Riding Harley in Helmets

Learn to Ride

Haven’t learned to ride yet? Don’t sweat it. The Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider Course is designed to get you comfortable on a bike and give you the skills you need to ride with confidence. The cost of the course is $340, which includes the MSF online course fees ($40). Learn more below, and then schedule a Harley-Davison Learn to Ride course near you!

New for 2023 – Skilled Rider Course

For those that have their own motorcycle, we are now offering a Skilled Rider course! It’s a great way to hone your existing skills, increase your confidence, and learn new mental skills and street strategies. You’ll learn advanced techniques for managing traction, stopping quickly, cornering, swerving, and more – all on your own motorcycles! One day, licensed-waiver course for $199!


Riding Academy New Rider Course Overview

Looking to buy your first Harley-Davidson? Learn to ride from the experts! At Appleton Harley-Davidson, we want to enable non-riders to experience motorcycling while learning the basic skills in a way that is fun and involving. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Our Riding Academy New Rider Course Coaches are dedicated enthusiasts who have received certification from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Harley-Davidson and the State of Wisconsin. In addition, our Coaches are seasoned riders with years of road experience.
  • In the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy classroom, you’ll get to know the motorcycle you’ll be riding and learn the basics of rider safety skills.
  • On the practice range, you’ll learn braking and turning, along with maneuvers like controlling skids and surmounting obstacles. When you’re finished, you’ll get a completion card.
  • The Harley-Davidson Riding Academy Course is more personalized and in-depth than the state course. Our objective is to ensure riders are safe and confident on the road.

What You’ll Need

  • The ability to ride a bicycle
  • A heavy, long-sleeve shirt or jacket
  • Jeans, chaps, or leather pants
  • Over-the-ankle, sturdy footwear
  • Full-fingered gloves
  • A helmet that meets DOT requirements
  • Protective eye-wear

What You’ll Be Riding

It probably goes without saying, but you’ll be using a genuine Harley-Davidson to learn to ride. Every student will be assigned a Harley-Davidson Street 500 to ride at each class session. The Street is an excellent bike for beginners for two very good reasons:

  1. It is easy to ride!
  2. We can change the seat to either a low or high seat to accommodate the height and build of the rider.

Getting Your “M” Endorsement

Successful completion of the Appleton Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider Course includes passing both a classroom portion and a riding skills test (“Road Test”). Proceed to your nearest Department of Motor Vehicles site. A 25-question computerized State of WI written test must also be taken at the DMV to receive your motorcycle “M” endorsement. After putting in your time at the Harley-Davidson riding academy and passing both tests, you’re clear to hit the road in Wisconsin!

Why Take a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Course?

You don’t have to take an official Harley-Davidson motorcycle class in order to obtain your “M” Endorsement, but these specialized courses do bring special benefits that you won’t get from a generic riding safety course. Harley-Davidson motorcycle classes are more comprehensive, offering a multi-media experience that’s more engaging than a more basic course. And of course, the biggest perk is learning to ride on a Harley!

Why Learn to Ride at Appleton Harley-Davidson?

We are committed to providing an exceptional Harley-Davidson “Learn to Ride” experience for Neenah-area riders. Here are just a few more reasons to choose our Harley-Davidson riding academy:

  • Free T-shirt after you show us your newly-earned “M” endorsement on your license
  • Mentors on-site to support you through your new riding journey
  • Learn to ride on newer Harley-Davidson Street 500 models that are inspected weekly
  • Affordable one-on-one training and retest options


Riding Academy New Rider Course: FAQ

Questions about our Harley-Davidson riding academy? See if your question is answered in our FAQ below, or give us a call at 920-757-1651. You can also contact the Riding Academy directly via email at [email protected], or simply visit our dealership in Appleton!

Q: What kind of riding gear will I need for the Riding Academy New Rider Course? 

A: You will need the following gear before you begin the course:

  • Properly fitted, DOT-approved motorcycle helmet
  • Eye protection such as a face shield, sunglasses, goggles, or glasses
  • Long-sleeved shirt or jacket
  • Long pants, preferably jeans or leather
  • Sturdy, over-the-ankle boots
  • Full-fingered gloves
  • Rain gear is optional and recommended (we will ride in wet weather)

Q: Can I purchase riding gear from Appleton Harley-Davidson? 

A: Yes. While protective gear may be purchased anywhere, it must meet the minimum requirements as stated above.

Q: How do I get the “M” endorsement on my driver’s license after successful completion of the course?

A: After successful completion of the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider Course and riding skills test (“Road Test”), proceed to a Department of Motor Vehicles site near you in Green Bay. A computerized State of WI test (“Written Test”) must also be taken at the DMV to receive your motorcycle “M” endorsement.

Q: My schedule can be unpredictable. Can I miss a class or a range session?

A: No. Class time and range sessions are tightly scheduled. You cannot miss any range time or classroom training.

Q: What are the minimum requirements for passing the course?

A: To successfully complete the class, each rider must complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) E-Course provided by Appleton Harley-Davidson, attend all classroom and range training, and pass a Motorcycle Skills Evaluation.

Q: If I don’t complete the course, can I take it again?

A: Yes. Student riders, at the discretion of the rider/coach and/or the Program Administrator, may be given an opportunity to take the Riding Academy New Rider Couse a second time for a lowered re-registration fee. To do so, you must re-schedule within 3 months of the original class.

Q: I don’t own a motorcycle. Does Appleton Harley-Davidson provide one for me to use?

A: Yes. Every student is assigned a Harley-Davidson Street 500 motorcycle by Harley-Davidson to use during the course.

Q: Are class materials provided as well?

A: The Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider Course is a multi-media program. It includes videos, classroom discussions, interactive study groups, and related learning activities. Students are provided with a New Rider Course workbook, Motorcycle Safety Foundation brochures, and other learning tools.

Q: Why must I know how to ride a bicycle to qualify for course enrollment?

A: Riding a motorcycle requires a sense of balance and coordination. Students who can ride a bicycle have demonstrated the minimum ability necessary to balance and coordinate a motorcycle.

Q: How do I pay for the course?

A: Online, you may pay the course fee by credit card only. In-store, you may pay the course fee by credit card, cash, gift card, or check.

Q: How do I know when Harley-Davidson Riding Academy Courses are available?

A: Click on the “sign up now” button. This will bring up all classes that are currently available at Appleton Harley-Davidson.

Q: I haven’t ridden a motorcycle for several years. Does it make sense for me to take the Riding Academy New Rider course?

A: The Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider Course is a research-based curriculum. It was developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and is taught by coaches who are certified by the MSF, State of Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program, and Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. Experienced riders typically benefit from the course by strengthening skills necessary for straight-line riding, turning, braking, and shifting. In addition, many insurance companies offer discounts to riders who have completed the course. And, remember that you don’t have to take the New Rider Course yourself—it also makes a great gift for your favorite Harley rider!


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  • Appleton Harley-Davidson 44.285969, -88.487784.