Arai XD-3 12K miles
Arai XD-3 purchased in Aug 2008
[ Monday - April
We know it all too well. Those of us that love motorcycling are
more than aware that we have to perform regular maintenance on our
motorcycle to keep everything in tip top shape for whatever lies in
front of us. This also ensures that our machine doesn't break
down in the
middle of freakin' nowhere. I'm a 12K a year rider so I'm more
familiar with the regular maintenance intervals. My machine
receives two service intervals a year. Of course this doesn't
count tire changes. This is
all well and good, but when was the last time you performed a 12K
miles service on your helmet? Yes. You read that
12K miles service on a helmet. Another way of asking this
is... when was the last time you changed out cheek pads and/or helmet
liner? My guess
is, most of you haven't. There is a good probability that the
you have are the original pads that came with the helmet. "Why
want to change out cheek pads?
They're perfectly good for the duration of the helmet's
warranty." You can think that, but that's hardly the case.
Foam degrades over time. Just the mere constant physical pressure
will degrade the foam. Not to mention what UV and sweat will do
to the foam. The reality is,
nothing last forever and that includes motorcycle helmet foam.
What most people fail to realize is that the foam in their cheek pads
and helmet liner will go bad within one to two years of use. Of
course this depends on how often you ride and how much abuse you
subject the helmet to (e.g. heavy winds, etc.). For me, the Arai
XD series of helmet innards last about a year. undoubtedly
this is due to me putting on and taking off the helmet on a daily
basis. Wearing the
helmet for 12-14 hours at a stretch, on long trips, doesn't help the
foam much either.
How can I tell the foam needs to be replaced? Well, there are
several things I do to check.
No. 4 is the most obvious check. Just recently I went ahead and
put a new set of cheek pads in the XD3 and I wen "WOW!!"
Yes. It's a clear sign that the helmet innards needs to be
changed out. In fact I should have changed the innards out a
couple of months ago. The other thing I notice when I change out
cheek pads and liner is how much less fatigue I encounter when I'm out
riding around at speed. It sure makes a big difference with
eliminating wind vibration.
- If the helmet has a lot of play when I shake my head from side to
side (e.g. pretend you're shaking your head to say no with the helmet
on), it's time to change helmet innards.
- If the helmet is pinned to one side of my face and the other side
is barely touching in a heavy cross wind, it's time to change helmet
- If I touch the foam with my fingers and the foam easily give with
mild or hardly any pressure, it's time to change helmet innards.
- If I install a new set of foam cheek pads/liner and expel a "Wow!
What a difference!" when I put the helmet on, it's time to change
Bottom line... don't forget to take care and service your helmet, in
addition to your motorcycle, on a fairly frequent interval. I'm
sure your neck will thank you for it. Not to mention something to
the effect of the helmet being more effective in preventing possible
Be safe and ride smart... Cheers.
Written on: April 12, 2010
Last modified: April 13, 2010