Dirt biking comes with its share of tribulations as well as a whole lot of risks. However much fun and thrilling it may look, this is ultimately a very dangerous exercise that needs you to take necessary safety measures. And dirt bike helmet is one of those safety requirements you can’t completely ignore if you care about yourself while enjoying biking along the dirt tracks.
The helmet comes at a cost but its benefits overshadow the expenses involved considering that these essential safety devices can save you from injuries and money as well. That is why you need to treat it the same way you will do for your other precious items.
Dirt bike helmets have their lifespan hence the need to have them changed after a given period of time. Usually, safety experts recommend that you should change your dirt helmet bike after three to five years or seven years from the date of its production. However, there are other circumstances that can compel you to make a quick dirt bike helmet replacement and this article is going to help you understand when you should consider doing exactly that.
Manufacturers Recommended Replacement Time
Dirt bike helmets come in various brands and different manufacturers. This clearly tells you that they have different replacement periods because every brand of helmets is designed in a unique manner. That is why dirt bike helmet manufacturers have different time periods before they are replaced. Take a look at what some famous manufacturers have to say about the recommended time period for replacement of their dirt bike helmet brands:
- O’Neal: Apparently, O’Neal doesn’t provide any information regarding the time period you are supposed to replace your helmet. As a matter of fact, they claim to use materials that have no risk of disintegrating or breaking down regardless of the time period the helmets are in use. But in a span of five years after purchasing their helmets, the replacement parts are usually hard to find. Therefore, five years is actually the right period of time to think of doing a replacement of your dirt bike helmet if it is a brand from O’Neal.
- Fly: Fly recommend that you should replace their helmets after using them for five years from the time of their production. The main reason for doing so is that the EPS foam placed inside the helmet starts to get harder and with time it makes the helmet unfit for use. Most significantly, Fly recommends that you need to replace your dirt bike helmet immediately after a crash.
- Fox: Just like Fly, Fox too recommends that you should change your helmet after five solid years of use. This manufacturer insists that after five years, you should not hesitate to change your helmet no matter how long these brands of helmets have been in production. Also, they suggest that you need to do a helmet replacement after a hard crash regardless of visible damage both in the inside and outside part of your helmet.
- Bell: Unlike the other manufacturers, Bell suggests that you need to replace your dirt bike helmet after three years of use. In addition, Bell advises replacing your helmet after a very hard crash.
- Troy Lee Designs: Much like Bell, Troy Lee Designs suggests that dirt bike helmet should be replaced three years from the date of manufacturing. Better still, they recommend doing a replacement after an accident or any crash that may have caused some damages however minimal they may seem.
Even though there are other manufacturers, the five discussed above were selected depending on their popularity. In case you are using a helmet from other manufacturers other than these five, it is a good idea to contact your helmet manufacturer to know when you can have your dirt bike helmet replaced.
Replacement after the Crash
Nearly all manufacturers recommend a replacement of the dirt bike helmet after a crash or an accident. Essentially, the crash subjects your helmet to its intended purpose and that is protecting you from injuries in case of an accident. So, after the crash, you will realize that your helmet is damaged in the process. Whether the damages are in the inside or outside parts or not visible, you should never take risks of using the same helmet again. Immediate replacement of the helmet is the way to go and it can save you even more just in case another crash occurs.
The main function of a dirt bike helmet is to offer you protection against head injuries during the vigorous and dangerous dirt biking activities. Dirt biking is not for the faint-hearted because it is a dangerous activity involving some risky moves, maneuvers and falling down frequently. During the exercise, you are likely to fall on your head not once, or twice but a few times and you can imagine the dangers of sustaining head injuries when you fall down while dirt biking.
Luckily, you may escape from sustaining serious injuries if your helmet is in good condition. This type of injury is life-threatening and can lead to permanent disability or even death. Therefore, it is important to use the right helmet all the time. Most importantly, you need to replace your dirt bike helmet immediately after the crush to ensure that you are always safer whenever you are out there biking.
However, you need to do a thorough checking before replacing your helmet, especially after an accident. Check the exterior starting from the top to find out if there is any damage. From there, proceed to check the interior section to look for damages, torn covering cloth or where the foam is becoming weaker.
Make sure that you check the foam density by running your hand inside the helmet to know exactly where the problem is. Finally, do a thorough inspection of the pads and straps to ensure that they are all intact. In case of any damages, it is important that you replace your helmet as soon as possible for safety reasons.
Replacement after Dropping Your Dirt Bike Helmet
Perhaps you are thinking that your helmet can get damaged any time it is dropped. That is not the case considering that a dirt bike helmet is carefully designed to withstand crashes when you are biking at high velocities. In most cases, a helmet gets some serious damages when a crash occurs at very high speeds that can send you hurtling down with a lot of force. That way, your helmet will protect your head against injuries but it can incur major damages that will force you to replace it.
If you happen to drop your helmet hard or from a certain height that might cause it to get damaged, it is better to do an inspection first to know if you need to replace it or not. Keep in mind that your safety is paramount and any damage on your helmet, however minor it may look, should not be taken for granted.
Replacement When it Gets Older
As mentioned earlier, you need to replace your helmet after a given period of time as suggested by the manufacturers. More often than not, manufacturers recommend a replacement after three or five years of continuous use for which wear and tear will have rendered it weak and unfit for use. It won’t surprise you to realize that after three or five years your helmet will still look perfect and in good condition but you should consider its impact on the components it is made of.
Wearing your helmet consistently exposes it to harsh environmental conditions such as dirt, weather, UV rays or other elements that might have an effect on its integrity. These elements weaken the glues and resins that hold other components together thus causing the helmet to become weak and less effective in case of a crash.
Even though a number of manufacturers have enforced the idea that the lifespan of a helmet should not go beyond five years, there is no scientific research to back up that notion. In fact, some helmets might become ineffective earlier than their recommended expiration date. But it is wise to abide by what manufacturers have proposed in order to be on a safer side in case of lawsuits.
It is an obvious fact that your brain takes priority when it comes to safety while riding your dirt bike. That is the main idea behind wearing a dirt bike helmet that is in good condition starting from the exterior moving to its interior and finally the straps as well as pads. To achieve this goal, you need to consider a replacement of your helmet after a hard crash, when it gets worn out or upon its expiration date as recommended by the manufacturers. Different helmet manufacturers have different suggestions when it comes to expiration dates of the dirt bike helmets.
Five years is the most common lifespan that is suggested by nearly all manufacturers just in case of potential lawsuits. After all, what matters the most is your safety and so it shouldn’t be compromised by a damaged, worn out or old dirt bike helmet whatsoever when you are out there dirt biking.