How to Start an Electric Bike Without a Key in 7 Easy Ways

Environmental consciousness has made electric bikes or e-bikes quite popular currently. Many people are turning away from cars and bikes to cycle to work, the gym making cycling a major daily commute.

While e-bikes are easy to use, problems occur when you lose the keys or have jammed the bike’s keyhole. Other problems, like stolen bikes and misplacement of registration records, might require you to learn how to start an electric bike without a key.

Thankfully, you can still start your electric bike without a key by connecting the wires, replacing the battery, or using a shim. 

How to start an electric bike without a key

This article has covered such alternative methods and much more in detail to help you in dire need. 


What is the key for an e-bike? 

Electric bikes comprise a motor, battery, controller, and switches. A removable battery powers the motor, and the switches deliver this power to the motor. This mechanism is designed in a lock-key manner. When the key is inserted and rotated, the controller gets power allowing you to run the motor. 

Do electric bikes work without the key? 

Though electric bikes do not require a key to function, you will not get a paddle assistant without a key. The motor in an electric bike is powered by a battery using a throttle switch. Without a key, you cannot use the throttle switch.

Though you can still ride the bike by paddling, without motor assistance may feel heavy while cycling.

Do electric bikes work without the key

Is it Ok to start an electric bike without a key? 

Yes, it is. The key in an electric bike is used to power the motor. In some models, the key is required to access the batteries, which are locked. However, if you lose the keys, there are other safe ways to start the bike temporarily until you find the keys.

How to Start an Electric Bike WIthout a Key (7 Methods Explained)

If you have failed to find the keys, it’s time to look for alternative methods to start your bike while you wait for the replacement keys. As mentioned, the primary purpose of e-bikes is to secure the battery and get power supply from the battery to the motor.

Thankfully, you can still manage to get the power running by mastering the hidden art of how to start an electric bike without a key. 

7 Ways to Start an E-Bike Without a Key

Check for a hidden key

Many manufacturers provide a hidden key that you can use to start the bike. Depending on the type of bike, this key might be hidden in the frame, under the seat, or in a pouch. Once you locate it, you can easily start your bike without trying any risky alternative methods. 

Alternating ignition by Connecting Wires

An alternative way to start the ignition is by connecting wires. An e-bike ignition works differently than a motorbike. A key is required in an e-bike to only get the power running. Thus, manually connecting the wires, you can complete the circuit without requiring the keys. 

Though this is one of the most popular and straightforward methods, you must keep the safety measures in mind. Getting electrical shocks is common while trying this method.

Removing the Battery

This is one of the safest methods to start your e-bike without damaging the battery. Once the battery is removed from the e-bike, it turns into a manual bicycle. 

With the battery connected to your e-bike, when you paddle, it helps start the motor and makes paddling faster. But when the battery is removed, the motor is not powered. You use only manual labor to paddle like in a regular bike.

Applying a Shim

This is another way to start a motorbike without a key. A shim is a small metal strip used to align the inside of the lock-key system. This is yet another safe and easy way to after battery removal to start your e-bike. 

You can make a shim by cutting a small piece of aluminum. Fold the strip in an ‘M’ shape along the vertical axis. Make sure the size of the shim is close to your key in length and breadth. Finally, insert the shim into the lock and twist it to start the bike. 

Using a Screwdriver

This can be your secondary method if you cannot find the keys. You need to get a sharp tip screwdriver to turn the keyhole. You can also use a flat-headed screwdriver which is often suitable for electric bike-lock systems.

However, this method may not work for new electric bikes. Besides, using this method, you risk damaging your bike’s lock. Thus avoid using too much force to avoid any damage leading to expensive repair and replacement. 

Using a Bump Key

A bump key is similar to a master key and can unlock almost anything. If you can get your hands on a bump key, it will be worth the trouble, and you can use it to start your bike seamlessly. However, the problem is these keys are not easily available. 

Besides, you won’t get a bump key if you don’t have your e-bike’s spare key either. All bikes have unique keys designed to work on a specific bike. To that end, a bump key may not work.

Different Ways to Start an E-Bike Without a Key

Using a Plastic Pen

If all the other options have failed, this is your last resort. But we don’t recommend this method. This method is risky and old and primarily works only on older tubular-shaped locks. 

To use this method, disassemble a plastic pen. Remove the ink tube and the nib. Place the plastic cylinder over an open fire and melt it. However, do not melt it completely. When the pen cylinder is in the malleable stage, insert it into the keyhole and wait for it to get cold and turn solid. You can then turn it to start the bike. 

However, as stated earlier, this method can damage your key lock. 

Can electric bikes be used manually?

Yes. All electric bikes can be used manually. If all options fail and you cannot run the power supply, you can always use your e-bike as a manual bicycle. However, it will be heavier than a standard bicycle. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you start an electric scooter without a key?

Yes, you can. But first, find out if your scooter has a kill switch. Press the start button, which will detect the presence or absence of the key. If your scooter has an engine stop switch, you need to press the engine start button and toggle your foot while you get the engine running.

How to remove an e-bike battery without a key?

Many people use a small-sized drill bit to break the lock. Lock picking is also a common option for this. Cutting a cable lock is yet another option to remove the battery from an e-bike without a key.

How do you hotwire an electric bike?

Most often, the ignition wiring is under the key-lock system. Once you locate the correct wires, cut and connect them. Once the wires are connected, the circuit is complete, and your e-bike will work. 


Though we have covered multiple methods to start your e-bike if you have lost your keys, we don’t recommend using them unless it’s an emergency. The method of manually starting your e-bike can cause damage to your bike motor and the battery. 

However, if you need to start your bike without keys in an emergency, you can try removing the battery, reconnecting the wires, and using a screwdriver or plastic pen. However, be very cautious while attempting any of these methods.

It’s always advisable to keep a spare key handy, so you don’t have to be in such a situation. Seek professional help if you are uncomfortable using the alternatives mentioned here. 

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