How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys


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How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:55 pm



If it hasn't happened to you yet, it is only a matter of time. Every GL1500 owner will do this at least once. You close the trunk on your GL1500, ready to head out on a ride, then go to grab the key...but wait, where is the key? Oh, right, it is sitting on top of those gloves, inside the trunk. You reach down and pull the trunk release...and nothing happens. You try again, the panic rising in your chest. Nothing. You realize, the trunk is now locked, and the key to unlock it is locked inside the trunk.

Unlike the saddlebags, there is no built-in emergency release for the trunk. Fortunately, there is a way to open it in an emergency. All you need is a piece of coat hanger wire, and the knowledge of how to do it. We will be manipulating the mechanism blindly, by feel, so it's helpful to first have a look at how the mechanism operates, to give us a mental picture of what we will be doing.

We will be inserting our coat hanger wire in between the left saddlebag and the trunk release, at the back end (nearest to the back of the bike) as shown:

Image

Inside, with the latch cover removed to view the locking mechanism, you can see where the coat hanger will insert into the trunk locking mechanism.

Image

Inside, the latching mechanism has an actuator that moves downward (red arrow), and pulls down on a latching bar (represented by the yellow line).

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This is the latching bar. When it is pulled downward, it unlatches the trunk. This is what we will be doing manually with our coat hanger wire to open the trunk.

Image

To build the unlocking tool, bend a coat hanger as shown. A small hook at the end will be used to grab the latching bar. It needs about 1 1/2 inches of wire below the hook, then a bend at approximately a 30 degree angle.

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Insert the hook in between the left saddlebag and trunk releases, with the hook facing toward the left side of the bike. Angle the hook slightly towards the rear of the bike.

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Inside the mechanism, this is where the hook will be going:

Image

The hook will be going up next to the latching bar as shown. Push it upward until it will not go any further.

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Rotate the hook to the left, so that the hook now faces the back end of the bike.

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Angle the hook backward so that it catches on the latch release bar, then pull downward to release the trunk latch. The trunk will now open.

That's it, you have saved the day! It may take two or three attempts to get it right, but once you've done it once, it will be easy in the future.

Image

Some owners put emergency trunk release ties in their trunk to avoid accidental trunk lockings. To do this, the latching cover must be removed. Open the trunk lid, and remove the four screws indicated:

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Inside the trunk, remove the three screws indicated, then pull the latching cover forward, toward the front of the bike to release it.

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Once it has been removed, take a nylon wire tie and attach it to the latching bar in the position shown. Replace the latching cover by sliding it back (towards the back of the bike, NOT placing it down from above) into place. While holding it in place, and with the trunk open, pull the trunk release several times to make sure the latch mechanism operates. If it doesn't, you have not got the latch cover in the correct position. Remove it and try again. Once satisfied, replace all the screws holding the cover in place.

Image

Trim the end of the wire tie to a length that you desire. The trunk can now be unlatched by pulling down on this wire tie.

Image



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Mag
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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby Mag » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:45 am

Now that is smart idea (the wire tie)....How long was the coat hanger wire that you made? What I am thinking is if it is short enough to fit in one of the passenger seat side pockets.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:51 am

Mag wrote:Now that is smart idea (the wire tie)....How long was the coat hanger wire that you made? What I am thinking is if it is short enough to fit in one of the passenger seat side pockets.


The coat hanger wire was about 6-7 inches long in total.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby Mag » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:55 pm

Gonna be close ;) Will have to make one, sounds good, thx!

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby gordonv » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:26 pm

Nice pics, nice to have them all in one place. I did mine from the forum postings.

Only one issue.

Mine was that way when I bought it. I spend hours trying to get it open, and was to the point of taking a 4" hole say and cut through the back (front) of the trunk behind the back rest.

When I finally got it open, I had bent the mechanism and needed to replace it with a used one.

Turned out that "someone" put it back together wrong. If I remember correctly, the horizontal lever was placed over top of the hook, and no amount of pulling it down would release the latches to open the trunk.

Just a note to others, if you mess with this part at all, make sure it releases the catches before you close the trunk. I would also verify the saddle bags too.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:08 pm

gordonv wrote:Nice pics, nice to have them all in one place. I did mine from the forum postings.

Only one issue.

Mine was that way when I bought it. I spend hours trying to get it open, and was to the point of taking a 4" hole say and cut through the back (front) of the trunk behind the back rest.

