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Motorcycle MOT Checklist

Below is a quick MOT checklist. For more in-depth information about each section of the motorcycle MOT just click on the titles or the relevant area on the bike image above.

Lights and Signals : Quick MOT Checks

Make sure all your lights, brake lights and indicators work. You must also display a red reflector to the rear of your bike and have a functioning horn.

Steering and Suspension : Quick MOT Checks

Nothing should prevent the smooth rotation of the moving parts of your bike. This includes badly routed cables and worn head stock or wheel bearings. Forks or rear shocks mustn’t leak and should be firmly attached and filled with the correct amount of oil.

Brakes : Quick MOT Checks

Easy one this. Your bike’s brakes need to work and there should be a decent amount of brake material standing proud of the backing plate. Grooved or worn disks or drums will also fail.

Tyres : Quick MOT Checks

Mopeds must have clearly visible tread on both tyres whilst motorcycles must have at least 1mm. Bulges or cracks in the side wall are not good at all, nor are cuts over 25mm and and everything must be seated correctly.

Side Cars : Quick MOT Checks

If your motorbike has sidecar it must be securely fitted, the tyres and suspension must be up to the standard of the rest of the bike and all three wheels of the combination should point in the same direction.

Body and Structure : Quick MOT Checks

Fairly obviously loose parts or missing engine bolts will do you no favours. Rider footrests must be fitted and secure and if there is a pillion seat there must be a second set as well. Enough corrosion to affect the structure of the motorcycle will fail the MOT too, so check headstocks, swing arms and suspension mounting points etc.

Fuel and Exhaust : Quick MOT Checks

Put simply exhausts which leak or are too loud, or both, will not pass. Nor will anything stamped with ‘not for road use’ or anything which leaks fuel.

note: The annual motorcycle MOT test is simply a thorough check of all the components which are essential to keep your bike roadworthy. If your motorcycle fails this MOT checklist it is almost always because it would be unsafe for you or other road users if the bike were ridden on public roads – with the obvious exception of illegal number plates, which aren’t a danger to anything except your licence and your MOT pass.

116 questions on "Motorcycle MOT Checklist"

  1. Adm91 says:

    Hi, I recently slid out on some diesel and managed to break a mirror and snap the light switch to my lights. I found the plastic slider that snapped out and can still use it to switch my lights on and off, I just carry it in my jacket pocket, Would this fail the MOT due to the light switch being snapped? Thanks 🙂

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there, unfortunately it would fail on the light switch. FTMC

  2. Dan newstead says:


    My exhaust has no markings on apart from the makers badge, it is a little on the loud side? Is it just discretion that will fail it on noise or because it has no markings on it?

    1. fasttrack says:

      hiya, loudness is down to the testers discretion, and no markings isn’t a reason for failure! “Not for road use” or similar wording is a reason for failure. FTMC

  3. ben says:

    Hi there I have a bandit and I have pulled the rubber grips of my foot pegs will this fail the mot ?

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there, removing the rubbers shouldn’t cause it fail as there are motorcycles without rubbers on the footpegs, so long as it doesn’t reduce the size too much or alow your feet to easily slip off. FTMC

  4. Geoff says:

    I have written on my stage 1 exhaust “for closed circuit use” Victory Hammer, I have been told it will fail the MOT. What if I were to tape over or remove the wording, would it then pass?
    Regards Geoff

    1. fasttrack says:

      hi there, covering it up would allow it to pass on that issue as the tester isn’t allowed to remove the sticker, however the loudness is left to the testers discretion so I wouldn’t be able to say whether it is a definite pass or not. FTMC

  5. adam fletc says:

    hi on my bike the rear shock is not leaking but it makes a noise when you push down on the back end is this ok for a mot please

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hey there, it would depend on the operation of the shock absorber, making a noise isn’t a problem but if its making a noise because it has no oil in it and this affects the operation then it could still potentially fail. FTMC

  6. Frank says:

    I am wondering what the mot law states on front brake light on a 1973 Triumph T140. it is a chop hard tail and there is no provision for a front brake light switch either mecanical or hydraulic.
    So does it need a F/Brake light switch to pass a currant mot
    Regards Frank

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi Frank, the law states that on “Machines first used before 1st April 1986 must have a stop lamp that operates from at least 1 brake control” so providing the back works then that will be fine. FTMC

  7. Ashley says:

    Hi there, I was wondering if a exhaust bandage covering up a hole no blowing or anything like that, as a temporarily fix would be a pass? Thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      That would be fine! FTMC

  8. Ian Davis says:

    Hi there

    I have a scooter which failed the mot on the catch which holds the seat locked is broken. I thought this was a bit harsh as if I’m sitting on the bike it isn’t going to open. Just wondered what the thinking behind this is?

    Many thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hey there, honestly im not 100% sure as you are right, its not necessrily insecure with you sat on it however perhaps with a pillion passenger on and going over a speed bump, may get there hands trapped? Any reason really is just conjecture, we dont make the rules we just follow them. Sorry i couldn’t be more help! FTMC

  9. alex says:

    Hi, does there have to be a ball at the end of brake leever at mine is broke off but I’ve filed and sanded it down and it is not shard or jagerdy??

