Why Should You Use Earplugs While Riding A Custom Bike?

As a rider, you should really take good care of your ears. Why? Well, imagine that you live long enough now to have grandchildren, and your motorcycle riding days are over and that means that the only joy you’ll get from that time, is when your grandkids ask you “Hey pops tell us about that time you cross from San Francisco to New York on your bike”, and if you don’t take care of your hiring while riding, you may not enjoy this moment.

motorcycle earplugs

A lot of enthusiasts myself included are major advocates for the use of motorcycle earplugs while riding. Of course, there are some concerns about them, mainly because it may reduce safety preventing riders from hearing other vehicles, however, both audiologists and experienced motorcyclists agree that the concern is unfounded.

Well, let’s jump right into it by answering the first question. Why do we need to worry about our ears while riding, in the first place?

NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) which is part of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that workers don’t be exposed to sound levels above 85 decibels in their eight-hour work days and go on to state that sound levels above 100 decibels are damaging right after fifteen minutes of exposure.

These tests were conducted by researchers of the South Alabama University and the William Patterson University the use an acoustically engineered dummy and microphones and found out that speeds over 25 MPH, wind noise cancels out any noise from the bike and at 74 MPH wind noise exceeded the 100 decibels mark.

Simply put what these two facts tell us is that is we drive our motorcycles at highway speeds for over fifteen minutes without earplugs you are permanently damaging your hearing. Let’s face it, no one wants to drive a bike for just 15 minutes.

Well, not me that for sure, and not you either. Nothing brings more joy to a Biker than riding at least 8 hours. Now, riding may not be working, but NIOSH standards applied, meaning that the exposure to sounds over 100 decibels requires protection to avoid permanent damage. The first thing we all need to do is get ourselves earplugs A-S-A-P.

WHY EARPLUGS MAKE YOU SAFER?

benefits of motorcycle ear plugs

If you made it this far, then you know that our ears don’t work at 100 decibels. We humans didn’t evolve in an environment where loud noises were constant and common, back then there weren’t any chainsaws, factories, and motorcycles.

That is the main reason why earplugs don’t reduce your safety, they don’t cancel out noises you should be hearing like sirens, vehicles approaching, horns blowing, amongst others. What they do is reduce the pressure that sound makes on you, allowing your ears to operate in a more natural range, so you’ll be able to distinguish sounds better, trust the experts when they tell you that because of this, you’ll be more likely to hear a distinctive sound like a siren, because your ears are not overwhelmed with 100 decibels of sound pressure.

Another thing experts (and by experts I mean Bikers with many years of riding under their belt) agree on, is that they began to use earplugs on long rides they felt less fatigued, which is a great safety improvement since we are all more likely to make mistake when we are tired, using earplugs really does improves your odds.

WHICH EARPLUGS SHOULD YOU BUY?

motorcycle earplug reviews

Well, not to be unhelpful or anything, but there is really not a right choice, there are many options out there that fits everyone preferences, at the end of the day they all do what they are supposed to do, for example, disposable foam earplugs work just great for most people. Personally, I’ve tried some of the others, but always end up coming back to basics, the trick with the foam earplugs is to use them correctly, just roll them tight insert them into your ear canal and let it expand.

Of course, there are other kinds of earplugs available, including custom made plugs made for you. The best part is that all options are very cheap (Except for the custom made that is).

In conclusion, the sooner you start taking seriously your hearing, the better, no matter which kind of earplugs you choose.

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The Real Way Of Setting Up An Audio System

car audio system

We have come a long way from the days of just having a good radio tuner and CD player with a couple of decent Pioneer speakers. Nowadays everyone wants to get the best audio system for their cars, but most importantly they’ll want to install it themselves for the joy that the experience brings.

It can be quite overwhelming today given all the options available in the market. So, we are going to try to make our best to break down some of the setups you would feel more comfortable about, and some extra pointers you would appreciate.

TYPES OF SOUND SYSTEMS

Upon some conscious research, we can break this into three “levels”.

  1. Basic: This is meant for the people who want just a little more of what their default setup can provide, a simple add-on to the default system or a basic upgrade across the dashboard.
  2. Mid-Range: The costs are going to be higher than in Basic but the system will offer more features and power for a customized sound experience. This level consists of all around component upgrades.
  3. Advanced: Well, this category is for the savviest sound system connoisseur, you’ll get fine-tuned components for people who want to have the absolute best from their audiovisual experience. The features you’ll find here are unreal and the result is an awesome ground pounding experience.

