OEM vs. Aftermarket
Where do you get more bang for your streetbike buck
As one of the largest online parts retailers in the world, we are constantly asked one common question. “Am I better off going with the OEM part or the aftermarket that’s available?” As simple as it seems the answer should be, it really all depends on what parts you’re looking for. Sure if you get the OEM part you know it’s a genuine (enter your favorite manufacture here) part, but did you know that many of the OE parts are made by the same aftermarket companies you’re comparing against? We’re diving into the 10 most common parts for streetbike/cruiser owners to compare which is better for your hard earned cash. We’ll be using a 2015 Honda CBR 1000rr for our unit for its popularity and gigantic availability of aftermarket products. Sit back and read so you can see if we’re spot on or off our rockers.
OE Engine Parts
OE Price: Varies Aftermarket Price: Varies
When it comes to hard parts for your motorcycle (engine parts, gears, forks, etc) unless you’re looking at a specialty shop, you’re not going to find much in the way of aftermarket. Things like clutch baskets from companies like Barnett or Hinson Racing will likely be the closest aftermarket parts that you’ll find for internal engine components other than some misc. bearings. Even then, we still highly recommend sticking with OE for those. Know that if you have an older motorcycle, OE parts may be hard to find because manufactures are only required to make them available for so long after the last year’s production.
OE Price: $49.95 per set Aftermarket Price: From $22.95
Brake pads are one of those items that we mentioned are likely made from one of the aftermarket brands, but specifically for your bike. You can see that the price for the OE is substantially higher than the lowest priced Bikemaster brake pads BUT there are also pads priced significantly higher as well, like the Galfer Carbon Race Compound brake pad kits at $89.95. The difference is that the OE pads were meant for medium to mildly aggressive use on this machine, but that doesn’t mean people don’t push harder. If you do track days or are exceptionally hard on brakes during your pleasure rides, you’ll likely want to upgrade to a pad that offers significantly more bite than the stock pad.
OE Price: Varies Athena Complete Engine Gasket Kit: $356.95
Gaskets and seals are items that I’m fairly particular about. When I’ve used aftermarket parts, I’ve had a 50/50 success rate of them providing a good sealing surface or allowing an oil/air leak. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve used OEM gaskets on many machines with ZERO failure. The biggest downfall is that with most OEM brands is that they do not offer complete gasket kits, which means you’re left ordering a bunch of individual part numbers and they are usually substantially more expensive. If you’re in a financial pinch, the aftermarket might be your best option but otherwise I recommend you stick with the factory stuff.
OEM Price: Varies Aftermarket Price: Varies
When it comes to body work like fenders and fairings, we sell both but aftermarket brands like Maier will cost small fraction of what you would pay for body work from the factory. The advantage to the OE part is that all of the mounting holes will be in the right spots where they’re supposed to be. In addition to knowing you’ll have the proper mounting points, the colors will be right from the factory.
OEM Price: 119.95 Aftermarket Price: From 78.95
When it comes to clutch plates and which might be better, it really just comes down to personal preference. Regardless whichever way you’re considering to purchase, the kits we offer here are top quality. You can save by running the EBC CK Series clutch plates at $78.95 or you can go big and get the Barnett Performance Complete kit, which comes with everything you need minus a gasket for a price that is cheaper than the OEM plates alone at $113.36.
OE Price: $48.56 Aftermarket Price: From $50.95
In my opinion, it’s a no brainer when it comes to picking an aftermarket air filter over an OE part. When you get an OE filter, they do the job and nothing more BUT if you get a filter from a brand like K&N or BMC, you get a little more bang for your buck. Both of these filters are washable and reusable for only a fraction more. The OE replacement from K&N runs $65.99 with a high flow option for $75.99 and the BMC comes in at $82.95. So not only do you get better flow and filtering performance, but you also get the convenience of being able to reuse your filter meaning that you’ll get more use for a fraction of the cost.
OE Price: $1,864.95 Aftermarket Price: From $299.95
When it comes to exhaust mufflers, this is another one of those items where it’s a no brainer that you should again be getting the aftermarket part over the OE. Not only are you going to be paying a fraction of the cost by purchasing aftermarket, but you’ll also get a product that will increase performance while helping you shed weight from your motorcycle. You can also get some of the aftermarket mufflers in a variety of materials like Two Brothers Racing Silver Series M-2 slip-on in Aluminum for $481.95 OR dress it up with titanium by picking up the Two Brothers Racing Black Series M-2 slip-on muffler for $580.95.
OE Price: 107.95 Aftermarket Price: From $42.95
Batteries…… There are a ton of companies that have their own and in the end they all do the exact same thing. You can go the least expensive route with the BikeMaster AGM Platinum II for $42.95 but if you’re looking to decrease the weight of your motorcycle, you’re going to want to swap out to a Lithium Ion battery from a brand like Antigravity for $170.99. The Lithium Ion batteries not only decrease weight but also offer a more consistent power delivery for a longer period of time.
OEM Price: $65.95 Aftermarket Price: From $20.95
If you insist on getting your sprocket from the manufacture of your bike, go ahead and toss your hard earned cash away. Do you think Honda wants to waste their production money on a machine to make sprockets? Nope, so it’s likely that one of the brands we carry like Sunstar is likely making them. Advantages of purchasing the aftermarket range from a variety of metal like aluminum, steel or even titanium, a wide variety of sizes so you can change your final drive gear ratio even the chain size for quicker response and less drag. Figure out which side of the fence we’re on yet?
OEM Price: $35.90 Per Set Aftermarket Price: From $4.95
Maybe you wouldn’t have thought grips to be one of those items to be on this post, but fact of the matter is that they’re a regularly replaced item and if you go with the factory to replace them, you’ve paid too much money. From big, thick foam grips like BikeMasters Foam M/C grips to stiff rubber grips of various patterns like the ProGrip 724 Dual Density road grips, you’ve got an endless selection to choose from at a far lower price than what you would pay for OEM.
There you have it. Aside from a select few items, you’re just as good running aftermarket parts on your motorcycle as you would be if you ran the stuff from the factory. One significant advantage of purchasing aftermarket parts is that we have more warehouses across the country with a larger inventory of aftermarket so chances are you can have your parts within 1-2 days vs. our average of 4-5 days. The choice is yours and either way you go, we’ll be here to serve you with a great selection of parts, gear and tires at some of the best prices you’ll find on the web. Keep Riding!