OEM vs. Aftermarket Motorbike Parts – What Is the Difference

Repairing your motorbike could mean taking it to the dealer’s repair facility or taking it over to an independent repair shop. Alternatively, you may want to attend to the repair yourself in your garage. Your choice is also down to the kind of repair you want to do. While simple repairs can be handled by you, a complex repair will need special equipment and experienced technicians.

The motorbike parts you will get at the dealership will be OEM parts while independent auto sales shops and auto repair shops will carry aftermarket motorbike parts. You may want to understand the difference and the pros and cons of each before you head out to purchase your motorbike part.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) motorbike parts are parts or accessories made by the original manufacturer of the motorbike. Examples are Ducati, Suzuki and Honda. These parts are therefore brand new and are the original parts.

Aftermarket motorbike parts on the other hand are made by third-party manufacturers who are not associated with the motorbike brand or manufacturer. Therefore, these parts do not carry the original manufacturer’s branding, name or logo. However, the manufacture and marketing of aftermarket parts are not illegal and when compared to the original part/brand an aftermarket part/brand will perform just as well.

Those who prefer to use OEM parts over aftermarket parts will tell you they do so because they are assured of the quality and durability of the part which means no worrying about how well the replaced part will perform. Some would even trust a secondhand OEM over an aftermarket part.  

Another big advantage and one that is worth the cost (OEM parts cost more than aftermarket parts) is the warranty that comes with the part. Any issues during the warranty period will be sorted out by the dealership either through a repair or a replacement of the part.

The cost of OEM parts is an original parts manufacturer’s biggest disadvantage and the main reason why there is a thriving aftermarket parts business around the world. The fact that it is not the cost of material and manufacturing quality that makes an OEM part more expensive but its brand name is something those who opt for aftermarket parts argue against.

There are several pros to aftermarket parts. Top of the list is availability. They are easier to come by because several brands manufacture the part and it is available with multiple sellers both online and offline in physical shops. You will also find aftermarket parts available with your independent motorbike repair shop.

Secondly, aftermarket parts cost less than the original part. You will however find price differences between different brands of aftermarket parts. The more expensive parts will be manufactured by aftermarket brands that have made a name for themselves for manufacturing good quality aftermarket parts.

The key disadvantage with aftermarket parts when purchasing online is the concern with how well the part will fit the motorbike. Some manufacturers provide fitment data but many don’t.