Helmet lifespan

Discussion on riding gear for women

Helmet lifespan

Postby lizmcg » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:26 pm

I know helmets don't last forever, but I'm not sure how long they do last, in general. I've read 3-5 years, assuming they're not damaged or anything obvious like that. But does that include down time, when it's not being worn? Does it mean from the date of manufacture or date of purchase/first wear? I mean, does it deteriorate just by existing, or only from wear and tear and sun exposure?

I have a really nice Harley FXRG full-face helmet that I bought at half price way back when I started to ride in 2011, but it hasn't been used for what would be even one full normal season. I didn't ride that much, and then for 3 years I rode hardly at all, so most of the intervening time it's been sitting in a dark closet (so no sun exposure). The label inside says it was manufactured in March 2008. It's a really nice high-end carbon fiber helmet, the liner and padding are like new, and I don't want to have to go helmet shopping, since you have to try everything on and can't shop on-line, and I hate shopping (I know, I know, but I do :o ).

How often do you ladies replace your helmets?
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby dbsteffy » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:17 pm

Yes, from the date of manufacture. Yes, it deteriorates just sitting on the shelf. How much? I don't know how to tell or if there's a test.
I'm on my 3rd helmet since 2010. First one I dropped, several times over the years and pretty hard, replaced it at the beginning of my 4th year. Last summer I bought a new, white one because Harley had a good sale and I had my eye on one for a while. I wanted white because of better visibility, there was nothing wrong with the existing helmet, it's still in good shape and is a backup or guest helmet.
Now, honestly, I'll keep this helmet until I get tired of it or have dropped it so hard that it's integrity concerns me. Expiration dates on anything I don't eat or drink don't bother me much. I use a half helmet and always wear a rag over my hair, it's never touched the inside of the helmet, the foam looks brand new.
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby monica » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:57 am

My new Shoei has a warranty for five years. My riding coaches generally say 3 years. One of my coaches said one year if it is kept in the garage, three if it is kept inside with cooling/heating.
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby lizmcg » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:17 pm

monica wrote:My new Shoei has a warranty for five years. My riding coaches generally say 3 years. One of my coaches said one year if it is kept in the garage, three if it is kept inside with cooling/heating.


Wow! That sounds extreme, especially with good full-face helmets costing $500 dollars and up! :o :shock: :!:
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby BlueHD4me » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:49 pm

lizmcg wrote:Wow! That sounds extreme, especially with good full-face helmets costing $500 dollars and up!


I always figure what are my brains worth? When I was my hubbie's passenger I wore a 1/2 helmet. Since I now ride my own bike I wear a full face. I've decided that I really like my jaw, nose, etc and with my limited experience I can use all the protection I can get. I spent north of $600 to get the helmet/face shield I wanted.

No judgement on what others are wearing, this is just my personal preference. I must say I do miss the look of my 1/2 helmet.
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby lizmcg » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:31 pm

BlueHD4me wrote:
lizmcg wrote:Wow! That sounds extreme, especially with good full-face helmets costing $500 dollars and up!


I always figure what are my brains worth? When I was my hubbie's passenger I wore a 1/2 helmet. Since I now ride my own bike I wear a full face. I've decided that I really like my jaw, nose, etc and with my limited experience I can use all the protection I can get. I spent north of $600 to get the helmet/face shield I wanted.

No judgement on what others are wearing, this is just my personal preference. I must say I do miss the look of my 1/2 helmet.


I totally agree, and I wear the full-face helmet for the same reason. I'm not complaining about the cost; I'm just surprised that for that amount of money, a good or very good helmet would have a lifespan of only 1 to 3 years. That sounds awfully short. :shock:
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby BlueHD4me » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:40 pm

I agree with you Lizmcg ... I think I'll be stretching mine to 5 years. I figure a less expensive/less well made helmet will give you 3 years, a better made helmet 5 years. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :lol:
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby ADVStrom14 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:24 pm

My first helmet was a Scorpion I bought in 2009. I pulled it out last year when I bought my new bike but then I remembered that even though it was in the house for the last year or so, prior to that it was in a non temperature controlled barn so I decided that I didn't want it as my full time brain bucket protection. Now my little boy plays with it in the house because he wants to "wear a helmet like mommy."

When I bought my GSX-R I got a gear credit so I bought a new helmet. I'm like you all, I'll stretch it to 5 years or more unless I drop it pretty good or something happens but after 5-6 years, I'll start looking for a new one. I mean, it ain't milk, so it doesn't just magically stop working one day but it will degrade over time. I try to take really good care of it too though to extend the life of it.
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Re: Helmet lifespan

Postby deeg » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:17 pm

I would say it depends on the helmet. I have a FF Shoei that I haven't worn in almost 6 years. Its up on the shelf here in my office, in its bag. I wouldn't hesitate to wear it. I have a Caberg modular that I wore constantly for about three years. I still have it. But I would only wear it if I had to. The padding inside is clean but its worn out and the helmet no longer fits as snugly as it should. I took my Nolan modular (that was on the shelf for longer than the Caberg) to Thailand, wore it every day for three weeks, and I left it there. Not as worn out as the Caberg, but I hated that thing!

I only wear my Shuberth now. Its going on 4 years old. I have replaced the visor twice and the internal padding once. Its never been dropped and it stays in the house. I won't have a problem wearing that one for more than 5 years.

I get that plastics wear out in the sun. But helmet technology has changed so much in the last number of years. I'm getting the impression that the 'recommended' shelf life is based on old standards and people dropping their helmet, leaving them in the garage or out in the elements. Kind of a CYA type of thing.

I'm guessing in another 4 years or so, Schuberth will no longer sell the padding and such for my helmet. They no longer support the C1 or C2 modulars. When that time comes, I'll be buying a new one. In the mean time, I keep it clean, inside and out. And unless its on my head, its in a bag or in my tent or in the house.
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