Can You Copy A Motorcycle Key? How?

I. Introduction

Many of us have the habit of losing or misplacing things, including a motorcycle key. Owning a motorcycle and not being able to ride it due to a lost key can be very annoying.

If you are worrying ‘is there any solution for this’, yes there is and this article tries to answer your questions like:

  • Can you copy your motorcycle key?
  • Why you should copy your motorcycle key?
  • How to make a copy of your motorcycle key?, and
  • Some other frequently asked questions.

II. Can you copy your motorcycle key?

Yes, it is possible to copy your motorcycle key. However, how easy it is and how cheap or costly it is, depends on the situation.

Easy way: Take your motorcycle key to a local locksmith and get a copy made within minutes.

If you lose your motorcycle key, you will still be able to get a copy or duplicate made by the following methods:

  • You can use the ignition cylinder code to get a duplicate key made from your local locksmith.
  • Take the ignition cylinder to the locksmith and get a duplicate key made (in case the code is not located or not readable).
  • You can order a duplicate key from your motorcycle dealer by sharing your motorcycle VIN.

III. Why should you copy or duplicate your motorcycle key?

Making a copy or duplicate of your key as a preventive measure can save you money and time in the unfortunate event of losing or misplacing your motorcycle key.

Duplicate keys help you when you are sharing your motorcycle with your friend or a sibling. Each one of you can have a separate key to use the motorcycle and if you take the key with you leaving the motorcycle behind, your friend or sibling need not wait for you to use it.

IV. How to make a copy of your motorcycle key?

Let us understand the different methods of making a copy of your motorcycle key.

A:  When you are having your motorcycle key with you

Go to your local locksmith and give your key to him/her. The locksmith can make a copy of your key within a short time and it does not cost you much. The locksmith uses a small machine that traces the profile of the key with a probe and transfers the movements to the cutter to create an exact copy.

B:  When you have lost or misplaced your motorcycle key

Using ignition cylinder code – The ignition cylinder is located at the center of the motorcycle handle (between the speedometer and tachometer) and has a shaft where you insert the key and turn it to start the motorcycle.

You may have to pull out the shaft to locate the ignition cylinder code (study your owner’s manual and understand how to do it or take the help of your friend or a mechanic). The code can be 4 digits long. Note down the code carefully and take a photo of it on your smartphone. Your local locksmith should be able to make a copy of your key using this code.

Locksmiths will have a reference table with values and codes and they will be able to do the job using those values. You may confirm with the locksmith before going there. The cost of the duplicate key will be reasonable.

Taking the complete ignition cylinder to the locksmith – If you are not able to locate the ignition cylinder code or the code is not visible clearly, then the option is to carry the complete ignition cylinder to the locksmith.

Identify a nearby locksmith who can make a duplicate key to your motorcycle by using the ignition cylinder. You can either take out the ignition cylinder from the motorcycle yourself or if you are not confident take the help of your friend or a mechanic. Take photos at every stage using your smartphone, to make it easier when you reassemble.

The locksmith selects a blank key that goes into the key slot and by turning the key the locksmith gets the impression on the blank key.  The locksmith uses the impression to file the profile on the blank key (using small files) and makes a duplicate key by continuously inserting the blank key into the ignition cylinder and doing corrections by filing.  This will take slightly more time and can costs you more than the earlier methods (still affordable).

Replacing the complete ignition cylinder with a new one – After taking out the ignition cylinder, if you neither can locate the code on it nor locate a locksmith who can do a duplicate key using the ignition cylinder, the next option is buying a new ignition cylinder and replacing it on your motorcycle.

For doing this, note down the make, model, capacity, year of manufacturing of your motorcycle, then take a photo of the ignition cylinder and search for a replacement online on the aftermarket items market. Select the one that is suitable for your motorcycle and replace it with the old one. Ensure you get a new ignition cylinder and a new key. It may take a few days to receive the new ignition cylinder.

Going to your motorcycle dealer with the VIN – This should be your last option and should use it only after exhausting all the other options. The reason is very simple, this is the costliest option.

You may find the VIN (vehicle identification number) code on the steering handle of your motorcycle or go through your owner’s manual to find out the location of the VIN code.

Take the VIN code and documents to prove your ownership of the motorcycle (motorcycle registration, sale invoice, etc.) to your motorcycle dealer.

Talk to your motorcycle dealer beforehand and confirm they can do it, and you may also ask about how much it costs and what documents they need.

Your dealer may give you a new cut duplicate key or may offer you a new ignition cylinder with a new key.

You may need to take the motorcycle to the dealer and your option is either to use a towing service or use a technique to start the motorcycle without a key. Since you are the owner, there is nothing wrong if you do it.

Note: There may be few modern and high-end motorcycles that use a master key or a fob key. If you own such a motorcycle and lost/misplaced your key, please approach your motorcycle dealer and seek his help.

V. Care to take to avoid losing your motorcycle key

If you are in a habit of losing or misplacing things (including your motorcycle key), the following tips may help you.

  • Make a habit of placing your motorcycle key in a designated place or make a keyboard on the wall for it.
  • Keeping your items organized helps you, especially if you are staying on your own (if you are staying with the family, you will be compelled to keep your things organized).
  • Never leave your key in the motorcycle even when you park it in your garage. Always take the key with you.
  • Make duplicate keys and keep them in a safe place.
  • You may also try to install a GPS sensor or a blue tooth tracker on your key. This can help you track it when you misplace it.
  • If you have a reliable key.me/kiosk in your town, you may utilize their services to store a scanned copy of your motorcycle key as a preventive measure. In the event of losing or misplacing your key, the kiosk can make a duplicate key for a reasonable price.

VI. Few frequently asked questions

1What is the VIN of a motorcycle and why it is important?
VIN (vehicle identification number) of your motorcycle indicates details about your motorcycle like motorcycle manufacturer, model of motorcycle, place and year of manufacturing, and other details.

The VIN is on the frame of a motorcycle and helps to establish the ownership of the motorcycle by matching the VIN with the documents.

2Can I get a copy of my motorcycle key?
Yes, you can get it. Approach your local locksmith with your motorcycle key and the locksmith will make a copy of your key for a small price.
3How can I get a duplicate key of my motorcycle if I lose it?
There are three ways of doing this.

  • You can use the ignition cylinder code of your motorcycle to get a new key made by your local locksmith.
  • Take the ignition cylinder to the locksmith and get a duplicate key made (in case the code is not located or not readable).
  • You can order a duplicate key from your motorcycle dealer by sharing your motorcycle VIN.

You must carry motorcycle ownership documents with you.

VII. Conclusion

The probability of you losing your motorcycle key may be high or low, but it may happen to anybody including you and me. Taking precautions like making duplicate keys or utilizing the services of the key.me/kiosk will help you when you lose or misplace your motorcycle key.

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