Regarding the OEM Cages vs Aftermarket debate on your side-by-side (SXS) vehicle, you have two main options: the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cage provided by the manufacturer or an aftermarket cage from a third-party supplier. Both options have pros and cons, and the right choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences. This article will explore the differences between OEM and aftermarket cages and help you decide which option is best for you.
OEM cages are those that the manufacturer of your SXS provides. These cages are designed to meet the specific requirements and specifications of the vehicle and are typically built to the same standards as the rest of the vehicle. Some of the benefits of OEM cages include the following:
- Quality: OEM cages are typically made to a higher quality standard than aftermarket cages. They are built to withstand the rigors of off-road use and are designed to meet the specific requirements of the SXS manufacturer.
- Safety: OEM cages are designed with safety in mind and are typically tested to meet strict safety standards. They are built to protect the occupants of the SXS in the event of a rollover or collision.
- Most are R.O.P.S certified.
- Compatibility: OEM cages are designed to fit perfectly with the SXS they are intended for, ensuring a proper fit and seamless integration.
- Accessories: Much easier to find accessories that fit an OEM cage, including windshields and roofs.
- Warranty: Many OEM cages come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which provides peace of mind and protection for any defects or issues.
- Resale value: An OEM cage may also help to preserve or increase the resale value of the SXS, as it is a factory-installed component.
- Cost: OEM cages may be more expensive than aftermarket cages. This is because they are typically made to a higher quality standard and are designed to meet the specific requirements of the SXS manufacturer.
- Limited customization: OEM cages may not offer as much customization as aftermarket cages. For example, they may not be available in different colors or with certain options, such as additional lighting or storage.
- Limited availability: OEM cages may not be available for all makes and models of SXSs. Sometimes, they may only be available for newer models or specific brands.
- Limited availability of replacement parts: If any parts of the OEM cage need to be replaced, it may be more difficult to find the exact parts needed. This can be especially true for older models or less popular brands.
In summary, an OEM SXS cage offers quality, safety, compatibility, and potentially a warranty, making it a good choice for those looking to upgrade or replace the cage on their SXS.
Aftermarket cages are those that are produced by third-party companies and are not affiliated with the manufacturer of your SXS. Some of the benefits of aftermarket cages include:
- Customization: Aftermarket cages offer more customization options than OEM cages. They may be available in different colors or with additional features, such as additional lighting or storage.
- Cost: Aftermarket cages may be less expensive than OEM cages. This is because they are not manufactured by the SXS manufacturer and may not be subject to the same quality standards.
- Availability: Aftermarket cages may be available for a broader range of makes and models of SXSs, including older models or less popular brands.
- Weight: Aftermarket cages may be lighter than OEM cages, which can be beneficial for those looking to reduce the weight of their SXS.
- Quality: Aftermarket cages may not be made to the same quality standards as OEM cages. They may be more prone to wear and tear and may not be built to withstand the rigors of off-road use and an OEM cage.
- Safety: Aftermarket cages may not be designed or tested to meet the same safety standards as OEM cages. This can make them less safe in the event of a rollover or collision.
- Compatibility: Aftermarket cages may not fit as seamlessly with the SXS as an OEM cage. This can lead to issues with fit and finish and may require additional modification or installation work.
- Accories: much harder to hind bolt on accessoiries.
- Warranty: Aftermarket cages may not come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which can be a drawback if there are any issues with the cage.
- Resale value: An aftermarket cage may not have the same positive impact on the resale value of the SXS as an OEM cage.
On the other hand, aftermarket cages may not be as high quality as OEM cages and may not fit as well or work as seamlessly with your SXS. They may also not be covered by the warranty on your SXS, which could leave you responsible for any defects or issues that arise.
In summary, it is important to look for an aftermarket SXS cage that has undergone safety certification to ensure that it is safe for use.
Which is Right for You?
So, which option is the best for you: OEM or aftermarket? The answer will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you value OEM quality and OEM compatibility and are willing to pay a little extra for them, an OEM cage may be the better choice. On the other hand, an aftermarket cage may be a good fit if you are looking for a more cost-effective option with more customization options.
Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to do your research and ensure that the cage you select meets the necessary safety standards and is compatible with your SXS. If you are uncertain which option is best for you, it’s a good idea to consult a mechanic or an experienced SXS enthusiast for advice.
At the end of the day there is a lot of great aftermarket cage builds out there. If you choose aftermarket make sure its from a quality builder and not a backyard machanic.
That’s our look at OEM SXS Cages vs Aftermarket. What are your thoughts?