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How Long Is a Motorcycle Helmet Good For?

stylish red motorcycle helmet

Motorcycle helmets are well constructed and look extremely durable, so many people are surprised that you need to replace them quite frequently. Most helmets only last about 5 years, but the expiration date can vary based on several factors. If you are wondering when you will need to replace yours, keep reading as we look at the reasons that they can go bad.divider 1

How Long Does a Motorcycle Helmet Last?

Most manufacturers recommend that you replace the helmet every 3 to 5 years. However, you will need to replace the helmet even sooner if you are involved in an accident while wearing it, even if you don’t see any damage. You will also need to replace it if something doesn’t work or breaks. It’s better to get a new one than try to repair it. You will also need to get a new helmet if you drop it accidentally, even if you don’t notice any damage. The fall can compromise it, and you might not receive as much protection.

You should also replace your helmet if you see any chips or cracks on the outside shell. A frayed strap is also a good sign that the helmet has had plenty of use and could be deteriorating in other ways. Always check for manufacturer recalls, as you will need to replace any helmet with defective parts.

motorcycle rider holding his helmet
Image By: Fodsports, Pixabay

Why Does a Motorcycle Helmet Expire?

Motorcycle helmets use several types of dense foam to protect your head in an accident. However, this foam will settle and deteriorate while you are using it, reducing its effectiveness. This foam will break down even faster if you often ride in a hot climate or wear a helmet that’s too small. The helmet’s glue and resin might also begin to break down, especially after being in contact with hair, skin, and sweat for a long time. Another reason that you might want to purchase a new helmet every few years is that helmet technology is advancing rapidly, and a helmet that you buy today will likely provide better protection than one that’s 5 years old, and the same will probably be true 5 years from now.

Will Wearing a Helmet Make Me Go Bald?

While helmets are generally tight and may pull on your hair as you wear them, they should not result in any significant hair loss. However, if you notice a large amount of hair coming out after wearing the helmet, you may be allergic to something in the materials.

female rider wearing her helmet
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

What Are the Downsides to Wearing a Helmet?

While protecting your life should outweigh any disadvantages that a helmet might have, people do complain that it can be heavy and uncomfortable to wear. It can also make the head hot, leading to excessive sweating, and it can be difficult to see in all directions out the visor. The best way to avoid these problems with your helmet is to purchase one from a shop where you can try on several types to find one that is both lightweight and comfortable to wear. We recommend one that covers the full face instead of just part of the face for better protection.

Related Read: How Many Calories Do You Burn Riding a Motorcycle

rider wearing black race suit and helmet
Image Credit: Vander Films, Unsplash

Other Interesting Helmet Facts

  • About 70% of people riding a motorcycle wear a DOT-compliant
  • Helmet use has increased by almost 25% since 2002 but has been declining slightly over the last few years.
  • 19 states have laws that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet.
  • 2019 saw a high number of fatal motorcycle crashes at 5,115.

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Most manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 3 to 5 years for maximum protection, but you will also need to replace it if you drop it or see any damage, like a fraying strap. You should also get a new helmet if you are in an accident. If you live in an area that often experiences high temperatures and bright sunlight, replacing it every 3 years might be better.

Featured Image Credit: HELMEnT, Pixabay


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