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EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED TO KNOW BUT WHERE AFRAID TO ASK

Tired of searching the web for answers to some of the most asked questions regarding Ducati and its electronic immobilizer and coded keys? Or maybe the infamous Red Key dilemma, how they work, why you need them and how can you get replacements? Well, this section will be your last stop in your search for answers. If you don't find the answers you seek in this section, PLEASE contact us with your questions and we will address your concerns and update this page accordingly.

Last updated August 22, 2019

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RED KEY ( ORANGE for KTM )

MYTHS, FACTS & GENERAL INFORMATION

Most older Duacti's (Pre-07) use the RED Key system and most new Ducati owners don't really understand the role of the red key well here it is. The red key is the master key, not master as in will open all locks ( But it does ) but master as in being able to access special setup modes, programming modes and immobilizer override procedures that can only be done with the red key ( PLUS the Code card info ). On some of the newer Ducatis 2017+ you may have a red key like this one but it is NOT a master key nor a programming key. It is just called an "Emergency Key". Some have Transponders in them some DO NOT. If it does NOT have a transponder in it, the only way to use it to start your bike is by using this key AND your PIN

On some newer Ducati's (like Late Model Multistrada) they will also have a red key but it is NOT a master key but an "Emergency" key. This emergency key is used in case the Hands-Free Fob is lost and you'll need to start the bike. So you'll place this key near the antenna and hit start. But this section is NOT about those red keys as they are merely a standard black key with some red pain on them. 


Now that you know the role of the older Master red keys, here are some information that you may not know. If you purchased a used or auction Duc that uses the red key system and you DID NOT get  the RED KEY or CODE CARD then you may encounter one or more of the following problems at one point or another during your ownership.
  • Immobilizer lock out. ( You'll be stranded with a dead Duc unable to start it even if you have a working black key )
  • Unable to start the bike with the security code override from the Code card in case you loose all keys.
  • Unable to replace faulty Dash or ECU.
  • Unable to perform Dealer Only diagnostic procedures.

If you purchased a used or auction Ducati that uses the red key system and you ONLY received the RED KEY but NO CODE CARD, then you may encounter one or more of the following problems at one point or another during your ownership..

  • Accidentally enter programming mode and lock yourself out
  • Accidentally trip immobilizer and lock yourself out
  • Accidentally enter system settings and lock yourself out

All of the above situations will cause you to be unable to recover the use of your Ducati either permanently or temporarily. If you enter programming mode you will need the other two black keys plus the code card in order to exit the system without any ill effects to the system. Same goes if you trip the immobilizer, you'll need the code card electronic code in order to override it. If you enter system settings accidentally who knows what you will change. Remember all settings are controlled by the hand controls on the bike ( Throttle, Mode, Clutch, Brake, ect ) Stuff you do every time you ride, so you see it will be very easy to enter any form or programming or set-up mode by using your red master key as a daily use key.

RED KEY MYTH

Now some of you will just buy two of my black key blanks and clone their red key and say they have a full set of keys. WRONG !!! Then you'll claim my black keys don't work on the bike or you cannot program a new dash into the system. If you "clone" your red key, you'll end up with THREE(3) red keys ( Electronically speaking ) the bike will see all keys as red as they all are clones of the red key. No matter what color you paint them. Remember its NOT the color of the key but the electronic info within the chip that matters. Red master key's electronic info is DIFFERENT than black key info.

Same goes if you have only one black key and you purchase a red ( Colored ) key and clone that black key you have, then claim you have both black and red keys when in fact you only have two black keys ( Electronically Speaking ) just so happens that one is painted red, but is has the BASE BLACK KEY PROGRAMMING which is useless when it comes to any actual red key functions. Some shady dealers and auction bike re-sellers use this cheap trick to increase the resale value of the bike. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE ( That's why I no longer sell blank red master keys, but I still sell red EMERGENCY keys though ).


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CODE CARDS & SYSTEM or DASH PIN #'s

Code cards are as critical as red keys to Ducati's. Without a code card or its information can end up costing you BIG MONEY during your Ducati ownership. Depending on the Ducati model, code cards include different information all critical and essential. Code cards include useful and critical information about your keys. Older code cards contain "Electronic" key codes and "mechanical" key codes. On newer code cards Ducati placed the factory programmed PIN for the dash. In some cases this PIN can be re-set to any personal favorite. On certain models its user select-able and others you must use software. 