    1. fasttrack says:

      That should be o.k FTMC

  10. Ben read says:

    I have recently finished a bobber project and its soon mot time, I am after a daytime only use mot.
    My bike has no indicators but does have a brake and headlight, exhaust is also not stock, not loud but I’m wondering if this would be a problem…
    Also no front Mudguard but cables Etc are not loose,
    The new speedo will also read “0” miles, would this be a problem coz it doesn’t match my previous mot Certs?
    Thanks in advance

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there. OK, for a daytime M.O.T you will need to disconnect and mask over the lights that do work (including the brake light). If you decide not to have a daytime M.O.T then indicators will be a requirement proving the “date of first use” is AFTER 1st august 1986 and all the relevant lights will need to operate as they should. The front mudguard isn’t a requirement and the exhaust will be o.k providing it hasn’t got “Not for road use” or similar wording written on it. Finally any mileage difference isn’t an M.O.T issue. FTMC

  11. Derek Wright says:

    Does the bike have to have a speedo to pass an MOT I fully understand it has to have one to use on the road but I am only interested in the MOT. it is a trials bike which also will only be on the “day light use only” MOT


    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there, a Speedo isn’t a requirement for the M.O.T however the mileage will show up as 0. Ftmc

  12. John says:

    Are mirrors a requirement for my bike to go through an MOT? cheers

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there, wing mirrors are not a requirement, however if they are fitted then they will need to be secure! FTMC

  13. Mike says:

    Hi ive just rebuilt a piaggio nrg for my son its due its mot friday however im concerned about the forks as they have quite bad pitting will this fail?

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there its hard to say without seeing them, they would be an advise at least. On the smaller scooters that are grease filled, pitting isn’t so critical compared to say a gsxr 1000! Unfortunately that sort of problem can be down to the testers discretion. Someone not clued up about scooter forks may fail it no questions asked, we tend to advise unless it is very bad. If in doubt you could take a photo and e-mail it to us, we could give you a more accurate answer. Hope this helps FTMC

  14. Nick says:

    Hi does my bike need a fuel cap seal? as it used to have one that had come off so i binned it, its a screw on fuel cap if that helps, thanks Nick

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there, yes a seal is required on the M.O.T. FTMC

  15. Aidan Hughes says:

    Hi, I am currently in the process of converting my 1978 Yamaha XS500 into a bobber. I want to mount the tail light and number plate via a side mount in line with the rear axle. There seems to be a lot of different opinions as to whether this is legal or not? Can you clear this one up for me? I really don’t want to spend all the time making it to get refused an M.O.T. Thanks.

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi there, yes this fine and you shouldn’t be refused an m.o.t based on this, the inspection manual states that the numberplate needs to be “mounted vertically, or as close to vertical as is reasonably practical” Basically meaning if the plate can be seen by passing aircraft then it is a fail 🙂 There are various other inspections that do not relate to its position, such as background, letter spacing, size and colour etc etc hope this helps FTMC

  16. Josh Naylor says:

    Hi, i have a 50cc sym city hopper (slow). It does not have indicators at all, would it still pass an mot? Also, it does not have a stand or battery. Runs directly of the alternator. Will this fail?

    Many Thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hey there, the indicators are a requirement for the m.o.t providing it was first registered AFTER 1 August 1986 the stand itself isn’t a requirement however there are some stand mountings – especially on scooters – that secure other things such as wires and brake lines so just make sure things like this are secure and not dangling down interfering with anything. Also the battery isn’t a requirement but can cause faults in other areas such as the lights, the brake lights are usaualy ran from the battery and no battery at all can cause interference between the various lighting systems. Hope this helps FTMC

  17. Andy Barber says:

    Does a motorcycle have to have a front mudguard to pass a MOT.

    Regards Andy.

    1. fasttrack says:

      It is not a requirement for the M.O.T. Be aware that anything that would attach too or be secured by the mudguard such as brake lines/speedo cables may cause a fail if they are not properly secured. Hope this helps FTMC

  18. j lewis says:

    my husband took his pan european for an mot and was told it failed because they had changed the rules regarding the rear number plate. apparentely it now has to have the blue GB sticker on it. is this now correct????

    1. admin says:

      Right. I’ve just scoured through the online manual and can’t find anything at all to suggest why on earth a lack of GB sticker alone would fail an MOT. Wrong colour, wrong size, wrong border, wrong letter types but nothing about missing GB stickers… If they prove it to you please can you send me a copy so I can update my own head on this subject 🙂

  19. James Dakin says:

    Hi , wondering if you can help , i have a GS Moon 260 Storm which is a on road buggy similar to a quad , and it needs a MOT .
    Its sitting on a ‘ 08 ‘ plate.
    all car MOT stations i have asked dont want to know.
    thanks in advance

    P.S , how much is a mot these days ??

    1. admin says:

      Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Cars, quads, dual purpose vehicles etc all fall under Class IV which means you do need to find an agreeable car garage to MOT it. We’re only licensed for class I & II unfortunately.

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