Update on ridiculous saga for which I alone should be blamed!
I intentionally left my bike in the parking garage at work on a Friday night (three weeks prior to writing this) because I had planned to have a designated driver take me and several others home after a great team-building event that involved a rented bus with driver, multiple pubs, and a zombie paintball shooting hayride. It was a very good and fun night all around.
Had to get the LT the next day, so the wife drove me back into town to the parking garage, and although my gear and helmet were in my office, there was no sign of the ignition key and ignition immobilizer transmitter. We looked all over the office and through the pockets of gear multiple times, but no luck. Went to the bike to see if key was in ignition. Nope. looked in office and car again. Checked in and around bike again. Because the cases were all locked, I assumed I had misplaced the key and transmitter at home. This wasn't too unlikely given that we were having floor coverings replaced at home and furniture and misc were in disarray at home.
Searched high and low at home for two days with no luck. Called all the establishments we visited during the teambuilding event; no luck. Rechecked office. Talked to designated driver. Twice. Checked clothes and jacket work during event. Looked in all of the obvious places. Began looking in non-obvious places (e.g., refrigerator, shoe rack, other "odd but maybe" places.
Broke down and called locksmith to unlock the cases in hopes that I had locked the key in a case. No dice. BTW- locksmith picked the case locks in about 30 seconds, but after a couple of minutes working over the ignition lock (really
working over, as in rough, forced work), I asked him to stop because I was worried he would damage the inside of the lock. I knew the bike wouldn't run without the transmitter anyway, so other than unlocking the steering, there was no point to picking the ignition lock- especially at the risk of ruining the lock. BTW-He said the cases were easier to pick because they were "one-sided" locks, whereas the ignition lock was "two-sided" and was therefore harder for him to unlock. Sadly, no keys, no transmitter in the cases
I kept searching for keys and decided to contact the dealer for a new key and transmitter anyway. I reasoned/joked that as soon as I dropped the cash to buy a new key, the old one would show up. Of course! dealer said they could get one cut to the VIN number with a coded transmitter within two business days. Cool. Except I figured I'd be $500 poorer. But what could I do? I presented proof of ownership and ID and ordered the key and transmitter. Luckily, the cost was $125 for both, much less than I anticipated.
All the while, the bike was occupying my assigned parking space in the parking garage and the building security fellas are very
strict about squatting, so I was essentially without a place to park my car in a local area where street parking is hard to find. It was a hassle for sure.
I continued to wrack my brain about where I lost the key and kept looking in the obvious and non-obvious places. After a long weekend, the key and transmitter arrived. But the shop said I had to get the bike to them in order for them to program the transmitter to the bike. Of course, the bike won't run. So I picked up the key from the dealer, rented a trailer and had my son and GS-riding colleague help me load the thing up, and trailer it to the dealer so the immobilizer could be reprogrammed and I could finally ride it home (after two weeks without it). (BTW- I left the hazards on in the towing vehicle while loading the bike, and the frickin' battery in the towing vehicle died! We noticed it when we were all loaded up and ready to leave! DOH. Par for this ordeal's course, of course).
We eventually arrived at the dealer and unloaded the bike so they could program the transmitter with the bike connected to their computer. Nope. Dealer tried and tried to reprogram the naďve transmitter for about two hours while we waited (and eventually ate brunch) but they had no luck. They said the older LT's were different from the newer bikes (no kidding?) and they couldn't do it as easily as they had thought. They started talking about replacing the alarm system and/or defeating the alarm system by removing it. ugh. $$$$ I wasn't ready to go there yet.
Because it was a Saturday, the North American BMW security and antitheft specialist (or something like that) was not available until Tuesday, so they kept the bike, I drove home in the car with my son and kept looking for the key.
