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  • 2 Post By backofbeyond
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  #1  
Old 25 Nov 2014
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OEM or not?

Hi all,

When you tour so you insist on using OEM parts for your vehicle? I suppose for engine parts it is probably a good idea but having just been quoted for changing sprockets, chain, and brake pads as my Tornado is over 15,000k now, I have to say I am rather shocked! 250 USD for sprockets and chain - 80 USD for front brake pads on a XR 250!? I mean do Honda brake pads have some expensive property in them that others do not or is Honda just bumping its profit margins? Front brakes are critical obviously and I don't mind paying so long as its not a blatant rip off - what are your experiences?

Cheers!!!
Rtw in La Paz
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  #2  
Old 26 Nov 2014
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Depends on if this quote is from the a branded Dealer and if they included labour to install or not...if you are at the dealer - I say go OE as if there are any issues or problems with parts - labour will be included in replacing a defective item..

Now if you do all your own maintenance / part replacements, the OE stuff is most of the time only a smidge better if you comparing quality aftermarket parts,,

Normally there are aftermarket parts / consumables of very high quality and also bargain basement stuff at a much lower price... and those you normally get what you pay for...buy cheap get cheap

So if you buy high quality aftermarket stuff the price will not be that much better if at all from OE pricing..

Mind you I ride bigger bikes but $250 for sprockets and chain is very decent, and brake pads seem a bit high - normally 25-35 a caliper for high quality aftermarket stuff..

Cheers
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  #3  
Old 26 Nov 2014
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Thanks for your input brbo! I don't really think labour is really guaranteed out here - besides by time problems appear will likely be thousands of miles away. By the way is it pretty common procedure that when you change the chain you should do the sprockets too? Someone insisted to me this is cheaper in the long-run...
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  #4  
Old 26 Nov 2014
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There is a world of aftermarket parts out there - a whole industry to supply alternative parts for cars and bikes. Notice I didn't say cheaper or better although often that's the case. But often isn't always and it can be a bit of a jungle sorting the dross from the jewels. OEM of course bypasses all of that but for many consumables you'll be paying some kind of peace of mind markup.

In general I'm happy to dip into the aftermarket pond for -

Tyres (and tubes / rimtapes / valves if needed).
Chains - but you'll need to know your X factor from your O rings, your 420's from your 630's. By and large though chains are better bought in the aftermarket.
Sprockets - depends if your bike is catered for. Some bikes have oddball sprockets and it's OEM or nothing. Some of the aftermarket stuff can be err... made to a price and not wonderful VFM. Watch out for steel vs ally as well. Steel lasts a lot longer but generally costs more to buy. That's for the rear sprocket. The front one should be steel and a high quality steel.
Chain and sprocket kits can be good deals if you need to change both at the same time but often you don't. Historically the rule used to be change the sprockets when you could see the ends hooking over, then it became every second chain and now many people change them all at the same time as it's false economy to pay someone to change a chain and then pay them again to do the sprockets a bit later. If you do them yourself you can decide for yourself when's best. There are all sorts of arguments about this - part worn sprockets ruin a new chain, part worn chains ruin new sprockets, run them dry, run them oiled, too tight / too loose is what ruins them etc. An XR250 ridden gently isn't going to put a huge strain on a chain so with a bit of tlc - oil now and again, you should be ok pretty much no matter what you fit. Remember though that these things will wear out eventually no matter what you do or whatever brand you fit. It's only a real issue when either the chain snaps or a sprocket wears to the point where the chain rides over it.

Oil - I don't think I've ever bought OEM oil for any bike I've owned, ever. Filters yes but not oil. Pick a good brand designed for bikes and that'll do.

Other bits I wouldn't bother with OEM for include spark plugs, light bulbs (unless it's a really odd type), brake fluid, coolant (not an XR problem) and brake pads / shoes. With brake pads there can be quite some variability between aftermarket offerings but in general if a company known for its braking products sells something suitable for my bike I'd use it. I'd steer clear of no name stuff on ebay but in general a US /Euro brand should be OK.

