Dear MOby,

My husband has a 2008 Buell 1125R. He somehow managed to break the key off in the ignition switch. My question is, do y’all know where I can get a replacement key switch for this bike? His birthday is 08/27, and I would love to have it by then. He has title, he owns the bike!

Catina Lothridge

South Carolina


Dear Catina,

You type like an honest person. It’s nice of you to want to replace the key, but wouldn’t it be easier to replace the whole bike, seeing as it’s now 13 years old and all? The people behind Buell announced earlier this year they’ve reacquired the Buell Motorcycles name, and are taking orders for their new Hammerhead – one of ten new bikes they want to produce (sadly, with no Erik Buell involvement). The Hammerhead looks a lot like the 1190RX that debuted ten years ago, and not completely different from your 2008 1125R, but it might have a new trick or two up its sleeve?

The aptly-named Hammerhead might not be a bad deal for those who like big power but eschew electronic rider aids. (Buell photo)

Buell Motorcycles has trod a harrowing path since its founding in 1983 by Erik Buell, from Buell Motorcycles, to Erik Buell Racing, to EBR Motorcycles and now back to Buell Motorcycles again. When EB himself left the building in 2015, all his company’s assets, including complete bikes and many parts, were sold to Liquid Asset Partners, who continued assembling and selling a few complete motorcycles, along with parts, from their Grand Rapids, Michigan, HQ.

Since yours is the first of the liquid-cooled Buells and the most unique looking thanks to the design parameters Harley forced upon it, it’s definitely worth saving. 

And the fact that the ignition lock location looks like it hasn’t changed at all from 2008 1125R to the latest Hammerhead, means your chances of securing a new ignition lock shouldn’t be lower than about 80%.

But you’ll also need a new lock for the gas cap, and probably one to release the seat too. Sounds like a lot of fiddly labor and expense. Are you sure you can’t get the broken piece of key out with something like a jigsaw blade? A dab of JB Weld on the tip of a small screwdriver? The interwebs are full of useless ideas, one of which just might work.

There’s always the locksmith route too: Broken keys in ignitions happen all the time, and if you have both pieces of key, it’s a simple matter to get new keys cut.

But if all that fails, and you’re sure your hubby owns the motorcycle, if anybody has parts, it will be the people who’ve kept Buell alive, bless their hearts, these last six years. Email [email protected] or dial (262) 441-4103. Good luck. You’ve got two days…

Buell Motorcycle


Direct your motorcycle-related questions to [email protected], though some say we’re better at non-motorcycle-related ones…


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