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I'm doing a school project on beliefs and traditions. I decided I wanted to focus on motorcycle traditions things like ride bells/gremlin bells/angel bells, painting your motorcycle green, memorials for the fallen, ways to spread a rider's ashes, good luck charms we keep, angels that keep us safe when we ride ... all that. I'm looking for people to share their experiences, stories, and .... beliefs so that I can do a project on something I care about for a change!

Thanks,

Suzanne
 
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Afternoon Suzanne and welcome to the Forum! :D

Got to admit I've only been carrying Ride Bells for a couple years now, in a feeble attempt to ward off those pesky Gremlins! :D Hey, I'm sayin' anything that could surely bring down them B29 Flying Fortresses (circa WWII) is definitely a force to be reckoned with! :D At least ways they're kinda' cool - I go for the nice Pewter ones, no cheapo stamped stuff! ;)

As far as past charms one of my long past Bro's claimed to of been his tribe’s (Native American) Medicine Man. I figured why not… someone had to have the job, hey?! He had given me a sacred charm, designed to protect the wearer from danger and harm. Yup, it worked great…. I was wearing it the day I got left-turned December 6th, 1981 and badly busted up! Well, after my more or less recovering from all of that, then he told me in no uncertain terms, “It don’t work on you white men, only Indians! You guys already have your OWN magic….”! Heh-heh… that was the joke (NOW he tells me!)! Never the less I miss that old Bugger, my best friend ever…. (long gone now). I talk about him often (until my wife tells me to shut the heck up about him!)! Nuff’ said.

LRG :cool:
 

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Ask any biker from the old school, green bikes are bad luck.

Also, the bell comes from another old time tradition. When a bunch of friends rode together, whoever had the last crash had to wear the bell. This was an auditory warning to others to stay away, much like putting a bell on your cat to keep it from killing songbirds. I can only imagine some grizzled bikers sitting together when some yuppie comes up and asks what the bell is for. I'm sure they laid some crap on him about "road gremlins" or some such horse shite, and the next thing you know, everyone has one on their bike. Those cats should have asked for royalties.

Another superstition from the British bike world: never put your helmet on 'til the bike is running, otherwise, you'll just have to take it off when the damn thing won't start and you need to crouch, gorilla-like, next to the bike to figure out how to make it go.
 

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I've heard one superstition about helmets.

It's bad luck to drop your helmet, even once, from any distance. "As goes your helmet, so goes your head." That makes sense, if you're wearing it. More realistically, a dropped helmet could be damaged.


I didn't know the story behind the bells. The box at the store says the ringing keeps the gremlins away or that the bell catches them and the ringing drives them insane. Great! An insane gremlin on my bike!
 

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Even the sane ones can be a handful.

Like LRG said, if they can ground a bomber, imagine what they'll do to a bike.

The box at the store is designed to sell you a bell, I'm designed to tell you the truth.
 

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1. Not sure this is a tradition, but talking/singing to myself when things are getting tense or just reeeeally fun.

2. Get fully geared up before getting the bike to ride. I've actually dismounted to put my gloves on once I realized I wasn't wearing them. Just do.
 

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My bike gets mad at me when I neglect her for a while.
 

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Ask any biker from the old school, green bikes are bad luck.
Why so? I know superstitions needn't have reasons, but do you know the origin of this? I ask because green is my favorite color, and any bike that is a keeper is probably going green.

I believe if foreordination, so luck means nothing to me. :)
 

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I heard it was because Sonny B's first major crash happened on a green bike, but that is unsubstantiated. I've also heard it comes from military personnel returning to the states and wanting nothing to do with the color green, having just spent four years or so wearing it. Who knows? Personally, I'd love a Norton Combat Commando in British Racing Green. Damn the superstitions and full speed ahead!
 

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BRG is lovely. I like it possibly most of all among automotive greens. Sorry to the OP for a hijack. I will be quiet now so you can collect your data.
 

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Never tell yourself your taking your "last ride of the year". It will be. Just ride until you decide it's time to put the bike away. Bad things happen when you make a point to take that one last ride.
 

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^Me and my best friend have great memories about what happens when you say, "let me try that one more time..."
 

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I have a bell on my bike, my sister gave it to me so that it would keep those little gremlins away. If someone said that by wearing a pink bow on your helmet would keep you safe...would anyone do it?
 

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I have a bell on my bike, my sister gave it to me so that it would keep those little gremlins away. If someone said that by wearing a pink bow on your helmet would keep you safe...would anyone do it?
If it was a Genuine Harley-Davidson Accessory pink bow I'll bet quite a few people woud wear them.

I prefer to make my own luck. The home-brewed kind tastes so much better than the store-bought kind.
 

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I'll skip the pink bow.

I really don't have any lucky charms or rites that I practice for riding. I do think it's lucky to give yourself a lot of room away from cars and pay close attention on the road though.
 

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Well, jeez, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the most basic motorcycle tradition of all -- waving as you pass a fellow rider.
 
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