Getting a spare key, WTF?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by XB12R, May 15, 2012.

  1. XB12R

    XB12R Long timer

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    When we bought our 2010 1200GS it came with 2 keys. We lost one. I want to replace it. I called the dealer where I bought the bike (they are 1,000 miles away in Utah) and explained the situation. He said to fax him proof of ownership like the title and drivers license and they would send me a key. I faxed all the required forms to him and called the next day. He said (not sure if I was talking to the same guy) that the faxed info would not work and I would have to come in in person with my title and drivers license to get a key. Can you imagine being stranded in some remote location without a key and being told you could only get one in person at a shop that's 2,000 miles away?

    One might say, "well, just get one at your local dealer". The closest dealer is 175 miles from here.

    The next step is to call the store manager, she was gone today so I'll give it a go tomorrow. I was on the phone for over an hour today trying to fix this issue. I've replaced keys in the past without a problem, not sure what the deal is now.
    #1
  2. opposedcyljunkie

    opposedcyljunkie Heavyweight Boxer

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    That's the way it is for the hex/camheads, unlike the oilheads whose keys can be cut by your local locksmith. Heard too that all keys come from the Fatherland.
    #2
  3. WindSailor

    WindSailor Been here awhile

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    2011 1200GSA. Lost my plastic key, ordered a new metal key from the dealership that I bought the bike from; $55.

    Got a call saying that I have to come back into the shop to reprogram the bike to accept the new key - otherwise the computer will see it as a theft and shut the bike down. Add another $70 to do that.:cry

    Haven't done that yet, but it is on the list.
    #3
  4. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    You don't need to do any programming if you order the key from the dealer. It's plug and play. If a key goes missing, the EWS, the control unit in charge of security, can be told to ignore that key through use of the dealer's computer.
    #4
  5. David13

    David13 Been here awhile

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    Whatever you do, do not buy a fancy new car. And then loose the key.
    dc

    I should also mention, they are trying to prevent thieves or just some unauthorized person from getting a key to someone else's bike.
    #5
  6. legalbeagle

    legalbeagle better than average

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    I doesn't make sense to me that they need the bike. I have a 2007 GS that I needed a spare key for. The dealer (who didn't sell me the bike) needed my title and DL to order the correct key from BMWNA. He faxed the info and took my $ and they sent me the correctly coded key. Other than the mailing delay, it was pretty slick.

    Seems easier than programming the bike to accept new keys. Does anyone know why BMW changed?
    #6
  7. bloc

    bloc Been here awhile

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    Just a guess, but newer immobilization systems typically have a permanent RFID "code" for each and every key that makes it unique, which means they usually need to program the vehicle to accept that new "code" as having permission to start it. Despite having great aftermarket software that allows you TONS of coding and adaptation options on VWs for the past 15 years or so, programming keys still requires deep digging (that only most tuners can do) in the ECU file for an "SKC" that is needed to tell the ECU to accept new keys.

    If it really bothers you, one workaround (or at least on VWs it has been done, the theory would be the same here) is to remove the RFID "pill" from a functioning key, and permanently mount it within range of the sensor antenna. This would obviously make the bike a whole lot easier to steal.. though most thieves would assume the bike had a working immobilizer function and likely pass it up anyway.
    #7
  8. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Just hot wire it!
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  9. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    You order the key from BMW with the proper documentation, wait for it to arrive and when it does, insert in the ignition, turn the bike on and start it.
    #9
  10. Wallowa

    Wallowa Long timer

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    Actually the ECU on my '07 GSA has I believe 7 [9?] key codes pre-programmed for my bike...any of the 7 will work in the bike...you lose a key with the #1 code on it...you pay the $$$$$$$$$ and they sell you a new key with the #2 code on it...and so on as you lose keys..:D

    The previous codes on replaced keys are forever invalid...

    I believe that all these 'wonder keys' for the BMW motorcycles are set up with these backup extra codes that will recognize each other.
    #10
  11. bloc

    bloc Been here awhile

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    Like I said, just taking a guess. The system I described is in use on a lot of vehicles, and though I have no idea specifically what they built into the OP's bike, it could explain why they need access to the motorcycle.
    #11
  12. XB12R

    XB12R Long timer

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    I needed a key for my previous 2005 1200GS and that's exactly the way it worked. I thought it would be the same proceedure for the 2010.
    #12
  13. Wallowa

    Wallowa Long timer

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    I bought an extra key through the mail by sending the proper paper trail documentation...from a local [85miles] dealer; and not the dealer I bought the bike from...he never saw my bike...all the back up key codes for my VIN are in the BMW computer...they just issue an original code, as in my case, or a replacement code in the case of a lost key.
    #13
  14. EggChaser

    EggChaser Been here awhile

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    The key are all coded - the reason to match the purchase to your bike is so the the physical bumps and ridges in the slot match up to the mechanical security of the lock (for your ignition and luggage locks)

    The coding itself does as far as I know need a visit to the dealer as that is random and not specific to the bike you own - until the linking to the bike is done anyway.

    When I bought my GS, the dealer included a plastic slimline "wallet" key as well as the 2 standard keys. The wallet key is an emergency item to carry just in case you lose the main key so does contain a coding chip but would wear out if used every day. Not sure off hand how many keys can be coded to a single GS, but it is at least 3.

    Oh and if you lose a key you go to the dealer with all your remaining keys and they remove the lost key from the security of the bike so that it can no longer be used to start the bike (which again shows that the keys have different codes)
    #14
  15. WindSailor

    WindSailor Been here awhile

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    First things first; after reading the replies I took my new replacement key out of the BMW packaging and went out to the bike to try it without going to the dealership: it started just fine. 2011 1200GSA. Probably should have done this right away.:huh

    That may be what this person at the original dealership was talking about. In essence I was to bring in all my keys at once and then reprogram the computer to the keys I currently had. Then again I wasn't talking to the service dept person, I was going through a middle man, so the conversation may have been a little misleading on both parts.

    That's also what another dealership told me in a different town.

    For me the hard part is trying to decipher what is actually needed - and what a dealership -may- be doing just to get you back into the workshop for more time and money. It seems that I'm getting only part of the story from the original dealer - and that gives me some concerns - right now I can't outright blame the dealership. But it does raise a few warning flags. I'll just mark it down as experience for now.

    Thanks to all
    #15
  16. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Keep guessing somewhere else. It's not very helpful in the context of this thread. Especially when other people have had actual experience buying extra keys for their bikes. They don't need the motorcycle to make the key work. It comes from BMW physically cut to fit and programmed to work with the electronics.
    #16
  17. RudyBoy

    RudyBoy Been here awhile

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    The CD changer in my 2003 Suburban died a few years ago. I found a used one on Ebay. I then had to pay a dealer $90 to tell the onboard computer to accept the new stereo as not stolen before it would work.

    I don't know if these security measures actually deter theft, but they seem to be a nice income stream for the dealers .......
    #17
  18. GSMarc

    GSMarc Long timer

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  19. PARIAH

    PARIAH Been here awhile

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    Had to get a new key for my 2010. It's plug and play.
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  20. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    Not sure why the dealer that you bought the bike from required you to show that you are the owner since every record of every sale is kept on the dealer's computer. Another dealer, OTOH, I might understand their reluctancy to provide you a key.
    #20