We all know how important a quality helmet is to your safety. It is absolutely imperative that you have the best equipment you can afford protecting that nogan of yours. Equally important, however, is making sure that your product is performing to the standard that it is originally built to.
What some may not realize is that every crash/impact your helmet sustains jeopardizes its continued performance. Obviously, after a huge crash with a high impact to the helmet justifies putting the helmet to rest, but smaller crashes and light impacts may sway you to keep running that helmet. In some cases, that's probably fine, but we recommend that you have your helmet tested after any legitimate impact. Most quality helmet manufacturers offer testing for consumers, and it is wise to exploit that service.
Not long ago, I had a relatively nasty swap-out at Perris Raceway and my helmet took the brunt of my handlebars during the wreck. On naked-eyed inspection, the only visible damage to my Shoei was a broken grill on the mouth of the chinbar. So, after all the fog had retreated from my thought processes, I paid Shoei a visit to get a new grill and have it tested.
Shoei's Technical Advisor, Pat Houlihan was gracious enough to walk me through a standard test and let me tell you, they do go through each helmet with a fine-toothed comb. After the obvious inspection of the shell for abrasions, Pat pulled the liners and inspected the EPS liner for any compression. If, indeed, there were any signs of compression, Pat would have voided the helmet right there. In the my helmet's case, there was no visible signs of impact to the shell, so he chose not to break the adhesive that connects the EPS to the shell. If he thought it was necessary, he would torn the entire helmet apart to make sure everything was sound. Pat inspected every piece of my helmet, including vents, shell, liners, and the chinbar.
Thankfully for my budget, my Shoei only needed a new grill (I got a sweet red one this time), but I am glad I know for sure that my helmet will work to its maximum potential the next time i take a digger…and I will take another digger.
If your helmet has taken an impact lately, send it to the manufacturer and have them test it.
Shoei offers a free impact inspection service for any Shoei helmet. To have your helmet inspected, please send it to;
3002 Dow Ave
Tustin, Ca 92780
Be sure to include a letter with a brief description of the issue with the helmet, as well as a daytime phone number and return address. Once we receive the helmet it will take 1-3 business days to complete the inspection. Upon completion the helmet is returned to you with a letter stating the findings of our inspection. Your helmet is returned to you if it passes the inspection or not. There is no charge for the inspection, and the UPS Ground return shipping is free.
If you do not have a Shoei, but would like to have your helmet tested, contact the manufacturer about an inspection.