Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingMotorcycles and Biking Motorcycle Key Replacement – What To Do?

Motorcycle Key Replacement – What To Do?

by Jordan Harris
Motorcycle Key Replacement

Have you lost your motorcycle key? Many individuals nowadays ask a lot of queries on the internet regarding their motorcycle key replacement. The loss of a bike key is a major issue. You’ll realize that you can’t find your bike keys when you need to get to work in an emergency. So, in order to avoid losing your motorcycle keys, put them in a safe place.

Many of us have probably been in the regrettable scenario of misplacing a motorcycle key. Surprisingly, this is quite a typical occurrence. Motorcycle key chains don’t have a lot of extra features, therefore, they’re more likely to be misplaced. So, you’ve ended up in this unfortunate scenario and are wondering what you should do if it’s utterly hopeless that you’ll ever discover your key, at least not in a timely manner.

If you lose your motorcycle key, you have various options, including having a locksmith access the ignition cylinder code, taking the entire ignition cylinder to a locksmith, changing the ignition cylinder entirely, or giving the dealership the VIN to have a new key created.

In this article, we explored the motorcycle key replacement.

Are You Looking For A Key For Your Motorcycle?

It’s something that everyone has gone through. When you’re in a rush to get out the door, and the only thing you need to get to your destination is your keys, they’ve mysteriously vanished.

Losing your keys is not only irritating, time-consuming, and expensive. But it may also land you in serious legal trouble or result in your bike being stolen. In this circumstance, it’s critical to act swiftly.

1. Don’t Become Stressed Out

If you’ve misplaced a pair of keys, don’t panic; they didn’t all vanish. They’ll be hiding in plain sight, and if you think about it, you might be able to see them. However, the sooner you start looking for them, the more likely you will find them!

2. Double-Check Everything

You may have dropped or placed the keys down and neglected to pick them up while locking or unlocking your bike. It’s possible that someone saw it and turned it over. Look around attentively, and don’t be afraid to let anyone know if they find your keys and want to give them to you.

Motorcycle Key Replacement

3. Fobs

Many new motorcycles come with a fob, and if you forget it. The bike will assume you’re trying to steal it and refuse to let you take it with you. Because removing the fob would require reconnecting it to your bike, a lost fob will demand a tow.

Give a spare fob to a dependable tour buddy, or hide it in a hidden, zipped pocket of a jacket you’ll never leave on the bike. On the other hand, many motorcycles come with a traditional metal key. Which is considerably easier to lose and less expensive.

4. Make A Conventional Key

If your motorcycle has a standard metallic key. You should be able to have a new one cut from your old one easily. Although it is best to have a motorcycle key replacement cut before losing the original. There are other options for obtaining a new key.

To produce a new key, a locksmith may utilize the code from your bike’s ignition cylinder or the entire cylinder. You can also reorder a ticket from a nearby merchant using your bike’s VIN. The most straightforward method is to use a standard motorcycle key.

5. Use Of Smart Keys

A tiny number of bikes use this type of key. You don’t want to miss it, whatever the case may be. Elevated motorcycles from brands like Ducati frequently come with a “master key.” Because this is the only device that can reprogram your bike’s ECU if you lose it. You’ll have to pay a lot of money for a new ECU and keys.

6. Make A Fresh Start

Traditional, old-school metal motorcycle keys, like any other key, can be duplicated by cutting a new one from an old one. If you purchased an antique motorcycle with only one key, go to a locksmith or a good hardware store right away and get a new one cut.

Motorcycle Key Replacement

You can obtain a blank from the manufacturer (speak to your local dealer) and have it cut by a locksmith or hardware key counter if you want it to appear exactly like the one you already have. However, ride your bike there and double-check that the key works in all of the tumblers. A skilled locksmith can often make a badly cut key work as smoothly as a new one.

There are various online providers that will cut a key from a photo. So photographing all of your keys and storing that digital photo somewhere safe for future use may be beneficial. There are other applications that will design a pattern from a photo to 3D-print your key. Don’t share images of your keys (particularly your house keys) on the internet because these services exist.

What To Do If Your Motorcycle Keys Are Lost?

Nothing beats getting on your motorcycle at the end of a long week and letting off steam while driving down the highway with the sun on your shoulders. Only those devoted to the open road and the sensation of an engine roaring between their legs will completely appreciate the exhilaration. Of course, if you can’t find your keys, you won’t be able to go on a motorcycle trip.

If you don’t use your motorcycle as your primary mode of transportation, you’ll lose your keys. If the worst happens, here are some pointers on how to acquire a motorcycle key replacement without causing a headache.

1. Work With Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

If you have the money (and time) to spare, you can find a dealership and provide them with your motorcycle’s VIN (or vehicle identification number). Most dealerships will additionally need proof of ownership, such as the title, registration, or bill of sale. A dealership should be your best bet if you buy a motorcycle new from them.

You can take a ride to the dealership once you’ve gathered the papers, and they’ll give you a new key or ignition cylinder.

