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Why Are Motorcycle Parts So Expensive?

Why Are Motorcycle Parts So Expensive?

Motorcycle riding is a thrilling experience enjoyed by millions worldwide. However, it is expensive to maintain and customize motorcycles, especially when it comes to purchasing replacement parts. Motorcycle parts often have higher prices than any other automotive parts, making it difficult for riders to keep their bikes in top condition.

This article discusses the reasons why motorcycle parts are so expensive.

Why Are Motorcycle Parts So Expensive

1. Motorcycle Parts

Motorcycles can have different designs, costs, looks, and performances, but the basic structure remains the same. All motorcycles are fitted with tires, wheels, lights, exhausts, body panels, footpegs, handlebars, chassis, brakes, mudguards, drive, transmissions, etc. If motorcyclists need a replacement motorcycle part, they have two options: go to an independent motorcycle shop or visit a dealer’s shop. If you prefer taking your motorcycle to an independent motorcycle shop, you’ll find aftermarket parts. But if you go to a dealer’s shop, you’ll find OEM motorcycle parts.

1.1 OEM Motorcycle Parts

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are motorcycle parts produced by original motorbike manufacturers, such as Harley Davidson, Yamaha, Honda, etc.

The Advantages of OEM Motorcycle Parts

Perfect Fitment

OEM motorcycle parts are designed to fit only on specific models. You won’t need to make modifications or adjust their positions.


OEM motorcycle parts come with a warranty that guarantees you can replace any faulty products so long as it is within the time the warranty is still valid. Therefore, you should not need to worry about quality when buying OEM motorcycle parts.


Original equipment manufacturers test the authenticity and quality of their motorcycle parts to ensure you get the best products possible. OEM motorcycle parts meet safety standards and ensure your motorcycle is not damaged due to incorrect installation.

The Disadvantages of OEM Motorcycle Parts

Limited Availability

OEM motorcycle parts are not easily accessible and are in high demand. There are few repair shops or online stores that sell OEM motorcycle parts and you can't find any on display at repair shops. If you request OEM parts at a repair shop, the owner will have to order from a dealership and will take a while for the delivery to arrive.

More Expensive

Research has shown that OEM motorcycle parts are 60% more expensive than aftermarket motorcycle parts. However, the difference in prices depends more on the brand than the quality of the parts. For instance, aftermarket and OEM motorcycle parts may be designed by the same manufacturer, but the cost of the OEM parts will be higher once sent to a dealership.

Not Always Good Quality

OEM motorcycle parts are not always made with the best quality materials.

1.2 Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts

Aftermarket motorcycle parts are manufactured by third-party manufacturers not directly linked to known motorcycle brands.

The Advantages of Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts

Less Expensive

Aftermarket motorcycle parts are generally less expensive than OEM parts due to the high competition in the aftermarket parts market.

More Variety

Aftermarket parts manufacturers improve the design of original parts by adding colors and materials. Aftermarket parts are ideal for motorcyclists who love to customize their vehicles. Viking bags variety of parts and luggage available including, saddlebags, sissy bar bags, tank bags, tail bags, handlebars, sissy bars, fairings, luggage racks, and crash bars.

Easily Available

Aftermarket motorcycle parts are usually readily available. You can easily find them online or at any independent motorcycle repair shop.

The Disadvantages of Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts

Quality Issues

Most aftermarket part manufacturers try to create improved versions of original parts. However, there are exceptions where aftermarket part manufacturers create cheaper copies of the original parts. It is recommended you conduct research to find a trusted aftermarket part manufacturer.

Warranty Issues

Aftermarket motorcycle parts generally do not come with a warranty.

Fitment Issues

Make sure that the aftermarket parts you want to purchase are compatible with your specific motorcycle. Aftermarket part manufacturers may not make model-specific parts, which means there’s a chance they may not fit on your motorcycle.

2. Reasons Why Motorcycle Parts are So Expensive

2.1 Country of Origin

Sourcing motorbike parts can be challenging and is a major factor contributing to the increased prices of parts. Source parts manufactured in another country.

2.2 Delivery

If you live far from a populated urban area, you may need to pay for transportation to have parts delivered to you. This involves transporting the motorcycle parts from the factory to the dealership where you’ll pick them up. Transporting motorcycle parts over thousands of miles will add a hefty cost to the total amount.

2.3 Manufacturing

Few factories manufacture motorcycle parts. Motorcycle parts are typically manufactured in smaller quantities than any other automobile parts, resulting in increased production costs per unit.

Additionally, many motorcycle parts can only be made using expensive and specialized manufacturing processes. For example, motorcycle engine components are made from highly-durable alloys that need casting. Such manufacturing processes can significantly increase the cost of production and the price of the finished part.

2.4 Monopoly

Monopoly factors significantly affect the prices of motorcycle parts. Motorcycle part dealers are often pushed by distributors to store and sell only parts from a particular brand. As a result, motorcycle dealers become unable to sell any other parts from other manufacturers and for different models. This monopoly on parts results in a loss of profits, forcing dealers to raise the prices of their parts.

2.5 Research and Development

Another significant factor contributing to the high cost of motorcycle parts is research and development. Motorcycle manufacturers invest heavily in research and development to create innovative, high-performance components. This investment includes the development and testing of new parts to ensure they meet safety and quality standards. The cost of research and development translates to motorcycle parts with higher prices.

2.6 Economics

Your country’s economic state can affect the cost of the motorcycle parts such as inflation, size of the market, etc.

2.7 Technology and Innovation

Motorcycle technology is constantly evolving, with new advancements being introduced everyday. Motorcycle part manufacturers must have cutting-edge technology to ensure they can match the rest of the competition. New technology can raise the cost of motorcycle parts, especially high-performance ones.

2.8 Distribution

Motorcycle parts are distributed via an extensive network of dealerships and retailers which can add a markup to the price of the parts. Markups and shipping and handling costs can increase the final prices of motorcycle parts.

2.9 Manufacturing License

A manufacturing license gives aftermarket part manufacturers the right to produce components from the original manufacturer. Having a manufacturing license also allows these businesses to alter the prices of their parts.

2.10 Branding and Marketing

Having a brand image is essential to be successful in the motorcycle industry. Motorcycle part manufacturers invest heavily in branding and marketing plans to promote their products. These plans can include sponsoring professional motorcycle racing teams, advertising campaigns, and partnering with motorcycle dealerships. The cost of branding and marketing can cause the prices of motorcycle parts to increase.

2.11 Supply and Demand

Some motorcycle parts, especially those for older or obscure models, may be in short supply. This limited supply can cause the prices of these parts to rise due to demand outweighing supply. If there is a high demand for high-performance components, this can also cause the prices of these parts to rise.

3. Finding Cheap Motorcycle Parts

3.1 Contact a Parts Dealership

Contact and speak with a representative of a local party dealership to see if any special deals are being offered. You may be able to purchase motorcycle parts at discounted parts and have them installed at a reasonable rate.

3.2 Look Online

It is possible to find great deals on motorcycle parts when browsing online. There are a number of websites selling motorcycle parts that offer excellent deals. Visit different motorcycle blogging sites and ask in the comments about online parts suppliers.

4. Last Words

Motorcycle riders often have to pay a lot of money to get replacement parts. There are various factors that contribute to the high cost of motorcycle parts, including production, research and development, branding and marketing, distribution, outsourcing, delivery, economics, technology, innovation, and supply and demand. Understanding these factors will help make it easier for riders to purchase affordable motorcycle parts and ensure optimal performance.

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