The damage to your ears is caused by wind noise, much more so than the exhaust noise. Even full face helmets produce 110 - 116 db of wind noise above 35 mph (half-helmets even more). Ear/hearing damage occurs in 15 minutes at 116 db. Above 35 mph, wind noise completely dominates any exhaust/mechanical noise. Just an FYI, that you can chase that muffler and try to quiet that, but even with that completely resolved, the issue with hearing damage is a function of traveling at speeds greater than 35 mph and caused by wind.
Completely agree. I'm taking a multi-pronged approach to reduce excess sound, which aggravates my ringing, and allow me to ride again. I'm doing the following:
- Ear plugs are a must. Have Macks with 33 reduction and looking into custom ear plugs
- My Shoei RF1200 is rated by webbikeworld as one of the louder helmets, so I'm looking to get a quieter helmet to reduce the main contributor to hearing damage as you said wind noise. Possibly the GT Air or a Schuberth.
- I'm looking at a quieter exhaust because the 90dB PowerCore 4 aggravates my ringing without even riding the bike
For newbies or first time riders that don't have ringing/tinnitus, the focus/priority can probably be on using ear plugs and a quiet helmet since wind noise is the main contributor.