Motorcycle MOT checker

Get clued up on everything you need to know about having a motorcycle MOT, including the cost and what is tested

Updated 25 October 2022  | 3 min read

Check your motorbike’s MOT status

  • Try our MOT calculator to check your motorbike’s MOT status
  • Find out what’s inspected in a motorcycle MOT
  • Learn what checks to make on your bike before it has an MOT

Key points

  • An MOT is a legal requirement for your car or van once it’s three years old
  • It checks the vehicle is safe to drive, safe for other road users and for the environment
  • Driving without a valid MOT is against the law and will invalidate your insurance
  • You can only drive without one if you’re going to an MOT test centre to have a pre-booked test

What’s tested during a motorbike MOT?

An MOT is an official test used to check that your bike is roadworthy and meets the legal road safety standards.

The test involves a thorough and extensive check of your motorbike and needs to be done every year once your bike is more than three years old.

A motorbike MOT test will include checking:


These will be inspected to make sure they’re in good condition, working properly and fixed securely.

  • Headlamps need to be the right colour and aimed correctly
  • Rear lights, indicators and reflectors will also be checked

Steering and suspension

Your motorbike will be inspected to see if the steering and suspension is working correctly and efficiently. This will involve checking:

  • Handlebar alignment and grips
  • The forks, head bearings and swinging arm
  • Shock absorbers and damping effect

Wheels and tyres

A motorcycle's wheels need to be secure and in good condition, as part of this they’ll be checked to make sure they:

  • Are the right size and type
  • Have the correct tread depth
  • Are correctly fitted
  • Have valves in good condition

The frame

Your motorcycle’s frame will be inspected to check it doesn’t have any cracks, damage, distortion or corrosion which might affect the steering or braking.


The brakes on your motorbike must be in good condition, working correctly and efficiently.

Exhaust system

The exhaust should be secure. It also needs to be complete and shouldn’t have any missing parts or leaks. It’ll be checked to make sure it’s not too noisy.

Fuel system

The fuel system must not have any leaks and all its components should be secure.


The MOT testing centre will check whether there’s a rider’s seat on your bike and that it’s attached securely.

Wheel alignment

The front and rear wheels must be correctly aligned for optimal handling.


If you have a sidecar fitted, this will be checked to see whether:

  • It’s securely attached
  • The suspension is working correctly
  • The wheel bearings are secure
  • The wheels are correctly aligned
  • The lights and tyres are all working correctly and safely

The horn

The horn should work properly, sounds as it’s supposed to, and must be suitable for a motorbike.

Registration plates, vehicle identification and frame numbers

These must be valid, clear and legible. Number plates that have been made smaller or more stylised won’t pass an MOT.

Drive chain and sprocket

These elements will be inspected to check that:

  • The drive chain isn’t too loose or tight
  • The chain and sprockets aren’t too worn
  • The chain guard is secure and has been fitted correctly

Throttle and clutch lever

Your bike’s throttle will be tested to make sure it’s working properly. The clutch lever will also be checked - it shouldn’t be bent, damaged or shortened.


Footrests must be present and fitted securely.

Why do I need a motorbike MOT?

The MOT checks your bike is safe and fit to ride. Passing its MOT means your bike meets the minimum legal emission and safety standards.

It’s your responsibility to get your motorbike tested every year. And the digitisation of MOT testing means police and mobile camera units can check to see if it has a valid certificate.

If you get caught without a valid MOT, you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and it’s likely to invalidate your motorcycle insurance.

10 checks to make before your bike’s MOT

Putting your bike in for an MOT can be an anxious time but doing some simple checks beforehand can help reduce the chances of any issues being found.

  1. Check the tyres

    For your bike to be legal there needs to be at least 1mm of tread on both tyres. The tyres also need to be the correct type for the bike and fitted correctly

  2. View the lights

    Your headlights need to work on both full and dipped beams. You’ll also need to check the rear and brake lights, as well as the number plate light

  3. Try the suspension

    Test the forks by applying the front brake and pushing the handlebars forwards then backwards. Make sure the forks are oiled correctly

  4. Inspect the brakes

    Check fluid levels and hoses for damage and look for any wear on the brake discs. Your brake pads shouldn’t be less than 1.5mm thick

  5. Spin the wheels

    Check the wheels move freely. Inspect the bearings for cracks and make sure they rotate easily and that both wheels are aligned correctly

  6. Turn the handlebars

    Ideally with the front wheel off the ground, turn the handlebars to full lock in both directions, check for any obstructions and check cables for fraying

  7. Clean the air filter

    A clogged filter can impact your bike’s performance. It’s usually found under the fuel tank and the owner’s manual will tell you how to clean or replace it

  8. Check the chain

    Make sure the chain is tight and oiled. The sprocket should have all its teeth and shouldn’t be showing signs of wear

  9. Watch the indicators

    Your indicators need to emit an amber light and flash at a steady rate, between 60 and 120 times per minute

  10. Service it regularly

    To keep your motorbike in tip-top condition you should get it checked by a mechanic every six months, or every 2,500 to 4,000 miles

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