After a recent purchase of my last bike, to my surprise, not only did the owner hand over the keys but also gifted me with a little bell. This bell (Guardian, Gremlin, Spirit) I would soon discover is a good-luck charm that many in the motorcycle community regard as good karma to ward off evil spirits. Consider many cultures attach bells on their doors to bring good energy, so why not a motorcycle. Apparently, I received bonus Karma points because the bell was gifted to me, so don’t try to skirt this positive energy by buying one for yourself.
I will admit, to some degree, I too have superstitious tendencies. For example, I avoid stepping on cracks on a sidewalk or always put the left shoe on first. As my wife will point out to me, there is no scientific reasoning for my actions, but for me a fleeting thought that I am giving myself a positive vibe to my day. So, in lies the bell. Up until my recent gifting did, I consider adding this Motorcycle tradition to my Karma list.
Far be it from me to think I was not alone in my thinking, I reached out to the Motorcycle community to get reactions from others. Safe to say, YOU are passionate on both sides of this coin: Belief or Bunk!
Tyler and many others may not believe in the power of the Guardian bell but agree that the kindness of others to share this gift with them is wonderful. Steve agrees with Tyler saying, “…at least we have a guardian angel watching over us, as no one else on the road watches out for us.”
Of course, there are cynics amongst us like Chris who says, “I have a tendency to lean towards a good up to date maintenance program.” Ian agrees with Chris saying, “Don’t put your confidence in ridiculous superstition. Ride the right bike, keep it maintained, ride within your limits. If you start thinking a bell will keep you safe you will downplay the things that will make a difference. And don’t pass this garbage on to young riders who respect the opinions of guys with more miles.”
Then there are stories others have shared to make their point, such as George who shares this one, “A friend, while on vacation, hit a wet road and hydroplaned into the ditch at slightly more than 80 k. The bike is in the shop, and he sustained a couple bruised ribs after a 20-foot flight in the air. He found his bell and it is a treasure to him. We can assume all we want, till you live it you won't believe, but each bell is only good for one save!” Or this from Sam, “My bell was a gift from my sister, whom I love and cherish dearly. When I hear that bell ringing, it reminds me of the special bond we have with each other. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, what really matters is that someone special to me cared enough.”
Finally, Troy, who is keeping his options open, “Do I believe that a bell will keep me from crashing or breaking down? No. Do I hear my moms bell ring every time I lean into a curve you better believe it.” Or this from Dennis, “Not really but I'll be damned if I'm taking it off!”
May I advise you of one thing before you consider a Guardian Bell, there are rules to heed if you are in possession of said Bell:
It should not be bought by the user – to work, it must be given to a rider from a loved one.
It should be attached to the lowest part of the frame because gremlins lurk on the roadways.
When a bike with a bell on it is sold, it should be removed.
If someone steals a Gremlin Bell, the gremlins go with it – and the bell will no longer ward them off.
So, take that, BAD KARMA, take that, NEGATIVE VIBES, and take that, SUPERSTITIOUS NAY-SAYERS, there’s a new Sherriff in town and her name is Bell.