Lost Motorcycle Keys? Here’s What To Do

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Have You Lost Your Motorcycle Keys? We all have probably found ourselves stuck in this situation at some point in life.

It can be very frustrating to lose your keys when you want to go on a ride but can’t find your keys. Or even worse if you lose them when you stop by to enjoy the view while you are on a ride.

Don’t worry, don’t panic! We can help you.

What To Do If I Lose My Motorcycle Keys?

There are a few ways to unlock your motorcycle. The first one will be calling the locksmith, second will be taking the ignition cylinder code to the locksmith or taking the whole ignition cylinder to the locksmith, or giving the VIN to your motorcycle dealership to have a new key made for you.

We will discuss all the methods briefly in this article.

1. Calling The Locksmith

Very first thing you should be doing to get access to your motorcycle without damaging it should be to call the nearest locksmith. It will be better if you explain the situation to the locksmith beforehand.

This way you will not be wasting time if the locksmith can’t work with the type of lock your motorcycle has.

On arriving, the locksmith will examine your motorcycle’s ignition cylinder and carve a key accordingly. This shouldn’t take very long to do.

If for some reason, you can’t get the locksmith to the location where you are stuck, you can try the next method.

2. Using The Ignition Cylinder Code

If you can’t get the locksmith to your location, you can note down your ignition cylinder code and take it to the locksmith. A good locksmith should be able to make a key for your motorcycle using the cylinder code of your motorcycle lock.

Ignition cylinder is the thing where you put the keys and is usually located in the center of the motorcycle handlebar, below the speedometer.

Motorcycle Ignition Cylinder

The ignition cylinder will usually have a shaft around it where the code will be written. You need to write down that code and take it to your locksmith and leave the rest to the locksmith.

It will be great if you can ask your locksmith beforehand if he will be able to work with the cylinder code. Most locksmiths can do this. But, it is always good to be sure.

3. Taking the Ignition Cylinder To The Locksmith

This is not applicable to all motorcycles. But, you can take out the whole Ignition Cylinder if you need to. And take it to the locksmith. Most of them will be able to do it.

Taking the Ignition Cylinder is an easy task. But, can be very difficult for some, if you are not familiar with taking apart your motorcycle.

There is usually one wiring harness and a few bolts connected to the Ignition cylinder. You will need to take those wires off and remove the bolts.

Pull out and take the ignition cylinder to the locksmith. He should be able to make a new key by inserting a blank key in it and making markings by moving the key inside the cylinder.

When you are done with making the key, you will need to put back all the pieces that you took off, and your new key should be working.

4. Replacing The Ignition Cylinder

If for any reason, you can’t find a locksmith nearby or can’t find any code on the ignition cylinder. there are two options you are left with. Replacing the ignition cylinder or taking the VIN to the motorcycle dealership.

To replace the ignition cylinder, you will have to follow the same process that we explained to remove the cylinder.

The next step will be finding the new ignition cylinder. It is quite easy to find if them if your motorcycle is a popular model.

You can find very cheap one’s on eBay or Amazon. You will also get new keys with them.

The final step will be to install the ignition cylinder and it should be working with new keys. This process is a bit time consuming as you will have to wait a few days till you get your new keys.

5. Giving Your VIN To The Dealership

This can be the most expensive methods, that is why we mentioned this in the last.

The reason for being the most expensive is that most dealerships charge very high for motorcycle parts and labor charges are also high in dealerships. We recommend this method for most modern motorcycles because they are difficult to work with, due to new technologies.

In case you decide to go for this method, call your dealership and ask them what will be the procedure for doing this.

In most cases, you will just need your motorcycle’s VIN and the proof of ownership.

For the VIN, it will be available on the neck of your motorcycle’s steering. This is situated under the speedometer or instrument cluster of your motorcycle.

Motorcycle VIN

And, for the ownership of your motorcycle, you will need the registration certificate or sales letter of the motorcycle with you.

If you don’t have the ownership proof, it will be near to impossible to get this done from a dealership as the dealership owners don’t want to deal with stolen motorcycles.

Once you give the proof of ownership and VIN to the dealership, they will provide you a new key or replace the ignition cylinder with a new one.

Note: You might need to tow your motorcycle to the dealership as you can’t ride a locked motorcycle. This is another factor that contributes to this method being the most expensive one.

Now that you know how to get access to your motorcycle, let’s discuss how to avoid this situation in the first place.

How To Prevent losing Motorcycle Keys

Motorcycle keys are easy to lose, we can all agree on this. But, this can be avoided by adopting some easy habits in our daily lives.

1. Put Your Keys At A Designated Place

The best way to not lose your keys is to always know where you put them. If you have a habit of putting your keys at the same place every day, you would know where to find them the next time you want to take your bike for a spin. It can be a little difficult in the beginning for some time. But, after some time your mind will subconsciously know where to put the keys.

You can put your keys in a small basket of a key hanger or a specific drawer in your table. This will make it easy to find your keys every time.

2. Stay Organised

Having everything organized gives your mind a peace of mind that everything is at its place. And, when all things are in there place, everything is easier to find. There is less clutter in your life and is easy to find any misplaced item in your house.

3. Using Large Keychains

The keys are small. Hence, sometimes easy to ignore even if it is in plain sight. Having a large key chain will make it more visible and make it less prone to getting into tight places. Key chains also come in handy when you want to hang the keys in your pocket, they are easy to pull out. Basically, you now have more material to hold on to if it is slipping out of your hands.

It is always recommended to have a nice key chain with your key. Makes life a little bit easier.


How do you unfreeze a frozen motorcycle ignition?

You can use a de-icer spray or homemade remedies like using warm water or rubbing alcohol. You can even use a blow drier or a lighter if you have them available.

What part of the motorcycle is the VIN associated with?

VIN is associated with the frame of your motorcycle, If for any reason you change the frame of your motorcycle, you need to have it re-registered and a new registration number.


We learned that it is always better to keep your keys at a designated place than to lose it. But, in a worst-case scenario, even if you lose your keys.

Don’t worry! There are a number of ways to get access to a locked motorcycle. You can have a new key made easily or even replace the ignition cylinder. It just takes some time and money out of your pocket.

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