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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. Eva says:

    That are the rules on tape on a bike? I had a minor accident lately. The plastic cover of my speedometer broke and the head-beam warped a bit. I used duck tape to seal speedometer and head-beam from the rain. Also a bit tape around the indicators as they have a tendency to be very loose (it’s a plastic socket that just needs to be glued back together to give them stability). Would it pass, or what would I need to do to get it through? Do I need a new speedometer and light unit or would that be okay? It rides just fine.

    1. fasttrack says:

      so long as the Headlight aim is correct and everything is secured to the bike with no sharp edges then the bike should pass an MOT (so long as nothing else is damaged of course) 🙂

  2. Aron says:

    I’ve got a custom chop bobber does it need a rear mudguard for the MOT also I believe a red reflector is needed for the rear and that it needs to be on the center line of the bike but I have nowhere for it to go what would you suggest.

    1. fasttrack says:

      A rear mudguard is required to pass an MOT.In regards to the red reflector, perhaps you could stick the reflector on the corner of the number plate (this would pass the MOT).

  3. Barry May says:

    Bought a skyjet sj125 – 23 twin headlight model. Side fairings are missing but nose cone is fixable. Can I Mot bike without side fairings n what would be required to pass eg:brackets/mounts on frame removed or ?, petrol tank overlaps frame where they meet is this ok and what about the exposed wiring (tidy up, cover)? And finally broken rear side/seat fairing strip, is it ok to repair or need replacing. Thanks.

    1. admin says:

      The fairing is not necessary for the MOT but whatever is left must be securely attached or removed. Sharp objects protruding from the vehicle will fail it, so if any of the brackets look like they could be potentially dangerous and impale pedestrians in the event of a collision they will need removing.

  4. Gary says:

    Hi there I have just bought a custom Harley Davison bobber. It does have a mot but the bike does not have either speedo or indicators it this legal and does it mean it only has a so called day time mot? And what would I need to do to the bike to get it on a full day and night mot

    1. admin says:

      Bikes registered before 1986 do not need indicators so I can only assume your bike is older than that or the indicators were removed after the test. If it was a Day Time MOT it would be clearly stated in the advisories section.

      Speedos are ignored by the MOT test.

  5. Janine Keech says:

    My R1 had a nudge last year which resulted in the insurance company replacing my Yoshimura exhaust can…the MOT garage just failed it as it had a sticker on saying
    “US EPA noise emission standards”..is this an illegal can or should it have passed the MOT…or does this not count for the UK…my previous yoshimura had no probs..

    1. admin says:

      The only thing which automatically fails is if it says “not for road use”. However any aftermarket can can fail on noise levels at the discretion of the examiner if it’s too loud.

  6. Paul Ferris says:

    I have just changed the rusting locking petrol cap on my ZZR600 for a keyless quick release cap. Will this be ok for the MOTor should I fit a standard locking cap?

    1. admin says:

      As long as it doesn’t leak, it will be fine.

  7. Craig says:

    Hi, I have a Vespa t5 that I need to mot soon. Currently it has no mot and I am wondering is it correct that I am able to ride it to the test station.
    Thanks Craig

    1. admin says:

      As long as it’s booked in at the MOT station and you are insured to ride it, that’s fine.

  8. Andy says:

    Hi, I know some of this has already been asked so apologies for duplicate questions, but I am getting a bobber MOT ready so want to check some things if I may, if the bike has a straight exhaust, its not loud as has baffles but no markings on is this ok?

    also no front mudguard, I have had conflicting answers to whether it needs one for the mot

    rear light very slightly dims when indicators are blinking, is this an issue?

    Lastly, does headlight need to have e marking on it? It dips to the left but no markings on.

    Thanks

    1. admin says:

      Hi Andy, non-standard exhausts that don’t have markings specifically saying ‘not for road use’ are down to the discretion of the examiner. He can fail you if he deems it too loud. He probably won’t.

      The from mudguard is not part of the MOT test. No problem there either. Same for the headlight, the e markings are irrelevant, it simply has to pass the beam test.

      Your issue is the indicators. If the indicators are affecting the normal function of another light you do have a problem. That needs to be sorted.

