I've solved my wind noise problem and thought I'd share. I can now ride 70-75mph without a helmet and the noise is quite low. With the foamy ear protection and my Shoei full face I can hear music from my Sena crystal clear now. To be clear, the foamies did NOT help with wind noise. It was transmitted thru the helmet to bone right to my eardrums. Eliminating the turbulent air around the base of my helmet is what reduced that. Engine noise it very easily handled by ear protection. FYI, I'm on a 2013 Vulcan 900 Classic LT with stock pipes. Here's all the stuff I did:
- Adjusted windshield to minimize noise with no other alterations. For me this was to max height as I'm 6'. Lower was definitely worse for over and under turbulence.
- Adjusted helmet angle to reduce wind turbulence around the neck of the helmet. For me, this meant letting it ride a little lower on my brow (about 1/2 inch). I speculate this helmet is made for a more aggressive seating position like a sport bike. Both of these helped but if I held my right hand just below the throttle body, I could still reduce the wind noise significantly from the wind coming up from below the tank.
- So I DIY'ed a set of lowers -> I can't begin to describe how significant this change was in the noise of riding. It was HUGE. Took a couple weekends to get the shape where I liked it and still avoid the crash bars at full turn angle, and polishing the edges of the lexan and shaping the aluminum brackets. The whole project cost about $25 with everything available at Home Depot or Lowes. I have not polished or brushed the aluminum brackets yet and I'm not sure I'm done shaping them. The rounded edges definitely make them look more finished than simply cut off square. Nice thing about this route is they don't attach to the chrome fork which will change its appearance after a while (scratching etc). It doesn't touch the forks or the signal light.