The Ministry of Transport (MOT) test checks the major functions of your bike and makes sure it is roadworthy and safe to use. Any motorbike over three years old needs to have a valid MOT certificate.
Motorbike MOT Checklist
If your bike fails the test, you won’t be able to ride until any issues are fixed. In this guide we’ve explained some of the important parts of your motorcycle that will be checked in the MOT.
Parts checked in the MOT test include the bike’s lights, steering and suspension, wheels and tyres, frame, brakes, exhaust system, seats, wheel alignment, sidecars, horn, registration plates, drive chain and sprocket, throttle, clutch lever and footrests.
Your lights will be tested to ensure they are in good condition, working properly and securely fitted.
Your bike’s headlamps need to be the correct colour and correctly aimed.
The rear lights, indicators and reflectors will also be checked. Before you take your bike to the MOT centre check that your indicators and hazard lights flash at a steady rate.
Steering & Suspension
The MOT test will check the condition, security and operation of your bike’s steering and suspension. Particular attention will be paid to parts such as the forks, handlebars, grips mountings, hand bearings, swinging arm and shock absorbers.
Wheels & Tyres
Your MOT centre will look at the overall condition of your wheels and tyres. They’ll check that they’re secure and correctly fitted, as well as check to see whether a compatible size/type has been fitted.
Tread depths will also be checked – for motorbikes over 50cc, you’ll need at least 1mm of tread across ¾ of the width of the tread pattern.
Wheel bearings mustn’t be worn down and the valves must be in healthy condition.
Your bike’s frame will be inspected to check for any cracks, damage, distortion or corrosion which is likely to affect the steering or braking.
The brakes will come under close scrutiny to make sure they’re operational and performing as expected. Brake hoses, disc brakes, ABS warning lights and brake pads and shoes will be closely looked at.
Your motorcycle’s exhaust system will be inspected to check it is secure, complete (not missing any parts or have any leaks) and isn’t too noisy.
Not only will the test centre check for the presence of a rider’s seat, but they’ll also check that any seat is attached securely.
The test will involve checking that your front and rear wheels are aligned correctly.
Sidecars (when fitted)
If you have a sidecar fitted to your motorbike, it will be inspected to check that it’s attached safely and securely. It must also be aligned properly.
The suspension, wheel bearings, wheel alignment and the lights and tyres will also be inspected.
The horn will be checked to confirm that it is suitable for your motorcycle and is working correctly.
Registration Plates, Vehicle Identification & Frame Numbers
Registration plates, vehicle identification and frame numbers will be inspected to check that they are present and legible.
Drive Chain & Sprocket
Your drive chain and sprocket will be tested to ensure that it isn’t too worn. The chain also mustn’t be too tight nor loose.
The chain guard must be fitted correctly and secure.
Your bike’s throttle will be tested to ensure it is functioning properly (this includes a check to ensure the throttle can close/idle properly).
The clutch lever will be examined to confirm it is still usable. It shouldn’t be bent, damaged nor shortened. It is also checked to ensure it successfully opens the clutch when operated.
Footrests will be inspected to check that they’re present and fitted securely.
Motorcycle Maintenance & Performance with Venhill
We hope that this guide has helped to clarify some of the main parts that are tested during a motorbike MOT test. If you notice any problems with your bike, we recommend sorting them ahead of its MOT test to give it the best chance of passing.
It’s worth pointing out that an MOT test isn’t the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn’t check its general mechanical condition. An MOT test therefore doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox.
Here at Venhill, for over 50 years we’ve been manufacturing control cables, hydraulic hoses and brake lines for motorbikes, enabling you to get the most out of your bike. Whatever bike you have, we’re sure to have a solution for you – take a look at our comprehensive range of high-quality products here.