Key Won't Turn - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 26th, 2008, 10:59 am Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1
Key Won't Turn

Does anyone have any ideas?
Searched forums without seeing anything.

2008 K12S - Almost new, 800 miles

Key wonít turn in ignition. Handlebars not locked - turn freely.
Not cold here (75F) so nothing frozen or sticky. Key turned
just fine to start the bike at home and after getting gas. Next
stop 20 miles from home -- no go. The key slot is stuck in the
OFF position. The key will turn just a bit but sure not going to
turn all the way to ON.

Right Key - Check.
Try backup and plastic key - No Luck.
Wiggle key around for 30 min - No Luck.
Try shot of WD-40 - No Luck.
Try shot of quick-dry lubricant - No Luck.
Try shot of graphite - No Luck.
Try shot of compressed air - No Luck.
Try for another couple of days with same results.

I found a pic of the key cylinder on the net and it feels
like maybe one of the tumblers in the cylinder must not
be retracting to allow the key to turn. They whole key/lock
interaction has never been smooth on this bike.

At a loss now. Closest BWM service 250 miles away
in Ft. Worth. Does anyone know how much of a job it is to
remove the lock cylinder? I looked in the service manual and
sort of lost interest when it started talking about drilling out bolts,
but I didnít understand if that was necessary just to change the
lock. If itís not too complicated I may try it but if it is going to take
open-heart surgery then back to the shop it goes.

Really appreciate the advice.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2008, 11:27 am
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Location: , , UK
Posts: 3,750
If they made it too, simple plenty of perps would be stealing our bikes!

Since the lock is toast, you might be able to drill down the center but not too deep- that's what the perps usually do. Or else they hammer in a screwdriver blade, put a Mole wrench on it and twist hard clockwise. That should break off the little brass tumbler thingys. Once you start extracting the pieces the bars should free up and you can plan to replace with a new lock. If you want the lock 'mastered' with the same key as luggage, I think that starts to get tricky. Make sure you leave the lock hole well cleaned out if you plan riding the bike.

I once had a car where the steering column lock was fixed with hardened steel 'shear bolts'. These have a smooth domed head like a rivet, but are extended with a taper section to a hexagon head. You tightened the hex until the tapered 'waist' sheared off.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2008, 12:23 pm
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Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 749
My advice is don't drill anything, don't force any screw driver into the lock, call BMW, preferable the dealer who sold it to you, and let them pick it up, fix it, and return it to you. That's what the warranty is for, this is a warranty issue, so let them make good. If anything you should be annoyed you just put down good money for a BMW, and look what happened. Quality control issue I'm sure, good luck.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2008, 12:33 pm
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Location: Meredith, NH, USA
Posts: 1,511
You could try "key bumping"....Place key into cyl....with tention on key in the direction of unlock.....bump key with a screwdriver handle on end of key with the force of the blow on the top of the key..the objective is to get the tumbler to jar just enough to allow key to turn from the shock and vibration...I had to do this to mine shortly after I bought it cause I think the lock was new and some burs from the cutting or somethin got caught in there After that one time it has worked fine...and mine too was hard to turn till I did this trick...Been fine for 4 years now.....good luck!

Last edited by BAK04GT; Nov 28th, 2008 at 12:41 pm.
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