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Aftermarket vs. OEM parts

Before you start your hunt for a replacement part, it is important to acknowledge the difference between aftermarket and OEM motorcycle parts. Aftermarket parts should not be confused with counterfeit or fake products. An aftermarket motorcycle part is made by third party manufacturers.

These manufacturers are allowed to produce parts for major motorcycle brands since their products comply with safety, quality, and health regulations. This means that these products offer similar performance as the original part of the motorcycle. However, they are not connected with the original maker of your motorcycle, nor do they carry the branding of the original.

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and these parts are made directly by the biggest brands in the motorcycle world, such as Ducati, Yamaha, and Harley Davidson. OEM parts are preferred by enthusiasts since they help maintain the value of a bike.

It is up to you to decide which type of equipment you want to buy since the market of used motorcycle parts is filled with both OEM and aftermarket parts. Each one comes with its own set of pros and cons, and they vary in both price and quality, which is why it is crucial to compare and consider the advantages and disadvantages of both.

To make it easier for you to decide, we have gone and analyzed the pros and cons of both types, so make sure to take a look below.


Advantages and disadvantages of used aftermarket parts

The biggest advantage of aftermarket motorcycle parts is their availability since it is generally easier to find an aftermarket part for your motorcycle than an OEM one. The reason for this is quite simple. While there’s just one manufacturer that makes OEM parts for a specific bike, there are countless companies that are allowed to produce parts for most motorcycle brands.

Aftermarket parts also have a wider variety in both price and quality. The goal of many manufacturers is to make improvements to the original design of a part, and this can lead to improved performance and quality compared to the OEM version.

However, not all aftermarket parts seek to deliver improved performance; some put a bigger emphasis on affordability. This means that for budget-conscious buyers, purchasing a used aftermarket part may be the better choice.

Aftermarket parts are also available in different colors and materials, and this makes them a great choice for people who are looking to customize their bikes. If, for example, your bike manufacturer only offers a specific part in black, but you want it in red, an aftermarket manufacturer is likely to offer it in more colors.

As far as the disadvantages are concerned, the main one is that while you can indeed find parts of higher quality than the OEM counterpart, there are also plenty of models made of cheap materials. This means that you will need to do extensive research when purchasing a used aftermarket part to make sure it delivers the quality you seek.

Another big concern with aftermarket motorcycle parts that are not made by reliable manufacturers is that you can’t always know for sure if the part will fit your bike. With reputable manufacturers, this isn’t an issue since those parts come with specific fitment data.


Advantages and disadvantages of used OEM parts

One key advantage of purchasing OEM parts is that they provide the peace of mind that aftermarket parts simply can’t. With an OEM part, you are guaranteed the same level of quality as your old part that you’re looking to replace, which is why many believe that only by using original parts they can keep their bike running smoothly.

Original parts can also maintain the value of your bike, which is a big advantage if you are looking to replace a part of a vintage or otherwise expensive motorcycle. You don’t want to lower the value of your motorcycle, especially if you plan to sell it sometimes in the future.

With OEM parts, you also won’t have to worry about compatibility issues since, seeing as they are made specifically by the bike brand, there’s no reason to question whether the part will fit or not. This makes purchasing used OEM parts less of a risk, at least when considering compatibility.

OEM parts do tend to be considerably more expensive than aftermarket ones, and they can cost as much as 60% more. Most of the cost difference has more to do with the brand than the quality of the product. An aftermarket part of the same price will almost always be superior, as far as quality is concerned.


Know what you need

When purchasing used motorcycle parts, be them OEM or aftermarket, it is crucial to understand which part you need to replace. Some sellers may sell kits that include more parts than you need. If you want to save money, try to find a seller that can sell you individual parts so that you can avoid buying other parts that you don’t need.

If it is not possible to get only the part that you need, you can still take advantage of the price that the kit offers and stock up on some spare parts, since you can never know when you’ll need them.

When purchasing parts made by third party manufacturers, it is also important to take the time and research to see if the part is compatible with your bike. If the seller seems knowledgeable, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask him or her if the parts are compatible with your motorcycle brand and model.

If you get the wrong part, it can not only damage your bike but with a used part, it is harder to get a replacement or your money back. This is why it is so important to do your research beforehand if you don’t want to waste your money.


Find a reputable seller

There are plenty of legitimate online sellers that specialize in selling used motorcycle parts, so finding a site that you feel comfortable using and that ships items to your area, shouldn’t require too much research. It is easier to buy online than to visit local shops since you have a wider variety of products to choose from.

However, if you do know local shops that sell used motorcycle parts, it will certainly not hurt to try looking for parts there as well. What’s great about buying online is that it is easier to find the part you need for a good price. You also have access to seller reviews, which should make it easier to identify which sellers can be trusted.

Amazon and eBay are some of the top websites that sell used motorcycle parts, and they also make it easier to gauge the reliability of a seller. You shouldn’t limit yourself just to these websites, however. You can also use Google to see reviews of businesses, which should make it easier to get an honest look at what experience other customers had with a specific shop.


Compare prices and quality

When purchasing used motorcycle parts, it may be tempting to go with the cheapest product out there, but just because a part is cheap, it doesn’t mean that it delivers the best value. To get both performance and value, you should try and compare price and quality between different sellers and choose the highest quality product that is available at the lowest price.

Most reputable sellers will provide you with photos of the used part, and you should use the photos to get an idea of the state of the product. The part shouldn’t have any visible damage since this could impact its function. Some minor dents or scuffs may be inevitable, and they may not affect its performance, depending on what part you’re purchasing.

Thus, to summarize, purchasing used motorcycle parts is a very good idea, especially since nowadays, you can find plenty of reputable sellers to buy them from, both online and offline, as long as you take a few precautions.



A passionate admirer of all-leather Harley merchandise, Irina can help readers better understand the world of motorcycles. From the latest fashion trends to trip ideas for your next bike vacay, you will find everything you need to know about your two-wheel passion on this website.

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