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How long do helmets last? is there a difference between $600 helmets and $100 as far as life span.

I usually get a new helmet when I find one better than the one I have. I wear 2 different helmets (not at same time). I have a half helmet for long hot rides and a modular for cold and rain.

How do you dispose of your old helmet ? I do not like asking questions from someone who stands to make a sale
 

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Over the years I have heard a lot of different Helmet takes. The Helmet makers of course want you to buy a new Helmet every 3-5 years. On the other spectrum, some would say that any Helmet is a good Helmet. I have purchased several Helmets used over the years, a couple off Ebay they were both new to me, and looked new. I have tried to see if consumer reports have done testing, and looked at reviews, but there does not seem to be REAL information out there on this.



PS

I always wear an inner liner, (like a baclava) when I wear a full face. It keeps the inside of the helmet clean, and all you do is wash the liner.
 

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Racing associations usualy go from 2 to 10 yrs from date of manufature. This does not mean they are wore out. Mostly they have better designs every few yrs that are lighter and stronger.
if you have an accident where the helmet is hit it should be replaced or sent back to the manufature if it is a very expensive one and checked.
take care of it and avoid getting it banged around and it will last a long time.
Wilf
 

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I've been told 3 - 5 years also, due to the foam deteriorating over time. Its exposure to air is what eventually leads it to lose some of it's protective qualities, ad thus the reason to replace every few years. Marketing hype? Fact? I don't know.
 

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Oils and dirt can weaken the styrofoam inside the helmet over time. With a good liner and kept clean I don't know for sure how long a helmet might keep it's original protection level. I usually get tired of them before they get more than about 5 years old and buy new for different features or colors.

As for getting rid of the old one I have heard that your local fire departments often love to get them so they can use them for EMT training exercises.
 

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well here's my 2 cents, if you spend a couple hundred on a helmet get one that has the removable liner, and cheek pads that way all you need to buy is the padding and the liner, that helmet should last your entire life

i have 2 helmets 1 helmet for riding home after work when my hair is all greasy from workin on semi's all day so i dong get my good helmet nasty.

and i have another helmet for every day riding and all that.

some people have as many as 4 or 5 helmets kinda like having shoes i guess lol i only have one pair of shoes lol.

just a sugestion
 

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The Styrofoam lining is what breaks down, that is why an older helmet is looser than it was when new!

Usually a helmet is good for 5 years or so, but if rarely used and stored in a cool dark place it will last longer, whereas a helmet that is used all day every day will probably not last more than a year!

Obviously a helmet that has been 'tested' (dropped or had an impact) will need replacing since the shell can be compromised, but more especially the foam lining will compress to slow the skull down in an impact only once!
 

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Well, I had to refer to my old friend Google after reading some of the replies. I found what appears to be a pretty good writeup on the subject, here: http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm

It's for bicycle helmets but covers some of the various topics addressed above. I also found the following "The SNELL Memorial Foundation recommends a helmet life spend is 5 years. Therefore a helmet may not show any malfunction or damage for 5 years, we recommends discontinue using the helmet."
At least that tells where the 5 years timeframe is coming from...
 

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Mine was bought new in 1992.

Arari brand.



Still good and just smells of me!



My only problem now is replacemant visors.
 

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I figure that if I buy a $500 helmet, and keep it for 5 years, it's $100 a year or $8 a month.

Cheap insurance... y'know?
 

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azdesertdad wrote:
I figure that if I buy a $500 helmet, and keep it for 5 years, it's $100 a year or $8 a month.

Cheap insurance... y'know?
Thats a good way to look at it . Though a lot folks cant pony up with $500 all at once . Unless your going into carbon fibre shell is a $500 helmet really any better than $100 one ? They both pass Snell, DOT testing .
 

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Something else to add here. If your helmet is no longer shiny, toss it. A friend had a very expensive (Kevlar?) that had taken on a dull chalky appearance.
He always bragged that his old helmet was of better quality than the new stuff on the market.
One day it rolled off of a picnic table and broke into two pieces. The shell had gotten so brittle that you could pinch it between two fingers and break off a piece. Sunlight can break them down. That said, my every day grubby Nolan has a 2002 sticker in it. I also wear a Symax with a 2006 date. If you take care of them and keep them clean they last a long time. I'm also one who wears a liner. I buy these



at the welding shop for about$1 each.



I have a friend who uses old helmets for hanging flower pots. I just give mine to her or let my wife have them for her yard sale.
 