2. Get The Code For The Cylinder

If you’ve misplaced your key and don’t have a duplicate, there are several options available to you. The cylinder code is the first thing you can do. We recommend you try this because it is the simplest and least expensive option.

This is only possible on older motorcycles, though. You can still change the motorcycle key if you have a newer model, but it will cost you a little extra. So, how can you find out what the cylinder code is?

The ignition cylinder, which is normally located between the tachometer and the speedometer, must be identified. The cylinder code should be on the side of the shaft, near where the key is inserted. The code is normally 3 to 4 digits long, and you may need to unscrew the shaft to see it or take a picture with your phone.

It may be difficult to read the digits if the shaft is dusty, in which case you should clean it first. You can take this code to a local locksmith after you have the digits. Because not all locksmiths can produce motorbike keys, you should either phone ahead or hunt for one online.

The locksmith will be able to cut a motorcycle key replacement using the code. Depending on the service you choose, a motorcycle key replacement will cost you anywhere from $100 to $200. It’s a hefty fee, but it’s acceptable given that making a motorcycle key replacement takes far longer than making a copy.

3. Ignition Cylinder Removal

While most motorcycles have a code on the ignition cylinder, it is possible that the code cannot be read or that it is completely missing. There’s no need to panic just yet; there’s still a way to receive your motorcycle key replacement; you’ll just have to put in a little more effort.

In this circumstance, the best course of action is to remove the complete ignition cylinder from the bike and take it to a locksmith who can make motorcycle keys. Before you start unplugging the ignition cylinder, do some research and see if there are any locksmiths in your region who can produce new motorcycle keys with the ignition cylinder.

Although most locksmiths can perform this task, you don’t want to waste time on the road because there is still a handful who cannot. When removing the ignition cylinder, you’ll notice that it’s secured in place by two bolts and a wiring harness. The two bolts must be removed, and the wiring harness must be unclipped.

If this is your first time removing the ignition cylinder, mark the wire harness to make it easier to remember where everything goes. The two bolts should also be kept in a secure position because they are easy to miss and lose.

When you arrive at the locksmith, a blank key will be inserted into the lock and turned. This will generate an impression of the lock and show the locksmith where the cuts and files on your new motorcycle key replacement should be made. Overall, the procedure is straightforward; the most difficult part is removing the motorcycle’s ignition cylinder.

4. Ignition Cylinder Replacement

If you can’t read or find the code on the ignition shaft and can’t find a locksmith who can produce a key from the ignition cylinder, you can replace it. This procedure works since you will also receive a new key that is compatible with the new ignition cylinder.

This appears to be a straightforward task on paper because all you have to do is unclip the wire harness and remove the old cylinder by removing the two bolts. The replacement cylinder must then be attached to the bike. Isn’t it straightforward?

It’s not a matter of attaching the replacement ignition cylinder; it’s a matter of finding one. To get a replacement for your Harley Davidson ignition key, for example, go online and type in the year, make, and model of your motorcycle, as well as the part you require. The ignition cylinder, in this case.

This takes time because the new part may take a long time to arrive, and there’s always the possibility that the seller will try to deceive you by giving you a part that isn’t compatible with your bike. Furthermore, read the description carefully and only purchase a cylinder that comes with a new key; otherwise, you’ll find yourself back where you started.

If you are not in a hurry and can afford to wait a few days for the part to arrive, this technique is worth considering. If none of the above methods work for you and you require a Suzuki motorcycle key replacement, for example, there is one last alternative.

5. Make Contact With Your Dealership

If you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, it’s time to contact your dealership, but keep in mind that this will almost certainly cost you more than any of the other three options. It takes extra time as well. As a result, you should only consider it after you’ve exhausted all other options or if money isn’t an issue.

This is the only choice for newer motorcycles that don’t have simple access to the ignition cylinder. You’ll need to obtain your motorcycle’s Vehicle Identification Number to use this method, which can usually be found under the instrument panel and on the steering neck.

You’ll also need proof of ownership, which can be your motorcycle title, registration, or bill of sale after you have the VIN. The dealership may be unable to assist you if you cannot provide proof of ownership, as no one wants to risk creating a new key for a stolen bike.

Once you have the necessary documents, you must tow your bike to the dealership, where you will be given either a Yamaha motorcycle key replacement or a new ignition cylinder if you own a Yamaha motorcycle.

Without A Key, How Do You Start A Motorcycle?

You would assume that starting a motorcycle without a key is a thief’s ability, but if you can’t get a motorcycle key replacement quickly enough and you need to ride the bike, this is something you should master.

The first step in starting a motorcycle without a key is to locate the ignition wires. Some motorcycles do not have the ignition wire system covered, making it quite easy to locate them. Finding the wires on models with covers that protect the ignition wiring may be more challenging.

After you’ve found the wiring system, check for three wires that are interwoven in a sleeve. All of the cables should be colored differently. You’ll have to follow the wires to see where they come to a stop. Two wiring caps, which are normally made of plastic, should be visible there.

