Extracts reproduced from the MOT Inspection Manual
by kind permission of THE VEHICLE INSPECTORATE.


Motuk provides a guide to the basic requirements of a motorcycle MOT test below, if you have any particular query on the test please and we will do our best to answer your enquiry.

As with cars, if you are unsure about adjustment and maintenance to your bike it is always best to consult a trained service engineer; remember – SAFETY FIRST.

This guide is for solo bikes only, motorcycles fitted with a side-car have separate regulations and requirements; you are advised to check with an official test centre if you have any doubts over the test.


Of the 20% failure rate on bike MOT tests, over half are for defective lights. Quite amazing since these are amongst the simplest items to check yourself before going to the test.

The requirements are simple, and quite straightforward to replace or adjust, without the need of a mechanic.

HEADLIGHTS & TAIL LIGHTS must be free of chips or cracks; the headlight must also work on main and dip beam, the main beam must shine directly ahead and the dip slightly lower and to the left.

INDICATOR LIGHTS must all flash at a steady rate and the warning lights function properly.

If a HAZARD WARNING SYSTEM is fitted, all 4 indicators must flash at a steady uniform rate.

Bikes must have a red REFLECTOR on the rear of the machine, either bolted on separately or as part of the tail light lens.


The next highest fail rate is on steering, look at the test items below and if you’re in any doubt as to whether they will pass, consult a qualified service engineer.


In day-to-day riding there is perhaps no more important part of your bikes equipment that, when working properly, may just save your life! It is also the third highest reason for failure in MOT testing.

The examiner will:


Over one quarter of MOT test failures are due to worn tyres, remember, safety first – worn tyres can kill! Here are the main items the examiner will check on the bike:


As the tests are subtly different we will deal front and rear separately.

For the front suspension the examiner will check:
At the rear, the checks will be:


The decibel level will be assessed at the discretion of the tester, other checks are:



In addition to the items mentioned above the examiner will:

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