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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 motorbike’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

  • Rider’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 don’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. Keith McMenemy says:

    Hello, great info on this page !
    I have a varadero that I’m turning into a Rat.
    I have shortened the subframe and will weld a brace on, custom seat etc.
    Cradle to subframe mountings are original – just shortened the original subframe.
    I’m an hgv mechanic to trade, so can weld fine.
    Also I fitted have a yellow head light…. Will this be OK for MOT ?
    ( Wish I had asked the VoSA boys while I was still doing lorry’s )
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi Keith,
      yes a yellow headlight is fine, VOSA specify that either a white or yellow headlight is a pass.

  2. Tony says:

    Hi I have got a malaguti f12 50cc and it has no cover over where the battery and fuses box is well this make it fell its mot thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi Tony,
      No you don’t need a cover to pass an MOT.

  3. Daz says:

    I have a varadero 125would it pass mot with no wind screen and front fairings scratched or would i need to replace them

    1. fasttrack says:

      Yes as long as everything is securely attached its fine.

  4. Phil carter says:

    I have a daelim daystar with no side panels n a faulty starter switch can I still put it through for its MOT or. Do I need Panels first

    1. admin says:

      Neither of those things will cause your bike to fail.

  5. Biker2020 says:

    I have a Sunnis apache and the front tank panels are firmly sicure but have got cable. Ties holding them in place (also has a bolt in both sides) would this fail !

    1. admin says:

      As long as all parts are secure and aren’t prone to fall off and get caught in moving parts it should pass.

  6. james says:

    hi, this might seem a stupid question but will my fairings being zip tied on fail the mot? just wondering. thanks!

    1. admin says:

      If the fairing is ‘excessively loose’ and there’s danger that it could get caught up in a moving part such as the wheel or suspension it will fail. If is so loose it might get caught in the wind and then also fall into a moving part it will also fail.

      If it isn’t excessively loose, or indeed held on with cable ties, it will pass no matter what it looks like 🙂

  7. Kurtis says:

    Hi i have a honda cbr 125 the fairing on the left and right belly are taped along the top to the left and right front fairings in front of the tank this was the previous owner as i have just got the bike and not put it through an mot yet and underneath the pillion seat the 2 bolts are not present due to the holes on the fairing being cracked do you think it will pass or just wait for my new ones witch will be here in 2 to 3 weeks

    1. admin says:

      If the fairing is ‘excessively loose’ and there’s danger that it could get caught up in a moving part such as the wheel or suspension it will fail. If is so loose it might get caught in the wind and then also fall into a moving part it will also fail.

      If it isn’t excessively loose it will pass no matter what it looks like 🙂

  8. Iain says:

    Hi, I’ve just fitted new rearsets to my Ducati 848 with fixed pegs replacing the OEM part with folding pegs. Will the new pegs pass an MOT? Also, I’ve fitted aftermarket rear indicators to a new tail tidy that mean the indicators are but up against the side of the number plate. Is this ok? Cheers

    1. fasttrack says:

      Fixed pegs are fine.
      Should be fine, but would need to see it to confirm as the indicators may be too close together.

  9. Mark Twen says:

    hello, I ve got gpz500, I want to modify my frame .The frame seat position. I wish to cut off rear seat frame and weld it again. Will I pass the mot with this modification?

    1. fasttrack says:

      yes that should be fine so long as it is secure and no sharp parts are exposed.

  10. Lucky says:

    Hi someone tried to steal my moped, and I am waiting for a replacement front fairing, can I still drive and pass mot if I cover the electrics where the panel was? All lights etc are still secured to the frame.

    1. fasttrack says:

      yes so long as there are no sharp objects showing and everything is secure.

  11. Matt says:

    Hi, I am thinking of fitting an aftermarket slip on to my cbr600rr 2007. The exhaust I want to buy comes from the USA and it includes a tail tidy. The exhaust will be louder, but will it pass MOT? Is it ok provided it doesn’t say ‘not for road use’ on it? And for the tail tidy, it actually pushes the number plate halfway down the can, but it doesn’t change the angle if that makes sense. Will that also pass MOT? I am sure there is some law that something must protrude beyond the rear wheel. Is that right? Thanks!

