Well, it was only a matter of time before this always controversial issue became to the topic of one of our weekly polls. With the recent discussion that’s surfaced over the last week about knock off and replica parts vs. the originals we figured now was a good time to tackle this topic head on.
Both sides of the debate are very vocal in their views, with supporters of the original parts saying that knock off and replica parts hurt the industry and hold back the development of new parts. Supporters of replica parts state that the lower cost replica parts help make the hobby more accessible and allow people to save funds for other parts of their cars.
The question is, where do you stand personally on the replica vs. original debate?
Of course there are many facets of this argument as well. What about used parts? What about parts from budget companies that aren’t replicas of something else? Etc.
Make your vote and discuss below.
Originals are for true motorheads with track in mind. If you have a 1000 euro car with hellaflush replica wheels, is ok too. I put the looks versus track and performance issue here.
Want just looks - replicas are ok
Want performance - then is the originals.
Simple, isnt it?
I bought a set of wood-spoked rims the other day for my Bentley. I'm sure I'll be fine under 80mph conditions because it looks hella fine with English engineering. #classy
why i widen steelies. they are original. not copies of other rims. cheap as hell online. they will take a beating.
Not all of us have the option of original when parts/cars have been discontinued. I have a BB6 and many of the optional parts and Aero are no longer produced.
Without originals there would be nothing to knock off. Unfortunately the kid with the menial job building a mk3 Supra will never get his car in a magazine or even enter a show so who cares if he uses knock-offs? If you're realistic about your goals for your car it will be obvious which way you should go. Shop builds, SEMA cars, race cars, show cars, all need to use the very best products available. No one at Burger King cares if your wheels are fakes and if they do, so what?
Aesthetic piece : replica/knock off = fine
Safety, load bearing or structurally stressed item : replica/knock off = Not fine unless quality can be assured
Representing something that it isn't : replica/knock off = never fine
I'm sorry, but much of what has been posted here in support of replicas and knock-offs is just not true. Despite what many people want to believe, replicas and knock-offs do harm the industry. It is natural for people to justify their own purchases and many get offended when it is suggested that they have cut corners with their project and contributed to the marauding of an industry of which they are supposed to be an enthusiast. They use the flawed rationale that replicas actually help the industry. That could not be further from the truth. People suggesting that replicas and knock-offs are "opening up the market" and providing competition are disillusioned. "I want it now and I don't want to work for it" is the mentality. The look of the authentic can be achieved at a fraction of the cost and, for many, that is enough. There is little concern for the repercussions of their decision to support a company that stole a design and that, with every purchase of their parts, drives the real talent and innovators of the industry just a bit further into the ground. We do not see it as much in the wheel industry because many of the top aftermarket wheel companies make most of their profit with OEM wheel manufacturing (Rays Engineering, Enkei, etc...), however, for a more telling picture of the destruction the industry suffers at the hand of knock-off and replica parts, take a look at aero companies. The parts coming out of Japan over the past ten years has drastically diminished. I think many people are under the illusion that these tuning companies are huge corporations like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Reebok. They are not. They are small "boutique" shops, many with a handful of employees. When, weeks after creating a great aero design, they are ripped off at the hand of a money-hungry replicator, they are forced to think twice about innovating in this market. They struggle to break even. The worst part? The better the design, the more "in demand" it is, as you put it, the more they suffer. That translates to the consumer suffering when here we are, ten years later, wondering why there are so few great aero designs coming out from the great Japanese tuners for our platforms. It is right there in front of us. It takes no skill, ingenuity, or risk for a replicator to grab a proven design - something that people want, and copy it with no investment at all. All the pro-replica personalities love to make the argument that, "if Company ABC isn't happy being replicated, they should lower their prices." These people do not consider the capital that was invested into the original design. Market research, design, prototyping, tooling, materials, and manufacturing cost money. It seems as though people selfishly quantify by way of, "What is valuable to ME?" as opposed to considering the elements of what is actually necessary in developing and manufacturing a high quality product. Think about it this way. It is easy for Replica Company X to suggest that JDM Originating Company is ripping you, the consumer, off by charging you $1,200 for their front bumper when you can buy it from them for, say, $500. What the consumer likes is the $500 price tag for something that looks the same as the real deal. What they neglect to consider is the fact that JDM Originating Company has spent thousands of dollars to design and manufacture that original front bumper. Then fly-by-night Replica Company X comes along, steals their design and sells it for $500 and comes out feigning superiority by claiming the JDM Originating Company is overcharging you. Apples to oranges. It is a completely different business model. Consider the fact that it likely costs this replica company $100 to produce that fake bumper and they turn around and charge you $500 for it? They are making a 400% profit on that bumper. And who is ripping you off?
