OEM

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OEM is an abbreviation for Original Equipment Manufacturer. It is generally used to describe parts.

Literally, it is a synonymous with "stock", however, in usage it has a different connotation: "stock" tends to be used in discussions of performance or specifications, while OEM strictly means that it is the part that came on the bike new. For example, many different companies might manufacture Motobecane front pulleys that don't differ meaningfully from the original, and they would all be referred to as the "stock" pulley. However, only a pulley manufactured by Motobecane would be called OEM. Likewise, some might describe a moped as "all stock" when in fact it has had heavy cosmetic modification, with a full engine rebuild and many parts replaced with aftermarket versions, so long as the specs and performance of the drivetrain parts are the same as they were originally.

Collectors and restorers value OEM parts for their authenticity: even if a reproduction part is indistinguishable from OEM, there is a satisfaction that comes from knowing that your restored moped is exactly as it rolled off the showroom floor, down to every detail. However, advances in metallurgy and manufacturing techniques, along with the degradation over time of certain materials mean that reproduction parts may often be functionally superior to OEM. For example, few would recommend riding on OEM tires.


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