A dirt bike helmet is one of the most critical pieces of equipment when you are out on the track, road, or trial. Therefore, it is important to know if your dirt bike helmet is still okay to use after a certain period of time.
Typically, dirt bike helmets will last anywhere from three to five years. Most brands will have a recommended lifespan for their products. However, a dirt bike helmet can have a shorter lifespan depending on a number of factors such as frequency of use, the owner’s maintenance habit, and whether the dirt bike helmet has been in any accidents.
In this post, you’ll learn how long a dirt bike helmet lasts, you’ll also learn some common sense helmet inspection and maintenance tips.
Do Dirt Bike Helmets Expire?
Just about all dirt bike helmets will have a label on the interior that will display an expiration date. Many dirt bike helmet brands will set the expiration date at about five years from the date of manufacture. One notable exception is O’Neal which doesn’t have a set expiration date on their dirt bike helmets.
Should You Buy a New Dirt Bike Helmet After a Crash?
After a crash, always carefully inspect your dirt bike helmet for cracks or gouges, any compromises in the rigidity of the overall structure is a safety hazard. That said, falling off a dirt bike is all part of the attraction, I know I’d go broke if I bought a new pot every time I dropped it.
But every rider knows a light fall from a more serious impact and obviously regular helmet inspections are a good safety habit. I check mine before I ride, it’s a habit I developed years ago and I don’t even think about it.
Obviously, if you notice visible signs of damage, then it should be replaced, and if you are in doubt, go ahead and replace it.
Signs That a Dirt Bike Helmet Should Be Replaced
It’s a good idea to know when your dirt bike helmet is due for replacement. Here’s a look at several factors that you should consider when it comes time to replace it.
First, consider how long you have had the helmet. If you have had it for more than five years, then you should have it replaced. Sure, you may not have used the helmet often. However, after five years, the helmet may naturally begin to degrade. Also, advancements in safety mean that newer helmets will have the latest materials and designs to offer you greater protection.
Over time, the fit or the helmet may change due to vibrations, flex, impacts, and environmental impacts. Also, the act of placing the helmet on your head can cause the shape of the helmet padding to change after repeated usage. If the helmet does not feel snug on your head, then it should be replaced.
Bear in mind your head changes shape as you age, apparently, our waist thickens and our mind narrows.
Extrerior and Interior Condition
It’s always a good idea to inspect your dirt bike helmet before and after each use. In particular, you will want to inspect the helmet for any signs of cracks, scratches, and wear. Also, be sure to inspect the interior of the helmet for anything that looks out of the ordinary.
Finally, be sure to inspect the condition of the strap. If the strap feels loose or appears worn, then you should consider replacing the helmet. Helmets aren’t expensive when compared to medical bills.
How to Maintain a Dirt Bike Helmet
If you are looking to get the most life from your dirt bike helmet, then you will want to follow the proper maintenance procedures. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your dirt bike helmet.
Clean after use
During your ride, your dirt bike helmet may absorb, dirt, mud, and debris, if it doesn’t you are not trying. If these contaminants are left in your helmet, it could over time affect its condition. Be sure to clean off your helmet after each use.
Because your helmet is basically a shell with a hard exterior and a soft-cushioned interior, it should be stored properly to ensure that it can maintain its shape and rigidity. First, make sure that there is nothing putting pressure on the helmet when you store it. Also, prevent any sharp objects from pressing against it while it’s being stored. I store my helmet in a box crate for protection.
Handle with care
Finally, it is a good idea to handle your dirt bike helmet with care. That means you don’t want to throw the helmet around. This could cause scratches and dents that could compromise its strength, I’m guilty of this from time to time but really it’s not smart.
How to Shop For a Quality Dirt Bike Helmet?
When your dirt bike helmet needs to be replaced, you need to make sure that you can find a suitable replacement. A poorly fitting helmet is dangerous as you are under the illusion of protection. Here are some tips to help you find the ideal new dirt bike helmet.
Look at customer and editorial reviews
One of the best ways to start your search is to read the customer and editorial reviews of various dirt bike helmets. You can start your search by looking at customer reviews on Amazon or visiting dirt bike websites that have their own user forums. When it comes to editorial content, search for the top ten dirt bike helmets from various websites that specialize in dirt bike content. This will help you narrow down your search to three or four viable candidates.
Shop top brands
Also, be sure to shop only for the top dirt bike helmet brands. Don’t take your chances with some brand that you have never heard of before. Here’s a look at dirt bike helmet brands with an excellent reputation for quality products:
- Fox Racing
Try before you buy
Fit and visibility are major factors when deciding which dirt bike helmet you want to buy. While buying online is convenient, you are better off going to a store that specializes in motocross gear and trying on these helmets for yourself.
Staying Safe With a Long Lasting, Quality Dirt Bike Helmet
Knowing the expected life of a dirt bike helmet can help you stay safe on the track, road, or trail. Be sure your dirt bike helmet is in top condition and know when it should be replaced. A good dirt bike helmet will make for a rewarding riding experience.
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- About the Author
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John Cunningham is a technical writer here at ATVfixed.com. He’s a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience. He’s worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars and trucks to ATVs and Dirt bikes.