Noise mechanisms in motorcycle helmet noise

Michael Carley, Nigel Holt, Ian Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
249 Downloads (Pure)


A unique set of results on the acoustics of motorcycle helmets has been gathered during road tests on a rider wearing a representative modern helmet. The data were collected during a study of the noise which can cause hearing damage and, possibly, distraction in riders. They consisted of simultaneous measurements of noise at the rider's ear and unsteady pressure on the helmet surface, combined with GPS measurements of rider position and speed. These signals have been analyzed to educe the coherent structures in the turbulent flow responsible for noise generation. The identified structures appear to be produced by a vortex street shed by the motorcycle windscreen. The internal and external pressures proved to be poorly correlated over most of the frequency range, which has been identified as a result of the insertion loss of the helmet. The implications of these findings are that the majority of variation in helmet noise is a function of such extrinsic factors as motorcycle configuration and rider build and position. Efforts to reduce the harmful effects of noise in motorcycling should, then, move to studying the whole system of rider, helmet, motorcycle and external environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number040005
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Early online date28 Apr 2010
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
Event159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America/NOISE-CON 2010 - Baltimore, USA United States
Duration: 19 Apr 201023 Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

POMA -159th Meeting Acoustical Society of America/NOISE-CON 2010
Conference location: Baltimore, Maryland 19 - 23 April 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Noise mechanisms in motorcycle helmet noise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this