modifying cars is expensive enough I dont see the need spending a fortune on wheels so I guess replicas are just fine if someone really wants the style in a cheaper way.... Im just happy enough when my car survives a race season so I dont see the purpose buying expensive wheels anyway
Original companies such as VOLK RACING develop certain products. When another company comes around and makes profit on something they didn't even remotely contribute on, WE as a community are not able to move forward. The now affordable product becomes just that. ANOTHER product...The market becomes so saturated with so many replicas of the same product that no new funds or innovation comes in and therefore it all FLAT LINES. I'll rain upwards the day R**A comes out with a new design which trickled down from F1 technology. Such as Volk, Enkei and others do.
IMO the used market doesn't hurt the Original companies as bad as a Monsoon of replicated products. The reason why the originals may continue to go up in price is because these companies are not able to make a profit due to so many counterfeits in the first place. If we as an industry supported these companies, the variety and support of QUALITY aftermarket products would only increase...
Support those companies that give back to the industry...not those that Cash in and walk away...
Buy whatever you want. Its your life, it is very short, don't waste your time on meaningless stuff like this...
Personally I've only owned wheels made by reputable manufacturers Work, Forgeline, Enkei, etc. because I have the money to spend on the real deal. If I did not have the $ to buy legit wheels, I would buy reps all day. If you can create a product that people want to buy and is affordable to a larger majority of people, more power to you! These wheels aren't even comparable. The Work, BBS, SSR companies aren't targeting kids that are more inclined to buy Rotas anyway, so I don't see how the replica wheel manufacturers are hurting the big names. If I don't have the money to buy the big names then I was never a potential customer, and by buying a replica wheel I have not taken a potential sale away from the big name manufacturer.
I never understood this debate. I think it's used by bloggers to drive traffic to their sites because they somehow get guys like me that really don't give a sh*t about what wheels/car the other guy is rocking to comment on a meaningless blog post...
Now that I've successfully wasted my time and everyone else's... I'm going to attempt to fit my Work Rezax II's onto my newly purchased Audi...
hmmm... It's almost impossible to get Wheels like Work or Rays in my country... Yeah-import ,but its too stressful and expensive.
So replicas was fine for me
Since I saw a Sakura's replica made by Rota... Okay I can understand a chinese Advans, they fits everywhere, they're cheap, "don't care about qualty, but they 're cheap an looks like real ones".
