Are you a Harley-Davidson biker, and you’ve received a new Harley bell, but you aren’t sure where to hang it? If yes, then you are certainly in the right place.
Where to hang Harley bell is a question that most Harley-Davidson bikers have when they get it as a gift. The most appropriate location to hang your Harley-Davidson guardian bell would be close to the ground, around the lower part of your bike. This is because road gremlins are much closer to the ground, and the bell will do a fantastic job there. However, some bikers prefer hanging the bell in different places.
When hanging the bell, it is recommended that you shouldn’t hang the bell directly behind the front tire, as this is where the evil spirits will be kicked out from. Moreover, ensure that the bell is high enough and well-placed so that you can easily see if it comes off.
In this article, you will get to know all about Harley-Davidson bells, where to hang Harley bell, how to hang the bell, and different legends surrounding the guardian bells among others. Continue reading to get all the answers that you are looking for.
What are Guardian Bells?
Guardian bells are the little bells that are made from pewter (an alloy of tin with antimony and copper) hung usually on Harley-Davidson bikes. The guardian bell, gremlin bell, or spirit bell is a common sight on Harley-Davidson bikes. These can be easily installed on almost any kind of bike and are available in a wide variety of designs to give your bike a fun, personalized look. The truth is, this bell isn’t just a decoration piece, but it also carries a huge significance in biker tradition.
While guardian bells are normally seen on Harley-Davidson bikes, they aren’t just for the Harley community. Guardian bells form a strong tradition among bikers, especially in the Harley-Davidson community. Riders of cruiser bikes and touring bikes usually install guardian bells on their motorcycles to represent their unique beliefs.
Legend has it that roads are full of evil spirits and endless hazards waiting to cling onto your bikes and cause harm. You would have probably heard of unusual instances and hard-to-explain events that caused sudden failures to bikes, otherwise referred to as gremlins. Supposedly, these bad omens are a result of the evil spirits that lurk on the road and result in misfortunes for the riders.
Where to Hang Harley Bell?
The best place to hang the guardian bell is close to the ground, around the lower part of the bike. This is the case because road gremlins are closer to the ground, and the guardian bell will do a wonderful job there. However, some Harley riders prefer to hang the guardian bell in different places. When you’re hanging the bell, it is recommended that you should not be hanging the bell directly behind the front tire, as this is where the evil spirits get kicked out from. Moreover, you should make sure that the guardian bell is high enough and properly placed such that you can see it in case it comes off.
How to Hang a Guardian Bell on your Harley-Davidson Bike
Many Harley-Davidson bikers use guardian bells as a means of protection from gremlins and evil spirits. Legend states that when gremlins or evil spirits try to grab onto your bike, they’ll get distracted by the ringing of the bell. The dislike of the bell’s sound will cause them to cover their ears and let go of the motorcycle. These bells are generally given as gifts and are symbolic of popular legend. If you receive a guardian bell as a gift, you will have to know how to attach the bell properly to your bike.
Find an appropriate spot near the bottom of your motorcycle to hang the guardian bell, where it won’t interfere with moving wheels or other parts. One good place would be the peg where your feet rest.
Hold the guardian bell up the peg or part of the frame where you’ll be placing it. Thread a cable tie or leather strap through the hanging loop of the bell.
Wrap the leather strap or cable tie around the peg or frame. Then, tie off the leather strap using a double-knot or insert the tapered end of the cable tie into the slot of the square end, and then pull tightly.
Cut off any excess cable tie or strap with scissors.
Important Rules to Remember When Dealing with Guardian Bells
The guardian bell isn’t just important for your own protection, but it is also a symbol of kindness in the biker community. You aren’t supposed to sell or bell or even remove it from your motorcycle. Doing that is considered bad luck and might attract unwanted consequences.
The guardian bell can only be given to another rider and not purchased. In order for the bell’s charm to work, the bell should be given to a rider by a loved one. The guardian bell’s power will be manifested through this gesture when you gift the Harley-Davidson guardian bell to someone whose safety matters to you.
When you’re selling your motorcycle, you should remove the guardian bell and keep it safe. The guardian bell is a great symbol of kindness and love to a biker from someone who cares about them. The recipient of this gift must keep it or transfer it to another bike. To maintain the spirit-fighting magic of the bell, you need to give the bell face-to-face to your intended recipient. If you don’t follow this, then the bell loses its power and might not protect the new rider.
The magic-working power of the guardian bell is based on goodwill and karma. If someone ends up stealing your guardian bell, it’ll lose its protective charm and the gremlins and evil spirits will move on to the next person.
Different Guardian Bell Legends and Where They Originated
Just like any legend, there are many discrepancies about where the true origins of the guardian bell come from. Here are some of the common guardian bell legends, and you can choose for yourself which one sounds like the most legit story.
