On-road and wind-tunnel measurement of motorcycle helmet noise

J. Kennedy, M. Carley, I. Walker, N. Holt

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The noise source mechanisms involved in motorcycling include various aerodynamic sources and engine noise. The problem of noise source identification requires extensive data acquisition of a type and level that have not previously been applied. Data acquisition on track and on road are problematic due to rider safety constraints and the portability of appropriate instrumentation. One way to address this problem is the use of data from wind tunnel tests. The validity of these measurements for noise source identification must first be demonstrated. In order to achieve this extensive wind tunnel tests have been conducted and compared with the results from on-track measurements. Sound pressure levels as a function of speed were compared between on track and wind tunnel tests and were found to be comparable. Spectral conditioning techniques were applied to separate engine and wind tunnel noise from aerodynamic noise and showed that the aerodynamic components were equivalent in both cases. The spectral conditioning of on-track data showed that the contribution of engine noise to the overall noise is a function of speed and is more significant than had previously been thought. These procedures form a basis for accurate experimental measurements of motorcycle noise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2004-2010
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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