Need replacements for your motorcycle parts? Buying a new motorcycle part to replace an old one is a major decision especially among people who have never owned motorcycles before. And although it is convenient to hire a mechanic to do everything for you, you can save more money if you learn how to fix your bike yourself. Before you try your hand at repairing your own bike, you need to know how and where to get the best motorcycle parts.
Defining Replacement Motorcycle Parts
There are three types of replacement motorcycle parts that you can buy: the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), used motorcycle parts, and aftermarket motorcycle parts. OEMs are created by the original manufacturer so they are specifically made for a particular motorcycle model and brand. But since OEMs are brand new and made by the motorcycle manufacturer, they are expensive.
Used motorcycle parts, as the name implies, are used parts and accessories that have been taken from motorcycles that are no longer running or have been condemned. Used motorcycle parts are very cheap. Although they come from the same brand, there is no warranty or even guarantee that the used parts will work or last a while.
Unlike the OEM and used motorcycle parts, aftermarket motorcycle parts are third party motorcycle parts or add-ons. This means that they are made by a company that is not authorized or connected with the motorcycle manufacturer’s brand. The aftermarket motorcycle parts meet the specifications to fit the motorcycle made by a particular brand.
Different replacement motorcycle parts have their own advantages and disadvantages and it is important that you decide which types of replacement parts that you should go for. This article will focus more on aftermarket motorcycle parts.
Advantages of Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
You can buy many types of aftermarket motorcycle parts. Virtually all brands of motorcycle accessories have aftermarket counterparts and it is easy to find one that is compatible with your motorcycle. Aside from their ubiquity, below are the other advantages of buying aftermarket motorcycle parts.
- Cost effective: Buying aftermarket motorcycle parts is very cost-effective. They are less expensive than OEM parts so anyone who is looking for hard-to-find parts can definitely afford them. A significant number of mechanics have chosen aftermarket parts because they are less expensive than the original accessories which equates to as much as 70% in savings or more in their purchase.
- Versatile users: There is an increasing trend of people using aftermarket motorcycle parts. People who build or customize their own motorcycles often use aftermarket parts to give their bikes fresh and unique designs. Aftermarket motorcycle parts are necessary for customization of bikes because bike owners can have more parts options as per their desire or requirement. On the other hand, people who have older bike models prefer aftermarket parts since these usually have more and better designs than the original parts.
- As durable as the original: Although not made by the original manufacturer, many people argue that they are not as durable as the original parts. Today, many third party manufacturers have raised or improved their mechanized equipment and engineering skills to provide top of the line and high-quality aftermarket parts. In several cases, the aftermarket parts exceed the original part's specification, improving on problems with the original design.
- It looks just like the original: High-quality aftermarket parts are difficult to distinguish from original parts. It is important to take note that manufacturers of the aftermarket parts need to apply rights in order to create a certain accessory. Due to this, third party manufacturers follow very stringent guidelines for creating accurate and precise accessories based from original parts.
- Flexibility in design: Many aftermarket motorcycles parts that you can buy have improved designs and quality. Third party manufacturers can change the design, material, and quality of a particular motorcycle part to improve further the capability of that particular accessory. This is the reason why you see many aftermarket motorcycle parts made from different materials like titanium, carbon fiber, and aluminum.
Disadvantages of Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
There are a lot of advantages for choosing aftermarket motorcycle parts. But just like other motorcycle parts, it also comes with disadvantages. Understanding the disadvantages is very crucial to help you make better buying decisions. Below are the disadvantages of buying aftermarket motorcycle parts.
- Too many choices: Having too many choices on aftermarket motorcycle parts can also be a bad thing. Because there are a lot of third party companies that manufacture them, finding the right one that will complement your motorcycle can present a lot of challenge as you might need more time to look for the right part.
- Higher risk of getting the wrong product: Getting the wrong aftermarket motorcycle parts can be downright frustrating because you may need to have the part replaced again with a new one. Some aftermarket parts may look the same so it is easy to become confused. This can be solved easily if you ask the supplier questions about the compatibility of the part with your motorcycle or take advantage of a fitment generator.
