The weight of the helmet is also an important aspect

28 May 2024
”A motorcycle helmet may appear to be fully OK on the outside, but whether it can provide the rider with sufficient protection is a completely different question,” says DEKRA expert Achim Kuppinger. Well cared for helmets are very often deceptive in how many years’ service they have provided. Yet, like so much in life, the ageing process can’t be avoided here, either. The plastics used suffer, in the course of time, a certain degree of material fatigue, elasticity deteriorates and with it the protective effect.

This is why we recommend retiring the old helmet and buying a new head protector at least after seven years.

DEKRA expert Achim Kuppinger
However, an exchange may be necessary earlier; for example, if the inside padding has begun to give way, if the Styrofoam parts have deformed or if rubber parts display porosity. All this can affect the protective effect, wear comfort and, in certain circumstances negatively influence ventilation. A new helmet is also required when the current one has been subject to hard impacts. Even if no outer damage can be detected, the structure may have suffered. On the other hand, if it is just the visor that has sustained scratches, it may be possible to simply exchange the front flap for a new one.
As the protection of a valuable body part is at stake, it is advisable to always go for quality when purchasing a new helmet. The minimum standard is ECE-R-22.06, which was introduced in 2021 and is based on the newly revised test regulations. Helmets conforming to the old standard 22.05 may still continue to be used, however. To verify if the helmet fits, requires more than to put it briefly over your head. It should be tested by being worn for at least ten minutes or longer. It must sit snuggly around the head, but at the same time must not press down onto it.
The weight is also an important aspect. Lighter models offer better wear comfort than heavier ones; less weight also means less pressure on the cervical vertebra in a crash. ”A test ride is an absolute must before deciding on a helmet. This will show you whether the helmet also feels comfortable out on the road and whether it harmonizes with the airflow of the motorcycle,” explains motorcycle expert Kuppinger. The noise level in the helmet should not be too high, but bikers should not seal themselves off too hermetically from the signals and sounds of other road users.