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Old 12-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #1
BootsandPants OP
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Key Turns but Steering Still Locked

The morning starts off with the key refusing to turn in the ignition because it's cold, which has been a systemic problem for this bike. I eventually warm the key and ignition up enough so it will turn and I can start the bike, however the steering lock is still engaged and the bars won't turn even with the engine running . I tried turning the key through all the paces a few times to get it to free up, but no dice.

Has anyone seen or heard of this before? I tried searching but haven't found anything, and the shop is closed today. Since I commute by bike, I'm losing today because I can't get to work due to this stupid problem. I'm hoping there is some sort of solution other than replacing the whole ignition column. At least enough to just get it to the shop, because as of now it's going to have to be trailered. Warranty better cover this, because it's pretty pathetic that a $20k "adventure" bike can't deal with temps below 0C.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
Callisto224
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Which bike?

Probably frozen steering lock mechanism (might have gotten some water in there). Anyplace indoors where you can push the bike to get warmed up? Or maybe a blow dryer?
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
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have you tried putting some deicer on before having it trailered? I mean this is kinda a heavy mesure for almost certanly a simple problem. and I really don't see why warranty should cover metal getting stuck by icey temperatures. it's called physics, except if you have the "preheating the steering" option on your bike. Had this couple of times on my GS. Used some Total de Icer and never had it again.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Callisto224 View Post
Which bike?

Probably frozen steering lock mechanism (might have gotten some water in there). Anyplace indoors where you can push the bike to get warmed up? Or maybe a blow dryer?
1200GS.

Unfortunately, I don't have anyway to get it indoors and only have outdoor parking. Keep it covered at nights or prolonged periods of inactivity (like the holiday weekend).

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have you tried putting some deicer on before having it trailered? I mean this is kinda a heavy mesure for almost certanly a simple problem. and I really don't see why warranty should cover metal getting stuck by icey temperatures. it's called physics, except if you have the "preheating the steering" option on your bike. Had this couple of times on my GS. Used some Total de Icer and never had it again.
I will try some de-icer, but what I'm really concerned about is the fact that the key turns to the point where I can get the electronics to come on and start the bike, but the lock doesn't release. Granted, I don't know exactly how this mechanism works, but I would think that if the key turns all the way on, the lock should release; unless it's somehow broken or frozen shut. I'll have to get some de-icer or try a hair dryer with a bunch of extension cords; hopefully it's just some stuck pins. Although, if it isn't just frozen, this SHOULD be taken care of under warranty (the bike is only 4 months old). Isn't that a little drastic to have to do that every morning when it's cold out though? Especially for something conceivably designed for "harsh conditions"?

Maybe I'm just jumping to worst case scenarios and my first post was a little heated due to the situation. I never had this problem with any of the other bikes I've owned; all ridden year round. HD and Triumph (previous rides) seemed to have it figured it out. Wouldn't that be something...

BootsandPants screwed with this post 12-01-2014 at 05:40 PM
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:38 PM   #5
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DeIcer and hair dryer both don't work. I'm fairly convinced something mechanical has failed with the locking mechanism completely.

Will report back what the shop says in case anyone else ends up with this same problem in the future.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:01 PM   #6
1reddawg
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This happened to my 04 GSA, but it had nothing to do with cold weather. I lived in florida at the time.I locked the front end and couldn't get it unlocked.But the bike was not running, Took it to a dealer and they tore apart the ignition switch, put it back together again.The mechanic couldn't find anything wrong.I didn't lock the front end for a few years after that.Than I day I decided to lock it at work, and dam got stuck again.Ended up.taking my bike to a mechanic friend of mine and he put a new ignition switch on the bike for me.
Looking forward to what your dealer has to say about your bike..
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:01 AM   #7
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It would be helpful to state the model and *year* of the bike.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:29 AM   #8
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It would be helpful to state the model and *year* of the bike.
Thought it was in the first post. 2014 1200GS
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:21 AM   #9
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Stuck lock

The easy answer is call BMW Roadside Assistance. They will pick up the bike and take it to the closest dealer under warrantee.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:45 AM   #10
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The easy answer is call BMW Roadside Assistance. They will pick up the bike and take it to the closest dealer under warrantee.
Yep, that's exactly what happened yesterday. The tech at the dealership took the lock apart and deemed it FUBAR; had to order a new one from Deutschland.

I was able to use a screwdriver to trip the mechanism (with the key in and ignition in the "on" position) in order to straighten the bars and load it on the tow truck. The bars would still re-lock themselves if turned too far. Again, I'm not sure how it got this way, but for the steering lock to apply when unlocked and the bike is running is somewhat disconcerting. This would have been a different story if it decided to do this while riding.

Anyway, just a follow up. Hopefully this is just a one-off thing. Stay safe out there
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