Motorcycle MOT Layout Planning

MOT Expert Ashley Hance
Ashley Hance

In this guest posting, Project Manager and Company Director Ashley Hance talks about the planning of a motorcycle mot bay, the installation arrangements available and offers free links to drawings to assist you in your quest for the best use of your floorspace!

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Integrating any kind of MOT bay into either an existing garage or into a new start business situation takes a significant amount of planning to ensure that the best use of the available floorspace is achieved.

There are actually an infinite number of ways that an MOT bay can be installed to meet the dimensional requirements as stated in the DVSA regulations, however normally there are 2 basic types of arrangement…

In-Line Symmetrical

A majority of motorcycles which will present to your new station are likely to be 1×1 arrangements (i.e. without a sidecar) so therefore it makes sense to plan for this situation as the standard whilst being aware in the background of the ramifications of this should a sidecar arrangement present.

In this type of configuration the basic plan is to run the motorcycle up a single axis and for all the checks to be completed with the motorcycle only traveling up or down the test lane.

Dependent on the floorspace available the headlight tester rails may also be recessed to reduce the overall test bay size.

The absolute minimum which can be achieved for this configuration is 3.2m wide x 4.6m long although normally the headlight tester rails are surface mounted which increases the bay length to approx. 5.8m.

Side by Side Arrangement

The side-by-side arrangement is preferred by some other suppliers on the basis that additional MOT’s can be conducted within the single MOT bay purchase. This is achieved by providing 2 standing areas (headlight test & brake test) which almost touch in the middle. This drives a bay width of 3.4metres with surface mounted rails as the headlight aligner carriage has to travel beyond the edge of the standing area to allow the measurement to be taken.

There is one major disadvantage to this installation arrangement which is the fact that this configuration takes no account of the additional requirement of the inspection area of 3.2m wide x 3.7m long.

Generally the general inspection area at 3.2m would sit over the top of both the brake tester and headlight tester standing area but in the side by side configuration placing the inspection area in this location means that both the left and right hand side of the side by side bay are active when the inspection is taking place. In other words an inspection area of 3.7m x 3.2m would need to be provided in addition to (and outside of) the 1.2m x 4.6m brake area & 2m x 2.1m headlight areas – so in reality, unless the premises are large, then installing the bay in this configuration loses more floorspace to potential service/repair productivity.

There is also the issue of navigating the motorcycles between left and right hand sides of the bay which costs time and is inconvenient if the test frequency is high…


Every MOT bay is bespoke and the installation arrangement you select will depend on a number of factors including the type of business you are operating and the floor area which is available for the MOT bay. To that end 2 MOT bays which are in identical adjacent premises may have completely different bay configurations.

In selecting the correct installation arrangement for your premises, time spent with an MOT expert would have been well invested. With detailed knowledge of the requirements for authorisation the optimum bay configuration can be agreed and achieved.

GETECH supply our project managers to support all MOT bay introductions. We are ideally placed as manufacturers to offer detailed advice to guide you toward the correct solution.

Some common general arrangement drawings have been uploaded to our Motorcycle MOT Bay product page.

To view these drawings, and the package information, simply follow the link at the foot of this text and scroll down to the expanding menu within which you can see  .pdf copies of the drawings which can be directly printed or downloaded to your PC. Page Link

For more information on GETECH call during office hours, visit or mail


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