The sources and effects of noise exposure in motorcyling

Michael Carley, John Kennedy, Nigel Holt, Ian Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on the Bath Motorcycle Collaboration, an interdisciplinary collaborative research effort involving the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Psychology at the University of Bath and Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom. The group has taken a broad approach to the problem of noise in motorcycling, examining its sources, transmission, and effects. Noise‐induced hearing loss is a problem which can affect professional riders and racers as well as leisure riders and commuters. To study the problem, extensive wind tunnel tests have been conducted to provide detailed aerodynamic measurements and flow visualization around the helmet. These results have then been compared with and validated using on‐track data covering realistic riding conditions. Insertion loss measurements combined with loudness matching tasks on groups of volunteers have been used to investigate the process of noise transmission through the head∕helmet system. Hearing threshold shift measurements have been conducted to quantify the effects of this type of noise exposure on riders. This comprehensive approach has yielded valuable information for rider safety and has helped identify the research questions which will lead to a proper understanding of this important health and safety issue
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2651
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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