Do motorcycle helmets expire?

Do you have an old helmet that has never been in an accident or dropped that looks in perfect shape? So why not wear it?

Yes, your motorcycle helmet does expire. Although the motorcycle helmet is not fitted with an expiry date, you should assume that 5 years after the date of purchase, the helmet has expired and no longer has the same protection as a new helmet.

How long do motorcycle helmets last?

A motorcycle can appear to last a lifetime if it is not dropped or has received an impact in an accident. Motorcycle helmets are durable and can retain the appearance of a new helmet if taken care of.

However, your motorcycle helmet loses its properties that protect the rider’s skull.

Helmets use a lot of glues and solvents in the initial construction, and over time these construction components start to degrade.

The dangers of UV exposure are well known, and your helmet is exposed to UV rays that not only dull the finish but contribute to the real effectiveness of the helmet.

If the helmet has not been dropped or received an impact in an accident. This is why almost all manufacturers recommend you change your hemet after 5 years. Shoei recommends 7 years.

Snell helmet certification enforces the 5-year replacement of motorcycle helmets.

How do you tell if a motorcycle helmet is expired?

If your helmet was purchased 5 years ago, then it’s time for a change. It’s worth saying at this point, never buy a used motorcycle helmet regardless of how infrequently it will be used.

If your helmet has been dropped, change it, it is impossible to see hairline fractures unless you use an x-ray machine. Your helmet could have severe damage and look fine.

Change it if you have had an accident and your helmet has received an impact. Even slight impacts can cause damage despite your helmet being a durable piece of kit.

Change it if the padding has worn and the helmet is not slipping around and does not fit snugly.

How many years is a motorcycle helmet good for?

You can safely say your helmet is good for 5 years barring any drops or impacts from accidents.

Your helmet may look perfect, but it has been degrading since the day you purchased it with constant exposure to the elements such as sunlight and UV rays.

If your motorcycle helmet has been sitting unused for a year, it is still degrading, and this does not mean the helmet has a lifespan of used years.

Is a 10 year old motorcycle helmet still good?

No, it may look perfect and be well suited to your vintage motorcycle, but the truth is the materials used to construct the helmet have gone through ten years of degradation.

The reputable helmet certifying body Snell has tested helmets and come up with 5 years as the absolute maximum you should keep a helmet. All helmet manufacturers support this time frame.