HEAD UNIT

best auto head unit

As the name suggests, this is the head of your car sound system, the head, and the cornerstone. It is from where all the sound originates, and where almost all the sound adjustments are made. You have to consider certain factors when comparing different HUs.

* Source: Here is where all your media will be, AM, FM, CD, iPod, AUX, USB, DVD, satellite radio, GPS, and Bluetooth. The most basic of HU only comes with AM, FM, and CD, a midrange adds iPod and AUX, and an advanced one offers you all of the above.

Preamp: This is where all your sound adjustment is located, balance, fade, and equalizer. Advance units come with crossovers networks.

Power: Here, the RMS power is what your unit will produce, and the max power is the top your unit can produce. The more RMS you have the more room you’ll have to operate before maxing out your unit.

Other Features: Some HU come with touchscreen LCD monitors, customizable displays, and more perks manufacturers offer for aesthetics.

AMPLIFIER

car amplifierIf you are setting up an advanced system, a more powerful HU, high range speakers, subwoofers, you will need an Amplifier no matter what.

Amplifiers will give you more power and better sound quality. So, you have to consider certain factors when choosing a powerful amplifier.

RSM Rating: As you already know this determines the way your sound system will perform. If you want a basic setup for a small car then a 50W RMS per channel is more than O.K, for midrange, an advanced setup then go for the 75W and 100W RMS.

Channels: The number of channels is key for how many different devices are going to be powered, for example, a 4-Channel amp will power 4 devices, the more channels the amp has the more devices you can connect and the more powerful the sound will be.

Ohms: Ohms are a measure of resistance and most amps are designed to work with 4, 8 or 16 ohms of resistance. To prevent any damage to your equipment simply match the total ohm load of your speakers to the amp.

Class: There are a lot of classes of amps, they are categorized by their circuit design and power output. Now, let’s cut right to the chase, Class D amps are what you want to get, they use output transistors like switches in order to control the power distribution and they stay cooler than other classes.

SPEAKERS

speaker for your car

Speakers can also be broken down, Driver Use, type, size, and power.

Driver use: Speakers can be full range or component, it’ll depend on the drivers. The driver is the one that converts the electrical frequencies to sound.

Type: There are several different kinds of speaking depending on which tone you are looking to improve. Subwoofers are all about that bass (remember the song?) while the tweeters handle the highest pitched sounds.

Size: Easy, will the speakers you choose to fit into the manufacturer locations in your car, or will you have to customize it?

Power: Remember that you have to match the power of your amp with your speakers ensuring proper and clean sound.

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How to Build Your Own Kit Car From Scratch?

car parts

Building your own car can seem like a titanic endeavor, but if you are dead set on it, then, let’s go.

A car can be one of the most prized possession one can have and can be even more gratifying building it by yourself, it will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and pride that will make you fly high and you can brag about it at your neighborhood barbecue.

One of the best and most effective ways to build a car is to build a Kit Car, they look like unattainable, legendary cars that we all wish we could have, but this kits normally use car parts from vehicles we can easily find. Building your own kit car is the best way to own the car of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Building your own car

Most kit car builders find success with their projects by doing all the research they can before and during their build. We can break down the research into three important areas.

You need to know all the information you can from the Kit and the vehicle its parts are based on, secondly what parts to get and of course, where to get them from, and third but not last what demands to build the car will have on you, Bob the builder.

Kit Car Information

Finding information on the internet can be very easy, getting to know a couple of websites will set you on the right path. Speedsters.com, www.speedsterowners.com, www.classic-kitcars.com, and www.about-kit-cars.co.uk can be extra full in addition to this article.

car parts

Car Parts to Support your Kit Car

Once you’ve done all the research you need and have chosen your kit car, you’ll need to research where to get the parts you need without going bankrupt. When you get your Kit Car, it’ll come with instructions on how to assemble it and these instructions will tell you which parts you’ll be needing. One cheap way to get them is buying a donor car in good conditions.

Junkyards

This is another great way to get those parts you need, visit all the junkyards you can, remember that “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”. This is a fun part if you love treasure hunting. It’s common for junkyards to have “Half Off” sales that would really help you with the costs.

Once you are in there, look around, don’t settle for the first things you see, dig up, and you are sure to find some hidden gems. Look for newer, dry and cleaner parts. Once you get your parts a good coat of paint will leave them brand new.

