I believe one of the biggest causes for reports of excessive wind noise is due to poor helmet design, and more importantly, wearing the wrong size of helmet. The vast majority of riders will purchase helmets that are too large... a looser-fitting helmet will naturally feel more comfy than a tighter fitting one, so most folks tend to go too large. This looser-fitting helmet results in excess wind noise. I have a 2014 CB500FA, and my helmet is a very snug (but very comfy) HJC CL-17 "Redline", and I have never had any wind noise issues at all. I've never felt as though I require earplugs, and quite frankly, I never
think about wind noise, as my ride is so quiet, even at 120+ km/h. To test the fitment of your helmet... while wearing it, grab it with both hands and try to force it to turn, while at the same time keeping your head as still as you can. There should be no play (slippage) at all between head and helmet. If there is, then your helmet is too large. Look in the mirror, and you should be able to see that the padding is pushing significantly into your cheeks. If it's not making you look a bit like a chipmunk, it's too large/loose.
As for the wind itself, (at highway speeds) you really do
get accustomed to it after awhile. I can remember the first few times I went out on my new 500F, and at even a modest 80-110 km/h I felt as though I was going to blow right off my bike! It felt like the wind was excessively hitting my chest and it was just an all-around scary feeling. But I had read on this fine forum that newbies will often complain about the wind, but will soon become accustomed to it, to the point that one no longer even notices it... at any
speed... and they were right! In no time at all, I had forgotten all about my earlier wind complaints.
I have no wish to ever add a windshield to this bike, nor to my 2014 Yamaha V-Star Custom. (cruiser) It's just not necessary, plus I believe both bikes look nicer without them. Also, I know of many people who have installed these windshields, and then reported that they did not notice any significant improvement, or may have even made things a bit worse.
Anyway, just my two cents. I think more people need assistance in purchasing a proper-fitting helmet. Almost every rider that I know, wears a helmet which is too large for their head. They all say how comfortable it is, and at the same time will complain about the level of wind noise. I believe that if they all went down a size or two, they would no longer be needing earplugs. I have ridden my bike at 175 km/h, and even at this crazy speed the wind noise was surprisingly low... in fact the tires/chain/engine/exhaust note was louder than the wind.
Focus On Newfoundland