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If I missed this one, I apologize, redirect me to the thread please if so. Do you replace your helmet every five years or is this just some marketing nonsense to get MC riders to spend money? Are the more expensive helmets less prone to this concept (if it even is valid)? TKS.
 

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My opinion is that there is some marketing to it. Helmet manufactures are in the business of selling helmets. That said, a new helmet that has spent five years on the shelf of a dark closet probably needn’t be replaced as one that has been ridden in the elements for five years.

I didn’t pay that much attention until one day I saw just how faded the top of my day glo helmet had faded after about five years. Most manufacturers probably use a lot of the same type of materials. I did replace after seeing such a dramatic fade. I can’t answer if a $1000 Arai will protect better than a $300 Scorpion. I’ve had both and liked both and I’m glad I put neither to the test.

As older wiser riders than I have said, “You got a $50 head, wear a $50 helmet.”
 

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I make a point to replace my helmet every 5 years. I thought it was possibly a ploy as you mentioned but came to learn that Snell is in line with the 5 year max rule. Helmet internals apparently can break down over 2 to 5 years depending on how much you ride, according to them.

I look at it this way---I buy a new helmet (I have a Shoei head shape), use it for 5 riding seasons, net expense is about $100.00 per year. Feels better to think of it that way than thinking about dropping $500.00 on a new lid.
 

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I swap mine out regularly, ever few years but for reasons around fashion and looks, audio quality and battery life but mostly because I’ve stuffed the visors, coated the insides in make up or dropped the **** thing
 

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I change mine out every 5 years as well. Just went from a C3 to a Neotec II.

Like someone said earlier in this thread; $ 50.00 helmet for a $ 50.00 head. Well spoken IMHO.

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I change mine when I feel the need. Over time they don't fit as well.

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As older wiser riders than I have said, “You got a $50 head, wear a $50 helmet.”

Actually the original was "If you have a $10 head buy a $10 helmet otherwise buy the best" It was on a poster put out by Bell helmets when they introduced the Bell Star full face helmet in the early 70s. Back then you could buy a helmet for $10. I bought my first Bell Star in 1972 and have had full face or modular helmets exclusively ever since.


https://www.bellracing.com/Shop/Product/Bell-Helmets-10-Head-10-Helmet-T-Shirt
 

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Actually the original was "If you have a $10 head buy a $10 helmet otherwise buy the best" It was on a poster put out by Bell helmets when they introduced the Bell Star full face helmet in the early 70s. Back then you could buy a helmet for $10. I bought my first Bell Star in 1972 and have had full face or modular helmets exclusively ever since.


https://www.bellracing.com/Shop/Product/Bell-Helmets-10-Head-10-Helmet-T-Shirt
Thanks, the $50 quote is probably due to inflation. :grin:

I'm a year behind you, I've been wearing full face helmets since 1973. I've probably drank too much of the Snell Foundation Kool-Aid so I stick to a full face instead of trying a modular helmet. It's my understanding that Snell hasn't had time to properly test one yet so modular helmets don't carry the Snell label. Everyone I ride with wears a NeoTec and swears by it!

Too bad the shirt is out of stock, although I wear an Arai, I like the shirt.
 

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I change every 5 years. BUT, the last one I bought was from Cycle Gear. I didn't notice that the data in the helmet itself was already 3 years post-dated when I bought it. Irritated, but fine. Whatever. I'll be keeping it for a while, despite it's age. I'd have probably still bought it but certainly would've asked for a significant discount!
 

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Wish i could find a comfortable helmet that also wasn't claustrophobic. The only truely comfortable i own is a light Harley DOT half helmet.

Also own a Shoie JR Cruise 3/4 helmet. Marginally comfortable ( tight on sides ). Maybe i rode for to many years lid free.

No longer wish to ride without a helmet, just want as much comfort as possible without closing me in.

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Wish i could find a comfortable helmet that also wasn't claustrophobic. The only truely comfortable i own is a light Harley DOT half helmet.

Also own a Shoie JR Cruise 3/4 helmet. Marginally comfortable ( tight on sides ). Maybe i rode for to many years lid free.

No longer wish to ride without a helmet, just want as much comfort as possible without closing me in.