But they dug up a one of the rarest rims ever! Rota pissed me as hell! I hate them! Opel Tigra on Sakuras... "don't want to live on this planet anymore" :[
I think some people are misunderstanding the point here. Yes, there are very poor quality replica/knock-off parts out there. I am not, at this time, going to list them. We have all seen pictures and read forum threads about them. There are also replica/knock-off parts that are not poor quality. However, that does not take away from the fact that they are based upon a stolen design. I will use a TE37 replica as an example... I don't doubt that the Sportline TE 6 (ironic the name they chose) is a decent quality product. My issue is based on the fact that they copied a design from, very likely, the top wheel manufacturer in the world. They decided to steal a proven design, not because they are "opening the market" or whatever rationale the people making money off the sale of this product want to spew out to the disillusioned masses, but because they knew it would put money into their pockets. Let's not be naive here. If this company is so fantastic and truly has the best interest of the enthusiast at heart, they would be creating new, innovative designs to give the enthusiast options, not riding the coattails of, arguably, the most popular Japanese wheel to ever be produced, the Volk Racing TE37.I am happy to admit that, yes, I love JDM parts. However, I do not love them because I believe them to be far superior to every other part out there. I will say that I would never modify my car with a part that I did not believe to be superior to the part it is replacing (reasonable logic for anyone modifying a car, no?), but that does not mean that there are not quality parts that come out of the United States or any other place in the world. My affinity to JDM comes from the high quality, rarity, and, most importantly, the attention to detail. I am not suggesting that a set of Rays wheels are indestructible - that is a ridiculous claim. Yes, Rays wheels bend and break occasionally. However, there is a reason they are among the top wheel manufacturers in the world. And, yes, there are "enthusiasts" in Japan who are rocking fake wheels. That does not mean that their purchases of those unoriginal wheels is not, in some way, harming the original designer. It is. Although Rays has undoubtedly been affected by companies like Rota, Varrstoen, Sportline, Konig, etc..., they have survived having their designs ripped off for years because they make a large majority of their sales and profit from OEM manufacturing as opposed to aftermarket wheel sales. (Unfortunately, this is not the case with aero.)This issue is not about money, as people are making it out to be. This is about intellectual property theft. (Just out of curiosity, what are the replica supporters' thoughts on plagiarism?) There are plenty of affordable, original options out there for the budget-conscious consumer. I cannot tell someone how to spend their money. However, I do take issue with people suggesting that knock-offs and replicas do not harm the industry. That is just not true. There is much that goes into creating original designs and prototyping. It is not as simple as suggesting that "if companies do not want to have their designs stolen, then they should lower their outrageous prices." It's just not the case. Replica companies ALWAYS make more in profit than the original designers who pay to R&D their own parts. Short term greed leads to long term failure and, sadly, it affects everyone. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow. But it does. For evidence, we can look at the trend in parts being produced from great companies in Japan. It does affect everyone. People just don't care or want to believe that. If one's ride looks good today and gets a 'thumbs up' from the guy at a local coffee meet who could, in actuality, care less about parts for that car or a "that looks sick" from a misguided forum audience, then, in their mind, they have succeeded. It is sad. We see it on our forums every day with broadcasts of cars rocking fake parts showing off their "features." More often than not, no one says anything discouraging when someone posts up pictures of their fake aero or knock-off wheels. It should be the other way around.Yes, replicas and knock-offs are not going anywhere any time soon - in many parts of the world, but if we refuse to praise those corner-cutting projects featuring those parts or attempt to [politely] enlighten the people who may know no better, then we are doing our part in preserving a culture I have loved for years and want to see grow and prosper with the release of more and more great parts...
I'm sorry but there is again a few things wrong here, and I don't mean to criticize Mike personally with this, but here are things I would've done different.
A poll with that pretext and these kind of options CAN NOT SUCCEED. It does not contain any facts about wheels and why both kinds exist. Instead of settling a conflict here, it drives sides further apart and again is a false display of superiority and haters being reassured with the results here.
Of course the majority would choose ORIGINALS in this context, because it sounds much better.
Here is what should have been done (much of what I've written last week):
In the pretext, you put down the FACTS.
Let's start off with the obvious ones:
- Everyone knows that FORGED wheels are superior "QUALITY" (that's what we shall call "original wheels" from now on because that essentially the big difference). However, "quality" is not exactly the right word here maybe, because this socalled quality comes from the wheel being FORGED thus making it potentially lighter and stronger. Forged wheels do NOT BREAK, they BEND due to being FORGED and NOT CAST. That is all there is to it.
- Many motorsports teams choose CAST wheels (the socalled replicas) as their tools to work with for budget reasons. They choose to put the money in different spots where it may matter more to get faster around the track. CAST wheels clearly have a HUGE price advantage.
