Thursday, 13 December 2012

Aftermarket, Genuine, OEM, Pattern parts - what's the difference?

If you have ever felt confused about the difference between Aftermarket parts, Pattern parts, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts and Genuine parts then, worry no more, lose no more sleep, here is your definitive definition!

Aftermarket Parts


Firstly and most importantly - any and all parts which are sold for a bike after it has been sold, either a replacement part or something to customise it, are technically called Aftermarket parts.  These can be either Genuine parts, OEM parts or Pattern parts.

This includes things which need replacing - like oil filters for example.  Wherever they come from, and whatever they are for, parts which are bought after the purchase of the bike,  are Aftermarket parts.

At the risk of labouring the is a common misconception that Aftermarket parts are parts which are made by other manufacturers, not the original maker of the bike, but this is actually not true, it is in fact all parts fitted to the bike after it has been sold, whatever their provenance.

It is also sometimes thought that Pattern and OEM parts are inferior because they are cheaper - this is also not necessarily the case.  In fact OEM parts may be exactly the same as Genuine parts but have just come directly from the part manufacturer not via the Motorcycle manufacturer.


Genuine Parts 


Ok just picking Honda as a random manufacturer to use as an example here. If you come across something which says  "genuine Honda part" it means that the part has been made by the manufacturer who originally made them for Honda, for your motorcycle. However, rather than being sent out directly by that manufacturer, they are being sold and sent out to you by Honda and will come in a Honda bag or box! 

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts

These are parts which are manufactured by the company who originally made the parts and supplied them to the manufacturer of your motorcycle.  So they are actually the same as Genuine parts but you buy them directly from the company which makes them so they cannot be called Genuine parts but are called OEM parts instead.


Pattern  Parts

This means parts made by a company which is not the original manufacturer of the motorcycle or the original parts for it.  These parts are not necessarily of lower quality than OEM or Genuine parts, they maybe equally good and made to a similar standard, but are usually cheaper.

Universal or Custom Parts

...And just one more quick sub-category...Universal or Custom parts.  Universal parts are ones which are not specific to your motorcycle but are made as a universal fit body part to fit several different models.  Custom parts on the other hand are made to fit one model of motorcycle only...

In a nutshell:

*  All parts which are bought after the bike leaves the factory, regardless of manufacturer, are Aftermarket

*  Parts made by the same factory that made the parts fitted on the bike when it left the factory are OEM

OEM parts distributed by the bike manufacturer are Genuine

*  Parts made by a different company than the one that made the originals are Pattern



So - hope that is helpful and when you have had a think about what you want, and what your budget is feel free to have a look at the Wemoto website for a huge range of  Aftermarket OEM, Genuine and Pattern parts.  And if you are still confused, drop us a comment and we will endeavour to explain further ... if we can....

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