MOT checks for tyres and wheels on motorcycles are divided into just two sections. Please click one of the links below to skip to the section of interest.

tyres :: 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.


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.

Metzeler ME22 tyres and the Aprilia AF 50

There’s an exception listed in the VOSA manual which states that a Metzeler 100/80 – 17 52s ME22 may be fitted to the rear wheel of an Aprilia AF 50 if it is put on the opposite way round to the direction indicators.


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.