The shop had mentioned the Key Code Card, which could be used to program the transmitter and should have been delivered with the bike. The guy I bought the bike from did not provide this document. However, he was the 2nd owner, and I asked him to contact the first owner because I was getting desperate an didn't like the idea of replacing the alarm/immobilizer system. All the while, I continue to look for the keys at home, at work, and follow-up with the places I had visited on the night of the last ride. It's taking up my time, and I'm still having to find street parking for my car because the pretty, but stationary, LT occupies my parking stall. Frustrating and irritating for two weeks now. And no one to blame except myself.
I got the contact info for the original owner from the 2nd owner, and sent a text to him only to learn he was on a trip and out of town for several days
Meanwhile the bike remained at dealer while they cooked up ideas about how to remove the alarm system. They actually mentioned to me that they were using this LT forum to research the work-around solutions that I had already read here! Amusing.
When the original owner returned to town, he texted me a picture of a BMW "Radio Pass" card with a serial number and German writing about radio and bike theft. I was excited initially, but quickly determined this wasn't the Key Code card I needed, so I thanked him and felt a bit sad after having cautiously elevated my hopes. But I should have known better than to hold my breath.
45 minutes after he had texted the picture to the useless radio pass card, he sent another
text asking "Will these help?" which was accompanied by a picture of the original spare key and original spare transmitter
, and key code card! He found them in a drawer in which they had slumbered since 2003! I jumped for joy and thanked him profusely- as profusely as possible via text messages LOL. After a day, he transferred the key to the 2nd owner (they're friends) and I obtained the keys from him.
Closing in on three weeks since the start of the ordeal, but I'm elated to finally have a solution. All the while I joke to my friends that because I now have the spare, I'll find my original set at any time LOL. Wife drives me to the shop with original spare key and transmitter in hand, and I hope dearly that the transmitter will work after 13 years of sitting in a desk. But because of the way things had gone so far, I wasn't holding my breath. I figured the battery might need to be replaced, or the transmitter would have dissociated from the bike somehow (or was never activated). But, even after 13 years, the transmitter worked and the shop fired up the bike!
Now that they had an original transmitter in hand, the last thing to do was to take 15 minutes to "activate" the new transmitter so it could be used as a spare. Not so fast. After an hour and the approach of closing time, they stated they wanted to "work on it tomorrow." Sigh. I figured it had been nearly three weeks, so I might as well wait another day. Wife and I drive car home again. (and we are 15 miles from shop, so these trips are a bit of hassle.) And of course I work until five, and the place closes at 6 yada yada, so the logistics of this whole ordeal should be appreciated.
The next day at 5:30 PM, I receive news that new transmitter was coded successfully to the original. yay. I guess, but still not holding breath. I would finally be able to pick up the two sets of keys and transmitter and ride the LT home! I had to get there in 30 minutes. Not gonna happen in Seattle rush hour.
I talked a co worker into dropping me off during the lunch hour on the next day. Given the ridiculous series of hiccups to get to this point, I still wasn't holding my breath! Fortunately, things finally
panned out OK. I rode the bike back to work to be in time for a 1:00 meeting. Of course, now I had a car and
a bike at work. BTW my work is 45-60 minutes from home and traffic is horrible, so "zipping back into town to help get the bike" isn't something that folks jump at. I wonder why? LOL
A gracious coworker and her partner offered to drive my car home Friday afternoon, while I rode the bike and her partner drove their car. So finally
after exactly three weeks, the bike finally made it home. Relief and closure. What a nice ride it was! (but somewhat bittersweet due to the repeated hassles). It was 65 and sunny on the ride home, which was partly unexpected this time of year in the Seattle area.
I mentioned joking about finding the lost key when this was all said and done. Well, I wouldn't have written this lengthy post but for that very reason. I got up today to take my dog for a walk in the woods. Grabbed my hiking shorts from the dresser and felt something in the pocket. What the hell is this in my... YOU. GOTTA. BE. KIDDING. ME!!
Yup. Pure poetry!
I can only be amused and look at the bright side: with three keys and three transmitters, this problem won't happen to me again!