It is madness! - It freaks me out seeing adults not wearing gloves/bare ankles etc on a bike, let alone on a 10yr old - I came off a motorbike (not even very fast) wearing a leather jacket and was reasonably protected and I have to live with the damage that caused.
Also know people who have lost fingers by falling off not wearing gloves.
Is the father having some sort of crisis - a Harley - oh dear me! lol.
I know the accident statistics for motorbikes are horrific, but I suppose it depends where they are riding and how fast. If its a suburban pootle then would it necessarily be more dangerous than a bicycle or come to that, walking?
when i was at primary (over 20+yrs ago)my friends mum couldnt get the car going so she got to the school on her old moped/chickenchaser. she tied my friend on to her using those bungey cords wrapped around their waists!! (they did live right out in the sticks, so hardly any other traffic), and when i was little it seemed ok, now i think OMG!!! i wouldnt dare do that with mine, why she didnt call a taxi i dont know! it gives me a laugh now though!