Gremlin Bell - Honda CBR500R Forum : CB500F and CB500X Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Gremlin Bell

So a guy that I know bought a Harley. He's middle-aged. A little older than I am. I don't know if he's ever ridden before. I suspect not. He took a safety course. That's great. We showed up because my wife was expressing interest and asking if I thought she should ride. Honestly, no. It's hard to trust anyone else you care about with the dangers... Anyway, we pulled into the parking lot and parked and watched them for 10-15 minutes. We picked out a guy in full Harley attire. We're guessing that was him. Unfortunately, whoever that was, they seemed to be struggling. This was like 3 PM on the 2nd day. They were doing an exercise where they accelerate around a corner, shifting up to 2nd or 3rd, and then simulate an emergency stop. He seemed to have very aggressive gear changes, and seemed to be stoppy-ing every time. It was pretty scary to see...

Anyway, we weren't sure if he saw us, and maybe we were making him nervous so we left. We didn't hear any news about it, but we were at a birthday party in the family today and my wife subtly asked how it went. He said it went great. We didn't pry. Then his wife said to show everyone what she bought him. I had never heard of it so I had trouble hearing what it was. He repeated. All he said is that "it's for the bottom of the bike". I heard "gremlin belt". Upon Googling it turns out it is apparently a "Gremlin Bell". Seems like a bell decoration that people mount to their bikes for good luck basically. Seems the safety strategy here is hocus-pocus.

In 5 years of riding, and being in a social, family motorcycle club the whole time (albeit, less active the last two years), I don't think I've ever heard of this (or at least, it wasn't significant enough for me to know what it was or remember it). He wanted my wife to make him a shirt that said "press boobs here" on his back. She has one of those cutter machines that cut iron-on vinyl that can be stuck to T-shirts and things like that. That suggests to me that his only safety gear on this bike is going to be a good luck charm, and if he holds true to Harley culture as he appears to be quickly subscribing to I'm guessing he'll have one of those half-helmet jokes.

I'm really curious how many other people have heard of this, and what your thoughts are on it.

I mean the best with what I say. It doesn't always sound that way.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 06:53 AM
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Seems he is doing the right thing with a course & hopefully if he isn't a safe rider they will tell him. The returning rider is a dangerous demographic & rates high here in accident stats. Bikes have changed a lot & so has the traffic at least around here. Many more driver distractions too these days also. An older cashed up new rider on a big or quick bike is probably right up there with them.
A bell won't fix this that's for sure.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:16 AM
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Gremlin Bells are common around here.

We have them on our bikes, but we don't use them for our 1st line for safety.
To us, they are a cute custom.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 12:28 PM
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Very common on cruiser bikes in Novascotia but i don't see very many on sport bikes around here.Im not putting one on my bike nor do i go to the annual blessing of the bikes.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 02:34 PM
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Itís fairly common amongst the cruiser crowd and occasionally youíll see one on a sport bike as well. Smart guys still gear up for the ride and donít rely on superstition to save their ass. Keep feeding your buddy the logic of proper gear and hopefully he wonít end up in a half helmet and vest.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Alas, I'm not really close enough to this person to talk to him about it. He's kind of an arrogant jerk. Friend of a friend sort of. He can be alright, and he can be a jerk, and in general I just don't feel inclined to go out on a limb, probably get publicly ridiculed, and in the end I don't think there's a chance he'll listen to me anyway. He knows I have had a bike for years, but I don't think he has attempted to talk to me about it at all. I imagine he thinks he knows it all already (and for all I know, he does).

It is good that he took the safety course. It seems he has a Harley "Fat Boy". He showed me a picture. Looked like a typical cruiser. I'd guess somewhere between 900 and 1300 cc, but I know basically nothing about Harleys. Probably not an ideal bike for a beginner, but if he has prior experience or is naturally gifted and is mature about it he could well be alright. I've known a few people that I cringe at the thought, but they learned on 750 shadows.. At least a lot less power probably than the Harley, but overall probably a similar ride.

It'll really suck if something really bad happens, of course. But that's a reality we have to live with because too many people we care about are too cocky. Fortunately, the odds aren't impossible. But still not good enough for me to risk it. What other people do is their business. If we were closer I'd make more of an effort unprovoked, but I can't imagine a way to make it work so I'll sit on the sidelines and wait for an opportunity.

Append:

**** me, apparently they started out 1300's in the '90s, and the modern bikes are 1800's... Oof. Here's hoping he has prior experience?

I mean the best with what I say. It doesn't always sound that way.
2013 Honda CBR500R (Millennium Red) (Completely stock)
FirstGear Kilimanjaro High-Visibility, Joe Rocket Ballistic Boots, Scorpion Exo R2000, Alpinestars Raider Drystar Pants or Scorpion Covert Jeans, Icon Hypersport Pro Short Gloves
Castrol Chainlube, Pro Honda GN4, Pro Honda Dot 4, 87 octane AKI
Kriega R-35, Air Hawk Dual Sport, Go Cruise 2, Grip Puppies

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Last edited by bambams; 05-22-2019 at 01:26 AM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 07:36 PM
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He should be ok. Itís a low revving v-twin so doesnít make a ton of power and all the torque it makes is needed to get that fat pig up to the speed limit. Iíve known some guys with worked Harleyís that were fast but it took a lot to get them there and most arenít that quick off the showroom floor.
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