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If the fob battery dies, it won’t start the bike. It will open your BMW luggage and unlock the seat. I keep a spare grey plastic key and battery under the rider seat.
The fob works like the backup key with no battery. Tried it on my RT by removing the battery. I assume they are all the same. You just have to put the fob in the right place.

It explains this in the manual!
 

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2012 R1200R, K27, Light-grey Metallic
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I keep a spare grey plastic key and battery under the rider seat.
Isn't that playing into the hands of the thieves' guild?
I don't know if it's possible to program new keys with the help of the fob.
 

· Mark – Super Moderator
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A key is required to open the seat so it’s relatively secure (but still pickable if someone knows a key is there), @MotoCon.
By my understanding, the key is not able to be cloned - each individual key is registered with the bike’s ECU.
 

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Sorry, still makes no sense to me. If something works without a battery, why carry a spare battery? I can understand carrying the backup key in case you lose or break the main fob, but a spare battery still makes no sense.
So you don’t get that annoying key icon on the display indicting it can’t see the fob. First time it happened, I panicked and stopped to see if I had dropped the fob.
 
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A key is required to open the seat so it’s relatively secure (but still pickable if someone knows a key is there), @MotoCon.
By my understanding, the key is not able to be cloned - each individual key is registered with the bike’s ECU.
Yeah, forcing the seat is likely much easier then forcing the ignition lock. If it's quite common to hide a fob under the seat, that would be the first place to look. Much like the sun visor of a car.
I know of rfid appliances that allow a transponder to be programmed. So the possibility of cloning is not unlikely (it's called spoofing, the bike would not recognize a cloned key as a different one). Also likely there are measurements against it, but some people have too much time and a hobby to hack things. ;)

I guess I would prefer the spare battery. But I do not have the need to be concerned about it with my bike ;)
 

· Mark – Super Moderator
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2022 R1250RS his and hers
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I asked my BMW parts guy to order a dumb metal key and he said they couldn’t.

My dealer said they couldn’t order a dumb metal key. Which dealer did you get one from?
Engle Motors in Kansas City. Any dealer in the US can do it. I've heard of plenty of people buying the metal key from their dealer.
Engle Motors ordered non chipped metal keys for our 2016 and 2022 bikes.
If you try another dealer, you may have to go in person because of the proof of ownership thing.
 

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If the fob battery dies, it won’t start the bike.
A fob with a dead battery will start the bike when you remove the rear seat and place the fob on the antenna.
 

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Guys, I'm confused. Somebody said you can use the key fob as an emergency key placed near the aerial under the seat if the battery is flat and somebody said you can't. Which is it please? When I bought my bike the previous owner never handed the emergency key to the dealer so I don't have one and don't want to spend $300+, I'm told, to get an emergency key so have always assumed until now that the main key would work. Help!
 

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Guys, I'm confused. Somebody said you can use the key fob as an emergency key placed near the aerial under the seat if the battery is flat and somebody said you can't. Which is it please? When I bought my bike the previous owner never handed the emergency key to the dealer so I don't have one and don't want to spend $300+, I'm told, to get an emergency key so have always assumed until now that the main key would work. Help!
I bought a spare plastic key for about $35. This gets inserted between the rider and passenger seat and will start the bike. As Lee said, placing a dead fob on top of the antenna under the seat also lets you start the bike. I just removed the battery from my fob and confirmed this.
 

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Guys, I'm confused. Somebody said you can use the key fob as an emergency key placed near the aerial under the seat if the battery is flat and somebody said you can't. Which is it please? When I bought my bike the previous owner never handed the emergency key to the dealer so I don't have one and don't want to spend $300+, I'm told, to get an emergency key so have always assumed until now that the main key would work. Help!
I say you can use a fob with a flat battery as an emergency key. It says so in my RT manual and i tried it by removing the battery. Check your manual or simply remove the battery and try it.
 

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Normally, all fobs will work when in very close proximity to the antenna. My Prius says to place the fob next to the start button if the battery is flat. At that range, the chip can respond with a very weak battery or just the energy from the antenna.
 

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I bought a spare plastic key for about $35. This gets inserted between the rider and passenger seat and will start the bike. ...
@Dougl -
Do you mean to say you have bought a spare plastic-key + had it programmed for your motorcycle and the total cost was $35 and you are now able to power up your motorcycle w/ it ?
 

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@Dougl -
Do you mean to say you have bought a spare plastic-key + had it programmed for your motorcycle and the total cost was $35 and you are now able to power up your motorcycle w/ it ?
Yes. I wanted to key a Givi top case to my fob key. I thought that a locksmith could do this but I didn’t want to give anyone my fob or my sole plastic key. I tried to get a dumb metal key but my dealer said they couldn’t get one. None of the locksmiths in my bush league town would touch this - useless imbeciles. I decided to do it myself but didn’t want to damage my plastic key. My dealer was able to order a spare for $35 (I think).
 

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I keyed alike my Givi V47 to the bike key.

 
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