April is Motorcycle Helmet Safety month so now is a good time to make sure your lid is in good shape.  You should, at least once a year, check your helmet to make sure it is in good shape, as it is your primary safety tool. I just bought new helmets, read on to find out why.

What should you look at while checking your helmet? Here are 9 items you should look at when assessing your motorcycle helmet for use in another year:

1) Is the shell all in one piece?  Are there cracks or splits?

2) Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?

3) Is the internal padding is connected and stays in place?

4) Remove the padding and check the foam.  Is it dented or has cracks?

5) While looking at the foam, most companies place a sticker printed with the “birthday” of your helmet.  Is it over 5 years old?

6) Does the rest of the internals look in good operating conditions?

7) Check the visor for damage that might obscure your vision, can you see clearly?

8) Are the screws or other visor attachments tight and is the visor working as expected?

9 Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see photo below!

Let’s talk about item 5, the 5-year rule.  Most manufactures recommend that you replace your helmet after 5 years. The sceptic in us will think “more sells = more money” for the motorcycle helmet makers. The reason, they state, is that the foam between the padding and shell will deteriorate over time reducing its ability to protect your skull.

I believe in the 5-year rule, but I also check every year.  I just replaced my 7-year-old Nolan motorcycle helmet this month.  Why? When I ran my hands over the foam it no longer felt as smooth as it once did. It is hard to describe but, I felt that the foam was starting to show its age and we needed new helmets.

It is your head; I hope these checks help you out.  


Ride on, Ride safe

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