Simple motorbike checks before MOT test

The annual MOT test can be an anxious time for owners but there are some simple checks you can do before bringing the bike to us to alert you to potential problems.

Director Dave Willis said: “I’m happy for people to pay us to do simple maintenance jobs on their motorbikes for the MOT test but there are so many things they could do themselves.

“We sometimes squeeze a motorbike in for an MOT test at short notice and then find a lot of things wrong with it. We don’t always have the time to put them right immediately which is inconvenient to the owner.

“A lot of the checks you can do yourself before the MOT test are ones that should be done regularly when you are riding your bike,” he added.

If you find something wrong, that you are unable to fix yourself, warn us so we can have the parts ready and the time to fit them.

You can check the comprehensive MOT inspection manual for motorcycles in detail at

Here are some simple checks you can make ahead of an MOT test:

  • Tyres – basically at least 1mm of tread. Tread depth bars make it easy if you do not have a gauge. Motorcycles up to 50cc do not need 1mm of tread but the tread pattern must be visible
  • Lights – check all lights are in good working order, including a rear number plate light
  • Number plates – make sure the plate conforms to the legal requirements and is secure
  • Exhaust – the exhaust must conform to noise standards so make sure any after-fit modifications comply. If a standard exhaust has a baffle it must be fitted for the MOT test
  • Chain – ensure it is correctly tensioned and not worn out
  • Passenger footrests – if a pillion seat is visible, footrests must be fitted if the motorbike was supplied with them
  • Horn – must work and be loud enough to be heard by other road users
  • Front fork seals – check for any oil leaks
  • Check for loose parts, nuts, bolts and screws

While the above checks are not extensive, nor a guarantee that your bike will pass an MOT test, they will help alert you to potential problems early so they can be fixed before the inspection itself.

You can book your bike in for servicing or an MOT test at or call 01473 257401.

Watch our pre-MOT checks video