Growing the Sport of Motorcycling—One Town at a Time

Harley-Davidson invites an entire town to learn the basics of motorcycle riding.

With the town water tank already decked out in Harley-Davidson livery, all riders riding to Ryder will really feel welcome, regardless of when they stop by to visit.Photo: Harley-Davidson

Motorcyclists notice other motorcycle riders. You likely have at least a nodding acquaintance with the other riders in your neighborhood. But what would it be like if everyone in your town rode a bike?

A full support crew will be on hand to fly the company flag, show off their wares, and announce their unique push to grow the sport with the entire Ryder population.Photo: Harley-Davidson

Sounds kinda crazy, no? But that's what Harley-Davidson is planning to do in the town of Ryder, North Dakota, population 84. On Saturday, June 3, Harley-Davidson will host a Riding Academy demo class on Main Street in Ryder to kick off efforts to create the first fully motorcycle licensed town. Every resident in Ryder with a driver's license and the ability to ride a bicycle will be invited to participate in Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider Courses over the summer, conducted by the Magic City Harley-Davidson dealership in nearby Minot. Hopefully, as Labor Day draws near a number of these new riders will have become established enough in the sport to be ready for an organized 865-mile ride to the Harley-Davidson home base in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, complete with a VIP factory tour.

On Saturday, June 3, Harley-Davidson rolls into town to present a high-profile presence in Ryder during the Ryp to Ryder Fest.Photo: Harley-Davidson

The town of Ryder is already connected to riding; this June 3 date coincides with the Ryp to Ryder Fest, which includes a ride, charity fundraising and more, put on in conjunction with Magic City Harley-Davidson. The mayor of Ryder is also a rider, and when Harley reps extended this idea, many others in town greeted this proposal enthusiastically. To top things off—literally— Harley-Davidson helped refurbish the town’s water tower with a paint scheme mirroring the famous design at Harley-Davidson’s Juneau headquarters in Milwaukee.

"We're opening up this opportunity to people of all ages and stages, hoping they'll all become riders," said Anoop Prakash, Harley-Davidson US Marketing and Market Development Director. "We're trying to build a new generation of Harley-Davidson riders and get people interested in getting out on two wheels to see all this country has to offer."

Since the inception of their Riding Academy, Harley-Davidson has introduced more than a half-million people to the sport of motorcycling. If all goes well, by September they'll be able to add the town of Ryder to that list.