In case you didn’t know, all vehicles in the UK over 3 years old, are subject to an annual MOT test to ensure they are roadworthy. The certificate you receive will show that your bike is legal to ride on the road for the next 12 months, as well as provide details of any advisories that may need consideration before your next MOT due date. This motorcycle MOT checklist will help you make sure you correct any small faults and pass your MOT first time.
The Ministry of Transport test, commonly referred to as the MOT test, is an annual inspection of the mechanical aspects and exhaust emissions of your bike, as defined by the Road Traffic Act 1988. Every vehicle must have a valid MOT in order to be eligible for Road Tax and insurance, the other important bits you need to ride on the road!
Look after your bike, and it will look after you. Motorbikes that are regularly serviced should not have any problems when it comes to MOT time and will be safe and roadworthy at all times.
With a little bit of foresight and a good going over before you take your bike to the test centre, you shouldn’t have to be too worried about a potential failure.
An MOT will test important parts of your motorbike to ensure that they meet the legally required standards. It is not, however, a service and will not take into account the mechanical condition of the bigger bits like the engine, the clutch and the gears.
If any parts are deemed not to meet the legal requirements, your MOT certificate will be a fail and you will need to fix or replace parts before submitting for a second test. If your bike fails its MOT, you cannot legally drive it on the road.
Here are some practical things you can do before you bite the bullet and take it to be tested:
Your lights and headlamps will be tested to ensure they are working, are the right colour and are aiming the right way. You can inspect them at home, and replace any bulbs that are blown before your MOT due date.
The condition and operation of these important components will be examined, with particular attention on the forks, handlebars, head bearings, swinging arm and shock absorbers.
Check that your handlebars turn freely, that the suspension is responsive when you bounce the bike and that your bearings are all secure. If the handling feels wrong or any parts feel loose, have them checked before you go for your MOT.
It is easy enough to visually inspect the condition of the wheels and tyres, and ensure that the right size and type has been fitted to the bike. You should also check that they have the legal amount of tread depth on them and that the front and rear wheels are correctly aligned.
A damaged frame could be potentially detrimental to the steering or braking systems, so check that it is free from cracks, damage, distortion or corrosion.
You will probably already be aware if your brakes are on their way out. But you should always check that your brakes are fully operational by making sure the wheels rotate freely when the brake is released, and ensuring that the brake pads are not worn out.
Have a quick look at the exhaust to make sure that it is securely fitted to your bike and that it is not leaking in any way.
Before you take your bike for its MOT you should also check that the number plate is properly secured to the bike and that your registration number is fully visible as well checking that your horn works well.
You may also want to check that the throttle is in good working order and that the clutch lever is not damaged in any way.
Spend a little time giving your bike a once-over, and passing your MOT should be a breeze.