Motorcycle safety gear can cost you thousands of dollars, but that doesn’t imply it will last forever.
Like any other materialistic thing in this world, motorcycle protective clothing is also subject to wear and tear over time due to many external elements, making it less protective and no longer safe to use.
Whether we like it or not, some of our gear needs to be replaced in order to provide the best protection. It is crucial to know when your motorcycle protective gear is near to expire and when you need to replace it.
Keep reading to know how and when motorcycle protective gear expires including everything from your safest motorcycle helmets to heated motorcycle gloves, boots, and jackets.
Every rider knows the importance of wearing a motorcycle helmet when riding, but a helmet can only protect you if the materials used in its creation are still in good condition. A motorcycle helmet’s maximum lifespan is three to five years, though there are several reasons to replace it sooner.
Some helmets like Biltwell Gringo come with a 2-3 years warranty, while other high-end helmets like Bell qualifier, Ls2 Strobe, and Shoei rf 1200 helmet offer a warranty for up to 5 years. However, this warranty does not include failure due to improper use, normal wear, and tear, or general neglect.
Any damage to your head protection is a warning that you should replace it. Being in an accident is the most obvious reason to change your helmet. Even if you’ve never been in an accident, other variables can make your helmet unsafe as well. When you ride, your shell is exposed to heat, cold, moisture, and debris, and with time, both the shell and the lining degrade. Although many low-profile motorcycle helmets are designed to withstand sunlight, UV rays still degrade them over time.
Unlike helmets, motorcycle jackets do not expire in a few years. Depending on the material, they generally last for 7-8 years and can be safe to use for up to more than 10 years if you take care of them properly.
You need to replace your jackets only when the components like fasteners, zippers, velcro, and reflective patches start to wear out.
However, if you want something that will last the longest, go with leather, because even a budget motorcycle leather jacket can last 10-20 years with proper care.
Riding gloves are necessary because any friction with the road will wear your skin down to the bones, resulting in a fatal skin and bone infection. But unlike a helmet, your gloves are in constant contact with the bike which makes them wear out faster. The most worn parts are the retention straps, knuckles, and palm sliders.
To make sure your gloves will be going to protect your hands in case of a crash, the retention straps should be securely fastened around your wrists, and the armor protecting the top of your hand and knuckles, as well as the protective material covering your palms (palm sliders), should be in a good working state.
However, if they are no longer in good condition, there is no need to be worried because motorcycle gloves are not that expensive. You can easily buy a pair of good motorcycle gloves for under $50 only.
Motorcycle boots are the most loyal buddy of yours as they last longest among all motorcycle protective gear, but only if you care for them.
Quality motorcycle boots, such as O’neal riding boots or Forma adventure boots, have a lifespan of more than ten years. But if you see that the material of your boots started to crack, the plastic begins to deteriorate, or the leather begins to wear out, it’s time to replace them.
Moisture can also harm your boots, so keep them dry or invest in a pair of waterproof motorcycle boots. It’s also a negative sign if your boots were previously waterproof but are suddenly start penetrating the water.
Most riding boots, especially adventure riding boots, are not designed to comfortably walk around in them. They are stiff and hard as they are meant to provide maximum protection in case of a crash. So, if you want to use your boots off the bike as well, you should invest in a pair of motorcycle boots that are good for walking also.
Wearing the correct clothing to protect riders from making injuries worse is always safe, effective, and wise. If you are wearing expired protective gear, you are riding with false hopes.
You can also check our guide to the best motorcycle boots for short riders to get the correct size for your next ride.