Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 15th November 2019

We all know the feeling of dread before your MOT. No matter if you’re an experienced biker, or are new to the game. There’s a few weeks left to go and you’re left wondering if anything needs looking at before you take it in. 

Whilst it is tricky to make sure everything is in tip top condition, it does pay to have a rough idea on what to look out for to ensure you pass with flying colours.

How are MOT tests measured?

A standard motorbike MOT comprises of 16 checks that helps ensure your bike is safe to carry on being driven out on the roads. Every check consists of looking for wear and tear to any parts, any damage and making sure it meets government requirements. 

There are a number of different levels to which a part of the test is measured, these are:

  • Pass – this is if your motorbike reaches the minimum required standard of road safety.
  • Advisory – here the part needs to be monitored, as a problem could develop in the near future.
  • Minor – not a significant risk but still needs to be repaired.
  • Major – could potentially affect other road users and needs repairing asap.
  • Dangerous – means your bike isn’t currently road legal and poses a risk to other drivers.

What checks do I need to make before I take my bike for its MOT?

Wheels and tyres

Checks on wheels and tyres include checking the tread depth and whether the bike has been equipped with the right size/type. The alignment of the front and rear tyres also must be correct.


Brakes must work correctly and efficiently. You can test these easily by applying them and if the wheels rotate freely as you release, they should be in good working order.


Checking that every bulb on the bike works properly is also worthwhile, as these are really easy to fix if not. 

Switch on the headlight and the indicators at the same time to check if both work in unison – as no light should have an impact on the performance of another. 

Suspension & steering

Here, the mechanic will focus on looking into the handlebars, shock absorbers and forks. Some basic checks you can do before you take your bike in for its MOT include:

Lifting the front of the bike off the ground and moving the handlebars as far as they can go from one side to the other. If they don’t move smoothly then it could be something that’s worth getting checked out.

Movement in the forks after you’ve tried to push and pull on them could mean something isn’t quite right in the head bearing.

Do the same with the swingarms as you did with the forks and if you notice any movement, it could be an indication the swingarm bearings need looking at.

At the back of the bike, press down to check the suspension is working as it should. There should be some resistance when pressed down on and a steady return to normal.


The frame of your bike will be checked to verify there’s no major damage which could impact your steering or braking. If you notice any wear and tear or a change in the performance of your bike due to the frame, it could be worth getting this ironed out before you take it in.