View Full Version : Hearing Protection?

08-12-2004, 06:45 AM
Hi All,

Just got a slightly used S4R with some arrow pipes. It sounds great, but on longer rides, between the wind and the bike, my ears are feeling it by the end. I've tried a few types of disposable ear plugs and they help some.

Anyone know of a good source in or near Seattle for custom ear protection or for a large variety of disposable types?

thanks much,


08-12-2004, 07:09 AM
My favorites are still my Army issued 3 flange silicon ear plugs. I bet you can pick them up at an Army surplus store or GI Joes.

08-12-2004, 07:25 AM
The Safety Supply Store has several variaties of the disposable types. They are located just north of the 1st Ave South Bridge on Marginal Way in south Seattle.

08-12-2004, 08:14 AM
I had some made at a Group Health clinic several years ago. You'll need to specify that you want them to block at 30db or better. Being Grope Death they won't ask.

Personally I prefer the soft 30db ones from the road safety stores. my poor ears don't get fatigued as much as the molded ones.


08-12-2004, 09:17 AM
I had a set made at Laguna Seca for me 2 years ago (how I managed NOT to loose they is WAY beyond anyone that knows me) and I love them. Cost about $40 and they are 29db if I recall the doctors that made them. On a very long day I can get some noise but overall they work exceptionally well. I just love them.

Never though about having Group Health make them. They said they are good for about 2 years so I guess I'm due for another set pretty soon. I highly recommend the custom fit plugs. Althought not an issue any longer in CA the customs were the only *legal* plugs to use since they were medical devices.

Anyone know how the laws play out in WA? Is it legal to use the disposble plugs?

08-12-2004, 09:25 AM
It is legal to use earplugs on motorcycles (not in cars) in all states as far as I could remember.

08-12-2004, 10:02 AM
If you can wait till the motorcycle show there is a vendor usually there which makes custom earplugs. I think they ran me $35 or something and have lasted me 4+ years. They will inject or rather squish some gooey type putty in your ear and it sets up. You come back 20 or so minutes later and you have a set of custom earplugs. And you can choose different colors too.

08-12-2004, 03:50 PM
I posted a question to the Legislative Internet Support group after a discussion on two posts here. support_in@leg.wa.gov

My question to them was 'Need to know prohibitions on use of earplugs while operating a motor vehicle (car, motorcycle)'

They just answered with the following section of the traffic code (Title 46) of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW)

I think that earplugs are inferred here but I would contest the prohibition of earplugs on the grounds that I can't hear emergency vehicles sirens while the windows in my car are up and the stereo is on anyway. Besides the law does not specifically state a frequency threshold which IMHO is a serious loophole.


RCW 46.37.480
Television viewers -- Earphones.
(1) No person shall drive any motor vehicle equipped with any television viewer, screen, or other means of visually receiving a television broadcast which is located in the motor vehicle at any point forward of the back of the driver's seat, or which is visible to the driver while operating the motor vehicle. This subsection does not apply to law enforcement vehicles communicating with mobile computer networks.

(2) No person shall operate any motor vehicle on a public highway while wearing any headset or earphones connected to any electronic device capable of receiving a radio broadcast or playing a sound recording for the purpose of transmitting a sound to the human auditory senses and which headset or earphones muffle or exclude other sounds. This subsection does not apply to students and instructors participating in a Washington state motorcycle safety program.

(3) This section does not apply to authorized emergency vehicles, motorcyclists wearing a helmet with built-in headsets or earphones as approved by the Washington state patrol, or motorists using hands-free, wireless communications systems, as approved by the equipment section of the Washington state patrol.

[1996 c 34 § 1; 1991 c 95 § 1; 1988 c 227 § 6; 1987 c 176 § 1; 1977 ex.s. c 355 § 40; 1961 c 12 § 46.37.480. Prior: 1949 c 196 § 11; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 6360-98d. Formerly RCW 46.36.150.]


Severability -- 1988 c 227: See RCW 46.81A.900.

Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 355: See note following RCW 46.37.010.

Nathan Reynolds
08-12-2004, 11:52 PM
I stood in line for 45 minutes at Laguna Seca two years ago to buy custom plugs. In that span of time three guys came up with complaints about theirs. Decided against the $40 expenditure. The "free" orange ones from Boeing(read: cheap but effective) have served me well for numerous week long jaunts.

08-13-2004, 08:26 AM
after years of wearing disposable "squishies" in clubs while listening to/playing music, I'm rather used to them. I wear earplugs 90% of the time I'm riding.

I had custom musician's earplugs made (About $100) and they were pretty much useless because everytime I'd move my jaw it would loosen my plugs, I never really got a good seal, even after several ajustements.
So I spent the big bucks on a box of orange throw-aways. IMO - a very good investment.