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Helmet Age

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by grange, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. I bought a new AGV helmet today , and the manufacturing date sewn on the inside shows it was made in december 2007.
    Not that I think there is a problem , but should I be worried that it is 16 months old already.

    Search did not give me any results , even though I think it has been brought up before.
  2. It will be fine as it hasn't really been exposed to the elements or exposed to your head.
    If it were a 10 year old helmet then I'd think about it more seriously.
    You should get 3-5 years from it dependng on your riding.
  3. Thanks Smee , have gotten 18 months out of rjay's helmet before the straps have started to show a bit of wear. Will keep as spare now though.

    New helmet was still in box , so hopefully will get at least 2 yrs out of a better brand of helmet.
  4. Have started wondering about this recently - is 3-5 years really all you can expect to get out of a helmet? Sorry if this is duplicating, but search turned up nothing or thousands, so thought I'd ask here.

    I bought my Shoei XR1000 2.5 years ago, and other than a few scratches on the shell and the foam getting a bit fluffy and slightly flatter (noticing more wind noise now) I can't see any reason it couldn't keep going for years... Still smells OK (to me, and mine's the only head going in it!) for a non-washable liner (come on Shoei!)

    Having paid upwards of $600 (RRP is closer to $800 for the latest designs) for it I'd hope it would last a fair while (I know, what price the safety of your head, but still.)

    Is there a big range in longevity between the cheaper and more expensive? Do they have a use-by-date as such, or just depends on use/treatment? What are peoples experiences?
  5. put $3 a week in a money box, in 5 years youll have the money to get a new 1 without hurting the pocket :)
  6. Excellent idea, especially if you can find a helmet-shaped money box!

    I've heard the 5-year figure thrown around a lot, and supposedly this has partly got to do with the gradual breaking-down of the helmet inner by your sweat, as well as other factors such as the inner becoming brittle with age. The former can be remedied somewhat by periodically washing the liner (assuming it is removable) - something I'd do anyway to keep things feeling and smelling alright. I do eat a lot of garlic and onions, though :grin:

    Theres a video with Jay Lenno in it floating arond here somewhere, which deals with this and the 'dropped helmet' question. Type in a few keywords and you might get lucky. I'll post back if I find it.

    Cheers - boingk
  7. What do helmet manufacturers say? I'm confident that if there was an issue with safety and effectiveness due to age that they would state a "use by date" in with the helmet. That way if there is an issue with the helmet in a crash they have covered off their legal responsibility.

    Please note, my assumption is based solely on age, not wear and tear or misuse.
  8. I think my kbc helmet user guide thingy had time periods listed in it.
    IIRC it was 5 years from purchase ot 10 from manufacture. Though I'm 100% sure on that.
  9. Realistically, a helmet that is used every day will become unuseable due to lining failure, visor mechanism failure, unavailability of new visors or any one of a dozen other peripheral reasons long before the shell or impact absorbing liner suffer any significant degradation.

    I've actually seen the results of some (unpublished) materials tests on some ancient and severely abused (paint, stickers, weather exposure etc) lids and they came out just fine, thank you very much. Even the polycarb cheapies. Believe me, these were helmets that even I wouldn't wear, and as regulars will know, I'm a lot less anal about protecting my bonce than 95% of posters on NR.

    The main reason for replacing your helmet regularly is not that the protection it offers will deteriorate significantly. Within reason, it won't in any way that you can't see. The overarching reason is that new lids are constantly improving. The best helmet you can buy today is likely to subject your brain to half the deceleration it would suffer in the best helmet you could buy 15-20 years ago in the same impact. Even five years development makes measurable differences, so that makes 5 years a reasonable maximum lifespan for a helmet that doesn't otherwise wear out or get damaged.

    Like I said, I'm not as particular as some about head protection. However, if I'm going to wear it, I'd like it to be something that's likely to do some good if it's needed so I'll spring for a new helmet now and again, and make sure it's one that is of decent quality and which fits me.
  10. jorge_k - Yeah thats the one! I got kinda preoccupied with a phonecall about my RS being newly shod with a rear tyre :grin:

    PatB - Good point on the improving technology. I was reading through an american board some time ago with somone who'd had a mate die in a stack. A big contributor was because he'd been wearing a very old helmet (think cork lining :shock: ). Kinda shows us how far we've come, in a tragic sort of way.

    - boingk
  11. Cork's actually surprisingly good. As good as anything else up until maybe the late 70s. Consistency isn't great though so it's hard to predict its performance.

    Of course, the question then arises as to whether even a new 70s lid would be acceptably safe by 2009 standards. The answer, for me, would be probably not, given the better alternatives now available.
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