  9. Oliver Johnston says:

    Hello

    I have just finished a Yamaha xvs 650 bobber project and am looking to get it mot’d and on the road for the summer. I just used a conversion kit and upgraded the exhausts etc and other cosmetic parts. My question is, do I need to do a MSVA approval test prior to booking a mot, or because the bike is pre registered can I skip that stage. Thanks

    1. admin says:

      If you have simply modified the frame of a bike which is already registered and you have a V5 registration document for it, then it shouldn’t need an MSVA test at all! It just needs an MOT. If however you have built a frame from scratch you’ll need an MOT before you can get an MSVA approval. Hope that helps 🙂

  10. mark says:

    Hi will my bike fail if I am missing my light switch but light all still work

    1. admin says:

      Hi Mark. There is no problem if the lights are permanently on as long as the high/low beam still operates.

  11. david mitchell says:

    Hi i recently fitted mirrors with intergrated indicators to my aprilia..however one of these has just snapped off ,so refitted indicator onto fairing .Both work so will this pass the mot even though one is on the fairing and the other is on the wing mirror.

    cheers

    Dave

    1. admin says:

      Sorry for taking so long to reply but yes, that should be fine =)

  12. Mike Redmond says:

    Can I put my motorbikes number plate above my rear lights . Thanks

    1. admin says:

      If you want to, why not? The law requires for it to be illuminated at night however, and red light is no good.

  13. Anthony Blackburn says:

    I have a juba lee clip holding my exhaust, strapped to where the scooter is topped up with engine oil, would this cause a mot failure, even know it’s all secure and exhaust is not leaking fumes

  14. Zech says:

    Hi, I need to get a MOT done for a 125 I got sitting in garage. It not pretty to be honest but everything seems to be there and working. Although there is a short in the horn somewhere. It worked then the wireing got wet and now it doesn’t. Will that fail it? My old classic Ural doesn’t got a horn and it passed last time that was done…Is there anyway I can just bring it by and have you look it over and tell me what needs doin and how much the parts are gonna cost without paying to fail a MOT? If I don’t like the price to pay to fix ‘er I’ll just sell ‘er as spares repairs. Cheers.

    1. admin says:

      To be fair mate, if we spend half an hour thoroughly checking your bike over the labour charge would be £20+VAT anyway so you’d only be saving £5.50 over a full MOT and if you decide you can afford to fix it and do it it reasonably quickly the re-test would be free… Your big issue is the electrics. There’s no way we can quote you for electrical fault diagnosis. It’s just simple case of trial by logic and sometimes you find the fault fast, sometimes it takes ages – it just depends what the fault is. First thing to do is look in behind the headlight and near the fuse box. Look for places where the wiring loom attaches (earths) to the frame of the bike. If any connections are rusty, undo them and attack them with sandpaper until you see shiny and then re-attach. Also look fo rrusty connections within the loom too. Keep looking until you’ve fixed all of them then try the horn again 🙂

  15. glenn says:

    Hi, I have just bought an 1100 Moto-Guzzi California & I’m thinking of stripping it of all the chrome etc & building a bobber. Will it pass an MOT if I remove the indicators & front mud guard. Thanks

    1. admin says:

      Strangely enough the front mudguard is not an MOT requirement. You do have to have indicators though, unless the bike was first registered before April 1986.

  16. Jordan says:

    Hi, i bought a Suzuki ap50cc moped the other day and booked it in for an mot on Friday but i read that without a vin on the body of the bike it will fail, so i went out and checked the bike over and can’t find the vin anywhere but on the mot certificate from last year it has the vin registration etc on it, would it fail ab not for this? Im panicking as this is the first time iv had to put a bike in for an mot, thanks for anyhelp

    1. admin says:

      First off, don’t panic! We do need the VIN number in order to log the bike onto the VOSA computer system but I’m sure we’ll find it between us. Just bring it down and we’ll sort it. If you have an old MOT in the paperwork bring that and your V5 too =)

  17. P.Elliott says:

    Hi, i had a car run into the back of my sinnis max the mud guard has snapped off just below the number plate. Number plate is in tact. Lights ect all fine. Will this pass the m.o.t? If not how much would it be to replace? Thanks.

    1. admin says:

      As long everything is still working, attached securely, with no sharp edges on show and the car didn’t hit the wheel or swing-arm – because this could cause wheel-alignment issues – it should be fine.

  18. martin rogan says:

    hi does my 125 need rear foot pegs for mot

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hiya, yes tit would but only if there is space for a passenger. If the pillion seat is covered or replaced by a cowl then it is ok to not have pillion pegs. FTMC

  19. andrew gregory says:

    will my zxr fail the mot because it has no mirrors. thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hiya, there is no M.O.T requirement for mirrors. FTMC

  20. james says:

    hi what is the law on tape on your seat to cover up a rip on it for a mot thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      There is no law covering that, just so long as the seat is secure to the bike. FTMC

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