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I have an HJC full face helmet that is about 5 yrs old and an open face one that is about 2 yrs. old. As far as replacement recommendations...I'd say that there are alot of variables. How often is the helmet used? Under what conditions? Is it left baking in the sun when the bike is parked? I believe that as long as the lining and foam are not showing signs of deterioration and the helmet shell is ok (not dropped or abused), it can last longer than most people expect.

Also, an interesting aside on the DOT vs SNELL certifications. From what I've read, the SNELL helmet can withstand more severe impacts, especially when hitting sharp objects but the DOT is slightly safer in moderate to small impacts due to its softer foam which transmits less of the impact forces to the wearer's head. In any case, the studies showed that the greatest safety factor overall was wearing ANY helmet vs. not wearing one.
 
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