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Car Locks and Keys

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How To Find Your Motorcycle Key Code - Lost Keys?

Posted by George on

Most, if not all, street motorcycles still use keys for security, and all keys use key codes to identify how cuts are placed on the key. There are two types of key codes: blind and bitting. Blind codes are a string of alphanumeric characters that require a secondary source of information to translate the key code into information or bitting the locksmith can use to cut a key. Bitting codes don't require translating and are a string of alphanumeric characters that contain the actual bitting used to cut a key. Bitting simply means the cut depth of each cut on the key. For example, a bitting code of B12313 means there is a 1 cut in position 1, a 2 cut in position 2, a 3 cut in position 3, a 1 cut in position 4 and a 3 cut in position 5. The letter 'B' in the bitting code is ignored except to identify the code series. An example of a blind code might be C49, which is the actual key code use on a 1985 Honda Shadow. A key code of C49 requires a secondary source of information to translate to the actual bitting needed to cut a key, and if your curious, C49 translates to a bitting of 32131. There are several different ways to find a motorcycle's key code. I will explain each method starting with the easiest first.

  1. Check the original key for the key code. Sometimes the key code is stamped on the original key.
  2. Older motorcycles might have the key code stamped on the face of the ignition lock, or one of the other motorcycle locks.
  3. Check the owners manual. Some motorcycle owners will write the key code in the owners manual in case the key is ever lost.
  4. For newer motorcycles, your local motorcycle dealership can look up your key code using your motorcycle's VIN. I am not sure what the time limit is for how old a motorcycle can be before a motorcycle dealership gets rid of this information. 
  5. Check each lock to see if the key code is stamped or printed on the lock. This is a crap shoot because not all manufacturers stamp their locks with key codes. Most street motorcycles will have an ignition lock, gas cap lock and helmet or seat lock. Out of these 3 locks the gas cap lock is usually the easiest to deal with, but they usually require opening the lock to see the key code. If you don't have a key and you can't pick the lock open, than your out of luck and you'll need to try another lock.

If you still haven't been able to find your key code, than you can always call a local locksmith to decode the wafers in your locks and make a key. Don't hesitate to drop us an email if you need help finding your key code.

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Key Blanks Used in All Harley Davidson Sporster Models From 1994 to Present (2017)

All 1994-2011 Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycles use HYD-13 key blanks. In 2012 Harley Davidson switched to a key blank with a longer key blade in 4 different styles or key-ways, and are used in all Sportster models from 2012 to the present. The correct key-way for your 2012 to present (2017 as of this writing) [...]

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How To Decode Your Jaguar Tibbe Key And Find Your Tibbe Key Code

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How to find replacement key blanks for a Harley Davidson Helmet Lock part #45732-86

There are no known replacement key blanks that fit the Harley Davidson Helmet Lock. Even Harley Davidson dealerships don't carry a replacement key blank for this lock. However, there is a key blank that will work with this lock after doing a very simple modification. Watch the following video to learn more about this replacement [...]

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How to replace the ignition lock on a 1999 Dodge Ram Pickup

How to remove and replace the ignition lock found on a 1999-2001 Dodge Ram Pickup, 1998-2003 Dodge Ramcharger, 1998-2000 Dodge Dakota Pickup and 1998-2000 Dodge Durango. We used a 1999 Dodge Ram Sport 1500 to illustrate how to replace the [...]

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How to replace the ignition lock on a 2001 Mazda Tribute or Ford Focus

We used a 2001 Mazda Tribute to illustrate replacing the ignition lock, but the same lock is used on a Ford Focus and the procedure is very similar. Both vehicles are notorious for having ignition locks that fail only [...]

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1958 Harley Davidson 165 Ignition Lock, Key and Electrical Switch

The ignition lock in this video is from a 1958 Harley Davidson 165, and this motorcycle was manufactured from 1953 to 1959. The lock/switch is a tank mounted ignition lock. The mechanical lock uses five wafers and has a key way for a Briggs & Stratton B2 key blank.

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All About GM General Motors Lettered Square and Round Key Blanks

General Motors began using the older style lettered square and round key blanks back in 1968, and they continued to use the blanks into the 2000's. I believe GM stopped manufacturing cars that used the lettered keys in 2002. The keys were usually grouped in lettered pairs, which include: (A, B), (C, D), (E, H) [...]

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How most Motorcycle Locks work

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