Over the last couple of years when I've been buying spare parts for my Land Rover the specialist parts companies often have a choice of three options. You can buy an OE branded LR part in their packaging at (say) £100, or you can buy exactly the same part in the manufacturers plain box for £50 or for £25 there is a cheap copy that they get from - somewhere, eastern Europe or China. It'll fit and work and may last forever or pack up tomorrow. If it's easy to fit I may take a chance, if it's a PIA I'll usually go for the better quality option.
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  #5  
Old 26 Nov 2014
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It's a tough call.

With OEM you know what you are getting and can (hopefully !) trust it for quality, fitment and performance.

But sometimes pattern parts can be a lot cheaper so I can understand why people may take that option. However a cheap part may not be the same quality, you may wait a week for it to arrive and then find it doesn't fit, the part may fail prematurely and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere or you may find your brake pads delaminating half way down a steep descent ..............

There are, of course, exceptions - Dirt Tricks sprockets come to mind as an aftermarket choice which are actually a similar price to OEM parts but much more durable.
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  #6  
Old 27 Nov 2014
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There is nothing wrong with buying pattern parts, IF you
1. See it before you buy it and know whether it is cheap chinese rubbish or not (and have enough experience to make that call)
or
2. Aren't in a rush when you find it doesn't fit and have to replace/modify it

A lot of the dimensions for pattern parts seem to be measured by a dyslexic, blind 5 year old with a piece of rubber string. Not all of them, but a lot of them. Certain makes are better than others in this respect.

If OEM is $80, and you can buy it for $5, I can pretty much bet you from here that all it will do is frustrate you. Better safe than sorry for a long trip.
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  #7  
Old 27 Nov 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridetheworld View Post
Hi all,

When you tour so you insist on using OEM parts for your vehicle? I suppose for engine parts it is probably a good idea but having just been quoted for changing sprockets, chain, and brake pads as my Tornado is over 15,000k now, I have to say I am rather shocked! 250 USD for sprockets and chain - 80 USD for front brake pads on a XR 250!? I mean do Honda brake pads have some expensive property in them that others do not or is Honda just bumping its profit margins? Front brakes are critical obviously and I don't mind paying so long as its not a blatant rip off - what are your experiences?

Cheers!!!
Rtw in La Paz
First, sure chain and sprockets are totally worn out? They shouldn't be at 15K kms. (only about 8000 miles). If kept oiled and clean (daily please) it should last double that distance ... or more.

Check front sprocket, are teeth "hooked"? If not ... keep riding. When the chain is adjusted properly, can you pull the chain away from rear sprocket at the 3 O'clock position? If it pulls off more than about 1/4 inch, then your chain may be near it's end. If not ... keep riding!

A kinking chain is an early sign but a good OEM chain can often go THOUSANDS of more Kms. even when kinked. Clean and oil it well, it will last. Keep riding.

If chain needs adjustment every 200 - 300 miles, then likely on it's way out. Order now to avoid being STUCK. If it's holding adjustment reasonably well ... Keep Riding!

It could be Honda are using "other" suppliers for parts there. Who knows what sprockets and chain you've got on your Brazil made bike? Could be anything ... and THAT could be the reason it's worn out so quick. With Made in Japan OEM parts, the above figures would apply, with your bike? I've no clue.

Money wise you are sort of screwed being in S. America. Parts are ALL more money. (import duties) OEM is high but you may find it VERY hard (or impossible) to find decent after market parts there. $250 for both sprockets and chain is not highway robbery, not that bad. I would go for it. OEM sprockets are THE BEST, the OEM chain is likely a mid level DID O ring chain. Ok but not the best there is. Once again, unknown who supplies OEM parts for your Honda. My guess is they source from "local" Brazilian companies. (not good)

Here in USA you can buy decent aftermarket chain, sprockets and brake pads cheaper than OEM parts and cheaper than S.America.

The parts you DO find there that fit may be junk, not brand names. Look for EBC (or SBS, Galfer, Ferrodo, Braking, Carbon Lorraine) brake pads. An off brand may not be bad, but may not last too long. Unknown.

JT or Sunstar sprockets, DID, RK or EK chains. O or X ring a must. X is best (20% longer life) if available. (unlikely)

If you can get hold of Thai made JT sprockets, get them. Cheaper than OEM sprockets, quite good. In my experience, nothing lasts as long as OEM sprockets but JT come close. Sunstar also Thai made, not bad.

