What we would like to explain is why these products are priced so competitively and
why you should not assume that by paying more for another brand of
piston, you are automatically getting a better piston.
The price you pay is influenced not only by the the production costs,
but by the number of people who have handled the product before you
Firstly, you should understand that very few motorcycle manufacturers
have ever made their own pistons. Just like tyres, batteries, chains
etc., they are bought in from a specialist producer. To further
complicate matters, piston manufacturers do not make the rings! Aoki
use either TP or Riken rings, (same as genuine).
This produces a
supply chain where each person or company who handles the product makes
a profit and increases the price to the final "end user", you the
rider. By choosing an Aoki piston, you are buying at the end of the
shortest supply chain!
Here's how it works :-
Aoki buy 1,000 pistons (of each model) from the factory. Below this
quantity, the price increases, above this quantity it only reduces
marginally "diminishing returns.
The dealer buys 10 pistons at a very good price.
You buy 1 piston, giving a profit to just 2
But what about the quality, where are the pistons made and does it
matter, you ask ? Well yes and no. Piston manufacturing technology has
not really changed in the last 30 years. It is well understood and good
quality pistons can be produced anywhere in the world. Our 2 stroke
pistons are cast and machined in Taiwan, whilst our 4 stroke pistons are
forged in Taiwan and machined in Japan. The fact of the matter is that
if you do not have a large Taiwanese content in the manufacturing
process, the cost is simply going to be disproportionately high. Don't
forget that the (skilled) labour cost in Taiwan is $100 per week. The
same machine tools are used whether they are used by $1,000 a week U.S.
workers or €700 a week Italian workers. If the product is made in
China, you should be paying a lot less for it. If you are not, then
someone is making a lot of money out of you !
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