than the dummy one!

                              Cheap RST helmet [freebie with bike] my wife uses, same head size as me, she loves it I think it's gruesome noisy, especially in my right ear, go figure. I will try fiddling around with sealing at the neck area now I read that report, cheers.

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