Chains: A high quality chain makes a big difference. Not sure anything decent
is for sale there aftermarket. I'm assuming your bike uses a 520 chain?:confused1: Common in most places. Let me know brands you can find there ... and maybe I can make a recommendation. An O or preferably X ring chain is BEST.

Made in Japan is really essential. NO ONE makes better chains and in fact most Chinese chains are junk ... will be worn out in a flash. They are getting better but still a LOT Of crap out there. Beware.

My chain preference is DID. But RK is good too if you buy their best chain.
Also try for EK. Not bad and cheaper than other two, nearly as good.
ALL made in Japan.

The problem is import duties you will pay. This will make ALL parts more expensive than USA/UK. This is one reason I harp on riders to start with a very high quality chain and sprockets and bring TWO spare front sprockets.

Changing front sprockets every 8,000 miles can extend chain life in a major way. Rear sprocket will live longer too.

Problem with sprockets is most have a specific bolt pattern (rear) and may ONLY fit YOUR bike (front). So, you may be forced to buy OEM Honda if nothing else is available that fits or is of decent quality ... which seems likely there. Perhaps in Brazil, where your bike is manufactured and popular, you may find aftermarket support? Dunno?

Sprockets> STEEL ONLY.
Not sure who supplies brake parts for your bike. Normally it would be Nissin.
But in Brazil, could be different? What name is shown on caliper?

You will probably have to go with OEM everything for now. Once you're back in Chile, thing may improve?

Suerte!
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  #8  
Old 27 Nov 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
First, sure chain and sprockets are totally worn out? They shouldn't be at 15K kms. (only about 8000 miles). If kept oiled and clean (daily please) it should last double that distance ... or more.

Check front sprocket, are teeth "hooked"? If not ... keep riding. When the chain is adjusted properly, can you pull the chain away from rear sprocket at the 3 O'clock position? If it pulls off more than about 1/4 inch, then your chain may be near it's end. If not ... keep riding!

A kinking chain is an early sign but a good OEM chain can often go THOUSANDS of more Kms. even when kinked. Clean and oil it well, it will last. Keep riding.

If chain needs adjustment every 200 - 300 miles, then likely on it's way out. Order now to avoid being STUCK. If it's holding adjustment reasonably well ... Keep Riding!

It could be Honda are using "other" suppliers for parts there. Who knows what sprockets and chain you've got on your Brazil made bike? Could be anything ... and THAT could be the reason it's worn out so quick. With Made in Japan OEM parts, the above figures would apply, with your bike? I've no clue.

Money wise you are sort of screwed being in S. America. Parts are ALL more money. (import duties) OEM is high but you may find it VERY hard (or impossible) to find decent after market parts there. $250 for both sprockets and chain is not highway robbery, not that bad. I would go for it. OEM sprockets are THE BEST, the OEM chain is likely a mid level DID O ring chain. Ok but not the best there is.

Here in USA you could buy decent aftermarket, chain, sprockets and brake pads cheaper than OEM parts and cheaper than S.America.

The parts you DO find there that fit may be junk. Look for EBC (or SBS, Galfer, Ferrodo, Braking, Carbon Lorraine) brake pads.

JT or Sunstar sprockets, DID, RK or EK chains. O or X ring a must. X is best (20% longer life) if available. (unlikely)

If you can get hold of Thai made JT sprockets, get them. Cheaper than OEM sprockets, quite good. In my experience, nothing lasts as long as OEM sprockets but JT come close.

Chains: A high quality chain makes a big difference. Not sure anything decent
is for sale there. I'm assuming your bike uses a 520 chain?:confused1: Common in most places. Let me know brands you can find there ... and maybe I can make a recommendation. An O or preferably X ring chain is BEST.

Made in Japan is really essential. NO ONE makes better chains and in fact most Chinese chains are junk ... will be worn out in a flash. They are getting better but still a LOT Of crap out there. Beware.

My chain preference is DID. But RK is good too if you buy their best chain.
Also try for EK. Not bad and cheaper than other two, nearly as good.
ALL made in Japan.

The problem is import duties you will pay. This will make ALL parts more expensive than USA/UK. This is one reason I harp on riders to start with a very high quality chain and sprockets and bring TWO spare front sprockets.

