Functionality enthusiasts will swear by the OEM parts. They will take their cars or motorcycle to their dealership for service because they know they will get OEM parts. Performance nerds on the other hand swear by aftermarket parts. They say such parts boost performance of their vehicles, and that they are of the same quality as the OEM parts.
Who is right between these two groups? Are OEM parts better than aftermarket parts and vice versa? That is what we will try to decipher in this short post.
The main differences between OEM and aftermarket parts
When you replace a stock part of your motorcycle with an OEM part, you feel no difference from when you bought the motorcycle. So, OEM parts can be called as the best genuine motorcylce parts.
The reason for this is that OEM parts are made to restore the vehicle to its original state, when you bought it.
When you replace a stock part on your motorcycle with an aftermarket part, you may experience a boost in performance. However, this is not always the case until you have specifically ordered a performance part.
OEM parts are more expensive, but you should take that as a pro rather than a con. This part is stock. Even if it is made by a third party contracted by the original manufacturer, it is still a stock part. It also comes with a warranty of at least 12 months on both the part and labor. Some resources say that replacing a part with an aftermarket part does not void the warranty on your vehicle. You can always ask your dealer a question regarding that.
With the OEM parts, what you need is what you get, no twists, no modifications and no tricks to it. The part is the part and it will fit perfectly. However, when you are getting a part for after collision repairs, the OEM part may not be the best idea. It would be better to go for modifiable aftermarket parts. Say for example, some OEM motorcycle fairings can make your bike look gorgeous.
Aftermarket parts are affordable. They cost much less than the OEM parts. Since they are the reverse-engineered versions of the original parts, in many instances, they are better than the originals. Thus, some users say aftermarket brakes have more stopping power; others just buy some parts for aesthetics. Aftermarket side mirrors are better than OEM ones, and so on and so forth.
What is better between OEM and aftermarket parts?
This depends on the buyer entirely. Go for OEM parts if you would like to keep your motorcycle as stock as possible.
If you are a petrol head or a speed junkie and you like to push the boundaries, tuning is mostly possible with aftermarket parts. Besides, tuning and aesthetics go hand-in-hand. Some people consider their budget, thus going for aftermarket. Some will listen to their technician and lean any way he advises.
As to the question of what suits your needs best between OEM and aftermarket parts, the answer is both do, at different times. On this one, you will have to follow your heart.