Guidance

Motorcycle parts checked at an MOT

Published 21 May 2015

1. Introduction

The MOT tests some important items on your motorcycle to check that they meet the legal standards.

It isn’t the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn’t check its general mechanical condition.

The test doesn’t cover the condition of the:

  • engine
  • clutch
  • gearbox

You can read a quick guide about getting an MOT for more information about how the test works.

2. Motorcycle parts tested in the MOT

These are some of the important parts of your motorcycle that will be checked in the MOT.

Diagram of a motorcycle showing what's included in the MOT
Parts checked in the MOT

2.1 Lights

These will be inspected to check:

  • their condition
  • that they work properly
  • that they’re secure
  • that the headlamp(s) are the correct colour
  • the rear lights, indicators and reflectors

The headlamp(s) will also be checked to see if the aim is correct.

2.2 Steering and suspension

These will be inspected to check:

  • their condition
  • that forks, handlebars, grips mountings, head bearings, swinging arm, shock absorbers and damping effect etc are secure and work properly

2.3 Wheels and tyres

These will be inspected to check:

  • their condition
  • that they’re secure
  • the size and type
  • correct fitment
  • the tread depth
  • the valve condition

2.4 Frame

This will be inspected to check:

  • that it’s free from cracks
  • for damage
  • for distortion
  • for corrosion which is likely to affect the steering or braking

2.5 Braking

This will be inspected to check:

  • the condition
  • the operation and performance (the efficiency test)
  • the brake controls

2.6 Exhaust system

This will be inspected to check:

  • it’s secure and complete
  • it’s not too noisy

2.7 Fuel system

This will be inspected to check:

  • for leaks
  • the security of its components

2.8 Seats

These will be inspected to check:

  • for the presence of a rider’s seat
  • that any seat is attached securely

2.9 Wheel alignment

These will be inspected to check for the correct alignment of front and rear wheels.

2.10 Sidecars (when fitted)

These will be inspected to check:

  • for secure attachment
  • alignment
  • the suspension
  • the wheel bearings
  • wheel alignment
  • the lights and tyres

2.11 Horn

This will be inspected to check:

  • that it works properly
  • it’s suitable for the vehicle

2.12 Registration plates, vehicle identification and frame numbers

These will be inspected to check that they’re present and legible.

2.13 Drive chain and sprocket

These will be inspected to check:

  • that the chain isn’t too loose, tight or worn
  • that the sprockets aren’t too worn
  • that the chain guard is secure

2.14 Throttle

This will be inspected to check that it works properly.

2.15 Clutch lever

This will be inspected to check that it isn’t so bent, damaged or shortened that it can’t easily be used.

2.16 Footrests

These will be inspected to check that they’re present and fitted securely.

3. More information

The MOT inspection manual tells you:

  • everything that’s tested
  • how the MOT tester will check it
  • the reasons things can be failed