Buying used items comes with many advantages including, in some cases, significant cost savings.
A used motorcycle, for example, offers a great way to introduce a beginning rider to the road on two-wheels or check off the dream bike box for the veteran rider without emptying the bank account. Used parts also come cheaper but primary sought after when new parts for older bikes turns into a scavenger hunt.
But as far as used riding gear? Proceed at your own risk.
You can get away with some used riding gear like a jacket, pants or even boots because you can thoroughly inspect the product for obvious damage or integrity issues. Novice riders should probably buy new everything until gaining the necessary experience required to properly evaluate previously worn riding gear and protection.
However, no matter the situation, we certainly advise against buying a used motorcycle helmet. You can always go your own way and if a trusted friend or fellow rider has a used helmet to sell, you have every right to quite possibly grab a great deal on a well-constructed helmet. Never consider buying used from someone unknown especially off Craigslist and other internet boards.
Well, you say, of course a motorcycle parts and gear company would advocate for all things new especially an expensive motorcycle helmet! Actually, it is in our best interest to keep you safe and riding for years to come so consider the following as reasons to buy a new motorcycle helmet rather than a used lid, even a shiny and oh so bright one.
Pitfalls to Wearing a Used Motorcycle Helmet
1. Helmet History
Like a used motorcycle, you have no true knowledge of the helmet's history. Unlike a used motorcycle you can't repair unseen damage. In fact, you don't know if the inside protective elements remain intact or have been crushed and no longer provide adequate protection.
A used helmet someone tries to dump off as ready to ride probably has little if any external damage (outside minor scuffs and scraps) but a dropped helmet can show no signs of outer wear and have significant compromise on the inside.
2. Bad Fit
Humans tend to turn a blind eye to small issues especially when getting a good deal. You may have every assurance a used helmet holds just one ride under its chin strap, but if it doesn't fit well what good is it to you? Don't ignore the obvious - too big, too small, or you simply hate how it feels - just because a high-end helmet falls well within your financial reach. This advice applies to new motorcycle helmets, too.
Riders should replace helmets every five years regardless of use. Helmet safety technology, especially with the recent news on concussions, changes so quickly a five year old helmet generally has out-of-date protection. Also, unless you know inside and out the various makes and models available, that inexpensive "high-end" used helmet might be years older than the seller wants to admit.
4. Eww, Gross
Do you know what happens on the inside of a motorcycle helmet? Sweat. And lots of it. Like remove the helmet liner and wring it out sweat. Why do you think we sell helmet dryers? Sure you can wash the liner but you can also wash someone else's toothbrush before using it. You want a helmet that has logged thousands of miles on top of someone's sweaty head? Go get your own helmet.
Check out all the scuff marks on this Used Shoei Helmet
We fully understand the expense of riding gear, especially helmets, and since MotoSport adheres to the old adage of "buy a $10 helmet if you have a $10 head" some folks don't have the means to purchase expensive $700 and above models. Thankfully, we don't sell $10 helmets or only premium priced lids. All motorcycle helmets found on MotoSport have passed standards set forth by the Department of Transportation and some manufacturers put some models through the ringer for even higher classification from organizations like SNELL.
Moderately priced helmets don't integrate high-end designs and innovations but still retain the safety features available in most high-end models. Check out Picking the Best Motorcycle Helmet for more information on helmet styles and further thoughts to help narrow the choice on the best NEW helmet for you.