We have been receiving emails from our readers seeking an answer to the question, “how long do motorcycle helmets last?” The fact remains that motorcycle helmets have a lifespan. This is provided you did not reduce the lifespan by an accident or any other negative impact on it. If such happens to your helmet, then it is time for you to trash it and get a new one.
The rule of thumb is that your motorcycle helmet should last for a minimum of 5
years. However, the condition here is that you take good care of it. Most
manufacturers recommend that you replace your motorcycle helmet when it clocks 5 years. There are some motorcycle clubs or racks that won’t let you use a helmet that is above 5 years old.
Do Motorcycle Helmets Expire?
Motorcycle helmet manufacturers always state that helmets will expire within a
space of 3-7 years from the time of production. However, there is no clear answer to what determines the timeframe. Based on research and our findings, we can attribute it to the deterioration of the material over time. The storage conditions also have a hand in the timeline.
When buying your helmet, always ensure that you check for the helmet expiration stickers. Every motorcycle helmet from reputable manufacturers ought to indicate the on the helmet showing the exact date of production. Whenever you see Beanie helmets and other helmets in that class, they always come with manufacturing dates. This helps you to calculate the possible date that your helmet will expire.
What’s The Best Time To Replace Your Motorcycle Helmet?
We have answered the question, “how long do motorcycle helmets last?” Now, let us talk about the right time to change your helmet. It is always advisable that you change your motorcycle helmet after the first 5 years mark. Doing that keeps you within the warranty period for most manufacturers. Who wouldn’t like to have a brand new motorcycle helmet?
Also, if you notice any of the following on your helmet, then it's time to replace it:
- If you have been in an accident with the helmet and it received some major impact.
- When the helmet padding is loose and no longer fits perfectly like when you first bought it.
- If your motorcycle helmet has obvious signs of wear and tear.
- When the strap or lock features of your helmet are no longer functioning properly.
- If the internal Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) lining of your motorcycle helmet develops cracks.
You may be thinking that it is expensive to replace your worn-out helmet, but that’s actually a small price to pay. There is no reason to jeopardize your safety and disrupt your peace of mind. You always feel confident and secure knowing that your head is protected while you enjoy your ride.
Do You Need To Change The Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Lining?
You already know the answer to the question “how long are motorcycle helmets
good for?” But have you asked yourself what happens with the Expanded
Polystyrene (EPS) lining. The EPS is one of the major components of your helmet that protects your head. It compresses upon impact, thus reducing the impact transmitted to your skull.
According to our research and findings, the EPS lining of your helmet naturally
deteriorates by 4-5% every year. The constant use of chemicals, solvents, or hair spray can hasten the deterioration of the EPS of your helmet. In a space of 5 years, the EPS lining could deteriorate by 25%.
These EPS linings are normally white but mostly painted black to enable you to see any hairline crack or damage as a result of shrinkage or deterioration. Therefore, it is always a good idea to periodically check the EPS lining of your helmet for possible cracks and damage.
Essential Helmet Safety Checks
It is advisable that you periodically check your helmet for any damage that might endanger your life while riding. Always check to see that the EPS liner is
well-attached to the outer shell. You should check the retention straps to ensure
they are not fraying and that the stitching is not coming undone. Make sure that the clip system can stay closed whenever it is supposed to be.
You also need to check the outer shell for cracks or chips. If you notice any crack, you need to replace the helmet immediately. One weak spot on your helmet could be the weak link that exposes you to serious head injuries. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If the inner padding and comfort liner of your helmet is removable and washable, you should do that as well. Replacing the comfort liner of your motorcycle helmet after a year can do it a lot of good.
As a rider, always treat your helmet like your life depends on it. You should give
your helmet a special place like a shelf in your house where it will be warm and
dry. You shouldn’t store it upside down like a bird’s nest. If you do that, your cat or house pet might urinate inside. Also, don’t leave your helmet by the window in the sun nor in a hot car. You should always clean the shell of your helmet from time to time using a gentle cleanser like baby shampoo.
Things That Wear Out Your Motorcycle Helmet
The age of a helmet is not always the sole reason for its deterioration. Yes,
motorcycle helmets expire but that is not all there is to it. Certain things help
increase the dilapidation of your helmet. Things like the frequency of use, rider’s
maintenance practices, and the quality of the helmet contribute to the degeneration of motorcycle helmets.
We have taken our time to give answers to the questions, “Do motorcycle helmets expire?” and “How long do motorcycle helmets last?” Therefore, everything depends on you to abide by the recommendations cited above. If you want to enjoy your motorcycle helmet for a long time to come, then apply all the best maintenance practices. Another essential tip is to always buy your motorcycle helmet from reputable motorcycle helmet manufacturers.