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Body & Structure

MOT checks for body and structure on motorcycles are divided into just three sections. Please click one of the links below to skip to the section of interest.

condition of structure :: seats, footrests and transmission :: registration plates and vehicle identification number

Condition of Structure

Straightforward enough. There should be no damage, distortion or corrosion on your motorbikeโ€™s frame which is going to affect the way it rides or stops. Fractures and cracks etc will certainly fail the motorcycle MOT and so will any modifications which adversely affect the original frames strength.

Seats, Footrests and Transmission

  • Riderโ€™s seat and footrests must be present and securely attached
  • Pillion footrests must be fitted and secure if there is a pillion seat*
  • Drive chain or belt must be adjusted correctly
  • The throttle must open and shut as intended
  • All locking devices, pins and circlips must be present and correctly fitted

Other reasons your motorcycle may fail its MOT test

  • Excessively worn drive chain, sprocket or sprocket carrier
  • A damaged or broken clutch lever which prevents normal, and easy, operation

*except in a few rare exceptions which were manufactured for passenger use but donโ€™t appear to have pillion footrests.

Registration Plate and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

  • A registration plate must be fitted vertically to the rear of your motorbike
  • It must be secure, clean, complete, in good repair and legible
  • It must be standard yellow with black writing**
  • A VIN number must be present on your motorcycle

Reasons for which your registration plate may fail the bike MOT

  • Badly positioned retaining bolts which may lead to misreading of letters
  • Non-standard letter forms and widths
  • Any feature which affects the appearance or legibility of letters
  • Too small a margin around the letters
  • All the characters are arranged in a single line

note: this section does not apply to unregistered, foreign, diplomatic or military vehicles and is only applicable to registration plates fitted to the rear of the bike.

**Unless your bike was manufactured before 1973

98 questions on "Body & Structure"

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi, the identification sticker has come off my bike. It listed max speed, engine size, vin number and weight. Can I legally make my own or stamp it into the frame, or does it have to be original ?

    1. fasttrack says:

      Providing the Chassis number that is stamped into the frame remains untouched and uncovered then putting your own plate on is ok. FTMC

  2. Moto Psycho says:

    Lots of handy info there and I’ve found answers to questions I had just by reading the previous comments,
    I’m about to start a Vtr1000 project and I intend on removing completely the rear sub-frame and replacing it with a ‘U’ shaped loop of square section frame bolted to the original sub-frame mounts, more a catch stay than a seat but it will be secured by four points, My MOT guy is kind of cool, (he passes my 83 Magna with some friendly advisories every year) but can you see any issues with the plan, other than the anticipated Arse of steel, won’t be comfortable comments?
    I can revise the plan to barely accommodate legality but would like to keep to my original vision if possible,
    Thanks in advance,

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there! That sounds interesting to say the least, without actually having the finished bike in front of me its hard to say. The best piece of advise i can give you is to keep the original “features” on there (not necessarily original parts) so lighting and number plate position would be the first thing to come to mind. Hope this helps, anything specific going away from the standard features feel free to ask ๐Ÿ™‚ FTMC

  3. carl thompson says:

    Hi there I have a Yamy xj600 s diversion, it had a renthal bar conversion before I purchased the bike, I’ve just noticed that on a full right turn the clutch lever just touches the fairing before the stop point, would that fail an mot? If so is there any legal height that the clutch lever needs to be as I can lower the clutch lever so that it’s till operational and will not touch the fairing.
    Regards carl

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hiya, there is no legal height as such, however the fouling between the lever and panel would be classed as 2 seperate fails, 1.fouling between componants and 2. R/H steering stop not effective. The 2 fixes that would potentially sort this is to adjust the lever to a position that would stop it fouling and/or adjusting the steering stop. Some steering stops are a bolt and lock nut and so are easy to adjust others are part of the aluminum yoke and so aren’t easy to adjust without ally welding. Hope this helps FTMC

  4. Michael Richardson says:

    Hello Fasttrack,

    I have a Honda NSR 125 which I will be riding on my CBT. It has no passenger pegs on the back although they were fitted when the bike was new. Will this be a fail?

    Also the fairing had cracked on one side and had left a sharp edge, I have fitted a large washer to try and spread the load out and cover the crack but the domed screw head sits on top of the washer, its not sharp but I am unsure if it will pass or not as it sticks out a little?

    I also have a small wiring issue in which both front headlights work on full beam but only one side works on dipped beam, both sidelights work, will this be a fail? It is due in on the 11th and I need to know if it needs stripping out and trouble shooting or not!