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I have three hondaline helmets 1 full 2 openface helmets, they apear in good shape and are painted to match my bike but the foam is crumbling. does any one know if foam can replaced?
 

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saltmar14 wrote:
I have three hondaline helmets 1 full 2 openface helmets, they apear in good shape and are painted to match my bike but the foam is crumbling. does any one know if foam can replaced?
What is the date inside the helmets under the padding?
Once the foam is bad, no. replace your helmet
 

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The difficult part of this discussion is the fixation. Some people don't wear helmets at all and anything would be an improvement, even a 15 year old smelly cheapie.

I've heard the "Scrap it if you drop it" warning as well. However the helmet is only a small part of you motorcycling safety package. Are your brakes 100% perfect without a singlescore on the rotor? Is you blood alcohol zero? Do you check your tires for damage and pressure every time you get on the bike? What about the other gear? Do you ride with full leathers? Visibility jacket?

My point is that if you carelessly ride a piece of junkno helmet is going to make you into Superman.

The worst example is the punk doing wheelies at 100 MPH wearing a tee shirt, shorts ad flip flops but sporting a $1000 helmet.

No organization will ever give you a cut and dried answer to this question due to them being held responsible for any negative outcomes.

I have my thoughts and am starting to look at what's around. It is a mix of age and the features of a new lid prompting the move.
 

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Using a helmet every day, I get about two years. It doesn't matter how expensive the helmet was, two years is all I get from a daily use helmet.
 

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nobbie wrote:
The difficult part of this discussion is the fixation. Some people don't wear helmets at all and anything would be an improvement, even a 15 year old smelly cheapie.

I've heard the "Scrap it if you drop it" warning as well. However the helmet is only a small part of you motorcycling safety package. Are your brakes 100% perfect without a singlescore on the rotor? Is you blood alcohol zero? Do you check your tires for damage and pressure every time you get on the bike? What about the other gear? Do you ride with full leathers? Visibility jacket?

My point is that if you carelessly ride a piece of junkno helmet is going to make you into Superman.

The worst example is the punk doing wheelies at 100 MPH wearing a tee shirt, shorts ad flip flops but sporting a $1000 helmet.

No organization will ever give you a cut and dried answer to this question due to them being held responsible for any negative outcomes.

I have my thoughts and am starting to look at what's around. It is a mix of age and the features of a new lid prompting the move.
I agree with this 100%. There's an annual meet for M109R riders each summer in Southern VA. The people who give me [email protected] for wearing a 1/2 shell there are often seen riding in shorts and a tee-shirt with their Shoei full-face helmets.

I find that to be ludicrous.

By the way, to go off topic a bit here, has anyone seen the new Reevu helmet? If I were ever going to go back to a full-face, this would be one I considered.
 

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My wife and I have helmets for the Goldwing. they only get used a few days each month and last for at least 5 years. On the other hand, my daily helmet only lasts a couple of years before getting beat up and smelly.
Norman is right, the cost of the helmet isn't a main factor in how long they last.
 

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Here's my story. I had a helmet for 27 years at one time! Bought it new with the bike, and still had it when I sold the bike 27 years later! I thought they lasted for ever - as long as you had a hard shell on your head, you were protected. Was I ever wrong (and lucky I never needed the protection!)
When I was at the dealer when I sold my bike, I put the helmet down on the service counter, and the service rep noticed the date on it - he nearly passed out!
That led me to buy a new helmet, even though the old one looked pristine, just like my 27 year old Honda, which looked like it had just come out of the show room! You see, I didn't ride much in those days, and the bike only had 5,000 miles on it, so I figured the helmet was still like new as well!
Anyway, after a lot of research, I learnt that a helmet protects your head by absorbing the energy of an impact and not passing that energy on to your head. And the thing in the helmet that absorbs most of the energy is the thick foam lining, not the plastic outer shell which I thought was the protector.
As time goes by, the foam - no matter how well it is treated - loses it's resiliency, goes hard, and is thereafter unable to absorb the energy of an impact - ergo, it should be tossed!
Most of the organizations that test the helmets (like Snell) suggest that by 8 years it is no longer much good for protection. Do you want to wait right to the end, or replace it before it can't protect you, that is the question.
I personally think that it would be prudent to replace a helmet every 6 years or so before it is unable to protect you.
Interestingly enough, the research data showed that the more expensive helmets did not necessarily give better protection, so do your homework before you buy if this factor is important to you.
Ride safe and protect your head as well as you can, it is the most valuable part of your body, and also probably the most vulnerable in an accident!
 
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