Whether you’re someone that needs to repair their motorcycle or just in need of replacing certain parts, one of the biggest issues you’re going to have to deal with is the cost. Replacement parts, especially essential parts, can often be quite expensive and quite a shock for recent motorcycle owners. These costs can be compounded several times over by sending your motorcycle out to a mechanic, who has to add time and labor to the end price, easily doubling or tripling the cost of the part itself.
Though this method is convenient it can also be quite expensive. Many people have, in response to this, opted to simply do the repairs themselves or with a close friend. Still, for many, the costs for the original parts can be too expensive. This is where aftermarket parts come in.
What Are Aftermarket Parts?
When it comes to mechanical parts for your motorcycle, there are three primary categories that they fall into:
- Original Equipment Manufacturer Motorcycle Parts
- Used Motorcycle Parts
- Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts
Both original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and used motorcycle parts are from the same manufacturing brand as the motorcycle itself. Generally, OEM parts are going to be considerably more expensive when compared to used motorcycle parts, as they are brand new and are the authorized option when going to any dealership or repair shop.
Used Motorcycle Parts
Used motorcycle parts, while technically of the same manufacturer and brand, are considerably less likely to be used, and can suffer potential deficiencies. As the name implies, these parts have been previously used, either from condemned or impounded motorcycles, making them considerably cheaper as a result.
Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
Lastly, there are aftermarket motorcycle parts. Unlike either OEMs or used motorcycle parts, aftermarket parts are made from third-party brands and are made by separate companies from the original motorcycle manufacturer. These options, while generally more expensive than used motorcycle parts, are much less expensive than OEMs and are often just as good.
Below, we’ll weigh out the different pros and cons of aftermarket motorcycle parts and if what they offer is worth the cost that comes with them.
Pros & Cons
- Affordable Cost: The first and most immediate benefit that comes with buying aftermarket parts is their cost-effectiveness. As mentioned before, you’re typically going to get parts that are of the same quality as OEM parts while being just as good. This is especially important when you consider many hard-to-find parts can be incredibly expensive as OEMs, and, simply by getting their aftermarket alternatives, you could save upwards of 70% of the costs.
- High Variety: Right after being incredibly cost-effective, aftermarket motorcycle parts are also extremely varied and extensive. This just means that you can reasonably manage to find just about any type of part that you’re looking for no matter how hard to find it may be. This is great as these difficult-to-find parts are more expensive than OEMs and almost impossible to find as used.
- Virtually Identical: One big point about aftermarket motorcycle parts is that they are pretty much mirror images of the original parts. Third-party manufacturers, while producing alternative options, aren’t opting for cheap knockoffs. In reality, they often follow very strict and precise guidelines based on the original part. This means it will share a near-identical level of appearance and durability as the original part.
- Design Flexibility: One thing that potentially makes aftermarket parts even more appealing compared to their OEMs or used counterparts is the ability to get designs and options that are not only just as good as the original but sometimes even better. Because third-party manufacturers can change the materials used, you can very easily see parts made from materials like carbon fiber or titanium.
- Warranty Issues: The first thing you’ll want to be aware of is that, not only do aftermarket parts not come with particularly good warranties, but by installing them, you run the risk of voiding the entire warranty of your vehicle. This means that, if you end up needing a repair, you may not be able to rely on your preexisting warranty to help cover the costs.
- Too Many Choices: Yes, sometimes you CAN have too much of a good thing. In this case, having an assortment of options can potentially backfire as you run the risk of getting the wrong part, something that is less likely to happen with either an OEM or used part.
- Compromised Quality: As mentioned before, generally, you can find parts that are either just as good or better than OEM parts. This is only “generally,” however. In other cases, you can come across parts that are actually of lower quality. In these instances, while the price will be more affordable, you may be dealing with a piece that is more in line with a used part or even worse.