This story comes from many, many years ago. In fact, from so many years ago, I may as well say many decades ago, when I was still young, pretty and innocent.
So, I turned 18 and between my parental control units and myself, traded my RD50 in on a RD250. I wanted a 450 or 500 bike, but the Dad put his foot down. "No way, boet! You will move through the ranks. Nothing bigger than a 250 en basta!"
Me, being a clever sort of chap, at least I was then (old age is a bast*rd), convinced my dear old Dad, that the RD250 was the right choice. We are Afrikaans and reading Racing Developed as Rather Demure is an easy mistake to make for a 18 year old. I doubt Dad ever figured out about RD.
Anyway, I got my RD250, added a bikini fearing and clubman bars. I was the coolest cat in town, man. I rode the RD for some years and kept it in immaculate condition. Throughout my student years, it was my #1 mode of transport, apart from a rather clapped out Ford Anglia 1000 that I used if I wanted to, take a decent girl from the "right" side of the Paryspad on a date. I went everywhere on that blue RD. Toured ET many a time. Queenstown, even PE heard the scream of a RD being used in anger.
One day, on my way to a squash game, all hell broke loose. Now, you have to remember that in 1980 or so, Atgatt was about as big as donkey testicle sosaties. No one sort of used it. I had one jacket. I think mine was bought a Jet or Pep or possibly Ackermans. If it was hot, I was hot. If it was cold, I was cold. If it rained, I was wet. If I fell off, I bled. We had none of this fancy nonsense the piepiejollers of today can choose from.
So, there I was on my way to the squash game. Takkies from Jet, or Pep or ... you know. Those silly little sport pants we wore those days. They called them joggers. Real flimsy and if you were not careful (even a guy had to sit like a Dutch Reformed Church tannie) the whole world could see your stuff, or whatever there is to see if you did not have stuff. Those jogger thingies worked for me man! Not wearing them. Watching the chicks play squash in them, but they were lekker cool and they were the rage on the day.
Where was I? Oh yes. Atgatt. Mine was the above mentioned takkies and jogger and one of those help-my-sterk-lyk vest like t-shirt magoudies without sleeves. That was that. No jacket, it wasn't cold. No gloves, it wasn't cold. No long pants, it would get in the way of playing squash. No boots, they wouldn't fit under or over the takkies. Come to think of it, I didn't have boots. I did wear a helmet though. Helmets were important. Very important as as a status symbol. Mine was an AGV and therefore way up on the status scale.
Merrily cruising along to the squash courts when ....
HOLYEEEEEEEE FUUUUUUUUU**UUCCCCKKKKKK!!!! (Probaly more like HOLYEEEEEEEE WWWWOOOWWWW, as I didn't swear as much those days). The bike BIT me .... all over, I tell you. Just as I hit the front brake and clutch the bloody bike zapped me with a kazillion volts of angry electricity! The current mob at Eskom would have paid millions for that bike at that moment. It zapped me right in my hands, my upper legs and stuff and TRUST ME on this one, it wasn't the squash balls that were complaining!
I flew off the bike. I don't want to lie now, but at least two meters! I kid you not. How I came down on the bike I do not know. It must be something to do with clean living or something like that. As I hit the bike, it roasted my upper thighs (the inside soft bits) and cojones again! This is the point in time when my live changed completely. This is that traumatic moment when you experience a epifa ... ephefam ... ephipgim ... life changing experience!
Somehow I managed to stop the bike rubber side down. I leapt off and ran a good 50 meters before I had the guts to turn around and carefully look at it. It looked normal. I didn't see Satan in it at all. I was sure he was there though. Satan himself or a demon send by some angry road user who hates lane splitters.
After smoking a ciggie, I crept up on the bike and gingerly, ever so gingerly poked it with one, single, finger. I stood bend over like female chimpansee in heat as I wanted to be sure my stuff were as far as possible from the bike. Nothing. No Eskom (Escom/Evkom) in those days.
I smoked another ciggie, switched on the bike and did the long, single finger, outstretched arm, female chimp in heat thing again. Nope. Nothing. I wondered if it was all my imagination, but my stuff were not keen on this particular train of thought.
After another ciggie and some serious thought. After spending some time calming my stuff down, I started the bike. Leaned forward to do the chimp thing and as I toughed the bike. ZZZAPPPP!!! Eskom, would be green with envy! I leapt backward, tripped on the curb and fell flat on my arse. Crushed my packet of crushproof Camels in my gatsak as well. Man alive! This was no fun. By now my hair was standing on end so much, I would probably not get my helmet on and you could start 5 Ford's with flat batteries on me!
I eventually rode the bike home. What could I do? No cellphones in those days to call Dad ...or Mommy. It was either push it home, or ride it home. So, I am no sissy, I rode it home.
Sat perched on the seat like a canary. My legs opened wider than a pregnant mother of four on her 18th check up at the gyneco ... geanico .... gyni ... woman parts docter. Touched the clutch only once to pull away and then never again. Never used the front brakes either. As I arrived home my wise old Dad was there, watching me.
Dad: "What the hell are you sitting on the bike like an arsehole"?
Me: "The bloody thing is shocking me!!!"
Dad: "Don't be ridiculous! It's a bloody bike, not a capacitor! You are getting soft from visiting the girls on the "right" side of the Paryspad son!"
Me: "Well, why don't you try?" as I start the bike and stand away at a very safe distance.
Dad: "HOLLLLYEEEEEE FUUUUUUU**CK!!!! BLIKKSSSEEEEMMM (must be where I learned the words) the thing shocked me!!!!
Me: "Uhm ... it seems it may well be a capastor". (The story of what happened when he caught up with me is also a long one and it would have every single child welfare officer in the country foaming around the mouth)
We finally traced the devil to the fact that the tank had chaffed through the high tension cable between the coil and the plug. Note! I say COIL and PLUG singular as those bloody Yamahas had two of each, so while the one was zapping me, the other kept the motor going!