How long are motorcycle helmets good for? Though it seems like a simple question, it involves a lot more than you might think. Different factors determine how long your motorcycle helmet will last, none of which have anything to do with its quality or level of protection.
Motorcycle helmet lifespan can often be confusing and frustrating. Many people are wondering just how long is good? How long should they expect their helmets to last before they need to buy a new one? Also, they wonder, what exactly does ‘good’ mean?
Well, we’re here to help! To give you an answer, I asked: What do you need from your motorcycle helmet?
If it’s to protect your head with quality and style, you can expect a good lifespan from the helmet. The average helmet lasts 5+ years, which is more than enough for most riders, especially those who don’t race at high speeds and wear them every day.
What are Motorcycle Helmets Made of?
A motorcycle helmet comprises several components that work together to protect riders and passengers from hazardous objects. The outer shell protects from impacts, while the inner foam absorbs them. Their combined presence protects the rider’s head from injury.
There are specifications for helmet shells and forms, including construction measures, evaluation of injuries, and construction specifications.
Helmets on crash test dummies are tested and rated according to several criteria, including energy absorption, protection against slipping and running, protection against falling, protection from dust and dirt, and protection against sharp objects.
To ensure that the helmet is operating correctly, it must meet the specifications for each crash test dummy when it is new. Upon completion of the certification process, the helmet is eligible for licensing by an authorized motorcycle safety officer.
How do Motorcycle Helmets Protect Your Head?
Additional protective accessories can be added to helmets to help extend their life or provide extra protection. Despite other protective equipment such as armor, a helmet is the most important equipment that riders can wear.
Motorcycle helmets reduce the forces that a rider experiences at speeds above 50 km/h, making them less likely to be injured by flying debris. A rider’s head may experience rotational forces during acceleration and deceleration of a motorcycle at high speeds.
Due to the front tires interfering with the handlebars, Rotational forces resulting in a front-right and rear-left striking effect, or a front-left and rear-right deflection, cause a spine deflection.
For helmets to perform their duties, they must be flexible (allowing them to bend or rotate), yet sturdy (allowing them to not flex due to wind), and durable (durable enough to withstand the rough ride). It doesn’t just ensure proper protection from hitting objects while riding – it also reduces the likelihood of losing or breaking a helmet, as well as extending its life.
Do Motorcycle Helmets Really Expire?
Like it or not, your motorcycle helmet is going to expire. Whether it’s because of a crash, or something is worn out on the inside, or you don’t like the way it looks or feels anymore, we all have to deal with it at some point. Your most common question will probably be about its safety and how long you can keep it in good condition.
Ideally, it would be best if you started with a good seal. Checking the specifications sheet is an easy way to find out how long your helmet will last. To determine if your helmet is well-made or not, you should only have to answer one straightforward question.
You have to ask about the rating and service life of a helmet. You can expect a motorcycle helmet to last at least 5 years. What that means is that by the first of the year, it should be able to take most of what you throw at it with a head wind or at least some light rain.
Is There an Expiry Date on Motorcycle Helmets?
Helmets don’t have a shelf life, and there is no expiration date beyond which they start to fall apart. In addition, helmets do not lose their protective properties over time. Motorcycle helmets need regular maintenance and inspection to ensure that everything remains functional over the years.
When Should You Replace Your Motorcycle Helmet?
From the date of manufacture, you should replace your motorcycle helmet every 3-5 years. In the case of visible damage, it should be replaced before then. How can you tell when your helmet is ready for retirement?
Following signs (indicators) will help you determine whether you should replace your helmet.
1. Helmet Age
Depending on the type of impact you are likely to sustain, and how often you use your helmet, it is recommended that you replace it every 3-5 years.
Often, helmets are manufactured with a predetermined lifespan between 3-5 years. They start degrading after that period due to aging caused by UV radiation, heat, humidity, or being stored in less-than-ideal conditions.
Once it’s at least 5 years old, it’s time to buy a new one.
2. Your Helmet has been Involved in an Accident
Your helmet will sustain heavy damage in severe crashes. Due to its vulnerable position during a collision, your helmet will certainly crack because of the energy released from the crash.
In most cases, this damage is irreversible, and if you’re not careful, your helmet will be permanently damaged or destroyed.
Your helmet’s cracking shows it can no longer withstand the forces involved in a crash. If you’re unsure, consider a new helmet that’s a bit more modern and well-tested.
3. Over Usage
Constant use of your helmet may cause it to wear out much faster. My recommendation is to get two or three helmets so that you can rotate them. In this way, you will ensure that your helmet is always in top condition and that it will remain that way for as long as possible.
Some people don’t mind having a helmet with wear and tear, but I believe the helmet should be used for protection and not to make you look like a commando.
4. Outer Shell gets Scratched or Cracked
Your helmet should be replaced if the shell becomes damaged or deteriorates. The helmet’s protective qualities have degraded, so you cannot rely on it to keep you safe in an accident.
Furthermore, helmets are not built to last forever. Helmets have a certain amount of durability built into them, and when that limit is exceeded, the helmet can no longer protect you.
5. Helmet’s Interior starts Deteriorating
If the lining or foam on your helmet loses its shape or begins to flake, it’s important to replace it immediately. If left unattended, these small pieces can stick to your hair or clothing, causing them to become contaminated. After being exposed to the weather, they also become more challenging to remove.
It is essential to check your helmet every few months to ensure the retention system is still working correctly. Periodically check the straps for damage or weakness. A damaged or frayed strap is a sign you should replace your motorcycle helmet.
6. Experiencing Discomfort with Your Helmet
Sometimes you have a significant change in your weight or head circumference. In such cases, your old helmet will no longer fit. A helmet that does not fit properly will not protect you in a crash, and you will be more likely to hit your head on the ground.
7. Your Helmet is Dropped from a Significant Height
Also, replace the helmet if it has been dropped from a height higher than five feet because even that can cause cracks. The depth of the crack is significant if it is longer than half an inch. Do not forget to look at the helmet’s shape because it’s not just about safety.
Take no chances when it comes to safety. The same goes for your motorcycle headgear. Some people disregard the idea of wearing helmets, while others are cautious enough to care about this very aspect.
Holding on to your head is crucial when it comes to using motorcycle helmets. It doesn’t matter whether you have just begun your career as a rider or you’ve been doing this for years. Motorcycle helmets need to be part and parcel of your attire when riding a bike.