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Made in the USA: Buying Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts

Made in the USA: Buying Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts

Firstly, this isn't intended to be a political post - we're not trying to ruffle feathers. This topic has been a trend emerging across several US industries over the recent years and I wanted to address it, given that there are quite a few brands in the moto aftermarket parts industry that are made here, in the USA. I know, I know, I can already hear the groans about writing about American made aftermarket parts that are very likely to be installed on European or Japanese made motorcycles. That's another huge can of worms to open - later. Either way, I think the topic of American made motorcycle parts is worth going over.

What do you think of when you hear the phrase "made in America?" For many, it conjures up a kind of patriotic pride about supporting American businesses and, by extension, American workers. The economy is naturally a part of that train of thought as well. And that's a good thing, right?

Giving back to the community in this way is something just about everyone can get behind -- at least one survey estimates that around 75 percent of people living in the United States would prefer to buy American-made products* specifically for that reason.

I wouldn't argue against that being a worthy goal, but after doing some more thinking on the topic, I feel like the reasons go even deeper than that, specifically in relation to the aftermarket motorcycle parts industry. Even though many of the hot bikes these days are made in Japan and Europe, there's plenty of great aftermarket parts and accessories for these bikes made in the USA.

Stay with me...When looking for motorcycle parts, exhausts and other things to upgrade, there's not a single rider who says, "Gee, I'd sure like to put some substandard products on my bike."

Often times, we research the best part that works with our motorcycle and our upgrade goals. Each rider is different so there's ton of brands to help fill that upgrade void. We scour online motorcycle parts stores for our favorite aftermarket brands and then we look for the best price.

The reason is as simple as aftermarket parts often provide:

Greater selection: Compared to factory parts, you'll usually find a greater breadth of options in aftermarket parts. As they're produced by third party companies, you'll also find a greater variance in individual features among them.

Superior quality: Since aftermarket part suppliers don't have to conform to the generic masses, they can fine-tune their products to provide improved performance. Aftermarket parts often feel unique and better crafted than their factory alternatives.

Better prices: Because there is so much competition among aftermarket parts, not only is the quality going to be higher, but providers duke it out to offer better prices -- free market economics in action.

More freedom: You're more able to shop around for the best deal with aftermarket parts and more likely to find what you need from an online motorcycle parts store (like our store - yay!)

So, how does this relate to buying American made?

I think the better question would be how does it not? There might be a perception that American manufacturing has fallen off, that the products just aren't what they used to be, but when it comes to motorcycle parts, this assumption couldn't be further from the truth.

Look at aftermarket motorcycle part brands like Driven RacingCRGM4 Exhaust or Dynojet Power Commanders - they're killin' it in the market place and are near household names for most motorcycle riders and - guess what? - their products are made in the USA.

They all exemplify what an aftermarket parts manufacturer is supposed to embody and do it all while supposedly having a disadvantage of not sending manufacturing off to China, for example. The list goes on, and the implication couldn't be more clear: buying American made isn't just a way to support American businesses. It's a good way to ensure you get great products whether the decision is a conscious one or not!

With increased overseas competition (I'm yelling: globalization) and low priced knock-offs on eBay, giving a thought to where our money is spent and on what brands is also very important. Sometimes the lure of low cost items is too hard to pass up. To each their own, I suppose.

As a business model, "American Made" can prove to be quite difficult in certain industries like fashion or electronics but, it feels like, for moto parts, business doesn't seem to be booming or busting in relation to the geographic location a part is made in (assuming it's all for US market consumption). In a way, our industry is still recovering in this post-2008 world. I mean, its not that difficult of a pill to swallow when you consider that new Japanese sportbikes are just now being released.

How important is the sportbike to the overall health of the motorcycle aftermarket parts industry? If you consider the sheer number of products available for sportibkes and the average number of upgrades a sportbike rider makes....the answer is: HUGE. There's plenty of new parts being developed and manufactured and readied for the new crop of riders.

Continue reading about CRG Mirrors and USA made Seat Concepts Seats.

I've started my wish list already. What will you chose? Comment below!

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By Daniel Relich

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