Since 2000, our rider training programs successfully trained more than 400,000 new riders—offering an unprecedented experience for them to enter the sport in a comfortable and confident way.
In April 2014, we unveiled the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy—a revamped training program designed to maximize rider experience and confidence the way only Harley-Davidson can. Students now train on the Street 500, which offers the best opportunity to learn and allows them to practice on a bike that is more like the one they might eventually ride. Other new features include an industry-first power limit calibration that puts a ceiling on the vehicle’s low-gear speeds, and a vehicle protection kit that allays student fears of damaging the vehicle in a tip-over.
Learning to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle just got even cooler.
Following the successful introduction of Riding Academy in the U.S., 2014 also marked the first full year the program was established internationally. Launched in three markets outside of the U.S.–Mexico, China and South Africa–Riding Academy has already made a profound impact in bringing new riders to the brand and the sport.
Every Riding Academy program is tailored to its country. This means understanding all laws and regulations to ensure the appropriate level of training is provided.
“In 2014 alone, we trained nearly 39,000 students,” said Sarah Lewis, Harley-Davidson International Rider Training Program Lead. “That means we’re not just putting more skilled riders on the road, we’re also bringing new riders to the brand—even those who thought they could never ride before.”
Since its launch, a survey to those who took a Riding Academy course shows an average customer satisfaction rate of 95 percent. Given the positive response to the program in the U.S. and new markets, plans are already in motion to launch Riding Academy in more places.
“Riding Academy doesn’t just teach students how to ride,” said Nigel Villiers, Harley-Davidson Director of Global Consumer Integration. “It gives them confidence to get out on their bike more...to fall in love with the road. We’re creating lifelong riders and brand advocates."