How long do motorcycle helmets last? What affects helmet?

How long do motorcycle helmets last? Although there is no “best before date” sticker on a helmet, motorcycle helmets do have a maximum shelf life. Of course this partially depends on the use of the helmet, but that a helmet would last forever is a myth. The average lifespan of a helmet is 5 to 7 years before it needs to be replaced.

How Long Do Motorcycle Helmets Last?

In each country, wearing a helmet when operating a motorcycle is one of the legal provisions to protect road users. However, there has not been any law that stipulates the shelf life of helmets.

How long do motorcycle helmets last

Experts and helmet manufacturers recommend people should not use it for more than 5 years. Depending on the structure of each type of hat, usage habits, and manufacturer’s reputation, the exact time may vary slightly. Specifically:

Fullface Type

The design and structure of this hat are quite solid and have higher safety than other versions. As a specialized hat for backpackers (who often drive cars at high speed and go long distances), the lifespan of these lines will also be higher than other current lines.

Although it has the same structure as high-grade virgin ABS plastic that has not been heat-treated, the shell of the full-face ones is a bit thicker than the usual ones. If used carefully, your item can last for 5 years.

Half Head Type

This is a specialized product line for people who often move to the inner city. With a compact design, this hat is extremely popular with many people.

Because they are used regularly and continuously, they need a thinner shell to meet criteria such as coolness and compactness. This makes the life of this helmet line quite short, up to about 3 years.

3/4 Head Type

Although not as compact as the one above, this model is still an easy-to-use, versatile helmet Suitable for trips between the city and the suburbs.

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Their lining is thicker and softer, protecting almost the entire head area in the event of an unfortunate collision. The lifespan of this type is usually 3 to 4 years.

What Affects Motorcycle Helmet Lifespan?

Many people think the helmet they are using has no signs of damage, so why change it? This is indeed a big mistake because it will gradually lose its ability to protect from the inside over time of use. There are reasons such as:

Collision While Using

During use, there may be collisions, such as hitting the wall, or table shelf, falling to the ground, etc. Thus, your items will gradually reduce impact resistance in accident situations.

Do not be subjective with this because although it looks like there is no problem or just a few small scratches, its life has been reduced a bit. The shell and foam liner only provide the best protection on the first crash impact; they will decrease in subsequent times.

Over time, your product can only withstand light impacts; sudden and strong collision situations will cause danger to the user.

Due To Inclement Weather

As a head protection product, it is exposed to complex weather conditions daily, such as rain, direct sunlight, dirt, wind, ultraviolet light, etc. This will directly affect the helmet protection structure and reduce the helmet shelf life considerably.

Aging Of Texture Layers

Helmets are usually made from virgin ABS plastic, high compression density EPS foam, and liner materials. The bond between the plastic particles and the foam liner will gradually lose, reducing the details’ impact resistance when encountering heavy impact.

In addition, price is also a factor to consider because cheaper helmets usually cannot last long.

How Does a Helmet Become Unsafe?

How long do motorcycle helmets last

As a motorcycle helmet ages, it faces multiple external influences that affect the material of the helmet. For example, the sun has probably shined on the helmet for quite some hours and millions of raindrops have rolled off the shell. But chemicals from hair products, for example, have also been able to cling onto the inside of the helmet.

Just like the sweat you produce while attacking that curvy road on a summer day. Although these factors are not visible, they do affect the helmet’s protective properties. What is noticeable in practice is the difference in fit. After having just bought a helmet, it would have been significantly tighter compared to how it currently sits on your head.

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Everything is just a bit looser, which will ultimately have a negative effect during a fall or accident. In the event that a helmet has been dropped or has bumped against something, it should actually be replaced straight away! Whether you wear the helmet on a daily basis, only during the weekends or once every so often will also play a role in the wear and tear of the materials.


How intensively a helmet is used has an effect on the life of the helmet, but the material it’s made from also plays a large role in its durability. Polycarbonate has the tendancy to harden when exposed to sunlight and eventually becoming brittle. You will mainly find this materialy in the more budget-friendly helmets.

The more expensive ones are often made of carbon fiber or glass fiber. Apart from the fact that these helmets are lighter, they are also safer and age less quickly. A polycarbonate helmet can have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years with intensive use, whereas a helmet made from carbon fiber or glass fiber can last up to 7 years!

What Is A Motorcycle Helmet Made Of?

The majority of motorcycle helmets and dirt bike helmets consist of an outer shell made from some type of durable plastic, fiberglass, or carbon. These compounds are some of the most robust materials found on this planet. They will last for years to come.

They are extremely durable and have proof of the utmost resiliency. A simple drop of your helmet onto the ground should not cause it to become damaged if it is made from one of these compounds.

The interior helmet typically consists of dense foam to help absorb impact. If you dropped your helmet with something heavy inside of it, you may need to check the foam for deformation. The foam does a great job of absorbing and dispersing impact so dropping your helmet should not drastically impact the integrity of your helmet to the point that you need a new one.

How long do motorcycle helmets last

You will also find some type of moisture-wicking lining inside your helmet as well. This lining will help absorb sweat and other moisture to preserve the integrity of the helmet. Unless you are filling your helmet with water and then letting it free fall from your roof, you do not have to worry about getting a new helmet if you accidentally drop it.

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Do You Need To Replace Your Helmet If You Drop It?

I’m sure you have heard by now that if you drop your helmet you need to replace. Let me clarify any misunderstandings or concerns. Unless you drop it off the Eiffel tower then you don’t have to replace your helmet.

Many retailers may insinuate this scare tactic just to get more sales but it is simply not true. If you drop your motorcycle helmet, you do not need to replace it.

Of course, you should check your helmet for any possible damage if you do drop it but chances are you won’t need to replace it. You would have to drop your helmet from a significant height in order to damage it to the point that you need a new one.

Motorcycle helmets and ATV helmets alike are very sturdy and robust. The majority of helmets made by today’s safety standards can withstand unintentional wear and tear, especially if you purchase one from a reputable manufacturer.

However, this does not mean you should be throwing your helmet around. I recommend keeping good care of your helmet and storing it in a dry, cool area.


What Should I Do With The Old Ones?

Old motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets are no longer safe to protect you from a head injury but do not rush to throw them away because they have interesting uses that few people know about.

You can reuse them for many different things while saving and creating unique features such as making flower pots, speakers, night lights, decorations, etc.

How Do Helmets Protect You?

It reduces force transmission to the user’s scalp, skull, brain, and spine. It cannot protect all parts of your body, but it does cover the most important part of you – your brain.

Do you really need to replace motorcycle helmet every 5 years?

General helmet use means a helmet will last for about five years. The glues, resins and other materials used in the making of the helmet can lose their effectiveness and also deteriorate the lining. Be aware that your helmet may have sat on the shelf for some time before being bought by you.

Above is information about How long do motorcycle helmets last? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of What affects motorcycle helmet lifespan? Thank you for reading our post.

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