GT750 Project – Steering Lock

Continuing on with the GT750 project I’m working on, the steering lock on these old bikes quite often is seized up solid, and as I had a matched set of keyed alike locks and switches for this project, I wanted to get the steering lock working. I tried soaking it in penetrating oil, heating it, chilling it, shocking it (gently) with a hammer etc., but it just was not in a mood to cooperate so I resorted to drastic measures. The Suzuki lock sets are numbered and these numbers are stamped on the face of the lock barrel and the matching key. As I had several steering locks with no keys, and nothing else matching (ignition, seat latch etc.) I decided to make one of these a donor for the project bike.

The steering locks are not designed to be easily re-keyed, and the body is a die cast metal which is easy to damage. The lock cylinder is held in the barrel by a metal tab just in front of the bolt, and the soft metal of the barrel is pinched closed to hold the tab in place.

  • On my seized one, I had to hacksaw the barrel down on either side of the lock pin to ensure I didn’t risk damaging the lock cylinder, and then I cut through the retaining tab to free up the cylinder completely as shown in the photo to the lower left
  • I dremelled the top off the key way of my donor latch, and then drew out the retaining tab, after which the lock cylinder just slides out of the barrel, and the lock pin can be pulled straight up. After cleaning up the barrel, lock cylinder and locking pin, I was ready to reassemble the lock as shown in the centre photo below (the retaining tab can be seen just above the lock cylinder, and the slot it goes into is seen in the barrel above it, just to the left of the lock pin bore). I’ll save the donor lock cylinder as I can use the bits for re-keying other locks in the future.
  • the assembled unit, with the retaining tab re-inserted and pinched shut again, is shown in the lower right.
  • if you need a key – these can sometimes be bought pre-cut on eBay – I have bought from here in the past.
old lock new lock steering lock assembled

I’ll either replace, or shine up the screws before re-installing it, but at the moment I now have a matched set of keyed alike functional locks and switches again for the project, which has saved me a few bucks on eBay !

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