This is always a difficult one to answer when shopping for motorcycle parts and I firmly believe that each one of us must decide what's best for our bikes AFTER carefully evaluating each of the possibilities.
Well... it really depends on what I am looking for - just replacement or improvement - , the availability of the part, my budget and other things. Sometimes I buy OEM, others aftermarket motorcycle parts.
Keep reading. You will find some views that will hopefully help you decide the next time you shop for motorcycle parts.
What a heck are OEM parts??
OEM parts stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer parts which not necessarily mean the OM (Original Manufacturer) actually produced them. You know, many motorcycle and automobile manufacturers don't manufacture each of the parts used in their vehicles. They frequently have the parts designed and manufactured by outside independent companies and then, install them in their machines or put them in their own boxes to be sold as OEM parts!
Good to know when buying OEM Motorcycle Parts:
When you buy OEM Motorcycle Parts you are buying the exact same original part the manufacturer used to build your motorcycle, that means:
>> Same performance as the part installed in your motorcycle right now. The part won't be better nor worse than the original part you want to replace.
>> Normally OEM parts a more (in some cases MUCH more) expensive than aftermarket parts.
>> Motorcycle and car agencies clerks will normally tell you OEM Parts are higher quality and the best option for replacements. Is this true? Well sometimes it is, sometimes it's not.
>> Normally after a certain period of time, the manufacturer will allow the company that originally designed/produced the part to sell it in their own box at a considerably lower cost, making it: an Aftermarket OEM part! :-)
>> BE CAREFUL if your bike is still in its guarantee period make sure you use only OEM parts and have them installed by authorized mechanics. If you don't do so, you will probably void the guarantee.
What about Aftermarket parts??
Aftermarket parts should perform as well as OEM parts but are produced by companies other than the original manufacturer(s).
Things to know when buying Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts:
>> MAKE SURE YOUR GUARANTEE PERIOD IS OVER. In many cases, you can VOID your guarantee if you have an aftermarket part installed by an unauthorized mechanic in your machine. I know I said it before, but it's worth repeating; I happened to me! :-(
>> Equivalent aftermarket Suzuki motorcycle parts are normally cheaper than OEM parts. Sometimes up to 70% cheaper!
>> Aftermarket parts can have lower,the same or higher quality than the original.
>> When buying aftermarket parts make sure you are getting AT LEAST the same quality as the OEM part. If possible try to get some reviews about brands and performance. You can do it in the Internet, with your favorite mechanic or with fellow riders.
>> If you are looking for high performance parts and devices, you know the kind: carbon fiber, titanium, aerospace aluminum parts and gizmos, well you will probably find them as aftermarket motorcycle parts.
OEM or aftermarket motorcycle parts, sooner or later you will be shopping for them...
Enjoy the ride!
Daniel Levy is the owner and contributing writer of http://www.Japanese-Motorcycles-Only.com . He loves motorcycles and Web development. For more great info visit http://www.japanese-motorcycles-only.com/