Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
If you’re doing repairs or maintenance on your motorcycle, you’re eventually going to have to think about parts. You’ve got choices, and there are certainly pros and cons to OEM parts.
But what about aftermarket motorcycle parts? In some cases, you might consider them for replacing original equipment manufacturer components. Here are some pros and cons of aftermarket parts.
What are Aftermarket Parts?
Aftermarket parts are made and distributed by a company that’s not the original manufacturer of the motorcycle. There’s nothing wrong or illegal about the production or sale of aftermarket components, as long as the manufacturer doesn’t falsely label or market their parts as OEM or genuine.
Pros of Aftermarket Parts
They’re often easier to find than OEM parts. Many sellers (including us) carry aftermarket components, since they don’t have to be authorized dealers for the manufacturer to offer their parts. Aftermarket parts are generally easier to find in brick-and-mortar stores and online than OEM parts.
A second reason to choose them is the quality. In some cases, aftermarket manufacturers have worked backward from the OEM parts to create their own components. This means they’ve considered potential OEM flaws and improved upon them. Aftermarket parts can often be made of stronger materials and perform better than their genuine counterparts.
Perhaps the reason people shop the aftermarket sector is price. Aftermarket motorcycle parts are often cheaper than OEM parts, and offer a good tradeoff between quality and price.
One last advantage of aftermarket parts is variety. For example, the OEM manufacturer might offer only one color option for a replacement motorcycle fairing, while an aftermarket manufacturer might offer several color options for their replacement part.
Cons of Aftermarket Parts
There are disadvantages to choosing aftermarket motorcycle parts over OEM parts. For example, many aftermarket parts are sold without a warranty, and you might need to pay extra for one. There are also instances where the use of an aftermarket part might void the OEM warranty.
And there’s a flip-side to the quality issues. While some aftermarket components are of very high quality, others are just crude knock-offs that won’t last. Like for just about any product in existence, there are reputable and not-so-reputable companies that make aftermarket parts. Do your research before you buy any aftermarket components to make sure you’re getting something that won’t fall apart.
Finally, there’s the fitment. One reason people stick with OEM parts is that they’re guaranteed to be a perfect fit. There’s no second-guessing with OEM components. So before you buy any aftermarket components, make sure they’re actually compatible with your motorcycle.