The helmet is the most important safety gear.
A little care and maintenance goes a long way.
But maintenance should be done right for a long-lasting helmet.
The helmet protects your head from impacts and injury, and it’s always in your best interest to take good care of it in return. However, a brain bucket doesn’t need intensive maintenance like say, the bike, but it does need some tender loving care.
1. Carrying It
We see it all the time, and yes, we’re guilty of it too.
Grabbing it by the chinbar is easier, of course, but that could result in detaching or damaging certain components, in addition to the padding behind the chinbar itself. Winding the arm under the chinstrap and out the eyeport is stable, but you chance detaching or breaking the breath deflector.
The best way of carrying the helmet correctly is to tie up the strap securely and carry it like a handbag or just use the bag which it came in.
2. Gloves Out
Since a helmet is bucket shaped, it becomes a convenient basket for the bike keys, ciggies, lighter, and of course, the gloves.
If the sweat from your hands and traffic pollutants can eat away at the stitching of the gloves, it’ll destroy your helmet’s comfort lining soon enough. The gloves will also cause your helmet to smell funky.
So remember, the only thing that should be inside the helmet is your head.
3. Store Upright
This may sound as an unnecessary reminder, but do place the lid the correct way up. There’s a reason why there’s a rubber gasket that runs around the bottom.
Placing the helmet upside down will not only destroy the paint and finish but may also start to compromise the shape and strength of the shell if such mistreatment is kept up.
Manufacturers usually recommend cleaning the shell and faceshield with just soap and warm water. However, there are many helmet cleaners in the market that are convenient to carry along during a ride or to the track.
Experiment with a new cleanser on your helmet by starting on a small section before committing to the entire helmet or faceshield.
Do not ever use harsh cleaners such as dishwashing liquid or lighter fluid (to remove sticker residue). Another note: Do not ever use glass cleaner on the faceshield as it will erode the sensitive coating. Don’t ask how we found this out.
5. Hanging On
Motorcycle mirrors and handlebar ends are understandably convenient places for placing the helmet.
However, it isn’t the right thing to do, as the shape of the mirror and handlebar end may deform the EPS lining of the helmet, leaving it weaker in certain spots. The EPS liner must be as uniform as designed to spread the shock of impact.
6. Bath Time
Do make it a point to clean your lid at least once a year. This writer personally does it every three months or so, depending on usage.
Remove any removable liner, wash in warm water and clean the rest of the helmet. Use Q-Tips to clean hard-to-reach places such as vents.
7. Drying Out
A helmet should be dried out first before being stored in a cabinet or the bag.
But please use care when drying it. Best to remove the comfort liners and allow the inside of the helmet to dry naturally. Using high heat everytime the helmet gets wet will soon weaken the glue in some parts.
The comfort liners should also ideally be air-dried but if heat is needed, you may use a hairdryer for the padded side and not over the plastics, to again, preserve the glue.
9. How Long?
Dropping the helmet from a low height may not necessarily damage it, but best to have it checked over by the manufacturer. On the other hand, a headgear that has never been dropped needs to be replaced after a maximum of five years of use from the day it first went on your head.
There are certain manufacturers that okayed the use of automotive waxes. Use the soft variety, sparingly and wax gently by hand.
10. Lubing Up
The faceshield mechanism should be lubricated with silicone lubricant for better action. Arai includes the lubricant with every lid they sell.