Let the rest of the world think of April as “tax filing month.” The conscientious team at Las Vegas Harley-Davidson wants customers to put their safety first and remember that April is National Check Your Helmet Month.
This means, first and foremost, that it’s time to ensure your helmet is no more than five years old. If it’s older, it’s time for a new helmet, no matter how spiffy it may appear. Helmets are manufactured to be highly durable, but they do have a definite lifespan and five years is it.
If your helmet is less than five years old – and you can check the date written in the liner – you should inspect it carefully to ensure it protects you as it should. Allow the Harley-Davidson team to guide the way.
Your Helmet Deserves a Thorough Inspection
- Inspect the condition of the EPS liner. Located at the top of the inner helmet, expanded polystyrene foam consists of plastic beads and air bubbles, pressed very tightly together. The foam is designed to absorb shocks, but it’s not indestructible, either. In fact, even a slight bump can compromise its structural integrity. Look for cracks, rips and other signs of wear and tear. If you see anything suspicious, it’s time for a new helmet.
- Check the outer shell of the helmet. One reason that helmets have relatively short life spans is because they are designed to sustain only one impact; even a small one can fracture the shell and compress the EPS liner. A crack is a definite call for a new helmet. The second reason is that helmets are exposed to a bevy of harsh outdoor elements. The sun is the most blistering, but not always the most punishing. Rain, fog, exhaust fumes, gas fumes and even insect repellent can degrade a helmet’s protective
qualities. If you’re in doubt, err on the side of caution and replace your helmet.
- Put on your helmet and look at yourself in the mirror from all vantage points. Ensure that your helmet isn’t warped or otherwise losing its shape. If it is, it should be replaced for one that fits properly so that it fully protects you on the road.
- Remove the comfort liner (if it is in fact removable) and look at its condition. Wash it in a washing machine on the gentle cycle – something you should be prepared to do more often if your hair is oily or you use a lot of hair product. If your liner is non-removable, massage it with soapy water until it is clean.
- Ensure that you are cleaning your outer helmet properly. Follow the care instructions that came with your helmet, and be sure to wash it after long rides in particular. If you’ve been negligent in the past, National Check Your Helmet Month is a fine time to start new habits to keep your helmet in peak condition.
Don’t hesitate to bring your helmet, and your questions to the team at Las Vegas Harley-Davidson.