Those who ride motorcycles know how annoying it is to lose your key. Surprisingly, people find themselves in such situations more than one would expect. Since the key chains do not usually have a lot of extra add-ons, it’s much easier to lose one and then have no more to replace it.

Therefore, it is always better to have a backup plan when you know there is no way to recover your misplaced key.

Addressing the main question, what should one do when One Loses a Motorcycle Key? The following are some of the things you can do when you find yourself in such situations:

  1. Access the ignition cylinder code. It becomes useful to the blacksmith when drafting a new key
  2. Taking the entire ignition system to the blacksmith.
  3. Replacing the ignition cylinder
  4. Giving access to the blacksmith to the VIN so that the new key can be drafted.

Keeping all these things in mind, we have developed this detailed guide. It covers in detail everything you can do to get out of this mess if you ever find yourself in it.

What Are The Essential Steps To Replace Or Get A New Motorcycle Key?

What Are The Essential Steps To Replace Or Get A New Motorcycle Key

What Are The Essential Steps To Replace Or Get A New Motorcycle Key

1. Getting Access To The Cylinder Code

There are many instances where the bike you buy may come without a key. This usually happens when the bike you purchase is quite old. However, do not let that hold you back from getting that bike, as it is not that complex to get a new key.

  1. The expenses are not much either. It ultimately depends on what model, make, and year of building your bike. Newer bikes may require a bit more.
  2. The simplest and quickest way to get a new key made for your motorcycle is to access the cylinder code. For this, you will first have to locate the ignition cylinder. In typical bikes, it is found between the tachometer and speedometer.
  3. You can find a shaft where the key goes on the ignition cylinder. Almost right next to it is a 3- or 4-digit code. This is the cylinder code. (In some cases, you may need to loosen the shaft to be able to see it)
  4. Jot the number down and take a picture. This way, if you accidentally write the wrong number, you can ask the blacksmith to read it off the picture themselves. Disclaimer, You might have to clean the cylinder a little to see the code properly.
  5. The code helps blacksmiths determine the type of key that needs to be made by following a set of tables and values.

2. Taking The Entire Ignition Cylinder

Some ignition cylinders tend not to have any identification codes at all. This can put you in a pickle. However, although it may require a little more work, there is a simple solution.

What you can do in such situations is take out the entire ignition cylinder and take it to a nearby blacksmith. They’ll take a look at the shaft and deduce the kind of key that needs to be drafted.

While taking the cylinder out, there are usually two things you need to be careful of:

  1. Wiring harness
  2. Two bolts

Both these things keep the cylinder in place. You will have to clip the wire and take off the bolts to get it out. To ensure these things do not get lost, label the wire and place both bolts in a plastic bag for storage.

Taking the entire cylinder may be a bit more expensive than using the cylinder code, but in situations where there is no code, there isn’t much one can do.

Replacing The Entire Ignition Cylinder

Replacing The Entire Ignition Cylinder

3. Replacing The Entire Ignition Cylinder

When there is no code and you cannot find a blacksmith who can draft keys using the cylinder, purchasing an entirely new cylinder is the ultimate option.

  1. For this procedure, remove the current ignition cylinder first using the steps mentioned above. Next, try finding a new cylinder online using the year, make, model, and type of the part needed.
  2. Be very careful when looking for cylinders only. Many people claim their cylinders are universal and work in every motorcycle. Although technically true, you will have to rewire the entire cylinder, which is highly annoying.
  3. If you can wait a few days for the parts to arrive in the mail, this option is highly appropriate for you.

4. Give Your Dealership Access To Your VIN

If all other options have gone down in vain, your final choice is to call your dealership. This is probably the most costly option out of all of these, but you don’t have many options if it comes to it.

Locate Your VIN, usually found on the steering neck under the instrument panel. Once you have found it, take it and some proof of ownership of the bike to your dealership.

The dealership will check your proof of possession and, once confirmed, either give you a new key or an entirely new ignition cylinder with a key.


Elite Locksmiths is your go-to Locksmith Service Provider in any situation. This is a licensed, registered, and locally owned company that provides honest and affordable services. You can call them without hesitation whenever you have an issue with a lock (such as your motorcycle).