There is history to support the notion that bells were used in funerals and churches as early as the 1100s in Europe. The bells would be rung during services to frighten off evil spirits, to protect the righteous living and the deceased.
The Catholic church itself encouraged the use of bells to protect people from evil. During those days, they would be known as “dead bells”. The bell itself was baptized in holy water, which helped it possess the power to frighten off any evil that was waiting in the shadows nearby.
Bells are still used in churches today, maybe not quite as much to ward off any evil spirits, but as a way to bring music to their cities. This long-standing religious tradition might have made its way into the motorcycle community and given birth to the guardian bell tradition.
WWII fighter pilots
During the Second World War, many pilots were tasked with long flying missions with very little time to sleep. There was constant gunfire and explosions all across Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. Pilots were on constant call and if there were any signs of danger nearby, they were expected to be airborne as soon as possible.
Many pilots have also recounted stories where they were afraid to go to sleep, as they were afraid of the dreams they might have. Their dreams were so gruesome to the level that they’d rather stay awake. Those long days and nights were actually made possible by the military issuing drugs to the troops to help them stay awake and focused for much longer.
During long flights, the pilots would often start seeing hallucinations. Out of the corner of their eyes, they would start envisioning things such as small creatures outside their places trying to make the plane crash or dark hooded figures trying to cause them harm.
Many pilots chose not to take drugs, as they didn’t like the way drugs made them feel. So, they started hanging small bells somewhere in the cockpit to keep them awake and sharp. The constant jingle of the bell helped them focus. The bells would metaphorically keep the gremlins away while keeping the pilots safe.
When the pilots came home from the war, many of them missed the feeling of the rush of flying. As an alternative, they decided to get into motorcycle riding. While there’s nothing like the rush of flying, a great way to compensate for this was to drive a Harley-Davidson bike on the open road.
The tradition of the guardian bell might have followed them home, and many pilots started hanging their bells from the war onto their bikes as a way to fight off unseen demons on the road. To receive one of the bells from a pilot was seen as an honor in the Harley-Davidson community, and the tradition stuck around.
This guardian bell legend has similar roots to that of the “dead bell” that used to be rung at funerals for warding off evil spirits. Instead of trying to ward off gremlins, commemorative bells were hung from a motorcycle for bikers who lost close friends or family members in a motorcycle accident.
Everyone who has been riding for any length of time must have lost a friend to an accident, and if you haven’t, then consider yourself lucky. Motorcycle accidents often happen, and they tend to be more severe than most car accidents. Commemorative bells were used for honoring those who have left the world behind.
When bikes first became popular with the public, there weren’t any alarm systems or insurance companies for protecting motorcycles. It is said that bikers would hang a bell from the bottom of their bike so that it someone tried stealing the bike during the night, the owner would hear the bell and catch the thief.
The bells were used as a cheap way of preventing easy theft, while they also saved many bikers the heartache of losing their bikes.
A Lot of Discrepancies Surrounding the Guardian Bells
There are many discrepancies concerning how to give and receive guardian bells, too. The most common theme throughout the biker community is that it isn’t recommended that you should buy yourself a guardian bell, as it wouldn’t have the same effect as if someone gifted it to you.
There are a lucky few who actually inherited a guardian bell from a WWII pilot. These bells were the ones endowed with the greatest power against gremlins, as they had previously fought off the strongest gremlins and evil spirits during the war.
Regardless of the legend you believe in, these bells have a deep significance, as you’ll be able to show your fellow rider how much you care about their safety. A guardian bell makes for a great gift for any rider.
When you are selling your bike, you should keep the bell and avoid transferring it with the bike. If you want to give it to a new rider, you must remove the guardian bell and hand it over face-to-face. This will be a sign of friendship that gives the guardian bell its power.
Can you hang your own guardian bell?
It is a rule that you should never hang your own bell. The magical powers of the bell are activated by the gesture of care and goodwill. The bell becomes an extremely powerful tool when received from a fellow rider. You shouldn’t hang the bell on your own bike, instead, it should be hung by the person who gifted it to you.
What do you mean by an angel bell?
There are other motorcycle bells that exist aside from guardian bells, and they protect the bikers from direct harm while on the road. An angel bell is essentially a guardian bell that has the symbol of an angel engraved on the bell to form an angel pattern. It brings good luck to the biker during motorcycle rides. These bikes are usually small and can be used with a key ring.
Why should I use a guardian bell?
The guardian bell is a great way of warding off evil road spirits and protecting you from potential harm. It is believed that the way a guardian bell works is by capturing evil spirits and then channeling them through the hollow of the bell. This enrages the spirits with constant ringing until they are warded off from your bike.
Can I use two guardian bells on my bike?
While there isn’t any specific rule about the number of bikes you can use, most bikers prefer using only one guardian bell. Remember, the bell needs to be given to you by another biker or someone who cares about your safety.