Why Do Motorcycle Helmets Expire?

What is the reason a motorcycle helmet expires? All-new bike owners have these questions, and there can be no doubt about that. It is difficult to imagine a helmet as biodegradable when you see it. In any case, it does exist. For its lifetime, helmets will change and become less effective for a variety of reasons. Before buying a new helmet, you should learn why do motorcycle helmets expire.

Why Do Motorcycle Helmets Expire?

Helmet Construction

Kevlar, fiberglass, and polycarbonate have replaced metal in the production of helmets over the past few decades. The protective qualities have been improved and adapted in each generation so that riders taking a spill will not sustain serious brain injuries. Despite more than 40 years of material evolution, the current section combines two parts: (1) the comfort lining or inner body; and (2) the outer shell.

Helmet Construction

Comfort Liner

EPS foam makes the comfort liner of a motorcycle helmet lose its shape over time, which may have caused the helmet to expire. However, foam can also provide long-term comfort as a cushion. A foam interior also provides a shock-absorbing pad that helps a rider absorb the shock of a collision.

Outer Shell

One of the most durable and resilient surfaces on a helmet is the outer shell. Polycarbonate or Kevlar polymer is typically used in the manufacture of these parts. In addition to pure fiberglass helmets, you can also choose a metal helmet. Abrasive collisions that result in penetration are prevented by the shell’s design. Thus, the outer shell protects your head from obstacles or impacts, while the inner liner ensures that you stay protected while engaged in activities.

Outer Shell

As mentioned previously, if your helmet has expired, it likely has to do with comfort or the inner liner. Its durability and customizable properties make EPS foam a preferred material for comfort liners. However, the material is not inflexible, and it may lose volume or even shape over time. It is, therefore, necessary to replace it. The material does, however, have advantages over other materials, even if it is not perfect.


Several of these options are rigid, which poses a problem. A little metal helmet, for instance, will likely not provide the rider with sufficient cushioning in the event of an accident. Helmets function similarly to bumpers in that they absorb a portion of the impact. The more rigid you are, the more surfaces you collide with. It is important to maintain rigidity, however, as complete contact is impossible. Because it is flexible while still maintaining its shape, foam is the perfect balance of rigidity and softness.

Cushion, Absorption, and Deceleration

As a result of their construction and design, foam can compress and absorb impacts. The unique ability of foam to slow down and cushion collisions makes it unique in the industry. The outer shell indeed provides a solid and waterproof surface. However, the EPS interior creates an atmosphere of flexibility, making the accident less abrasive.

Despite this, foam is a superior material in reducing the risks of head injuries, but it degrades faster than other materials and has a shorter lifespan. So the answer to “How long does a motorcycle helmet last?” isn’t obvious. A simple answer to this question depends on three variables: storage, integrity, and usage.

What is the recommended replacement interval for motorcycle helmets? It depends on several factors. The average helmet manufacturer rates their helmets for seven years. It only works in certain conditions, including the right kind of usage and storage. Despite the general rule that helmets should be replaced every seven years. Many riders argue that helmets should be changed every three to five years according to their riding style and geographical location. Life expectancy does not have a set limit. If you replace your helmet after three years, it is possible, or you can take the manufacturer’s word for it.


The region and storage conditions of your helmet may not seem to affect its performance, but they do. In general, the outer shell should remain intact under various weather conditions, but the inner foam lining can degrade faster under specific conditions. Hence, if you want your helmet to last as long as possible, store it in a cool, dry environment to reduce the effects of heat and humidity.


The integrity of the helmet is defined as its overall condition. For example, you might need to replace your bike helmet if you have already been involved in a few spills on your bike. Even if the helmet is only one day old, it should be replaced if it is cracked, scratched, or dented.


Last but not least, the wear of the helmet reflects its frequency. Many helmets design for everyday use, but some are not. Furthermore, some helmets are meant for sports, such as motocross, but others are not. It’s important to choose a helmet that’s appropriate for your intended use and meets your needs.

Most experienced motorcyclists will realize how important it is to replace a helmet before its time is up, despite helmet expiration sounding strange to inexperienced riders. Helmets have construction that helps absorb impact and minimize the effects of head trauma, but they are temporary. Despite the outer shell’s durability and resilience, the outer lining will eventually decompose. So make sure you do your homework and find the best helmet for your needs when the time comes.

Some manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet seven years after its production date, while riders usually return their helmet every three to five years. Underneath a section of the comfort liner, you can often find the production date on a sticker.

Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet within three to five years of ‘date of manufacture.’ Motorcycle helmets should also be replaced after five (5) years of first use, or even less if the manufacturer recommends it. The Snell Memorial Foundation supports this recommendation.”

There are many items used in helmets that degrade over time, such as foam and glue. Besides taking its toll on the material, body oils, sweat, and UV rays also damage it, and after five years, it will no longer remain effective.

In addition to certifying helmets for safety, the Snell Memorial Foundation implies five years. The helmet should be thrown away after just three years, according to several manufacturers.

Final Thought

We have provided the detail about why do motorcycle helmets expire. Even if helmet manufacturers throw rocks through my window, I think major helmet brands should do more to refurbish and replace motorcycle helmet materials instead of recommending just not to replace them more than once every 3 to 5 years

. It could lead to countless jobs as helmet reconditioners throughout the country. We reline helmets professionally, so they come out perfect. In addition to selling the liners, padding, straps, and other accessories, helmet manufacturers would still make money.

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