  • The "Mechanical" code ( Key cut code ) is the key cutting code that is used by locksmiths and a specialized key cutting machine to cut key blades without having a physical key to copy or the bike present. This will save you the expense of having to tow the bike to a locksmith or have them come out to you and make a key for your ignition.
  • System or Dash PIN numbers are crucial when considering buying certain used dashes, please read the "Used dashes" section bellow for more information on this topic.

That's why it's critical that you keep this information or a photo of the card in your phone, wallet, jacket, helmet or any other place in case you need to use it. But all in all the code card and its information is critical and valuable in the event you loose all your keys, need to program new keys to replace a missing or stolen key or to register new ECU or Dash into the system.

Now if you take your code card to the dealer ( depending on bike model ) be prepared to wait 4-8 weeks to get your replacement keys PLUS hold on to your wallet if its a newer "Hi-Security Laser" key. Then add for installation/programming.

We have faster and less expensive options for you
Please visit our service section or CLICK HERE.


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USED DASH and COMPONENTS BUYING / BUYERS' GUIDE

There's a lot of misinformation out there about used Ducati dashes. Can I use them? Why can't I use them? Bellow you'll find the answers you seek.

All Ducati models have different system requirements but all models will allow the use of a used dash as long as you know what you need to get with that used dash. Buying the dash alone will NOT WORK for any model. Each model requires different specific parts to be kept together in order for the system to work (See bellow for model specific information). Just remember, ALL LOCKED components must be kept and used together in order for the system to allow engine start. Although not required for operation having the DASH's PIN# and/or Code Card will be a HUGE PLUS ( Like stated above ) NOT having this information is a security risk. The risk of the previous owner having the ability to steal the bike by using the PIN to override the immobilizer and steal the bike. So by you getting the PIN/Code Card you have the option to change it to prevent theft. ( See bottom of the "Service-101" section for information on what we offer as "EXTRA SECURITY" for USED and AUCTION bikes )

One of our specialty is recovering and/or making keys for dashes WITHOUT keys and/or PIN. So if you purchase a dash without keys don't worry we can get keys and code card for you. Another one of the many services we offer is Dash Cloning. Its a way for you to use a used dash on your bike to replace a damaged dash by cloning its internal memory into the memory of the donor dash. Please visit the "Service-101" section or CLICK HERE for more details on this alternative.


ALL Models with "Dial / Clock Type" Magneti Marelli or Digitek Dashes

    

These older style dashes are tied into ALL KEYS and ECU original to the bike. If you buy one of these older dashes (or ECUs) used and do not get all keys ( Red key is a plus but not mandatory for operation ) plus the matching ECU (or dash) you will NOT be able to make it work on your bike without additional re-programming by us (or by a similar entity). Although not required for operation having the Code Card will be a HUGE PLUS. ALL of the Dial / Clock type gauges / dashes allow for DIY key programming but you MUST have the dash's AND ECU's original matched red key.

* These dashes can be cloned.

Late Model Monsters (659 696 795 796 1100) and 848 1098 1198

   

These type/model dashes are NOT tied into the ECU (or BBS like other models), but they are tied to their original keys and PIN. If you buy one of these dashes used and do not get keys or the matching PIN you will NOT be able to make it work on your bike without additional re-programming by us (or by a similar entity). Although not required for operation having the DASH's PIN# and or Code Card will be a HUGE PLUS. These dashes allow for DIY key programming but you MUST have the dash's Electronic code (PIN).

* These dashes can be cloned.


Diavel & Multistrada MTS-1200 1260 ( Hands Free Ignition )

   


These type/model dashes are NOT tied into the ECU or to the keys, but they are tied into a system PIN (gas tank dash on the Diavel) and the BBS unit for proper millage display. If you replace your dash with a used unit your millage will be displayed as ( ------ ). The only two ways to get your millage to properly be displayed is by either buying the MATCHING BBS unit or having the components synced by the dealer or any shop with a DDS or TEXA diagnosis system. Getting the PIN on a used dash is a HUGE plus but it can always be reset to factory default by the use of the DDS or TEXA system.

The HFCU (Hands Free Control Unit) on the other hand is a different story. The HFCU is locked into the keys but NOT to the PIN and or dash. If you buy a used HFCU and you DO NOT get any keys with it, it will not work on your bike until you get it programmed by us (or by a similar entity). Don't bother going to the dealer in this situation, they will not be able to do anything other than sell you all new components plus labor totaling about $2000.00.

* These dashes CANNOT be cloned.


