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Do Dirt Bikes Have Keys for the Ignition?

Of course, many of us dirt bike riders know the answer to this question as it’s immediately obvious to us. Then again, not everyone has been on a dirt bike:

Most dirt bikes today have a modern ignition system with keys which prevents the motorcycle from being stolen or causing a flat battery for the rider. However, the dirt bike doesn’t start with the key like a normal car. Instead, the key is used to engage the battery and then the rider either presses an electric start button or uses the kick start to get the engine running.

A few of the older MX style machines don’t have keys but most today simply do. Otherwise, it’s quite a risk as your bike might get stolen. It’s also a good way to turn off your engine when you come crashing down on the side of the track, though most bikes have a kill button too.

Dirt Bikes and Keys

Most dirt bikes have keys and certainly, all dual-sport and adventure motorcycles have these too. If the motorcycle is ridden on the road, then it certainly would have a key.

Some bikes which remain exclusively on the dirt may not have a key as they are used in trials or supercross events. It’s here where the risk of being stolen isn’t high given the security you’ll find at motocross stadiums and the like.

For the recreational rider like us, we really want to sleep better at nighttime. In years gone by, manufacturers were bringing dirt bikes to the market that didn’t have keys. We demanded these and they eventually followed suit. Today, having a key with your dirt bike is as common as wearing a helmet when riding around.

Installing an Ignition

Let’s say you’re riding one of those dirt bikes that don’t have ignitions but you want to install one. The fortunate news is that you’re able to install your own ignition system.

Both Yamaha and Honda make these and you can find the kits online. You’ll need some tools to get the job done properly and some experienced with electricial wiring.

But then we question whether you really need to do this? A solid chain and lock should be enough to keep everyone out. Well, the honest people that is. We know that just about every padlock can be picked nowadays.

Keeping a Dirt Bike Secure

While most dirt bikes sold from the major dealerships such as Yamaha, KTM, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki have ignition systems, it doesn’t really stop someone from stealing a dirt bike. After all, changing the ignition system is pretty damn easy with the right tools.

Thus, you’re going to want some decent security and more than just a chain and lock.

We can recommend:

  • Parking your dirt bike in the garage with your car boxing it in. A real physical deterant.
  • Not advertising your love for dirt bikes with branding stickers all over your car.
  • Using a tracking device which is cleverly hidden away and with a long life battery.
  • Being mindful when you’re parked up at the gas station. This is where you’ll let your guard down.

Of course, you’ll also want to keep those keys in a safe spot. Most dirt bikes come with two keys so keep the spare in a safe spot somewhere and ideally not in the trailer.

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