Motorcyclists have unique needs for servicing similar to other drivers, yet very different in some aspects. It's just as common to either lose or misplace the keys to your bike as it is a car. Sometimes other misfortunes arise. This can include motorcycle keys that become bent or cracked, or worse yet, broken off in the ignition. Some riders also use heavy-duty locks to prevent theft, and if something happens to the key, it will need to be replaced. A motorcycle locksmith is uniquely trained to deal with the situations that can arise involving motorcycle ignition keys.
What does a motorcycle locksmith do?
You may be wondering, what does a motorcycle locksmith do? The answer is everything an automotive locksmith can do and more. According to Mr. Locksmith, motorcycle locksmiths are fully trained to address all issues that come up involving motorcycle keys. This includes, but is not limited to:
- duplicating motorcycle keys
- replacing lost keys
- extracting and replacing keys broken off in the ignition
- extracting and replacing keys broken off in motorcycle locks
- repairing broken motorcycle locks
- replacing motorcycle locks
- rekeying motorcycle keys
Do motorcycle locksmiths work with all motorcycle brands?
Yes. While some locksmiths are trained to work on specific models, most can make keys for most motorcycle makes and models. Some motorcycle dealerships retain motorcycle locksmiths as a part of their mechanics and servicing and repair teams.
How do you become a motorcycle locksmith?
You must receive the proper training to become a motorcycle locksmith. There are quite a few training schools that offer automotive locksmith courses. These programs are designed to provide certification upon completing an approved training program. According to Motor Biscuit, Most locksmiths can provide services for riders if they know the specific model of motorcycle that is experiencing the problem. The codebooks for specific motorcycle ignitions are the necessary resources to show useful information about the ignition system when a key needs to be fixed or replaced. Older models are much easier to make than the newer models because the later model bikes require key programming to work with the motorcycle. You can complete a basic automotive locksmithing program to gain the base skills in locksmithing. It's a good idea to move on to more advanced training if you want to specialize in motorcycle locksmithing for one or more motorcycle brands.
Motorcycle locksmiths must be prepared to go out on the road and assist riders who become stranded because of a lost or broken motorcycle key. This involves going to the place the bike is sitting, assessing the situation on the spot, and solving the problem. In many cases, the key can be made by looking up the code information and making the key back at the shop. Older bikes with traditional metal keys are the easiest because the ignition cylinder code tells the locksmith how to cut a new key. If the code is unavailable, the entire ignition cylinder can be used to determine the shape of the new key.
Advanced motorcycle keys
Although fairly rare, some upscale bikes such as a Ducati require the use of a master key. It reprograms the bike's ECU. This type of key cannot be replaced by a locksmith. It must be ordered from the dealership. Fobs are another story. For many of the newer motorcycles, fobs must also be ordered from the dealerships. If it becomes lost or broken, you'll need to tow the bike and wait until a new one arrives from the manufacturer.
Why you should become a motorcycle locksmith specialist
If you're considering a career as a motorcycle locksmith, it's a good idea to complete advanced automotive locksmith courses that deal specifically with motorcycles. This will better prepare you to deal with the unique situations that can arise with the various motorcycle brands. The basic certification may help to get a job with a motorcycle dealership, but you will still need to have a solid knowledge base on how to approach the newer bikes. Because of computerization and unique programming codes, it's helpful to know how each of the motorcycle brands and models differs, one from the other.
SKH Locksmiths is a good example of why advanced training and certification is required. This company is family run with a father and son locksmith team. Both are highly trained and certified in automotive locksmithing. They are both experienced technicians and licensed operators who understand that those without the necessary experience can cause damage to the locks or ignitions. There is a lot to know about motorcycle locksmithing, but with so many bikes on the road today, it's a good career choice. Motorcycle locksmiths can stay busy year-round because their skills are not limited only to motorcycles, but also to automobiles, residential, and business locksmithing services.
Motorcycle locksmiths are trained to deal specifically with the repair and/or replacement of motorcycle ignition and lock keys. This is a technical field that requires a solid knowledge base of just about every type of motorcycle on the road, including old vehicles and the new more modern ones. Becoming a motorcycle locksmith is an excellent career option because it prepares you to deal with almost any type of locksmithing situation that can arise. Part of the basic training teaches you how to deal with keys that are broken off in locks, and how to safely extract them. You also learn how to make duplicate keys or how to make new keys from information provided in codebooks or from the ignition cylinder itself. The skills are transferrable to other types of machines that require keys to operate, as well as to various types of locks. While some of the functions of a motorcycle locksmith are simple key cutting tasks using precision duplication and cutting machinery, others require a bit more thought. You might even need to consult with the brand dealership on occasion. This is a career that can be both challenging and rewarding.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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