- Quality compromised: The quality of some aftermarket motorcycle parts may be compromised. Although some work better than OEM, some are really substandard. The challenge here is to find out which aftermarket motorcycle part has good quality. Some states have banned the sale and use of aftermarket motorcycle parts because they are deemed unsafe. Although this claim has been argued by many people, there is little evidence that majority of the aftermarket motorcycle parts cause invariable damage to motorcycles and compromises the safety of its riders.
- Warranty: Many people argue that aftermarket motorcycle parts do not come with good warranties. Unlike OEM parts that have longer warranties, the warranty of aftermarket parts may be shorter than that of OEMs. Moreover, if it is installed by a non-certified mechanic or technician, it can also impact the warranty of the part.
Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts Buying Guide
Buying aftermarket motorcycle parts can be downright difficult especially if this is your first time replacing your motorcycle parts. A buying guide can help you find the right motorcycle part that fits your needs. This also eliminates the need to reship your motorcycle parts because you bought an incompatible one. Below is a list containing tips on how to buy aftermarket motorcycle parts.
- Make sure that the guarantee void of your motorcycle is over: All branded motorcycles come with a guarantee period. You can void your guarantee if you install an aftermarket motorcycle part. Make sure that the guarantee period of your motorcycle is over before you decide to install an aftermarket motorcycle part. If you are still covered by the warranty, forget about installing an aftermarket part and go to an authorized mechanic instead.
- Understand what you need: When buying an aftermarket part, understand which accessories need to be replaced. Many aftermarket motorcycle parts come in kits or with few parts and accessories. Buy only the parts that you need; determine which parts you need to replace and you will avoid buying other parts that you don’t need. Or take advantage of kit pricing to stock up on spare parts.
- Research the brand: Aftermarket motorcycle parts are not generic brands. In fact, they are manufactured by third party companies that are well-known in this industry. Different companies produce aftermarket motorcycle parts that differ in both look and quality. Before buying one, make sure that you research the brand that you are going to buy. Some brands are more expensive than others while some have a better reputation. Make sure that you check the reputation and reliability of the brand to ensure that you are getting a good part. Remember aftermarket parts from a reputable third party company are nearly as good or even better than OEM parts.
- Check the quality: When buying an aftermarket part, make sure that you get one that has the same quality as an OEM part. Determining the quality of the aftermarket motorcycle part can be challenging if it is your first time buying one. Read reviews about the different performance and brand of aftermarket motorcycle parts that are compatible with your bike. You can find different reviews of replacement motorcycle parts from many online forums. You can also ask your mechanic or fellow riders for their suggestions.
- Look for a reputable dealer: Look for a reputable dealer who sells aftermarket motorcycle parts. A reliable dealer should know about the different manufacturers that create third party accessories and parts. They should also be knowledgeable on the latest parts that are available in the market. Finding a good dealer will help you buy the best quality aftermarket replacement parts for your motorcycle.
- Buy online: Buying aftermarket motorcycle parts online can help you save a lot of money with your purchase. You will also have higher chances of finding the part that you are looking for if you shop online. There are many legitimate online sellers that specialize in aftermarket motorcycle parts. The best thing about buying online is that you don’t need to waste your time, effort, money, and fuel hunting for small motorcycle parts. Most online stores offer huge discounts on their aftermarket motorcycle parts. They may also include free shipping for your purchase. Before checking out your purchases, it is important that you inspect the reputation of the shop by checking for reviews. This is necessary so that you can get the best value for your money.
- Ask questions: Once you have found a reputable dealer, make sure that you ask questions. Ask for the specs of the motorcycle parts that you want to buy and check if they are compatible with the brand and model (including sub-models) of the motorcycle that you have. Also, ask for the guarantee period of the aftermarket parts if there are any. Asking questions can save you from making mistakes in your purchase.
Owning a motorcycle is a great experience. However, the excitement of owning a motorcycle can be dampened as soon as you realize that your motorcycle needs to be repaired. While there are great resources online that can teach you how to repair your motorcycle without hiring a mechanic, it is still valuable to know where to get the right motorcycle parts. There are hundreds of motorcycle parts that are available and choosing the aftermarket motorcycle parts can revitalize your motorcycle. Buying aftermarket motorcycle parts can be very overwhelming as there are a lot of things that you need to consider but if you have the right information, shopping for the right one that suits your needs can be an easy task.