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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my 2001 Bonneville for 4 years but never been able to get the steering lock to operate. I can push the key in, turn anti clockwise about 45 degrees but it will not lock, I can shake the steering and still no lock.

Am I doing something wrong ?
 

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The key should turn 90 degrees. Are you pushing the lock in while turning? It works by pushing a plunger in, which goes into a slot in the steering column. You have to have the steering column turned just right.

A 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.
 

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After fours years, it seems as though you do not need it. LOL
I have never used the fork lock on any bike I have ever owned; never felt the need for it.
 

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Its like any steering lock, the bars have to be turned all the way to the left and you may need to them a touch back to the right with some light pressure while you turn. It's tricky but once you get to work you will always be able to.

Mine on my Bonnie requires the exact same trick as the one on my old Intruder.
 

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A 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.
+1

Get a disc lock with a builtin alarm - highly visible, highly attention seeking deterrent - hey thief, go an annoy someone else instead.
 

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Words of Wisdom (from day 1)

When I bought my bonne in 04, the dealer said "DONT USE THE STEERING LOCK"! They are a problem & it could lock one day & not unlock as said! My advise- dont use it. Get a disc lock or lojack whatever your budget will take? As mentioned- you dont want to be somewhere & not be able to unlock it!
 

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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.
 

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Steering lock

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.
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.
 

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Fork lock.

Didn't see anyone remind you to shoot some WD-40 in the lock so it's smooth and lubricated, that helps a great deal.
Like anything else on the bike, it just takes a bit of learning how to operate all the stuff, be gentle with the fork lock, it's notorious for eating keys.
good luck, koi
 

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Gave Up

Had my Bonnie for a few months now. I gave up on trying to lock the damn thing after a few days. Bought me a disc lock, and that failed me too after a couple of weeks.

Maybe its me???
 

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Mine works great (so far)

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...
 

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I only have 490 miles on my Bonnie and I've only used the fork lock 4 or 5 times but it works fine. Remember to slightly rotate the forks while pushing in with the key. The lock pushes in to engage the pin when you get the hole and pin lined up and you turn the key. Don't force it. If it doesn't engage easily you need to move the forks a little. It's the kinda thing that works very easily once you get the hang of it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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.
 

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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.
If you decide to use a disc lock, a word of caution.

dont forget to remove it before you take off.

as silly as it sounds. happened to a work colleague on his new BMW much to his horror. damaged his pride and a lot of his bike.
 

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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...
What do you think of using a little silicone spray on the key and inserting it several times?
I've used silicone in my locks over the years and always wondered if doing so is recommended by locksmiths. It seems to lubricate and make them work better.
 

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Silicone may be okay, but I prefer graphite...

I've heard some stories of great success using silicone lube, but, by the same token have worked on several residential locksets which have been done in by various aerosal sprays as well.
The biggest problem seems to be the moisture attracts and holds dust and dirt particles which accellerates wear on the mechanism.
This is merely my opinion and I would be loathe to engage in any sort of urination derby on this topic.
Maybe you could try a little dry graphite powder in the squeeze bottle and see what you think. If done properly, the key will "blacken" just a tad like an oilite bushing.
Just don't overdo it. A "plug" of graphite can build up in the end of the lock cylinder preventing the key from being inserted all the way.
Just a few thousandths of an inch can make a difference in a key working and not working. Compressed air and a piece of music wire will undo such excesses should they occur.
 

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Thanks for your reply and tips!
I'm familiar with graphite powder and I know it works great, I just hate the mess. It's so easy to get all over everything. After using it, it coats the key and when you put your keys in your pocket it's easy to get graphite inside your pocket which then gets on your hands which then gets..., you know where I'm going ;). No doubt it's the best lock lubricant, it's just so messy :(
 

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Lock

When the key breaks off in the lock, & its cold & rainy out- think to what the non users had to say? Outa all the bikes I have had- its the worst fork lock ever! I used the othere @ times w/o worry. I think the dealer had enuff experience to give good advice & he was selling a bike- not trying to make me NOT buy one? I am sure he responded to many "stuck " bikes in his day?
 
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