The Ultimate Guide to Replacing a Lost Motorcycle Key


Losing a key is an annoyance we would do anything to avoid. Yet, there are times when we misplace it due to some other reason. This puts us in a great inconvenience, especially if you have lost your bike keys in the middle of nowhere.


When you lose your motorcycle keys, you will have to get a new one made. In this article, we’ll see the options available to you when you lose your motorcycle keys.


Option #1- Access the Cylinder Code

The least expensive way of getting yourself out of this situation is by accessing the ignition cylinder code. This cylinder is located between the tachometer and speedometer on your bike’s instrument cluster. Here, you’ll get a 3-4 digit code on the side of the ignition cylinder.

Google ‘Motorcycle Locksmith Services and give this code and other details to the motorcycle locksmith nearest to you. Do be in constant contact with them- if you do not find the code, you will have to use the other options.


Most locksmiths have tables and values that they can use for getting a copy of the bike keys made. Some locksmiths do not pick motorcycle locks, it is recommended you call the locksmith first before you go to him.


Usually, most older motorcycles have this code embedded on the side of the ignition cylinder. Sometimes, you might need to loosen the shaft to see the code.




Option #2- Take the whole ignition cylinder to the locksmith


Most motorbikes have an identification code on the ignition cylinder. If the code isn’t visible, the next option you have is to take the whole ignition cylinder to the locksmith. This may mean using your brute strength to pry open the ignition cylinder.


If you do not know how to do this, take real-time help from the locksmith and do exactly what he says. Again, there may be some locksmiths who do not make new keys from the ignition cylinder. If this is the case, and no other locksmith is available in the vicinity, it is best to get your bike towed to the nearest dealership.


Anyway, if the locksmith agrees to make the key with an ignition cylinder, you have to ensure you unclip the wiring harness properly to avoid any damage to it. Ask the locksmith for advice on this. Once done, label and note which wire went where so that clipping it back becomes easy. Besides this, you’ll also have to take off some bolts to free the ignition cylinder.


Option #3- Replace the ignition cylinder altogether


If you are in a position where you can’t find a locksmith who can get a key made from an ignition cylinder, the next option available would be to replace the ignition cylinder altogether. A new ignition cylinder will come with a new key and could ensure you aren’t faced with such a situation again.


Carefully unclip the ignition cylinder just as we explained earlier. Now, go online and search for an ignition cylinder with the type, make, model and year. Usually, eBay and Amazon have what is needed. Alternatively, you could search for a garage or auto spare parts dealer in the vicinity and buy it from there.


There are many ignition cylinders available that say they are for ‘universal’ use. Technically they can be used on most bikes, but you may need to rewire the entire ignition cylinder. First search for an ignition cylinder that matches your requirement, if you do not get one in the time frame needed, only then buy these universal ignition cylinders.


Option #4- Call your dealership


When you have tried everything above and yet haven’t been able to get your bike to start, you may have to call the dealership. Though this is a little pricey, you may need to call them especially if you have a newer bike that has an inaccessible ignition cylinder.

You’ll have to give them the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of your bike. This is usually under the instrument panel of your motorcycle on its steering neck. Besides this, you will also need to give them proof of ownership- this could be the motorcycle registration, sale receipt, or any other identification that you own the vehicle.


If you do not have so, you are in bad luck. Most dealerships will not help you if you do not have proof of ownership. Some may need additional paperwork, inquire in advance for this. After this, the dealership would tow away your bike and do the needful.


Remember, you need to keep at least 2-3 copies of your motorcycle keys with you in case any one gets misplaced. If needed, use a Bluetooth-enabled key finder added to the bunch so that you know where it is at all times. Another option is using a big keychain to keep the keys safe.



Title: The Ultimate Guide to Replacing a Lost Motorcycle Key


Meta Description:  When you lose your motorcycle keys, you will have to get a new one made. Here, we’ll see the options available to you when you lose your motorcycle keys.


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