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How To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key? Find Out Here!

Can You Ride An Electric Bike Without The Key?

The extra security of the e-bike lock and key system offer is awesome.

However, life is unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen.

What’s an awesome feature at first might be an issue later on. 

You might be here because you lost your e-bike keys, you broke them, or you just forgot them. Whatever it may be, we’re here to help you. 

Is It Possible To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key?

Let’s start by saying it is not recommended and might not be safe, but it is possible to start an electric bike without a key. 

Different methods exist, but not everything may work for you or your e-bike’s system. 

What Should You Do If You Lose Your Keys?

If you lose your keys, you might panic.

Before you start naming random things in the keyhole or cutting wires or any risky methods, try a few things first. 

First, when you bought your e-bike, it surely came with multiple keys. Remember where you keep them and try to access them or have someone you trust get them for you. 

If you don’t have a spare key anymore, you can reach out to your electric bike manufacturer and order a replacement. This is ideal if you’re not in an emergency situation and can wait. It will cause you money, but it’s the best course of action and is the safest for your e-bike. 

Keep in mind that to order a new set of e-bike keys, you will need the special key card that your e-bike came with. 

So, after looking for your spare keys and not finding them, look for the special key card you need to order a new set of keys.

If those are out of the equation, you can try these.

How To Start An Electric Bike Without Key

Removing The Battery

When you remove the e-bike battery, the motor stops working. If the motor is not working, you basically just have a standard bike so you can ride your e-bike with no problem.

The battery is connected to the motor and the pedal. When you start peddling, it starts up the motor too. That’s how the e-bike is able to assist you on your ride. Even if you’re manually peddling, the motor still does most of the work.

So, when you remove the battery, you sever the connection and remove the power from the motor, essentially converting your e-bike into a regular bike.  

You can’t ride as fast with this method, but you can go home to get your spare keys or go to a professional for help.

Alternating Ignition

When you turn on the ignition with the key in a motorcycle, a bunch of processes start to turn the engine on. 

The most important of all is that the key must be turned to create a spark in the spark plug, which will start the engine.  

This is not the same as how a key works for an e-bike ignition system. An e-bike doesn’t have a starter motor.

The e-bike ignition does nothing except complete the circuit to turn the power on.

What does that mean for us? 

That means you can bypass the key-lock system and go straight to the ignition wiring to complete the circuit and start the motor of your e-bike. 

 You will have to identify and locate the correct wiring. You can most probably locate them under the key-lock system. 

You will need to cut the wires then and connect them. Once you do, your e-bike should start.

Do this as the last option because it involves basically ruining the key-lock system while the other options work around it. 

Using “Alternative Keys”

Finding an object that can act as an alternate key is also an option for you.

A screwdriver 

A small flat head screwdriver is a good option.

Find a screwdriver you can effortlessly insert into your lock and turn with minimum effort.

If you have to force it, it simply does not fit, and you should stop before you damage your lock. 

A Shim

Making an alternative key with a shim is one of the safest methods.

Shims are small pieces of metal used to fill gaps between two parts of a machine or device.

They’re often made of aluminium or steel, and they come in different shapes and sizes.

Shims are usually made of thinner materials than the parts they’re filling, so they don’t add weight or bulk.

Essentially, you’ll be filling the keyhole with the shim and making it act like the key. 

To DIY a shim, you can cut a piece of an aluminium can. 

First, cut the top and the bottom of the can. Cut a straight line down the remaining body of the can to make a sheet. From that sheet, cut an “M” shape. Fold that through the vertical axis, and that’s what you use as an alternative key.

Do your best to make the final aluminium piece as similar to the length and width of your key as possible for better chances of succeeding.

A Plastic Pen

You can’t use a plastic pen as is as an alternative key. You will need to melt it. 

This is one of the riskiest methods because you will need to insert melted plastic into the keyhole, possibly ruining it. Do this when the other methods fail.

To do this, take a used-up plastic pen and melt only the plastic cylinder slowly, so it doesn’t burn. You don’t need it to be too liquid that it’s dripping. After it has melted enough that it’s malleable, insert the melted part of the pen into the keyhole and hold it there until it hardens. 

If successful, the plastic should fill the insides of the lock and should be able to move the pins inside so you can turn the ignition. 

Try A Master Key

If you can find a master key, aka bump key or universal key, for your unit, that’d be perfect. You can use it as you would your original key. 

The problem with this is that finding master keys is extremely hard and might even be impossible.  

If All Else Fails, Ride The Bike Manually

The beauty of the e-bike is that it can be a motor-assisted bike or a manual bike. 

If you lost access to your keys, it’s not the end of the world for you or your bike. 

You’ll just have to manually pedal to ride. Sure, it won’t be as fast or as exciting as when your bike has additional power, but you can still enjoy the ride.

Final Words

Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular around the world. They offer a number of advantages over traditional bicycles.

 However, they aren’t without their drawbacks.

One of the biggest issues is that they require a key to unlock the unit. This means that if you lose your keys, you won’t be able to ride it as an e-bike.

Fortunately, there are several solutions available to help you overcome this problem.

Hope this article helped. Good luck and see you in another article!

nv-author-image

Kevin Sykes

Kevin here, bike enthusiast, Writer, Planner, Dad and a husband. Besides the family, my passion lies in electric bikes. I have always loved bikes, ever since I had my very first BMX Diamonback way back in the day. Now with the invention of ebikes, my passion has taken off like a full throttle on a high powered hub!