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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 receive it.
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!
Aoki buy 1,000 pistons (of each model) from the factory. Below this quantity, the price increases, above this quantity it only reduces marginally
The dealer buys 10 pistons at a very good price.
You buy 1 piston, giving a profit to just 2 middlemen
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!
Aoki are passionate about giving the rider the best possible product at an affordable price.
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