Changing front sprockets every 8,000 miles can extend chain life in a major way. Rear sprocket will live longer too.

Problem with sprockets is most have a specific bolt pattern (rear) and may ONLY fit YOUR bike (front). So, you may be forced to buy OEM Honda if nothing else is available that fits or is of decent quality ... which seems likely there. Perhaps in Brazil, where your bike is manufactured and popular, you may find aftermarket support? Dunno?

Sprockets> STEEL ONLY.
Not sure who supplies brake parts for your bike. Normally it would be Nissin.
But in Brazil, could be different? What name is shown on caliper?

You will probably have to go with OEM everything for now. Once you're back in Chile, thing may improve?

Suerte!
The front was clearly a write off - the back looked okay to me but changed it anyway on advice of mechanic. To be honest didn't really look after my chain and was pretty heavy on the throttle (no more given costs of replacing all this stuff!). I found a DID o-ring but seemed very over prices - went for a renthal R1 works chain not o-ring but assumed it will do for another 20k or more (with my new easy on throttle rule). It's gold links look proper snazzy too! I went with Honda sprockets in the end, although the teeth on the front were smaller than the stock and vice versa on the rear (wider) - well this aroused my suspicions but well it is an official Honda dealer so presumably they are what they say they are! Changed rear with Pirelli mt40 and tube - downsized main jet and got rid of the hideous rack I bought in Chile for a much lighter one - hopefully all ready for some more altiplano action!!!

Ps - Molly what's your opinion on foam air filters? My old Honda one was paper and got wet so went in the bin! I bought a relatively cheap foam one but mechanics at Honda here in la Paz don't seem impressed and insist I buy a paper one? What do you reckon?
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  #9  
Old 27 Nov 2014
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go with foam filter all the way. Just don't forget to oil it after you clean it.
Lightly, then wring excess oil out. Put a bead of grease along the sealing edge of the foam filter where it contacts the air box. This will help seal it and help keep dirt out.

Paper filters are a right PITA. I had one on my Vstrom and had to live with it as NO alternatives were available. But on your bike if you've managed to get a foam one to fit, all good.

Wash in Kerosene (or diesel) or just mild soap the water, rinse well. Dry.
then add foam filter oil or just motor oil. Wring out excess oil

Sounds all good on the Renthal and other bits and pieces. Hope she's running strong!
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  #10  
Old 28 Nov 2014
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OEM parts are often just the same parts you can buy yourself with a 50% mark up.

Brake pads, chains etc. The manufactures don't make these themselves. Most bikes are just a consortium of generic parts made by 1000's of different manufactures all thrown together in one factory.

Engine parts.... I always use genuine parts (except for gaskets and seals). I'll use genuine engine bearings too even though they're massively marked up. But I know they're up to the job.


Now, 'Pattern' parts can be FAR better than OEM. eg. Chains on BMW's are cheap junk. And they cost twice as much as the far superior DID equivalents.


Specifically to your question...

Honda Brakes are normally NISSIN. They will be the same pad for 100's of other bikes. Honda charge you 50% more just to put them in a Honda box.

Sprockets... Go for Steel. JT are the best pattern ones I've found. I use them all the time. And for chains, go for a DID 0-ring or X-ring.
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  #11  
Old 12 Dec 2014
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This is a world of common sense. Tell me, are you using the same tyre's that came with your bike? Or spark plug's, as has been said before. Let me give you an example. From my Suzuki. A brake micro switch in the leaver. Suzuki part £25. Go to a local electrical shop. Show them the switch. Yes mate got one of them, How much. 25p each. At that price I'll take 4 for a quid, put the spare on a box in the garage. Me like every one else, has an industrial estate near by. Took my wheel bearing back and front to them. Got any thing like that. This was on my Honda. We have better one's of a higher speck. Back £10 each front £7 each. Same bearing from Honda £60 and £40 each. So it's a case of have a good look. If you trust your supplier. Get the same paten number part but not in the bike company's packet. Chain and sprocket's. My garage maintance man get's me them. As I know he don't buy crap. If you have a good garage man, trust him to do you right.


I have no idea what I would do if I was away from my home town. Look local, or by OEM.
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