INVENTORY Five Reasons It’s Time To Replace Your Helmet…and What to Buy Next.You should replace your helmet every five years, and sometimes sooner. Here are some ways to determine when — and how — to buy a new lid.
- Words Iron & Air Staff
There are several reasons to wear a motorcycle helmet, and just as many to keep in mind when it’s time to replace one. And if you’re in the market for something new, Revzilla is currently offering some enticing deals from several brands in multiple categories.
For the simple reason that your brain matters to you and your loved ones. With so many choices in so many styles in so many colors and shapes, “it’s uncomfortable,” “it’s too hot,” or “it’s uncool,” are no longer valid reasons to avoid the number one thing that could save your life in the event of an accident. It’s never been easier to buy something that provides comfort, protection, and looks great no matter what you ride. Plus, on a hot day, a properly vented helmet can actually keep your head cooler than a helmet-less one.
All helmets come with a manufacturer’s stamp, typically on a sticker placed on the inner shell. Reasons for replacing the helmet include:
Repeated dropping can damage the inner EPS (expanded polystyrene) lining of your helmet. It may not be visible on the exterior, but damaging the EPS can compromise the helmet’s ability to protect you. If the helmet has been impacted in an accident, you should replace it immediately.
Every year there are noticeable improvements as helmet technology evolves. After five years of wearing the same helmet, you will be amazed at the new features that a new one can offer, like stronger materials, lighter weight, better optics, and a quieter interior.
Rain/moisture and extended sun exposure are the main reasons helmets degrade. If you commute daily in all weather, replacing your helmet regularly is recommended.
Riding in extreme heat, humidity, or extreme cold cause the expansion and contraction of materials which can affect your helmet’s lifespan.
Cleaners, fuel, high speed road debris, and other commonly encountered materials can degrade your helmet.
As for a budget, an old adage still holds true: if you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet. For those who value their heads — and everything literally and figuratively attached to it — we’ve compiled a list of excellent choices below to help you decide.
Wrap a cloth measuring tape around your head just above your eyebrows and ears. Pull the tape comfortably snug, read the length, repeat for good measure and use the largest measurement (usually in centimeters). Revzilla has also made the work easier for you by listing which helmets fit best for each head shape. If you don’t know your head shape, simply ask a friend to take a picture of your head from above (it’s for a good cause) and reference the chart shown here. And don’t forget to flatten your hair down as much as possible as not to obscure your domes natural curves.
This modular helmet is extensively tested and aerodynamically optimized for both stability at speed and low weight to minimize fatigue on long tours. Outer shell is constructed using an innovative proprietary method called Direct Fiber Processing (DFP), where a continuous strand of glass yarn is robotically precision cut and blown outward into position in the mold. An exacting amount of resin and heat are added under high pressure, yielding a shell of superior strength that is no thicker in any one area than it needs to be.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 3.91 lbs.
Fiberglass composite shell has three sizes, so you won’t suffer from the bobblehead of a too-large helmet, no matter your size. The ProVision face shield is dual paned, so you don’t have to mess with insert lenses. Speaker pockets for optional communication devices and eyeglass friendly. Take off the face shield and wear goggles for extra curricular activities.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 3.09 lbs.
ECE certified and built around Biltwell’s injection-molded ABS outer shell, featuring a shock-absorbing EPS liner with hand-stitched interior padding, cheek pads, and BioFoam chin bar cushion for comfort. A hinged eye port shield raises the style and function of the Gringo S by introducing ’70s F1 flavor for bike riders who eschew the feature creep that has plagued modern full face helmets for decades.
Shape: Round oval. Weight: 3.54 lbs.
SFL shell construction is round and smooth to avoid catching on rough surfaces. The shape and materials create a strong shell to disperse energy upon impact. Facial Contour System cheek pads provide a snug yet comfortable fit. Arai’s Free Flow System guides air underneath the helmet to improve overall ventilation for hot weather riding.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 3.51 lbs.
Shell is composed of carbon and aramid fibers for excellent protection and weight savings. The helmet’s versatility comes from its aerodynamic shape that works well in any riding position. Four different shell sizes allow for a broad size range to better fit your particular head circumference and shape. Moisture wicking liners absorb sweat to keep you comfortable on extended rides.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 2.95 lbs.
Wind tunnel testing optimized the Neotec 2’s aerodynamics to perform in a variety of riding positions. The integrated shell spoiler is repositioned to better reduce lift and drag at speed, while the Aero Deflector along the chin bar adds stability. A micro ratchet chin strap makes securing the helmet and removing the helmet quick and easy. Noise Isolator cheek pads improve the seal along the neck opening of the helmet to keep turbulent air out. The 360 pivot locking system secures the chin bar in the down locked position and a multi-piece EPS liner made out of varying densities of foam absorbs impact energy.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 4.12 lbs.
What’s MIPS? Consider it inner-shell technology incorporating brain rotational protection. This helmet comes with 16 intake ports to channel cool air around and over a rider’s head, forcing hot sweaty air out through six rear exhaust ports.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 3.19 lbs.
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Featuring an improved ventilation scheme, the GT-Air II includes the lengthened QSV-2 drop down sun visor which provides 5mm more coverage for instant sun relief. Like its flip-up cousin the Neotec II, the GT Air II has a micro ratchet chin strap and is designed to integrate with the GT-Air II specific SRL 2 Bluetooth Communication System by Sena for a clean and low profile installation.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 3.79 lbs.
A fiberglass constructed shell protects riders on the outside while the suede fabric interior keeps heads comfortable. Chin guard air vent includes a metal grill to prevent dirt and debris from entering the helmet while cool air flows through. Goggle-ready with a removable peak and machine washable cheek pads and helmet liner.
Shape: Intermediate oval. Weight: 2.73 lbs.
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