“There’s often an obstacle confronting new riders,” says McGraw. “They’d like to buy their first bike or maybe upgrade to a newer, more powerful one, but they worry about their ability to handle it safely. Rider education programs are the answer. Our New Rider Course participants can improve their skills on their own bike or learn on one of our Buell Blast motorcycles, an exciting and easy-to-handle motorcycle with a rider-friendly design.”
The option, it seems, is attracting would-be riders. Harley-Davidson has seen its Rider’s Edge New Rider Course (www.ridersedge.com) grow in popularity and has trained tens of thousands of riders, while its line of H-D MotorClothes apparel has also helped new grads look the part. The Rider’s Edge program offers three courses: the New Rider Course, the Skilled Rider Course and the Rider’s Edge/MSF Guide to Group Riding Course.
McGraw suggests the growth of the rider education business reflects the larger growth in motorcycling as a whole. “We’ve seen an explosion in rider interest. Between 2000 and 2003 we trained 10,000 riders. Since then, we’ve trained 40,000 more. While a third of our students already owned a bike, another third purchased a bike within four months of completing Rider’s Edge. The remaining third said they were planning to purchase a motorcycle.”
Purchase or no purchase, more people every year are riding a motorcycle. And while 24 million Americans rode one at least once in 2003, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month serves to remind us that any ride is only as thrilling as it is safe. That’s why, from first-time rider to longtime rider, this May is the perfect time to better enjoy the thrill of the open road by learning to ride it more safely.
Courtesy of ARA Content