Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Second hand helmets

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Kernel, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. I don't want to piss Seedy off any more by posting in his thread so I decided to start this one, I hope this is the right forum to ask this. Did a search on 'second hand helmets', typical crappy search, the word 'second' was excluded for being too common, couldn't find any information on second hand helmets.

    My question is, why do people reckon second hand helmets are worthless? Is the only reason because there is no way of knowing the history of the helmet? What if you do know the history of a helmet and know for a fact that it's never been banged (double entendre not intended)?
    I read in the VicRoads hand book that helmets mould to the shape of the wearer's head, and once this moulding process has finished, any body else wearing the helmet will have limited protection. Is this true, or is this just a crock of shit like Seedy who is more knowledgeable than me says?

    I'm asking this question because I'm interested in buying Seedy's helmet as a spare helmet/helmet for my girlfriend. There's no way I'm putting that helmet on my girlfriend's head unless I know it will protect her in the event of a crash, but I can't afford to buy a brand new one either. Please no comments like "you shouldn't get your girlfriend on the back of your bike until you can afford to buy her brand new gear", "you suck at riding you would be a dangerous pillion carrier", etc.
  2. I'd never buy a secondhand helmet.

  3. Yeah but what's better, a $60 open faced helmet picked up from AMX manufactured in god knows where by god knows who, or a barely used never banged $129 full-faced helmet bought second hand for $60?
  4. Frankly, if you can't afford to get her a new helmet then you can't afford to have her on the bike.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. There is no guarantee with a new helmet, that it will protect you fully in an accident, so the choice is yours....
  6. In no particular order:

    1) A helmet will mould to the shape of your head. You want this. It will protect you better this way than if it was moulded to someone elses.

    2) Even without the above, the padding will wear out and lose its effectiveness. This will eventually happen to any helmet but obviously isn't a problem if new.

    3) If getting a second hand helmet, then the fit will be 'good enough', as opposed to getting the exact right size at a store because a model is all the same price regardles of size.

    4) YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE 2nd HAND HELMET. A (seemingly) minor hit to a helmet can drastically reduce its effectiveness. It can happen without any appearance on the outside (For instance, you can drop a helmet and have the outer shell completely intact). Helmets are a 1 use item. It takes a hit, you throw it out.

    At the end of the day, Helmets serve a single primary purpose. Remember what you are putting inside it, and weigh up what $$ it is worth to you accordingly.
  7. So you are telling me that you are prepared to trust the life of your girlfriend into a $60 helmet? -new OR secondhand??

    How much did you pay for YOUR helmet???
  8. I'm not entirely convinced a second hand helmet will kill you. Obviously if it's been in an accident it's pretty much useless but I'm not sold on the helmet 'moulding' to your head. I don't think the protective eps lining 'moulds' that much, the squishy foam padding can (almost)always be replaced if need be. My shoei xr1100 never 'moulded' to my head after a year but I made my own squishy liner to make it more comfortable.
    Buyer beware I suppose.
  9. this is the realization I am coming to, if anything I am just curious and having a prod to see if it is worth doing, which I don't think really is... save up my money and get her gear that fits. trouble is she refuses to let me spend money on her (she's a good girl) so taking her with me to try stuff on is out of the question. so I figure I'll just leave it be for a while, as much as it pains me to do...
    besides she is still growing so new gear isn't gonna take long to not fit her properly anyway.

    neither am I but is it really worth the risk? buyer beware indeed.
  10. Oh FFS. How many times do we have to go over this? A drop, without a head in it will not automatically render a helmet unsafe.

    A helmet which has suffered a hit with a head in it will generally have witness marks.

    That said, I would not buy a secondhand helmet because, once a helmet has had someone's head in it for more than an hour or so, it will never fit anyone else properly and a helmet which doesn't fit properly provides significantly less protection than one that does.

    Besides, if you can't afford to buy her a new helmet that fits, you probably can't afford a girlfriend :wink:.
  11. Or girlfriend !! Kernel, she's not of the use once blow up type I hope :rofl:
    • Like Like x 1
  12. thank you Pat, this is what I believe to be the case but as said I'm not entirely convinced on the notion. but if the vicroads hand book tells us so and the helmet manufacturers tell us so and PatB tells us so, then it's probably best to assume it to be the case.

    haha, you'd think so, but she spends more money on me than I do on her, it's very hard to convince her to let me buy anything for her, mostly I do it without her permission anyway :LOL: .

    haha if she was I don't think I'd want to embarass myself by putting IT on the back of my bike and I most certainly would bother buying a helmet for IT!
  13. 'Can' and 'Reduce'. Further, I never said anything about whether the head was in it or not.

    That said, we can argue over semantics but I suspect we actually agree.
  14. mmm you have a point, I think it's a lot better to trust a helmet more than you trust yourself to stay out of trouble...
  15. This one has her own helmet....

    Attached Files:

  16. Probably not.

    You could always make her buy her own helmet :)

  17. There is no way after an hour it would mould to someones head and be useless to anyone else! Maybe after a few months but not an hour, its foam not bloody concrete!
  18. Tell her if she wants to get on the back of your bike she can buy her own ****ing helmet then.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. How long does it take you to get used to a new lid and for it to feel truly comfortable on your head to the point at which you forget it's there? Hours or months? That's about the time it takes for the lid to adjust to you.

    For those who don't think the foam liner won't move fairly quickly, try a little experiment. Find some high density polystyrene foam about 30mm thick, which is basically what is inside your helmet whatever fancy name the manufacturers might give it. The stuff your TV came in won't do as it's too soft but I've seen foam eskies that are somewhere close to what you need. Put it outside (in the shade) on a good hot day, to simulate the 38 point something degree temperature of a head in a helmet, and sit a watermelon that's about the same size as your head on it. Leave it for a while. Observe the surface of the foam on an hourly basis. I guarantee that you will see movement in the foam in a very short time.

    And it's important to note that each individual foam cell will only compress once. They do not reinflate if the shape of the object applying the pressure changes. More of them will compress instead. The layer of foam in a helmet that conforms to your head shape is generally a relatively thin lining within a denser layer. It only has a finite number of cells to compress so its ability to conform to new shapes is limited.

    You don't need to shell out $1000 to get a helmet that will provide an excellent level of protection, but if you can't afford to buy a new one that at least fits properly, you can't afford to ride any motorcycle above moped level.

    I'll take my ageing and occasionally dropped but correctly fitted and of known history $250 HJC over any secondhand Shoei or Arai at the same price any day of the week thanks.
  20. Nicely explained Pat