Multistrada MTS-950



These type/model dashes are NOT tied into the ECU, but they are tied into the keys, a system PIN and the BBS unit for proper millage display. If you replace your dash with a used unit your millage will be displayed as ( ------ ). The only two ways to get your millage to properly be displayed is by either buying the MATCHING BBS unit or having the components synced by the dealer or any shop with a DDS or TEXA diagnosis system. Getting the PIN on a used dash is a HUGE plus but it can always be reset to factory default by the use of the DDS or TEXA system. 


Streetfighter, Hypermotard & Hyperstrada

   

These type/model dashes are NOT tied into the ECU, but they are tied to their original keys and have a PIN number. If you buy one of these dashes used and do not get keys and or the PIN number you will NOT be able to make it work on your bike without additional re-programming by us (or by a similar entity). Streetfighter and 1st Gen Hypermotard dashes allow for DIY key programming but you MUST have the dash's Electronic code (PIN). Hyperstrada will require the DDS to add keys (UNLESS you get them cloned) YES we can clone them.

* Streetfighter dashes CANNOT be cloned.
  Hypermotard and Hyperstrada dashes can be cloned


Monster 797 821 1200 & Supersport 937 939     

   

These type/model dashes are NOT tied into the ECU, but they are linked to the keys and tied into a system PIN and the BBS unit for proper millage display. If you replace your dash with a used dash WITHOUT the matching BBS your millage will be displayed as ( ------ ). The only way to get your millage to properly be displayed is by having the components synced by the dealer or any shop with a DDS or TEXA diagnosis system. PLEASE be advised that you will need to have TWO(2) uniquely coded keys in order to be able to sync the dash, BBS and keys together. ALL of these dashes will require the DDS to add keys (UNLESS you get them cloned) YES we can clone them.

* These dashes can be cloned.


Panigale 899 959 1199 1299 

   

On the 899, 959, 1199 and 1299 Panigale models the dash is NOT tied into the keys and or ignition. The dash IS tied/synced into the BBS module as far as needing to be in sync to properly display millage on the dash. If you replace your dash with a used unit and you DO NOT buy the matching BBS unit then you will see dashes ( ------ ) where the millage usually shows. The only way to be able to show millage is by syncing the dash and the BBS unit PLUS TWO(2) uniquely coded keys (Keys cannot be clones of each other) either at the dealer or at any shop that has a DDS or a TEXA Diagnostic system. 

The key and PIN codes are stored in the plastic ignition module shown above attached to the ignition switch. On these bikes the PIN is critical to any future key registration, dash set-up or to bypass an immobilizer lock out (also known as e-Lock). If you do not know your PIN and you get an e-Lock error on the dash you will be locked out permanently. So if you purchased a used dash WITHOUT the matching BBS unit then you can still use it, the bike will start and all functions will work as normal BUT you will need to have it synced before it will show millage on the display. These Panigale models will require the use of the DDS or TEXA to add new keys into the system (unless you have them cloned). YES we can clone ALL Paniagle keys.

* These dashes CANNOT be cloned.


Panigale V4


On the Panigale V4 model, dashes are NOT tied into the ECU, but they are linked to the keys and tied into a system PIN and the BBS unit for proper millage display. If you replace your dash with a used dash WITHOUT the matching BBS your millage will be displayed as ( ------ ). The only way to get your millage to properly be displayed is by having the components synced by the dealer or any shop with a DDS or TEXA diagnosis system. PLEASE be advised that you will need to have TWO(2) uniquely coded keys in order to be able to sync the dash, BBS and keys together. The V4 dash will require the DDS or TEXA to add keys (UNLESS you get them cloned) YES we can clone V4 keys.

* These dashes can be cloned.


Scrambler 

On the Scrambler models, dashes are NOT tied into the ECU or the BBS, but they are linked to the keys and tied into a system PIN. If you replace your dash with a used dash and you do not get any keys and/or PIN you will NOT be able to start the bike. You will need additional programming from us (or by a similar entity) in order to make things work. The Scrambler dash will require the DDS or TEXA to add keys (UNLESS you get them cloned) YES we can clone ALL Scrambler keys.

* These dashes can be cloned.



BBS Modules or BLACK BOX
How they are link to properly displaying millage

Millage displayed will be what is recorded and stored in the linked/synced BBS unit. Just because the dash you bought online shows pictured with 200 miles on it, it will display the millage recorded and stored on the BBS being used after sync  (unless the 200 mile BBS unit matched to the dash is used).





We offer all key and code recovery services for all Ducati and most all European Motorbike models, please see the "SERVICE" section of this site. If you have a specific situation not mentioned please contact us for options.