How To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key: 4 Useful Methods Described

Did you lose the key to your electric bike? It can be scary since you wouldn’t expect the electric bike to start without the key. And things can get scarier soon if you need to attend a meeting or go to the office on time in an emergency.

Fortunately, there are ways to start your electric bike without using a key. Here, I will discuss four methods. You may choose the hotwire method to kick off your e-bike, use a shim or screwdriver to start the bike, or even ride it manually by removing the battery.

how to start an electric bike without a key

Here, I will go through all these methods conveniently. Nonetheless, you must be careful about the e-bike key and keep a spare one for emergencies.

CHECKOUT: How Does An E-Bike Work?

So, How To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key?

People frequently lose their electric bike keys and spend a lot of time searching for them. It isn’t a pleasant moment. However, an emergency moment requires a quick and clever solution. As a result, I’ll show you how to start an e-bike even if you don’t have the keys in such situations.

There are four different ways to start an electric bike that do not require the use of a key. they are:

  1. The hotwire method is where you will connect a hotwire with the ignition terminal to start the bike.
  2. You may use a pointed screwdriver right in the keyhole of the electric bike and turn it just as you would do with the actual key.
  3. You may create a V-shape shim from an aluminum can and insert it in the lock’s shackle to unlock it so that the bike starts.
  4. When no method can start the bike, you can ride it manually. You will need to remove the battery from the e-bike for this.

Now, let’s jump into the details of these methods and see which one suits your e-bike model.

ALSO READ: How To Charge An E-Bike Properly?

Method 1: Use a hotwire to start an electric bike

Using hotwire to start electric bikes is a popular choice for thieves. Yet, I’m mentioning it for you to skip the emergency moments.

You will, in fact, need to connect the e-bike’s both switch wires using the hot wire.

Use a hotwire to start an electric bike

Step 1: Find the key connector

Carefully look at your electric bike to find the key switch connector. The switch key connector might be located in different positions depending on the model of your electric bike. Taking a look at the user manual comes in handy if want to quickly find the connector.

In most models, the switch key connector will be right behind the vehicle’s headlight. In some models, it is located in the head

CHECKOUT: How To Remove The Speed Limiter On An E-Bike

Step 2: Disconnect the switch key connector

Once you find it, disconnect the switch key. You can easily disconnect it with a flathead screwdriver. Some people may even use their hands to disconnect the key switch point.

Then, connect the hotwire to the ignition terminal.

Step 3: Locate and connect the ignition terminal with the hotwire

 If you don’t know where the ignition terminal is, you should look at the user manual. In most cases, it will be inside the switch key connector housing.

Carefully connect the hot wire and wrap the connection point with electrical tape. It will ensure a safe connection. When the connection is successful, the e-bike’s light should turn on.

To turn off your e-bike, simply disconnect the hotwire.

Method 2: Start the e-bike with a pointed screwdriver

Although switching on the electric bike with a hotwire is highly effective, it is time-consuming and not so convenient.

The entire process needs good electrical skills and fair knowledge of your electric bike’s entire mechanism. So, you can bypass this method with a simply pointed screwdriver.

Start the e-bike with a pointed screwdriver

While using this method, you will need a pointed screwdriver.  The steps are:

  • Find a pointed screwdriver at home. You can get it from the nearby hardware shop if you don’t have one.
  • When you try to find the pointed screwdriver, take a picture of the electric bike keyhole. It will help you match the screwdriver better with the keyhole.
  • Once you have found the right screwdriver, carefully try inserting it into the e-bike keyhole. You must never try entering the screwdriver forcefully. Or else, it may damage the keyhole, and you will need to replace it.
  • Work with the screwdriver medley. If it goes inside the keyhole, try twisting it, similar to how you would turn the key.
  • You may need to turn the screwdriver multiple times to start your electric bike. So, be patient.

If the method doesn’t work, don’t apply too much pressure. Alternatively, you may use a copper wire. Bend the copper wire and insert it inside the keyhole. Then, turn it to switch on the electric bike. Gosh! Did I mention another popular way thieves use to steal electric bikes?

Never mind, you may use a security app and lock to secure your electric bikes from thieves. 

ALSO READ: Pros And Cons Of E-Bikes

Method 3: Use a shim

This is my personal favorite method. Firstly, it works almost in every case and is easier than hotwire. You will need an aluminum can and pliers set to perform this DIY task.

using shim How To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key
  • Cut the aluminum can with a cutting tool or sharp object. Smoothen the aluminum can and its edges after cutting it. It is crucial because the uneven and sharp edges might cut your hands and injure you.
  • Now, with the shim, create a V-shape with the pliers set. You can attach the pliers set with the shim and move it to create the V shape. You need to apply mild pressure.
  • After that, bend the aluminum shim. You need to insert it through the keyhole of the e-bike. Some electric bikes will have double-belted locks. You will need two shims to unlock it.
  • Once you have inserted the shim inside the keyhole, try reaching the lock’s shackle. Then, twist it to unlock the electric bike.

If you bend the aluminum shim correctly, you should see that the e-bike’s light has turned on. Now, you can ride it.

ALSO READ: Shengmilo MX01 E-Bike Review

Method 4: Ride the electric bike manually

A bike is referred to as electric when it runs on electricity using a battery and a motor. It only requires the battery removed to be converted to a manual bike. Nonetheless, it isn’t a convenient way since, without the battery ignition, the motor won’t receive the necessary power. So, your rides will be slow and, at times, even incomplete.

Ride the electric bike manually
  • Follow the user manual to find the ignition point of the battery with the motor.
  • When you have disconnected the ignition point, re-screw the battery. Thus, the motor will stop without electricity. You can now ride the e-bike manually.

Although the method may seem convenient, I didn’t find it easy in real life. So, you should avoid it unless you don’t have any alternatives.

CHECKOUT: E-Bike Maintenance Schedule And Checklist

What To Do When You Lost Electric Bike Key?

Every manufacturer provides a spare key inside the package. If you don’t have a spare key, you can make one from an automobile locksmith, which is quite expensive. 

Nonetheless, you will need to submit the following things as proof of your electric bike ownership. 

  1. Model of your e-bike
  2. Purchasing document since electric bikes may not have VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  3. Type of key you need (If you have a picture of the key, it will help)
  4. Automobile and insurance certification if you have.

To make a spare key from a locksmith will cost you around $10 t0 $25. You can use it during emergencies.

ALSO READ: E-Bike Laws By State

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can ride an e-bike manually. However, it’s not convenient because you won’t get the necessary power and speed when riding the e-bike manually.

Not much except for the battery and motor model. If it’s a reliable brand, they will offer you the standard and ideal model for both $300 and $500. The only difference there might be will remain in the make and model of battery and motor gear.

Yes, it is possible to push start your e-bike. It doesn’t even need the conventional slipper clutches.

Put your bike in third gear, turn the rear wheel forcefully, and use the center stand to start it without self-starting. However, it’s not an effective method.

No, not every e-bike has the same key. Each manufacturer designs a different key for electric bikes to prevent unauthorized uses and thefts.

Final Thoughts

Starting an electric bike without the key is not that complicated. Use a hotwire, pointed screwdriver, or an aluminum shim. It’s that simple.

Nonetheless, you should try to find the spare key because almost every e-bike manufacturer will provide multiple spare keys with the package. If you don’t have one, you can get one from an automobile locksmith. So, don’t panic if you end up losing it.

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