Harley-Davidson To Offer Free Rider Training To All U.S. Military

Illustration for article titled Harley-Davidson To Offer Free Rider Training To All U.S. Military

Harley-Davidson has always had a special relationship with the military, and they’re taking that one step farther by offering to teach every active-duty, retired, reservists, and veteran members for the entirety of 2016. Bravo.

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If you’ve followed the site long, you know I’ve often been critical of Harley-Davidson. I’m still trying to understand the whole appeal, and I’m even borrowing one now for a review, but none of that means I don’t have a huge respect for the things the company does well. Their relationship with the military has always been strong, thanks to special overseas purchasing and financing plans as well as a number of events and military specific lines of clothing and accessories.

So much of motorcycling is about the solo experience, but just as much of it is about the community you enter as a rider and no one does that better than the Motor Company.

They’re terrific at providing both experiences and giving you a special feeling when you’re on one of their products, both through the design and appearance of the machines and through their dealer network, customizable options, and the huge effort Harley puts towards special programs and events. And this latest is a great one.

Any and all members or former members of the military can attend the Free Riding Academy between Jan 1, 2016 and Dec 31, 2016. You can sign up at your local dealership or at h-d.com/AmericanHeroes and, if there isn’t a class near you, HD will reimburse the expense of attending any local motorcycle training program.

Anyone currently deployed can get a voucher up until Dec 31, 2016 to attend for free in 2017.

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There is a lot I think Harley-Davidson could learn from other brands, but there is so much that every other brand could learn from the guys in Milwaukee.

Sean MacDonald is Jalopnik’s motorcycle/powersports editor. You can follow his adventures and thoughts on Instagram and Twitter, or email him at sean.macdonald@jalopnik.com. Also, make sure you’re following the Lanesplitter Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with our content.

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DISCUSSION

Pretty sure every branch does this, but the Air Force already does a comprehensive motorcycle training course (for free of course). I got my Experienced RiderCourse card after taking a really thorough class that was executed on the flightline at Langley AFB. That was back in 2002 on my ‘72 TR6R that I still have today. The card is still in my wallet and has no expiration and gives a nice break on insurance rates as well.

I mean, good on Harley I guess, but seems like a bit of a redundant PR grab IMO....