Originally Posted by jbhawley
This sort of post usage testing is what I would like to see from Snell. Take a helmet that has actually been worn by an average rider that is 2, 5, 7 etc years old and see if it still hold to the initial testing criteria. Data such as this would (or could) prove the 5 year rule or may debunk it altogether. Who knows? I am sure there have been some go-getter at Snell that was just a curious as I and decided to test a helmet after a few years of use. I wonder why helmet mfgs don't pay for the Snell testing on an old helmet just to see the results. If nothing else it could be a selling point. "Our helmets have been tested to last up to 7+ years with normal usage." It may make the helmet worth more on the initial sale, as you are getting more bang for the buck, so to speak...and would sure make it worth more in the used market.
Would the motorcycling community pay 10-25% more for a helmet that is Guaranteed for 5 years from defects but will last (according to the mfg and Snell) up to 8, 9, or more years? I doubt it...I guess the mfg would rather sell 100$ skid lids with 25$ worth of materials and 50$ worth of paint and graphics. It is all market driven...same reason Black is the best selling helmet color. I digress...........now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Because the history of each helmet is different and therefore the data would be essentially worthless.
The particular test sample may be from a guy who sits his helmet on the fuel tank when he stops. The breather hole in the fuel cap will release fuel vapor inside the helmet. Not a huge amount of course but fuel vapor will degrade the foam cell. Imagine that this rider does that three times a week over five years; that is a lot if degradation though likely not visible to the naked eye. This particular helmet may fail the Snell test badly and then the manufacturer might then say we have to change the advice to every four years.
I've seen people use their helmets like shopping baskets. Some people never clean the liner and are users of hair gels and waxes.
If you don't want to change your helmet after five years then don't. If you crash and it saves your head then you can smile and get a new one. If you crash and it doesn't then you don't have anything to worry about anyway. I think this thread only becomes an issue when a goverment mandates that you have to change your helmet and you can look to Europe first for that to happen.