To the less obvious facts:
- Mostly the JDM wheels such as RAYS and WORK being considered the makers of the "original, good" wheels, but for some reason BBS, RAYS and WORK have the same design on one of their wheels. Peculiar isn't it?
- R&D applies to CAST wheels the same way it does for FORGED wheels. But "replica" makers choose to use the same design another company has used - the same way RAYS and WORK have done as well. Why? Because there is a market for it. Replicas do NOT HURT the industry. Because RAYS and WORKS and the others don't want to make a CAST, thus cheaper version of their wheels for reputation reasons. At least not all their wheels, which brings us to the next point.
- Most of those JDM wheel manufacturers actually do have some cast wheels. Rays got the 57D and Work the XD9, best examples, popular wheels. These wheels are not "knocked-off" either because they are already in a reasonable price range. Did you know they break too? Well now you do. It doesn't matter if RAYS or ROTA, a CAST wheel WILL break if put under unnatural stress, such as excessive amount of potholes. Many 57D and XD9 have been seen broken.
- Lastly, the price. FORGED wheels cost around 35% more in EU than in US/JP - effectively making them THREE TIMES as expensive as a set of cast wheels. To put that in numbers I'll copy-paste: "the SAME set of TE37 sold in the US for 3300 Dollar costs you 4100 dollar in Europe".
THEN, AFTER you have stated all the FACTS you give GOOD poll options:
1. FORGED: I think people should only buy orignal wheels (3000$) for their superior characteristics such as weight, strength and safety.
2. CAST: I think it is reasonable to buy replicas (1000$) for their huge price advantage and put the money where it matters more.
Then, dear Speedhunters crew, you have an objective poll.
I would like to also paste something I've written last week which has become all too common through the ease of use of the Internet.
"To the less technical side of things;
Unfortunately wheels have become main target for very simple reasons, they're the most obvious part of any car when changed, combined with humanity's urge to argue, for the sake of arguing.
I's also very interesting to see how different parts of the world and different scenes react to these things (not only wheels).
In the UK barely anyone gives a **** what wheel brand you run and they appreciate it.
On the EvoM forums you get almost kicked off when you just mention "stretch".
And in Germany you can GTFO if you drive anything but a German car."
Before you say anything; that I am a replica wheel lover for example. I just like objectivity and I run a set of genuine TE37SL.
Again, CAST wheels have nothing wrong with them, consider yourself fortunate if you can afford a FORGED set.
All I can say is everyone knocking on wheel company stealing designs are sadly misinformed. Almost all of the cool old JDM wheels are stolen designs from motor sports one offs. Allot of designs over the years have been inspired or lifted from race teams and even other car company's. As long as you dont try and pass them off as the real deal then why does it even matter. If I had a set of Spoon wheels on my Civic and swapped them for some Rota slipstreams is it going to make the car any faster or better?? No it will be about the same yet you don't have to worry about screwing up a $600 wheel.
This whole parts whore hatter mentality has to stop. If you have some legit parts power to you but I bet your a nervous wreck every time your out in your car or you just have a show whore and that quite honestly is just as bad as a ricer. Just enjoy the culture and quit hating.
Just like the late 80's if you didn't have a pair of Air Jordon's you where a pud. Not because the shoe was special or had some high tech wizardry in it. No it was just a shoe that cost $150 and did nothing to make you cooler or better. Just because you have the coolest parts or spent the most money it does not make you a better driver or a faster car. That's why we have this issue. Your just mad because the guy down the street has a faster car and only spent a tenth of the money lol. Its not what parts you buy but how much thought you put into it and how well it all works once its tuned. On that note I am going to hop in my stanced out 240 on Work wheels and my booming system and get some Starbucks like all my hipster friends.
Grow the F up people!
As long as the replicated parts are not dangerous or crappy to the point of losing performance and breaking, just let them be. If a person wants to have the same look for a lesser price, then so be it, leave them alone. However, more kudos and street cred should be given to a person who actually have the real deal.
