Author Windnoise for tall rider  (Read 3731 times)

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  • Offline s1000xr-guy   gb

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    Windnoise for tall rider
    on: January 09, 2024, 08:25:35 pm
    January 09, 2024, 08:25:35 pm
    Hi All,

    Apologies if this reads like my life story. Skip reading if you don't want to...  :152:

    I'm aware that noise on any bike is something that is variable due to factors such as:
    - Helmet
    - Height (I'm ~193cm)
    - Screen
    - Bike aerodynamics

    However, I'm doing a brain dump here in hope someone can offer any suggestions or that it is useful to someone tall considering a gen 1.

    I'm really hoping I haven't given myself long lasting tinnitus. After owning a gen 1 XR for a little over 3 months I've done ~3500 miles and I have ringing ears nearly all the time even when not on the bike.

    I was doing 132 miles a week (50% motorway) as my commute as well as weekend riding. To protect my hearing I've stopped commuting and now only use the bike once a week for a 20 mile run.

    Initially I really couldn't believe the noise of this bike so I did what I could:
    - Replacing the Cobra exhaust with the stock can.
    - Trying 3 different types of ear plugs including shelling out for Ultimate Ear moulded plugs (which IMO are a waste of money, they work worse than disposable pairs due to unsealing).
    - Putting the screen in both the high and low positions to try and find the best airflow.
    - Tucking behind the stock screen like I'm riding a sports bike (this gets rid of all buffeting noise but puts your ears closer to the loud engine)
    - Removing the screen altogether
    - Ditching my Arai Quantic and purchasing a Schuberth C5 (supposedly a very quiet helmet)

    What I've found:
    - The stock screen gives really bad buffeting either side of the middle of my helmet when going at 60+ mph that even with earplugs makes riding near unbearable.
    - Removing the screen completely gives me "clean" airflow and the buffeting is gone. It's actually better to ride this way at nearly all speeds up to "very fast" :007: without a screen but there is still wind noise.

    My understanding from doing lots of research is that unless you have a screen tall enough that you are looking through it you won't actually be able to deflect the air enough to remove wind noise.
    In this case you are arguably better off just having no screen. I'm considering buying the lowest sports/fly screen I can find but I'm not at all convinced it will be money well spent.
    Equally, I don't think there is any screen manufacturer that actually makes a screen tall enough for 'very tall' riders? I found this thread https://www.s1000xr.uk/index.php/topic,7097.msg60690.html#msg60690 from another tall rider that said: "The standard MRA is great but the air hits my forehead vents and I would kill to have it push the air just 2-3 inches higher when I want.". I'm pretty much certain I will have exactly the same issue.

    Previous bikes I've owned were a 2018 wee strom and 2021 MT-09 and neither of these bikes were anywhere near as loud from wind or engine noise. Obviously the V-Strom was a Euro 4 650 that won't compare to the engine i4 of the XR, and the MT was a much lower naked bike. Are the aerodynamics just bad on the gen 1 XRs? Seems like this bike being able to actually be used for touring is a pipe dream and I'd probably have been just as well to get the naked S1000R  :087:

    Some good resources I've come across:
    https://scenic.app/windscreens-and-other-causes-solutions-for-noise-and-buffeting-in-motorcycle-helmets/
    https://www.ukgser.com/community/threads/a-nerdy-treatise-on-adventure-bike-screens-noise-buffeting-turbulence-and-what-not.282107/

    Questions:
    1. Has anyone of a similar height managed to get an optimal setup for noise?
    2. Does anyone have a Schuberth C5 that can comment on the helmet? I wonder if I should have bought a discounted C3 Pro as it's supposedly quieter...
    3. Does anyone have experience with the Wunderlich wind-stoppers (or similar)? Is it just £100 wasted for some plastic?!
    4. Is it time for me to pack it in, become a cager and buy a car? :006:
    5. Get over it?

