OEM, genuine, aftermarket or used motorcycle parts?
30 November 2022
Genuine motorcycle parts?
Genuine parts are parts manufactured by the same company that manufactured your motorcycle, e.g. Honda genuine parts are manufactured by Honda itself for the huge range of Honda motorcycle models. Genuine spare parts are designed and manufactured to the exact specifications and tolerances of each company. You can be sure that they will have reliable performance and a long life.
Genuine parts are specially designed to precisely fit the motorcycle they are intended for, so fitment won't be a problem.
Advantages of Genuine Motorcycle Parts
Peace of mind: As mentioned above, genuine parts are specifically designed to match your bike, so if you order the right part, there will be no problem with fit and compatibility. Who would you trust more? The engineers at eg Honda who designed, built and exhaustively tested their bikes and parts or another manufacturing company recreating the part?
By using genuine parts, the mechanical parts of the motorcycle will continue to function reliably for the period of time specified by the manufacturer.
Greater value in the long run: Non-genuine parts and knock-offs are in most cases cheaper, so the initial cost is lower. However, by choosing to buy genuine parts, you can get more value in the long run as you save money, time and hassle. They're also usually superior in quality, so they last longer so you get better performance, often saving you the added expense of potential early replacement.
Manufacturer's Warranty: Using anything other than genuine parts on a motorcycle that is under warranty will void it. The manufacturer's warranty includes parts, so if something goes wrong, you'll get a replacement or repair from the manufacturer itself. On the other hand, if you use non-genuine parts, it will probably be invalidated.
Spare parts available for a longer period: Genuine spare parts are available for a longer period. Most aftermarket companies stop making parts for old or discontinued motorcycles as demand declines. Aftermarket companies do not want to be left with inventory as long term storage will be a problem and affect profit margins. Therefore by discontinuing their operations, they move on to more profitable segments. And genuine parts are also being discontinued, however manufacturers like Honda still produce parts for bikes over 40 years old, such as the Honda cub series. Greater Availability of Parts: In many cases there are parts manufactured only by the motorcycle manufacturer. Items such as bolts, nuts, screws and pins are often only available from the manufacturer. For new models it can even take years for aftermarket options to become available, as it will also take time for aftermarket companies to manufacture the parts.
Disadvantages of genuine motorcycle parts
Usually more capital: In most cases non-genuine parts are cheaper, so you save money on the initial cost upfront. However, as we mentioned above, these savings are sometimes not enough, as genuine parts are generally of a higher quality, so parts last longer.
What are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts?
Not all motorcycle manufacturers create every part for the motorcycles they produce. Sometimes they outsource to external companies to do this for them according to their exact requirements. These parts companies hired by original motorcycle manufacturers are known as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). These parts have the same advantages and disadvantages as genuine parts.
OEM vs. Genuine Parts: Are OEM and Genuine Parts the Same?
OEM parts manufacturers who sell parts under their brand name cannot be classified as genuine as they are not sold by the motorcycle manufacturer under their brand name and packaging. This is the main difference between genuine and OEM parts. For example, Honda uses spark plug specialists NGK to produce their spark plugs, such as the widely used NGK CR8EH-9 spark plug (part number: 98059-58916).
Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
Aftermarket motorcycle parts are motorcycle parts produced by companies other than the original motorcycle manufacturer. They are not affiliated with the motorcycle manufacturer, but can legally produce and sell parts for their motorcycles.
Genuine Parts vs. Aftermarket
The main advantage of aftermarket parts is that they usually cost less than genuine parts. Many aftermarket brands use lower quality materials compared to genuine parts to lower their prices. Many aftermarket parts are manufactured to be compatible with as many models as possible in order to increase profit and production efficiency. Because of this, several times you may encounter problems with fitting, while this is not a problem for genuine or OEM parts. Aftermarket parts can be more customizable compared to genuine parts, especially for accessories. There are usually more options with aesthetics, such as colors. Typically, aftermarket companies are slow to provide aftermarket parts options, as they will have to wait until they have access to the specs or the part before they can attempt to reproduce it.
Second-hand, used motorcycle parts
Used motorcycle parts are also known as second hand or recycled. This category of parts can consist of genuine, OEM or aftermarket. Used motorcycle parts are functional/working parts that have been used in the past. The quality and condition of these parts will vary greatly. Here, the price of spare parts depends on many factors such as the condition of the used part, supply and demand for the said part.
Genuine vs Used Motorcycle Parts
The main advantage of used parts over all other types of parts is the availability/rarity of new parts for certain models, especially classic/vintage ones. New parts may not be available as manufacturers have discontinued a model and aftermarket parts are also not available, so the only option left is used. Another advantage is in price, as long as there are genuine, OEM and/or aftermarket versions of the part available in the given period. However, this price advantage may be offset when you compare the quality of the used part to the quality of the new unused genuine part.