When I finally got it open, I had bent the mechanism and needed to replace it with a used one.

Turned out that "someone" put it back together wrong. If I remember correctly, the horizontal lever was placed over top of the hook, and no amount of pulling it down would release the latches to open the trunk.

Just a note to others, if you mess with this part at all, make sure it releases the catches before you close the trunk. I would also verify the saddle bags too.


That is precisely why I wrote this part in the last bit of the instructions:

Replace the latching cover by sliding it back (towards the back of the bike, NOT placing it down from above) into place. While holding it in place, and with the trunk open, pull the trunk release several times to make sure the latch mechanism operates. If it doesn't, you have not got the latch cover in the correct position. Remove it and try again.


If you put the latching cover back in place by placing it down from the top, it will put the bar on top of the mechanism exactly as you describe, and nothing will ever get it to unlatch again. You must slide it into place, along the bottom of the trunk, sliding it to the back of the bike. Once it's in place, absolutely test it to make sure the latches retract before closing the trunk lid.

As for the saddlebags, there are emergency releases for them inside the trunk. Open the trunk, on the bottom of it you'll see two plastic circles about an inch in diameter, one on each side. Pry up the circle (it's a plug) and there will be a hole left in the bottom of the trunk. Push your finger down into the hole and press on the little post, and it will pop open the saddlebag on that side.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby Popeye2347 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:22 am

Sure like the diagram of the coat hanger. Stupid me about two months ago replaced my broken taillight and accidentally closed the lid before checking it for proper operation. I gave up trying to catch the rod after about 3 tries and 4 hours. If I bent it like your diagram I may have had success opening it myself. It cost me a little over $100 labor and probably $60 in fuel for the diesel truck to get the lid open. An expensive oversight.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby jdavidsmit » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:46 am

8-) wish I had had this information last year, while on a ride I stopped for gas and decided to change my gloves. yes i did lay my keys in the trunk, turned around and bumped the lid and down it goes. long story short I ended up borrowing a flat blade screwdriver and destroying my trunk lock. I now have a zip tie attached.
David

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby gordonv » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:31 pm

I used to have my garage opener on my key chain, which included my key for the GL1500. Got home, and noticed the opener was missing. Figure it got caught on the "steering column" and was pulled off the key ring.

I now have a loose key for the motorcycle, which goes into my pocket, and I use for the bike. I have my key ring with a spare key for the MC always there. This way when traveling, I always have 2 keys for the MC and one should never be left on the bike, just so this kind of thing wont happen.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby SequiMike » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:42 pm

I had a spare key made at the locksmith and duct-taped it to the back of the license plate. I really like the idea of the coat hanger hook (I made one - it works great), but it won't help you start the bike if you actually lose the key on a trip.
Image

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby Popeye2347 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:47 pm

SequiMike wrote:I had a spare key made at the locksmith and duct-taped it to the back of the license plate. I really like the idea of the coat hanger hook (I made one - it works great), but it won't help you start the bike if you actually lose the key on a trip.

Great idea......and not just for the Gold Wing.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby Texas 92 Blue » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:16 am

Is the lid release bar on ALL GL1500's? I cant find it on either of my '92 Aspencade and '93 SE. I also can't find it in the parts manual Block F 46.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:21 am

Texas 92 Blue wrote:Is the lid release bar on ALL GL1500's? I cant find it on either of my '92 Aspencade and '93 SE. I also can't find it in the parts manual Block F 46.


It should definitely be there. The bar is how the opening force is transmitted from the trunk open lever to the actual latches. It is built into the lock cover - shown here on the 1992 Aspencade diagram:

Trunk diagram
Trunk diagram


If you remove that cover in the trunk, you should see the bar attached to the inside of it:

Image

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby nburrell57 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:42 pm

What I have always done is to have a spare key tucked away in my wallet. You can also have one hidden away somewhere on the bike as there are so many potential hidey-holes that come natural on the wing..........

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby chefkev121 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:17 am

I have a low tech solution I just duct tape a spare key on the back side of my side cover. Or I've also put a key on a zip tie made a loop and put it behind the license plate and used the screw to hold it in place. This is all good to know when it comes to the locking mechanism I won't touch it. It's to delicate for me I am after all called Mongo for a reason.
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Darksider


I'm Clostraphobic so I ride a motorcycle well that's what I tell the wife anyway works well so far.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby Mag » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:01 pm

Ya, I am not as big as "Mongo" but I have a habit if breaking things when I go fixing stuff, do not know why hence why I am tentative with repairing, but need to do it anyway.....a gentle hand ;)

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby detdrbuzzard » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:39 am

I carry a spare key even when I'm just riding around town so unless there is a problem with the latch itself I can get in the trunk
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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby Wingingit! » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:58 pm

I have a suggestion. Just put a copy of your key in the zippered bag for your seat cover, between your passenger seat and your passenger backrest. This makes life much simpler, no one will ever know it is there!

