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Are you shopping for a spare or replacement part for your motorcycle? Then, there are a few things you must know first.
That way, you won’t have to waste money because you bought a part that didn’t fit.
Tune in to discover:
- The differences between OEM and aftermarket parts
- How to determine your bike’s make and model easily
- Something CRITICAL to consider with electrical parts
Hello, and welcome to another episode of 30-minute motorcycling – a podcast for those riders who are at the beginning of their own Dual Wheel Journey, where you’ll discover something new about how your motorcycle, moped, or scooter works – in less than 30 minutes.
Are you looking for a spare or replacement part for your motorcycle, moped, or scooter? Perhaps you’re listening to this podcast episode in the background while you’re browning for a new exhaust, windshield, or even something as straightforward as a new spark plug?
Before you add those items to your shopping cart and press “Complete Purchase,” however, there are a few things you must know first – 5 of them as a matter of fact.
These things are what could save you from the trouble of spending money on a part for your bike, only to find out that it doesn’t fit.
So let’s not beat around the bush – what should you think about when buying new parts?
The first thing is to know the make and model of your bike. It might seem obvious, but it’s also crucial, as parts aren’t interchangeable between brands, or even models within the same brand.
The best way to determine your make and model is through the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN.
Think of the VIN are the bike’s social security number – if you enter it into a VIN database service for the country you’re in, it will tell you everything from:
- The manufacturer and model
- The year it was made
Usually, the VIN number is stamped on the motorcycle frame, but check your owner’s manual for more precise information.
In the case of the engine, it too will have its own number called the “engine number,” which is stamped on either the engine case or the rear of the transmission case. Again – check your owner’s manual for more exact information.
The second thing to know is the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts.
OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” and as the name might suggest, refers to parts that were made by the manufacturer. So for example, if you have a 125cc Honda Grom, and you buy an OEM part for it, that part is actually made by Honda.
Aftermarket parts, on the other hand are made by third-party companies.
Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages – an OEM part might be more expensive than an aftermarket part, but it’s a safe bet that the replacement part will be of the same quality as the old one.
That’s not to say that all aftermarket parts are garbage – there are many good aftermarket brands, but you’ll have to do your own research and buy from one that you trust.
It’s also worth pointing out that OEM parts aren’t flawless either – even the best manufacturers can make subpar OEM components.
In the end, it all comes down to whether you’re willing to spend a little extra money on an OEM part or take a little extra risk by buying an aftermarket part.
If you’d like to read more about aftermarket and OEM parts, I’ve included a link in the podcast episode description to a blog post about it.
The third thing you should know when ordering new parts relates to electrical components like fuses, starter motors, and headlight bulbs.
In this case, it’s extremely important that you get the right component – unlike mechanical components, many stores that sell motorcycle parts won’t let you return electrical parts that have been removed from their original packaging.
Therefore, if you’re buying an electrical component, ensure that you’re getting the correct part. It will save you both time, money, and from the ensuing frustration that comes from wasting money on the wrong part.
The fourth tip is that when you’re replacing a component, use it as a reference.
In fact, before you even begin to remove a part, take a photo of it. That way, you know:
Where it’s supposed to go, which way it’s supposed to go and if there are any cables or hoses connected to it, you’ll know where they go.
Then, as soon as the part comes off, you want to look at not just the shape of it, but also look for any serial numbers that might be stamped on it.
That will help you get 360-degree overview of what the replacement part is supposed to look like. On top of that, if you’re visiting a physical store that sells motorcycle parts, try to bring the old part with you – that way, it will be easier to find the correct part.
And the fifth and final thing you must consider is to buy the best possible parts you can afford.
Does it mean that you absolutely have to fork over the equivalent of $2,000 for an aftermarket exhaust? No – but don’t go dirt cheap either.
As the saying goes – “you get what you pay for,” and some parts like head gaskets might end up causing more damage to your engine if you buy them too cheap.
And those are the 5 things you must know before buying new parts for your bike – OEM or aftermarket.
Hopefully, you’ll keep these things in mind by the time you’re shopping for new parts.
Until next time, keep helmet on and your eyes on the road. Bye!