If you are reading this, you likely just experienced the pit in your stomach as you realize you left the key to your motor scooter in the under-seat storage box. The pit feeling is gone, and now you are trying to figure out what to do. I feel your pain, so let us get you in there as quickly as possible while preventing damage to your scooter.
Depending on where you are and your access, you have a few options to open your scooter under-seat box ranked a bit subjectively based on simplicity and cost.
- Go grab your spare (or call a friend to help you out here)
- Find the release cable and pull it from the bottom
- Call your scooter dealer or repair shop for additional advice & how to get another spare
- Start taking components off your scooter to access the release
- Call a locksmith
- Try fishing your keys out with a wire hanger through a crack
Read on to find more detail about each situation including the pros and cons for each suggestion or jump to the one you feel would solve your problem the fastest without losing your mind any further than it already is based on the kind of day you are having….
First Things First – This is for the Scooter Owner!
This post is intended to help those that have genuinely locked their key in their motor scooter under seat storage box. This information is NOT for the JERKS looking to steal or destroy someone else’s scooter or joy. Sorry, but I do not feel comfortable posting this information without that little disclaimer.
Let’s Get You Into Your Under Seat Storage Box Pronto!
The options listed may be scooter brand or perhaps model dependent. They are listed in a semi-subjective order based on simplicity and budget impact without being full-on destructive. That said, none of the suggestions that I am willing to share involve a hammer.
I do hate to be Captain Obvious here, but I have included obvious options here in case the panic you are feeling is impacting your problem-solving capacity. That’s a real thing. I am labeling the more obvious solutions with an asterisk *, so you don’t send me hate mail. I already know. 😊
Scooters come with 2 keys. Hopefully, you know where the spare is!
- Pro: Easiest solution if you can retrieve it or have someone help you out here
- Cons: If you live alone and your only house key is with your scooter key in the under-seat storage, this can be more problematic. Also, this option could be time-consuming, if you need to have someone go to your home first to grab the spare.
Find and Pull on the Release Cable
The key essentially moves this cable to open the under-seat normally, so the idea here is to locate this cable and follow it to the latch area. You grab it from the bottom and pull the cable.
- Pro: Free and relatively quick
- Con: Difficult to find this cable to access it
Contact your dealer
At this point, I would try calling a scooter expert. This is likely going to be your scooter dealer or a local scooter mechanic. This problem extends to motorcycles, so you can try a motorcycle repair shop or dealer if you need to try a few numbers to get help fast.
- Pro: Advice is free
- Cons: No idea what the idea will cost, and this could take some time depending on how busy the folks you call are
Time to take it off!
The components of the motor scooter, that is. There are some scooters that you can remove the rack and components at the rear to access the latch. However, this is not possible for the Buddy Kick or Like 150i in my household. Those rear components on our scooters require bolts to be removed that are locked behind that latch. You may have some luck depending on your scooter, so watch this video to see someone demonstrate how this works on their GY6 scooter in case it helps spur some ideas for your specific motor scooter.
- Pro: Free
- Con: Time consuming, and you’ll need to have the tools available. This may not be as accessible if you’re stuck in the parking lot of a cafe.
Call a Locksmith
This is a fairly straight forward solution. Call a local locksmith, hand over some money, and they will get you on your way. They have the tools and knowledge, so let the professional work their magic.
- Pro: Easy (for you)
- Cons: The cost and waiting time for them to arrive (+ maybe a hit to your ego)
Go Fishing with a Wire Coat Hanger
This one feels a bit far fetched to me, but it has been done before it seems. I would be very cautious if you decide to give this suggestion a try. I can see giving it a try without causing damage, but if you get too rough, I can see where this suggestion could also end up bad fast. That is why it is essentially the last option on this list as any damage you cause may end up costing you more than the dealer or locksmith options.
I gave this a try on the Buddy Kick and Like 150i here in the garage, and I can see a hanger fitting in when I tug a little on the seats. You will be going in blind for sure and I could see it potentially damaging a little of the seals that keep the water and gunk out.
Basically, go to your closet and dig out a wire coat hanger. You will then straighten it out and bend one end to form a small ‘hook’ to go fishing for your keys with. Using one hand, pull up on one side of the scooter seat (as gently as possible) between the connection points towards the middle of the seat, Then, you start fishing using the hanger with your other hand. You’re definitely fishing without bait and a lot of hope.
If this the hook solutions is getting close to the key but you are not quite able to hook the key, I have heard of someone rigging a magnet to the wire hanger. I am a bit skeptical of this suggestion, but keep this in mind if you are close but not quite able to snag the key.
Just kidding! Oops! I imagine you aren’t in the mood for this, but I also imagine that one of the above suggestions got you into that storage compartment without resorting to traumatizing your scooter. I mean, if you name your scooter, can you really use a crowbar unnecessarily?!
A Couple of Tiny Nuggets for Preventing This Down the Road
I know this is a little late, but I wanted to toss a few ideas out there to prevent this headache again.
The dealer that we purchased our scooters from made a big deal that if 1 key was lost that I should contact them immediately to get a backup. It turns out there is a code on your key that will help them get your replacement. The alternative involves having the scooter rekeyed, so if you discovered you do not have a spare through this experience, it is critical to give your dealer a call to make this less stressful if you even have a next time.
By diving into this topic, I realized that my seat cover prevents my scooter seat from automatically locking no matter how hard I slam it. I headed out to the garage just to double-check, and I was right. My seat cover will not latch on its own. I always have to give it a light push at the rear of the seat for it to fully latch. I put the cover on to reduce the heat when I hop on after the scooter has been in the sun a bit and for aesthetics, obviously. I realize I have another perk of the cover. It adds in a layer of protection from accidentally locking my keys in the ‘trunk’. That feels like a win on several fronts!
I want to keep this on topic for this specific key situation, but since the cover literally helps me in that regard, I’d like to share that it came from Cheeky Seats. Check out the resources page to get more details about my Cheeky Seats cover made custom for my scooter seat.