This thing grows! Always click this HOME button to ensure you see the most recent SC posts!

To see older posts, you can either use the date selector in the Blog Archive (RH side), or just click through using the Older Posts link at the bottom of each page.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guardian Bell or an Accident Waiting to Happen?

So here's the deal. My Bro John gave me my first guardian bell to ward off those road gremlins, and I've never forgotten the gesture. And somewhere along the line, someone gave me another bell for the Joker. The deal is that if someone gives you the bell, it's more powerful! And if you buy your own, it's less powerful, or in my case, downright fucking lethal. At least as far as my bike is concerned....

See, I got this great deal on a new bell....two of them, actually.....and they arrived in the mail the other day. So on Sunday, while waiting on Jeff to show up for a ride, I decided to put one of the bells on Big Blue. Yeah, I thought about waiting for someone to give me one, but WTF, I'll just put the one on I bought. Outside I went.

I snooped around looking for a low spot to attach it, but nothing seemed to look just right. No convenient hole in the frame or a mount. But right under the lower triple tree, where the brake lines mount, there was this enticing little spot that looked just perfect. And there was a mile of room between the bell and the fender. On it went. Not low, but low enough.

Jeff shows up, and I give him the other bell, telling him the story about gremlins, etc. Away we go. It's fun so far, right? All smiles.

I go exactly 1/4 mile and then turn into a gas station to fill up. BANG! There's a terrific noise as I hit the driveway transition into the station parking lot!!! I stopped at the gas pump, got off, and walked around looking for whatever made that damn noise.

Whoa! I couldn't believe it! That bell had frickin' near punched a hole clear through my Road King's front fender. And if that wasn't bad enough, the damn bell wasn't even broken. Just a little ding in the side.

Not only did my front fork compress all that distance, but instead of being pushed sideways or just break, the bell, fully free to move around, stayed exactly perpendicular to the surface of the fender, putting a huge dent and a perfectly circular punch mark dead center of the dent. Fuck me.

So what's that mean? Well it damn sure means you shouldn't put a bell in that particular spot. It also means that you might want to wait for someone else to give you a bell! And whatever you do, don't buy your own damn bell! Wow, who'da believed all that hocus-pocus bell crap!?

It also means I need to quickly acquire some body and fender skills. Then I can knock out the dent and paint a small area which hopefully won't be too noticeable. Painting the whole fender means I'd lose the custom pin-striping that's just a few weeks old. Groan.

Or I can use that body shop that Fred recommends. Yeah, the one that charges more if you first try to fix something yourself. F'n Fred.......

And for those who haven't heard the tale about the Good Luck bell, here it is, shamelessly stolen from this page where you can order one. For me. LOL

The Legend of the Guardian Bell

Many years ago, on a cold December night, a crusty old biker was returning from a trip to Mexico with his saddlebags filled with toys and other assorted trinkets for the kids at a group home near where he worked.

As he rode along that night thinking how lucky he had been in life, having a loving riding partner that understood his need to roam the highways and to his trusty old pan that hadn’t let him down once in the many years they had shared the road together.

Well about 40 miles north of the border, in the high desert, lurked a small group of notorious little critters known as road gremlins. You know, the ones who always leave little obstacles like, one shoe, boards, and pieces of old tires on the road, and also dig those dreaded potholes for bikers to run over and crash, thus giving the road gremlins a chance to rejoice over their acts of evil.

Well, as the lone wolf of a biker rounded a curve that moonlit night, the gremlins ambushed him, causing him to crash to the asphalt and skid before coming to a stop next to one of his saddlebags that had broken free. As he lay there, unable to move, the road gremlins made their way towards him. Well, this biker, not being one to give up, started throwing things at the gremlins as they approached him. Finally, with nothing else to throw but a bell, he started ringing it in hopes to scare off the dirty little gremlins.

About a half a mile away, camped in the desert, were two bikers sitting around the campfire talking about their day’s ride, and the freedom of the wind blowing in their faces as they rode across this vast country. In the stillness of the night air they heard what sounded to them like church bells ringing, and upon investigating, found the old biker lying along the roadside with the gremlins about to get him. Needless to say, being part of the biker brotherhood, they preceded to ward off the gremlins until the last ran off into the night.

Being grateful to the two bikers, the old road dog offered to pay them for their help, but as all true bikers do, they refused to accept any type of payment from him. Not being one to let a good deed go unnoticed, the old biker cut two pieces of leather from his saddlebags tassels and tied a bell to each one. He then placed them on each of the biker’s motorcycles, as near to the ground as possible. The tired, old road warrior then told the two travelers that with those bells placed on their bikes, they would be protected from the road gremlins and that if ever in trouble, just ring the bell and a fellow biker will come to their aid.

So, whenever you see a biker with a bell, you know that he has been blessed with the most important thing in life—friendship from a fellow biker.

The Purpose of the Guardian Bell

Many of us have heard the story about Evil Road Spirits. They are little gremlins that live on your bike. They love to ride, and they’re also responsible for most of your bike’s problems. Sometimes your turn signals refuse to work; your battery goes dead, the clutch needs adjustment, or any of several hundred things that can go wrong. These problems are caused by Evil Road Spirits.

Evil Road Spirits can’t live in the presence of the bell, because they get trapped in the hollow of the bell. Among other things, their hearing is supersensitive, so the constant ringing of the bell and the confined space drives them insane. They lose their grip and eventually fall to the roadway. Have you ever wondered how potholes are formed? The bell has served its purpose.

If you pick up a Guardian® Bell of your own, the magic will work, but if your bell is given to you, the power is doubled, and you know that somewhere you have a special friend helping to look after you.

So, if you have a friend who doesn’t have a bell, why not give them one? It’s a nice feeling for the recipient to know you care. The bell, plus a good preventive maintenance program by the bikes owner, will help eliminate Evil Road Spirits.