How to Start Electric Bike without Key? – Expert Guide

A mechanical engineer became an active blogger, and it’s James Miller. Well, the journey of his blogging started more than a decade ago. As a...Read more

Losing your ebike keys and getting stranded can be frustrating. I know that feeling because I have once lost mine in a running manhole. However, if you misplace your key, there are ways you can easily start your electric bike. And today, I’m going to show you exactly how to start electric bike without key and get going.

You can use different methods to start a bike without a key, such as using the bike manually or using a bump key, plastic key, or connecting wires to start the bike. Fortunately, if your bike uses a button for a startup, you do not have to worry if you misplace the key.

I’ll explain each of the methods in detail so that you can always find your way out with a lost ebike key. Let’s get to it then!

Key Takeaways:

  • Asking people for help can make the difference whenever you misplace your electric bike key
  • You can use other means to operate the electric bike in the absence of the key. The manual method is the simplest, but no electric bike supports this method.
  • Any universal key can start your electric bike if you misplace the key. They can also be called bump keys.

Is It Possible To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key?

Yes, you can start an electric bike without a key. However, the process is not straightforward, so it is not something that bike thieves will be able to do. If you lose your key or have problems starting your electric bike, there are other things that you can do to solve the problem.

Is It Possible To Start An Electric Bike Without A Key_

You can use a heavy screwdriver or hex wrench to remove the lock from its ignition switch. This may not be as secure as using a keyed ignition switch but will allow you to start your e-bike without one.

Another option is to use the starter motor instead of the key. You will have to make sure that there is enough juice in your battery before trying this method. You should also check if any other power source is available for starting your bike.

If the battery doesn’t have charge in it, be sure to charge it first. If you currently don’t have a charger on you, use other methods to charge the battery. You can use many methods, which makes it very possible for you to start your electric bike even when you do not have the key.

What Do You Do If You Lose Your Electric Bike Key?

Losing anything can be frustrating. It’s one thing when you lose something not so important, but it’s a whole other level of stress when you are talking about your electric bike key. While hopefully this never happens to you, it is a good idea to know what the steps are for what to do if you lose your electric bike key.

What Do You Do If You Lose Your Electric Bike Key

Retrace Your Movement

One of the methods of recovering lost things, which I am a witness to, is retracing your step and movement. Getting panicked is never the solution, and it will make it hard for you to reprocess where you might have lost the key.

You need to be as calm as possible and try to remember the last time you set your eyes on the key and when you notice you do not have the key with you again. Also, you can trace back your movement from the point you noticed to where you were coming from.

Ask People

Sometimes we do not want to appear careless to others, and we feel it is not right to ask someone if they help you locate your key. It is never the wrong thing to do. Sometimes asking can make the difference. I once lost my car key, and someone found it.

I recovered when I asked around, and the person returned to me. So, never feel too big to ask around where you think you might have lost the key. You might be lucky that someone found it and picked it for you.

Always Go with Spare Keys

Sometimes it is not necessary to go out often with your electric bike spare key. However, no one ever knows when a bad situation will take place. So, you should do well to have a secured place on your bike where you can keep the spare key.

You can create a place under the bike seat that you know is secure and out of reach of strangers and anyone trying to steal your bike.

Try Other Methods to Start the Bike

Just because you lost the electric bike key does not mean you can not move the bike. You can try other means of starting a bike without a key. There are different methods, such as removing the battery and riding the bike manually or using some tools. You can read more on this part below.

Order New Keys

You should order new keys if you do not want to make any alterations to your electric bike. You have to contact the dealer office where you got the bike. It will take days to get a new key, which means you will not be able to ride the bike for those days.

Can You Use an Electric Bike Manually?

You can use an electric bike manually. Many people don’t realize that electric bikes will work even when the battery is completely dead (or stolen). The battery is there to give you throttle and boost to help you get up hills or over rough terrain, but if the battery dies, it doesn’t mean you’re stranded. You can just use it as a regular bicycle.

Can You Use an Electric Bike Manually

However, it depends on the type of electric bike you are using. For example, some electric bikes are pedal-assist, which means they only give you a boost when you pedal, but you can still pedal normally without the motor turning on.

A few electric bikes are also called “throttle on-demand,” which means that they don’t require you to pedal for the motor to work. Instead, a small throttle on your handlebars controls how fast and how much power the motor uses. Of course, you will still need to apply some pressure on the pedals to move this type of bike.

The only type of electric bike that doesn’t need any effort from you is a “hub motor” electric bike, as you can just sit back and relax as it moves forward.

How To Start Electric Bike Without Key?

Electric bikes don’t require a physical key to be able to get started. Instead, they use some form of a security system that will allow you to press a button or do something to be able to start the bike. The most common type is using a biometric device, like your fingerprint or voice. And some bikes use tokens that are put into the valet, and the bike will only work for that token.