    Thanks  :047:

  • Offline smithy   au

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    Offline smithy

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #1 on: January 09, 2024, 10:40:24 pm
    January 09, 2024, 10:40:24 pm
    We find the MRA Vario screen with "spoiler" works well and is among the best available. As far as the exhaust goes....they are noisy even when stock, the OEM muffler is "straight through" and makes little to no difference even if removed alltogether. They are a mechanically noisy engine too.

    Smithy.
    When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my Grandfather....not screaming like the passengers in his car..!

  • Offline Chook   au

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    Offline Chook

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #2 on: January 10, 2024, 02:24:57 am
    January 10, 2024, 02:24:57 am
    Hi having just recently purchased a 2023 in triple black I have the same problem when it comes to wind buffeting, at first I thought it was my helmet so I purchased a Schuberth C5 Modular helmet through Chromeburner in the Netherlands thinking it would stop the buffeting however whilst it is a lot better the rustling noise is still their.

    My bike came with what BMW class as the tall screen but makes no difference if the screen is in the low position or up position.

    I have looked at getting a Vario Touring Screen which comes with the spoiler at the top of the windshield,  it is hard to find someone who will ship to Australia because it comes up as windshield and it is listed as things they will not ship internationally.

    I have ordered a cheap $28 AUD spoiler from ALIEXPRESS and eagerly await for it  to be delivered to see if it makes any difference at all.

    Make no mistake you are not alone when it comes to the annoying wind buffeting. 

  • Offline Antares   gb

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    Offline Antares

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #3 on: January 10, 2024, 03:03:14 am
    January 10, 2024, 03:03:14 am
    I'm surprised at the extent of the issues you're describing.

    I'm usually a person that puts up with the niggles fairly well, but my KTM 1290 GT is the only bike I truly find wind noise unbearable on. The XR had some of the best wind protection I have ever ridden. With the MRA Vario screen I could have my visor open up to 130mph without issues. There was a bit of buffeting above 90mph but not noisy or to the extent that it'd cause issues. I'm saying this cos the screen worked equally well for me both in the high and low position, and in the low position i'd get wind square in my face. so, assuming you are in the same situation but with the windscreen in the high position (the screen moves up and down about 10cm). I find helmets make very little difference in wind buffeting unless you're riding an ADV helmet, most of them are close enough, and an earplug will be 10x more effective than a "quiet" helmet. I use Earpeace earplugs always when I ride, and they're not as "strong" as the foam earplugs.

    If you haven't already I'd get the MRA windscreen, the biggest difference on that is the spoiler, it really helps you finetune the flow and reduce buffeting, or raise the wind bubble a bit higher.

  • Offline Harry H   gb

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    Offline Harry H

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #4 on: January 10, 2024, 12:54:41 pm
    January 10, 2024, 12:54:41 pm
    Never had a stock bike that had anywhere near acceptable noise levels from the screen. Always way too much buffeting.

    First off I've got a large old screen drilled with so many holes from fitting to various bikes. When I get a new bike I aim to fit this old screen about midway up my visor. Go for a ride and by moving around I get a pretty good feel for the right height for that bike and me. You could also get a bit of old screen and gaffer tape to the existing screen for the trial and error purpose. Just don't go too fast.

    If I can't find one off the shelf I just get one that's a bit too big and get the jig saw out. They cut really well with a relatively fine blade and a bit of sandpaper round the cut after. Make one that's perfect for you. It's worth persevering as when it's right it makes a massive difference to comfort levels.

    Having said all that the  MRA with the visor was pretty good on my Gen 1 but then I'm not particularly tall. So it may not work for you.

    I never ride without ear plugs. Been using Auritech Biker ones for years. All day comfort, great seal, last about a year, £20
    Last Edit: January 10, 2024, 01:02:10 pm by Harry H

  • Offline Winger   gb

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    Offline Winger

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #5 on: January 10, 2024, 06:49:17 pm
    January 10, 2024, 06:49:17 pm
    HOWARD LEIGHT Maximum 37decibel EARPLUG we have both used them for more years than I even want to own up too.

