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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past few weeks I've had an issue with my key only wanting to go 3/4 of the way into the ignition. I have to jiggle it, reinsert it, and sometimes force it with my palm to go in all the way. Once it's in, it rotates smoothly without any issue.

Gas cap and trunk lock both work without issue, and the spare key doesn't perform any differently, so I'm assuming it's an issue with the ignition itself. I'm in Arizona, so I'm not even close to freezing temps overnight and it rarely rains. This is an issue with insertion into the cylinder, and not rotation once it's in, so wiggling the handlebars and/or putting the bike in neutral, etc. have no effect. (...And I tried all those things, just in case.)

Today I spent about 15 minutes working graphite into the ignition with my key. It seems to have stopped the key from jamming completely, but it still gets hung up and requires more force than usual to get it in that final 1/4 of the way. What boggles my mind even further is that it's intermittent. Most days it goes in smooth as butter. Other days, I have to put so much force on it, I'm afraid of snapping my key.

Took it to the dealership, as it's still under warranty. They're having me come back next week to look at it, but they said Kawasaki will only cover replacement of the ignition and not the other cylinders - meaning I'll have different keys for the tank and trunk.

Can anyone confirm that this is how Kawasaki's manufacturer warranty coverage works? Has anyone else had this issue with their bike? Thanks!
 

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I called Yuck and Honda corps about warranty questions but never contacted Kawa directly. I suspect that you hose wash your bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I called Yuck and Honda corps about warranty questions but never contacted Kawa directly. I suspect that you hose wash your bike?
I'll have to call Kawi during business hours and ask.

I do wash my bike with a hose, but it's never on high pressure.
 

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I've had a similar problem with the ignition barrel.

Kawasaki, here in Australia, replaced all 3 locks under warranty, even though it was slightly over.
They have to re-program the immobiliser or something similar too.
 

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The tumbler pins are sticking in their grooves in the tumbler itself. I good silicone or graphite spray lube sprayed into the tumbler and worked around in the there (Spray- insert key, remove/ in-out/in-out) will help to loosen the tumbler pins. The cylinder could also be gummed as well. Do not use WD40 as it will gum and make things worse over time. What's causing it is water getting past the rain door in the ignition. The lube will help that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses everyone, I really appreciate the help!

When washing my bike, my key is not in the ignition and I use a low-pressure hose. I might inadvertently and very briefly spray the triple-tree as I'm cleaning the dashboard and underside of the windscreen... but now that I think about it, the very few times it's rained here I have been riding - I guess water got in that way.

I'm going to call Kawi first thing Monday morning to see what my warranty covers. If it doesn't cover all three locks then I might just replace them myself. In the meantime I picked up a small bottle of liquid graphite and have been working it into my ignition with the key multiple times over the past two days. Insertion is smoother, now, but I can still feel it catching that last bit of the way in... we'll see if it gets any better over the weekend.
 

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Spray some wd40 in the ignition..works for me
 

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I'll have to call Kawi during business hours and ask.

I do wash my bike with a hose, but it's never on high pressure.
Suspect hose did this. idk I can report than the '13 key came out of the gas lock when I opened it when brand new then never again. I'd try wd40 on that key and a little down the hole.
 

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Suspect hose did this. idk I can report than the '13 key came out of the gas lock when I opened it when brand new then never again. I'd try wd40 on that key and a little down the hole.
spray more than a little in the ignition..no need to spray key..
 

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Sounds like you have a tumbler sticking....also Don't use wd40, use a dry lube...a wet lube will attract dirt and gunk to stick to it overtime.

Any lock smith should be able to pull the tumblers out of the ignition and redo them to match the key you have.

Also don't worry about the water thing, I wash all my bikes with a pressure washer and never had a key problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I called Kawi CS today to try and determine if the issue with the ignition would result in the warranty covering the replacement of all three locks...

Unfortunately, the rep I spoke was completely incompetent. Despite me very carefully explaining the issue, they didn't seem to understand what I was saying. No matter how specific I was, they kept insisting that they couldn't state whether they'd replace all three locks or just the ignition, and that the tech had to look at it first.

The whole purpose of calling Kawi in the first place was to make sure this dealership (who has a terrible reputation) isn't screwing around with me... so, Kawi saying "you'll have to ask the dealership" was a totally useless response. I have plenty of time left in my coverage, so I might call on a different day and try speaking to someone else, or maybe get ahold of an old rep I used to know (if they're still there).

The good news is that the graphite I put in the ignition seems to be working. I haven't had the issue since. Hopefully this means that the problem has gone away. If not, we'll go from there.

Thank you for all the helpful responses.
 
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