Harley-Davidson® Riding Academy

Harley-Davidson® Riding Academy

Whether you’re just getting started or just brushing up, learn the skills you need to ride with confidence. We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of riders achieve their dreams, let us help you too. Learn more about our Harley-Davidson® Riding Academy motorcycle training courses and find a class today.

New Rider Course

Never ridden before? Want to get your license? The New Rider Course will lead you through the steps to learn to ride a motorcycle and get you on the road.

Successful completion earns the MSF BRC completion card , a Riding Academy® completion certificate, and a Virginia DMV certificate waving your requirement to take the written and riding skills test (Licensed outside of Virginia? Check with your state's DMV to see if they will accept a certificate from out of state). 

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What to Expect

  • Learn to ride on a genuine Harley-Davidson® motorcycle
  • Classroom and range instruction from state & Riding Academy certified coaches
  • Learn to safely accelerate, shift, brake, and turn, along with maneuvers like controlling skids and surmounting riding obstacles
  • Earn a Motorcycle Safety Course Completion Card, which may exempt you from the riding portion of your state license exam and score you a discount on motorcycle insurance


New Graduate Financing Available

Riders who complete the Harley-Davidson® Riding Academy Course can take advantage of special financing options which include no down payment or rates as low as 3.49%* and flexible terms.

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Your Journey is Just Beginning

You’re on your way to becoming a fully licensed rider. The open road is calling, and we can’t wait to help you answer the call. Check out our additional opportunities to learn and gain confidence and hear from our students about their experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

New Rider Course:

After enrolling, you should be contacted by your dealership with any specifics to your course, including what to bring, what is required, and where and when to meet. Some dealers will have the coach call you, welcome you, remind you of items to bring and answer any questions you might have about the class.


TAKE THE COURSE

You will need to bring these items to class with you:

  • Your Driver's License and/or Learner's Permit

Gloves and a helmet are the only essential motorcycle specific items, but we recommend that sometime before the first night of class, take what you have to the dealer to get it checked out.

They can help you ensure that you have the right equipment.

CLASS GEAR LIST

  • Long-sleeve shirt or jacket
  • Long pants (heavy denim or riding pants recommended)
  • Over-the-ankle boots (sturdy, not canvas, low heel)
  • Eye protection (helmet visor, eye glasses, sun glasses, goggles acceptable)
  • Full-finger gloves (motorcycle specific recommended)
  • DOT-certified 3/4 or Full Face helmet (style based on the requirements of your state)

SHOPPING FOR A HELMET

A helmet is the most important piece of motorcycle gear you will invest in. A helmet is a very personal piece of gear.

Consider buying a helmet vs. borrowing one, that way it is yours and it fits you perfectly and allows you to focus on learning to ride.

The staff at your dealer are trained to fit a helmet and will ensure you get the right one. Helmet fit is so important that they will most likely suggest you wear the one you settle on around the dealer for about 15 minutes.

It takes that long for the helmet to really let you know if it will be comfortable in the long run. Remember, helmets are not typically returnable once they leave the dealership, so take the time to find the right one.

Coach Tip: The more helmet the better, full face is the best, followed by a modular. An open face helmet or ¾ open still provides good protection if you feel too cooped up in a full face. Half helmets, while very popular, offer the least amount of protection.

This example of a typical weekend course will give you a feel for what to expect. 

The classroom sessions typically runs three hours each: You’ll get a tour of the dealership, fill out all the class paperwork and get to know your peers and coaches. During the paperwork session, you will hear a lot about counseling and being on time and having all the gear. Don’t fret, it is just to set clear expectations for everyone. Being that an endorsement waiver is provided through this class, it has some structural aspects that the state requires to allow for licensing. 

You’ll get a ROADBOOK - this is a small Harley-Davidson® Journal that you will use to reflect on important points throughout the class. Jump in there and participate! A lot of what is being discussed you have already seen firsthand as a car driver. Then the class will turn to new material – an activity to help demystify motorcycle controls and their use will be held, as well as an activity to help understand important aspects of riding gear.

At the end of the second night, coaches usually spend some time talking about the range days, what to bring, where the range is and when to be there.  The range is simply a practice lot; it is a large flat piece of pavement that is just down the road a few miles.

This site is blocked off from car traffic and offers a controlled environment to learn in. 

The classroom will probably conclude with a discussion on the range rules and hand signals. These are all intended to help you understand how the range works and to ensure everyone has a good time during the riding portion of the course. 

Coach Tip: If you are not sure where the range is, take time to drive by it on the way home versus frantically searching for it in the morning.

Pack whatever snacks you need to keep going physically and mentally, bottled water is usually provided by the dealership.

A typical course will include two days on the range. Here is what to expect.

FIRST DAY RIDING

Your first range day will focus on getting to know the motorcycle, how to properly start it up, move it from point A to point B, and shut it off. You learn the fundamentals of clutching and shifting, turning and stopping.

Each exercise is designed to build on the previous exercises and allow you to learn quickly and effectively. Expect each exercise to take about 40 minutes. After every other exercise, a break will be held. This is usually a ROADBOOK opportunity and a chance to just rest, get a drink of water and hang out with your classmates.

Coach Tip: Learning to ride can be mentally and physically exhausting. Make plans to rest Saturday night – you want to be fresh for the second range day.

SECOND DAY RIDING

Day 2 will focus on the skills of riding: cornering, swerving and maximum braking. Just like the first day, expect two exercises back to back with a ROADBOOK break in between. These exercises are at slightly higher speeds than yesterday's and are a lot of fun! Expect to see smiles spread across the faces of your classmates.

At the end of the second day on the range, the coaches will set up and score the evaluation exercises. These are based on the same exercises you just rode and the same skills you learned over the last two days of riding.

Relax and be sure to breathe – This is just a fair measurement of your current abilities to ensure that you are ready to leave the range and venture out onto the open road. Listen to your coaches and watch each student ahead of you as they ride the test exercises. You want to be sure of the path of travel and the technique being scored.

Coach Tip: Don’t score yourself during the evaluations. Not all areas of the riding exercise are scored, and most mistakes are just a few points. Riders that get worked up because they made a riding error often ride worse and make more errors. Ride on and do your best!

At the end of the evaluations, your coach will let you know how you did. If you did not pass, don’t freak!  See your Riding Academy Manager as soon as possible regarding options.

Students who successfully complete the classroom and range sessions will be issued a completion document. In Virginia this document will excuse the person from taking a motorcycle operator skills test through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your Coach or your local DMV will provide you with instructions on steps to take to convert the completion document into a license.

You will need to take your completion document to your DMV and complete any additional steps required to get the motorcycle endorsement on your driver license. Once you’ve gotten your license, get out and enjoy the ride! 

-You may cancel or reschedule your registration without penalty 7 days or more prior to your class start date. 

-With 4-6 days prior to your class start date, you may reschedule to a later date for a $75 reschedule fee. 

-Within 3 days or less to the start of your class no refund or rescheduling is offered.

-Each Class has a limited number of students 

-After start of class, no student substitutions allowed.  You must attend all 4 class days, if you are late or miss a day you will no be allowed to continue and no refund will be given.

-Each class consists of a 2 nights of classroom and 2 days of range to be completed consecutively and there is no date splitting. 2 Range Days consist of a total of 10 hours riding time. Class is scheduled for more hours to allow for weather or other unforeseen delays.

-Riding Academy Instructors reserve the right to counsel out unsafe students that they deem dangerous to themselves, other students, equipment or instructors. If counseled out, no refund will be granted.

-No refunds or make up dates are offered to those who leave the class of their own free will.

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