How To Start Electric Bike Without Key

However, if your bike can only operate with the use of a key, there is more to what you can do if you misplace your key. Below are some of how you start your electric bike if you misplace the key.

Starting the Electric Bike Through Hotwire Method

It is a common method for thieves, and in the scenario that you have limited options, you can consider using it. Starting your electric bike using the joining of wires is quite effective without a key. Just ensure that you notice the two switch wires of the electric bike that you need to connect together.

To Use This Method, Follow the Steps Below:

Tools you need:

  • A small wire and a screwdriver

Steps One: Locate the switch key connector –

You need to locate the switch key connector of your electric bike. Depending on the model and type of electric bike you own, you might have to make use of the screwdriver to reach out to the connector.

The switch key connector for the bike is usually located behind the headlight. Some are located at the head of the bike. Just ensure you find a way to locate it.

Step Two: Disconnect the key connector –

You need to disconnect the key connector using your screwdriver or your hand. Just use any means that is comfortable for you. The reason is to expose the terminal inside so that you can get your hands on the wires to locate and use the ignition.

Step Three: Locate the ignition terminal –

If you are not familiar with this method, you might find it hard to expose the terminal, reach the wires, and hot-wire them. To hotwire, you need to locate the ignition terminal, and it’s different for each manufacturer. So, be sure to explore the bike a bit, and possibly read its repair manual online. After that, all you need is to attach the wire to start the bike.

Step Four: Wire the ignition terminal –

You need to attach the wire to the ignition terminal at this point just as seen in the image below. This time, the light should come on, and that shows that you have successfully bypassed the ignition without a key.

Ride the Electric Bike Manually

The next option is to ride the bike manually. You have to do this by removing the battery of the electric bike. You should disconnect the battery ignition and try to ride manually to your destination while you sort for a lasting solution after that.

To use this method, follow the steps below:

  • Locate the battery ignition and disconnect it
  • Screw the battery on after disconnecting the battery connection
  • Ride your bike manually

Use a Screwdriver

You can also make use of a screwdriver to start the bike. It works with some old model electric bikes. It is far easier to use if you find it quite hard to locate the ignition switch on your electric bike.

To Use the Screwdriver, Follow the Step:

  • Choose a screwdriver that has a pointed tip that can easily get into the keyhole of your electric bike.
  • Twist the screwdriver in the same direction you do with your key
  • Apply force, and don’t be too hard on it
  • If the method does not work, you should try another method and never apply too much force. Applying too much force will damage the keyhole.

Using Shim to Start the Key

The shim method of starting an electric bike without a key is an old effective method that still works with some modern electric bikes today. All you need is an empty aluminum can to execute the task.

Here Is the Step to Using This Method:

  • Step One: You need a plier to make a shim out of the empty aluminum can
  • Step Two: Cut the can using the plier or any sharp object, and then ensure it is neat enough to use. Be careful not to touch the edge as it can cut through your hand and get you injured
  • Step Three: You should create a V shape using the shim
  • Step Four: Bend the shim and find a way to insert it around the shackle of the lock. If you bend it in the right way, you should be able to open the lock and start the bike
  • Step Five: If you have a double bolted lock, you need two shims.

Using Plastic to Start the Bike

The use of plastic to start a bike is quite effective if that is the only option you have left. The best you can use for this task is the pen cover, and I have tried this some years back. However, this can easily work for bikes with a tubular shaped cylinder lock.

Insert the tip of the BIG pen cover into the keyhole and move the plastic deeper before wiggling to try and start the bike. You might be so lucky to have this work just fine.

Using Universal Keys

Some keys are compatible with all kinds of key ignition systems. So, if you get to see that kind of key, you can start your bike with it. They are known as universal keys. If you can’t find a universal key, you can try any key as you might be lucky that one will start your electric bike.


It is such a frustrating experience to misplace your electric bike key with no help. The only hope is to start the electric bike without a key. If that is the only choice you have, the steps and guides above should be adequate to help you understand how to start an electric bike without a key.

No matter how secure a bike you have outside, you must keep in mind that culprit thieves have these methods under their sleeves as well. So, make sure to lock your bike with a good ebike lock that is not easy to break in.

A mechanical engineer became an active blogger, and it’s James Miller. Well, the journey of his blogging started more than a decade ago. As a mechanical engineer, he started his professional career as a technical assistant in a renowned automotive industry and later joined an e-bike manufacturing company as a quality in charge. James created this site “Bikerreview” to share his decade of experience with e-bikes. He wants to help the people who are newly looking for an e-bike and doesn’t have any prior knowledge about that.

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