Do Motorcycle Helmets Expire?

Do motorcycle helmets expire? This is a question that many riders ask themselves. As a motorbike rider, you know the importance of wearing a helmet. But do you know when your helmet expires? Most people don’t, and that’s why we’re here to tell you about it. In this post, we’ll explain what expiration dates are, and how to tell if your helmet is still safe to use!

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Do Motorcycle Helmets Expire?

The short answer is yes, motorcycle helmets do expire. The expiration date for a helmet is typically around five years from the date of manufacture. However, this can vary depending on the type of helmet and the materials used in its construction.

How To Detect The Expiry Of Your Motorcycle Helmet?

There are many ways to detect the expiry of your motorcycle helmet.


The age of your helmet is a key factor in determining its expiry. All helmets have an expiry date, and it’s important to know when yours is set to expire. A good way to tell how old your helmet is, is to look at the manufacturing date on the label.

The date is usually in a MM/YYYY or YYYY/MM format. If you can’t find the label, the age of the helmet can be determined by its weight. Helmets that are older will generally be heavier than newer helmets.

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UV Damage

One of the main dangers to a motorcycle helmet is UV damage. Over time, the sun’s rays can cause the plastic to become brittle and crack. This is especially true for helmets that are frequently exposed to sunlight. If you notice any cracks in your helmet, it’s best to replace it immediately.

Chemical Damage

All helmets, including motorcycle helmets, are made of plastic. The plastic is a type of polymer and it is very susceptible to chemical damage. When the helmet is exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet radiation will cause the molecules in the plastic to break down. This process is called photo-degradation and it will cause the plastic to become brittle and crack. The helmet will also become very porous and the padding inside the helmet will disintegrate.

The best way to protect your motorcycle helmet from chemical damage is to store it in a cool, dry place. You should also avoid leaving it in direct sunlight. If you must leave your helmet in the sun, make sure that you cover it with a cloth or a helmet bag.

The other thing that you can do to protect your helmet is to keep it clean. The dirt and the dust will cause the plastic to break down faster. You should always wash your helmet with soap and water, and then dry it thoroughly.

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Cracks And Scratches

If you are looking at the exterior of your helmet and see any cracks or scratches, it is time to replace the helmet. These can be signs that the helmet has been in a crash and could no longer offer protection. Even if there aren’t any cracks or scratches on the outside, it is still important to check for them on the inside. If you see any, it is time to replace the helmet.

Below are some important considerations in this regard:

– Cracks can form in any helmet, but they are more common in polycarbonate helmets. If you have a polycarbonate helmet and see any cracks, it is time to replace the helmet.

– A scratch may not seem like a big deal, but it can actually weaken the shell of the helmet and make it more susceptible to damage in a crash.

– If you see any signs of damage on the inside of your helmet, it is time to replace it. This includes cracks, chips, and dents. Even if the damage is not directly on the surface, it can still compromise the safety of the helmet.

– Some helmets have a “crumple zone” that is designed to absorb the energy of a crash. If this zone is compromised, it can lead to serious injury.

– It is important to replace your helmet every three years, even if you don’t see any signs of damage. The materials used in helmets break down over time, which reduces the protection they offer.

– Always replace your helmet after a crash. Even if it doesn’t look damaged, it may not offer the protection you need in a subsequent crash.

If you are unsure whether or not your helmet needs to be replaced, consult with a professional. They can help you determine whether the helmet is still safe to use and offer suggestions for replacement helmets.

Natural Wear And Tear

One of the most common ways to determine if a helmet has expired is by checking for natural wear and tear. Helmets are subjected to a lot of stress, and over time this will take its toll.

If you notice any cracks in the shell, or if the foam inside is starting to break down, then it’s likely that the helmet has expired. In general, you should replace your helmet every five years, even if it doesn’t show any signs of wear and tear.

Storage And Handling

Motorcycle helmets should always be stored in a clean and dry environment. This will help to prevent the build-up of dust, which can cause the helmet to deteriorate over time.

Helmets should also never be dropped or mishandled as this can cause damage that may not be visible to the naked eye. Always check for any damage before using a helmet, and do not use it if it is visibly damaged.

Extended Use Or Not Being Used At All?

Most people think that if a motorcycle helmet is not being used, it will not expire. This is a common misconception. The truth is that all helmets have an expiration date, and it’s important to be aware of this so you can get a new one before it’s too late.

There are many factors that determine how long a helmet will last. The main two are how often it’s used and how well it’s taken care of. If you use your helmet every day, it will expire sooner than if you only use it a few times a year. Likewise, if you take care of your helmet and keep it in good condition, it will last longer than if you don’t.

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How Can You Tell If A Helmet Has Been In A Crash And Should Be Replaced Even If It Hasn’t Expired Yet?

There are a few ways that you can tell if a helmet has been in a crash and should be replaced, even if it hasn’t expired yet.

Look For Cracks In The Shell

If you see any cracks in the shell of the helmet, then it’s time to replace it. Even if the cracks are small, they can grow over time and lead to bigger problems.

Check For Dents:

If you notice any large damage in the helmet, then it’s time to replace it. Dents can cause structural damage to the helmet and make it less effective in a crash.

Check The Chin Strap:

Make sure that the chin strap is still in good condition and isn’t stretched out or broken. A loose chin strap can lead to the helmet coming off during a crash.

Look For Expired stickers:

Most helmets have expiration stickers on them that indicate when the helmet should be replaced. If the sticker has expired, then it’s time to replace the helmet.

Even if your helmet doesn’t show any of these signs, it’s a good idea to replace it every few years anyway. The technology on helmets changes over time, and newer helmets are likely to be more effective in a crash. Plus, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Final Words

Motorcycle helmets expire. How can you tell if your helmet has expired and when should it be replaced? 

Detecting the expiry of a motorcycle helmet is not as straightforward as one might think. There are various factors to consider, such as environmental conditions and how often the helmet is used. 

There are also ways to tell if a motorcycle helmet has been in a crash, even if it hasn’t expired yet. If there is any visible damage to the shell or foam liner, then the helmet should be replaced immediately.

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I have been riding on two wheels on and off the road for +20 years. Having access to 100's of brands of helmets, gear, and bikes - you could say that I have the dream job of a motorcycle junkie.