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby my-89 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:47 am

This was a great article and really helped me tremendously. Just had 2 problems!!......they are in my hand--2 springs. I wasn't lucky enough to get the trunk unlocked BEFORE I had springs falling from the release handle space. I am fairly decent when coming to figure out things----BUT, in this instance, I cannot figure where these springs belong-----down at the bottom of the latch, I can see what looks like 2 male slots for one end of the springs and 2 female holes for the other ends. One is straight down center and I think that goes to the trunk box pull lever. If that is so, the other spring would have to transverse THROUGH it to hook to supportive ends; THIS IS THE ONE I REALLY NEED TO PUT RETURN ACTION TO LOCK MECHANISM..... AT A LOST!!!---------Can anyone send photo (s) to show location of the springs for the trunk box of my '89 1500GL??-----MANY THANKS!! PS......I now have quick tie installed--LIFESAVER! (and would have saved me 8 hours of working, drinking lots of water, saying "things" and going to bed REALLY frustrated!

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:33 pm

my-89 wrote:This was a great article and really helped me tremendously. Just had 2 problems!!......they are in my hand--2 springs. I wasn't lucky enough to get the trunk unlocked BEFORE I had springs falling from the release handle space. I am fairly decent when coming to figure out things----BUT, in this instance, I cannot figure where these springs belong-----down at the bottom of the latch, I can see what looks like 2 male slots for one end of the springs and 2 female holes for the other ends. One is straight down center and I think that goes to the trunk box pull lever. If that is so, the other spring would have to transverse THROUGH it to hook to supportive ends; THIS IS THE ONE I REALLY NEED TO PUT RETURN ACTION TO LOCK MECHANISM..... AT A LOST!!!---------Can anyone send photo (s) to show location of the springs for the trunk box of my '89 1500GL??-----MANY THANKS!! PS......I now have quick tie installed--LIFESAVER! (and would have saved me 8 hours of working, drinking lots of water, saying "things" and going to bed REALLY frustrated!


There are several springs in there - could you perhaps post a picture of the ones you have, so we can identify which ones you're dealing with?

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby my-89 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:53 pm

Thanks for the assistance…………….I’ve included a few different angle photos—looking at the pics, I think it looks like there could be 3 springs missing, but I have only recovered 2---I have looked extensively, but can only find just the 2……ANY help is greatly appreciated---as is, there is NO tension on the mechanism anywhere-none, even turning the key……….thanks again for the help………Ed
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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:37 pm

my-89 wrote:Thanks for the assistance…………….I’ve included a few different angle photos—looking at the pics, I think it looks like there could be 3 springs missing, but I have only recovered 2---I have looked extensively, but can only find just the 2……ANY help is greatly appreciated---as is, there is NO tension on the mechanism anywhere-none, even turning the key……….thanks again for the help………Ed


OK, I see what you are talking about. I'll pull mine apart tonight and take some pictures for you, so you can see what spring goes where.

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:37 pm

my-89 wrote:Thanks for the assistance…………….I’ve included a few different angle photos—looking at the pics, I think it looks like there could be 3 springs missing, but I have only recovered 2---I have looked extensively, but can only find just the 2……ANY help is greatly appreciated---as is, there is NO tension on the mechanism anywhere-none, even turning the key……….thanks again for the help………Ed


Here you go, I took mine apart and took pictures of all the springs I could find (6 in all), from various angles:





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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby my-89 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:48 pm

The pictures look awesome..........will attempt to match up!..........you are the greatest for doing this..........will let you know what transpires!!

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Re: How to unlock a GL1500 trunk without keys

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:55 pm

Great, do let us know how you get on.

You will notice that I've got white lithium grease smeared all over every moving part in my mechanism. It was covered in grime and filth and the key was very stiff to operate. I used solvent (my old standby, brake cleaner) to hose off all the old grease and grime, then applied lithium grease wherever metal parts moved against one another. The result was a butter-smooth lock that requires very little force to operate.




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