Obviously, you need a good motorbike helmet for safety’s sake. However, your ears also deserve protection when you are riding. The volume of wind noise in your bike helmet can be as much as 115 dB – and remember: any noise above 85 dB can cause hearing loss. Moreover, you tend to feel tired sooner and won’t be able to use your communication system properly if the noise is too loud. So wind noise is a serious issue for motorbike riders.
Choosing an aerodynamic helmet can reduce the levels of noise on your bike considerably. The better the wind slides past your helmet, the quieter it will be. What about large ventilation grids on the outside of the helmet? A split between the helmet’s body and the visor? A space under your chin that allows air in? These are all aspects that will make your helmet noisier, so if you are looking for a quiet helmet, pay attention to the purity of the shape. Choose a smooth finish without fins or ventilation grids on the outside. Inspect the quality of the visor and how well you can adjust it. And make sure the helmet is a good fit around your chin.
It is extremely advisable to wear earplugs as well as an aerodynamic helmet. The best ear plugs are the ones specifically designed for motorbike riders, such as Alpine MotoSafe.
According to the motorcycle website RideApart, Schuberth produces the quietest bike helmets. Schuberth is the only manufacturer that lists the number of decibels produced at different speeds and the only one with a wind tunnel at its head office. The company states that the C3 PRO produces 84 dB at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour while the S2 produces 85 DB at the same speed because of its looser fit around the neck.
Shoei, another company that relies heavily on wind tunnel tests, commands a second place in the quiet helmet stakes. They have even designed a special arm to move the helmet sideways and up and down in the tunnel so that they can simulate riding conditions as well as possible. However, Schuberth is the only bike helmet brand to present relevant figures.