How To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key: 4 Top 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.

Thankfully, you can start your electric bike even without the key. Here, I will discuss how to start an electric bike without key if you have lost it. 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 key for emergencies.

CHECKOUT: How Does An E-Bike Work?

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

Incidents of losing the electric bike key and searching it to and fro aren’t uncommon for people. It isn’t a pleasant moment. However, an emergency moment requires a quick and clever solution. Thus, I will suggest you to the ways to start an e-bike even without the keys during such emergencies.

There are four different methods to start an electric bike, even without using the key. It includes:

  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

Hotwire to start electric bike is a popular choice for thieves. Yet, I’m mentioning it for you to skip the emergency moments. Use this method when you desperately need to start the e-bike but can’t find the key.

You will, indeed, need to connect the two switch wires of the e-bike 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 can be in different positions depending on your electric bike model. So, you may look at the user manual to quickly find the connector for the key switch.

In most models, the switch key connector will be right behind the vehicle’s headlight. In some models, it will be in the head of the e-bike. So, look at the front of your electric bike and locate the connecting point for the switch and key.

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

Step 2: Disconnect the switch key connector

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

The aim is to access the terminal inside the switch key connector. You will need the ignition terminal to connect the hotwire.

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

Once you have removed the switch key connector, you should find the ignition terminal. If you don’t know where the ignition terminal is, you should look at the user manual of your electric bike. In most cases, it will be inside the switch key connector housing.

When you locate the ignition terminal, you need to connect the hotwire. Carefully connect the hot wire and wrap the connection point with electrical tape. It will ensure a safe connection. When the connection is successful, you should see the light turning on the e-bike.

Now, you can ride the electric bike even without the key. When you want to switch off your electric bike, you need to disconnect the hotwire.

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

Although switching on the electric bike with a hotwire is highly successful, it is time-consuming and not so convenient. You need to remove the screw switch connector and attach the hot wire to the ignition point. The entire process needs good electrical skills and fair knowledge of your electric bike design. So, you can bypass this method with a simply pointed screwdriver.

Start the e-bike with a pointed screwdriver

You need to use the screwdriver and turn it just like the key. These 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 and work with the keyhole and screwdriver carefully.

If the method fails, don’t apply too much pressure. Alternatively, you may use a copper wire to switch on the electric bike. You need to bend the copper wire and insert it inside the keyhole. Then, you may 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. Now, let’s get back to the main track of switching on the e-bike without a key.

ALSO READ: Pros And Cons Of E-Bikes

Method 3: Use a shim

MY FAVORITE IS this DIY method to start an electric bike without a key. 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 can bend the aluminum shim rightly, you should see the light turned on on the e-bike. Now, you can ride it.

Method 4: Ride the electric bike manually

A bike becomes electric when it runs with the electric power using a battery. So, you may make it a manual e-bike by removing the battery connection. 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?

When you lose the key to your electric bike, you need not to be always panicked. Instead, you may use the electric bike without the key in an emergency. However, you should try getting a new key for the e-bike to ride it comfortably.

In most cases, you should get a spare key when you buy the e-bike. You can use it. If you don’t have a spare key, you can make one from an automobile locksmith. Yes, a locksmith will make the key for you, and it is pretty inexpensive.

Nonetheless, you will need to submit the following things as proof of your electric bike ownership. Or else the automobile manufacturer will refuse to make the key.

  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.

Making a key from a locksmith will cost you around $10 t0 $25. So, you can choose it during emergencies as well.

ALSO READ: E-Bike Laws By State

Frequently Asked Questions

If you lose your e-bike key, you can use hotwire or aluminum shim to start and ride it. Also, you can get a spare key or make one from the manufacturer.

You can disconnect the battery and motor to ride the 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 bike without the key. You can use the hotwire to push start the bike. It doesn’t even need the conventional slipper clutches.

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

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

Final Thoughts

Starting an electric bike without the key isn’t challenging. You may use the hotwire, pointed screwdriver, or aluminum shim to start your bike manually. Also, you may disconnect the battery and ride the bike manually.

Nonetheless, you should try finding the spare key since almost every e-bike manufacturer will provide you with multiple spare keys along with the package. You may make it from the automobile locksmith if you don’t have one. So, don’t get panicked when you lose the e-bike key.

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