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Old 06-26-2009, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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do helmets have an expiration date?

Just curious, but if a helmet has never been used, does the date manufactured come into affect?

only wondering because i have been looking at shoei helmets on craigs list and ebay. Some of them are stated as brand new, but when i look at them or ask the seller the month/year it was made, most of them were made back in 2005. Im not sure if all the companys label there helmets like shoei , but i looked at a rf1k and on the inside of the helmet near the chin, there is a lable of when it was made.

I have heard a few people in other posts say that a helmet is only good for a few years then it needs to be replaced...is this still true if it was never used, just sitting in its box untouched over the years. Thanks

-chris
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When I took a the motorcycle safety course I do recall them saying you should replace a helmet after so much time....Not sure how long it was...I'm sure someone will give a better answer OR you could always google it?
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, helmets do have an expiration date. I've talked extensively with a few manufacturers reps that have confirmed it for me. The materials in the helmets deteriorate over time whether they are worn or not. The shell gets brittle and the padding breaks down and becomes less effective.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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After 5 or 6 years you can turn them into bookends
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did some googling for you....I've came up with 3-6 years. Being that it has not been crashed or dropped and has been well taken care of.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I keep mine for decoration. They're nice helmets, they look good and they cost me a lot of money so why not keep them on display.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks for the info guys...so i guess ill just have to dish out the extra money and buy a helmet through a local store...i knew all these ebay deals seemed too good to be true...
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If there were an expiration date (and I'm not saying there is or isn't) why is it not on each helmet somewhere like all the product liability labels you see on bikes? Wouldn't the manufacturers be liable for not informing the public of their products' impending discombobulation and subsequent litigation? I have never heard this discussed in any major publication or helmet-makers advertisements. If I were selling new helmets, I'd have a disclaimer, even if in small print, in every ad I ran. It's obvious, just like with tires, when something is so old it's coming apart, that safety is compromised, but when it's never been used and it looks right of the assembly line, what should its sell-by date be? This sounds sort of like one of those urban myths. I've never heard of an old helmet being blamed for an injury or death, but if some lawyer thought this would be another way to sue someone's pants off, it already would've happened.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That's pretty much my logic as well.

I just asked the parts manager who sold me my Aria this question a couple days ago, since it had come up here in another topic. He's been riding over 40 years, selling parts and gear (like helmets) for half that time. He shot it down. Maybe he knows what he's talking about, maybe he doesn't, but he has a lot to gain by confirming this. Namely, sale of another helmet to me every few years.

The shell getting brittle was more of an issue once upon a time, but the materials in most modern name brand helmets don't suffer from it, particularly the newer exotic materials like carbon fiber and kevlar weaves. Cars and airplanes are made out of this stuff, getting brittle sitting in a box on the shelf for a few years isn't likely.
The foam inside becomes compromised with use, not age. This is why throwing your Dunkin Donuts cup out the window is a crime- they sit there in the sun and rain for years and don't break down, ever. The stress of pulling it on and off will take it's toll eventually, but the odds of it ever affecting the outcome of an accident is slim.
The only thing you need to worry about wearing out is the liners and cheap pads, which will definitely lose their effectiveness with use, sometimes in as little as a year if you ride enough. Thankfully, in most decent helmets they are replaceable, and compared the the cost of a new helmet, quite cheap.
Synopsis was, if you bought a good helmet within the last few years, chances are you are going to start deteriorating long, long before it does.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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First off, I don't trust anything dealers say to me. The guy who sold me my bike has been selling bikes for 40 years and he tried to tell me that my 05 636 had a stock steering damper inside the ram air duct.

Like I said, I've heard this from HJC, Icon and Shoei sales reps. Granted, like JBear said, they do have something to gain in telling me this but I've also worked construction for the past 14 years and our hard hats, whether they took a hit or not, have to be replaced every 3 years for the same reasons.

Believe it or not, it's up to you. But I'm getting a new helmet every 4 years. I mean, it's my freakin' head!
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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^^Couldn't agree more. I would rather be safe then sorry
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I wont be surprised if in a few years your helmet becomes part of the yearly safety/inspection test.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcroninuk View Post
I wont be surprised if in a few years your helmet becomes part of the yearly safety/inspection test.
on that...... world wide!
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Might not be a bad idea though if you think about it
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My MSF course instructor as well told me that they have a 3-6 year expiration fron the date of manufacture. And as for these space age parts of the helmet not deteriorating over time, it's not the carbon fiber/kevlar that goes, its the epoxy binder therefor not holding it togeather as well.

Don't be a cheap ass, get a new helmet. It after all your head we're talking about here.

Edit: Most aircraft are made of either Carbon Graphite or Boron Tungsten, quite a bit different than carbon fiber/kevlar, but same conceptish.

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Old 06-27-2009, 05:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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On my Icon Airframe, the owner's guide has a 5 year replacement recommendation label. Dunno if Im helping or for this thread.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Went to a Pro-Am AMA Flattrack race at DuQuoin, Illinois yesterday. Had an issue with one of the shield caps on my Arai RX-7 Nicky Hayden Replica and there happened to be an Arai vendor set up in the pits. He replaced he errant cap for free, and I bought a different top liner for a more comfortable fit. He took my measurements and said to let him know how the new liner worked and call or E-mail when I was ready for a new helmet and he could use the measurements he took to custom-size one just for me. We also had the expiration date discussion and he showed me the date of manufacture on the chinstrap. His recommendation was 5 years from date-of-purchase or 7 years from date-of-manufacture, whichever comes first. Great guy to talk to with lots of good info and ideas, so I thought I'd post his contact info in case anyone would be interested in a new Arai helmet or needed parts and/or service on their present one.
www.theservicepavilion.com
Contact Robert or Brianna
44 South Kinzer Ave.
New Holland, Pa. 17557
Phone 877-819-0437 toll-free
Fax 717-354-0437
E-mail robert@theservicepavilion.com
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:10 AM   #18 (permalink)
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5 years...mine is about up.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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The tech guy at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove WI checks the dates on helmets. If its over 5 years old you can't race with it. If you plan on going racing you should have a good helmet. Must be Snell approved and younger than 5 years.
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Think about how much technology advances in 5 years. I am sure that a brand new helmet is a safer helmet than a 5 year old one even without any deterioration. For that reason alone, I would recommend getting a new one every so often.
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