I'll give a shot at 2)
Have you tried turning the bars lock to lock while keeping a slight pressure on the key?
I know on earlier models there was a problem with the tank vent dumping fuel down the headstock and washing out the steering stem lower bearing due to the lock hole. Maybe they did away with the steering lock???
"What could possibly go wrong? " The Jerk
2012 TE 250
2010 F 650 GS
1983 R 80 G/S