Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29

Thread: When to replace your Helmet.

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    47

    When to replace your Helmet.

    I have a 7 year old helmet. It sat for a good 6 years inside and has only been used regularly for the last year. It fits fine and has never been in a crash. I have read that you should replace your helmet every 5 years. Is that marketing fluff or true.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,070
    Like many topics, you'll get controversial replies. If a helmet was used 7 years, I'd get a new one. If it sat around in a good climate controlled environment, I'd be OK with it if it felt good, and the helmet was good quality to begin with.

    Note that for track (or at least the track days I do), a helmet over 5 years old will not pass tech inspection. It doesn't sound like you have that problem to deal with.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  3. #3
    Motorradfahrer
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    490
    I have been told by Robert at the Service Pavillion it also depends on usage. If you put 20,000 miles on a year then your helmet gets more usage. Usage equals breakdown of material. To me this has some logic as heat, cold, rain and sweat all act to wear on the materials protecting your head.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    279
    Hmm...I guess I should replace my 1971 Bell Super Magnum then...

  5. #5
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    3,457
    FYI: The Arai warranty (used as an example of expected helmet life) is for 5 years from the time the helmet was put into service or 7 years from date of manufacture, whichever is shorter.

    Does that mean the helmet turns into a pumpkin at the end of that time period?

  6. #6
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Pismo Beach, CA
    Posts
    3,048
    Hmm...I guess I should replace my 1971 Bell Super Magnum then...
    Whatever you do with that Super Magnum, do not pitch it into the trash.

    In "good" used condition, with a warning that it should not be used for head protection, you can still get several hundred dollars, or more, for it on eBay... hard to believe but there are so many collectors, world-wide, for vintage Bell stuff it's amazing! Most of the buyers are in Asia.

    I sold an old visor, like this one, that had been kicked around the shop for years for $25 last winter. The same visor is on eBay today with a Buy it Now price of $70.

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  7. #7
    Registered User lionlady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Reisterstown, MD
    Posts
    169
    A 7 year old helmet that has been been lightly used and stored inside, is probably fine to use, but you ought to start shopping for a new one.

    Seriously, better to replace an old helmet now, than to find yourself in the hospital with head injuries wishing you had done so. Its up o you... "do you feel lucky?"

    P
    Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.
    R1150R Rockster, Limited Edition!

  8. #8
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,533
    I replace mine every 2 to 3 years. I ride aprox 22,000 miles per year. I also have a differant helmet for each of my bikes. I don't want to wear a helmet with Intercom or CB cables on it when I ride one of the bikes without those accessories. Just my habit.
    AKA SNAPGADGET
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  9. #9
    Ed Kilner #176066
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Mississauga, ON
    Posts
    490
    The manufacturer's lawyers are concerned about liability. We are concerned about reliability...

    What are the failure mechanisms in an unused helmet?

    What are the failure mechanisms due to normal use?

    Sounds to me like best practices might be 5 to 7 years, but I don't know...
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  10. #10
    Cowboyatheart
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pender Harbour, B.C.
    Posts
    568
    I had a high quality Shoei that sat in a controlled environment for seven years. It started to fall apart inside after I wore it for a few rides.

    I now replace every five years. My head is worth more than a grand! I have a BMW system 6 with internal visor. I wouldn't, now, buy one without that feature!
    Neil
    Want to be happy for a day? Drink. Want to be happy for a year? Get married. Want to be happy for life? Ride a BMW!
    www.TasteMoringa.com Smart Mix & XM3 Energy Drink are the puppies to view...IMO

  11. #11
    Hear that ticking sound? jnerges's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    100
    Just a suggestion, give your old helmets to local EMS or Emergency rooms. They can use them for training EMT's and Paramedics how to properly remove helmets from Motorcycle Crash participants.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by Lmo1131 View Post
    Whatever you do with that Super Magnum, do not pitch it into the trash.

    In "good" used condition, with a warning that it should not be used for head protection, you can still get several hundred dollars, or more, for it on eBay... hard to believe but there are so many collectors, world-wide, for vintage Bell stuff it's amazing! Most of the buyers are in Asia.

    I sold an old visor, like this one, that had been kicked around the shop for years for $25 last winter. The same visor is on eBay today with a Buy it Now price of $70.
    Whoa! I'll have to check it out. Mine's in decent but definitely used condition. It's in the International Orange color with the matching visor like the one you showed. I used it for several years and many thousand miles and it shows it...various scrapes & dings but nothing major. The lining is still OK but the soft foam padding disintegrated along the way. It was Snell approved in 1970 and was kinda pricey for then...I think I paid $50 or $60 for it...serious money...mail ordered from one of the places that advertised in Road & Track magazine. A lot of the GP and Indy racers used them back then. IIRC, the full faced Bell Star came out about then too but it was way out of my price range...probably close to $100. It mighta been one of the first full face helmets. I'll probably hang on to it for old times sake. It still fits but I wouldn't use it. I have a new HJC modular.

  13. #13
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by jnerges View Post
    Just a suggestion, give your old helmets to local EMS or Emergency rooms. They can use them for training EMT's and Paramedics how to properly remove helmets from Motorcycle Crash participants.
    +1
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  14. #14
    On the Road fireguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Federal Way, WA
    Posts
    31

    Donating helmets

    Donating old motorcycle helmets is a great way to inhance our safety in the event of a crash. Having been to many motorcycle accidents over the years. I have found that in almost all instances it is protocol to remove the helmet. This is a good time of year to practice these skills. We as riders need to inform EMS responders of our needs. You probably know (if you are concious, and can can speak) what you did and how you were impacted. This would not be the time to protect your ego. We need to know!
    I have tried to learn from each motorcycle wreck that I've responded to, I asked the P.D. investigators what really happened and it has helped me to become a better rider.
    So if you have an old helmet, call around and see who would be interested in using it for training.

    If you don't get any takers, ride elsehere...

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    2,123
    Robo's advice and similar are on target. I suspect you can get a little more use out of it but there are some caveats.

    Helmets don't "fall apart" after storage in a controlled environment- meaning clean air, dark and proper temp. BUT even tiny amount of certain solvents in the air(some well below human limit of detection) , over time,will cause many foams to disintegrate- includes lots of cleaners and some fuels so any shop or garage is by definition NOT a controlled environment even if it has A/C. Neither is your indoor workshop, especially if you use certain gun cleaning solvents or worse yet, run a meth lab...Sure, heat and UV light damage foams but they're far from the only things that can. For obvious reasons, my helmets store in a bedroom, not in my garage.

    Also, helmet stds are updated every 5 yrs by Snell and periodically by other groups, plus many improvments become available over time (eg goood sunshades in modulars, for example). Right now Snell 2010 is current and mandated lower G force transfer in certain tests, for example. How much any one upgrade change is worth to you in a crash is very debatable but it is simple fact that over the longer term, the standards setting groups have helped bring far better helmets to the market than were available many years ago- and todays intense competition helps ensure continuing improvment at very competitive prices as well as the persence of some luxury-priced stuff like Schuberth's latest flip up. You can pretty much find whatever floasts our boat in helmets these days- huge number of choices.

    Life of my car helmets is limited by sweat and funk, not time - as an instructor I've sometimes literally been on track from when it went hot in the AM till shutting it for the night with a succession of students and only the necessary biobreaks...Bikes aren't as tough on helmets as cars- better ventilation- but if you live in hot humid areas and ride a lot you might want more than one helmet so they have enough time to air out/dry and to get ones with removable, washable interiors.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •