Whether you’re already halfway through your #ride5000miles challenge or you’ve just started, it’s always a good idea to check your helmet to ensure it’s still able to do its job properly. We spoke to #ride5000miles sponsor, SHARK Helmets, to find out their top tips for ensuring your helmet is ready. SHARK Helmets UK Technical Manager, Mark Eilledge explains more:
1. Do a visual check
“It’s extremely important to check your helmet periodically for damage. Whether it’s degraded over time or it’s showing damage from being dropped, it’s a good chance to have a look over it and also make sure everything is working as it should - such as visor mechanisms and integrated sun visors. We would recommend that if you have dropped your helmet to take it to a professional dealer to check for damage - even if it doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong, sometimes with thermoplastic shells it is possible that they can deform and then bounce back.
“Make sure you check inside the helmet too. Remove the inner liners (if your helmet has removable liners of course!) and check for any visual damage or discolouration that could indicate any weaknesses. If there is any damage, then it’s time to look for a new helmet for the rest of your 5000 miles. If you’re in doubt about anything, then take it into your local dealer and they’ll be happy to take a look for you and give their expert opinion.”
2. Keep it clean
“I always find it amazing sometimes when I see how people let their helmets get. My recommendation is to wipe it down after every ride out. All helmets - no matter whether they are carbon fibre or thermoplastic - should only ever be cleaned with mild, soapy water or an approved helmet cleaner. Anything that is used on ovens, hard surfaces or floors should be avoided. For stuck on dirt and flies, pop some wet paper towel on there to soak and it will come off easily. A handy hint for getting in to clean the vents is with a cotton bud, an air vent with dirt and flies in there isn’t going to be very good for ventilation!”
3. Don’t forget your visor
“SHARK Helmets work extremely hard to ensure the optical quality of the visors on our range of helmets, but if you don’t care for them and allow them to get scratched or greasy, then they can’t do the job they’re designed for. Firstly, remove the visor and check for any scratches that may scatter any light from car headlights or sunshine.
“To clean it, use mild, soapy water to wash both sides. If your visor is equipped with a Pinlock like the Spartan Carbon or is coated with anti-fog coating like the Race-R Pro, don’t worry, both are fine to be washed with the soapy solution. Rinse it thoroughly under clean water and leave to dry naturally - this ensures there are no streaks. If there are any cracks or damage, then I’d recommend a replacement.”
4. Clean the lining
“While from a hygiene perspective, keeping the interior of your helmet clean and fresh is important, it can also preserve the life of your lid. You may think that a helmet wears out from the outside - as that’s where all the weather and road grime hits it - but actually, it’s from the inside out because your sweat breaks down the EPS lining from the inside out so it’s where most helmets wear out.
“If your helmet has a removable liner, then take it out and hand wash it with baby shampoo. Some liners are machine washable but I prefer to hand wash so that I can give it a thorough rinse and get all the dirt out. Leave the liners to dry naturally before refitting. Those helmets that don’t have removable liners, lay the helmet upside down in the bath - do it on a towel so you don’t damage the helmet or the bath - and wash the fabric with a sponge with baby shampoo on, then rinse with the shower head. Leave upside down to dry thoroughly. We use an Aegis® textile treatment, embedded into the fabric of the helmet interior, on the new Spartan Carbon helmet, so it’s worth looking out for features like this when purchasing that will help keep it fresh.”
5. Check that it fits properly
“I speak to a lot of people who have actually been wearing the wrong sized helmet for years as they assume that they are always the same size in all models and all makes, which isn’t always true. It’s extremely important - not only for rider comfort but also for safety - that your motorcycle helmet fits you properly. Don’t put up with a helmet that gives you a headache after 10 minutes of having it on, there are a range of helmets to suit your head shape and we even do different thickness cheek pads to customise the fit even more.”
For more information on SHARK Helmets or to find your nearest authorised stockist, visit www.nevis.uk.com or call 01425 478936.
Do you have any special tips on keeping your helmet match fit? Join the #Ride5000miles Facebook group and join in the discussion!
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