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Sticky Key Barrel

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by presti, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. G'day guys and gals,

    My 09 GSXR's key barrel has become a little sticky as of late. I suspect its due to the amount of rain i have been riding in / the amount of times i've had to clean the bike. Sometimes i forget and leave the key in the barrel when i clean it *idiot..* It's hard to turn the bikes barrel from 'OFF' to 'ON' and to lock the steering also.

    I was thinking, like with a house key lock when its a little rough to turn, i put graphite into the lock and then it helps. BUT because my bike has some sort of barrel security technology that i don't understand, would this cause trouble with Key Recognition? Or am i being too paranoid?


  2. Last week spent a minute lubricating the fuelcap keyway on my Suzuki as it's been getting a bit sticky. With domestic locks I usually go the graphite way but didn't fancy something like that getting into the tank. So, put a tiny bit of WD-40 on the key, wiped it off with me fingers, slid the key in and out of the lockway a few time, and you know what? Beauty, action just like new again! Good old WD-40.
  3. stop rooting your bike mate
  4. Yeah i thought of WD-40. I'm just worried that i'm going to do something to a sensor or stuff up the barrel security and not be able to ride my bike.

    Hopefully someone can tell me that it's safe to do that?
  5. sounds painful but i like your thinking
  6. Silicon or, better, PTFE spray... don't spray it into the keyhole, spray it liberally onto the key and insert/withdraw a few times... repeat until lubed. (Sounds dirtier than it is.)

    The problem with spraying anything into the lock barrel is that the switch is often under/around it, and parts of the lock mechanisms are now made of plastics... these bits potentially wont like being drowned in hydrocarbon/propellants, and you risk washing contaminants from one part of the mechanism into another part... where it really ruins your day.

    WD40 is OK for lots of jobs but important lock mechanisms that I want to keep is not something that I would use it for; it's basically light machine oil and a hydrocarbon propellant/solvent.

    If the lock was already full of dirt and water, then flooding/washing the ignition switch with WD40 would be better than doing nothing... for longevity, I would follow it up with silicon/PTFE.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. As I mentioned above, don't flood the lock and all should be OK.

    Most of the bike smart-keys are proximity devices; they only need to be close enough and the key being in the hole is enough for that.

    Some cars use a conduction circuit through the key, eg GMH Commodore, but there's too much vibration and the wrong environment for bikes to use those systems... as far as I've seen, in my limited travels.

    So you should be fine.
  8. Howdy, I use WD-40 regularly on my Suzuki and previously on two Kawas one of which was a 2011 MY Z1000 which has some sort of key activated immobilizer, all without any problem. Also agree with the spray on the key method rather than directly into the lock.

  9. Cheers mate for taking the time to say all that! I will get some PTFE on the way home from work tomorrow (hopefully Bunnings stock it) to keep it handy anyway. I will definitely just spray it on the key and not inside the barrel.

  10. yeah I'll try this too. My GS500's barrel can take me no sheet, 15-20 seconds to get it right sometimes.
  11. I used to work with locks years ago, for what its worth, i don't like to use oils as they collect and hold dirt and dust . I always use a graphite/metho solution. the metho helps with penetration then evaporates leaving the graphite.or just straight graphite in a puffer bottle and puff it in. if none handy just rub the lead of a pencil on piece of fine sandpaper and get it in anyway you can.Just my2c
  12. #12 DJ666, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I know this topic is a little old but any advice on the graphite:metho ratios to use?

  13. Not much mate... Even just use a grey lead pencil and run it up and down the key a few times on both sides... Then slide it in and out nice and gentle and slow...
  14. This was helpful-should make it a sticky.
  15. #15 Gord, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Hahah I ****in see what you did

  16. little tip: as you turn the key, push/tip it toward the front of the bike
    should be fine.
    (and of course push it downward as well for the steering lock)
    this is a common occurrence with bike ignitions/steering locks
    not so much the lube, but your key technique!

    i have found wd-40 is great for lots of things, but not key barrels.

    i think graphite is the go.
  17. I've been using graphite powder for a while now, and as long as it's dry it's great, but after the first rain, things go sticky again. I'm actually thinking of going back to WD-40, which is water-displacing.