    Screen has been Puig Sport from day one.

  • Offline Dan - Admin   gb

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #6 on: January 10, 2024, 11:16:48 pm
    January 10, 2024, 11:16:48 pm
    *Originally Posted by Winger [+]
    HOWARD LEIGHT Maximum 37decibel EARPLUG we have both used them for more years than I even want to own up too.


    +1

    Just about as good as you're gonna get  :028:

  • Offline mjojom   gb

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    Offline mjojom

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #7 on: January 12, 2024, 12:40:56 pm
    January 12, 2024, 12:40:56 pm
    3M orange earplugs, 37db, pickup at any trade store or online, about £30 for 200 pairs - got a pair or two in every jacket top box, etc, so they are always available to me.
    works well for me, but I only use plugs for longer rides or M-ways, I like my helmets open.
    I've had stock, MRA with spoiler, and powerbronze tall screen, best for me is powerbronze. As for helmets, my research conclusion was that Shoei GT air 2 was amongst the quietest helmets and HJC RPHA 70 is about the same but half the price. Modular helmets are prone to be quite a bit noisier as all the irregularities from smooth surface will catch the air and therefore make it more noisey.   

  • Offline s1000xr-guy   gb

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    Offline s1000xr-guy

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #8 on: January 12, 2024, 01:15:08 pm
    January 12, 2024, 01:15:08 pm
    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.

    *Originally Posted by Dan - Admin [+]
    +1

    Just about as good as you're gonna get  :028:

    I've ordered a 10 pack of the Howard Leight Max 37dB plugs, I'll see how they work out.

    I previously tried Moldex Contours (small) and the 3 membrane silicon ones sold under various brands. I have what I understand to be small ear canals and could never really get ear plugs to fit well. In spending £100 on Ultimate Ear plugs the takeaway has been that the supplied gel they use to 'lube' the plugs was all that I was missing. When using that, I had no trouble fitting the inexpensive disposable plugs. If anyone else struggles with fitting plugs - save yourself the money and headache and buy something like this (https://www.mg-development.com/en/our-products/dermoprotective-gel/) as it's what Ultimate Ear rebrand as gel.

    *Originally Posted by mjojom [+]
    ...my research conclusion was that Shoei GT air 2 was amongst the quietest helmets and HJC RPHA 70 is about the same but half the price. Modular helmets are prone to be quite a bit noisier as all the irregularities from smooth surface will catch the air and therefore make it more noisey.

    You might be interested in this helmet shootout (https://youtu.be/sqQ5BIPRdNI?si=t1mJA9VYVrifm_ud&t=340) where they show that in their testing the Schuberth C5 was 1dB louder than the Shoei GT air 2 and that the HJC RPHA 91 is the quietest helmet they have tested. It would seem their tests agree with yours. I did a bunch of research after having only worn full face helmets for years and some users suggested that because of the tighter neck roll/seal afforded by a modular helmet they are quieter.

    I can say that not using the bike to commute has helped a lot. I didn't mind the noise so much anymore for a short blat in the country!

    Next step is to try either the MRA Vario, V Stream or Powerbronze screen.
    Last Edit: January 12, 2024, 01:15:49 pm by s1000xr-guy

  • Offline s1000xr-guy   gb

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    Offline s1000xr-guy

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    Re: Windnoise for tall rider
    Reply #9 on: January 17, 2024, 10:25:08 am
    January 17, 2024, 10:25:08 am
    Update: For those who may be interested.

    After contacting MRA directly, they have stated that they can make a custom Vario screen that is 8cm longer (quoted as 530cm) for 185.53€ and UK shipping costs of 22,00€ (207,53€ total is ~£177.91). This works out to be around £42 more delivered than the Vario from Bike HPS.

    I think I'll go ahead a try this. The quoted lead times are 'about 3-6 weeks'.

     



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