MMP 16: Snell Motorcycle Helmet Testing — Interview with Snell Director Part 3 [Podcast]

In this session of the Motorcycle Mentor Podcast, I interview Snell’s Executive Director, Ed Becker. The Snell Memorial Foundation tests/certifies motorcycle helmets. I spoke with Ed for nearly 90 minutes. This is Part 3 of our 3 Part discussion.


Click here to see a special shows notes page where you can listen to all 3 Parts of my interview, download a transcript of the entire interview, and watch a video of the Snell log splitter destroying tested helmets.

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2 Responses to MMP 16: Snell Motorcycle Helmet Testing — Interview with Snell Director Part 3 [Podcast]

  1. Ed Zaslow July 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    Nice podcast! In your very informative interview with Ed Becker of the Snell Memorial Foundation, you asked him a couple of times when to replace a helmet because of age. He seemed to give different answers—First he said that helmets really don’t have a shelf life because neither the shell nor the EPS liners deteriorate over time. But he also said elsewhere that the founder of SMF said “five years” and I believe that’s the official position of SMF. Which answer am I supposed to believe? Or perhaps I misunderstood his responses? Can you clarify? Thanks.

    • MotorcycleMentor July 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      @ Ed
      Not knowing what has “gotten” to your EPS liner is always somewhat of a mystery. That said, I think the early founders of SNELL advised a 5 year service life to be on the safe side. Also, the materials/standard were improving at a faster rate back then. My question to him regarding the twenty year old helmet, etc… was more an exercise on how the standards have changed.

      I realize my answer isn’t answering your question. My current helmet is over 5 years old, but I know exactly where it has been. The liner is still in good shape and it fits my head like a good pair of shoes. I’m probably in the market for an new one in the next year, but I don’t look forward to breaking one in. That said, use common sense and let the 5 year rule be a general guide.


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