Take Your Nomad Key
Leave Your Bags Unlocked
Gadget from a tip originally posted to the VROC list by Big Al (VROC#4500)


Let's begin with a disclaimer shall we?  I don't want to hear from you if you leave your bags unlocked and someone steals your package of Twinkies.   I don't want to hear from you if some mischief maker decides to pull the handle on your bag while you're rolling down the road.    The reason you'd want to do this is really more for convenience, for those odd times when you have to remove both bags from the Nomad for cleaning or maintenance. Presumably Kawasaki designed the Nomad hard bag so it 'must' be locked before the key can be removed for a reason.    Some of us don't understand it, some don't like it and these instructions are for, well, us! You'd still be well advised to stay in the habit of locking the bags when the bike is going to be moving.

Why this works.   Once you get the tumbler out of the bag you'll notice there is a slot along the top of the hole the tumbler was in.  This slot allows the lock pins to pop up as you remove the key.  When the key is in the 'unlocked' position there is no slot so the pins can't move and you can't get the key out.   You're going to make the slot.

What You'll need:

1. Rat tail file or a 1/4 inch sanding disc for your Dremel tool.   (anything about 1/4 inch in diameter and rough will do, you're only filing plastic)

2. A small Phillips type screwdriver and a small flat blade screwdriver

3. A bowl or small container to put screws and other parts in so you don't lose them

How to do it:

Through the entire process LEAVE THE KEY IN THE CYLINDER!   This can't be stressed enough.  If you remove the key from the cylinder once it has been removed from the bag you're going to have springs and little bitty parts flying all over the work area and you'll never get it all back together.    LEAVE THE KEY IN THE CYLINDER!


1. Open the lid of either bag and remove the five screws holding the cover over the locking mechanism.

/files/includes/images/baglock_insidebag.jpg (19522 bytes)
Note there are two screws next to what appears to be a handle and three long the 'bottom'.  Don't lose the rubber gaskets under the bottom screws

2. Once the screws have been removed you can pry the cover off.  I found the simplest way to do this was to use the 'handle' portion to lever up the bottom (where the three screws were) then slide your flat blade screwdriver into the opening.  Slide the screwdriver around one side and eventually the cover will 'pop' off.    There are tabs on either side of the cover holding it in place and they can be a little stubborn.

/files/includes/images/baglock_panel_tabs.jpg (21323 bytes)
Photo is of the inside of the cover.  Note the tabs on either side which 'pop' out of slots when the cover is pried up.

 3. Now, using your small Phillips screwdriver, remove the two screws holding the locking cam in place.   DO NOT DROP THE SCREWS INTO THE HOLE .  If you drop the little screws you can retrieve them but only after emptying and removing your bags then (whilst trying not to look too foolish) shaking your bag upside down over something that will catch the itty bitty screw.

/files/includes/images/baglock_cam.jpg (96940 bytes)
Remove these screws from the cam.  Don't drop them.

4. Before removing the tumbler, move the key between the unlocked and locked position and note the little ball bearing that is slipping into slots.   This little ball is spring loaded and will come out of the tumbler when you remove it from the bag.    Not a problem.  Just be aware where it is and put your thumb over it as you extract the tumbler then put the ball with the other parts.   The spring should not come out.     The tumbler can be easily pressed out from the inside.   DO NOT REMOVE THE KEY!!!!!

/files/includes/images/baglock_tumbler.jpg (163534 bytes)
It's a little blurry but Gadget is holding the tumbler.  Note on the right side a round hole.  This is where the ball bearing will be.

5. With the tumbler out of the hole, grab your round file and go to work on the 'left' (applies to both bags) side of the hole you extracted the tumbler from.   You're going to file away about 3/32" worth of plastic. Be careful not to file or grind away any of the decorative plastic that surrounds the tumbler face on the outside of the bag.    The slot you're making should be at least as wide as the brass pieces you see on the tumbler.     When you think you've filed enough put the tumbler back in the hole (no need to deal with the ball bearing yet) and turn to the 'unlock' position.   Holding the tumbler in the hole try to extract the key.   If it won't come out or there is interference, remove the tumbler again (DO NOT REMOVE THE KEY FROM THE TUMBLER) and file some more.   Keep testing until the key can be extracted fairly easily.

/files/includes/images/baglock_filehole.jpg (17325 bytes)
Not easy to make out but I have filed away some plastic on the left side of the hole.   Note the slot which is why you can extract your key when the bags are locked.

6. Once you're satisfied that your newly filed slot works, place the ball bearing over the hole in the lock cylinder and (pressing it down just slightly) re-insert the cylinder in the hole.   Re-attach the locking cam (without dropping the screws) and try it out.  You should be able to remove the key in both the locked and unlocked positions with about the same amount of force.   If the unlocked position is still a little rough you might want to do a little more filing on the hole.

7. Re-attach the lock cover by sliding the bottom (end with the three small screws) into the slot then snapping the side tabs back in place.    Put the five screws back where they belong and you're finished.

8. Go ride with your bags either locked or unlocked.    BTW, you can now turn the lock from the 'unlocked' to 'locked' position without using your key.   You will still need your key to 'unlock' the bags.