Informational Guide

Do Motorcycle Helmets Expire?

In this guide, we answer do motorcycle helmets expire and how long are their lifespan.

Motorcycle helmets are there to protect you from injury while riding. They give you peace of mind and come in a variety of styles and designs. However, you’ll want to know if they expire- so you know when it’s best to get a new one.  

You can protect yourself better when you’re informed. So, do motorcycle helmets expire? Find out below! 

Your helmet is extremely important. It alone increases your odds of survival in an accident. You never know when this could happen, so you should wear one every time you get out on the road. If you don't have protection on your head, you risk suffering traumatic brain injuries or even death. This is while traveling at low or high speeds.  

white and blue shoei motorcycle helmet

5 Reasons You Should Consider Replacing Your Motorcycle Helmet

1. High Helmet Age & Usage

Is your helmet old? If it’s more than five years old, it’s time to replace it. After five years of use, the helmet suffers wear and tear, meaning it can’t protect you as well as it once could. The strength and durability drop significantly over time, even if you just have it stored on a shelf for long periods. You can find the manufacturer's date and sometimes a definite expiration date on the inside of your helmet.  

2. It Has Been in an Accident 

You’ll need to replace the helmet if it was in an accident, even minor accidents that don't involve the head. You shouldn't risk using it again. The helmet can receive internal damage and won't protect you when you get into another crash. It's best that you replace the old helmet ASAP, instead of trying to hold onto it. 

3. Helmet Becomes Loose  

Over time, you might feel like your helmet’s getting too big for you. If you move your head from side to side quickly and feel it shake, you’re going to need to replace it. This means that the internal cushioning has compacted- it won’t protect your brain any longer. 

4. Interior & Exterior Deteriorating  

If you notice any helmet flakage in your hair after riding, it’s time to replace it. This is a sign that the materials are deteriorating. This means the helmet is weakening and won’t be able to offer you the protection that it once did. 

5. Strap Fails

Are you now struggling to use the straps when you didn’t in the past? This means that the strap locks are either full of debris or wearing out. This part is essential to keeping the helmet in place during an accident- you’ll have to either replace the strap or buy a new helmet. 

white motorcycle helmet

How Long Are Motorcycle Helmets Good For?

Are you wondering what your motorcycle helmet shelf life is? Everything expires- including bike helmets! You’ll need to check the manufacturing date, which is on the sticker that comes with the helmet. It’s essential that you replace the equipment five years after that date. It’s even better to only use your helmet for three years before getting a new one. 

After five years, the helmet starts to compact, degrade, or stretch. The impact also depends on the amount of use that the helmet gets, but it's safer, to be sure. As the helmet loses its original shape, it can no longer protect you. 

Manufacturers design helmets to absorb shock in a way that doesn’t have any of it striking your head. Without the materials of the helmet in the proper places, the shock can make its way through the cracks and cause you harm. 

How Often Should You Replace Your Motorcycle Helmet?

When a helmet is not involved in any accident, isn’t broken, or has other signs of damage, why do you need to replace it? Well, there could be interior damage that you can’t see- which is why it’s best to replace it every three to five years. There’s a ton of padding inside the helmet which can warp over time, making it inefficient at protecting you! 

silver top gear shoei motorcycle

How To Take Care Of Your Motorcycle Helmet? (Maintenance Tips)

It's essential that you take care of your helmets. They protect you and offer you security on the road. Without one, you're putting yourself at risk. To take care of it, make sure to do the following: 

  • Wash once a week with consistent use (or every other week with less use) 
  • You don’t want bacteria and sweat to build up in your helmet 
  • Wear a balaclava 
  • Take care not to drop it 
  • Use a gentle soap when cleaning 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Do motorcycle helmets expire if not used regularly?  

Yes, your helmet can expire no matter what. Even if you haven’t been using it often, it’s still best to buy a replacement after five years. You can check for signs of damage first. 

Is it safe to use a very old motorcycle helmet?  

No, you shouldn't be using a very old helmet. The interior can wear out over time, even when not in consistent use. Because of this, it's always better to replace old helmets. You don't need to throw them out, but don't ride with them anymore. 

What should you do with old riding helmets?  

If it’s old, you should never donate it! Instead, you can crush it with a hammer and dispose of it. Some towns can recycle these items, while others don’t have the means to do so. You’ll want to check with your local area.  


So, do motorcycle helmets have an expiration date? We'd have to say yes- they do! So, if you want to stay safe on the road, make sure that you buy a new helmet every three to five years. You’ll also want to wash it and take good care of it. If you do this, you can get the longest amount of life from the equipment.