LOL i sure hope all u legit guys/ anti replica guys all have iPhones n not a samsung galaxy! hahahahaha
Read this and you'll understand..So much education to do in this industry...
I'm not against either, but if you buy replicas, don't buy stickers and pass them off as the real thing. You look like a fucking tool then.
Lets say there is a really old obscure set of wheels that you like. Lets say they havent been made for almost 10 years and they almost never come up for sale, or if they do its totally wrong sizes and offsets. Now lets say the original company is long gone or has no plans of reproducing the wheel. Is it OK then to buy a knockoff? Absolutely.
Fake HKS blowoffs and such are never OK. But in all seriousness lets say Rota copies a wheel style no longer produced otherwise, well they have JWL and ISO certification as well as lots of track proven use. At that point its definitely OK.
Unfortunately I caved in to a set of knock-off wheels for the time being. I will replace them with a set of quality forged wheels when my budget permits. Otherwise, I run away screaming from knock-offs. You get what you pay for.
I love my car, so simply do the best i can to buy the nicest parts i can.
If cost alone was forcing me to compromise, then i wouldn't be doing it at all.
This definitely includes 'knockoffs & replica's'.. whether its a complete copied/fake/replica part, or even an imitation/design copy.
If there's two versions of an identical 'looking' part, why would i knowingly put the crapper version on my car?
Replica og real doesnt really matter to me. I've had replicas and just got me some original Ray's. Buy what you can afford!
What about replacement standard parts? I assume all anti-replica supporters have always purchased genuine replacement parts from the dealer?
@grandtouring So are wheels classed as a Safety, load bearing or structurally stressed item or an aesthetic piece?
either way......you make some good points but at the same time.... they're still over-charging. They need to adapt or be out of business... simple as that. Some companies expect to make back half of what they've spent on R & D on a single item.. maybe they should re-consider that profit margin. Because if everyone were buying "real manufacturers parts" these big companies would be absolutely rich. I support companies like shine-auto because they make quality parts for more than half the cost. It makes absolutely no logical sense for me.. a "privateer" to purchase a set of orgin-lab +50 wide fenders for my fd for 550...and end up having to wait 3 months for them to e-mail me back saying they're on back order when I could get a set of knock off ones for 150 bucks... they fit great and i'll end up smashing them up at the local drift track. I'm not rich..but I love my car and working/driving it. I might as well sell my car if i had to buy real parts. I stay away from knock-off's when it comes to engine components but thats about it. Everything else is either bought second hand or a knock-off.
@JDMphasis Hello JDMphasis, I don't mean to start an argument over this, but all you're putting down here are assumptions. Let's break this up.
Who told you that replicated wheels can be made just like that, don't need any testing or development whatsoever?
Replicas are always made in cast meaning its molecular structure is by far not the same as a forged wheel and needs testing the same way an original wheel does.
Prices for original wheels come from the process and materials that are being used when manufacturing them, resulting in a more expensive, superior item in terms of weigth and strength.You indeed get what you pay for.
Who tells you that orginal manufacturer companies would not make any profit making a CAST version of their FORGED wheels?
Fact is, those JDM companies make some CAST wheels themselves, which is exactly the same process that is used for making replicas. Thus you see the prices between RAYS cast wheels and ROTA cast wheels not go far apart.
Why would those companies not go for the profit with CAST wheels they are capable of making, effectively putting replica makers out of the market? My guess is reputation, certainly not because they would make losses. Look at Rotiform, they are doing exactly that, and are pretty successful doing so.
As previously said, "PROOVEN DESIGN" has nothing on the actual weigth and strength of the wheel when the whole manufacturing process behind it is different. For that, all you can say is not to pass a rep as the original, that is it.
About the bumpers you've mentioned it is fairly similar, the JDM original part makers have a reputation for incredible fitment. That plus the materials that are used for making such a high quality bumper push the prices up. Most replica bumper makers will not have the original mold and will use slightly less expensive materials to still make a profit. Same goes for wheels regarding materials, but there is no "fitment" factor in this analogy. Wheels have to be made to certain standards and stregths unlike body kits.
