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Body & Structure

MOT checks for body and structure on motorcycles are divided into just three sections. Please click one of the links below to skip to the section of interest.

condition of structure :: seats, footrests and transmission :: registration plates and vehicle identification number

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

98 questions on "Body & Structure"

  1. Michael John Redmond says:

    Hi can i legally strengthen the frame of my NSU quickly moped (1962) I’m not cutting anything out just adding was my dads who as now passed away. Reason for strengthing is I’m 6ft 7 and weigh eighteen stone. Yes i know heard them all (just joking) many thanks . Mike

    1. admin says:

      A bike of that age doesn’t need an MOT. Even so, adding bars to a frame won’t fail an MOT – just look at the bars people fitted to the old V-Max frames…

  2. Cody duggan says:

    Hello will my moped fail it’s mot for a hole in the side casing where my kick start has snapped off ?

    1. admin says:

      Yes, if it has any sharp edges it will fail.

  3. Tom says:

    Hi I have a 50cc speedfight but I have put the 100cc speedfight engine in. The vin number on frame matches the reg number etc. Will it pass an mot even tho the engine is 100cc ?

    1. admin says:

      As long as it’s securely and correctly mounted it wouldn’t even be looked at…

  4. Liam says:

    Hello I have indicators built into the lights on the front and back of my bike and my rear light is held on with two L brackets would this pass an mot in this condition

    1. admin says:

      Assuming the L-Brackets hold the light securely and there are no sharp edges it shouldn’t be a problem. The built in indicators however could be an issue if they are LED units. If any of the red LEDs turn orange when the indicators are switched on it is an MOT fail.

  5. Gary Marsh says:

    Hi I’m thinking of fitting a Cree led light bar to my srad streetfighter not as a riding light as I have twin dominators fitted (it will not be wired into the lighting circuit) but as flood for late night illuminated riding, will it be legal?

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi Gary,
      Are you keeping the dominator twin headlights you currently have fitted? If you are then the Cree LED must emit a steady white light to pass. If you are getting rid of the dominators it must have a beam pattern, be set at the right height and deflect to the nearside of the vehicle. If you need any more info let us know.
      All the best,
      FTMC

  6. Andy Manister says:

    1. Front WindScreen: does a bike need the front windscreen attached to pass MOT?
    (Mine’s a zx-6r) and it was cracked/split so I have taken it off completely!
    2. Rear mirrors: One of my mirrors broke and was floppy so I glued it back. I might take it off.
    3. If the “pass” button (full beam headlight switch) doesn’t work, will it still pass? The main headlight button works – just not the “Pass” button.

    1. fasttrack says:

      HI Andy,
      Mirrors and a windshield aren’t a legal requirement, but is the original fairing still fitted? If it is still there it needs to be secure but it is very hard to tell without seeing it in person. As for the full beam light, it needs to be able to be switched on and stay on, it doesn’t matter whether this is done by the pass switch or another one.
      Thanks,
      FTMC

  7. mikey says:

    hi could you tell me if i cut rear seat rails off my bike to make a single seat would i need to weld a seat loop for mot bike has a strut just befor the rear shocks mounting brackets thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hello,
      If you have a rear seat you will need pillion pegs, but no grab rails/grab strap. So you don’t need to apply a strap unless you wanted to of course.
      Thanks
      FTMC

  8. Ian says:

    Ive removed the indicators front and rear from my 1999 srad suzuki, for hill climbing would it pass mot, or just get a daylight one

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hi Ian,
      To pass a normal MOT you would have to put the indicators back on, and to have a daylight MOT you would have to remove all other lights.
      Hope this helps

  9. Reece Dickenson says:

    Hi I have a Cbf 125 due mot at end of this month and the rear fairing has a crack on it but has ductape on it just to stop it cracking further I also have a K and n air filter on would it pass? And I am missing my two side fairings that cover the air box from the seat down to the foot rest I have mis placed them as was working on it for a while would it pass with them off or would I be required to put them back on?
    Thanks

    1. fasttrack says:

      Hello there,
      You should be fine passing an MOT like this, as long as the panels are secure. The missing one s don’t matter and the air filter isn’t an MOT item.
      Thanks
      FMTC

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