Do Motorcycle Helmets Go Bad?

If you are a motorcyclist, a helmet is one of the primary pieces of safety gear that protect your head, face, and brain. The general lifespan of one helmet typically lasts for five years long.

But do motorcycle helmets go bad before this warranty time? What are the causes that damage your helmet in a short time? Read our post to see a few signs that make your helmet go useless quickly.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Go Bad?

After all, the motorcycle helmet is considered a life-protection device in an accident for most riders. It is not easy to go wrong in a short time of usage. However, the structure of your headgear might be compromised and damaged in certain situations.

That said, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be fully aware of possibly damaging cases to keep your motorcycle helmet safe.

What Are The Cases Causing Motorcycle Helmet Damage?

Motorcycle helmet

Motorcycle helmet

Although a motorcycle helmet is typically made out of extremely durable materials (plastic, fiberglass, or carbon), there are a few cases that can cause harm to your headgear. Here are some possible situations and conditions you should be aware of:

Dropping a Helmet

Damage Patch of Scraping

Damage Patch of Scraping

Both the interior and exterior of your motorcycle helmet could suffer some ruin if it fell on the ground. The impact varies depending on the surface you drop it on, the height from which you drop it, and the brand of helmet you purchase.

If the helmet was dropped from a coffee table to a low height, you might not see any drastic damage on the gearhead’s interior immediately. Because inside each helmet has a dense foam that connects both sides and is flexible enough to limit the contact.

However, the outside shell will have some small cracks. At first, these minor signs do not affect the helmet’s structure and usage at all. Once your helmet crashes again, the foam can not absorb the hit. Then the crack is getting bigger and reduces the level of head’s protection.

The impact towards integrity structure could be more critical when you were to drop your helmet onto a hard surface. After you have dropped, it bounces down many times on the concrete, then leading to the fracture of the outer shell.

Especially if your helmet falls on something sharp, the sign might be a grave error that does not provide sufficient protection in case of an accident.

Deforming a Helmet

The helmet construction must be durable at a fixed time because it is designed as a life-saving accessory. However, the interior and exterior components would become wear to tear due to the age of the helmet.

In terms of the interior, the EPS lining and foam inside the helmet are typical elements that deteriorate quickly. The helmet becomes weaker and loosens the absorb impact when the foam starts to flake off onto shoulders and hairs.

Many reasons ruin the interior helmet foam and lower its deformation, the first of which must be the repeated use and lifespan of materials used. This can result in the separation between the inner liner and the outer shell. Also, the binders (glue) do not possess the same brand new properties.

Putting the motorcycle helmet to direct sunlight for a long time is the second cause that could lead to compromise for entire inner materials.

Regarding the exterior, plastic shells are one of the good safety components outside. In fact, plastic is known to deform faster than other materials because of its elasticity by the first point of contact during an accident.

It is easily affected by weather conditions such as the sun and even by the air itself. Therefore, if you see the plastic shell begins to brickle, has cracks, or starts to fall apart, it means your motorcycle helmet loses the deforming and head’s protection as well.

Cleaning a Helmet

Washing a helmet is also a factor that makes your motorcycle helmet degrade in some ways.

Sounds weird! But it is true because not all types of helmet materials are suitable with all kinds of cleaner you are using. The integrity of your helmet shell could be damaged and degraded by sweat and strong chemicals.

For example, petroleum-based cleaning fluids can cause destruction to your polycarbonate helmet (even polished furniture). The helmet lining could rub off and deteriorate if it is cleaned by petrochemicals.

In terms of the foam and straps, most cleaning products and hot water should not be used to wash these components. Heat drying after cleaning is also a reason to deform the foam in the same way as hot water does.

Storing a Helmet

Do not hang your helmet onto a mirror

Do not hang your helmet onto a mirror

Despite the helmet being manufactured to be tough and strong, the way you treat and keep your motorcycle helmet can damage its structure in any way.

Fluids (petrol) and exhausting fumes are chemicals that can release harm to products nearby. That is the reason why the helmet’s cover weakens if you are dangling the lid near to these harmful substances. You may see the damage beneath the outer skin while holding the hat next to hot exhaust fumes.

In addition, hanging the helmet onto the coat hanger or vehicle’s mirrors may create the indentation for your headwear’s foam.


After reading our post, you now have an overview answer for do motorcycle helmets go bad, right? From our perspective, although the helmet is a crucial piece of equipment that has a long lifespan to protect the rider, it also becomes damaged quickly in some cases. However, we hope that the circumstances listed above could give you actual situations to avoid unwanted deterioration!

Check the website for more information about helmets. Thank you for reading.

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