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Discussion Starter #1
Today it started around 27 degrees and I tried turning the key (it was in the "lock" position) and it wouldn't turn even after wiggling the handlebars. I had to think for a while and what I ended up doing:

First I have a thin red straw that came with a WD-40 bottle so I took that and stuck it in the nozzle of another brand of solvent I had. So I sprayed some down the lock. I had to use a pick tool, the needle one, to open the slot on the lock to spray inside.

Second I got one of those canister blow torches and then a pair of pliers to hold the key on the teeth/ lock side while I torched the plastic off the fob of the key. Once I got it soft and a piece fell off then I could use a second pair of pliers to pull the rest of the plastic off of the fob.

Third I put the key in the ignition, now with the metal from the key fob exposed.

Fourth I used the blow torch directly on the key fog while in the ignition, for several minutes and finally heard a click. Then I turned the key with the pliers. The key head started bending once I had turned it but it didn't break.

I have a second key.

The problem is I've been having problems getting the key to turn from the lock position since the summer when I first bought it new. I thought it was just because that's part of the break-in but after using some white lithium grease I still have trouble, many times.

Has anyone else with a Versys-X 300 had this problem? It's my first new motorcycle. The scooter sometimes is hard to put the key in but it always turns after jiggling the handlebars and the Ninja 500 ignition switch has been very reliable. I turned the key in all positions today on the Ninja 500. The X 300 is made in Thailand and I wonder if they have quality control worked out.

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First, kudos for all the work you did to get things loosened up. Second, do you really need the ignition in the lock position all the time? If you leave it out of lock, do you still get the frozen feeling? Last, as for lube, the one old trick I heard was graphite. In a pinch rub a pencil lead around the edges of the key and insert, turn key, then repeat with more lead on key. Brings up another question: Does this happen with both keys?? I am sure others from colder climes will chime in with some ideas. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Out of the lock position, everything is fine. I was mad because it made me miss a workshop I was supposed to go to. I am happy though it didn't happen when I was supposed to be at work. I depend on two wheels a bit more than my neighbors do but you guys understand around here. It took me too long to resolve, like over 2 hours, but thanks. I'll look into the pencil idea, too. I also ordered something online that I think just came in the mail. It's some kind of lock grease for cold weather, etc. I should have done it before. I might swing by the dealer where I bought it, Shelby's Powersports and ask them about the problem. Both keys gave me the same problem.

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FWIW - on all three of my V650s, I've just squirted some WD40 into the lock when it's become stiff, and it loosens right up. ('08 at 82.3K miles; '09 at 63K kms; '15 at 64k kms)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
WD40? That's it? I used an off-brand of penetrating solvent. Do you think the dealer would have lubed the lock with something or maybe the factory? Maybe they forgot? It only has 1,200 miles on it and I just got it in August.

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I don’t think WD-40 is the best thing whilst it will work it will attract dust and impurities into the lock, you are better off with a dry lubricant even scrapings of pencil lead been graphite would work better
 

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I've had two similar problems with mine:
1 - sometimes I have to wiggle the bars to find the perfect spot where the lock will turn into or out of "lock". Otherwise it refuses to turn.
2 - I bent one of the keys very slightly - didn't realize it - causing it to bind just a bit in any position. Straightened it out and it's been fine since.

I prefer graphite for any lock - as other mentioned it doesn't tend to attract dirt. But I've never tried WD-40.

2014 650 with 25K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the advice. I'm going to order the graphite pub and use it on the scooter. This just came yesterday in the mail. I'm trying to find out what its ingredients are and it was supposed to made by "Sub-zero" but they a Victor-branded lock de-icer/lube by Bell. Seems like the same Bell that makes helmets.


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WD40? That's it? I used an off-brand of penetrating solvent. Do you think the dealer would have lubed the lock with something or maybe the factory? Maybe they forgot? It only has 1,200 miles on it and I just got it in August....
WD40 is ALL I've used in MY Versys' ignitions....

I don’t think WD-40 is the best thing whilst it will work it will attract dust and impurities into the lock, you are better off with a dry lubricant even scrapings of pencil lead been graphite would work better
In an earlier thread about this issue, SOMEONE posted that BECAUSE graphite is carbon, you will end up w/ a dissimilar metals CORROSION issue.

I'm NOT an engineer, but I've used WD40 in EVERY motorcycle I've had since 1976, when I had a Yamaha TT500.... So far, so GOOD!

:cool:
 

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I use WD 40 as well but my master locksmith while making me a copy kinda winced when I told him that I used it on keyed locks of all kind. Took him a lot of tinkering to copy the factory key, back and forth to the bike and testing it. He didnt know what he was getting into but seemed to relish the challenge. Our Kawi key is pretty complicated I think,all the positions it goes through. Then I found my factory duplicate from the dealer! Should have asked him why not use WD and I should have asked him what they use..
 

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BECAUSE graphite is carbon, you will end up w/ a dissimilar metals CORROSION issue.
I doubt that very much- the same argument could be applied to having a key in the ignition.

I will go with the locksmith and industry advice: graphite. Use your own judgement.:smile2:

If the lock has been treated with a lubricant it should be flushed out before applying graphite, to avoid a slushy mess (graphite is a powder). Electrical spray cleaner should work, with a rag wrapped around the lock for overspray and drip.
 

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Dissimilar metals contacting each other...I believe thats called Galvanic Corrosion. Like lead solder sometimes compromising copper plumbing if not cleaned up properly after soldering. Im gonna take a guess on WD 40 and locks....WD contains Xylene,which is great at cleaning out the "pores" of metal and then the penetrating oil in WD fills it in. But that level of solvent also "etches" a surface, great for roughing up a hard, slick surface for adhesion for instance. After it evaporates,it has had a somewhat corrosive effect and used repeatedly over a long time.... That said, Ive used it for years on locks but will go with the experts in the future I think. A stuck ignition lock in the middle of nowhere could really mess you up!
 
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