• Hi All -

    I have copied Nev's post from the old forum, as it has a lot of great info come MOT time;


    Usually at this time of year bikes are being made ready to get on the road, in preparation for the better weather, and generally a fair few bikes have their MOT's due around about now.

    Here are some checks to make on your bike before you take to the MOT tester, listed below are the things testers look for.


    Testers are looking for blown seals and pogo-ing. Fork seals can be changed, but if the stanchions are pitted it will just damage the new ones. They can be re chromed, or replacements are about £80 each (not genuine). If the forks are pogo-ing then check the level and quality of the oil.

    Testers are looking for fluid leaks, hose wear and pad / disc condition. Check them by pulling hard on the lever. If it comes back to the bar then it will fail. If the discs are excessively scored or worn below the recommended thickness you will fail. Before the test, give the calipers a strip and clean, if the pads are below the minimum wear indicator (the groove in the middle) then change them. Make sure you chamfer the edges of the new pads to stop them squeaking. Brakes must not be binding, this can be tested by lifting the wheels off the floor and checking you can rotate them freely with your hand.

    The testers will be looking for over tight or loose bearings. Check them by lifting the front wheel clear of the floor and trying to move the front wheel forwards and back. Also, turn the steering to check for tight spots and notchy-ness. If they are loose then tighten them a bit with a C spanner on the notchy collar under the top yoke. If they are too tight then do the opposite. If they are still dodgy then they will need to be replaced, which is a fairly difficult job. I would advise that this job is best left to the professionals.

    Got any side to side play in either of your wheels? Well if you have then no certificate, because that is what the testers are looking for. Lift the wheels clear of the floor and give them a wiggle.

    Testers are looking for less than 3mm of run out and any cracks. As a rule cast wheels have to be replaced, though some cracks can be repaired. No loose spokes will be accepted either, you can check this by running a spanner around the wheel lightly tapping them all as you go, you should hear a different sound if there are any loose.

    With tyres, testers are looking for some tread (at least 1mm in the centre) and no bulges or cracks. If they touch part of the bike then that's a fail too. Also for anybody running enduro / mx tyres, they must have an E-mark on them to avoid a failure. The mark itself is either an upper or lower case "E" followed by a number in a circle or rectangle, followed by a further number.

    If you have got a case of shock rot (corrosion, leaks, no damping) then don't even bother going to the testers. You will probably need to replace or refurbish the shock.

    You need a good strong horn. The sound needs to steady and loud. If it is buggered check the switch, wiring and horn itself. Replacements cost about £10.

    Posh race system? Race can? You will have to put the boring crap old one back on I'm afraid. The rules say that a can must be marked with the manufacturers stamp, or be BS certified. If it says 'Not For Road Use' then it will fail.

    Side to side play and wheel alignment are what are being looked at here. Bearings are easy enough to replace, just like wheel ones. Align in the usual way.

    Must not crush thumbs when turned to full lock and must be done up nice and tight. If the lock stops are damaged then you can get them welded or file a bit off the back of the handle bar. All electronic switches that are present must work, and brake / clutch levers must not have sharp edges if they are broken.

    Although this is heavily dependant on the M.O.T test centre you go to, some places won't require you to have ANY lights on the bike whatsoever. However if you have any light switches in place, they must all be working and will be checked so you can't get away with that cheap European one that you bought when you crashed. Most testers will sort out any little problems like the beam being out of alignment. Indicators must flash an orange colour and the flash rate must be between 60 and 120 flashes per minute so if you've switched to LEDs, check the flash rate. You must have at least 1 working brake light switch. If something isn't working then check the bulb first, then the switch.

    Make sure that your chain is correctly tensioned and well lubed. Replace if the chain is badly stretched or the sprockets are hooked, bent out of shape, or missing altogether.

    A quick check around and underneath the engine for any oil leaks near mating surfaces / gaskets is always good practise too.

    A lot of testers are very lenient on this one, but your best off having an M.O.T friendly one lying around as a spare just in case. It should be yellow with white writing, and should be made from a reflective material. There is no mention of size on the .gov website, just the spacing in between each letter, but you can't go wrong with an 8x6 plate.

    More useful checks can be found on here;