Posted in LivingReuse


About: Son of a son of a sailor.



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    This is a good instructable, but I wouldn't choose to do it whatsoever. Motorcycle helmet manufactures recommend replacing your helmet every 5 to 7 years. The foam styrofoam lining deteriorates over time from exposure to the elements, which leaves you with a lot less crash protection. I'm not your mother, so you can chose to do what you want, but I'll never be caught using an old helmet like this...

    6 replies

    The styrofoam integrity has been tested and found not to be defective, in fact it has been classified as the main item in landfills to be around 1,000 years from now by the research department of the EPA and other environmental groups. If you want to throw away your good old faithful helmet go ahead. They want you (helmet makers) to buy new don't they? Thats the name of the game. "If in doubt throw it out!" They want you to buy, buy, buy and fill up the landfill with your good stuff. So be my guest. It's your money. Check it out. Then see who is right. Goodnight!

    As a motorcyclist who is a paramedic- I really have reservations about this. The choice you make is either the helmet going into landfill, or you do. Contact cement on styrofoam not affecting the integrity? And who tested the styrofoam integrity on your helmet? How do you know the shell isn't compromised? And if you're in a jurisdiction that requires helmets, modifying the helmet (which is what you are doing) will take it outside any approval required- DOT, AS1698, etc- and your insurance company will drop you quicker than you hit the ground in the accident. What it comes down to for me is I have seen people survive accidents in new helmets, when they have died in comparable accidents in old helmets.

    As an engineer who is also a motorcyclist, I have no reservations. Triumphman is correct: Styrofoam is a stable material, and unless the helmet has been involved in a crash, it will be good for a lifetime of use. Moreover, major helmet manufacturers offer post-crash helmet inspection services. If the shell isn't cracked and the Styrofoam liner isn't compacted, the helmet can continue to be used.

    How does he know the shell hasn't been compromised? Simple: Presumably he knows that he hasn't dropped the helmet on concrete and the helmet hasn't been involved in a crash.

    You are 100% correct! Thanks.

    I agree. Contact cement and foam are a bad mix. The chemicals in the cement dissolve the foam. Another thing to watch out for is a helmet that been in a crash. It may look fine but the shell can be compromised. Also the inner foam can have been crushed and have no give left for another crash. Even dropping a helmet can damage it and is a good reason to replace it. Especially if you're a rider who takes risks and exceeds the speed limit frequently. I'm sure wasteofspacer would prefer not to have you as a customer. instructables.

    I liked this write up of relining a motorcycle helmet. I usually buy a helmet much smaller than I need. I then take the liner right out of it and glue a beanie onto the fibre glass inside. This is the only way that I can get a helmet that fits ok without the mushroom look and is cool to wear.

    As an industrial safety specialist, I think I can comment on this with some authority. The reason manufacturers recommend replacing helmets every 5-7 years isn't only to increase sales. Helmet shells are made of plastics and/or polymers, much the same as industrial hard hats. These materials, when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, deteriorate naturally. Most riders' helmets (unless you only put 1000 miles/year on your bikes) fall into this category. OSHA requires replacement of hard hats every 5 years, regardless of appearance or apparent condition. By the same token, DOT (not manufacturers) "recommends" replacing helmets every 5 years for the same reason. DOT cannot compel riders to follow this rule due to the near impossibility of enforcement.

    Whenever I buy a new helmet, I always check the manufacture date. You would be surprised at the number of "new" helmets at dealerships and bike shops that are 10 years old or more and are still being sold at "new" prices.

    This being said...It's your head, you choose how much it's worth.

    Nice write-up. I have an older BMW flip-front helmet whose comfort liner has collapsed, but it's in great shape otherwise. I'd like to try this "operation" on it to bring it back to life. The original liner in the helmet was very similar to automobile headlining material — a 1/8-inch urethane foam sheet bonded to a synthetic tricot fabric.  That stuff is readily available from some fabric stores, usually at least in black and gray, and possibly a few other colors.  If I try this "operation" on it, I'd also like to convert the liner to a removable style, using patches of Velcro hook-and-loop fastener.

    Nice work but a bad idea. If your helmet is in that shape to require refurbishing, it probably has deteriorated where you can't see it. Cheap head - cheap helmet.
    Sorry, but being banned is not as bad as encouraging a possibly unsafe practice.

    Not bad, But I would use Fire retardant material for clothing - Wouldn't be catched in a fire With polyester around my head - but cotton cloth would do nice..
    Also do as little modification to the integrity of the helmet as possible, this means being aware of what kind of glue to mount inside.

    Nice! I've got a great old Nolan "egg" helmet that I found at a Goodwill for $2. I wouldn't wear it on the road, but at least I could replace the cat-pee-scented liner!

    very nice, you should change the instructables name to "Replacing the lining on an old helmet" then more people would be able to find it

    Hey, you did a great job on this ible. I'll add it to the Scooter Trash page. Man, I wish I'd kept all the cool lids I had back in the day. Now I'd know how to save them!