Motorcycle Parts Online: Even OEM Parts Can Be Found on the Web If You Know Where To Look
The ability to buy motorcycle parts online is one of the best things about the web. I used to work about a mile from my Triumph dealer, but now I work about 50 miles in the other direction. Not real convenient and the nearest dealer is about 25 minutes out of the way yet. I'm a pretty competent DIY-er, so I don't think I'll be going back to the dealer for parts I can replace myself. Hell, I got the wrong parts about 25% of the time from them, so I can probably look them up better myself anyway!
It used to be that you could get aftermarket and performance motorcycle parts online or out of catalogs, but if you needed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts, you were pretty much stuck going to a local (or not so local) dealer, especially if you didn't own a bike made by one of the Big 4 Japanese makes. And since I own a Triumph (1997 T-595 Daytona) I was essentially screwed if I didn't want to go to the dealer for pretty much anything for my bike. No longer.
OEM Motorcycle Parts
Probably the biggest breakthrough in the moto parts world in the past few years is the availability of original OEM parts for bikes other than Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki or Yamaha. If you don't live near a convenient dealer for your brand of bike, you're kind of stuck. And if you get the wrong part from them because they looked up the wrong thing, you're fit to be tied. At least that's how I felt. Now, I can understand people making mistakes, but now that you can look for OEM motorcycle parts online, you can take your time and make sure you see the right part instead of relying on some 18-year-old kid who's trying to get you out of the store so he can get back to texting his buddies.
Bike Bandit is probably the best source for OEM motorcycle parts I've found. Their range is constantly expanding and the site is easy to navigate and there are parts diagrams so you can find the parts you're looking for and can get back out riding fast. They also offer aftermarket parts and riding gear, of course.
Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
For some parts, there are quality knock-offs or “aftermarket” parts available. These are typically things like oil and air filters, brake pads, chains and sprockets, etc. You can usually get these types of parts for much less than you can at your local dealership. They vary quite a lot in terms of quality, so it usually pays to go with a brand you've heard of or an experienced friend recommends to you.
Motorcycle Performance Parts
This category can be made up of both OEM and aftermarket parts, because motorcycle manufacturers have realized there's a lot of money to be made in making customers' bikes go fast. From racing exhausts, to programmable engine management and fuel injection maps, this is where to get that little bit extra out of your machine.
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