Harley-Davidson, which has trained more than 350,000 new riders over the last 14 years, announced today that it has enhanced, expanded, and renamed its riding school. The school, called the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy, is the only national rider-training program hosted by Harley dealerships and using an all-new Harley model, the Street 500. “For years we’ve been delivering a life-changing, freedom-inspiring training experience,” said Angela Thundercloud, Harley-Davidson Rider Training Manager. “Now we’re taking rider training to a new level by incorporating a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that students will want to keep riding long after class is over.” Since 2000, Harley-Davidson’s program has been a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)-approved rider training experience that guides students from the classroom to the street, with an emphasis on building student confidence. The new course, says Harley, provides nearly everything students need to take the first step on their motorcycle riding journey, including MSF-certified instructors, the use of a motorcycle, and a minimum of 20 hours of combined classroom and range training. There is a guaranteed 6-to-one student/instructor ratio, and students are required to bring appropriate riding gear to the class.
Better yet, Harley-Davidson Riding Academy students will learn to ride on the new Street 500, which has been designed with new riders in mind and has styling that targets young, urban riders around the world. Of note, the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy uses an industry-first Power Limit Calibration, which puts a ceiling on the vehicle’s low-gear speeds, allowing only the maximum rate a student needs in the course. What’s more, there’s a Vehicle Protection Kit that helps the Street 500 from getting damaged in the event of a tip-over. “Instilling confidence is vital to preparing new riders to move from the classroom to the open road,” says Thundercloud. “We designed everything—the experience, the curriculum, and the equipment—to inspire that needed confidence and empower new students to have a ton of fun learning to ride on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.” Harley says that in many states, completion of the Riding Academy course can exempt riders from needing to take an additional road test before becoming licensed. Moreover, many insurance providers are said to offer discounts to graduates. Currently, more than 180 Harley-Davidson dealers offer training courses in the US, but the program is expanding into Mexico, China, and South Africa. More details about the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy, and where to find a participating dealer, can be found at www.h-d.com/ridingacademy.