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Music is a favourite pastime of many people around the globe. It can be done with most activities. Music can even have positive effects on mood and mental health, according to studies.
However, there are some activities you may be uncomfortable with such as listening to music while riding your motorcycle. One of these activities is riding a motorcycle and listening to music.
Can I listen to music on a motorcycle? Motorcyclists may listen to music while on a motorcycle. It is legal and safer to use a Bluetooth helmet and a stereo system while riding a motorcycle. Because of the potential dangers and laws that may follow, it is not recommended to use headphones while riding.
Music can be a great way to enhance your riding experience. It’s a lot of fun to listen to music when I ride my motorcycle. This is what I found out through my research on the safety of riding while listening to music.
These are the Rules of Listening to Music While Riding
It doesn’t matter if you prefer to listen to music on your motorcycle or in your helmet. Listening to music in vehicles is more complicated than listening to it on your bike. With a car you simply turn on the radio and you’re good to go for hundreds of miles. That’s not necessarily how it is with a motorcycle.
There really haven’t been many laws regarding motorcycles and listening to music. But there are a few laws regarding what you can and can’t do while operating a vehicle in general and these laws also apply to motorcycles.
Motorcycle riders and drivers are constantly asking about headphones and earbuds. That’s mainly because there are several states in the U.S. that completely ban the use of these devices while operating a vehicle, whether that be a motorcycle or a car. The AAA (American Automobile Association), can provide information about each state’s laws regarding headphone use.
Listening to music on a motorcycle is permitted, but certain types of music can pose additional dangers. Certain headsets and headphones can cause riders to lose some senses during riding due to the increased technology in these headsets. Some models have noise cancelling features, which is dangerous for motorcyclists.
You can also purchase helmet inserts and place them inside your helmet. They don’t actually go into your ears like earbuds do, rather they sit on the inside walls of your helmet giving the sensation that you have a Bluetooth helmet. Although this is a superior alternative to using headphones, They can also distract the rider from the motorcycle if the wiring becomes tangled or if one speaker is loose.
The rule of thumb I like to follow when it comes to listening to music while riding is to use a method that doesn’t require wires or anything that could potentially become lose and cause distraction. Headphones and inserts for helmets can easily fall apart and cause discomfort.
How to Listen to Music While Riding
Now that we’ve discussed the ways you shouldn’t listen to music while riding a motorcycle, let’s talk about the best and most effective ways you can listen to music. These are the best ways to listen to music while on a motorcycle.
You can safely and legally listen to music while you ride by using the stereo system built into your motorcycle. Some people like this method, others find it annoying because everyone else can hear what they’re listening to.
You only need to push a few buttons near the handlebars while driving. If your motorcycle doesn’t have a stereo system or any speakers, you can easily install some that can hook up to your phone or iPod.
A Bluetooth helmet is the second best and most secure way to listen while you ride. These helmets have speakers built-in that can be connected to your phone or MP3 players. The nicest thing about these is that you don’t have to worry about wiring or anything sliding around inside your helmet or falling out of place.
Bluetooth helmets typically have external buttons that you can press to adjust volume or skip tracks. You’ll need to memorize the buttons before you put it on though. Bluetooth helmets have the ability to connect to your GPS for directions, without you having the distraction of your phone.
I’ve been using a Bluetooth helmet for the last six years now. It’s a great helmet. I love that it can both hear the music and hear any surrounding sounds I need to be aware of.
The pros and cons of listening to music while riding your motorcycle
If you’re still deciding whether or not riding your motorcycle while listening to music is something you’re going to do, I’ve made a pros and cons list to help make your decision a little easier. This is what I’ve learned through my riding and listening experience.
Many riders, including me, find themselves more alert when listening to music. If you are unable to hear the motor or wind on your bike for long periods of time, it can become monotonous and repetitive. Listening to music can make your ride more enjoyable and more alert.
Music while riding can help you feel better. Studies have shown that the fact that you’re outside on your motorcycle is enough to improve one’s mental health. You can improve your mood by listening to music you like.
Though listening to music shouldn’t drown out all of your surrounding sounds, It can reduce the motorcycle’s noises. While listening to my motorcycle rumble is enjoyable for a short time, it can cause headaches for me. Music helps me to enjoy my ride more.
On the other side, Too loud music can drown out important sounds. If you have your music too loud you may not be able to hear what’s going on around you which causes potential danger for you.
You will likely annoy others if you listen to music on your bike’s stereo system. Pedestrians and other drivers around you may not appreciate what you’re listening to, especially if you have the volume way up.
You can’t be too safe while riding on your motorcycle and listening to music. Music does create a little distraction. Even if all you have to do is take your hand off the handlebar for a second to skip to the next song, that’s one second that off your handlebar and one second less control of the bike.
I can’t write an article about riding a motorcycle and listening to music without mentioning the importance of volume of that music. Listening to and riding should be done with consideration of the volume of your music.
As I had mentioned before, don’t listen to your music so loudly that it comes to a point where you can’t hear anything else. This can be distracting and dangerous, so you should have as much awareness while riding as possible.
Loud music can also damage your hearing. Motorcycle riding is already loud enough. Adding music to the mix can cause more damage to your ears. You may not think your music is loud until you use your MP3 player later while you’re at home only to have it surprisingly blast your ears because you forgot to turn it down.
The motorcycle’s sound volume is normally between 70 and 80 decibels. Music adds another decibel to this. Heartsmart warns that prolonged exposure to music at 100 decibels or more for 30 minutes can cause hearing damage.
That’s not to say that you can’t listen to music while you’re riding. Just be smart with the volume and that you aren’t listening to your music at the loudest it can be.
How do you find motorcycle buddies? Locating motorcycle clubs and motorcycle buddies can be done via social media, attending car/motorcycle shows, calling motorcycle dealers, using cyclefish.com and taking a safety course on motorcycle riding. For more information, click here.
Are motorcycles suitable for college students? Because of their low cost, they can be a great option for college students. College students might find it challenging to handle the changing weather and the increased theft of bicycles on college campuses. See my article for more information.