All our techs, Keith, Dave, & Karl are DVSA approved. In order to be DVSA approved a tech has to have worked in the trade for 4 years, undertaken a training course with DVSA and passed the exam, then they have to do a refresher course every 5 years.
You can watch the guys doing your MOT through the windows in the showroom. Your MOT will take between 45 minutes to an hour – if you don’t want to watch, grab a voucher from Rachael have a brekkie on us and we’ll call you when it’s done.
A Motorbike MOT only costs £29.65 with us. So what’s actually involved in the MOT – quite a lot actually…
1 – LIGHTS AND SIGNALS
FRONT AND REAR POSITION LAMPS ON A MOTORCYCLE
Note: the front position light, or sidelight, is considered separate from the motorcycle’s headlight and at least 50% of all light sources within a lamp must function. If lamps are obscured by other parts of the bike they will fail. The front light must emit a white light unless it is within a yellow headlamp and the rear must always be red. Both lights must illuminate immediately once the switch is pressed, be securely mounted and not flicker when tapped.
The switch must also be securely mounted and again, tapping shouldn’t affect the lights One switch must operate both lights
Daylight MOT : If a motorbike has no lights at all, or they are taped, painted or permanently disconnected so as to emit no light whatsoever you can still get an MOT pass but you will receive an advisory note stating that the bike should only be used during the hours of daylight and not during times of seriously reduced visibility.
Fog Lights : The motorcycle MOT does not cover rear fog lights or amber lights within the indicator lens of your bike.
Your motorbike’s headlamp must emit either yellow or white light It must light immediately the switch is pressed It should not be adversely affected by any other lamp or the horn It must not flicker when tapped or when the switch is tapped. Both headlight and switch must be securely attached to the motorcycle.
Twin headlights : Only one or both headlamps need to illuminate for either dipped or main beam and they must be mounted one on top of the other or symmetrically and no more than 200mm apart.
Mopeds : For the purposes of the MOT mopeds are only required to have a functioning dipped beam.
Pre-1931 Motorcycles : If your bike was built before 1 January 1931 it doesn’t need a headlight at all but if there is one it must function correctly.
MOTORCYCLE STOP LAMPS
Your motorbike’s stop lamp must emit only a steady red light It must light immediately once the switch(es) is pressed and switch off when released It should not be adversely affected by any other lamp It must be securely attached to the bike and not flicker when tapped Both brakes must operate the stop lamp unless the the was manufactured with only one switch.
Slow Vehicles & Mopeds Bikes which cannot exceed 25mph do not have to have a stop lamp fitted nor do mopeds which were first registered before 1 April 1986 but if fitted they must function correctly.
REAR REFLECTORS ON MOTORCYCLES
Your bike must be fitted with one un-obscured red reflector It must be securely fitted and reflect squarely to the rear It must be positioned along the motorcycles longitudinal centre line Extra Reflectors and Tape Only one reflector is required for the MOT but your bike will not fail for having more. Unfortunately reflective tape is not considered satisfactory.
Indicators must be fitted to a motorcycle and emit only orange light They must flash on and off, not just dim and brighten They must flash between 60 and 120 times per minute They must be visible when riding or have a functioning idiot light They must be securely fitted and so must the switch They must not be adversely affected by the operation of another lamp or the horn
Slow and Off-Road Vehicles : Bikes which cannot exceed 30mph or off-road bikes designed to carry just the rider do not need indicators but if fitted they must function correctly.
MOTORCYCLE HEADLAMP AIM
We use a specialist piece of equipment is to correctly check the aim of your motorbikes headlight. A motorcycle headlight should point directly forward and slightly downwards. The dipped beam must kick-up to the offside of the bike.
Your bike must be fitted with a working continuous tone horn or horns It must be loud enough to be heard by other road users It must not make a harsh or grating noise It must be easily operable whilst riding
2 – STEERING & SUSPENSION
The bikes handlebars, grips,clamps and yokes must be completely secure. Forks, handlebars and yokes cannot be deformed, fractured, cracked or excessively corroded. Flexible handlebar mountings cannot be excessively deteriorated. One switch must operate both lights. Steering dampers must be correctly fitted and not impede control of your motorbike. Any fairing or leg shield fitted should not impede the steering.
