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Helmet Care & Replacement Basics

Lifespan of a Motorcycle Helmet

The consensus from motorcycle helmet manufacturers is that riders should replace their helmets after five to seven years FROM FIRST USE. In other words, the clock starts ticking the moment you start wearing the helmet and subjecting it to sweat, hair products, handling and environmental factors. Obviously, a helmet worn by a daily 365 days rider, will deteriorate faster than a helmet used once a month. Use common sense... it's YOUR only head.

A great deal of confusion is centered around the manufacturing date sticker, found inside most helmets. Most likely, that new helmet you purchased, has a manufacturing date sticker several years old. Again, the lifecycle of your helmet starts when you start using it. Not when it is manufactured.

Of course, regardless of time, any helmet should be replaced after it has been crashed, is no longer properly fitting, or has begun to deteriorate due to not being properly maintained. And... NEVER buy a used helmet unless you have 100% certainty about its full history.

When To Replace Ultimately, the useful service life of a safety helmet is dependent on the intensity and frequency of its use. Replacement is recommended even if only one of the following applies:
  • The helmet was subjected to an impact.
  • The comfort padding or the retention system has become loose due to heavy use or display signs of deterioration. Test: with the retention system fastened, the helmet turns to the side when you gently shake your head.
  • The EPS liner has come away from the helmet shell.
  • The EPS liner shows signs of wear and is beginning to break up, or if it has been exposed to heat or a solvent and has melted. Or if there are indentations in the EPS liner and/or white scratches can be seen on surfaces with black paint.
Even if none of these factors apply, most leading helmet manufacturers recommend replacement 5 to 7 YEARS AFTER RETAIL PURCHASE.

How to Properly Maintain Properly maintaining your helmet not only keeps your head from swimming in filth every time you ride, it keeps you as safe as possible by not compromising the integrity of the EPS liner. Barring a crash or other impact to the helmet, it also helps to prolong the life of that investment. Read on for helpful care & maintenance tips...
  • Wear a balaclava or skullcap as a barrier between your head and the helmet.
  • Don't store your motorcycle gloves inside your helmet. It transfers dirt and chemicals inside the helmet.
  • Avoid leaving your helmet on the motorcycle in hot sun.
  • Likewise, do not leave your helmet in a hot car.
  • Take care to hold your helmet carefully to avoid an accidental drop.
  • Clean the inside of your helmet regularly and before storing at the end of the season using the appropriate cleaning products.
  • Replace the cheek pads/inner liner when necessary for cleanliness and to maintain a proper fit, as the cushion of the padding will break in over time.
  • Regularly talk to your helmet ... oh wait no, that's for plants.
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