Dropped A Motorcycle Helmet? Know These Harmful Effects


Your motorcycle helmet is an important piece of protective equipment that shouldn’t be dropped at all costs.

Dropping your helmet has numerous harmful effects. These consequences include scratching the surface of the helmet, cracking or scratching the visor, weakening the structural integrity of the helmet, and break the warranty.  There are different variables involved which will result in different severities.

Dropping your helmet doesn’t automatically mean you need to replace it. You can perform a safety inspection to ensure that it is still safe enough to be used until it reaches its expiration date.

Harmful Effects Of Dropping Your Helmet

It is important to take good care of your motorcycle helmet by storing it properly and avoiding dropping it as much as possible. It will only be effective in protecting your head in case of an accident if it retains its good condition.

Scratch The Surface

As the helmet makes contact with the ground, you will inevitably get scratches. The rough surface of the asphalt as well as your helmet potentially rolling off will result in scratches on the surface. You can also accumulate these scratches from daily use, like when you scratch your helmet with your motorcycle keys or your bare nails. Scratch marks are not enough reason to replace the helmet entirely.

scratched helmet

Crack Or Scratch The Visor

The visor protects your eyes from insects and debris while you ride. It should be scratch-free at all times as the scratches or cracks can impede your line of vision and prevent you from driving safely on the road.

A cracked visor should be replaced entirely. It still counts when the scratches are located at the sides since riding a motorcycle highly involves using your peripheral vision. Scratches can be removed by lightly sandpapering the affected area with 1,500-grit sandpaper until you can smoothly run your thumb over the affected area.

Next, the dust should be washed off with running water and some soap. Use a heat gun set at 550 degrees Fahrenheit and direct it at the visor at a distance of four inches. This will fuse together any minor cracks so that your visor will be good as new. Allow it to cool for at least forty-five minutes before using it again.

Weaken The Structural Integrity

There are many factors involved in this. When you get into an accident, it makes sense to immediately replace the motorcycle helmet you have used because of the external and internal damage. Dropping the helmet has a different speed and force of impact compared to an accident. As such, the damages are limited to the exterior. The interior lining will usually be unscathed.

If you dropped your helmet in a patch of grass or in some mud, chances are it will still be functional and wouldn’t need to be replaced. The soft ground will cushion the impact. However, if you drop the helmet at a very high elevation and on the hard asphalt, you can expect some cracks and dents on the shell. Metal helmets can usually withstand these drops, but hard resin ones will need to be replaced.

dirty helmet motorcycle

Break The Warranty

Upon purchasing a brand-new helmet, you have the option to purchase a warranty. The terms of the warranty may differ from company to company, but it usually covers fading paint, factory defects, parts replacement, visor upgrades, and more. Depending on the terms, dropping your motorcycle helmet and causing exterior damages can break the warranty. Be careful with how you treat your helmet because a simple slip-up can mean money down the drain.

Motorcycle Safety Inspection

The best thing you can do after dropping your motorcycle helmet is to perform a motorcycle safety inspection. This will gauge if your motorcycle helmet is still safe to use or if it is time to replace it.

Expiration Date

Helmets have expiration dates that you must follow because that is the estimated timeframe until they are no longer useable. They have a service life of five years until you need to replace them. This applies even if there are no visible damages because there could be insidious side effects that you just aren’t aware of. You can check the manufacture date of your helmet as it is printed on the EPS liner. Once it has hit the five-year mark, it is time for a new one.

man wearing white helmet

Check The Liner

The liner is very important as it cushions your head in case of an impact. It also makes the helmet fit snugly on your head so that it wouldn’t move around and potentially distract you as you drive. You can expect the liner to lose its fluff over time and it might get compressed. The accumulated sweat, oil, and dust are bound to damage its structural integrity which is why it is important to replace this every so often.

Check The Exterior

Look at the motorcycle shell for signs like cracks or deep scratches. These are brought about by physical trauma. You should also check the motorcycle visor for webbed cracks and scratches. Look at the weather seal and make sure that it does not possess any tears or nicks in it.

The presence of a lot of cracks in the shell means that its structure is weak and one impact can break it for good. It is better to be safe than sorry which is why you should replace the helmet if the cracks seem irreparable. Scratches, on the other hand, can usually be repaired with some light sandpapering and a heat gun.

Timothy Harrill

“Being able to jump on my bike and putting the laws of physics to the test is something that always leaves me feeling enthused.” Timothy fell in love with motorcycles at age 14 and has owned and ridden many different bikes over the last two decades. While he describes himself as an adventure rider, he takes riding safety seriously and wants to set a good example for others.

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