+1A lot of people have had trouble with their steering locks - your best course of action is to give up on it - if it's giving you trouble now, chances are that if you get it working it might fail on you when you have the bike locked somewhere when you're out and about - that would be worse. It's not a very good lock anyway - better off investiong in a decent disc lock or something instead.
The Bonneville steering lock is typical of most 1970 type locks, small key and fiddly opertion [Retro though]. It works just fine as long as you get used to it. Do not try forcing it, you will probably snap the key off in the lock. Turn Steering to the left, push key in, it may need the steering jiggling a bit till the key engages, then turn 90 degrees. Unless the lock has not been used for a long time and is seized up it should work fine.there is a knack to using it.
turn push and jiggle the handle bars slightly at the same time.
I have learnt not to constantly lock mine with the steering lock every time I park the bike since I broke a key in it when it was in the locked position.
now just use chain and lock thru the wheels when parked overnight at home, and may on the rare occasion use the steering lock if parked somewhere else thats a bit dodgy.
If you decide to use a disc lock, a word of caution.Some good advise here, thanks, a quality disc lock is the way to go but I would just like to get the stock one working as it was intended.
What do you think of using a little silicone spray on the key and inserting it several times?I only use mine when parked out of sight and it has never failed me.
As a locksmith, I respectfully disagree with the use of WD-40 on lock cylinders (unless you are trying to remove a badly corroded one for service) as it seems to attract dust and dirt.
I try to PM all of my lock cylinders at least yearly with a few puffs of powdered graphite in the cylinder and on the key.
Try not to do so whilst wearing white pants and be sure to wipe the excess off the key.
I use it on my exterior door locks and the key turns like it is running on ball bearings.
A little goes a long way- I'm still using the 4 oz tube I purchased many years ago.
Oh, and remember to always close the dust cover on the fork lock to keep out the filth and pestilence which is sure to invade...