I hope you understand where I'm coming from, and no, I don't run replicas.
@Fg2_FrAn Unfortunately that's not quite how it works. Opinions don't matter, facts do. The price you're talking about is coming from how the wheels are made in original form, they are FORGED.
First off, let's state clearly, FAKES are not equal to REPLICAS. We will talk about replicas now.
Replicas do not hurt the market in any way, on contrary, they provide for DEMAND. If RAYS and co. would make CAST versions of their FORGED wheels there would be no market for replica makers.
Note that most wheels by for example RAYS or WORK that are actually CAST in original form (such as the 57D or the XD9) are not replicated due to already being in a reasonable price range. RAYS and WORK have used BBS designs for their wheels as well, however they have never gotten a bad reputation because they were made FORGED. FORGED wheels are potentially lighter and stronger, but CAST wheels only cost a fraction. Many motorsports teams on a budget choose CAST wheels. FORGED wheels don't break, they bend. CAST wheels are the same for RAYS, WORK and ROTA, if put under unnatural stress they may break.
Every concern regarding the main 2 aspects in this discussion about QUALITY (i.e. forged vs cast) and DESIGN can be argued against with the existing demand and the fact that the original manufacturers will not produce them. In 99% of all cases you will find that the original version of replicated wheels are FORGED and have a popular design (there are exceptions).
You can make analogies to all kinds of things with all aspects above. Like 300 dollar suit vs 5000 dollar suit.
The only thing you shouldn't do is passing replicas as the original. As for the rest there is nothing wrong with Replicas.
@JDMphasis though this was posted 2 years ago, and though im grasping the true meanings/Ins&Outs of a style i really love. For the most part i understand were your come from in the point you've stated the replicas and knocks offs are a problem. As i read the comments i've come to agree that yeah, there nothing like the original part and manufacturing of it. Originality of Japanese parts in general are a big part of the jdm style, to me its apart of what gives it its names. The problem is with the originally, hard work, & craftsmanship lies the vulnerability with in the making of the product because of the price tag placed on it afterwards. I feel if the producer of certain wheel companies that produce original products for the consumer would present other options around there product like a different line of wheel with reasonable prices. It sort of would be no need for replicas or knock off because it would be more options to choose from. But as we know people still are going to plagiarize but i feel with Originals with a reasonable price along with great options to choose from the original producer would not have to suffer
@JDMphasis Very well said ;)))
I think anyone who has any sort of $ and time invested in their car is always a bit more guarded than you are with your daily beater, or than you are with a bone stock car. It's just different.
You gotta understand, not everyone is mad because the guy down the block is faster for less. Lots of people don't care who is faster. Lots of rich guys down the street don't think about a 10 second civic dusting his Z06. It's not on his radar.
The whole industry has been turned on it's head in large part to what you said - people don't put much thought into the modding side as they used to. And they are doing it with a bevy of parts that just plain suck. And then they get jaded. And then they leave the scene. The industry, to a large extent, now revolves around the lowest common denominator. Now, I'm not saying this is the entire state of affairs, but it's certainly a huge portion of it.
There are many examples of people using real TE37 caps on their reps, or real BBS center caps on their reps. These are, by definition, poseurs and it's what so many people have a huge issue with. Do these same people rock fake Nike's? Or buy bootleg DVD's? Who knows. Then when they go on to sell the part, or their car you see an ad chock full of name brands. Because they know people will not be as apt to click on it if it's a laundry list of Godspeed, Varrstoen, etc. It's almost a basic human trait to defend what you spend your money on to those who might otherwise disagree. The fake funkers who buy Bride replica seats start bs that Bride seats are not made in Japan, and Bride Canada seats are 'real' too. Or that their Godspeed turbo works just as well as one from Precision. These are idiots...but they are idiots in increasing numbers.
