Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
As of late, the red key isn't any more of an issue than a bike needing a new rear tire.
Options for no red key bikes:
-Have immobilizer function disabled: $100-$200
-Have spare black keys cut ($30 Silca key with transponder, or a $50 eBay key if you really want the ducati symbol on your key) The red key is not required for new black keys, only one other black key is required.
And the best option:
The red key is only needed when replacing the ECU or motor. It hasn't been *needed* to sync new black keys since I started researching buying a ducati. There's a local shop that said $45 per key and the ecu will recognize the new keys as if they were the original. He has done multiple keys for ducati owners without the need of a red key.
Having said all that, I think it's a good chance for you to try and knock down the price. People that don't know that the missing red key isn't a huge deal might think it's a huge deal. A lot of people think that no red key=$3,000. That's insane. It actually means $100 or maybe $200, granted, you may have to pay for shipping to Sweden, Germany or England and not ride your bike for 1-2 weeks... but still.... $100 actual cost vs $3,000 assumed cost by the seller, and you've got yourself a great bargaining point.
Unless, of course, the seller is reading this thread and getting informed themselves...
Lastly, bypassing the transponder/immobilizer issue has been posted about on unnamed sites by un named users... and those threads have been deleted due to theifs discovering the "secret" and then stealing ducatis or something... but if you took the time to research, you'd find that the red key is easily bypassed. I'll say no more on that topic!!
2003 749s mono
Carbon: rear hugger, heel guards, heat shield, muffler cover, exhaust cover, key guard, clutch cover
MPL slave cylinder
5,800 miles and for sale on Craigslist Los Angeles: $6,999