Ask RideApart: What To Do With Old Helmets?

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Category: Ask RideApart

If you’re a regular motorcyclist then over time you are going to amass a huge amount of gear. Some things you’ll wear until they either break, get damaged or are just too dirty and outdated to use anymore. But what do you do with old helmets after that? Should you just hang on to them, sell them or even consider recycling them?

Question:

OK Motorcycle people, what do you do with your old/outdated/crashed helmets? I’ve got a few taking up space.
- @Rumblestrip (via @RideApart Twitter).

Answer:

Good question and one that we at RideApart don’t have an immediate answer for. It’s certainly something that can causes one or two problems as your home starts to become a graveyard for old helmets, worn out boots and, on occasion, some pretty smelly jackets.

Crash helmets, unless they have been worn very frequently or have been damaged, are still relatively new (depending on the year of manufacturer in the lining label) and can be sold on. But the person making the second-hand purchase is taking on a bit of a risk. They are essentially buying blind and don’t know what has happened to the helmet or if it’s still safe to use.

There are some alternatives to consider when retiring old helmets, some which are frankly quite innovative. How about using them for flowerpots in the garden? Some bright spark has planted up these and made a interesting display for their garden. Or how about adapting an old lid as a accent table lamp  in your living room? Your other half might not think it matches the décor but it looks pretty cool to us.

Others have suggested taking them out to the desert and unleashing hell with some choice weaponry – one of the more entertaining options. There are some other even more extreme suggestions that involve using them as portable toilets when camping but we didn’t like the idea of that, nor the imagery it brought on.

It’s also not clear if recycling plants would take them as there is a lot of materials to dismantle and sort in a motorcycle helmet. Some people have suggested the best thing to do is just throw in the trash. We aren't fond of that idea as it’s not very environmentally friendly and there must be a better use for an old crash helmet?

Anyone have better suggestions on what to do with an old motorcycle helmet that you can’t bring yourself to throw away?

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