Do Dirt Bike Helmets Expire? Lifespan.
There are different grades of helmets for dirt bikes but going for the top grade ones is the best thing. Even though they are expensive, most riders still prefers them due to the important role they play in protecting the skull during a crash situation. Whenever you are out riding, it is best to ensure you are adequately protected.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet after any crash or after you have used it for between 3-5 years. However, a helmet can last for up to 7 years from the date of production. As you read on, you will find out more details about your bike helmet and when you need to replace it.
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Does Dirt Bike Helmets Usually Expire?
Almost every product has an expiry date, and the dirt bike helmet is no different. According to manufacturers, you should not use your helmet beyond five years. This is because some of the materials used in making the helmet, such as glues and resins, become less effective after that time, thereby compromising the overall quality of the helmet’s lining.
However, the guidelines for replacing the helmet may vary from one manufacturer to another; when you check under your helmet, you will find a sticker that contains the date of manufacture. Using the five years rule, you can easily calculate how long the helmet will effectively serve you.
Should I Replace My Helmet after a Crash?
There is no straightforward answer to this question due to claims by different manufacturers. Some recommend that riders should replace their helmet whenever they get involved in any major crash, whether any damage was done to the helmet. On the other hand, some manufacturers claim that the helmet is still effective after a major crash, except the owner can observe soft spots and bends on it.
The primary purpose of a dirt bike helmet is to protect the head during a crash. The materials used in making the helmet contain foam, which can crush if subjected to intense pressure. For a daring sport like dirt biking, it is unsafe to assume your helmet is good just because you can’t see any visible damage on the exterior. Whenever you are involved in a crash or fall, examine the helmet thoroughly to see if any area is compressed, bulged, or cracked. If you see any of that, replace the helmet. Also, if the plastic appears faded, it means it must have grown brittle, and it should be replaced.
Should I Replace my Helmet Because it Dropped
Although dropping a helmet dropping and crashing may look like the same thing, the scenarios are different.
During a crash, the biker travels at high speed and will usually be thrown off
at a top speed and force. The helmet can go completely bad under such a condition.
When you drop a helmet, there is very little chance that it will get damaged since it was built to be sturdy and offer high resistance to impact. However, it may begin to look less attractive if you drop often, but it won’t be as bad as requiring a replacement.
Time to get a New Helmet?
Follow the tip below to know if it is time for you to get another helmet for your dirt biking adventure:
Age is a major determinant of a helmet lifespan. Like we noted at the beginning of this article, the most common lifespan, according to manufacturers, is five years. Even though it may appear that the helmet is still in perfect shape, the materials that were put together in making it have a shelf life, and it becomes weak over time. Apart from that, since you are actively using the helmet, it is subjected to UV rays, various weather conditions, mud, and dirt, which end up compromising its quality over time. Therefore, the five years period of use as recommended by manufacturers is just a guide; it may quickly become unfit for use long before the five years elapses.
The way you use and handle your helmet also acts as an important factor in determining how long it will last you. If you go dirt biking only on a few occasions, it means your helmet will last longer than that of someone who goes dirt biking frequently.
Your helmet is supposed to fit on your head firmly. If your helmet keeps swaying when you move your head, it means it has become loose and less safe. Loose helmets have been identified as a cause of traumatic brain injury in victims of a dirt bike accident. Therefore, you should consider replacing your helmet if it has become loose.
Exterior and Interior Deterioration
During a crash, the part of the helmet that records the most significant impact is the shell. Thus, you must ensure that it is in good shape at all times. A small crack on the outside can open you to the risk of a head injury during an accident. Most times, the shell may even look great, but the inner lining and foam of the helmet are completely compromised. This, too, can expose you to head injury during a crash. You should pay attention to both the exterior and interior components of your helmet and replace them when you notice any abnormalities.
Strap or Lock Failure
The strap is used to keep the helmet securely on the head, and it may get worn or corroded due to the environment and dirt. It is possible to get a replacement for the strap if you want. Also, you can simply buy a new helmet.
How to Maintain Your Helmet
Below are a few tips you can apply to make your helmet serve you longer and better:
Clean it Frequently
Due to the terrain where dirt biking is usually done, the vents of your helmet will quickly get clogged with dust and dirt. Also, the sweats and oil from your head will cover the interior of the helmet. Consequently, it is important that you clean it often so it can last long.
Cleaning should be done mildly as heavy washing could cause the fabric to degrade and result in deformation of the foam. When cleaning, do not make use of a dryer as it can also deform the foam padding. Instead, make use of a wet towel and antibacterial cleaner for wiping the inside of the helmet. For the exterior, simply warm water and some detergent to scrub off the scuff and mud on it.
Drying is important after washing since a bad odor will come out of a helmet not properly dried. To dry the helmet, make use of air.
The storage condition under which your helmet is kept will also go a long way in making it last long for you, and there are several options you can choose from. If your bike often, considers getting yourself a padded bag for the helmet since it is very portable.
If you have more than one helmet, consider using helmet hooks to hang your gear when it is not in use. This way, it will dry out properly. Using a nail can damage the interior of your helmet, so go for a hanger that was explicitly designed for the gear.
It will be a good investment if you could get a shelf or bay for the helmet. This is due to the multiple spaces you will get to safely store the other gears you often use, like gloves.
A helmet cabinet will help you neatly organize your gears and protect them from dust and other things that could compromise their quality. You can also take it a step further by buying mannequins whose head you can store the helmets. This will be more fun.
As we discussed at the beginning, the way you handle the helmet can determine if it will last you for a long time or not. Although a helmet is designed to be sturdy, it can get damaged as a result of mishandling. Do not hang the helmet in places that could end up damaging its interior, and when walking, hold it firmly by your side. Allowing your helmet to swing loosely when walking will make it hit against obstacles, which can damage it.
Getting a good helmet for your dirt-biking adventure comes with a lot of costs, and this is why you must do all that is within your power to make the helmet last for a long time. The purpose of am helmet is to protect you during a crash and you need to be double sure that the helmet you have on can serve that purpose. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet after a significant crash or five years from the manufacturing date. Due to the foam’s nature in the helmet, even if the exterior looks intact after an accident, the foam may have been destroyed. By following the tips that have been provided in this article, you can make the best use of your dirt bike helmet.