Passing your Motorcycle MOT

You are likely to be a biker if you know how to maintain your bike. Even the most keen of us can sometimes be afraid to take our bike for its MOT. In 2018/19, approximately 17% of motorbikes failed to pass their MOT. You can see how much care goes into maintaining a motorbike compared to the 34% failure rate of cars. It pays to be aware of what to watch out for.

What time does my motorbike require an MOT?

Like a car, motorcycle older than three years must have a valid MOT certificate. You’ll need it to be tested each year to make sure that it is roadworthy and safe to ride. Our MOT status checking will help you determine if your motorbike is due for an MOT. A MOT certificate is required by law. If you are caught without one, you could face a PS1,000 fine.

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Without an MOT certificate, your motorbike coverage could also be invalid.

What is the cost of a motorcycle MOT?

Motorbikes can be divided into two categories for MOT purposes. The engine of a class 1 bike can be up to 200cc and the one of a class 2 bike is over 200cc. While this doesn’t affect the MOT cost , having a sidecar does.

Read also: 10 Tips for Driving in the UK

Approximate MOT Price –


What should I do before I take my bike to the MOT?

The motorcycle MOT includes 16 checks to make sure your bike is safe and ready for use. Every check will verify that the item meets government standards and is free from damage or excessive wear. The complete list of checks can be viewed on GOV.UK.

Here is a list of common motorbike MOT failures.

Headlamps and lights

Motorcycles that fail their MOT due to lighting and signalling problems are most common.

Testers should inspect the lamps to make sure they are working properly, and check if they have the correct headlamps.

They will also verify that the headlamps are correctly aimed.

Steering and suspension

These parts will be examined for their condition, security, and operation.

Testers should be particularly attentive to the handlebars and head bearings, forks, handlebars, swinging arm, shock absorbers, and head bearings.

To ensure that the front wheel is raised off the ground, move the handlebars lock to lock.

Grab the forks at bottom and push and pull them. Any movement could indicate play in the head bearing.

To check that the suspension is functioning properly, move to the rear and bounce your bike.

Grab each swingarm end, and move it around. This could indicate that your swingarm bearings have failed.

It might be worth fixing any issues you have noticed in your bike’s handling before you take it to the MOT.


Tyres and wheels

You should inspect the condition of your wheels and tyres.

This includes the size and type of tyres that have been installed on the bike.

Motorbikes with a maximum of 50cc will require at least 1mm tread on three-quarters the tread pattern’s width.

The alignment of the rear and front wheels must be correct.

The frame

It is important to inspect the frame of your bike for cracks, damage, or corrosion.

This is done to ensure that the vehicle is free from any conditions that could cause it to lose steering or brake control.


The brakes must work as expected.

You can test them by applying the brakes to the wheels and ensuring that the brake is not applied. Also, make sure the brake pads don’t get clogged up.

The tester should be able to see:

  • Disc brakes
  • Shoes and brake pads
  • Brake hoses
  • ABS warning lights, if applicable


The exhaust system of the motorbike will need to be as silent, secure, and complete as possible.

Leakages must be eliminated from the fuel system


Sidecars (if fitted)

A sidecar on your motorcycle should be checked by a tester to ensure that:

  • It is securely attached and aligned properly.
  • The suspension works
  • The lights work!
  • The tyres work well.
  • All wheel alignments and bearings are correct.

Additional checks

Other important points are whether the throttle and horn work properly, whether registration plates are legible, and if the clutch lever has not been damaged.

A guard should be installed to protect the drive chain.

Also, the tester will need to make sure that your wheels are properly aligned and that your seats are securely attached.

All this may seem daunting but you don’t need to be worried about the exam.

You can pass the test with just a little planning and regular maintenance.


MOT grades

A grade will be awarded to any defects or issues that are identified by the tester.

These are the motorcycle MOT grades:

  • Dangerous – Direct risk to drivers or damage environment. The motorcycle is not road legal.
  • Major: Issue should be fixed immediately
  • Minor: A defect is not a serious risk but should be fixed as soon as possible.
  • Advisory Issues will need to monitored and dealt with when necessary.
  • Pass:Reaches legal safety standard.

A motorbike that receives a severe or major grade is considered dangerous and has not passed its MOT.

Any other and it is gone.

Is a moped required to have an MOT?

An MOT is required for a moped.

There are however some differences in the MOT inspection of your moped.

Your moped doesn’t have to be equipped with indicators lights. There’s no minimum tread depth.

A registration plate is not required on your moped’s rear.


Is a motorbike that is older than 50 years old required to have an MOT?

An MOT is not required if your motorcycle has been in use for more than 40 years and there have not been any significant changes over the past 30 years.

Substantial changes may include the replacement of the chassis, body or axles, as well as the engine, to improve the vehicle’s performance.

You will need to inform your insurance company if you have made modifications on your motorbike.

If you have a vintage motorbike, it is likely that it doesn’t require an MOT.