Owning a bike and maintaining it for performance year after year are two different things.
With years of usage, motorcycle parts are bound to undergo natural wear and tear. And who can blame the manufacturers for it?
Nonetheless, regular maintenance tasks would include the replacement or repair of certain parts. And this is when the age-old question would pop up in your mind – whether to buy OEM parts or go for performance/aftermarket parts.
Well, it’s pretty natural to have this dilemma, especially when you consider the cost and durability of these spares.
To put it simply, OEM parts are generally fit for all needs. But seldom, aftermarket parts prove to be a better choice. And sometimes, it could genuinely be a toss between these two.
What are these situations, and how do you decide which ones to choose?
Here in this article, we’ve listed some of these scenarios.
So, sit back on your saddles and scroll down to learn more.
Before We Move Forward…
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. As the name suggests, these spares parts are manufactured by factory suppliers or contractors.
On the contrary, Performance parts are manufactured by a third party. The sole purpose of these parts, as the name suggests, is to enhance the performance of your motorbike.
However, in some cases, they may simply be a cheap replacement for OEM parts.
That being said…
The Difference Between OEM And Performance Parts
Apart from the general distinction in the manufacturing module, both OEM and performance parts can be entirely different.
For example, OEM parts being direct replacements for stock spares are guaranteed to perform. Meaning, they would continue to offer your bike the same riding experience as when you bought it.
On the other hand, aftermarket parts may need some tuning before they can be fit onto a bike. It means the riding experience is bound to change when you replace your stock parts with the aftermarket ones.
Now, the experience with aftermarket products would depend upon their quality and function. And not to forget, compatibility with your bike.
When To Use OEM Parts?
Generally speaking, when you wish for reliability and flawless fitting, it is better to for OEM parts.
Since these parts come from the same manufacturer and bear the same quality standards, they would not trouble you now or in the future.
This brings us to some replacements that should never be exchanged with aftermarket parts.
- When you need a replacement for your engine parts.
- Gaskets, seals, and bearings may jeopardize your safety.
- Parts like pumps, servos, and cables should also not be replaced with aftermarket ones.
- Most of the body parts, for their fit and finish.
- Electrical parts, as they are the heart and brains in modern machines.
- If you’re using your bike for the daily commute or running errands.
It is noteworthy that OEMs help preserve the resale value of your bike. Not that you’d be selling it out soon, but still, in case you decide so, having OEMs on your bike would mean you get the right price for your ride.
However, it is also noteworthy that to maintain its resale value, you’d be putting in a lot of money in OEMs.
This statement holds true, especially when you own a track bike or a motocross. For example, KTM OEM Parts would ensure that your bike performs optimally. But, at the same time, they would cost you more than any cheap aftermarket part.
Still, they would make up for the value in ensuring your’s and your bike’s safety in the long run.
When To Use Aftermarket Parts?
As mentioned already, aftermarket parts are usually meant for their aesthetic or economic benefits only. However, some aftermarket parts are meant to enhance the performance of your motorcycle.
For instance, you may go for track-version tires for your bike instead of the stock tires for better grip and longevity.
That being said, some other reasons to look for aftermarket or performance parts may include:
- Parts that may not affect performance but may still be needed to operate your machine.
- When the OEMs may cost you a lot more than aftermarket spares with no utilitarian purpose.
- When you’re going in for regular service or maintenance of your bike.
It is imperative to note here that aftermarket parts may prove to be a great deal in some cases, especially in situations where it may not affect the overall functioning of your machine.
Consider this list, for example:
- chain and sprockets
- exhaust systems
- footpegs and control switches
These parts, if sourced from an aftermarket manufacturer, may not cause much difference in the ride quality. Instead, in some cases, as with exhaust systems and tires, these parts may actually improve the performance.
Aftermarket exhaust systems are usually considered to improve the pickup or mileage of the bike. Likewise, aftermarket tires are usually considered for better road grip and control.
When Should You Toss And Decide?
In some cases, choosing either of the two options won’t make much difference, neither in performance nor in durability. For example, wheels, brake parts, suspensions, and batteries may not make much difference.
Ideally, these parts are more of the go-as-you-prefer kind of product. You can choose any depending upon your budget.
In other words, these parts would solely be your choice as long as they fulfill the need.
Who’s The Winner?
Well, it ain’t that easy.
In situations where your bike’s longevity, performance, and budget are to be considered, it is better to go for OEM parts. In other situations, where you might be willing to skip on some of these features to boost others, going for aftermarket parts could be a great choice.
For example, you may not want to make any changes to the engine components such as pistons or the drive train. Whereas, to gain access to more power, you might be willing to give up on the mileage factor.
The decision to choose OEMs or aftermarket performance parts would solely depend on what you want. And, of course, how you wish to enjoy your rides.
If you’re a track-racer, you might consider aftermarket performance parts for all your needs. On the other hand, if you’re a daily commuter, you might wish to get your hands on OEM parts.
Nonetheless, it’s a tough fight between these two, and there hasn’t been any winner ever since the motorcycles or other machines entered the market.