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Older Helmet Safe?

This is a discussion on Older Helmet Safe? within the Motorcycle Safety forums, part of the General category; I just bought a rf 700 Shoei helmet on craigslist. It has never been used, it fit perfect, it was ...


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Old 02-06-2007   #1
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

I just bought a rf 700 Shoei helmet on craigslist. It has never been used, it fit perfect, it was 40 bucks. Thing is that it is pretty old. It would be like a 95 or something, making it around 14 years old. Now there was a guy at the honda shop who was both trying to convince me that my helmet was too old (the foam has broken down) and sell me one at the same time. Anything he said, thus, has to be taken with a grain of salt because he's trying to serve two purposes.

Anyway, I wanted a second, more neutral opinion. Am I really putting my life at significantly more risk by using an older, though unused helmet?

thanks,

Joey
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Old 02-07-2007   #2
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

I got the same "attitude" also when I first went helmet shopping; the salesman said the foam inside usually had a shelf-life of about 3-5 years. I guess it makes some sense?? I mean, it is your head, spend accordingly, right?

But, I must say that I do see people with older helmets that don't see why it wouldn't function in event of a collision.

Also (this is my personal opinion now), the helmet is full-face, and that's definitely MUCH more safer than those who wear the Bean-top helmets... sooooo, yeah. Not sure if this statement is relevant or not. my reasoning is that if there are a bunch of people out there with just Bean-top helmets, hopefully, your older full face won't be worse than that.
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Old 02-08-2007   #3
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

That's pretty much my reaction to the situation too. It's gotta be better than a bean-top or skid lid, but I'll probably still keep an eye out for a way to get a newer helmet. Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-09-2007   #4
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

feel the interior of the helmet, is it still soft, springy? or is it hard and feel kind of crumbly, that should tell you if the foam is still good to go or not.
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Old 02-11-2007   #5
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

....the salesman said the foam inside usually had a shelf-life of about 3-5 years. I guess it makes some sense??


I'd say the 3-5 years would more likely apply to a period of average wear, not unopened shelf-life. The padding will compress after some use and certainly, there's some difference in foam density but as to whether that reduces the protection significantly, I kinda' doubt it. Most helmets are on the verge of overkill with the padding as it is, I assume there's some reasonable slack there. If it was still properly packaged and the liner seems good, it's probably fine for now but it may deteriorate more quickly than a newer one.
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Old 02-12-2007   #6
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

If the helmet was not in the sun where uv rays could destroy it it is just as safe as it was the day it was made.
uv rays not time is what destroys foam, and plastic,
after several years in the sun the Styrofoam, and plastics break down and become crumbly and loose there protective value
if the padding still seems soft and is not crumbling it is ok.
As to today's safety standards they have gotten much better at making foam that protects better and the outer shell is more durable so a newer helmet might have a better rating than your older one therefore be better at protecting your head.
Note that just because it is newer don't make it better there is a lot of junk out there for sale. but junk would protect better than no helmet at all .
Just my 2 1/2 cents worth.
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Old 02-13-2007   #7
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

not to make you sound cheap but, I would go ahead and upgrade to a newer helmet. The design and technology is a lot better today than it was back in 95 you can get a dot and snell approved helmet for around 100-160...IMO I would spend the extra money, but like was said earlier, its your head, I wouldn't be cheap on it!
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Old 02-13-2007   #8
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

1995! Wow! I have a Bieffe that I bought new in 1999 and only wore it for 6 months. I still have it because it is a souvenier from when my son wore it for about 2 hours. (Without my permission - but I am so happy that he did!) He managed to high side a Honda 100 jumping a terrace in a cotton field. This helmet has been kept inside living space since that day and it's padding is completely shot. My GF and I were laughing about it just the other day. The netting has come loose, the material is dry rotted and you can see the styrofoam. My advice? Get the best helmet that you can afford. You can get into an AFX, HJC and several others for about $100 and there are lots of sales on right now.
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Old 02-14-2007   #9
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Default Older Helmet Safe?

1995! Wow! I have a Bieffe that I bought new in 1999 and only wore it for 6 months. I still have it because it is a souvenier from when my son wore it for about 2 hours. (Without my permission - but I am so happy that he did!) He managed to high side a Honda 100 jumping a terrace in a cotton field. This helmet has been kept inside living space since that day and it's padding is completely shot. My GF and I were laughing about it just the other day. The netting has come loose, the material is dry rotted and you can see the styrofoam. My advice? Get the best helmet that you can afford. You can get into an AFX, HJC and several others for about $100 and there are lots of sales on right now.

Weird. I have 2 Bieffes, both from the late '80s (so yes, 20 years old), and the padding is fine, the foam feels fine and even the fabric lining feels fine. I use them all the time, but I'm currently shopping for a (long-overdue) new helmet. The Bieffes have been inside and outside and used pretty regularly.

I wonder if it was some hair-care product that affected the liner. I did have an old BMW system (modular) helmet that I started wearing shortly after starting to use Rogaine (yeah, go ahead, make your appropriate bald joke here), and something in that tonic (alcohol? propylene glycol?) took the adhesive right off the fabric lining. I had to remember to wear a bandanna or wash that stuff out of my hair before going for a ride. So, "iamgumby", any chance you were using Rogaine in 1999? Honestly, that stuff should come with a warning: "caution: may dissolve adhesive in your motorcycle helmet". :)
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