Decibel from Hell: Chainsaws and Motorcycles
A motorcycle with a running engine or moving at 35mph produces the noise levels of a gasoline-powered lawn mower (90 decibels). Routine exposure to the noise of a gasoline-powered lawn mower puts you on a risk of a permanent hearing loss.
Riding a motorcycle at over 35mph produces the noise levels of a running chainsaw or a pneumatic drill (100 – 116dB). Do you need an expert to tell you that frequent exposure to a running chainsaw can make you deaf? Scientists say that the noise of a running chainsaw or of a motorcycle moving at highway speeds can damage your hearing in over 15 minutes.
Wind Noise: The “Silent Killer” in Motorcycle Riding
The main contributor to the noise of motorcycle riding is air turbulence around the head of a motorcyclist in motion. It’s a “silent killer” because it can lead to a severe hearing loss gradually.
The Science of Hearing Loss
Being around loud sounds for too long can destroy the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear. These cells transform sound into electrical signals that travel to the brain. The longer and closer you are to loud sounds, the more harm you can do to your hearing (noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL). “A good rule of thumb is to avoid noises that are ‘too loud’ and ‘too close’ or that last ‘too long’.’”