What is a Motorcycle Bell?

Wife, mom, grandmother, motorcyclist, and blogger.

I just asked the question, “What is a motorcycle bell?” after my son asked if my Royal Enfield had a bell. I went on to say, “It has a horn. Why would I need a bell?” That’s when he schooled me on motorcycle bells also known as guardian bells, Angel bells, road bells, and a few others names. Here is what I have learned about motorcycle bells.

What is a Motorcycle Bell?

Motorcycle Bell gift from my son!

It is a Gift

The first thing I learned was that you DO NOT buy a motorcycle bell for yourself; it is to be a gift given by a loved one. The bell gift is meant to represent goodwill and concern for the rider’s safety. According to legend, a motorcycle bell purchased for yourself is less powerful to protect than one given as a gift.

My son, who is also a motorcyclist, gave me a bell for my motorcycle. What a wonderful surprise gift. It is my first bell! Have you ever heard of a motorcycle bell?

It Represents Protection

Motorcycle riders have an old tradition of giving a bell as a gift to another rider to protect them from road hazards. Motorcycle bells are used as a good luck charm or to warn gremlins and bad spirits to stay away. 

The bell, a symbol of kindness, is to follow the biker and be removed if the motorcycle is sold. Legend has it if left on a bike it will have no power for the new owner. If the seller removes the bell and gives it to the new owner the cycle of protections begins again.

It is Hung Low on Motorcycle

The lowest part of the front frame of the bike is the best place to hang the motorcycle bell. The reason behind that is if a gremlin is thrown up by the front tire it will grab, and be captured, by the bell. I also found out that when you attach the bell to your motorbike you need to use something that will not rust or scratch your frame. Many recommended a plastic zip tie. 

I discovered that some motorcycle riders have more than one bell on their bike, but they were all gifts! Aside from the front lower frame, these riders have them attached to a variety of other parts of their motorcycles.

It Can Lose Power

A stolen motorcycle bell loses its power to protect. It has been said that if someone steals a motorcycle bell, trouble and torment will follow the thief! 

How Did It All Start?

Installing the motorcycle bell on my Royal Enfield

There are several theories on where motorcycle bells started. From Church rituals to World War II pilots to old biker tales they all center around bells. The church used bells during services and funerals to call others to prayer against evil. 

World War II Royal Air Force pilots began talking about gremlins who wreaked havoc on their airplanes. Many pilots were convinced to use charms to ward off gremlins, including the centuries-old dangling bell.

There are several stories about how motorcyclists riders first started using bells. I’d like to believe it had to do with returning WW II soldiers who carried medals with them. Many carried a St. Christopher medal which was to bless and to protect them from hardships during travels. 

When these soldiers came home some started riding motorcycles. They were looking for a way to show their care for their fellow bikers and came up with the idea of a motorcycle bell with angel wings. None of the theories are wrong, it is just the beginning of a beautiful tradition that keeps on giving.

@helmetorheels blogger Pam

My name is Pam and I am so glad you stopped by today! I started this blog to document my journey into motorcycling and along the way I met so many other lady riders with inspiring stories to tell I began to share theirs as well.

About the same time I started this blog I joined Twitter (@helmetorheels) and began to meet other female motorcycle riders. These ladies were so inspiring to me because I found other newbies like me to life-long experienced riders who were willing to share encouragement, tips, and their friendship. I was welcomed where I was on my journey. What an incredible community I found online to fuel my desire to ride. 

Catch us on Instagram @helmetorheels and Pinterest @helmetorheels – we are just getting started!

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