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My Scorpion EXD is about 3 years old. When I bought it, the fit was tight and the salesman said that it would be tight at first and would loosen a bit with use. Other than this normal loosening, I see no signs of wear.

So long as the helmet is not dropped or hit something which could damage it, what is the normal life expectancy? If I need to replace it, I will look for a red one that matches the Vulcan, rather than the white I now have. But I can't convince my wife I need a new helmet just for the color. :D
 

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It's widely stated to be a 5 year item. I'm not sure what I believe on that, but at the relative price vs. most of my other gear and my life, I'll live with that. They (you know, the ubiquitous 'they') say that the padding degrades over time. That doesn't make total sense to me because that part is not exposed to UV, etc. and they're baked in a bloody oven, so the heat shouldn't do it. Regardless, I'm of a mindset to try to replace in about 5 years each time.. Immediately if it gets banged too hard.
 

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I have read that they should be replace every 5yrs due to the Styrofoam deteriorating, but that may just be so they can sell more helmets.

BigT hit the post button before me. :)
 

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Is it too late for me to say '5 years' too? I usually want a different helmet about that time anyway, as technology and styles change some too. The key is getting one that fits properly!! My first two I wanted a certain 'look', and they did not actually fit me properly. I think the sales girl knew her stuff, but wanted to simply let me get what I wanted..
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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Do helmets wear out?
sj,, NO.. they wear in.. I get a new one every year, sometimes 2. helmets, not years. cyclegear.com has got lots helmets reasonable. and a store 2 blox from my shop.
I give away free helmets to buddies who dont have one or arent wearing one. but then why do I call them buddies? well they'r some'sone buddy. poncho
 

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Ok, this is something I can chime in on as I have quite of bit of knowledge and training. The "styrofoam" mentioned above is called expanded polystyrene ( please forgive if I misspelled that). Over time it does degrade from a number of factors. Main one is the moisture from the air and your head sweating. Even though you air it out and wash the inner comfort liner, moisture seeps in and causes it to degrade. Also the outer shell degrades from the uv light. Five years is what retailers like me recommend so that we can keep customers alive long enough to sell those new helmets. It's about protecting you, the end user. Could a helmet protect you longer than that? Possibly. But it could also catastrophically fail when you need it most. I hate hearing about riders who pass away from injuries caused by insufficient or outdated gear. Please don't allow yourself to be added to that statistic. Buy the best helmet you can afford, wear it for every ride, and ride safely. If you do that, it increases your chances of survival considerably while on your bike.
 

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thinking back, I don't think I've ever had a helmet make 3 years, except when I had no cycle for several. I'm clumsy, and often not too bright, and every darned one of mine has been dropped on concrete or some other catastrophe. (Ever had a helmet someone spilled milk in and never told you? kids....)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the thoughtful replies, guys. So if my helmet makes it to 5 years, out it will go. But if I see something I really like before then...:D
 

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I am going to say no. Just like they say my bullet "proof" vest wears out after 5 years. But we have done tests on vests 10 years old and they still stop the bullets.
 

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Ah, but they do wear out. Ozone gas, fuel vapors (for those garage kept lids), sweat and general wear and tear takes a toll on the liners. The shell will also loose integrity owing to UV degradation. After 5 years you deserve a new one anyway!

I too have played with +5 year and older vests. Yes, they may stop bullets, however the manufacturers only warranty them for 5. The dept replaces ours every 5 so I get a new one. The carriers really suffer from sweat and general wear and tear from nearly daily use.
 

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Possibly if you had it on every day for 8 hours then 5 years would be right. Manufacturers would obviously base their advice on the lowest common denominator to cover their backs (& make a few more sales). Honestly though - do you reckon UV would deteriorate it that much in the riding time you really do? The interior would certainly degrade if you wear it a lot but I suspect most of us would get away with 10 years at least assuming you look after it. I got an aria helmet that's 30 years old in the cupboard & it looks as good as new. Leave it in the sun and it will rot from the inside out but who does that? My helmets sit in their nice felt bags between use & the only way I'll be changing them is because I want (not need) a change.
 

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My Scorpion EXD is about 3 years old. When I bought it, the fit was tight and the salesman said that it would be tight at first and would loosen a bit with use. Other than this normal loosening, I see no signs of wear.

