One of the big questions that many new cyclists have upon getting their new motorcycle is whether they should look into aftermarket parts or stay with the manufacturer’s tried and true OEM parts. Whether you’re currently facing a scenario where you’re just looking to handle a repair or replacement, or you are considering the best way to personalize your motorcycle, it can be a big decision when comparing the two different options. In this article, we’ll go over both options as well as which is best based on what you’re looking for.
When it comes to price for OEM parts, there’s no getting around the fact that they are going to be a lot more expensive than their aftermarket alternatives. Be prepared to spend upwards of 60% or 70% more on parts than you normally would. This is largely due to the repair shops and dealerships needing to make their cut of profit on the parts when replacing.
Variety & Personalization
One sad reality is that, despite the higher price, you’re not going to get a lot for it in terms of variety or customization. Pretty much, you should expect to only have access to the basic stock options with only one or two tweaks. This isn’t a huge issue for part replacing but is pretty depressing if you’re trying to add things to your motorcycle.
On the other hand, while your choices aren’t quite as extensive, what you do have access to is almost certainly going to be available. When it comes to OEM parts because they are made specifically for that particular brand of motorcycle, they have a much greater inventory compared to aftermarket parts, which have a wider variety but less availability.
Again, because OEM parts are specifically designed for your brand of motorcycle, they are going to be virtually the same replacement part. That generally means that not only can you expect a relatively high level of quality, but a fairly consistent level of quality no matter how many different parts you need.
Unfortunately, when it comes to OEM parts and their warranties, you’re not afforded nearly as much time as you’d think. Most OEM parts have between 30 and 90 days.
Whereas OEM parts are notorious for being almost prohibitively expensive, aftermarket parts are also consistently recognized as the more cost-effective option of the two. Remember, not only are OEM 60 to 70% more expensive than aftermarket parts, but aftermarket parts are also 60 to 70% cheaper than OEM parts. That’s an insane level of difference for parts that are pretty much the same level of quality.
Variety & Personalization
Not only are aftermarket parts much more affordable than OEM parts, but they’re also considerably more varied. Simply put, while OEM parts are pretty much exactly what you got when you first purchased your motorcycle, aftermarket parts run the gamut of variety. Not only that, but they have a ton of different options that can be used to customize and personalize your motorcycle as well.
The downside to aftermarket parts is that, while they do have a wider selection, when it comes to actual OEM-related parts, they’re surprisingly lacking in terms of availability. You’re not going to have a ton of times where you’re going to be denied service, but, when compared to the standard OEM situation, you may have instances where you have to shop around to different stores.
Like their availability, aftermarket parts have a bit of a hodgepodge when it comes to quality. At some places, you can expect parts that are as good or even better than OEM parts. On the other hand, some other places are slightly worse. They’ll never be outright terrible, but you do need to spend a bit of time inspecting the parts more from this side of things.
Aftermarket supplies generally offer a pretty extensive warranty based on the place you get them and the parts you’re using. Big Bike Parts, for example (big bike parts), offers a 1-year warranty immediately from the moment you make your purchase.
Which Is Best?
Ultimately, while each person’s scenario is different, whether you’re trying to customize your motorcycle or just find a set of good replacement parts, it makes more sense to invest your time in getting aftermarket parts compared to OEM parts. Whether you’re interested in a more competitive rate, a more extensive warranty, or greater personalization, there isn’t any reason to not go for aftermarket options if given the option.
A great place for you to see some options for your motorcycle is bigbikeparts.com, which offers parts for an assortment of vehicle brands and ranges from strictly replacements to impressive add-ons and additions.