What is a Gremlin Bell?

motoplex | July 7, 2020 | 0 | History , Riding , Shopping

Whether you call them Gremlin Bells, Guardian Bells, or Spirit Bells, if you ride you have some thoughts about these charms. If you don’t ride then you most likely have many questions.


Where Did Gremlin Bells Come From?


The bells themselves have a combination of legend and superstition. Most people you ask will probably give you a varied background of each. You might hear a tale of how pilots used these on their airplanes during WW2. Pilots who were addicted to the thrill of speed found themselves on motorcycles when returning home and kept the bell tradition. You might also hear how riders in the 1950’s started using these bells as alarms to keep their bikes from being stolen. Nighttime guardians watching over their bikes as they slept.


What Does a Gremlin Bell Do?


The story goes that you attach these bells to your motorcycle, close to the ground, which allows them to catch the Evil Road Spirits. This in turn stops the spirits and gremlins from causing mechanical issues on your motorcycle. The idea of the bell is that it rings so loudly that they let go of your bike as you ride and leave potholes as they hit the asphalt. Others will tell you that they are guardians or angels that protect you while you ride. It never hurts to have a little more good luck on your side. Some will tell you that they are the little voice in your head telling you to “slow down” or “turn left” when you’re lost in your thoughts as you ride.


What Are The Rules of a Gremlin Bell?


  • Rule #1: Never buy your own bell – In order for the bell to work, it must be received as a gift. Its magical powers are activated by the gesture of good will and care, and the bell becomes especially powerful if received from a fellow rider.
  • Rule #2: Never hang your own bell – Probably originated from the Old Bike’s Tale, the bell should be hung on your bike by the person who gave it to you. Not only does the person give the sacred gift to you with intentional good will, but he or she makes sure that the protection is activated with good intentions as well.
  • Rule #3: Never leave your bell behind – If you sell your motorcycle, never leave it on the bike for the new owner. The bell should be cherished for what it represents, so you should take it off, keep it or transfer it to a new bike. If you want to give the bell to the new owner as a gift, you’ll have to take it off and personally hand it over. If you don’t give the bell with good will that is intentional, it won’t have protective properties.
  • Rule #4: Attach it to the lowest part of the frame – Since the little gremlins lurk by the side of the road, they usually grab the motorcycles from below. If you place the bell as low as possible and closer to the front, you’ll ensure that that’s the first thing they’ll grab and that they are instantly captured by it without a chance of doing mischief.
  • Rule #5: A stolen bell loses its powers – A motorcycle bell is all about good intentions, so stolen together with the bike, it will lose its powers and gremlins will run free. The thief won’t stand a chance.
  • Rule #6: The bell should be occasionally cleaned and polished – Every time the bike is cleaned, the bell should be polished. One must think of all the fallen friends while doing it, which is a way of paying them respect. One must also remember the meaning of being in the wind and importance of being free. Oh, and it makes the bell nice and shiny.


Unlike other Gremlin rules, these you can get wet and feed after Midnight. Whether you’re superstitious or not, these are a fun addition to your bike. They are also a fun gift to give. And when you do, you can give it any story you want. That’s half the fun of the bell.



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