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Massbrook Driving School:

Motorcycle Technical Checks

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or gearing up for your driving test, it’s always wise to refresh your knowledge about the technical side of your motorcycle.

Let's break down what driving test technical checks you need to know.

First things first, please keep in mind that different motorcycle models might have variations. It’s a good idea to consult your user manual or your friendly mechanic to locate these items.

Technical Checks


Brake Fluid: Know the location of the front and back brake fluid reservoir and identify the high and low mark. Leaks or worn brake pads may cause a drop in levels.

Brake Pads: These friction materials clamp onto the brake disks. Regularly check them for wear and tear to maintain optimal stopping power.

Brake Disks: Inspect these flat surfaces for grooves, cracks, or warping. Well-maintained disks are essential for safe and efficient braking.

Technical Checks


Motorcycle Cables are vital components, including clutch and throttle cables, these cables should be adjusted and lubricated properly.

Clutch Cable: Connects the clutch lever to the clutch, allowing smooth gear changes. Ensure it’s properly adjusted for precise operation.

Throttle Cables: Are an important component in motorcycles as they control the engines speed. Well-maintained cables are crucial for your safety.

Technical Checks


Your motorcycle’s chain needs regular attention. Cleaning and lubricating the chain prevent dirt buildup, ensuring smooth movement and longevity.

Oiling: Applying chain lubricant keeps the links moving freely, reducing friction and wear. Regular oiling extends the chain’s life and enhances overall performance.

Checking for Wear on Sprockets: Sprockets, the toothed wheels connected to the chain, should be inspected for signs of wear. Worn sprockets affect the chain’s engagement, leading to poor performance and safety risks.

Chain Tension: Proper chain tension is crucial. Too tight or too loose a chain can cause issues. Adjust the tension as per your motorcycle’s specifications for optimal performance and safety.

Regular maintenance ensures a smooth and safe ride during your test and beyond.

Technical Checks


Motor coolant, also known as antifreeze, is essential for regulating your engine’s temperature. It prevents overheating and freezing, ensuring optimal performance and longevity of your motorcycle’s engine.

Reservoir Location: Know the location of your motorcycles coolant reservoir, also called the overflow tank. It is usually located near the engine. It allows for coolant expansion and contraction as the engine heats up and cools down.

High and Low Marks: The reservoir has markings indicating high and low levels. Maintaining the coolant level between these marks is crucial. Too low can lead to overheating, while too high can cause leaks when the coolant expands. Regularly check the coolant level, especially before long rides or during seasonal changes.

Technical Checks

Engine oil

Topping up engine oil is crucial for maintaining proper lubrication and ensuring your motorcycle’s engine runs smoothly. To do this, locate the oil filler cap on the engine. Remove the cap, add the appropriate type and amount of oil specified in your motorcycle’s manual, and check the oil level using the dipstick or sight glass.

Location of the Engine Oil Check Window: The engine oil check window, also known as a sight glass, is typically located on the engine casing. It provides a visual indicator of the oil level inside the engine. Consult your motorcycle’s manual to find the specific location of the sight glass. When checking the oil level, ensure the motorcycle is on level ground for an accurate reading.

Oil Filter: The oil filter is a vital component that helps remove contaminants from the engine oil, ensuring it stays clean and effective. During regular maintenance, locate the oil filter, usually positioned near the engine. When changing the oil, it’s advisable to replace the oil filter as well to maintain optimal engine performance.

Understanding how to top up engine oil, locating the oil check window, and being aware of the oil filter’s position are essential skills for maintaining your motorcycle’s engine health.

Technical Checks

Fuel Tank

  • No fuel, no go go.
  • Ensure your fuel tank has not fallen off.
Technical Checks


  • Headlamp: Turn on your motorcycle’s headlamp and make sure both the high and low beams are working. Adjust the beam angle to ensure it illuminates the road without blinding oncoming traffic.

  • Brake Light: Have someone stand behind your motorcycle while you apply the brakes. Check if the brake light illuminates promptly and brightly. If you’re alone, use a reflective surface like a window or a parked vehicle to observe the brake light while applying the brakes.

  • Indicators: Check both the left and right indicators. Activate them one at a time and ensure they blink at a regular interval. Also, confirm that the indicator light on your dashboard is working.

  • Tail Light: Your motorcycle’s tail light should be on whenever the bike is running. Make sure it’s functioning correctly.

  • Hazard Lights (if applicable): If your motorcycle has hazard lights, activate them to confirm that all indicators flash simultaneously.

Technical Checks


Mirrors must be kept clean and properly adjusted to allow you to monitor traffic behind without taking your focus off the road ahead. 

Technical Checks

Pedals and leavers

  • Brake Pedal: The brake pedal is located on the right side of your motorcycle. When you press it with your foot, it activates the brakes, slowing down or stopping your bike. It’s crucial to apply gradual and firm pressure for smooth braking.

  • Gear Change Pedal: The gear change pedal, also known as the gear shifter, is usually located in front of your left footpeg. It allows you to change gears by using your left foot. Shifting up (to higher gears) and down (to lower gears) enables you to control your motorcycle’s speed and power, ensuring smooth acceleration and deceleration.

  • Clutch Lever: The clutch lever is located on the left handlebar of your motorcycle. When you pull the clutch lever towards you, it disengages the clutch, allowing you to change gears smoothly without stalling the engine. Proper coordination between the clutch lever and gear change pedal is essential for seamless gear shifts.

  • Throttle Twist Grip: While not a pedal or lever, the throttle twist grip is worth mentioning. It’s located on the right handlebar and controls the engine’s speed. Twist it towards you to accelerate and release it to decelerate. Mastering the throttle control is fundamental for maintaining a steady speed and control over your motorcycle.

Technical Checks


  • Tyre Tread: The tyre tread is the pattern on the tyre’s surface that provides grip and traction. Adequate tyre tread depth, at least 1mm around the entire circumference, is crucial for safe riding, especially in wet or slippery conditions. Check the tread depth regularly; if it’s worn down to the tread wear indicators or becomes visibly shallow, it’s time to replace the tyre.

  • Tyre Pressure: Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is essential for optimal handling, braking, and fuel efficiency. Refer to your motorcycle manual or the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended tyre pressure. Use a reliable pressure gauge to check the pressure when the tyres are cold, as they heat up during riding, affecting the pressure.

  • Damage, Cracks, Wear: Regularly inspect your tyres for any signs of damage, cracks, or unusual wear patterns. This includes looking for cuts, bulges, or punctures. If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to address them promptly. Damaged tyres can lead to blowouts and accidents.