Ignition hard to turn - Suzuki GSXS1000 Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-04-2017, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ignition hard to turn

Lately my ignition won't turn to the on position until I jiggle the key a bit. The problem seems to come and go, sometimes the key will turn without a problem and other times it won't until multiple tries. I'm worried it will get progressively worse until it leaves me stranded somewhere. I just put some wd-40 down the key hole and also cleaned my key which had a small amount of grime on it. Does anyone else have this problem?
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-04-2017, 10:59 PM
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I haven't had that problem, but I did have some aftermarket keys made and one of them would only work in one direction (not flipped).
Do you have more than one key? If so, does the other one work better/worse? If not maybe order a key from Suzi?
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-04-2017, 11:37 PM
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I wouldn't say my key is hard to turn, but it can be a little tight. Try pushing down on the key when you insert it in the lock and let it spring back up Just to make sure it is in all the way before you turn it. You can also try dry graphite to lubricate the lock. You can either buy the graphite specifically made for this purpose or just rub the key with a soft pencil. Either way I've had locksmiths tell me to avoid using liquid lubricants like WD40. They say it will attract dirt and gum up the lock over time. It would also be a good idea to try mike d's suggestion and see if another key turns easier.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-05-2017, 02:40 AM
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It's best to remove the key before washing the bike, especially if you have a really rich sudsy detergent brew to use.
The detergent will run down the key and dissolve away the internal grease around the sprung locking pins.
Like the Owners Manual instruction to cover up the switches to keep water out, a cover over the ign. keyhole before wetting the bike may help stop further problems.

Rob.
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-05-2017, 06:34 AM
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i think other members had there,s replaced under warrenty
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-05-2017, 08:00 AM
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Agreed. Keep the key out. Actually, I go a little farther when washing the bike and put a piece of painters tape or maybe electrical tape over the key slot. The main switch key recess is deeper on this bike than with others so when time to dry I blow the slight bit of water out that has accumulated there. Now when you're riding in the rain...
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-05-2017, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptainSlow View Post
Lately my ignition won't turn to the on position until I jiggle the key a bit. The problem seems to come and go, sometimes the key will turn without a problem and other times it won't until multiple tries. I'm worried it will get progressively worse until it leaves me stranded somewhere. I just put some wd-40 down the key hole and also cleaned my key which had a small amount of grime on it. Does anyone else have this problem?
Have had the same problem since new. Some lock smiths say one thing and others another, and so far using some type of lube is ok (have experimented with WD40, couple drops of motor oil, and other quick lock lube stuff, gun mechanism lube, etc).
I ride every day (work), and during the rainy season lubricant sure makes a huge difference.

However, (am at 48k +)as long as a small amount of pressure towards the the rear/the rider/tank (top/handle/fingers) it usually works fine, and don't make a big deal about it (obviously have to use a little finesse, and not force the issue).

This is not the first bike that i have this issue with (other brands have had the same problem including Aprilia)

Never had these issues with the old 60's/70's bikes, like everything else the change of times in cheaper mass production assembly lines where quality control does not appear to be like it use to.
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-05-2017, 02:16 PM
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Been having this too, infrequently, but shortly after I got the bike, the keyway cover got stuck open. I've been meaning to tear it apart and clean it, but...

Anyway, it seems to me that I have to find just the right depth for the key to work, once the pins disengage it turns just fine. So, if it is giving me trouble, I push the key all the way in, and apply very slight torque while slowly pulling back. The big problem I seem to have, when it happens, it actually getting the key in all the way, which leads me to think there's debris occasionally getting in through the keyway.

2016 GSXS1000FAL6
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-05-2017, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips guys.

I'm fairly confident the problem is with the ignition and not the key, because the key works flawlessly in the gas tank and the back seat. Also the problem only developed recently within the last month or so.

Unfortunately I have gotten caught in a heavy rain recently, so some water must have gone down the key hole, that is inevitable if you ride long distances like me.

After spraying the wd-40 I found this video that says not to use a liquid lubricant because while it may improve things temporarily it may cause things to get worse in the long term. They recommend using some graphite from a pencil:

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post #10 of 23 Old 08-05-2017, 05:49 PM
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There are actually graphite specific lubricants that you can get for lock cylinders. They use a volatile solvent with suspended graphite particles, so it's easy to apply, and then when it dries, there's no petrol substrates left over to trap dirt.

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