Being an instructor for the MSF, I have had the opportunity to coach for both motorcycle riding centers and Harley Davidson’s Riding Academy. So here’s an honest breakdown.
How the schools are the same:
Both schools basically use the same curriculum. In New Jersey there is no permit needed just a valid New Jersey drivers license. At both schools you would have to do an on line 3 1/2 hour e-course before coming to the class. Both schools do the exact same learning exercises with the exact same road test and written test.
Here is where the schools are different:
At Motorcycle riding centers our main goal is to get you familiar with the motorcycle, it’s controls, and how to operate it as safe as possible. We do not care if you ride a Honda, Suzuki, Indian, or Harley. We do care that you have a great time at the class and learn what you need to learn for the road.
At Harley there are several “exercises“ that do not add to the education of a novice rider. These “exercises“ are geared to have a student buy a Harley motorcycle at the end of class as well as all the gear associated with riding a motorcycle. Some of these “exercises“ include the history of Harley Davidson and a tour of the dealership. So basically they are teaching you to ride but they want you to buy stuff from them. Harley’s class because of the added “exercises“ is 3 to 5 days. Motorcycle riding centers does the two or three day class. The added time for Harley is the “sales pitch“.
If a student goes to the Harley class and is not planning on buying a Harley they might feel alienated and might feel pressured from the staff at the dealership to change their mind.
Lastly, is the difference in size of motorcycles that you learn on.
At motorcycle riding centers we teach you on a small 250cc bike that weighs 300 lbs. This helps with two things: skills and confidence.
Harley uses a Street 500. It weighs almost 500 pounds and is extremely heavy for someone who is vertically challenged, riding a motorcycle for the first time, or lacking in physical strength. Most new riders describe it as a little intimidating. I have had people come to our school saying they could not handle the bike at Harley, They came to motorcycle riding centers and not only did they pass but they did very well. They then went on to buy the bike of their choice (big or small) having mastered the critical skills.
At Motorcycle Riding Centers we are focused on safety and not on which brand of motorcycle you are going to ride. We do not pressure a student to buy anything after the class. In fact, we give hundreds of dollars in discount coupons to each student so they can go out and shop all brands including Harley!
Motorcycle riding centers focuses on knowledge and life-saving skills that a novice needs to know to operate a motorcycle. Our curriculum is as comprehensive as Harleys without adding the extra day or two sales pitch. The goal is to safely obtain a motorcycle license.
We at Motorcycle Riding Centers want you to be successful! Ride safe out there.