The speaker wire must now be obtained and placed into the socket. To access the sockets, separate the two caps and enter one side of the wire into the first socket and the other side into the second socket. Longer wires are best for this, and wires shorter than 3 inches should be avoided.

The lights should turn on after you’ve plugged the speaker cables into the sockets. If they don’t, try plugging the wire into a different socket. You should be ready to continue on to the final step once you see the lights turn on.

You’ll need to push the start button with the lights on, and if everything goes properly, the engine sound should be loud and clear, and the bike should start. This isn’t a long-term fix, but it will get your bike operating if you can’t get a motorcycle key replacement right away and you need to get on the road.

Tips On How To Keep Your Motorcycle Key From Becoming Misplaced

Even while misplacing and losing your motorcycle key is quite common, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Losing your key can prohibit you from riding your motorcycle when you need it the most, and it can cost you a lot of money to replace it.

Here’s a quick list of pointers that should help you prevent misplacing your keys in the future.

  • The most common piece of advice given to motorcycle riders is to keep your keys in a designated spot while not in use. You shouldn’t move them around all the time. This way, you’ll always know where your keys are, and your family members will learn to respect that place, making it less likely that they’ll accidentally tamper with your keys.
  • You might also try hanging your keys from a long keychain. Although not everyone enjoys carrying an obnoxiously huge keychain. There’s no denying that the added size makes it less likely that you’ll miss your keys. It makes them so apparent that it’s difficult to lose them.
  • Another helpful suggestion is to keep a spare key on hand. You can keep the spare key or give it to a trusted family member or friend to keep it secure. If you choose to keep the spare key, ensure it is kept in a secure location where it will be less likely to be misplaced or lost. You don’t want to make it easy for your bike to be stolen, so keep track of how many spares you create.
  • Finally, you may buy a little Bluetooth tracker that you can attach to your keychain and use with an app on your smartphone to track your key. Try one or all of these tips, and maybe you’ll never have to utter “I misplaced my motorcycle key” again.

Are Motorcycle Key Replacements Chipped?

Although not many motorcycles in the United States are microchipped. It is fairly prevalent in Canada and for international scooters and bikes. Yamaha, Vespa, and Honda are among the brands that use transponder chips. On the other hand, Ducati uses microchips in all of their motorcycles.

High-end motorcycles are chipped because this feature increases the bike’s security. Turn your current key in the ignition and look for a red light on the cluster to see if your bike is equipped with a transponder chip. If there is no red light, your bike is unable to accept a transponder key. If a red light appears, the motorcycle will require programming of a chip before it may be started.

Is It Possible To Get A Motorcycle Key Replacement That Isn’t Supposed To Be Duplicated?

There are no such laws if you wish to know whether it is legal or criminal to keep records. On the other hand, a brand locksmith will refuse to replicate a key that states, “do not copy.” They may, however, be duplicated by any locksmith. If you are the owner of the property, it is allowed to duplicate any keys.

So, the locksmith can ask for any documentation that indicates you possess the key, except that a locksmith can readily duplicate any key.

What to Do When You Lose Your Motorcycle Key

  1. If you lose your motorcycle key, there are several options for getting a new one depending on the type of key you had.
  2. Traditional metal keys are the easiest to replace, as they can be cut from the old one or a new one made using the ignition cylinder code.
  3. “Master key” smart keys are rare but can be costly to replace since they’re required to reprogram the bike’s ECU.
  4. Motorcycle fobs are like modern vehicle fobs, and losing them requires a tow and reprogramming to access the motorcycle.
  5. You can avoid losing your motorcycle key by having a second one made or ordered before you lose the first one, keeping important information like the bike’s VIN in a secure location, and giving a trusted friend or family member a spare.
  6. Investing in a large keychain or a Bluetooth tracker can also make it harder to misplace your keys, and opting for keyless options when buying a new motorcycle can prevent key loss altogether.
  7. Roadside assistance programs can also be helpful in case of a breakdown or lost key.
  8. Hot-wiring your motorcycle is not a permanent solution and should be avoided.
  9. When replacing a lost key, you can order a new one from a dealership or automaker by providing your vehicle identification number (VIN).
  10. If the code is unreadable, a locksmith can use the entire ignition cylinder to make a new key, or you can replace the ignition cylinder altogether.

Motorcycle Key Replacement, Final Verdict:

Of course, the best way of motorcycle key replacement is to avoid losing your key, and we have several suggestions for that. Treat your key as if it were the most important item in the world: without it, you and your bike will be stranded. Make it a habit to place it in the same pocket or on the same rack every time. Keep it on a sturdy keychain that won’t fall apart. Put something brightly colored on the keyring so you can see it if you drop it.

If you’re prone to misplacing stuff, consider purchasing one of those Bluetooth key finders. As previously stated, deliver a replica of your bike’s key to one of your trusted riding pals. When you’re on a lengthy vacation so that you may still ride if you misplace your original key. We hope you’ve gotten all of the answers to your questions about the motorcycle key replacement.

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