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Archive for January 23rd, 2008

In the summer of 1998 I received my first “Gremlin Bell” from a good friend (Santiago).  Some call it a Guardian Bell, Ride Bell, Lucky Bell or a Legend Bell.  

It all started when I bought a new Harley Fatboy motorcycle in March of that same year and was putting on major miles during a summer of riding.  I had never heard of Gremlin Bells or the story of evil road spirits before that time and I found the story interesting.  Santiago passed on the brass folklore.

I’m not a superstitious person.  I did notice, however, a disproportionate number of Harleys sporting the gremlin bell vs. other motorcycle manufactures.  The Fatboy being my first Harley and leery of the reliability (I sat with friends on the side of road working on them not riding) I thought it couldn’t hurt by installing a bell. 

The folklore is so-called gremlins are evil road entities whose focus is to undermine your riding experience while you’re out having fun.  Some of the gremlins are happy to ride along, but some are mean and cause dangerous situations just for the fun of a challenge. A Gremlin Bell is the defense against these mean gremlins, or so the folklore goes. In theory, the mean gremlins who ride with you get stuck in the hollow of the bell and the ringing makes them horrified. They drop out onto the road and off of your bike, perhaps causing tiny potholes, but no longer your concern. The trick is to hang the bell by its leather string somewhere fairly low on the motorcycle, close to the road, so the gremlins drop off easily and can’t bounce back up to cause any harm.  The bell makes a little ringing sound which notifies you that your “protection” is working. 

Another important aspect of the folklore is how the bell is obtained.   Tradition states it has even more power if the bell is received as a gift vs. you just buying it outright. When I upgraded to a Road King in 2006, Kitty passed along the “legend” and supplied a chrome bell for the new ride.  It’s unclear if “size-matters” because most bells are about two-inches. Although I’ve started to see several chrome/brass Gremlin Bells as large as three-inches.   

Gary & Becky Spetzler of Gremlin Bells seem to be the market segment leaders in the “Gremlin” market…I see their displays and bells at about every motorcycle dealer, shop as well as most rally events. 

I already have a winged/fire breathing Dragon tattoo…I hope they don’t conflict?!  Guess I’ll be buying more since I’ll have to throw a lot more than a pinch of salt over my shoulder to offset the hoodoo or get a body piecing voodoo charm.

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No, I’m not talking about a cold beer in your hand or your wish on the Oregon coast, but about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  This song is “off the charts”.

And, Harley announced Springsteen will be a main attraction at the Milwaukee 105th Anniversary celebration in August.  This will be an additional concert that will be held outside the Summerfest Grounds at the Roadhouse at the Lakefront and requires a separate ticket (read requires more $$ from your wallet) from the official 105th Anniversary ticket. 

Only 105th Anniversary ticket holders are eligible to purchase Bruce Springsteen concert tickets.  If you think you have back door around it think again.  The 105th Anniversary ticket holders are required to enter their 105th ticket package confirmation code to purchase a Bruce Springsteen ticket when tickets go on sale. 

For every official 105th ticket purchased, the ticket holder will qualify for one Bruce Springsteen concert ticket. If a ticket holder purchases multiple official 105th tickets in one purchase, they will receive only one confirmation code, but will qualify for the same amount of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert tickets equivalent to the number of official 105th tickets purchased. 

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert tickets are $40.00 (plus $2.50 for tax, shipping and handling).  Seating is limited. The concert tickets will be available only on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Tickets go on sale April 5th at 8am (CST). 

Photo is courtesy of Columbia Records and Springsteen web site.

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It’s about as “old skool” and chopped as Harley can be out of the factory.  The wizards introduced the new Softail “CROSS BONES”.  It’s part of the Dark Custom series of bikes and designed to bring back bad boy roots or your memories of living the dream. 

Very cool mini “ape-hanger” bars, solo spring-seat, fat-bob tires with primer paint and drilled-out metal parts…stripped and raw are the marketing adjectives.

Now you have a good reason to counter the ‘recession’ pundits and leverage Harley’s 105th anniversary finance package (1.05% APR) to drown out the opinions of the world!

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