    Thanks in advance ๐Ÿ˜€


    1. fasttrack says:

      Hey there mike, the fairing doesn’t sound like it would fail however i would need to see it to be sure. The lights just require AT LEAST one so thats not a problem either. The pillion pegs are an issue however, if a pillion seat is fitted then so must the pegs. If it has a single seat rear cowl or some form of fairing covering up the seat then it doesnt matter whether or not the pillion pegs are fitted. Hope this helps FTMC

  5. Joshua Miller says:

    If i have a moped but have a handle bar conversion to renthals, will it pass MOT if i have a digital speedo with all my fuel gauge and oil temp built into it? And do i need a mirror for the MOT?

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hey there, that should be o.k providing everything is secure the brake and lighting controls/switches still operate. Mirrors are not a requirement for the m.o.t. FTMC

  6. ChoppySteve says:

    A few questions….
    I’m chopping a Gilera Coguar 125 at the mo. I have made major mods to the frame with a new down tube, top tube and hard tail rear end. I am still using the original headstock, yokes, forks etc. The VIN number stamped into the neck is likely to be hidden when powdercoated, and the sticky label one on the frame will be gone for sure. I could add one somewhere else on the bike by riveting a plate to the frame elsewhere… is this ok?

    It will also have a bobbed tail so nowhere for a number plate etc. Is a side mounted numberplate bolted to a bracket in line with the rear axle okay? Should it be on the right or the left for UK riding? Are 2 red reflectors (one either side) at the tail okay or does it have to be 1 central one?

    Many thanks for all of your excellent advice… I’ve learned a lot reading your site – keep it up! S.

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there. OK, riveting a plate with the frame number on is fine, providing you tell your tester were it is of course :-). The numberplate is a little bit of a “grey” area. As with many items on the M.O.T it can vary between testers opinions so to start with i will quote the manual for you to interpret and give you my interpretation!

      Method of inspection

      1. Check that there is a registration plate fitted at the rear of the motor bicycle or side car and check it for security and condition.

      2. On machines first registered on or after 1 January 1973, check that the registration plate
      a. has black characters on a yellow background
      b. is mounted vertically, or as close to vertical as is reasonably practical

      The key words here are “reasonably practical”. Make sure that it is not too hidden were you mount it, not too far back nor pointing out too far, and as close to the centre line of the bike as you can “reasonably” get. Not having it in the centre isn’t a reason for failing providing that its position doesn’t cause another failure. I.E 1.d of the reason for rejection section states:

      Reason for rejection
      1. The registration plate
      d. faded, dirty, delaminated, deteriorated or obscured, so that it is likely to be misread or is not easily legible by a person standing approximately 15 metres to the rear of the machine.

      As for the reflector, just one will be fine, if 2 either side is more aesthetically pleasing then that is ok too ๐Ÿ™‚ hope all this helps, any more questions don’t hesitate to ask! FTMC

  7. Paul says:

    Hi, can you tell me if cracked fairing that’s been taped up but is secure will fail an mot? Cheers

    1. fasttrack says:

      hey there, providing it is secure then that should be ok. FTMC

  8. Steve Sharp says:

    Hi, I have a 1978 Kawasaki Z1000. The indicators have been completely removed &t doesn’t currently have a chain guard fitted. Would this cause any problem with the MOT test?

    1. fasttrack says:

      hi there, as it was first used before 1 august 1986, indicators are not mandatory. A lack of chain guard is not a reason for failure however it should be advised as a minimum, especially if pillion foot-pegs are fitted. thanks FTMC

  9. Jamie Morris says:

    Hi, got a bodywork question if its ok?

    Looking to fit track bodywork in place of the road stuff to make a road legal track bike, are there any common pitfalls or failure points?

    Bike is 2001 CBR 600 FSport, will be using standard front light, zx6r faired in side indicators and a zx6 03 rear light. Bodywork is silloette of standard.

    Also, will the failing colour need to match the V5? Tank is sill red / black but fairings are still unpainted.

    Cheers again,


    1. fasttrack says:

      It really depends what your taking off for the track as to whether it will fail, the biggest pitfall is lights as we already discussed the tail lights, that kind of leaves the front, so long as the beam pattern is correct and not too high/low, UK headlights should have a ‘kick up’ to the left (although a flat beam is still acceptable, what isn’t however is Headlights from countries that drive “on the wrong side of the road” lol), which is most, these headlights kick up to the right, (blinding UK road users) Tyres are also something to be aware of, most track/race tyres are not for use on the road. As for the colour not matching, it isn’t a reason for fail, we have to input the colour of the bike at the time of test, this will cause a discrepancy that the DVLA will notice and inform you about. Im not 100% sure what happens next other than you’ll get a letter from them. FTMC

  10. Sean says:


    I’m currently doing a custom fighter job on an SRAD. small question regarding bodywork. I’ve removed the rear frame (basically everything behind the seat), and I’m planning on mounting the numberplate and rear lights etc on the back of the rear-seat. The issue is, would it pass MOT with this set-up? this means that the rear wheel extends for almost a foot beyond where the lights and plate would be mounted.



