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When should I change my motorcycle helmet?

Tutorials and technology 4 September, 2019

We talk about…

Should we change a motorcycle helmet? How often? Should it be changed after an accident? Discover all you need to know about the life of a motorcycle helmet.

We have news for you: Motorcycle helmets expire! And in this post we’re going to explain why and tell you when you should change your helmet and when to renew the interior. And best of all: this serves as an excuse to cut a new and an old helmet in half. Come on, don’t miss it!

When does a Motorcycle helmet expire?

It’s true friend, helmets expire; just like yoghurts, medicines or love…well, love for motorcycles, that’s for ever!

How easy it would be if helmets had their expiry date printed on them, eh? Don’t bother looking, it’s not there. So, when do they expire? Jot this down: 5 YEARS from when you bought it new.

We’re going to qualify this figure: if yours is of thermoplastic resin, maybe it will last 5 years; if it’s carbon fibre, maybe you can go 7 years, but not much more.

Why change the motorcycle helmet?

And that’s where I’m heading, the helmet’s material; the key to understanding why a helmet expires. These materials resistant to impacts, such as fibre or thermoplastic resin on the shell, the interior EPS, the foam, etc., gradually lose their properties as time goes by. They degrade. What does that mean? Well, they lose the capacity to withstand impacts and to dissipate the energy they receive.

Change the helmet filling

There are signs that are screaming at you to change your helmet: cracks, bumps, closures that don’t actually close properly…without forgetting the foams.

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 foam once or twice. It’s simple and you can do it at home, and it’s economical as most brands have spares.

Why should we renew? For two reasons: for better hygiene and for better hold. You know that the foam gives and so starts to “dance around”. When you get a new helmet it holds perfectly, but after three years it’s not the same…and you know it. You have to avoid this or you won’t be correctly protected.

How to change the helmet’s strap

Here it becomes more technical if you want to change the strap. So you have to send it to the manufacturer. If you bought the helmet at Motocard, we can sort it out for you and send it to the manufacturer. Obviously this has a cost, but we’ll inform you all about it.

Also, a question we received: Can I change a double buckle closure for a micrometric one or vice versa? The answer in some cases is yes, like for the new Shoei GT-Air 2 (it’s the only one that comes to mind). But just as before: you have to send it to the manufacturer.

How to prolong the life of your helmet

Well, there are tricks to help preserve your helmet better. Obviously avoid knocks, but also exposure to heat, albeit the sun, a heater or the bike’s exhaust pipe. Do not dry the helmet padding on the radiator as this spoils the foam!

Then there are maintenance tips: there’s a post where we show you which products to use to clean the inside of the helmet and how to leave the screen impeccable.

Changing the helmet after a fall

And we don’t want to sign off without touching a very important topic: if you’ve suffered a fall with your helmet, it’s time to change it as, even though it doesn’t seem to have suffered any damage, helmet material is devised to resist just one impact. From here on in the material deforms and does not protect you the same.

So, if your helmet is over five years old, do yourself a favour and retire it now. Leave it on a shelf in the garage, where it will be a cool decorative piece and you can have a new helmet….there are some interesting things at a good price at Motocard!

That’s it, leave your anecdotes, curiosities or experiences with your helmet in the comments section; which one lasted longest, which least, the first one you had, whatever and we’ll all comment on it. Until next time!



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