No, not the little fictional characters in the Hollywood films of the same name. These little fellows are real and play havoc with all kinds of electrical and mechanical equipment.

It is believed that these little creatures first came to notice during the First World War, perhaps the activities of the war released them from an underground lair? Certainly they were documented by the Royal Air Force in the 1920’s, when their delectation for mischief with aeroplanes and engines was first recorded.

During World War II aircrew of the RAF blamed Gremlins for inexplicable occurrences during their flights and missions. Members of the United States Army Air Force also began to experience the exasperating effects of these Imp like little devils. There was even a view that Gremlins had enemy sympathies, but investigations subsequently revealed that enemy aircraft had similar and equally inexplicable mechanical problems; they were just as prevalent in the Luftwaffe and Imperial Japanese Airforce!

It appeared that Gremlins were equal opportunity beings that took no side in the battle, rather they acted in self-interest wreaking their mischief on whoever came into their range.

Since the end of the Second World War the opportunity for Gremlin mischief has literally exploded. The world is now a much more mechanical and electrical place, giving even the most inept trainee Gremlin the chance to practice their dark skills. Since the demise of powerful piston engine aircraft, there is however, one machine that Gremlins love above all others. . . Motorcycles!

Gremlins are now known to be evil road spirits. They jump onto passing motorcycles because they love to ride, feel the wind in their ears and the vibrations of the engine, they are often the cause of many problems endured by bikers. There is however, hope. Many years ago an old biker discovered that Gremlins hate the sound of a small ringing bell. There are many versions of the story of how this happened, but it appears that the evil road spirits can’t bear the ringing and that they get trapped in the hollow body of the bell. Then their hypersensitive hearing and the constant ringing in a confined space drives them insane and they lose their grip and eventually fall off.

Over time it has become apparent that these bells have even more power if they have been received as a gift; sure they work fine if you buy one yourself, but for maximum protection you really need to receive one from a friend or loved one as a gift. That way the magic is doubled, because out there somewhere, you have a friend looking out for you.

So next time you walk past a motorcycle, take a look and see if you can spot a small bell, either on the handlebars or maybe on the swing arm. Whenever you see a biker with a bell you will know that they have been blessed with the most important thing in life, love and friendship. The spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood between bikers is what the ride bell encompasses.

So you can imagine I was pretty happy the other day when Mrs Dookes presented me with this little beauty to hang on Harley. P1030523


If you steal a bell from a biker, you steal all the gremlins and the evil that comes with them. So don’t do it, the consequences could be dire!

Gotta dash and fix that bell on my bike!

“You got me ringing hells bells.”

Catch you soon.