Legend of the Gremlin Bell

A few months back Lady R posted about her mechanical issues and resulting installation of a gremlin bell on her prized Glide.  But what is this Gremlin Bell thing all about?

According to GremlinBells.com, the bells ward off the evil road spirits that “cause all sorts of problems for you”  As the gremlins climb up onto your bike, “they will get trapped inside the hollow of the bell and the constant ringing will drive them insane–causing them to lose thier grip and fall to the roadway.”  “The powerful magic of the bell is doubled” if it is given as a gift. 

AllAmericanLeathers.com states that the bells should be placed “close to the ground” to catch the gremlins before they get too high on your bike.  (You see, they cannot sabotage any part of the bike they cannot get to.)  They also suggest that the evil spirits dropping to the ground is what causes potholes.

I am a math teacher. Probability and logic rule my universe. I have never owned a gremlin bell, a guardian angel pin to wear on my shoulder, a horseshoe for my wall, or a rabbit’s foot.  My ex-husband used to regularly pick 4-leaf, 5-leaf and 6-leaf clovers that I considered as ridiculous as blowing on dice or throwing salt over your shoulder.  I do not believe in superstitions; I believe you make your own luck.   Alternatively, many others swear by their gremlin bells and other good-luck charms.

What is your take on these carillons of kismet?  Do you have a gremlin bell on your bike?  Where is it located?  Did you purchase it yourself or get it as a gift?  Do you believe that it works?  Do you know anything that adds to the legend?

21 Responses to “Legend of the Gremlin Bell”

  1. I have one; it is more of a tradition than anything. Myself I don’t beleive in superstitions but I do follows some traditions. My dad gave me my bell, I gave my brother his.

  2. We always heard that they ONLY work when given as a gift…..so far …so good!!!!!!!!

  3. We also heard that the bell will only work when given as a gift. We never ride without a bell. More tradition than superstition, though.

  4. I heard that too, Ann & Ed. My guess is that GremlinBells .com didn’t want to screw themselves out of sales by telling people not to buy them for themselves! LOL

  5. I was given a gremlin bell by the former Director of my HOG chapter when I first joined. It was a touching sentament and indicative of things to come. I had it on my 1200 Sporty when I traded it in on my Low Rider. I went back to Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson dealership later that day or the next day to get my bell back. It was definitely bad karma in my book not to go back and get the bell. I had it on the Low Rider as well as a deer whistle. I don’t know if either work, but I would rather have them than not have them.

  6. I have a bell that was given to me by a very good friend. I am not at all superstitious, but I love the sentiment behind giving somebody such a thoughtful gift. The day our friend Dale was given his bell was the day he crashed….Irony? The bell came off his bike in the crash and I was able to find it, although I’m not really sure how as it was burried in the dust.

  7. Magic!

  8. I have a post on this awhile back. Superstition can blow me. What is cool about it for me is that if someone gives it to you in the right spirit, it’s sorta like getting “patched”. You know that person will show up with a trailer or a body bag when you need it.

    This is why I won’t give this to just anybody. It’s sorta like giving a rider a wedding ring. You better be truly committed at that point.

  9. So it’s not the bell that will protect you, it is the person who gives it to you! THAT makes so much more sense to me than some creepy little critters climbing up from the pavement and getting the gong treatment. Thanks Dave. 🙂

  10. Like the rest, it’s more tradition and honor, than superstition. Fasthair gave me my bell as a gift, and I think of him whenever I notice it. It’s all in the spirit of good rides and safe roads.

  11. Thanks to everyone’s comments here, I think I get the whole significance of the bell. I still don’t think it actually wards off evil road spirits, but I certainly do appreciate the sentiment behind the gift. And no sooner did I come to this realization, than my fellow HOG chapter members got me one for my birthday!!!
    Thank you so much Pete & Laurie. I will proudly mount my new bell on my bike, and it will serve as a reminder of just how many good friends motorcycling has brought me. Ring ring, little bell!! 🙂

  12. I have one that was given to me as a gift by my wife. To me it’s purely traditional. I don’t believe that it’s going to keep me or my bike any safer. It’s not the gremlins I worry about…let’s face it, it’s hard for a cager to get caught up in one of those tiny little bells. 🙂

  13. Too funny, Giest!!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hope to have you back soon. 😉

  14. Bizarrely, in the old country, where such things are no longer commonplace – there’s no space anymore between the castles we all live in – we’ve heard that they are supremely useful devices for warding off wildlife. Not your average roadkill, but bigger stuff like deer which don’t so much make a mess of your tyres but can ruin your day.

    Apparently the very high pitched ringing carries a long way – much further than the booming baritone of a free-breathing exhaust – and makes it less likely that you’ll hurtle round a blind bend to confront a caribou. If someone finds an Electra busied in the side of an Elk, do me a favour and once you’ve tended to the rider’s state of shock, have a look for the bell.

    Less use in cities of course, unless the research into high pitched noises to keep kids from hanging out round shops has any basis in truth, in which case it would be doubly useful: a kid would make less mess than a deer, but deer and their parents aren’t as litigious.

  15. It would be great if those bells could suck up gremlins, children, critters and cagers! That would be the bell I want. Give me one of those!

  16. I’ve had a Gremlin or spirit bell on every bike I’ve owned. All 13 of them.
    I also hand make Brass spirit bells.

    The ‘gremlin’ thing started only a few years back. Brass bells on bikes has been around many, many years. Brass because of it’s tendency to tarnish as it get dirty. When you clean your bike, you polish your bell, and it’s at that time you think of the brothers and sisters who have gone before you. Also as you ride, you hear the sound of your bell and know the spirits of those loved ones are still with you. That’s the true tradition of the bell.

  17. Just curious if there is a required place to put it?? I had heard it goes under left side of rear wheel? The one I got from my daughter is made like a key chain?

  18. I’m no expert Soapy, but I’ve never heard that one….just that it needs to be as low to the ground as possible so it scares away the evil spirits before they get too far up your bike.

  19. I have a Gremlin bell on my bike. It was given to me by the previous owner. He made a point of telling me it was NOT included in the price of the bike, and proceeded to tell me about the legend and then gave it to me as a gift when I left with the bike. It’s working as far as I can see and I ain’t takin’ it off. It hangs right underneath the center of the bike. Sometimes real late at night when the moon is full and the sky is clear I think I can hear the little mischief makers fallin’ off and hitting the pavement………

  20. We all know the roads, cagers, and weather we face. Why not take a moment to connect with a fellow rider, and pass them a smile. I keep extra bells in my luggage, and with Agates off our beach, make gifts to folks along the way. If it stops grumpy owners as much as gremlins, we all win! Have a GREAT ride. My bell has traveled thousands of miles with me, was given to me as a gift from a convicted murderer ( He killed a scumbag that raped his girlfriend), and we rode in peace all the years I knew him. Neither of us have ever been down since, oddly enough.

  21. When did the Gremlin Bell Legand start and by who?

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