Have you heard any of these myths? Bret Tkacs backs up his myth-busting stint with hard data and research from brands, experts, and governing bodies. 

The first question tackled was “How long do helmets last?” Tkacs digs through the internet and cites Shoei and Snell. Shoei recommends five years as the lifespan of a lid, however, there is no definite replacement date according to Dr. George Snively’s tests with the helmets used by the California Highway Patrol which is posted on the Snell Memorial Foundation’s website. Instead of saying that a helmet is “dead” when it reaches the five-year mark, Snively states that “replacing helmets every five years is a judgment call.” Previous to this statement, however, it depends on the use as quoted: “Unused helmets stored in good condition do not automatically expire after five years.” 

In other words, store your helmets properly so they can make it to the five-year mark, however, the date of manufacture isn’t a true countdown timer, but you do have to inspect the lid as far as its condition is concerned. 

The next myth is that helmet certifications are what you need to look out for. ECE 22.06 is one of my top recommendations. Look for standards that are up-to-date or fit for the country that you ride in. A helmet might be more expensive than the other, but it should be as safe if not safer than other lids depending on the helmet standard that it adheres to. In whatever case, if safety is the main priority (and it should be) when it comes to your helmet purchase, then you need to take note of the rating. 

“I can’t see when I wear a helmet!” Well, there are quite several riders out there who feel like a helmet limits their vision. In truth, it depends on the fit of the lid on your head. Any good helmet will have a wide enough aperture, but that hinges on whether a helmet fits your head properly. If you’ve ever worn a helmet with a loose set of pads it might sag and impede your vision. This is only one of the elements that speak towards how important fit is for motorcycle helmets. 

Have you dropped a helmet? You don’t need to replace it right away unless you fall in the helmet and hit your head. You don’t want the EPS liner to compress because that’s the main impact-absorbing layer that will save your noggin in a crash. Inspect the helmet just in case, but if there was weight inside when it fell, it may be toast. 

Apart from that, Tkacs goes on about the sensory stuff like hearing. Yes, helmets do deaden the sounds of the outside world, but they still allow for the more important sounds to come in like a car horn or a siren. In this case, even riding with plugs can be better considering that it also protects you from hearing loss, unneeded wind noise, and a few other sounds that you don’t need to hear. 

I can continue to cover the video, but at 18 minutes long, it's probably best that you watch the whole thing. Tkacs is an experienced ADV instructor who regularly makes content for his YouTube channel. Whether it’s debunking myths or giving tips and tricks, his channel is worth a view or even a sub if you’re privy to his style of content. 

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