The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Rider's Edge, the Harley-Davidson Academy of Motorcycling, Moves into California

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Three dealerships set to offer rider training course

In a continuing effort to teach the fundamentals of and instill a greater appreciation for motorcycle riding, Harley-Davidson is expanding its successful rider training program into California. Select California Harley-Davidson dealerships are now offering the Rider's Edge(R) New Rider Course premier motorcycle training program where students have opportunities to interact with dealership staff and draw from a network of experienced motorcyclists. Additional dealerships are preparing to launch their program within the month.

The Rider's Edge New Rider Course California premier program is based on the proven curriculum of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's (MSF) Basic RiderCourse(SM), while offering additions that provide longer classroom and range time.

"With Harley-Davidson, becoming a rider is first and foremost about motorcycle safety, but it's also about a rite of passage -- an experience you'll never forget," said Julie Chichlowski, director of Rider Services. "That's exactly what we bring to our Rider's Edge New Rider Course and what we're excited to bring to the state of California. Rider's Edge is about learning, discovering and bonding -- everything a new riding experience should be."

The first Harley-Davidson dealerships in California to offer the Rider's Edge New Rider Course premier program are Orange County Harley-Davidson in Irvine and Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson in Lancaster. Harley-Davidson anticipates more California dealerships will add the Rider's Edge New Rider Course program to their dealer services by year's end.

Beyond additional classroom activities over the MSF course, The Rider's Edge New Rider Course California program includes a group riding component and a Riding Straight module that focuses on the impact of alcohol and riding where students can experience simulations using Fatal Vision Goggles.

According to Chichlowski, an essential component of the Harley-Davidson Rider's Edge programs is the expert instructors. "Our Rider's Edge Instructors are passionate about riding and passionate about teaching people the safety skills needed to do so."

Classroom and skills training are held onsite at participating Harley-Davison dealers. The cost and course schedule vary by dealership, but the New Rider Course program typically can be completed in an extended weekend and outside of standard work hours. To be eligible, students must have a valid driver's license, learners permit or certificate showing completion of the classroom portion of driver's education. For those under 18, a waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian.

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates receive a California motorcycle license waiver, relinquishing the riding test given by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and qualifying riders for insurance premium discounts with some motorcycle insurers.

"One distinct advantage of the Rider's Edge New Rider Course is that feeling of being part of something bigger," said Chichlowski. "Rider's Edge teaches the skills necessary to ride a motorcycle but in an environment that is pure Harley-Davidson."

Harley-Davidson established the Rider's Edge New Rider Course in 2000. Since then, the program has grown to include 41 states and 176 dealerships. In 2007, Rider's Edge celebrated the training of its 100,000th student. To find a dealership offering Rider's Edge, visit and click on Find Rider's Edge Locations in the Dealer Locater section.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's Web site at