So long as the helmet is not dropped or hit something which could damage it, what is the normal life expectancy? If I need to replace it, I will look for a red one that matches the Vulcan, rather than the white I now have. But I can't convince my wife I need a new helmet just for the color. :D
Yes they do. The Liner does (but can be replaced), the shell not much however both composite and polymer shells will deteriorate over the years and become more brittle, and you could repaint it (I did repaint mine) however the Styrofoam inside dries out and looses flexibility and capability to absorb impacts. This is the part that actually cushion your head in an accident.

Will it be a piece of junk? No, but it's capacity to protect you in an impact will be diminished.
 

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Just an FYI, in auto competitions, most sanctioning bodies generally go with a 5 max. requirement. I don't know if they are just following manufacturers recommendations or if they have factual data supporting their requirements.
 

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They say 5 years for a few reasons. One is that in 5 years, it has most likely been banged around a little bit. But the main reason comes from the glue inside the helmets. It starts to breakdown around 5 years, which lowers the safety of the helmet. It's not to say that at 5 years suddenly your helmet will fall apart, but that is when (on average) it starts to break down.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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Industrial hard hats have a five year expiration date from date of manufacture. And they are ANSI certified which is much more rigorous that DOT.
most fellers here probly didnt have 5yr expectation when they was jus pups. so theys all expired way mor than thier mom/pop woulda put up with. heck i got :beer: with shorter shelf life. get you a new one for a couple bux and give that sweaty, nasty, foul smelling, germ ridden brain bucket to a buddy. trade it for a :beer: poncho
 

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Buy the best helmet you can afford, wear it for every ride, and ride safely. If you do that, it increases your chances of survival considerably while on your bike.
I've heard this quote a lot, "buy the best helmet you can afford". Does price matter as long as the helmet is DOT certified? I wear a full-face modular because I can't get a regular full-face over my glasses, but it's not a high end helmet. It's a GMAX GM54S which runs $150ish. Do more expensive helmets really offer more protection and if so, how?
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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od, old sayings the mor you spend on a thing the better it has to be. even if it's marginally miniscule. helmets have several purposes and ther are some that do it better, but most all do it more than well enough.
First is coverage, more is better. Most head damage is on the sides, lower jaw area. half helmets are almost useless, almost.
Helmets must be able to receive energy and distribute it to a larger area so as to reduce trauma. The shells typically are polycarbonate and tuff. Old Skool thinking fibreglass(bell) could absorb energy and would destruct in the process is where the idea that if you drop it is no good anymore. Today's polycarb have excellent energy absorbing foam and liners to absorb and redistribute impact. The outer shell won't destruct on minimal impact.
So back to how much to spend? Get good coverage that fits and is comfortable. Some folks just have to pay mor to feel they get mor. It's yor money.

am thinking an evaporative helmet-liner system to direct cool air in and wick away heat from the noggin would be great feature. need some work on this project. poncho
 

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I've heard this quote a lot, "buy the best helmet you can afford". Does price matter as long as the helmet is DOT certified? I wear a full-face modular because I can't get a regular full-face over my glasses, but it's not a high end helmet. It's a GMAX GM54S which runs $150ish. Do more expensive helmets really offer more protection and if so, how?
More expensive helmets are generally lighter, better aero designed, less wind noise, more comfort etc etc, I would trust a Kevlar helmet over my G max (yep I have a G Max as well ... along with 3 HJC's and a few others).
If you go to the HJC web site, they give a good recommendation on helmet life.

Most riders have dropped their helmets at some time and have extinguished the helmet life right there and them. Its already done its job on a 3 ft drop ... there was just no head in it at the time, they will how ever, still wear them after the drop vs replace them. ( I doubt whether Tony Stuart will wear the same helmet that he chucked at Matt Kinseth again)

There is a reason Nascar drivers pay $2000 for a helmet .... and it aint so they will look real cool.

DOT standards are a minimum standard and I believe that the rules for this were written a long time ago. Still .... any helmet is better than no helmet at all.

Its kinda funny that riders think $600 for loud pipes is a good investment .... but would never dream of spending the same amount for any helmet.

It always cracks me up when I see a guy on a crotch rocket with a $800 Shoei and is wearing shorts, runners and a T shirt.
 
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