How often should I replace My Motorcycle Helmets?

Posted by Bill Harbison, Owner, The Helmet Shop on 11/5/2015 to Motorcycle Helmets


If you are wondering if it is time to replace your motorcycle helmet, this article may help you decide. How often you need to replace your motorcycle helmet can depend on a number of factors. The initial quality, where you store it, and how you treat your helmet will be determining factors as to when it is time to invest in a new motorcycle helmet.

The over all quality of the helmet can make a difference in how long it will hold up. The old adage, "You get what you pay for" holds true when it comes to motorcycle helmets. An inexpensive helmet may hold out for half as long as a helmet made from quality materials.

Where you store your helmet has an impact it's shelf life. The elements the helmet is exposed to can cause the EPS liner to expand and contract. Heat, moisture and cold can compromise the liners ability to absorb an impact and disperse the energy appropriately. By storing your helmet indoors, you can increase it's shelf life and, at the same time, protect it from harmful fumes and chemicals you might find in a garage environment.

Be careful what you use to clean your helmet. Stay away from any cleaners with alcohol and ammonia. Helmets with poly carbonate shells are especially subject to corrosive materials. Use only what the manufacture instructions suggest for cleaning your motorcycle helmets.

Today, most helmet manufactures are making it easy to replace the interior liners. After about five years, when the helmet is considered past it's shelf life, the replacement parts will be hard to come by as the manufactures discontinue making them. My best advise is to not compromise your safety for aesthetics. Just because your Easy Rider replica from 1960 still looks good, it doesn't mean it can perform if the time comes. Put it on the shelf and invest in something that may actually protect your head.

You should replace your motorcycle helmet if it was involved in an accident; the impact it absorbed may have compromised the integrity of shell. Some helmet manufacturers will inspect and, when possible, repair a damaged helmet. If you think your helmet may have been compromised, take advantage of this service.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends replacing your helmet every 2 - 4 years . If you notice any signs of damage before then, replace it sooner.

Why replace my helmet? Even if the helmet still looks in good condition, its protective qualities will deteriorate with time and wear. The EPS liner loses it's ability to absorb an impact over time. The chin strap may fray or loosen at its attaching points; the shell could be chipped or damaged. The best reason is that helmets keep improving. And just think, the next helmet you buy in a few of years will be better â€Ã¢€Å“ lighter, stronger, and more comfortable. It might even cost less!

Can't remember when you bought your helmet? Check the chin strap or permanent labeling. Since 1974, all motorcycle helmets must have the month and date of production stamped on it. If there's no date at all, you should replace your helmet â€Ã¢€Å“ now!