How to start a Harley without a key?

Losing your bike’s key is not as rare as you might think. Bikers lose their keys, and at some point, you might be in such a situation. 

However, if you own a Harley, you do not need to panic as there is a way to start your Harley without a key.

How to start a Harley without the key FOB?

Taking cues from the car world, modern motorcycles like Harley Davidson have also developed their wireless key systems. These handy key FOBs allow riders to start the bike without inserting the key into the locking system.

These wireless keys use an RFID or Radio Frequency Identification system and unlock your bike whenever the FOB comes in range with the bike. But even if you lose your FOB in a bar or a fuel station, you can start the bike if you remember your security PIN.

All you have to do it, follow the given steps:

  1. First of all, turn the ignition key to IGNITION and quickly press and hold both the turning indicators. This will indicate your bike to ask for your security pin and an “Enter PIN” icon with five dashes will appear in the odometer gauge.
  2. Now, when you press the left turn signal switch, it will start showing a digit from 0 to 9 at the first digit section. For example, if your pin starts with 5, press the left indicator for 5 times and it will show 5 on your odometer.
  3. Now, press the right turn indicator one time and it will register that digit and move to the second one.
  4. Just as you did for the first digit, press your left indicator for n number of times and once you reach the right number such as 3, press the right indictor.
  5. Once the complete 5 digits security pin is entered, your bike’s security system will turn off and you will be able to start your bike.

If you haven’t met with such an accident yet, it is highly recommended that you remember your security PIN so that you can start your bike mid-ride. If you don’t know your security PIN, you can either call your local Harley dealership or simply, take the following steps:

  1. Using your key FOB, turn the ignition key ON – OFF – ON – OFF – ON.
  2. Now, press the left turn signal indicator two times.
  3. Immediately press the right turn signal indicator one time and release it.
  4. Now both the indicators will flash three times and your current PIN will appear on the odometer screen.

Remember this PIN for such emergency purposes and if you have just bought the bike, then change the default security pin to a new pin code using these turn signals and odometer window. You can also consult the owner’s manual for more information on key FOBs.

What if you lose your key and don’t remember the PIN?

One of the oldest methods of starting a bike or car if you lose a key is “hotwiring” as you would have seen in all Hollywood spy movies. Just connect the opposite engine wires, generate a spark, and your ride is ready.

However, this is not a permanent solution and if you lose your key midway, and don’t remember the security PIN either, the best solution is to search for a tow and contact your dealer for a new key.  Or if you have kept another key at your home, you can call someone to bring it to you.

Lastly, if there is a mechanic nearby, you can have a new key made using your motorcycle‘s ignition cylinder code or using the entire ignition cylinder or you can just replace the ignition cylinder.

Final Words

This was our take on how you can start your Harley without a key. We hope you find it useful (and wish you never have to use it). 

One last thing that we would recommend is that if you never want to meet such a situation, keep another key handy at your home, carry an extra battery for your key FOB, and add a larger keychain to your keys so that you never miss them in the first place.

Leave a Reply