Suppliers

In the rare case (or maybe you just have enough money to throw around) that you can’t find a donor car or any junkyards near you, then you can get your parts from a supplier, this is the easy way out, but the most expensive, an option you may want to reserve for those unique pieces that will give your car an original look. Suppliers are still cheaper than retail stores though, it’s not all bad with this one.

Builder Demands

You have to make sure to have the necessary space to build your car, not only to park it but to work around it. You’ll need space to keep your tools and the parts you’ll be buying, make sure is a covered area, like a garage.

Tools

And talking about tools, you are going to need an excellent toolset, don’t worry, as you may know already when it comes to car repair, most of the tools are just hand tools. If you have all the tools you need at your disposal great, but can always rely on friends or family to lend you some.

Patience and Perseverance

Perhaps, the two most important aspects you should have when endeavoring in building a car. This is both a physical and mental challenge, you will find an obstacle that may stall you for a few days, just take a step back, relax your mind, and get back on it.

Getting Started

Kit Cars are just awesome, they always get the heads rolling when they passed by, it comes with a feel of self-accomplishment. Remember to have space and the tools, stay on track, and set yourself short-term and long-term goals.

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Changing Your Engine Oil Step By Step

oil changes edited

One of the most important maintenance job your car needs is changing the engine oil regularly. You can do this easily at home by following very easy steps, you can do it quickly and without getting dirty. Doing this yourself will save you a lot of money and extend the life of your car.

If you are a DIY enthusiast this is a task that you can easily perform, don’t think that just because it looks rather simple, you don’t need certain “guidance”, believe or not, there are plenty of people out there doing it wrong, those who believe it is an ugly chore and those who prefer to overpay.

As the most important thing, your engine needs to “live long and prosper”, you should really learn how to do it for yourself, and no one is going to take better care of your car than yourself.

oil changes edited

Changing your oil isn’t heart surgery, let’s be honest. This is something that you probably have done in the past and you simply need a reminder. Oil changing shops are constantly increasing their prices, so your budget will appreciate if you retake the mantle and get under your car.

Here it is, a step by step guide to help you accomplish this easily and without a hitch.

BUY THE RIGHT FILTER AND THE RIGHT OIL

This is the first and most important one because if you choose wrong you’ll damage your engine. Grab your owner’s manual and search for the type and weight of oil specific to your car.

Normally, your car manufacturer will recommend specific oil viscosity for that engine, and the best you can do is follow them exactly. Choosing your own preference over the manual’s recommendation will damage your engine, decrease performance and light up the “Check Engine” warning.

A good quality oil filter is the next important thing, back in the old days, Oil Filters were all pretty much the same. Nowadays they aren’t anymore. If the manufacturer recommends oil changes every 6000 miles or 3000 miles, you have to make sure to buy a filter appropriate to go the distance, simply put, don’t use expensive synthetic oil if you are going to cheap out on an economy filter. You have to make sure to check and double check that the filter you purchase was meant to run the distance your oil change requires.

According to Caroutfitter editors, There is a massive difference between a high-quality filter and a cheap one, but the difference in pricing is tiny. Now, if you are planning on using regular oil and committing to change exactly every 3000 miles, then, by all means, use the economy filter. But, if you are not going to be as “committed” as you think, then, go for long mileage synthetic blends, or full synthetic and a high-quality filter in order to preserve our engine from you… laziness.

It’s time to get hands-on…

CHANGING YOUR CAR’S OIL THE FAST WAY

If you have everything in order, the right oil and the right filter, then let’s proceed to the actual process of changing the oil.

First, you should buy some plastic sheeting, spread it on the floor, and drive your car onto it, this will help you prevent any spilling cleaning, just toss the setting away after you’re finished or keep it if you don’t have any spills what so ever.

Next, jack up your car and set the jack stands, and lower your car. A good tip right now is to place all the tools you need in a box or tray near you, so everything you’ll need is right within your reach.

The things you’ll need in the box will be:

  • Box end wrench.
  • Rubber Mallet.
  • Filter Wrench
  • Drain pan.
  • New Filter

Before getting under the car, open up a bottle of oil and spill some of it on the new filter’s gasket, and now you are good to go.

Step 1: Remove the oil plug and let the old oil drain out. (Unscrew the plug and pull it away from the stream).

Step 2: Remove the old oil filter and install the new one (Pull of the old filter and the rubber gasket).

Step 3: After all the oil has been drawn out, screw the plug back on again and tighten it with the box end wrench and the rubber mallet. Just wipe off any drips with a rag and you are done (from under the car that is).

Step 4: Open up your hood, unscrew the oil cap, grab a funnel and pour the new oil.

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