HELMET STORAGE WARS

Adamc

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Its alleged Hugh Hefner once said of his Gentleman Sausage ''Use it or loose it''

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So I wondered how that might apply to my helmet; no not my 'wiener helmet' but my biking helmet!

After buying the BMW 1200GS, Mr C exhumed her biking gear from the depths of the wardrobe.
Her kit had been away for some 20 years, carefully stored in original packing.
Whilst the Dainese leather touring jacket, trousers, gloves and boots were in fine shape (they all still fitted!!); her helmet was not so good.

Back when we were both happy bikers we bought Shark lids (good enough for Carl Fogerty's World Superbike rides, so good enough for us).
On first inspection her helmet looked to be in perfect condition.

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Only when we examined the interior did our worries begin. As can be seen the interior 'comfort' foam padding has deteriorated completely.

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This lid is only fit for the bin!

Now I had on occasion recently used my own Shark helmet on test runs with 'Taffy' the flat tracker, as its quick and easy to put the helmet on.
I did wonder why the fit seemed lose, and the helmet kept creeping forward during use. So after Pam's issues I decided to check out my Shark helmet interior more closely.
More horrors were to be found here too.

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Pulling back the interior fabrics showed my lid had also suffered in the same way.
So another one for the bin!

Doing some Further research I also discovered the the actual sacrificial 'Crush' or 'Safety Layers' are generally made of polystyrene, they also degrade over time.
This obviously has a big issues for the performance of the helmet in the event of an accident; and therefore its ability to protect the users head.
I further discovered that many manufacturers now recommend a helmet is changed every 5 years, even if undamaged.

Yesterday following extensive research Mrs C and I bought two new Shoei Neotec 2 helmets; with custom fitment by the retailer.
The boxes state '5 year warranty' but this is not on the helmet itself. I think the actual helmet itself should have a permanent manufactured date stamp to back this up.
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They are extremely comfortable and very plush inside. Highly recommended by many bike journals; and also offered as standard issue by the British Motorcycle Police.

The lids have excellent safety features to enable the ambulance service to remove the helmet safely and quickly in the event of an accident.
At £600.00 ($700.00) they are expensive; although they are Shoei's top of the range flip lids. What price do you put on your head?
With a 5 year service life this works out at £120.00 ($155.00) per year per helmet.
You can also get a Sena SRL-MESH Intercom specifically designed be custom to fit to this lid.

Be cautious if you see helmets such as this showing big retail discounts in bike shops. They are probably 'old stock' items the dealer needs to shift quickly; and may have been on his storage shelves for several years!

Finally be cautious of buying second hand helmets. You have no idea of the age, care or use they have been exposed to; even if they look great.
The lid needs to work if you ever need it to protect you.

Now I'm off to suck a saveloy! (with some chips maybe!!).:wink2:



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Ads,:devil:
 
Age of helmet - good safety concern to bear in mind. They don't last forever . . .
 
Age of helmet - good safety concern to bear in mind. They don't last forever . . .
Funny thing is Raymond, I always liked DAVIDA helmets especially the 'General Lee' design; but they are hard to get new these days.
It would look good when riding 'Taffy'.
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They are available on the second hand market.
After writing the above I just wouldn't buy a second hand helmet anymore.
Ads.
 
Funny thing is Raymond, I always liked DAVIDA helmets especially the 'General Lee' design; but they are hard to get new these days.
It would look good when riding 'Taffy'.
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They are available on the second hand market.
After writing the above I just wouldn't buy a second hand helmet anymore.
Ads.
Any good custom bike painter can replicate that design for you. Won't be cheap....
 
Most helmets are either painted or gelcoated already. Unless the manufacturer says not to, it's not going to hurt it.
I was just being a pain in the ass(arse) but I'm pretty sure I read this in the literature that came with a Bell helmet. I have spray- bombed and stickered a couple of old helmets and there was certainly no immediate noticeable reaction. Sounds like a good topic for FortNine.
 
I was just being a pain in the ass(arse) but I'm pretty sure I read this in the literature that came with a Bell helmet. I have spray- bombed and stickered a couple of old helmets and there was certainly no immediate noticeable reaction. Sounds like a good topic for FortNine.
Yes, a lot of older helmets came with a warning not to paint them as it degrades the shell. Don't recall exactly which, but fuzzy memory tells me it was the old injection molded acrylic ones? Don't think they even make 'em that way anymore.

Fwiw, we painted 'em anyway.... :devil:
 
Yes, a lot of older helmets came with a warning not to paint them as it degrades the shell. Don't recall exactly which, but fuzzy memory tells me it was the old injection molded acrylic ones? Don't think they even make 'em that way anymore.

Fwiw, we painted 'em anyway.... :devil:
Most of the GP / BSB / WSB riders custom paint their lids, not by the factory; untill they become winners. Then the factories copy the paint jobs and produce ‘limited Edition’ jobbies for silly money.
 
It wouldn't be beyond me to replace disintegrated helmet foam with something just as effective.
It appears the components of any helmet is the outer shell, star foam (styrofoam), comfy fitting foam and then a cloth liner. Shells last until they're crushed, styrofoam is good until you try to carry a quart of acetone in it. The last two components are window dressing.
In a State where the wearing of a lid is optional, having one with a 'custom' comfy fitting foam is better than naught........$500 for a new lid because the manufacturer sez........
I drink milk past it's due date too. "Hey Johnny! Taste this for your old grandpa.... and you would too? That's my boy. Just kidding witcha..... hmm still smells good. Awright, into the coffee it goes."
Just having a go.
 
. . . Shells last until they're crushed . . .
Not a safe assumption, I've been led to believe that time and sunlight degrade the shell making it more brittle until, when it's old, the protection it gives when most needed just isn't there.

Of course, the manufacturers might like to us believe we need to change a helmet after three years and I'd take that with a pinch of salt. I'd feel happy to go on using a helmet, uhm, rather longer than that. I expect somebody has done 'independent' research but I don't have the details.
 
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Not a safe assumption, I've been led to believe that time and sunlight degrade the shell making it more brittle until, when it's old, the protection it gives when needed most just isn't there.

Of course, the manufacturers might like to us believe we need to change a helmet after three years and I'd take that with a pinch of salt. I'd feel happy to go on using a helmet, uhm, rather longer than that. I expect somebody has done 'independent' research but I don't have the details.
Yep, Shells do degrade with time; as do the interiors Styrofoam / Polystyrene sacrificial layers.
Dad worked for Monsanto Plastics Development section. He tested many plastics products, including the 'beads' used to create Styro/Sytrene products.
Degradation times differ dependent on product, use and age; but they all do. Total degradation for these products is glacial. However functional degradation is much shorter; hence the 5 year service range. Think of wheel bearings; they last a while, even when knackered, but they still work until they collapse with no notice and disastrous effect.
 
I long ago discovered that the comfort foam in helmets deteriorated over time. When I got back into ride 19 years ago after a15 year hiatus I discovered that there are brands out there that have replaceable liner foam inserts and the only buckets I've bought since around 2005 have been Bell or Scorpion both of which you can buy replacement liners
 
I need a long oval helmet. Arai has helmets that fit. Starting at $750. There are other brands I haven’t tried. Nothing seems to be in stock. I’m not up for ordering even a $300-400 helmet without trying it on. So, I’m currently using ill fitting and/or aged out helmets. I have a VERY OLD Arai that I didn’t throw into the bin. It hasn’t been on my head in years. I’m thinking about it.
 
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