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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been riding for about 2 years now (a year and a half on my 2019 Z650) and I've always gotten ear ringing after a ride. It used to go away after a day or two but it's gotten worse and the ringing has become louder and more permanent. Recently, I've started getting hypersensitivity to noise and the ringing sometimes sounds like weird shimmering noises, which is pretty concerning.

I don't ride pretty often, usually just once a week and when I do it can be anywhere between 2 to 6 hours mostly on a combination of freeways and/or mountain twisties. I'm extremely strict with earplugs on every ride but the ringing still happens. My guess is that it has to do with the wind blast due to the Z650 not having a large windscreen but I haven't ridden enough bikes to know if that really makes a big difference.

I don't hear too many people talking about riding-induced tinnitus so I'm curious to know - is this normal? Are long term riders here just living with the tinnitus or am I one of the unlucky minority? Really curious to know what everyone's experiences are!
 

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1992 ZX-7 2017 z650 2017 RC390
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It's the wind, you need earplugs. 60mph wind can be 100+ db. It's normal for those that don't protect their ears (I have tinnitus too, wear earplugs now).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's the wind, you need earplugs. 60mph wind can be 100+ db. It's normal for those that don't protect their ears (I have tinnitus too, wear earplugs now).
Yep, I wear earplugs on every ride. Although I only did recently learn that I wasn't putting them in as far as I should have (there should be no plug sticking out of your ear canal). Even with proper usage, I guess that's just cutting ~32dB off, which still leaves a lot of dBs to be had. So I guess I'm not surprised that I'm getting tinnitus. What I'm more surprised by is that not more people are talking about having issues. Is it not common to get ear ringing or hearing damage from riding or is it just a widely known tradeoff that people just accept.
 

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Been riding for about 2 years now (a year and a half on my 2019 Z650) and I've always gotten ear ringing after a ride. It used to go away after a day or two but it's gotten worse and the ringing has become louder and more permanent. Recently, I've started getting hypersensitivity to noise and the ringing sometimes sounds like weird shimmering noises, which is pretty concerning.

I don't ride pretty often, usually just once a week and when I do it can be anywhere between 2 to 6 hours mostly on a combination of freeways and/or mountain twisties. I'm extremely strict with earplugs on every ride but the ringing still happens. My guess is that it has to do with the wind blast due to the Z650 not having a large windscreen but I haven't ridden enough bikes to know if that really makes a big difference.

I don't hear too many people talking about riding-induced tinnitus so I'm curious to know - is this normal? Are long term riders here just living with the tinnitus or am I one of the unlucky minority? Really curious to know what everyone's experiences are!
Putting a windscreen on is not necessarily the answer either. A lot of the smaller screens (which would fit the Z650) will cause wind buffeting worse than what you have now. I have found that your helmet can make a huge difference with wind noise, but it comes down to the shape of your face/head/chin so its hard to recommend one particular helmet being better than another. You might also want to get earplugs tailor made by a hearing specialist. Might be expensive but your hearing is important.
 

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There are many potential causes of tinnitus. Riding noise is certainly an apparent cause here, but it may not be the real cause. My suggestion would be to get a medical evaluation of the problem before doing anything else.
 

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Hi, Having suffered from Tinnitus for years, Laser Lite ear plugs are my preferred choice (cheap on E-bay) - The best by far, after trying many different types for riding & also as an aircraft engineer carrying out ground running.
Also good full face helmet will make a massive difference - Shoei or Arai are my preference - especially as Helmets are mandatory in the UK.
Always wear ear plugs or defenders if you are going to be near anything noisy especially as the tinnitus will never get better - you can only stop it getting worse with careful protection.
Good luck & best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the tips everyone. I think I have exhausted my options (trying out different helmets, custom medical grade earplugs, etc). I've decided to go see an audiologist to check out my ears so I will report back when I do.
 
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