OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. So OEM motorcycle parts are parts that are specifically designed and manufactured for a particular motorcycle model and brand. They are basically the parts that are on the motorcycle when it comes out of the factory. But aftermarket motorcycle parts are replacements for those OEM parts that consumers can purchase. This means that unlike OEMs, aftermarket motorcycle parts are manufactured by a third-party and are not manufactured by a company that is connected or authorized by the motorcycle manufacturer. However aftermarket motorcycle parts usually meet the same specifications as OEMs and can be used as replacement options for OEMs.
Comparing OEM motorcycle parts with aftermarket parts
One of the first questions that most motorcycle owners have when shopping for motorcycle parts is whether they should buy OEM motorcycle parts or aftermarket motorcycle parts. The common perception is that people only buy aftermarket parts because they’re cheaper or more convenient to obtain. But this is not always the case. In some cases, aftermarket parts manufacturers do such a good job in manufacturing a particular part that it becomes the well-known benchmark for superior quality in the industry. And obviously when the quality of something is better it is also more expensive. Some motorcycle owners even seek out such motorcycle parts and insist on replacing the original factory parts as an upgrade before the part even needs a replacement. So this is not a very easy question to answer and it really depends on the person and what they’re looking for. There are various things that you need to evaluate before deciding on which option to go for. I think the first question is whether you are looking to just have a replacement or do you want to make an improvement.
Pros and cons of OEMs vs aftermarket
If you are looking for an upgrade then you usually have no choice but to go for an aftermarket part. But if you are looking to replace your motorcycle parts I would suggest you consider the advantages and disadvantages of OEM and aftermarket parts. As we said usually the main advantage to buying aftermarket parts is that they are more cost-effective while looking just like the original and also often times being just as durable as the original. But there are also many disadvantages to buying aftermarket parts. The most important I would say is that there are too many choices to choose from so there is a high risk of getting the wrong product whereas with OEMs you can’t go wrong. Also as I said, except for special cases, usually the product of aftermarkets is lower than an OEM. And one other thing I have experienced myself is that aftermarket motorcycle parts don’t come with good warranties like OEMs.