MOT checks for motorcycle brakes are divided into three sections. Please click on a link below to skip to the section of interest.
*creep: Fully depress you break lever and hold it firm. If, over time, its resistance grows less and it slowly allows you to add more and more pressure, this is called creep. It most likely means you have a leak somewhere in the hydraulic system of that brake.
The VOSA handbook says that an MOT certificate should be refused if any ‘deliberate modification’ has significantly reduced the original strength of a load bearing member or it’s supporting structure.
Motorcycles which were first registered before 1st January 1927 only need to have a braking system which works on one wheel, not both.
Other reasons for brake systems failing the motorcycle MOT
*run out: whilst the bike is moving very lightly apply each of the brakes in turn and slowly increase pressure. If you can feel a slight pulsing whilst doing this, that is run out. It is caused by warped or uneven wear in your motorbike’s discs.
note on brake hoses: damage to the protective sleeves of brake hoses will not necessarily fail the bike MOT provided the pipe or hose to which it is attached is not damaged. Cracking or chafing must be severe enough to expose the hose reinforcement to be considered a fail.
note on movement of discs: many discs fitted to modern sports motorcycles are ‘fully floating’ which means they are designed to have a certain degree of movement. If in doubt consult a qualified motorcycle MOT test technician, do not assume that some movement in your disk is an MOT fail. The tester may, at his discretion, take your bike for a brief road test.
Reasons for your motorbike’s brake performance failing the MOT
*efficiency is calculated by the motorcycle MOT computer system using this formula:
Efficiency (%) = (Retarding Force ÷ Weight) x 100
The total retarding force is measured using either a VOSA approved brake tester and Weight is the combined weight of the motorbike plus motorcycle MOT test technician. In the case of linked or dual braking systems the retarding force is the total from both wheels when operated by the dual control only.