How To Find Your Motorcycle Key Code - Lost Keys?
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.
- Check the original key for the key code. Sometimes the key code is stamped on the original key.
- Older motorcycles might have the key code stamped on the face of the ignition lock, or one of the other motorcycle locks.
- Check the owners manual. Some motorcycle owners will write the key code in the owners manual in case the key is ever lost.
- 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.
- 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.