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The main things that get checked on an MOT for motorcycles

There are a lot of parts that are checked when taking your motorcycle in for an MOT. Here is a list of parts that are checked;

  • Lights – That they are in good working condition, secure and the headlamps are the correct colour
  • Throttle – That it is working properly
  • Steering and Suspension – That the condition of the forks, handlebars, grip mountains, swinging arm, head bearings and shock absorbers are in good working condition
  • Brakes – The condition of the brake controls and the efficiency test
  • Frame – That there is no distortion, cracks or damage or any corrosion to the frame.
  • Wheels and Tyres – The size and type, the tread depth, valve condition, correct fitment and that they are secure and in good condition
  • Fuel system – That there are no leaks and all components are secure
  • Exhaust system – That it is not too noisy and that the exhaust is secure
  • Wheel alignment – The alignment of the front and rear wheels is correct
  • Seats – That the riders seat is attached securely
  • Horn – That it is in working condition
  • Drive chain and Sprocket – That the chain guard is secure and the sprockets aren’t too worn, along with the chain not being too lose, tight or worn
  • Registration plates, frame number and Vehicle identification – To ensure it is all present and legible
  • Footrests – That they are fitted securely
  • Clutch lever – That the lever is not damages, shortened or too bent

What is not checked on a Motorbike MOT

The test doesn’t cover the condition of the;

  • Gearbox
  • Clutch
  • Engine

Remember that you can check most of the parts yourself before your motorbike goes for its MOT. This can save you time and money.

The history of MOT’s on motorbikes

The MOT tests for motorbikes was introduced in 1960 by Ernest Marples. Minister of Transport Ernest Marples, introduced the Ministry of Transport (MOT) test as part of the 1960 Road Traffic Act. The test was mandatory for all vehicles over 10 years old and required them to have their brakes, lights and steering checked every year. In 1967 it was changed to 3 years. Currently vehicles made before 1960 do not require an MOT, but the new regulations mean you will be able to own a bike built as recently as 1978, without the need for an MOT every year, as long as the motorbike hasn’t been substantially changed.

The new rules for MOT’s


The new rules, which came into force from May 2020, mean that instead of vehicles being given a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ rating at their MOT, any defects will now be categorised as; ‘minor’, ‘major’ or dangerous, with the last two of these resulting in a test failure.

CategoryWhat it meansPass or fail?
PassYour motorbike meets the minimum
legal standard at the time of the test
Pass
AdvisoryA defect that might become more serious,
and should be monitored or repaired
Pass
MinorThe issue has no significant effect on the safety
of the vehicle, or an impact on the environment,
but should be repaired as soon as possible
Pass
MajorThis is something that could affect the vehicle’s
safety, put other road users at risk, or have an
impact on the environment.
It must be repaired immediately
Fail
DangerousThis fault has an immediate and direct risk
to road safety, or a serious impact on the
environment. The vehicle should not be
ridden or driven until it’s repaired
Fail

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