When it comes to safety bike riding, a helmet is the first thing we need to consider. Wearing a helmet is the single most effective safety measure to minimize the chances of head injuries and fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents. The goal of this post, however, is not talking about the benefits of wearing helmets rather finding out how long motorcycle helmets last.
How Long Do Motorcycle Helmets Last
If you ask this question to a helmet manufacturer, they will tell you it’s either 5 years or 7 years.
The widely accepted lifespan of a helmet, however, is five years, meaning every five years you need to change your motorcycle helmet.
If the generally accepted lifespan is five years, then why do different manufacturers claim different lifespans for their motorcycle helmets?
The primary reason different manufacturers claim differently is due to the materials they use to manufacture their helmets.
However, the factor that mainly determines the lifespan of a motorcycle’s helmet is its usage. The higher the frequency of usage, the shorter the life expectancy of a helmet is. Exposure to the sun also minimizes the lifespan of a helmet. That is as long as an accident hasn’t shortened its lifespan or impacted it. In that case, you need to dumb it right away!
How can you find the expiration date of your motorcycle helmet?
Helmets have a ‘manufactured sticker’ underneath the comfort liner or under the padding that shows the production date of the helmet. Manufacturers are required to attach a production date with helmets produced after 1974. If any helmet doesn’t have any manufactured date stamped on it, then it’s expired already.
While manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet approximately 7 years after the date of production, the generally accepted rule is to get it replaced every five years.
Why do you need to replace your motorcycle helmet every five years?
The principal reason why you need to replace your helmet is the deterioration of different components that make up the helmet. Years of usage cause the components to decay.
The major parts of the motorcycle helmets are the comfort liner or EPS foam layer, EPS liner, outer shell, the retention system.
Comfort liner: comfort line is the foam layer found on the rear part of the helmet. A pad either made of cloth or leather usually covers it.
EPS liner: EPS stands for Expanded Polystyrene liner. EPS is the area beneath the shell of the helmet. It provides a comforting fit for the head of the rider.
Outer Shell: This is the hard part that covers the helmet. It’s made of casted Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene that includes fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar. The outer shell is specially designed to avoid the penetration of pointed objects that may hurt the skull.
The Retention System: This part of the helmet is also known as chin straps. It keeps the rider’s helmet on his head.
When Do You Need To Replace Your Motorcycle Helmet?
How to Tell if a Motorcycle Helmet is Still Good?
The degradation of a helmet depends on a variety of factors such as your local area’s susceptibility to UV, the frequency of usage, the time when you use it, and also how you store it.
If you’re a rider who commutes to and from work each day, you’ll probably need a new helmet every 3 years. So if you’re a frequent rider, know that the 5 years benchmark may not apply to you.
Nonetheless, we’ve put together a list of circumstances below so you can tell if a motorcycle helmet is still good.
It ran into a crash
Road helmets are designed to withstand one impact. If you crash in it even once- especially if you knock your head on the ground multiple times in a single accident- chances are its duty is done and it’s time for you to purchase a new helmet. It’s simply not worth risking a head injury because you thought the helmet would last longer.
Your dandruff has turned black
When you take your helmet off if you find black dandruff it means that the liner is starting to disintegrate and is coming out on your head and shoulders. In this case, the helmet should be replaced, especially if the EPS liner is damaged. Sweat and hair products can speed up the deterioration of a helmet’s internal components. This can be avoided by cleaning the inside of your helmet, either by removing and washing the liners or by spraying a foam cleaner straight inside the helmet.
This can happen if the helmet has been stored for a long time. If you’re going to store your helmet, make sure it’s completely clean before you leave. If possible, put it in a dry bag or an airtight box in a cold, dry location. And don’t store anything inside your helmets, such as gloves or balaclavas. They could slowly change the shape of the EPS liner if shoved into the helmet.
Your EPS lining looks damaged
Most manufacturers now paint their EPS liners so that you can spot any damages easily. Many updated helmets also offer removable comfort liners for washing. To check the EPS liner, you can remove these lines. The EPS line is normally painted in black so if you see any white cracks, this means that the liner has been impaired and you should get your helmet replaced.
Having said so, just because the EPS lining looks fine, doesn’t mean the helmet is. People often say that a small drop is harmless, but this is a risk we shouldn’t take. Avoid resting your helmet in places where it may easily drop.
The helmet is loose.
If you use your helmet every single day, the lining will degrade a lot faster than if you use it occasionally. You can change the liners to restore the original fit and extend the helmet’s life to five years, but keep in mind that by then the helmet would have experienced a lot of sweat and UV rays.
The chin strap is compromised
For a road helmet to be authorized on the roadways, it has to have a functioning chin strap. Replace the chin strap and buckle mechanism if it is torn or broken.
Be aware that in a rapidly changing world, we’ve always got new technology coming out to protect us better than the last one. So when it comes down to safety, it’s always worth the money.
A motorcycle helmet is one of the most important gears for safe driving. While it doesn’t guarantee you complete safety, it does protects one of the most crucial parts of your body: your head.
That is why knowing how often you should replace your helmet is crucial for you and the sake of your family. Although there is no set time when you should change your motorcycle helmet, it’s always wise to do so every five years.
However, if additional conditions arise that necessitate the replacement of your motorcycle helmet, you should do so as quickly as possible.
Hope this article has been helpful for you.