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How to find whether a spare part is fake or genuine

Riders warned after fake parts haul

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The biggest challenge when buying motorcycle spare parts  is to determine whether the part is genuine or fake. There are two kinds of buyers; the one who always insists on buying genuine parts and those who prefer to buy duplicate parts as original parts are too expensive. However even the first type may end up buying duplicate parts supplied by an unscrupulous supplier if the spare parts are offered at a tempting discount.

Following these tips can help buyers pick the fake from the genuine.

  • Check the packaging

You should read the packaging carefully and check for bad spelling which can be a clue to fakes. Also, note whether the colour and design of the packaging is the same as others you have seen. Often packaging is copied, but the colours and design vary slightly.

  • Awkward language used

Many parts suppliers are in non-English-speaking countries so their manuals and technical documentation can include awkward English. However, the more awkward it is, the more likely it is to be fake.

  • Check the “Made in” labels

Check the country of manufacturing which is usually written in a small font. Use Google to find out if this country actually make these parts.

  • Asymmetry in parts 

Look closely at the part and you may find some areas are not symmetrical, have rough welding or a shabby finish. These are likely to be fakes.

  • Designs and colours are different from original

Usually spare parts are made by a number of different companies and all of them may not use the same colour or pattern. However, fake arts manufacturers usually have duller colours. You can compare parts from online supplier with parts from other suppliers to check the differences.

  • Few labels, designs or identification marks may be missing

Generally fake parts will miss a few of the designs, labels or identification marks on genuine parts.

  • Check the date format

Most spare parts made in America feature the date of manufacturing in month, day and year, while other countries may use a different format. If the spare parts are supposed to made in USA, check whether the date stamp format is according to US standards.

  • Uncommon packaging

If genuine part suppliers have not informed of any changes in their product or packaging and the part you are considering buying is different, do not buy it.

  • Too much discount

Most suppliers offer discounts as a part of their marketing strategy, which is acceptable. However if the supplier is offering an unbelievable amount of discount then you should be alert. If it’s too good to be true, then it’s not true!

If you find any of the above problems with the part, then it is wise to reject it.



  1. The big motor companies like to put out a load of BS about fake parts in the hope of conning people into paying a premium for something they usually get for peanuts.
    There are three types of “genuine “ parts. Those actually manufactured by the particular auto company (BMW for example) those made for the company with their logo on it and those nominated as genuine but branded by the oem Brembo brakes for example.
    Many of the parts in most vehicles will be made by multiple different companies most with their own logo branded on them rather than or in addition to the vehicle brand.
    So when buying spare parts you can often save a fortune by buying a quality part direct from the supplier of the actual manufacturer instead of paying a premium markup for something that may only have a new label slapped on the box.
    What every has to look out for is counterfeit parts especially those that are so bad that they fail immediately and can be life threatening.
    The air transport is the place where counterfeit parts have been most rife and dangerous.
    I heard of a major accident where a helicopter lost its rotors because the five hundred dollar or more each high strength bolts that hold the rotors on where fake! Some genius went to the trouble of copying the genuine bolts making them out of cheap materials that somehow weighed the right amount looked right and were actually strong enough to be torqued up and even last for a few hours until total catastrophe.
    The criminals were eventually caught and actually executed.
    Fortunately there are only a couple of parts on a bike that can cause serious harm if they fail and if they are faked so well that an experienced person could tell them from real ones they are unlikely to fail catastrophically, they will either fail immediately or not last as long as a real part.
    The parts that can be most problematic are brake pads and hoses and oil filters.
    There have been cases of fake oil filters just being empty cans with no filter media in them.
    When buying from the net look out for too good to be true prices, sites claiming too hard to be genuine etc and the shipping and handling scam where you pay a cheap price for the good but it costs the earth to ship it followed by fake customs charges.

  2. There wouldn’t be a market for fake parts if the manufactures didn’t charge such outrageous prices that are way and above common sense. It is an easy way to boost the income’s of the greedy share holders. Add a part number and triple the price.

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