Helmet Lifespan ??? - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Helmet Lifespan ???

I have a few six year old helmets that I like. A friend told me they are no longer safe because the foam core deteriorates with time. Is that true? All comments welcome. If it matters, one of the helmets is a Shoei and the others Scorpion. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Stored in a garage only.

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post #2 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 09:35 AM
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That just means they're not covered by warranty anymore. A lot depends on how the helmet is stored. If it wasn't abused and it was stored in your house all that time it'll be just about as good as it was new. If it was left in a garage where temp goes from 30 degrees to like 100 degrees from winter to summer, a whole bunch of times, then yeah the foam is probably not as good anymore and wouldn't do a very good job at absorbing energy.
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post #3 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 11:20 AM
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how much you sweat in them
how much you actually use it (not just length of years owned)
UV rays
ozone (like exhaust fumes, and really any chemical fumes)
extreme heat and extreme cold
and yes..........the quality of the materials used in production
all come into play, but all the helmet manufacturers suggest 5 years is the outer limit.... but I do find it very arbitrary given so many variables......
personally I have never worn any helmet more than 2 seasons, sure I have bought plenty of brand new 2,3 even 4 year old helmets on closeout..... knowing I won't wear it but 1-2 years
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post #4 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 01:18 PM
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You only have the one brain....... what's it worth to you?

I typically wear a helmet until it has too many scratches in the visor, and the interior starts to fall apart..... 5 years seems like a reasonable life expectancy; I may go a bit longer than that. The risk is mine to assess as I see fit.
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post #5 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 01:47 PM
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I emailed Snell, they said 5 years from first use if not dropped, damaged.

The factors already given effect the liner sweat, UV ETC.

Reason I sent mail, it was stated 5 years from manufactured date. That made buying a closeout 3 years old a bad deal.

That being said, my helmet is about to hit 5 years and I'm not looking forward to spending the cash. But my head is worth it.
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post #6 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy View Post
I emailed Snell, they said 5 years from first use if not dropped, damaged.

The factors already given effect the liner sweat, UV ETC.

Reason I sent mail, it was stated 5 years from manufactured date. That made buying a closeout 3 years old a bad deal.

That being said, my helmet is about to hit 5 years and I'm not looking forward to spending the cash. But my head is worth it.
I'm not the biggest fan of Snell; the amount of time they spent praising themselves for decades with their own standard has jaundiced them in my opinion.

I'd be curious to see what the DOT has to say, as well as the senior mfg..... shoei, aria, bell...
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post #7 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 02:53 PM
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Most helmets will lead a healthy life up to the age of 5 years of use. A crash, hefty drop and exposure to the elements will harm the overall health your helmet and lead to a premature expiration.
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post #8 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
I'm not the biggest fan of Snell; the amount of time they spent praising themselves for decades with their own standard has jaundiced them in my opinion.

I'd be curious to see what the DOT has to say, as well as the senior mfg..... shoei, aria, bell...
Well it was a PITA but found
https://www.nhtsa.gov/about-nhtsa/contact-us
Since they are involved with the DOT testing sent them the same basic question we are asking here.

IMO dealing with the manufactures doesn't change the testing standards used by the labs. I would prefer to use the guide lines they are subjecting the companies to follow.
Since DOT is the other main testing lab, lets see what they say.

I'm not holding by breath for a quick or clear answer. They are a government agency and anything other than legalize will shock me, I will be completely floored if we get a simple concise answer.
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post #9 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 03:36 PM
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Motorcycle Helmet Standards Explained: DOT, ECE 22.05 & Snell

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post #10 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 03:41 PM
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 03:42 PM
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post #12 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 03:47 PM
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Seemed to be skipping over the lifespan thing.

Found this and the manufactures can pound sand.

Helmet Care - Helmet Check

Quote:
Most helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every two to four years. If you notice any signs of damage before then, replace it sooner.
Two years, are you kidding me.
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post #13 of 28 Old 06-15-2017, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy View Post
Well it was a PITA but found
https://www.nhtsa.gov/about-nhtsa/contact-us
Since they are involved with the DOT testing sent them the same basic question we are asking here.

IMO dealing with the manufactures doesn't change the testing standards used by the labs. I would prefer to use the guide lines they are subjecting the companies to follow.
Since DOT is the other main testing lab, lets see what they say.

I'm not holding by breath for a quick or clear answer. They are a government agency and anything other than legalize will shock me, I will be completely floored if we get a simple concise answer.
Yeah companies are always biased towards their own products and are less likely to give you a straight honest answer than a 3rd party entity would, such as the people testing ALL brands....such as Snell.

Whether they praised themselves or not, Snell is absolutely more strict than DOT. A helmet that passes Snell is certainly better than one that can only pass DOT, but not Snell or ECE.
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post #14 of 28 Old 06-18-2017, 03:07 PM
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5 years minimum unless you crash it I would say.. 7 years if you don't ride a lot. Don't think I could keep a helmet that long anyways ahahaha.

Also, DOT doesn't actually do independent testing like SNELL does.
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post #15 of 28 Old 06-18-2017, 10:44 PM
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8 or 10 years ago I ran across a helmet test, some cheap helmets did well and some expensive helmets didn't. Seems like the SNELL test had a two impacts in the same spot test. Good if you are in a car and banging your helmet against the roll bar in the same spot but not as useful in a motorcycle crash where it is rare to have a couple impact in the same place. Result is a helmet that is "stiffer" than necessary for motorcycles and results in a higher G load on the brain. For this reason I have always bought helmets that were DOT or European tested but never a SNELL rating. Most years I ride on the street a lot with the resulting sweet and road grime accumulating in the helmet. Even if it looks good I always retire after 4 years.

It's my head and having spent a year getting over a concussion from a 10MPH scooter crash with a cheap rental helmet that was worthless, I'm even more particular about my helmets.
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