Steering lock stops must be fitted, correctly adjusted and effective. With front wheel clear of the ground turn the steering from lock to lock. There should be: no fouling between any moving and fixed part of your motorcycle sufficient clearance for the handlebar grips to be properly grasped and controls operated no restrictions to movement of the bars caused by cables becoming taught, trapped or caught no significant change in engine speed
There should be no tightness or roughness when your motorcycles handlebars are turned lock to lock. Also, there shouldn’t be excessive free play or movement in the steering head bearings or steering linkage. You can check this by applying the front brake and gently pushing the handlebars forward then backward or ideally by applying pressure to the front wheel whilst it is raised in the air as someone else holds the brake on for you. This way you can visually tell if any movement you may feel is actually as a result of movement in the forks.
Note: excessively stiff steering can be caused by a defective or badly adjusted steering damper in which case it is down to the motorcycle MOT test technician’s discretion to test ride your bike to establish whether stability or control is adversely affected. They may also adjust the damper within tolerance if adjustment is possible. You will be informed of this when you receive your test results.
FRONT SUSPENSION AND WHEEL BEARINGS
The front suspension components must all be securely fitted and in a good state of repair There shouldn’t be excessive wear or free play in any component. Suspension springs cannot be loose, cracked, fractured or so badly corroded that their structure is seriously weakened. Suspension springs cannot be repaired by welding. All wheel spindles, locking nuts and other locking devices must be secure. Shock absorbers must not leak. There should be no tightness or roughness when the wheels are turned. Mudguards must be securely fitted especially if they form part of the fork bracing assembly.
Load bearing components cannot be loose, excessively corroded, distorted or poorly repaired. NOTE: light misting or some pitting on a fork stanchion are not reasons enough on their own for a motorbike to fail unless this has caused damage to the damper seals. The motorcycle MOT test technician may pull back any rubber gaiters etc. to conduct the examination if it’s possible without dismantling but they *must* correctly refit them afterwards. The MOT requires that the damping be checked which can easily be done by applying the front brake and depressing the suspension as far as you are able several times. The forks should not be stiff and nor should they bounce up and down, just react to the pressure you are applying. Any fouling between fixed and moving parts which affects the movement of the suspension would fail the bike’s MOT.
Modifications : The VOSA handbook says that an MOT certificate should be refused if any ‘deliberate modification’ has significantly reduced the original strength of a load bearing member or it’s supporting structure.
REAR SUSPENSION AND WHEEL BEARINGS
The rear suspension components must all be securely fitted and in a good state of repair. There shouldn’t be excessive wear or free play in any component. Suspension springs cannot be loose, cracked, fractured or so badly corroded that their structure is seriously weakened. Suspension springs cannot be repaired by welding. All wheel spindles, locking nuts and other locking devices must be secure. Shock absorbers must not leak. There should be no tightness or roughness when the wheels are turned. Load bearing components cannot be loose, excessively corroded, distorted or poorly repaired. Pivots cannot be seized, excessively worn or insecure
NOTE: if you have twin shocks on your motorbike they should be equally adjusted at either side. If they are not the motorcycle MOT test technician will issue an advisory to this effect.
The MOT requires that the damping be checked which can easily be done by sitting on your bike and depressing the suspension as far as you are able several times. The shocks should not be stiff and nor should they bounce up and down, just react to the pressure you are applying. Any fouling between fixed and moving parts which affects the movement of the suspension would fail the bike’s MOT.
With the front wheel held upright and in-line with your motorcycle’s frame – using either a wheel clamp or another person – place a straight edge or cord against the rear tyre, parallel to it and as high off the ground as the bike’s permanent fixtures will allow. By sighting along this edge you will be able to see if both wheels are in-line with each other and your motorcycle’s frame and also check if they are centrally aligned and not offset in any way. (An example of ‘offset’ would be if you put both spacers on one side of the rear wheel instead of one on either side.)
