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When should you replace your motorcycle helmet?

17th Sep 2019

When should you replace your motorcycle helmet?

The general rule is to replace your motorcycle helmet every five years, you need to treat a helmet with respect and care and store it in a cool, dry place.

The outside shell – plastic, fibreglass or carbon fibre – is pretty tough, but keep it away from petroleum-based products such as fuel, cleaners and paint.

It’s the interior foam that deforms to absorb the impact in a crash and protect your head. So that means that you shouldn’t store any heavy objects in your helmet. If it drops with something heavy in it, then it will damage the helmet. Also, be careful how you hang your helmet on a hook as this can deform the interior foam. You can prolong your helmet if you store it properly when you’re not using it. Keep it in a cool, dry place and store it inside the helmet bag if it cam with one.

It’s not just the outside that deteriorates over time (unless of course it hits something hard, like the ground for example), but the inside foam and fabric lining. If you notice the helmet getting loose or some of the lining coming out or it leaves little black flakes in your hair, then it’s time to retire it, whether it has reached the five years or not.

Frequent use, sweating in your helmet, having greasy hair or using a lot of “hair product” can all aid in compacting the foam and making the interior lining degenerate faster than normal use.

You can also prolong the life of your helmet interior by wearing a helmet liner, balaclava or scarf that keeps the sweat off.

Another good reason to replace your helmet every five years is that helmet technology is advancing all the time and a new helmet is going to offer more protection than something five years old.

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