Sent from my SM-J327T using Tapatalk

I too do not like having a full face lid, so i use a flip front, and its open 95% of the time, i replace when i can afford. The internal compression foam eventually maintains a compressed state so is less effective and does deteriorate. Injection moulded lids are potentially worse due to uv, and i had one soften playing with painting with cellulose.
 

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I personally don’t believe the shell itself breaks down. Just makes no sense to me. But, the padding does. I do replace the pads in my Shoei helmets every couple of years, partly because they wear out and partly because the fit becomes looser. But I do get a new helmet every five years or so. I do so at a point I would have to replace the pads and shields anyway so the cost to upgrade is greatly reduced.
 

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Here is the problem with the 5 year rule, what is it based on? If I ride 300 days a year, 30,000 miles and someone else rides 30 days a year, 3,000 miles, both our helmets degrade at the same time?

I store mine inside my house, someone else in the garage, they degrade the same?

I ride on the heat so sweat alot, someone else only on cool days, they degrade the same?

I buy a helmet made two years ago, rode only a few days a year, it's bad in 3 years?

The answer is no to all those questions and because of that, the 5 year rule is a guide based on averages and assumptions.

And since no one knows what those averages and assumptions really are, I feel it is more a marketing ploy than a hard and fast rule in my opinion.

I rather certain a well cared for helmet will not lack protection if you crash when it's 5 years and 1 day old.

That's why I replace mine when the fit is off, that tells me the foam padding as well as the liner have compressed and degraded to a point where they may not be providing max protection.

That may be 3 years, 5,8 or 10 years from the helmets born on date.

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Valid points. I replace the interior padding in mine from time to time. If composites are significantly degraded in just five years, why aren't we replacing control surfaces on airliners and jet fighters all the time?
Nothing wrong with being conservative, but five years, in my opinion, is just an advisory and not something to be feared as a date beyond which the helmet suddenly becomes unsafe to use.
Now....I think I deserve a new helmet at least that often!
 

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As @Marc11 says, a helmet doesn't suddenly become useless at 5 years and one day old, and the recommendation is exactly that: a recommendation based upon averages.

How the helmet is cared for and used can significantly affect how well it performs when needed though, as people don't realise that it's not just the shell and inner soft padding that can degrade, but also the high-density impact absorbing layer between the two. For example, did you know that the chemicals present in certain sun blocks can accelerate the decay of that high-density layer?

I'd liken it to the recommended replacement cycle for toothed belt camshaft drives. The belt may look OK, but the chances of it not performing as it should once it's past its scheduled replacement time increase significantly as time goes on. Personally, with my usage cycle and with the way I care for my crash helmet, once the inner liner is starting to show obvious signs of wear - typically at around 5 - 6 years, oddly enough - I'm inclined to replace the helmet.
 

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What is it that's actually suspected to have happened by five years? What part of the helmet has "degraded", and could that be observed by the rider himself?
 

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I often assume time frames come from the legal department. That way, if it wasn’t replaced and didn’t perform as expected, the out is that it was not the manufacturer’s but the owner’s liability. It doesn’t absolve the manufacturer, but it dilutes the blame and muddies the waters.

And more expensive helmets aren’t necessarily more protective, but may be more comfortable and more feature laden. My next helmet will likely be the lightest one I can fit comfortably, price be danged. Currently in a Neotec.
 

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I find that with the amount we ride, about 20,000KM per/year our helmets do not fit the same way, such as not as tight as when new which would be the norm as thing compress from use. If you think of all the natural sweating, oils, salt the inner linear is exposed to this would start to ware or break down the material. I think most manufactures warranty helmets for 5 years from date of purchase or 7 years from manufacture date the average replacement for ourselves is around 5 or 6 years. Could also take into consideration how many times you have bumped or banged it into something or even dropped it, all factors you should take into consideration as to when you should purchase a new helmet.



Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks ALL for your input on this. The usual smart discussion with smart people which is what makes this forum so informative. My C3 Pro is coming up on 6 years, not excessive use, most miles on hot/slab temps and then kept cozy inside the house. Interior padding is fine. I may pull the trigger on a new C3 Pro and then it will give me an excuse to upgrade the comm system too from the lackluster BMW comm. Once we get these ideas in our heads about new stuff for the ride...well then I kinda know how my story ends...I go for it!!
 
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