Motorcycles are a fun and relaxing form of transportation. Choosing the right motorcycle parts can be a daunting task. Should you choose an original piece or go with an aftermarket component? Keeping your ride in its original condition means an original replacement. Choosing an aftermarket component can mean one of two things: you might be upgrading your ride or you may be trying to save a little money. Let's take a look at the difference in types. |
Original Equipment Manufacturer
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a term used to mean a replacement made by the original manufacturer of the component, not by the builder of the motorcycle. For example: your battery was built by a different company than the one that built your motorcycle. So, if you replace your battery from the same company that made the original, you're buying an OEM part. This is true whether you're buying a carburetor or shock absorbers. OEM items are usually more expensive. When you take your motorcycle to a dealership, you know you are getting an OEM component.
When you buy a part from a national retailer, the OEM displayed on the piece may be followed by the phrase "meets OEM standards." The original maker does not produce these parts. The company making the piece is claiming to have made the product to the original specifications and standards used by the original company. These items usually cost less than the original.
The original manufacturer does not make these units. Some companies make these items to function the same as the originals, or in some cases, to work better than the original. There are hundreds of companies that make aftermarket items.
Custom Motorcycle Parts
Custom parts are always more expensive. Whichever part you are replacing, a custom part will enhance the look of your bike. Whether it is a set of rims, a custom tank or seat, or even your engine, you will spend more money.
If you are replacing a broken item or customizing your ride, you should consider the part itself. Some items that meet OEM standards are not necessarily made with the same materials as the original. The metal used may be a mixture of metals that are not as resilient as the original item.
If you need a part and are not sure what to do, consult a local motorcycle dealer and get some advice from the head mechanic. While cheap imports are on the market, motorcycle parts made to original specifications are very easy to find.
When looking for motorcycle parts, Michigan residents visit Motorcity Harley Davidson. Learn more at http://www.motorcityharley.com/default.asp?page=parts.
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