Posted on May 02, 2019

How Do Keyless Motorcycles Work?

Motorcycles are no stranger to technological advancements. From electronic ignition to dynamic electronic suspension adjustment, the motorcycle industry has been continuously evolving with changes in technology.

One of the latest advancements in the world of motorcycle tech is the introduction of the keyless ignition. This has been a staple for automakers for a few years and is now being adopted by motorcycle manufacturers as well. Many people are curious as to how exactly these systems work and how they affect their motorcycles.

How Keyless Ignition Systems Work:

These keyless ignition systems operate using radio frequency identification – or RFID. Essentially, your motorcycle comes with an antenna that reads the unique signal put out by your key fob. The key needs to be within a certain proximity to allow the motorcycle to start, so you can’t simply start your bike while your key fob is a great distance away.

Should it somehow occur that your key is close enough to allow your bike to start, but you set it off without it on your person, your bike will alert you in some way that it has lost the signal of your key fob. Be on the lookout for these indications and act accordingly. Don’t ignore any flashing warnings with these bikes, you don’t want to be unable to start your bike when you stop to fill it up 200 miles from home.

This added electronic interface may raise concerns that people could potentially hack into your bike by matching the exact radio frequency put out by your key fob. While this is technically possible, it is extremely improbable. Should this pose a serious concern to riders, it’s advised that they add an extra layer of protection in the form of a disc lock to discourage any tech-savvy thieves from making off with their ride.

Most importantly – do your research. If you’re in the market to buy a motorcycle with keyless ignition, be sure to read up on the system and make sure you’re educated before making your purchase. Should you end up purchasing one of these new bikes, it’d be wise to carry an extra key fob battery on your bike in an unlocked storage place to ensure you never end up stranded.

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Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham