A couple years ago when Baldy-Beard loaned me his scooter for a couple months, I rode with an open-faced helmet. The wind noise was incredible, and I began wearing earplugs pretty quickly.
Then I got my own bike (the mighty VX800), and a full-face helmet. The helmet was so quiet (in comparison) that I felt like I was riding in a luxury car. Only, you know, much more awesome.
Now I've got my Triumph, and she's a bit louder than the VX. And the wind noise is incredible again (that might be because of the increase in power and resulting speed). So, I vaguely thought I should get some earplugs again.
Last week I finally bought some (at the prompting of Lady Luck) and started wearing them.
I love it.
All the annoying noises, such as the roar of tires and wind, are barely noticeable, while the good sounds, such as the roar of the intake and my always hilarious vocals, are perfectly audible.
Of course, there is one downside: I have tinnitus. I have had it for as long as I can remember. I'm guessing it's because when I was born, Black Sabbath was there to mark the occasion.
Anyway, for most of my life I just figured it was the "System OK" sound, much like the spots one sees in the dark (uh, you all see those too, right?). After college it finally dawned on me that most people do not hear ANYTHING when there's no sound. Hmm.
I did some research on tinnitus, and learned that people who suffer from it, suffer because they're freaked out there's this ringing in their ears, and they start to obsess about it a bit. I know I did, briefly.
Most of the time, there's enough background noise that I don't notice it. I sleep with a fan on, and usually just don't ever think about the high-pitched ringing inside my head.
With the earplugs in at a quiet stoplight, though, I hear "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Annoying, and kind of spooky. It's a horror-flick sound.
Luckily, I have a cure: outrageous Ronnie James Dio impressions. Not only does it keep me sane, but the looks from other drivers (you can't do Dio at a stoplight without looking vaguely skyward and "clutching the mystical orb" here and there) are priceless.