All You Need to Know About Guardian Bell for Motorcycle

All You Need to Know About Guardian Bell for Motorcycle

Posted by Team Motorcycle on Apr 13th 2024

Ever noticed those tiny bells hanging from motorcycles and wondered what they're for? Contrary to what you might think, they're not just there for decoration or to create a pleasant sound as the motorcycle moves.

To help keep you protected, many riders choose to enrich their bikes with guardian bells. These small charms tied near the front forks are thought to ward off bad luck and accidents. So, next time you see a motorcycle bell, know that it's more than just an accessory—it's a symbol of protection for the rider on the road.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about these good luck talismans. Where did the tradition originate? What do the different bell designs symbolize? How should it be properly mounted? We will cover it all so you can decide if a guardian bell for a motorcycle is right for your ride. With knowledge in hand, you can confidently cruise the highway knowing you did all you could to avoid the gremlins.

What Is a Guardian Bell for a Motorcycle?

Guardian bells, also known as gremlin bells, are decorative charms attached to motorcycles to ward off ‘road gremlins’ and bad luck. Traditionally, the bells are in the shape of a bell with a clapper inside that rings while the motorcycle is in motion.

Materials and Design

Guardian bells for motorcycles come in a variety of materials like brass, steel, and pewter and often feature engraved or embossed symbols, such as skulls, crosses, or tribal patterns. The most common designs contain a rounded bottom, narrow top, and a clapper inside that creates noise to scare away bad luck and spirits while riding.


The legend states that the ringing of the guardian bell wards off evil spirits and bad luck that may trouble a motorcycle journey. Many bikers attach bells to their bikes before long rides or trips to provide an extra layer of protection and peace of mind. The ringing is said to protect not just the rider but also the motorcycle itself.

Though there is no scientific evidence that guardian bells provide real protection, many motorcyclists consider them a fun tradition and enjoy the charm and character they add to a bike. For riders, the bells can represent a symbolic gesture of good luck and safe travel.

The History and Legend Behind the Guardian Motorcycle Bell

The guardian bell tradition dates back to the early 1900s. According to legend, evil road spirits have caused motorcyclists to crash. To ward off these spirits, motorcyclists would attach small bells to their bikes that would jingle while riding and scare off the evil spirits.

The Origin

The earliest known bells were simple brass bells that were commonly used on horse-drawn carriages. Motorcyclists adopted them for their bikes. Over time, vendors began producing bells specifically for motorcycles. These bells came in a variety of styles but served the same purpose.

The Legend

The most common legend is that the ringing of the bell wards off evil road spirits. Some riders believe the bell acts as a warning to other motorists to be aware of the motorcycle. Other legends suggest the ringing bell will protect the rider from harm.

Whatever its origins, the guardian bell has become a popular tradition for many riders. The bell is usually mounted on the bike’s frame near the front forks. Before each ride, the rider rings the bell to activate its power of protection. The bell then rings while riding down the road, warding off any evil spirits lurking nearby. For many riders, the guardian bell has become a vital part of their pre-ride ritual and an important token of good luck.

Where to Mount Your Guardian Bell on Your Motorcycle

When installing a guardian bell on your motorcycle, the most effective location is near the bottom of the frame. Specifically, attach the bell to the frame rail or engine guard located between the cylinder head and transmission case. This location allows the bell to hang freely and ring while the motorcycle is in motion.

The bell's ring is meant to clear the path ahead of trouble or danger. Installing the bell in a muffled area of the motorcycle prevents it from fulfilling its purpose. Areas such as the handlebars, behind fairings or saddlebags should be avoided.

For motorcycles without a frame rail or engine guard in the ideal location, a custom bracket may need to be manufactured. The bracket should position the bell to hang at least 6 to 8 inches above the ground while keeping it in an empty area so it is free to ring audibly. Some riders attach the bell to the front brake line, but this is not ideal as the bell's ring may be muffled.

The key is to install your guardian bell in an open, highly visible and audible location on your motorcycle so it is free to ring loudly and clearly while riding. This allows the bell to ward off trouble and help ensure safe travels.

How to Properly Care for Your Guardian Bell

For longevity and functionality of your guardian bell, proper care and maintenance are required.


Regular cleaning of your guardian bell is important to prevent built-up dirt and slime, which can damage the finish and dull the sound. Gently wipe down the entire surface of the bell with a soft, damp cloth to remove any debris. For stuck-on residue, you may need to use a mild detergent. Rinse well with water and dry completely with another soft cloth.


When not in use, store your guardian bell in a dry location away from extreme heat or cold. Excessive temperatures can cause the metal to warp or crack. A closet, drawer or shelf in a temperate room of your home should suffice.

Repairs and Refurbishing

Over time, guardian bells may become tarnished, dented or the clapper inside may come loose or detached. A metal polish or tarnish remover can be used to remove minor surface scratches or tarnish. For dents, you may need professional reshaping. A loose clapper can often be re-attached by a jeweler or metal worker. Major damage may require replacement of the bell.

With regular care and maintenance, a high-quality guardian bell can provide many years of reliable use and continue to ward off those evil road spirits. Following these simple steps will help keep your bell in working order and looking like new. Ride on and ring loud - you and your motorcycle are protected!

Choosing the Right Guardian Bell

When selecting a guardian bell, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, determine what style of bell suits your motorcycle’s aesthetics. Guardian bells come in a variety of materials, sizes and decorative motifs. A chrome or brass bell pairs well with classic motorcycles while a stone or gemstone bell complements custom bikes.

Secondly, consider the bell’s sound. Larger bells generally ring with a deeper, richer tone while smaller bells have a higher pitch. Test the bell's ring to confirm it produces a crisp, clear chime that you find pleasing. An unclear, inaudible ring will not ward off evil spirits as effectively.

Finally, choose a bell that attaches securely to your motorcycle. Most guardian bells come with a strap or chain to affix to the frame or handlebars. Confirm the fastener is made of durable, weather-resistant material that can withstand exposure to the elements. A bell that detaches while riding will not serve its protective purpose.

By considering style, sound and attachment method, you can select a guardian bell that safeguards your motorcycle in an aesthetically harmonious way. Let the bell's ring echo the spirit of adventure that draws all riders to the open road.


Guardian bells for motorcycles are a popular and meaningful tradition among motorcyclists. Showing a guardian bell indicates your membership in the riding community. The pleasant sound also reminds you and others to ride safely. With many styles to choose from, you can find a guardian bell that fits your personality. Follow the tradition - get a bell, make a wish for a safe journey, and ring it before every ride.