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I know helmet materials deteriorate over time, but I wonder about a full face helmet I have owned for about 8 years, but have worn it less than 8 times. It looks and feels like new, but wonder if just the years have made it less than protective. Just feels odd to think of chucking this new-like helmet.
 

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Most helmets are made of a plastic, and the chemical make up of the breaks down, and will faster when exposed to uv light(the sun). You ever hav a kids plastic toy sit outside in the weather, and after a few years it has faded in color, and crack or crumbles apart... this is the same as your helmet, granted it probably has not been in direct sunlight all this time, however the equivilant chemical breakdown is still there, even if you cant visually see it...I personally only use a helmet when off roading, and still use them if they are in the condition you claim.. but if it was on the road, where the chances of an accident would have greater level of impact, then no I would get a new one.. But thats just me, it's ultimately your melon in it, you be the judge...
 

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Of course you can do what you want with that helmet, but I would hate to throw out a helmet in the condition you describe. Knowing its history, I would wear it.

(You can send it to me!)
 

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Compared to those DOT-stickered yamakas that I see lots of cruisers wearing, I expect that your 8 year old helmet is a shining beacon of ultra-safety. I would just wear it. Unless you are actively racing (and therefore likely to actually crash sometime soon). In which case, I would spend a bunch of money on the latest super tech helmet.
 

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As we know plastics and fiberglass are biodegradable and will start to breakdown almost immediately, at the 5yr mark. Sounds ridiculous just saying it, but no if it's like new wear it. just my opinion and certainly not what helmet manufactures and govt' agencies will tell you. Keep in mind both feel that DOT is perfectly fine as a regulation, so there you go.
 

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If it was syired inside I would say it’s good to go

One of the helmets in my rotation is a like new condition Shoei X-eleven that is probably 15 years old. Just don’t believe it is gonna split into two at the first contact with pavement.
 

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lol I threw on my old NZI indoor helmet last week and the chin strap pulled right off, I think that one is done.
 

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The industry says a motorcycle helmet has a lifespan of 5 years. However, that is based on a worst case scenario of 24 hour a day abuse in the worst elements possible for a full 5 years. That may be 50 years if you store it right and rarely wear it.

IMO, its not the Styrofoam and hard plastic that degrades, rather its just the foam cheek pads that start to disintegrate. And they are easily replaced.
 

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Outer shell protects from penatration, and the inner protects from impact. Bullet proof vest's are made from kevlar, and have a shelf life, if they wear one thats expired, they risk the projectile being able to penetrate it and still potentially kill them. No matter how long past its recomended lifespan.

The helmet is no different, yes it may look to be in "New" condition, but the risk is still there, 5 to 7 years is the mark your suposed to ask your self "do I want to risk it?"
Its not a matter of is it weaker, the answer is yes it is, but are you wanting to risk the chance of you actually needing it and it fail. there called accidents for a reason, you cant predict when...

No man made material last forever, and will degrade period. so its not a question of "is it bad" its a question of do I want to risk my melon. 5 to 7 years is the material fail point. meaning its the range the material is at its weakest point. this can't be argued with, its fact.

So just ask your self..... am I willing to risk it? thats the only question....
 

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I heard once that it takes 7 to 10 years for a cigarette butt to totally degrade. Now this was during a time there was a big push to clean up a local lake and those numbers may have been inflated "to support the cause", but if it takes 5 to 7 years before new helmet is toast, it just don't sound right.
 

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I heard once that it takes 7 to 10 years for a cigarette butt to totally degrade. Now this was during a time there was a big push to clean up a local lake and those numbers may have been inflated "to support the cause", but if it takes 5 to 7 years before new helmet is toast, it just don't sound right.
it's a 5 to 7 year degredation period of the materials...
I have a 6 year old kevlar vest, will you wear it and let me shoot my 45 w/ RIP hollow points at it?? :)

(lol im kidding, I like you so far, and I would never shoot someone that did not rightfully deserve it)
 

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Soooo.... Issssss that a no?


haha lol kidding. Yeah I guess a older one is better than none at all.
 

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Do y’all remember when cars were considered worthless after 2 years? And we were told plastic never decomposes. It would be a good customer relations move if there was some kind of trade in value on helmets don’t you think.
 

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Do y’all remember when cars were considered worthless after 2 years? And we were told plastic never decomposes. It would be a good customer relations move if there was some kind of trade in value on helmets don’t you think.

I have been in the automotive industry all my life,and im a 3rd gen technician, my family has only worked in this field and own repair shops as well as extended family in the dealerships, and I have never... ever... even heard of any car(other than a Saturn) being worthless at 2 years let alone any age. cars can and have outlasted thier original purchasers, its the main reason people always want the older ones, because reguardless of maintnance "most" last.
ever heard of the "collector car" industry? lol

I'm curious @hogcowboy where did you hear such a thing?



and yes plastic does not decompose, in the way all 'biological' matter does.. but that does not mean the structural integrity has not been comprimised. whis is the case we were discussing about helmets.
 

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While there may be some actual science behind plastics degrading over time at a molecular level, this would be most often due to the environment they were stored in (excessive heat or cold or moisture or direct sunlight constantly), it isn't like they are radioactive isotopes with a confirmed half life.

The FIVE YEARS rule that the industry has adopted is rather arbitrary (funny how it matches how often SNELL standards are reevaluated).

Common sense should rule here, with each rider evaluating the condition of any particular helmet they are using (I daresay the "rule" is out there to try to help those who may lack common sense - along with it being an obvious marketing tool to sell new helmets). To further muddy the waters, the actual rule as I understand it is "five years from sale date", NOT manufacture date. Well that kind of throws out any claim to the science showing that it's a simple matter of materials degradation related to time.

I would submit that even if my 15 year old Shoei X-Eleven SNELL 2005 helmet isn't as strong as it was when it was brand new, it is still stronger and safer than the majority of new helmets that are sub $100-150, DOT Approved (those without SNELL or ECE 2205 certification). And that would be the majority of helmets being sold, I would guess, due to simple economics.
 

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I'm curious @hogcowboy where did you hear such a thing?
Ever heard of the "rust belt". Being from Indiana you should but maybe it's before your time too.
 

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Never heard about the 2 year thing but I remember a hundred thousand miles and a car was pretty well worn out.
Don't ever hear that anymore.
 
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