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Replace lost key for a new bike key replacement with and without code

Image of motorcycle handlebar with key fitted in the ignition cylinder
2204 Views Oct. 20, 2020, 12:47 a.m.

What if you accidentally lose your motorcycle key or planning to buy an old motorcycle that does not come with a key? In either case, you need to find a solution to replace the lost motorcycle key. There are few methods or solutions to get your new key replaced with some costing very less to some that require high patience and a hefty amount.

Using your motorcycle’s key code

When you buy a new motorcycle, the key comes with a code from the manufacturer. The code is either printed on the key itself or on the metal tab which is attached to the original key. In either case, you can check the code and share with this code number with the dealer to get the key replaced. This will not require taking the motorcycle or changing the lock. All it will take is some patience until the dealer delivers the new key.

Using the motorcycle’s ignition cylinder code

Old motorcycles are often sold without a key. If so, there is no need to worry if you can access the ignition cylinder code. This cylinder code can be shared with the locksmith to create a key that fits the motorcycle. The cylinder code is around a four-digit code that is often on the left side of the cylinder. The ignition cylinder is usually located between the speedometer and the tachometer of the handlebar. There are chances of finding the cylinder code on the rear seat or the gas tank as many motorcycles have the same key, so the same cylinder code. Once you have the cylinder code, take it to the key maker who has a chart or software to match and look for the cylinder code.

Taking the ignition cylinder to the locksmith if the code is not readable

There can be a situation when the code on the ignition cylinder is not readable or you can’t find the code. In such a case, the next option is to unhook the ignition cylinder and take it to the locksmith. The ignition cylinder has a wiring harness and two bolts to hold the cylinder in place which can be easily unhooked. In some bikes such as Harley-Davidson, there are tiny screws to hold the wire which can be removed using a screwdriver. The locksmith then inserts a blank key into the lock to turn the pin. He/she get the idea where the cuts and fills are required to make the matching key that fits the motorcycle.

Replacing the ignition cylinder and getting a new key

Many times the only solution left with you is getting the ignition cylinder replaced altogether. In such a case, as discussed earlier, you can easily unhook the ignition cylinder and take it to the local dealership. The dealer will especially get the ignition cylinder made by the manufacturer. Arriving of the part may take a few days.

High-performance bike brands like Ducati have some bikes that come with a master key, which reprograms the ECU. If you lose the key, replacing the key requires paying a hefty amount.

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