Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Two years in on my 2016 Multistrada DVT, with a bit over 20,000 mi. The keyless ignition is a great feature and pleasure to use . . . when it works. Especially for all day tourers or sport tourers. Makes it easy to turn the bike off and walk away, or hop on and start up.
I've had a few issues with my key fob over the past two years but both were easily resolved. I've had to change the battery two times; the both went without warning and I couldn't start the bike. But the PIN code worked and I was able to ride home. Now I carry replacement batteries just in case. (Don't store you're wireless key in the garage or anywhere close to your bike. It will drain the battery. Don't ask me how I know.)
Separately, the wireless start failed on two other occasions. Each time the battery was fine. PIN to the rescue. The next time I tried starting the bike fired up. Go figure.
The PIN code feature is absolutely brilliant. Very happy I have it.
So my conclusion is the wireless fob is a great feature, when it works, and it works most of the time. On those few occasions when it doesn't work, it only requires basic maintenance (battery change). And if all else fails, you've got the PIN.
To the OP, something is definitely wrong with your black key. If your red key works your antenna must be connected and the circuit operational. Same if you can use your black key in passive mode. The good news is you shouldn't have to give up the bike for service. Hold onto that black key because you'll need it to open the tank.