It is not well known, but motorcycle helmets do not have an infinite life. With time, the protective qualities in a helmet degrade with exposure to the elements, sweat, and wear. Helmet manufacturers and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation suggest that helmets must be replaced about every three to five years, depending on use, or immediately if the helmet absorbed the shock of a crash. A helmet will distribute the shock throughout to protect the rider, but then it is non-functional for protection after that.
Something else not well-known: helmet linings and the interior shell are very subject to damage from gasoline fumes. A helmet should not be stored in a garage, nor placed near the gas tank while refueling. I keep my helmets inside the house so gas fumes in the garage, which you really can’t smell but are there, don’t prematurely degrade my helmet.
I had my most recent helmet for five years. With a new bike, it was time to get a new helmet. Here’s my new Shoei full-face, well-ventilated, RF-1000 helmet. The color matches my bike. Pretty cool in function, style, and design. I look forward to wearing it each and every time I ride.
And I also ride with leathers when possible, and always, always, boots designed to provide both comfort and safety while riding. If I’m not in leather, I at least wear long pants. Get in gear, guys! It is the other fools on the road who claim not to see us bikers who can do you great harm, especially if you’re not geared properly.
And let me make a special shout-out to my dear friend AZ, who lives in a state where helmets are not required. He went on a ride with a buddy and insisted that both he and his buddy wear a helmet while riding. He went to a motorcycle shop with his friend to have him buy a new helmet. Way to go, AZ! You’re the man! Your caring concern shows in all that you do. As I’ve often said, he’s like my eighth brother. Luv ‘ya, bro’!