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Motorbike Macgyver
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327 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Never done it before, recently discovered that my Bluetooth ear buds fit under my helmet, thinking about it. Is it a distraction? Illegal? Not something most riders recommend?
 

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Check your state laws. My state doesn't have a law against it.

I do it all the time, but I keep the volume low. In any case, my head is on swivel so I feel comfortable doing it.
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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^ Now I understand why some people end up on so many blacklists...

As for riding with earbuds, I generally don't care to do so. I prefer the speakers and amp I mounted to my bike, combined with my iPod on whichever playlist I have chosen.
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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327 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
^ Now I understand why some people end up on so many blacklists...

As for riding with earbuds, I generally don't care to do so. I prefer the speakers and amp I mounted to my bike, combined with my iPod on whichever playlist I have chosen.
Can't afford speakers and even if I could, my home-built bike don't make enough juice to power them. I run a 1.2Ah battery and a generator that runs off my tires that only puts out about 5w.
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,521 Posts
Back to the subject of listening to music. If you are distracted by it then don't do it. Keeping the volume down can help tremendously in that regard. I'm able to lower the volume when I get into traffic but I don't think you'll be able to in your set-up. But then you won't be going 80mph either so the lower volume all the time will be easily heard but also not loud enough to distract. In other words, GO FOR IT.:D
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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14,296 Posts
Auto volume is the way to go, I have it in my helmet units and in the sports car
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
These are NOT the swivels you are looking for...



Assuming you have a muffler on your bike you can either listen to wind noise or you can listen to music. Virtually everything else gets blocked out at any speed over ~28mph.

Wind noise above ~28mph will cover up important road sounds, like a car overtaking you just as much as earbuds will. Sounds that would improve your safety if you WERE able to hear them.

Of course an open exhaust will drown out just about everything.

So the only time you REALLY want to be careful with music, and perhaps reduce volume, is at lower speeds in town, where wind noise would NOT prevent you from hearing important sounds, cars pulling up right next to you, horns, people yelling, etc.
 

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I'mma chime in here, too, since I'm new.
I don't even listen to music in my car anymore - the bluetooth / ipod / aux radio I got for christmas just sits there and makes pretty lights now.
Does listening to music help with wind noise? I'm afraid to listen to music while riding (as a passenger, hell, why not? I'm riding 2 up with a coworker on tuesday and I'm charging my ipod just for the trip), since I'm so nee. I guess I'm afraid it would be a distraction / I wouldn't hear the other vehicles on the road around me as well.
I guess all I can do is try it out, though.
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,521 Posts
You use your vision more than hearing. Haven't you heard all the reasons loud pipes don't help. You don't "hear" a car until they are right next to you anyway. At that point you are going to "see" them anyway. So anyone that's claiming loud pipes don't help but claims you shouldn't listen to music because you can't hear a car is two faced. Just do what you want and the heck with everyone else.
 

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I have a cheap set of Sony jogging earphones that fit all the way around your ears and have little speakers that stick at an angle in the ear without blocking any outside sound whatsoever. Perfect for Google maps GPS step by step on the bike. I live in Virginia and it is illegal but I guarantee I would have the Judge throw it out if the officer was ignorant enough and ass hat enough to write me up for it.
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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327 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Back to the subject of listening to music. If you are distracted by it then don't do it. Keeping the volume down can help tremendously in that regard. I'm able to lower the volume when I get into traffic but I don't think you'll be able to in your set-up. But then you won't be going 80mph either so the lower volume all the time will be easily heard but also not loud enough to distract. In other words, GO FOR IT.:D
My Bluetooth headphones have volume control, so if I need to turn the volume down I can reach up with my left hand and turn it down.
 

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A legend in his own mind
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2,600 Posts
Again, check local/state laws. Michigan lets motorcyclists use headphones but not car/truck drivers. I find I can hear the traffic around me when I do use them, but I also don't crank the music too loud either.
Go and try it while by yourself during low traffic hours before getting into traffic. If it's ever an issue turn music off. Ear buds don't block sounds like earplugs do an I use earplugs on long rides with a Bluetooth speaker on handlebars.
 

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Interesting Question

Having something directly in your ears naturally throws off your equilibrium. It's a hard balance to maintain. Especially when most are hyper-sensitive while on a bike. You can't here direct or small sounds that you might need, if you can't feel. Some failure on the bike, a crash just occurring out of sight, etc. I would avoid it and view it as a peaceful time to unwind. That's just my honest opinion. People do it while running because it's such a mundane, instinctual task, like blowing spit bubbles. If you have a any question to if it's hindering you, it probably is. Let me know how it works out. I've tried it and no good.
 

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Like I said, some can. That's great. You have your vision, hearing, and feeling (touch), that are mainly used when riding. Touch is only used for what's on the bike. That leaves two. I just don't think it's wise to take your hearing away when it's such a big asset. That's just me and most people I've ridden with. People should enjoy what they want and can. Maybe I have just been called to too many accidents where people either stated they didn't see it coming or they were aware, but because they didn't hear it. Most say speakers were too loud, headphones in. The other thing is that some of those incidents wouldn't have mattered if they had all senses available. Just some thoughts.
 
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