When it’s time for repairs or maintenance on your bike, you might be unsure of your options for parts. Do you go with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or save a little money and get off-brand aftermarket parts? Well, there is no single answer for that because it really depends on what you’re after and which parts you’re talking about. Dedicated motorcycle shops like Procyles can help you out with your mechanical needs, and understand the differences between OEM and aftermarket.
This is the big reason why people start to look to aftermarket parts when doing repairs on their motorcycles. They are usually cheaper. Of course, “cheap” can usually mean a lot about quality as well as what you see on the price tag.
While it may seem cheaper at first, some aftermarket parts won’t have the durability of OEM, so you will have to replace them sooner. After a while, they will stop being the cheaper option.
Looking for Quality
If quality is your biggest concern, you’ll probably want to stick with OEM parts for your motorcycle. Not only are the components themselves just made better, they are usually a better fit for your bike. Nobody knows your bike’s specs as well as the company who makes it, so it’s a just easy to expect that their parts will be the best match for fit and function.
This is the aspect to look at when you are talking crucial parts that are integral to the mechanics of the bike. Engine parts, gaskets, bearings, and seals are all areas where you really need to stick to good-quality parts to prevent any added wear-and-tear or damage from the parts. You don’t need to worry quite so much about the precision fit of a new seat or mirror in the same way.
On the other hand, if you like to tinker around and change things up from the original manufacturing specs, then you might have more fun trying out various aftermarket modification parts rather than always sticking to the same OEM versions. These could include modifications you do just for looks or to change the sound of the bike, or you could do some tweaking to (hopefully) improve engine performance with a little out-of-the-box thinking.
You may not have as much choice as you think, as availability will vary for both these types of bike parts. A hard-core bike store or a manufacturer’s own outlet may only carry official OEM parts, whereas the local automotive shop might only have a mixed selection of generic aftermarket pieces to choose from. Don’t assume that you will have a complete freedom of choice anywhere you shop.
If you’re stuck having to buy OEM or aftermarket when you would prefer the other choice, just remember that your new parts aren’t permanent. You can always switch it out later when you are able to get the item you really wanted.
Of course, these are just general guidelines. There are always exceptions, and there may be times where the aftermarket option is actually a better quality than the OEM version, or that the OEM ends up being cheaper in price. You should also follow these tips with other supplies that aren’t really parts, like the oil, lubricants, or filters you decide to use.