We have news for you: motorcycle helmets do expire! In this post we are going to explain why, tell you when a motorcycle helmet expires and how to know its expiration date.
How to know the expiration date of a motorcycle helmet?
How easy it would be if the helmets had the expiration date printed on them, huh? Some helmets have the expiration date printed on a tag inside… but these are hard to come by now a day. So, when do I know it expires? Write down this number: 5 YEARS since you bought it new.
If your helmet is made of thermoplastic resin, it will still last you five years; If it is made of fiber, you can maybe stretch it up to seven years, but not much more.
How often do you have to change your motorcycle helmet?
The key to understanding why a helmet expires is the hull material. These impact-resistant materials such as fiber or thermoplastic resin in the shell, EPS interior, foams, etc. gradually lose these properties over time. They degrade. And what does that mean? Well, they lose the ability to withstand impacts and dissipate the energy you receive.
Helmet filling or padding
There are signs that are screaming at you to change your helmet: cracks, bumps, closures that don’t actually close properly… without forgetting the paddings.
It’s advisable to change the helmet’s padding periodically. For example: if you have a fibre helmet, during the seven years it could last, you should renew the padding two or three times. You can buy the spares online, most brands sell them and they’re very easy to exchange: some have magnets while other have clip on paddings.
Why should you change the paddings? For two reasons: for better hygiene and for better hold. Padding gives away with time and the helmet starts to “dance around”. You should avoid this or you won’t be correctly protected.
How to prolong the life of your helmet?
Prolong the life of your helmet come hand in hand on how you take care of it. Clean you helmet in the outside and inside, avoid knocks and falls but also exposure to heat, whether from direct sunlight, a stove or the motorcycle exhaust pipe. Never dry the helmet padding on anything except a dryer or sunlight.
If your helmet is more than five years old, do yourself a favor and retire it now. Leave it on a shelf in the garage, the living room or your room… it will make a great decoration item. Remember to always be safe and stay safe.