A story from Rhodesia 1970.
Our house in Salisbury was on a 3 acre block, and my dad had built a couple of cottages on it which he rented out. One of the cottages had a couple with a young son, 4 years old, living in it. The boy absolutely loved my motorcycle, and every time he heard the motor, he would rush out and demand to be taken for a ride.
I would lift him onto the tank in front of me, and he would put his feet on top of the engine, which was wider than the tank, and his hands on the handle bars inside mine. I would then whisk him for a ride around the block. Pretty soon, he was demanding to steer the bike, so I would let go of the handle bars and allow him to steer. Of course he wasn't really steering, he was too light, I was actually directing the bike by shifting my weight.
One day, we were all at home, and my dad who had ridden bikes for years in the past, finally asked me for a ride on my 750, I was surprised it had taken him so long, and I readily agreed. Dad went out and started the bike, and I was showing him the features, when of course the boy came rushing over for a ride. Dad was quite used to giving rides to kids, so he lifted the boy onto the tank, and off he went.
About 10 minutes later, they were back, but something was wrong. My dad was all white and trembling, and could hardly talk. I finally got the story out of him.
He had just got out onto a straight piece of road, and was taking it easy in third gear as he got a feel for the bike, when the boy demanded to steer. Dad knew that I often took the boy for a ride, so he assumed the boy knew what to do, and relinquished the bars to his control. Unbeknown to both of us, the boy had been watching how I controlled the throttle, and he chose this moment to have his first go. He took hold of the twist grip, and reefed it around to the end stop.
The powerful bike, in a low gear, leapt forward like a scalded cat. Dad, who had nothing to hang onto, flopped onto his back on the back seat, with his head banging on the tail light. The enormous acceleration kept him pinned there, and the bike rushed up to nearly 100 Mph. Eventually, the engine reached peak revs, and the acceleration died away, and dad was able to struggle upright into the blasting wind pressure, and wrest control back from the boy.
While all this was going on, the bike stayed straight and true on the road, the road stayed straight and long enough, and no other vehicles appeared to join in the fun. It could only have been a miracle that they were both still alive. The boy was almost screaming with delight, he had had the time of his life and wanted to do it again, but mum got wind of this adventure, and he was banned for life.
FJR Models owned from new, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014.