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✔ Article reviewed by Ethan Orenstein. Bringing motorcycles back from the dead since 2013. Learn More.

Guide to Replacing Lost Motorcycle Keys

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All hope is not lost if your motorcycle keys are lost.

Whether you lose the keys yourself, or are buying a bike with no keys (better than buying a bike with no title – but you might be facing both), you’ve got some options to replace your keys.

Your main sources for replacement keys for your motorcycle include:

  • eBay. (quickest and cheapest for old bikes)
  • A locksmith.
  • The motorcycle manufacturer. (most expensive)

Motorcycle Key and Lock Codes

Your motorcycle contains some clues about its lost keys.

Whichever method you go with, you’ll need this information to help get a replacement set of keys.

On the side of your ignition switch or the fork locks, you’ll find some numbered codes.

The codes on your switches hold the key to the replacement key you need.

This code can often be provided to locksmiths who work with motorcycles or dealerships to make you some new keys.

If you have a newer motorcycle, it probably makes more sense to try the dealership first.

However, if you’ve got an older motorcycle, you may be able to order some pre-cut keys for pretty cheap yourself.

Where to Find a Motorcycle Key Code

You can typically find your motorcycle’s key codes in a few spots, including:

  • The side of the ignition switch key cylinder.
  • Stamped to the front of the ignition switch key cylinder.
  • Stamped to the front or side of other locks on your bike (fork locks, gas tank lock, seat lock, luggage racks, etc.).

In some cases, you may need to disassemble or remove the lock cylinder in order to see the key code.

How to Order Replacement Keys

In the case of many older project motorcycles, you can find replacement keys for sale on eBay.

You’ll just need to know the key-code on your ignition switch along with the year and model of your motorcycle.

Search this information along with “keys” in eBay and you can often find exactly what you need.

If you’ve got a newer motorcycle or can’t find what you need on the internet, you can contact a locksmith. They should be able to help you out if you can provide the lock cylinder and/or key code as well.

What to do if you can’t find or replace your lost motorcycle keys?

If you cannot get replacement keys that fit your switches, you’ve got one final option.

You can replace and rewire the entire ignition switch. This can be done with OEM or aftermarket switches.

The process is fairly simple. Sometimes the biggest challenge is finding an aftermarket unit that will fit on your bike.

The biggest drawback in replacing the ignition switch is that your new key will not work on your fork locks, helmet locks, and other locks on your bike.

Better than not being able to start your motorcycle though.

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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