3 – BRAKES
Motorbike breaking systems must have two methods of operation fitted and functioning. All controls, mountings and fastenings must be secure and in good repair. All pivots must be within reasonable levels of wear tolerance. All controls must be easy to apply and have adequate reserve travel on application. Hydraulic systems must not creep* under load or feel spongy when applied
*Fully depress your break lever and hold it firm. If, over time, its resistance grows less and it slowly allows you to add more and more pressure, this is called creep. It most likely means you have a leak somewhere in the hydraulic system of that brake.
Modifications The VOSA handbook says that an MOT certificate should be refused if any ‘deliberate modification’ has significantly reduced the original strength of a load bearing member or it’s supporting structure.
Pre-1927 Motorcycles : Motorcycles which were first registered before 1st January 1927 only need to have a braking system which works on one wheel, not both.
All security or locking devices such as split pins, lock nuts etc. must be present and secure. Standard brake pads or linings must be at least 1.5mm proud of their backing plates. Sintered brake pads or linings must be at least 1mm proud of their backing plates. Hydraulic reservoirs must be securely mounted, capped and sealed. Hydraulic reservoirs must have sufficient fluid in them.
Other reasons for brake systems failing the motorcycle MOT : Excessively worn, corroded, cracked or in any other way damaged cables, levers, rods and linkages Insecure or cracked drums or discs and missing securing bolts. Too much free play on levers through wear or poor adjustment. Contamination of brake pads by oil or grease Insecure backing plates, reaction brackets or callipers. Leaking master cylinders or brake pipes/hoses. Brake pipes which can be easily fouled or trapped by other moving parts of the motorcycle Inadequately supported rigid pipes/hoses. Excessively chafed, twisted or kinked brake pipes/hoses. Disc scoring, pitting or wear. Excessive brake disc run out* or distortion
*run out: whilst the bike is moving very lightly apply each of the brakes in turn and slowly increase pressure. If you can feel a slight pulsing whilst doing this, that is run out. It is caused by warped or uneven wear in your motorbike’s discs.
Note on brake hoses : damage to the protective sleeves of brake hoses will not necessarily fail the bike MOT provided the pipe or hose to which it is attached is not damaged. Cracking or chafing must be severe enough to expose the hose reinforcement to be considered a fail.
Note on movement of discs : many discs fitted to modern sports motorcycles are ‘fully floating’ which means they are designed to have a certain degree of movement. If in doubt consult a qualified motorcycle MOT test technician, do not assume that some movement in your disk is an MOT fail.
Reasons for your motorbike’s brake performance failing the MOT : Sticking or binding brakes. Severe grab or judder. Braking effort which is inconsistent with the amount or pressure applied at the lever. Excessive fluctuation of brake effort when steady pressure is applied. At least one brake must achieve 30% efficiency* with the other at least 25%
*efficiency is calculated by the motorcycle MOT computer system using this formula: Efficiency (%) = (Retarding Force ÷ Weight) x 100
The total retarding force is measured using either our VOSA approved brake tester and Weight is the combined weight of the motorbike plus motorcycle MOT test technician. In the case of linked or dual braking systems the retarding force is the total from both wheels when operated by the dual control only.
4 – TYRES AND WHEELS
Tyres must be of suitable type and in good repair. Tyres must be seated correctly in their rims. Tyres must be fitted in accordance with direction indicators on the sidewall. All tyres must be either cross ply or radial, not a mixture. Tread must be clearly visible over the whole tread area. Tread must be at least 1mm deep throughout the circumference and 75% of the width of the tyre.
Other reasons for your tyres failing the motorcycle MOT test : It shows a cut longer than 25mm or 10% of the section width of the tyre that reaches the ply or cord. It shows a bulge, lump or tear caused by partial failure of its structure. It fouls another component of the motorcycle. Ply or cord is exposed. The valve is seriously damaged or misaligned. The tread has been recut
NOTE : the VOSA manual states that the depth of tread is measured “throughout a continuous circumferential band measuring at least three quarters of the breadth of the tread.” This excludes tie-bars, tread wear indicators and other features designed to “wear out substantially before the rest of the pattern and other minor features”.
