Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts vs OEM Motorcycle Parts December 10, 2020
Have you ever wondered if there’s any real difference between OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts and aftermarket motorcycle parts? Maybe you have always tinkered with your bike at home and used aftermarket parts or taken it to a bike shop where they also use these parts?
On the other hand, if you have booked your bike into a dealership for repairs, you might have noticed that they only use OEM parts. So what’s the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts and if there are any differences, does it really matter?
Comparing OEM and aftermarket motorcycle parts
If we are going to compare the two sources of motorcycle parts, let’s look at some of the most important factors. These are the cost, quality, availability, compatibility and warranty of OEM and aftermarket motorcycle parts.
Cost of OEM and aftermarket parts
Just about everyone knows that OEM parts cost more than their aftermarket equivalents, which is likely to be the number one reason for not buying them. Prices can be as much as 60% higher, which can make fixing your bike a very costly endeavour. These high costs, however, can often be due to the brand (such as Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, and so on), because everyone knows that branded items cost more than their generic alternatives.
This is true for furniture, clothes, and just about anything you care to mention, and it’s true for bike parts as well. However, the point to remember here is that OEM parts and generic parts can often be made by the same manufacturer, it’s just that one is branded and the other isn’t. Which begs the question – why do some people feel that branded parts have more value than their generic alternatives? Given that the source of these parts can be exactly the same?
It’s also important to remember that not all aftermarket motorcycle parts are significantly cheaper than OEM parts. Prices will vary and this will depend on the brand. For example, a Yamaha part will be more expensive than a branded part from a well-known auto parts supplier, but there might not be much difference in these prices. This applies to both motorcycle accessories and parts. So price can be an issue, but not always.
Quality of OEM and aftermarket motorcycle parts
You might think that OEM parts are of a much higher quality than aftermarket motorcycle parts, but as we’ve just seen, many of these parts are made by the same manufacturer. In this instance, therefore, the quality of the parts would be the same. On the other hand, some OEM parts may be better than their equivalent aftermarket parts, particularly if they are manufactured in different facilities. Yet another point to muddy the waters is that some aftermarket parts can be better than OEM parts! This often happens when manufacturers reverse engineer these parts and actually improve them, building a better part than the OEM manufacturers. So the quality of these parts isn’t a done deal and it can take some research to decide which is the higher quality part.
Availability of OEM and aftermarket bike parts
Availability of parts can be the bane of a biker’s life, struggling to find the parts you need in a reasonable timeframe. This is often the case with OEM parts, because dealerships don’t hold a large stock of parts, simply because of the cost, storage and often the delivery times from the manufacturer. So if you rely on OEM parts, you might have to get in line with everyone else who is waiting for parts from the dealership. This even applies to bike owners who want to repair their own bikes with OEM parts and the local bike repair shop, because everyone has to get them from the dealership and wait until they return to stock.
The availability of aftermarket motorcycle parts is much better, because you can buy them from a variety of different outlets. If the part you want isn’t in one store, it’s likely you’ll find it in another store or even online. Bike repair shops are also more likely to keep aftermarket parts in stock and generally have no problem finding the part you need very quickly. So if availability is your priority, then aftermarket parts is the better option.
Compatibility of OEM and aftermarket motorcycle parts
When you buy an OEM part, you know that it’s going to fit your bike. There’s no worry at all whether a Yamaha part will fit a Yamaha bike (if you have the make, model and year correct), because these parts were built to be compatible with the brand and model. Compatibility can be a huge issue with aftermarket motorcycle parts used, however, because these parts are usually more generic.
They aren’t always an exact fit, because these parts aren’t always made by the original manufacturers. Just a slight difference in measurements can mean that the part doesn’t fit correctly, resulting in going back and forth to find the right fitting part. This isn’t always a problem, because you might never have an issue fitting aftermarket motorcycle parts to your bike, but it is a well-recognised problem with aftermarket parts.
Warranty of OEM and aftermarket parts
OEM parts are usually backed by a full warranty, which is why many bike owners prefer them, even if they are more expensive. It’s definitely a big advantage of using OEM parts, because the big brand names build their reputation on selling reliable parts. That’s why they have such a solid warranty. If the part stops working or breaks during the warranty period, they will replace it or repair it for you. It’s also important to note that new bikes under their own warranty generally require the use of OEM parts or you will void the warranty. On the other hand, many aftermarket motorcycle parts don’t have a specific warranty, other than a consumer guarantee in Australia that states that the part must be fit for purpose, in other words, it must do what it’s designed to do. So if a warranty for your parts is important, you might be better with an OEM part, rather than an aftermarket part.
At Motorebor, we sell both OEM and aftermarket motorcycle parts and we have a hassle-free refund or exchange policy. You can rely on us for affordable, quality bike parts!
Motorebor is an internet e-commerce based online shop in Australia that services customers in Australia, & overseas. We are Motorcycle enthusiasts and we understand your passion for Motorcycles and the ride!