When we talk about motorcycles and mopeds, we are referring to a two-wheeled vehicle driven by an engine, although certain 3- and 4-wheeled vehicles are also considered as mopeds. Its main structure consists of the chassis or “frame” and the wheels. They are usually two-seater vehicles, but can carry up to 3 if they have a sidecar.

Motorcycles and mopeds belong to category L3 and L1 respectively.

ITV para motocicletas y ciclomotores

Main differences between motorcycle and moped

Aunque puedan tener una apariencia muy parecida, existen ciertos aspectos que hacen que estos dos vehículos sean diferentes.

Engine displacement and technical characteristics

A moped is fitted with an engine with a displacement of 50 cc or less and a speed limit which, by construction, cannot exceed 45 km/h. In addition, they can have up to 3 and 4 wheels, but always meet the above characteristics.

Motorcycles, on the other hand, have a displacement greater than 50cc, which can vary depending on the type of motorcycle, and do not have speed limitation, being able to exceed 45km/h.

Vehicle type

Another issue to bear in mind is that the Ley sobre Tráfico, Circulación de Vehículos a Motor y Seguridad Vial excludes mopeds from the group of “motor vehicles”, this being another differentiating aspect.

Traffic routes

The type of tracks on which they can travel also makes a small difference between these two vehicles, as mopeds are prohibited from travelling on motorways, while motorcycles can.


Apart from these technical and legal details, we can easily distinguish them by their size, because a motorcycle, even if it is of the lowest displacement, is bigger than a moped. Their tires are also bulkier and heavier.


In case you still need any more, mopeds have a distinctive license plate with a yellow background and arranged upright. A motorcycle is white.

When should a motorcycle pass MOT in Spain? And a moped?

The periodicity of the compulsory roadworthiness test for motorcycles and mopeds also differs slightly. If we attend the date of registration, a motorcycle does not have to pass the first MOT until 4 years. However, a moped must undergo its first MOT within 3 years of registration.

After these initial periods, the ITV for both motorcycles and mopeds will be biennial, that is, it will have to be spent every 2 years. You can see it more clearly in this table:

Condition Motorcycles Mopeds
First MOT At 4 years of your first enrollment At 3 years of your first enrollment
Subsequent periodicity Biennial, every 2 years Biennial, every 2 years

What items are inspected in the MOT for motorcycles and mopeds?

On a motorcycle or scooter, the basic elements for any vehicle are reviewed: registration, chassis number, lighting and signalling, engine, brakes, tyres, suspension and those aspects that can be checked at first sight, to ensure that there is no damage or bad parts.

Of course, there are particular components of these two-wheeled vehicles that must also be checked:

  • Noise test: with the vehicle at different revolutions, a sound level meter is used to check that the noise level does not exceed the established limit.
  • Handlebar: lock as anti-theft measure
  • Handles: they fulfil their function and are not damaged or broken.
  • Fairing: on motorcycles, that is well secured and in good condition.
  • Leg of goat: it is not damaged and performs its function correctly, that is, it retracts automatically or does not allow the vehicle to advance if it is set.

However, the MOT for motorcycles and mopeds also have their differences.

  • Motorcycles are tested for CO emission to measure the level of gaseous pollutants is below what is allowed.
  • A speed test is carried out on mopeds to ensure that they do not pass the maximum permitted 45km/h.


Tips to pass the MOT of your motorbike or scooter

Many such vehicles have passed through our ITV station La Hoya. Therefore, we know very well where the most common defects are found and what recommendations to follow to pass the ITV of your motorcycle or moped with favorable result.

  • Check the main elements, such as front and rear lighting, tires, license plate, all handlebars, seat, fluid leaks, fenders, suspension, chain protector, and any other parts of your structure that may be damaged or damaged.
  • Ensuring that the frame has not undergone any modification is an essential check to pass the ITV.
  • Ensure that the exhaust is original or approved for that vehicle model. The exhaust pipe is an essential part of the roadworthiness test, as noise and gas emission levels depend on it. If not the original, ask the exhaust manufacturer for the approval form.
  • Performing routine maintenance of the vehicle will always ensure that it is in good condition and there will be no surprise when passing the MOT.