Examples of unsuitable tyres : car tyres, motocross tyres, racing tyres, or any tyre stamped with ‘NHS’ or ‘not for highway use’. You must also fit tyres of the correct load and speed rating for the bike and rear tyres must not be used on the front wheel or vice versa.
Mopeds : Bikes with an engine capacity of 50cc or less only need to have clearly visible tread in a continuous band around the whole circumference of the tyre which covers at least 75% of the width without a break.
Reasons for your wheels failing the motorcycle MOT test : Inadequate repairs, corrosion, damage or fractures resulting in significant reduction of the wheels strength. Missing, cracked, loose, bent or severely corroded spokes. Loose or missing bolts or rivets in built-up wheels. An excessively distorted or eccentric bead rim. Loose or missing wheel nuts, studs or bolts.
Insecure wheels note : the maximum allowable lateral run out or buckling is 4mm for steel rims and just 2mm for alloy. The maximum allowable eccentricity of any wheel is 3mm.
Wheel strength : the decision to fail a wheel due to a reduction in strength is at the motorcycle MOT test technician’s discretion as to whether they feel it is rendered unsafe or not.
5 – BODY & STRUCTURE
CONDITION OF STRUCTURE
Straightforward enough. There should be no damage, distortion or corrosion on your motorbike’s frame which is going to affect the way it rides or stops. Fractures and cracks etc will certainly fail the motorcycle MOT and so will any modifications which adversely affect the original frames strength.
SEATS, FOOTRESTS AND TRANSMISSION
Rider’s seat and footrests must be present and securely attached Pillion footrests must be fitted and secure if there is a pillion seat* Drive chain or belt must be adjusted correctly. The throttle must open and shut as intended. All locking devices, pins and circlips must be present and correctly fitted.
Other reasons your motorcycle may fail its MOT test : Excessively worn drive chain, sprocket or sprocket carrier. A damaged or broken clutch lever which prevents normal, and easy, operation.
*except in a few rare exceptions which were manufactured for passenger use but don’t appear to have pillion footrests.
REGISTRATION PLATE AND VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (VIN)
A registration plate must be fitted vertically to the rear of your motorbike. It must be secure, clean, complete, in good repair and legible. It must be standard yellow with black writing** A VIN number must be present on your motorcycle.
Reasons for which your registration plate may fail the bike MOT : Badly positioned retaining bolts which may lead to misreading of letters. Non-standard letter forms and widths. Any feature which affects the appearance or legibility of letters. Too small a margin around the letters. All the characters are arranged in a single line
Note: this section does not apply to unregistered, foreign, diplomatic or military vehicles and is only applicable to registration plates fitted to the rear of the bike.
**Unless your bike was manufactured before 1973
6 – FUEL & EXHAUST SYSTEMS
Your bikes exhaust system must be complete and in a good state of repair. All mounts must be present, unbroken and fully support the system.
Reasons for your motorcycle exhaust system failing it’s motorcycle MOT : The silencer is marked ‘NOT FOR ROAD USE’. The silencer is marked ‘TRACK USE ONLY’. The exhaust is, in the motorcycle MOT test technicians’s opinion, significantly louder than the standard.
Your bike’s entire fuel system must be secure and free from leaks. All mounts must be present, unbroken and fully support the system. The fuel tank cap must be present and fasten securely.
Other reasons for your motorcycle’s fuel system failing it’s motorcycle MOT : Deteriorated or missing sealing washer on the fuel tank cap. A leaking fuel tank cap. Any fuel leak which occurs under normal operating conditions of the motorcycle.
Phew – told you there was a lot to it !!!
So what happens now…
Simple you either get a Plain Paper Pass form (VT20), which has any advisories on the right hand side, or you can fail in which case you will get a Plain Paper Fail Form VT30. Again the advisories are on the right side of the fail form too.
Click the images to download samples forms…