Did you know that a typical motorcycle helmet is good for only 3-5 years?
Contrary to common belief, motorcycle helmets were not made to last forever. Under ordinary circumstances, the shelf life of a rider’s helmet is only good for about five years. After that, the integrity of the item deteriorates and the safety of the rider is compromised. Of course, you can still use them, but there's an increased risk in the event of a motorcycle crash.
There are two major factors that contribute to the helmet’s deterioration—the human element and the environment.
On the human factor, how the helmet is used (or abused) alongside the user’s body chemistry affects the integrity. This includes the severity of perspiration on the rider’s head. On the environment side, the damaging factors include ultraviolet rays, sun exposure, dust, rain, humidity and moisture.
If the motorcycle helmet is dropped by its user, it will most likely have micro damage on the shell. Oftentimes, the small cracks inside the inner layer cannot be seen by the naked eye. If this happens, the life of the helmet is shortened to one or two years only.
Also, the glues, resins and other materials that were used in making the helmet also deteriorate, resulting in the loosening of the foam and fabric lining. One of the symptoms of this is when you see some black flakes in your hair after removing your helmet.