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Is Joining a Harley Davidson Riding Academy Worth It?

2000 Harley Davidson Night Train

You don’t have to be going through a midlife crisis to want to ride a motorcycle. The truth is a lot of people think about riding but are just too afraid to pursue the hobby. The reluctance is understandable, however, given that riding can be both expensive and dangerous. However, there’s so much to the Harley Davidson life that’s exciting and full of adventure. In addition, safety is only a matter of preparation and knowledge, and what best way is there to get knowledge apart from going to school? Harley Davidson happens to have a Riding Academy that operates in many cities all over the US. The Riding Academy is specifically made for both new riders looking to learn how to ride or for skilled riders looking to boost their skills. Is joining a Harley Davidson Riding Academy worth it? Let’s discuss some details to find out.

What is it?

The Harley Davidson Riding Academy is a riding school that operates under the umbrella of the Harley Davidson brand. A Harley Davidson professional teaches every class, but each class is conducted at a racing circuit or location that’s near you. The academy follows guidelines and courses as set forth by the Harley Davidson Corporation. Authorized Harley dealerships are generally the ones that run the local academy. Passing the motorcycle courses through the Harley Davidson Riding Academy will exempt you from having to take the test to get your motorcycle license through the DMV.

Who is it for?

The riding academy is a great way to get acquainted with a motorcycle—whether you have a little bit of experience, some experience in the past, or no experience at all. The courses for a new rider are designed to teach you everything you need to know to ride a motorcycle and to be safe while doing so. You’ll learn the rules of the road before you actually go out there. If you’re a skilled rider already, this course will help you advance your riding skills and get even more confident on the road. You’ll learn how to manage risks, have better control, and maneuver better in difficult circumstances.

What to expect

The courses generally follow the Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum. There’s a classroom portion to the course that can be skipped if you do the eCourse online, which takes about 3 hours. When you finish the eCourse, you’ll get a certificate that you’ll have to bring to class with you. When you sign up for a class, you’ll get all the information you need to prepare, and you’ll also likely get a call from your coach to welcome you to your upcoming journey. You’ll obviously need to wear riding gear in order to participate in the class. This is an important factor for safety reasons. In fact, you actually need to get an OK from your dealer regarding on the riding boots you intend to wear. The requirement is that you wear over the ankle boots. You’ll also need gloves and a helmet. If you can get a full-face motorcycle helmet, it will be your best option.

If you can get all of your gear together beforehand, visit your dealership with everything on. They’ll allow you to test and sit on a bike with all your gear to see if everything feels comfortable and works out. On the day of your class, you’ll need to bring your license, your gear, and any class certificates you might need to do the riding academy. Preparations for the skilled riding course are a lot simpler. First, you’ll need to do a proper inspection of your bike to check components and parts, making sure that they’re all good to go. Your bike has to pass inspection before you could be allowed to continue on with the class. On the day of your skilled rider class, you’ll need to bring your ID and all of your gear. The skilled rider course goes on for 1 to 2 days, so make sure you prepare for that.

How much does it cost?

Perhaps one of the biggest determinants if the H-D Riding Academy is worth it would be the price. Courses are more or less $300 per class. If you’re a new rider and have to pay for all your gear in addition to the class, the cost might be a bit much. If you’re already a rider and have all your gear at hand, the $300 could easily be just another expense.

Is it worth it?

They say that great riders aren’t born; they’re made. If you’re serious about riding and want to be the best rider you could ever be, we believe that the Harley Davidson Riding Academy is absolutely worth it. One graduate of the course even said that joining the Riding Academy inspired him to discover new skills and work to perfect them. Mastering technical skills will only make your ride more enjoyable and less stress-free. The more confident you are with your skills, the better the ride is in general.

As far as the cost is concerned, you are always welcome to speak to your dealer about the possibility of paying for the courses in installments—that’s if it’s needed. It’s true that taking the course at a DMV will be significantly cheaper, but you aren’t going to get the same education compared to going to the Harley Davidson Riding Academy. You’re also likely to not have as much fun either. Part of getting a motorcycle license is the fun of it all, and the fun can start even while you’re only learning about your bike. So save up that cash and buy all your gear. If riding is your next hobby, the Harley Davidson Riding Academy should be your first destination.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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