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Is a Gremlin Bell Necessary on a Motorcycle?

Is a Gremlin Bell Necessary on a Motorcycle?

For most bikers, the roar of the engine and the wind in their hair are the best experiences they can have on open roads while on a solo ride. For other riders, riding with a partner, either a friend or a family, is what truly defines the meaning of motorcycle riding. Another class of bikers tend to ride with a less conventional accessory: the Guardian Bell or a Spirit Bell, also known as the Gremlin Bell. This small bell which comes in different styles and shapes, is considered a lucky charm to avert danger and protect riders on their rides.

However, the question is whether the gremlin bell is a necessary piece of equipment or just a superstition. Continue reading this article for more details regarding the legend of these chiming amulets, the gremlin bells.

1. Gremlin Bells on Motorcycles: Superstition or Safety?

Gremlin Bells on Motorcycles: Superstition or Safety?
Photo Credit: Common Motor Collective 

For many riders, the question of Gremlin Bells boils down to a fundamental debate: superstitions or safety? The bells on motorcycles are an integral part of the motorcycling culture, and there is even a mixture of superstition and safety in it. The ritual of attaching bells on bikes is said to repel evil spirits, commonly known as "road gremlins", that are believed to lead to technical difficulties in motorcycles and eventually result in road accidents.

In other words, the custom of mounting bells on motorcycles had superstition roots at first but then it became a practice that involves superstition, and safety to a certain level, and it also symbolizes the unity among the biker community in terms of following an old biker tradition.

If you are interested in learning about this topic and want to know the detailed history, meaning, stories, and rules of using Gremlin Bells on motorcycles, make sure to give the below article a read to understand how deep-rooted this concept is:

2. The Legend of the Gremlins

2.1 The Gremlins: Mischievous Creatures of the Road

The genesis of the Gremlin bell is as enthralling as a ghost story told in a whispered manner around a bonfire. The original story behind it probably remains unknown, but two stories have become widespread, each adding a new shade to the myth.

The story about the road evils serves as the center point of the whole gremlin bell concept as it dives deep into the realm of folk tales, telling about the gremlins. These mischievous devils, who are believed to lure on the road and are invisible, enjoy victimizing motorcyclists and causing harm to them. Ranging from putting nails in tires to making bolts fall off, these gremlins are believed to be the reason why motorcyclists meet accidents.

However, the Gremlin Bell is where the countermeasure comes in according to those who believe in it. The story says that the bell is a deceptive trap. The road gremlins enter the hollow cavity attracted by its fascinating melody. As soon as they are locked in, the noise of the metal bar becomes an ordeal for them. The gremlins, increasingly distracted and irritated, eventually lose their hold and are carried away by the wind, leaving the rider alone.

2.2 The Fighter Pilots from the World War II and Gremlins’ Tale

The Fighter Pilots from the World War II and Gremlins’ Tale
Photo Credit: Aviation Oil Outlet 

Another theory regarding the origin of the very prevalent Gremlin Bell concept links it to the brave fighter pilots of World War II. Fighting the enemy every day and dealing with their planes constantly breaking down, the pilots had developed a weird belief that there was a mischievous spirit called a "gremlin" that was causing the problems. Perhaps, the "gremlins" were a way of escaping from the overwhelming pressure of warfare.

However, the notion of a talisman that prevents bad luck might have been the perfect solution for the motorcycle community that emerged after the war. Whether you tend to believe in gremlins or a fearful aviator of wartime, the legend of the Gremlin bell adds a sense of quirkiness and wonder to the biking world.

3. The Allure of the Bell

Whether it emerged out of folklore or not, the Gremlin Bell is now a well-loved tradition among many motorcyclists. It is a badge of honor and camaraderie within the motorcyclists’ community. Given as a gift to friends and family who tend to be motorcyclists, this bell becomes an indication of their good thoughts and care for the rider's safety.

For some bikers, the gremlin bell has a deeper meaning than mere superstition. It often serves as a symbol of staying mentally active during the ride and is a constant alert to be on the lookout and be aware.

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4. Gremlin Bells on Motorcycles: Necessary or Not?

The reality is that the Guardian Bells do not provide any significant mechanical safety. Motorcycle safety is a matter of alert and defensive riding approach. Putting all the perks and thrills of motorcycle riding aside, it also comes with a set of risks and concerns. However, you must do your job of wearing a DOT-approved helmet and protective riding gear, keeping your bike in good shape, and getting trained before attaching the bell to it.

Nevertheless, the gremlin bell can be more than just a symbolic entity. The noise it produces can act as an early warning for pedestrians and wildlife who might not be mindful of the presence of a motorcycle at a distance.

Eventually, it will come down to your preferences whether you put the gremlin bell on your motorcycle or not. For others, it is a precious tradition that works well in promoting the spirit of the motorcyclists’ community. For some riders, it is a pragmatic instrument to add to the beauty of their motorbikes.

Whether you consider gremlins to be real or not, there's no doubt that the Guardian Bell is endowed with the magic of belief and friendship. In that case, if you are in search of a way of making your ride unique and adding a bit of good luck, you should not hesitate to join the jingling brotherhood of motorcyclists.

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