So, the votes are in! We asked you: “When do you replace your motorcycle helmet?”;
This is what you told us:
Most of you replace your helmet every 3-5 years, after a crash or when your helmet has been dropped
Some of you upgrade your helmet earlier if a new helmet on the market has improved safety or comfort features
A new helmet fits nicer, some of you replace your helmet every other year to ensure the comfort and a secure fit
But, when should you really replace your helmet?
You can imagine each manufacturer has a recommendation for their helmets. Arai recommends you replace your helmet 5 years from the day you first use your motorcycle helmet. Whereas other manufacturers such as Shoei, recommend replacing your helmet 7 years from the date of production. Generally, the advice from all helmet manufacturers is to replace your helmet every 5 years under “normal” use, but emphasise that the life of a helmet should really depend on how it’s been used.The more you ride, the shorter yours helmets life expectancy is.The greatest long term damage to your helmet is done by the sun’s UV rays.
A motorcycle helmet should always be replaced, no matter what its age, if it has been in an accident or there was a fall that resulted in an impact on the helmet.
Without an x-ray machine it isn’t always obvious that a helmet has been damaged. However, it is important to check the inside even if the shell of your helmet looks fine.
Most manufacturers now paint their EPS liners, so that it is easier to check to see if there has been any damage. Many modern helmets now have removable comfort liners for washing, so by removing this from your helmet, you can check the EPS liner. The EPS liner normally would be painted black and if you can see white cracks, this usually means the liner has been damaged and you should replace your helmet.
This is also a good way to check if the helmet is showing signs of wear and is beginning to break up, to see if the EPS liner has come away from the helmet shell or if it has been exposed to heat or a solvent and has melted. If you’re unsure about the liner on your helmet you can always pop into one of our retail stores and a member of the team will be more than happy to check over your helmet.
Traumatic brain injury is linked to loose fitting helmets:
Linings compact over time and create a gap between your skull and the helmets EPS liner. You should consider replacing your motorcycle helmet if it fits a lot looser than when it was purchased. A big risk to you is “second impact syndrome” which can cause traumatic brain injuries and is much more likely with a loose fitting helmet.