I think it gets a bit dicier on the wheel side of things. Replica wheels have existed since forever. There are tons of companies that cater to just making OEM replica wheels. Often they change it up and do lower offsets or wider widths. Sometimes they don't, There have been Fuchs replica's forever, BBS replica's forever, and now Volk/Advan/Weds/Work have their replicas too. It happens on the high end of the scale too, Some companies seem to rise above the fray and avoid knock offs. Can't say I've ever seen an RPF1 or NT03+M replica. Not quite sure why this is, but I'm sure Enkei is happy about it. Many of these replicas are made by companies with long histories and proper manufacturing techniques and equipment. They can make a wheel that is round and won't fall apart with normal use. Over the long haul they are generally reliable. But they save themselves a ton of time (and $) but not ever designing anything. They copy and paste. I think there would be a lot less hate towards it if these companies at least did some designing on their own. C'est la vie.
@Eric808 I don't have an IPhone....i spent all my money buying real things for my car...well...wheels... ;)...
@MrZuffenhausen Thats stupid, it should be the other way round. Forged vs cast argument etc Quality where quality counts!
@TheFoes is that the ray's on 6th and 11th or the one on prince st? i do hear they have good pizza.
@James1010 Seeing as wheels are holding the car to the road, it would be apparent where those are classified under.
I appreciate these civil responses and not immature personal attacks or things of that nature as is all too common on forums these days. So, thank you. That said, what assumptions am I making? I understand what is being said about cast versus forged wheels. There is no debate: forged is superior to cast. Lighter, stronger, etc... Thus, the high price tag. (Rays Engineering makes cast wheels, as well.)I think the main issue here is design. I never stated that replica wheels do not have to meet a standard of quality. I take no issue with ROTA making wheels. There are many poor quality parts out there and many high quality parts. There are people who swear by ROTA and people who swear off ROTA. I believe variety and providing options and choices for consumers is a positive thing and only improves the industry. My issue is the fact that there is no orignality and no innovation involved in stealing someone else's design. There is such a thing as competition and then there is parasitism. Why can they not make and market wheels with unique designs? Why do ROTA and Varrstoen and multiple other replica wheel companies have to undermine Rays but yet ride their coattails at the same time? Why do they not create their own designs? There are cheaper, original alternatives out there. There is not simply a choice between the real thing or the replica of that same design. The poll begs the question 'Replicas vs. Originals: Where do you stand?' It does not ask which parts are superior or which parts have more 'bang for the buck.' I suppose, at the most basic level, I believe in paying credit where it is due and refusing to reward the company, and thus harming the real talent and innovators, that hasn't earned it. As I have stated, there are some replica companies (including Shine Auto) that may very well make quality parts, but that doesn't mean they haven't stolen the product of someone else's ingenuity, creativity, and hard work.
I understand the logic of not wanting to spend a lot of money on parts that are going to be destroyed at the track. However, that does not dismiss the fact that, somewhere down the line, you, as the consumer, will see and be personally affected by the decision to support the company that steals designs. The originators/innovators do suffer. I suppose my response, using that example provided above, would be... Why must the parts be Origin-Lab? Are there not other original options out there that may better suit your personal budget if you do not want to spend $500 on fenders? Why must it be a replica of the Origin-Lab fenders? Why not remove expensive aero parts when drifting if you are afraid of ruining them? I'm not making this personal, Mannykiller, but I hope you can see/understand my side of the debate. There really is no such thing as ballin' on a budget.I acknowledge there is no end in sight for this debate, but I feel it is a worthy undertaking to make people aware that buying replica parts does harm the true talent of the industry.
@ cornerbalance: I'm one of those people that grew jaded by the massive amount of kids that come on here on SH, drop their non-sense .02 and think they're right.
I used to follow SH daily....not anymore. It seems that my negative comments are not well digested by the crowd.
Everyone seems like a follower (a band-wagon jumper)....and if you say something different you've got 10 kids that harrass you and call you moron, go figure.