    1. admin says:

      The fact that the lights and plate are forward of the rear of the bike will not on it’s own be reason to fail an MOT, no =)

  11. Tony parry says:

    Hi, I have a Rmr 125, I bought it with an mot, it didn’t have rear pillion pegs or hangers for them, am I really gonna have to purchase the hangers and pegs just to get it through an mot? The bike is registered as a 2 seater on the v5.

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there, yes im afraid you will need the pegs and hangers for the m.o.t. There are some exceptions to this such as a single seat conversion, or like with some sports bikes that have cowls/pods in place of the pillion seat. We will be able to get the pegs and hangers for you should you require. Our phone number is (0116)2623099. Thanks FTM

  12. B.Craft says:

    I have a classic (1559) motor cycle and wish to fit a single straight crash bar.
    Are there any rules etc. as to width an type of of bar that I need to conform to.

    1. admin says:

      sh1559!! Blimey, that’s a rare one isn’t it? Whatever the year there are no MOT restrictions to the width of bar etc that you should or could fit.

  13. Dale Harrison says:

    hi i have an aprilia rs 125 a small part of the fairing is cracked and a small part is bent away from the bike, will this fail the mot as it is abit sharp but if i bend it back into shape will it pass, also some of the fairig is held together by cable ties which are more than secure enough to stop the fairing from coming off its just the holes for the bolts are cracked and do not allow the bolts to keep the faring to the frame. many thanks.

    1. admin says:

      As long as it is secure to the bike it doesn’t matter if it’s with cable ties, bolts or whatever. As for the sharp bit it’s probably best to simply tape it up ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. matt says:

    does my cpi hussar jr 50cc need a front mudguard to pass its mot test?

    1. admin says:

      No but it will probably get an advisory notice.

  15. Daz says:

    hi, ive got a 1989 gs500 that im currently turning into a cafe racer style bike, can i pass an mot without a front mudguard but with a fork brace?

    1. admin says:

      Hi Daryl, sorry for the delay in responding. Yes it will pass but you’ll get an advisory and trust me, from experience, no front mudguard isn’t pleasant in the wet ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. harry says:

    I have a peugeot 50cc scooter, i have a plate mounting kit that mounts to the crankcase vertically which can be adjusted between 45 and 90 degrees.. Also on my rear tyre, the side has been worn abit due to previous owner not knowing the exhaust had been rubbing, will this need to be replaced? Lastly due to changing from the standard ‘granny bike’ looking bike front light ive replaced it with a twin more modern look which are symmetrical.. Only the dimmed light switch works with them on, when put to main beam theres no light ( not connected) Can this pass an mot? all other checks have been done and cant find any other problems
    cheers, Harry.

    1. admin says:

      Hi Harry. The number plate bracket will be fine as long as the plate itself is clearly visible from the rear and no other components are affected by where it is mounted either when the suspension is compressed or the rear wheel is rotated. We would have to see the tyre to determine whether it is a pass or fail as it depends how deep the indentation is. The headlights will need to illuminate (at least one of them) on main beam. So that will need to be fixed.

  17. James says:

    I have a Cg125 and the frame appears to be bent slightly as it extends back under the seat, the alignment on the swing arm and wheels still looks fine. Would this still pass an MOT?

    Many thanks.

    1. admin says:

      Depends how bad it is. If the bend has weakened the frame’s structure or means the seat is positioned so as to adversely affect the normal riding of the bike it will fail. If not it will probably pass. Hard to answer without actually seeing the bike.

  18. sam says:

    Hi i have a moped the only thing is the front mud gaurd and the exaust heat shield have been removed will this fail a mot.
    Many thanks.

    1. admin says:

      Nope. It’ll pass ๐Ÿ™‚

      Assuming there’s nothing else wrong of course.

  19. Matt says:


    I have a 2005 ZX6R and was thinking of mounting the numberplate under the tail-exhaust slightly further up the bike towards the front end of the pipe [where the pillion hangers are].

    Would this be classed as not at the rear of the bike [although still visible from behind and at the same vertical angle] and therefore an MOT fail/illegal.

    Thanks for your time


    1. admin says:

      If it passed I’d be amazed. The number plate has to be standard size so I doubt it will even fit under there. If it does will it touch the wheel if the suspension is fully compressed? I wouldn’t pass it, sorry.

  20. andrew stainton says:

    Hello i have a 1992 gsx600f can i mot it without the fairing on it?

    1. admin says:

      Potentially yes but it depends if any other parts which are covered under the MOT are affected by the missing fairing. Your headlight and indicators etc have to be secure and if removing fairing means something is left hanging the bike will fail for that reason.

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