What Is Checked on a Motorbike MOT | CCM Blog

What Is Checked on a Motorbike MOT Test?

If you have a motorbike in the UK, then you’re going to need to make sure that it has a valid MOT certificate attached to it before hopping on the back and racing off.

The MOT is the government’s way of making sure that all the vehicles on the road meet the expected safety and emissions standards.

Here we have tried to answer all of the most common questions we get asked by bike owners coming in for their MOT.

It’s worth noting that motorbike MOTs don’t check the condition of your engine, gearbox or clutch.

First, let’s see what is checked on a Motorbike MOT test


These will be examined to check:

  • Their condition
  • That they’re secure
  • That they all work properly
  • That the headlights are the right colour and that the aim is correct

These checks include the rear lights, indicators and reflectors too.

Steering and Suspension:

The examiner will check your:

  • Forks
  • Grip mountings
  • Handlebars
  • Swinging arm
  • Head bearings
  • Shock absorbers and dampening effect

Wheels and Tyres:

Now it’s time to check the wheels and tyres for:

  • Their overall condition
  • That they are the correct size and type for your bike
  • That they are correctly and securely fitted
  • That the tread depth meets the correct requirement
  • That the valves are in good condition


These will be inspected to check:

  • Their operation and performance (using the efficiency test)
  • Their condition
  • That the brake controls are working as intended


The examiner will check that the frame is:

  • Free from cracks or signs of damage
  • Not distorted in any way
  • For any corrosion that is likely to affect your braking or steering

Fuel System:

MOT Viewing Area Sign at CCM Garages
MOT Viewing Area Sign at CCM Garages

We will check for signs of any:

  • Leaks
  • Signs of unsecured components

Exhaust System:

Time to check that the exhaust system is:

  • Not overly noisy
  • Is secure and complete

Wheel Alignment:

The tester will check to ensure your bike has the correct wheel alignment of both the front and rear wheels.


The seats will be inspected to check:

  • That any seats are attached securely
  • For the presence of a rider’s seat

Sidecars (if fitted):

Your sidecar, if you have one, will be checked for:

  • Secure attachment
  • The suspension
  • The wheel bearings are secure
  • The wheel alignment is correct
  • That the lights and tyres are all working correctly and safely


The horn will be inspected to check that:

  • It works correctly and as intended
  • That it is suitable for the vehicle

Drive Chain and Sprocket:

The MOT tester will inspect the drive chain and sprocket to ensure:

  • That the sprockets aren’t too worn and are in good condition
  • The chain guard is in place and is secure
  • That the chain isn’t too tight, loose or showing signs of wear

Registration Plates, Vehicle Identification and Frame Numbers:

These will each be inspected to ensure that they are all present and correct.


The tester will make sure that the throttle is working properly


We will check to make sure that all footrests are present and that they are securely fitted to the bike

Clutch Lever:

The clutch lever needs to be inspected to ensure that it isn’t bent, damaged or shortened to the point where it can’t be easily accessed and used.

When should you get your MOT?

Because of the MOT extension in 2020, many people’s MOT renewal date has now moved so it is definitely worth checking that yours is still intact. You can do this by either giving us a call or by typing your reg into the government website here.

If you didn’t take advantage of the MOT extension then your renewal date should be the same as usual.

Any vehicle over three years old is required to have an annual MOT test.

How do you know when your MOT is due?

There are two really easy ways to check that your MOT is due. 1. Call our team and we can check for you or 2. Check online here on the government website.

Can you ride a Motorbike without an MOT?

Physically, yes you can but legally, no. Bikes are covered for their first 3 years but after that, it is down to the owner to ensure that their bike has a valid and current MOT.

What to do before a motorbike MOT?

If your MOT has expired, you will need to make sure that you have an MOT test booked before setting off. If you get caught by the police without an MOT, and without proof that you are driving solely to get to an MOT station, you could be on the receiving end of a £1000 fine.

How long does a motorbike MOT take?

A motorbike MOT takes about 35-40 minutes to complete. If you are waiting on-site, we can offer you free tea, coffee and Wi-Fi to keep you entertained.

What are MOT exemptions?

Some vehicles are exempt from having an MOT. This includes any vehicle under 3 years old, or over 40 years old. The thinking behind this is that new cars are fresh from the factory so items should still be in good condition. Vehicles over 40 years old are considered classics and are most likely someone’s pride and joy and better cared for than most cars on the road.

How do motorbike MOTs work?

When you bring your motorbike in for its MOT, the tester will examine all the components mentioned above to make sure your bike is road legal. Each item checked is then graded as the following:

Dangerous: your motorbike is either a direct risk to the rider and other drivers or is damaging to the environment making it not road legal. This is an immediate failure of the test and the bike shouldn’t be ridden again until the necessary repairs have been made.

Major: the issue is a potential safety risk to other road users and is also an automatic failure of the MOT test. This should be repaired straight away.

Minor: this is an issue that isn’t a huge risk, but it is still something that needs to be looked into. This won’t be an MOT failure.

Advisory: this is suggesting that there may be an issue that could develop in the future. For example; brake pads still being within the legal limit, but nearing the end of their life.

Pass: good news, your motorbike has passed its MOT! This means that it meets the minimum legal standards required for road safety.

What to do if your motorbike fails its MOT?

If you aren’t so lucky and your motorbike fails its MOT, don’t panic, as most places can do the repairs on-site.

Motorbike MOT at CCM Gatwick
Motorbike MOT at CCM Gatwick

Can you ride a motorbike with a failed MOT?

Simply put, no you cannot.

Will ANPR know if I don’t have an MOT?

Yes, ANPR can spot if you are driving without a valid MOT. This is because ANPR systems are used to cross-check your registration with other government websites such as the DVSA.

Can I tax my motorbike without an MOT certificate?

Unfortunately, not. You need to have a valid MOT certificate to tax your motorbike. You always must have an MOT to get your motorbike insured. If you have an active insurance policy, and then forget to get your MOT, your insurance will become invalid as your vehicle isn’t technically road legal.

What happens if I miss my MOT by accident?

If you have just realised that your MOT has expired, you must get this booked in as soon as possible. You can only legally ride your bike if you are driving to the MOT test centre and you will need proof of a booking if you are pulled over by police.

Can the police tell if my motorbike MOT has expired?

Yes, police can pick up on the ANPR if you have a valid MOT or not.

Is my motorbike insurance valid without an MOT?

No, your insurance becomes invalid the moment your MOT expires because your motorbike hasn’t been able to prove that it meets the minimum requirement for road safety.

Motorbike & Moped MOTs

Book your MOT with our Gatwick team

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