    1. admin says:

      Not that I’m aware of. As long as the exhaust doesn’t say ‘not for road use’ and isn’t excessively loud it should pass. The number plate will be fine mounted further down the bike as long as it is clearly visible from the rear of the machine. Plenty of Bobber’s and other chops have plates mounted onto the swing arm with no issues… Just make sure it doesn’t foul the rear wheel.

  12. David Porteus says:

    My son has an Apriilia moped that has a broken seat catch and can simply lift up on the front hinge. If the seat is secured by a bungee strap so as to stop it lifting will this pass the MOT?

    Many thanks.

    1. admin says:

      A bungee strap wouldn’t be considered secure enough, no. There will still be movement. It needs to be securely *fixed*. Whatever method you use. (Gaffer tape?)

  13. wayne says:

    Cheers for that , no still runs lovely if anything better

  14. wayne says:

    Hi I have a Honda cbr 600f4 2000, and I’m missing one of my air intakes would this be cause to fail ?

    1. admin says:

      Nope, it will pass an MOT. Doesn’t it make it run a little lumpy?

  15. marat says:

    Hello, I’ve got my Kawasaki ex500. I care about my rear turn lights position. I’ve removed my mudguard and I have placed LED turn bulbs in my rear panel. The bulbs position – 20 cm far from rear lamp and 2 cm from the rib fitted up to the bottom of the panel (horizontally), like icicles. Will it pass?

    1. marat says:

      I am sorry for mistake, the turn lights fitted vertical like I’ve described

    2. admin says:

      Sorry but I just can’t tell from that description. We would need to see the bike really. Indicators do need to be positioned to the left and the right hand side of the vehicle though, not at the centre.

  16. david connolly says:

    Hi, Have a honda bros 88′. I have completely resprayed whole bike and mounted a Honda Revere tank to bike as old capacity was so small.

    I have also made new chain guard.

    Is this form of modifcation ok to pass MOT.

    Main change with tank is the handlebars have had to be moved out so the stop bolts have had to be removed?

    1. admin says:

      Nothing makes me blink there except the removal of the stop bolts. If your handlebars hit the tank it will fail. Without stops what is there to prevent the handlebars spinning to 90 degrees if you accidentally let go as you hit a bump…?

  17. Kirsty says:

    Hi there, I have a CBF 125, which some weeks ago I dropped. In the incident, the end of the bike’s CLUTCH LEVER snapped off. Clutch works fine and have ridden daily since-there’s still plenty of clutch to grab. Would it fail the MOT on this? Am in process of repairing but not sure I’ll have it done by time of MOT! Thanks 🙂

    1. admin says:

      The important phrase is ‘proper and easy operation’ ( stubby levers pass all the time) plus it cannot be sharp. The sharp edges must be filed smooth.

  18. dean says:

    Hi I don’t have front uppper fairings or headlight fairings but have a spedo and a headlight will it pass? Honda CBR 125 2004

    1. admin says:

      As long as the things that were once attached to the fairing such as indicators (maybe clocks?) etc are secure and there are no sharp edges protruding it should be OK.

  19. harry says:

    Hello I have an aprilia rs 50 2007 witch I have just got and it has a crack in the fairing from a crash would if faill an mot even tho the crack is that big

    1. admin says:

      We’d need to see it to be certain but generally as long as the fairing is secure, not flapping around and no sharp edges are presented it should be fine.

  20. Donnell says:

    Hi I have got an aerox 50 and I took it for an MOT and it failed because my handle car cover was cracked is this right? And I was wondering if I could just take it off then it would be like a bar conversation but the speedo will be showing? Or if I cable tie it up? Thanks

    1. admin says:

      Sorry but we would need to see how it is cracked and what’s underneath which may be affected before we can safely advise you on that.

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