If I'm not mistaken, you run your tuning shop and gather to lots of Nissan, which is cool. Anyway, I've seen lots of entrepreneurs like you that start their own little business, gathering only JDM and high quality parts.
Overtime, some of them stay true to JDM and ONLY JDM, some of them realize that the market is filled with kids that don't wanna spend (or can't spend) so they "accommodate" those kids by start carrying knock off brands (I'm not gonna drop names here).....those new comers realize that there's much profit to be made if JDM parts only are sold, so they expand their inventory and start carrying crap Chinese knock off such as Seibon.
There are also many new-shop owners that preach the good, and try to inform the audience how bad the knock off companies hurt this industry, and WHO really puts lots of R&D into their products.
Some of those new-shop owners give up explaining to those "idiots" that if they keep feeding those shady businesses, sooner than later we won't have a tuning scene anymore because I rest assure you that knock off companies do not have ethic/ morals to step up and start doing their own R&D.
With that said, I totally understand what you've been writing/ thinking, and I couldn't agree more.....maybe in the future you'll get jaded, like me, and stop voicing your opinion.
This new generation of kids (that believe they have the right to enjoy this scene) seems lost and just want to be part of a bigger group. They don't want to be left out from their inner circle, kinda sad if you think about it.
Mike Kojima (I'm sure you know who he is), once said: "kids these days are into cool cars, they don't care anymore about fast cars."
Words to live by.
@SiDe as long as u dont have a samsung galaxy then. cuz then thatd be like owning a knock off of a iphone hahaha
@James1010 And just so we are clear, when I talk about replica/knock off parts I am primarily referring to replicas of parts that are no longer being produced and aesthetic pieces being badges, accents and other parts that are meant to look pretty but not vital to a safe and well running car. I find it egregious for one manufacturer to make a replica of a product that already exists in the market.
@JDMphasis The niveau of this conversation is much appreciated.
I see what you're saying about the stolen designs, which is indeed the only thing replica makers can be blamed for in my opinion. But why wouldn't replica makers give the consumers what they ask for if the original makers don't? Let me ask you once more this one thing: Why don't the big companies make a cast version just like Rotiform does? I think it's the original manufacturers fault (this applies mostly only to wheels due to given standards) that there is room for replica makers. With the cheaper version that consumers obviously do want, they would make the profit to reward the talent and hard work for the innovative designs.
But this is a step forward, at least we agree on that the actual quality is not the issue.
A. JDM- You still troll daily.
B. You also don't mention the fact that the Yen has doubled vs the dollar since 07 and there's little to no profit selling genuine JDM parts. That in and of itself isn't a bad thing. There are US forged wheel manufacturers that do a great job. The bad thing is that a big chunk of the japanese wheels sold in the USA are controlled by one or two distributors. If you want to go broke, sell only legit JDM products. It's not a viable business model.
C. Without the cast wheels, the hobby stands no chance. The ability to dump a 20 year old miata or s14 on rotas or XXRs is what brings people in and expands the base for everyone. It's also cheap wheel guys that do 90% of the actual driving on autox/drift/track days. If it were just JDM brand whores, the "scene" would be a bunch of kids in silly clothes and flat brimmed hats standing around parking lots looking at their phones.
D. Wheels are one of the only parts that poor kids can't build or tune so it's why no-talent, can't-fabricate, bolt-on tuners cling to them like religion. I'd rather drive a bucket of crap me and my friends built for $1500 then a carpet queen on $4000 wheels.
E. The fact that this discussion is about knockoff wheels (which have a minor overall effect on performance) vs. the taiwan/china coilover/shocks just shows how stacked this entire discussion was from the start. There are guys on Kosei K1s that most of us wouldn't be allowed to run in the same class as because they spent their "wheel and shift knob money" on silly stuff like shocks and sticky tires. If we were talking about shocks, I'd be on the other side of the fence. There are some good value shocks but for the most part, you get what you pay for.